Congratulations! You've taken the plunge and now you're deep into the first few weeks of your LLM program.
So, how do you go about settling in effectively and what can you expect from this first few weeks?
Let's take a look.
Expect to be bewildered
During that first week, you will be inundated with information and if you're in a new town, then it will be at least twice as much to learn. Accept that you will get lost, if not physically lost, then lost in a computer system or trying to work out what you're supposed to be doing. Just accept it and move on.
Undergraduates are (mostly) going to look very young
Even if you've come straight from your undergraduate degree to study your Master of Laws you will find the undergraduates looking young and inexperienced. Avoid the drama that might accompany them and try to make headway with other postgraduate students. Depending on where you are living, you might find accommodation that is specifically for LLM students might be useful in avoiding people who have just left home for the first time and are partying every night.
You shouldn't find those law professors quite so scary
If you've been working for a few years, then you shouldn't find your law professors as intimidating as you may have done as an undergraduate. You should realise by now that they are just experts in their fields who have spent time, that you have not yet done, focusing on one area of the law. If you've been working in another area of the law, then you might know more than they do in that particular field. So there really is no need to be intimidated.
Plan how to study efficiently
If you’re studying full time then you have probably only got a year, so you can't waste a few weeks working out where you're going to study or how. Plan your study area right away and give a little bit of thought to how you are going to study efficiently.
Set up a study group
If you've got going on your LLM program right away, then you will probably be keen to set up a study groups However, this is one thing you should give a little time. Consider personality types that you work well with and leave those who you might get on a little too well with for outside of your study sessions!
This might come as a bit of a shock to those students who are fresh from their undergraduate degrees, but when you're working you're probably not friends with everyone you work with. You need to be able to work with lots of different types of people and you should consider your fellow LLM students as potential future colleagues rather than drinking buddies. Join a law society to meet other like-minded people, but always keep in mind that you might be meeting future colleagues.
Embrace networking events
Networking at law school as an LLM student is a brilliant way to make contacts in your specialised field of the law. Those you meet will know by the fact you are studying an LLM that you are serious about your career working in the law, so take advantage of those early meet and greet sessions.