Advice For Freshmen and Sophomores

  • Take a wide range of classes to help identify your scholarly interests. Choose your major carefully to ensure that you are selecting something that is challenging, demanding, and interesting to you.
  • In your classes, think about how you can develop skills as well as learn content. Explore ways to enhance your concentration, listening, note-taking, test-taking, writing, critical thinking, textual analysis, research, and general communication skills. Visit CAPS and take a skills workshop if you sense that your academic skill development is not progressing each year.
  • Think of ways to take responsibility for your own learning. Make a promise to yourself to attend all your classes, to come to classes having read all assigned materials, to set up a study schedule for all your classes, and to use time immediatly prior to your classes to get focused on the work for the day in each of your classes. By keeping this promise, you are giving yourself the best possible chance to excel at UNM.
  • Think about taking advantage of Supplemental Instruction when offered in your classes (note: Supplemental Instruction may be called something different in each class, so ask your instructor if you have questions about Supplemental Instruction offerings) as a means of building in study time and skill development time.
  • Spend some time exploring materials on pre-law preparation, law school, and the legal profession. For example, read some of the online sources on this advisement page. You might find it interesting to read "Law School: What To Expect and How to Cope" by University of Arizona Professor Kenny Hegland. Don't be intimidated by Prof. Hegland's account of the law school process; instead, think about how to use your years at UNM to make yourself ready to excel in a course like Prof. Hegland's first year class.
  • Attend a New Mexico Law Day in order to talk with law representatives from all over the country as a means of familiarizing yourself with law school options.
  • Attend a UNM Law School Open House in order to see law school up close and to meet law students and law professors.
  • Consider visiting and/or joining a student and/or community group in order to be a part of the larger life of the university and community, but remember that grades (not extracurricular activities) are your priority. For an assessment of how volunteer activities enter into your overall academic pre-law preparation, read this. [note this is a Word document]
  • Email or visit with your pre-law advisor if you have questions about what is right for your individual pre-law preparation needs.
  • Develop time-management skills to ensure that you still have time for fun as well as work. Online time-management and study skill sources http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/stdyhlp.html can help you better manage your work schedule, reduce stress, and enjoy this exciting time in your life.