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The Dos and Don'ts of Law School

Updated: Mar 29

The Notre Dame Sydney Law Society presents what to do (and what not to do) during your time at Law School.

Do get involved in campus culture

Make the most out of your university experience by taking a break from your studies to create some great friendships (and memories!). Start by joining a Club or Society (or get some friends together and start your own!) and let the fun begin! The NDSLS has some exciting events and competitions planned for Semester 2 so keep an eye on our socials!

Don’t just drink coffee!

Looking after your physical and mental health is crucial – don’t neglect it! Make sure you are exercising, eating and sleeping well – particularly during busy assessment and exam periods. Set aside time each week to do something for yourself so that you don’t become overwhelmed.

Do your readings

How many times do we have to be told this?

Don’t be afraid to network

You should start networking as soon as you start Law School! Form friendships (and connections) with your peers – you never know when they will come in handy! Attend networking events and workshops to gain practical knowledge and develop your skills – a new opportunity might be just around the corner! Gain practical legal experience and start applying for legal jobs early in you degree – you just have to put yourself out there!

Do explore the campus (when you get a chance!)

Located in the heart of Chippendale, there are so many things to discover around the Notre Dame Broadway Campus. At the top of your list should be the best places to eat, study, and take pictures for your Instagram! Find the hidden courtyards for a quiet study space, visit the new student spaces and make sure to check out all the fantastic services offered to Notre Dame students!

Don’t forget to submit an assessment

Keep on top of your schedule by regularly checking your Course Outlines, student email and Blackboard, and pencilling in assessment deadlines in your diary or calendar. Due dates can come around quickly so take some time to create a schedule that works for you and make sure to leave plenty of time to complete each assessment. Make sure you also know exactly what time each assessment is due – you don’t want to submit late!

Do get used to using AGLC4

Let’s face it – a law degree is 4+ years and referencing isn’t going anywhere! When you are unsure of what you are doing, referencing can be time consuming. Like everything, referencing takes practice and you will learn new tricks as you go (Did you know the library even runs referencing workshops?). Nailing your referencing might even grant you a bonus mark or two!

Don’t buy all your textbooks new

Thick law textbooks can break your back, and your bank! Before you buy, chat to your lecturer about which textbooks are necessary for each course, and make use of Library resources. For second hand textbooks, make friends with students in the year above you or search the Notre Dame Textbook Exchange Facebook Group. Zookal often offer great discount codes for brand new textbooks that ship quickly.

Do keep up with your socials

Follow the Notre Dame Sydney Law Society (NDSLS) on social media to keep up to date with the latest Law School news and events! While you’re at it, you should also check out the Student Association of the University of Notre Dame (SAUNDA) and Sydney Campus Life!

Don’t let a bad grade defeat you!

Not everyone can get a HD, and we all have bad days sometimes. Law School can be tough, but your grades for one course will not necessarily reflect those for you receive in others – we can’t all be good at everything! What is important is that you are passionate about what you are studying and that you try your best. We can learn from every experience!

Do ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! University is for learning and there is no such thing as a dumb question! If you are unsure of something, do no hesitate to ask your lecturers – they are here to help you. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions in class, reach out to them after class or via email.

Notre Dame also offers many services both on campus and online; counselling, careers, chaplaincy and academic support. If you are finding things tough (we all do at times) don’t hesitate to reach out to the Law School to discuss the options available to you.

Don’t be afraid to try new things!

Not sure what you are doing? That’s okay! University is all about trying new things. My top tip is to open yourself up to new opportunities and experiences by putting yourself out there! Not everyone starts Law School knowing the area they want to practice in – and things can change along the way! You don’t know if you will like something until you try it, so give everything a go and before you know it you will find your feet.

For those students joining us in Semester 2, congratulations and welcome to Notre Dame!



About the Author Alicia is studying her fifth year of a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Applied Psychology). In addition to her position on the NDSLS as Education Director, Alicia has a passion for reading, rules, and roses. #law #studentlife #oweek #dosanddontsoflawschool #uni #Notredameuni #notredamesyd #ndsls #lawstudent #lawschool #orientation #studenttips

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