Posted Jan. 25, 2016
Students often wonder how to plan the reading week that is listed on LLM schedules. Some may make use of the week-long break to travel back home and gear themselves up for the next stint of study, while others choose to lie low and catch-up on TV shows that they missed during the intensive first-semester.
Students who live locally usually take this time to travel with friends or meet family. International students are most likely to use the opportunity to explore the city locally in between their reading times or break away from their residential lodgings to make day trips to nearby towns or cities.
Essentially a reading week is like a short break for you to ease off from the cyclical routine of weekly seminars and taking time off for contemplative reading, absorbing concepts discussed in class and planning your final dissertation structure. Not all universities offer a reading week; some may give a week-long beak half way through first semester – usually end of October/early November or end of January/early February.
Despite how relevant this week can be to position you in the right trajectory on your LLM program, it’s more likely that very little reading gets done during reading week! Let’s look at ways to make the most of your reading week.
1. Prepare a reading week timetable
Once you know that your college provides you with a reading week break, prepare a timetable weeks in advance. It would be a good plan to find out if libraries are open during that time so you can take your lunch and plan days in the week in the library. It can be fun to buddy up with another colleague from your course.
2. Check your reading list
There may be longer reading lists for some courses than others, so it will be wise to start accumulating all the reading material by visiting libraries, looking for past exam papers and doing online research. You can also link your dissertation work by sourcing readings such as online journal articles.
3. Prep your assignments
It is likely that you may have to submit written assignments immediately after the reading week. This would be a good time to prioritise your time between doing the assignments and reading up on other courses.
4. Travel locally
On days when you have regular seminars, you would hardly get time to explore the local city. This is your chance to move around the city and get acquainted with local highlights including museums and exhibitions.
5. Watch movies or do theatre
This is also an ideal time to catch-up on movies or local plays because you are more likely to get better ticket rates on weekdays rather than weekends!
6. Do career research
You can use the reading week to contemplate on the direction that you want to take after LLM. You could research online or email contacts about potential research assignments or internship applications. Another way is to find out career events in the city and use the opportunity to attend them so you are aware of the local trends in the legal market.
Given all these options, you can make the most of your reading week by planning activities that you can fit into your schedule but ensuring that they are all contingent on you taking your daily dose of reading!
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