Daniel J. Sullivan, Esq.
Principal and
Sole Proprietor


Sullivan Law School Consulting Services Blog

What to expect when you’re expecting…

…to begin law school, that is.  Congratulations to my clients who are about to start law school in the next several weeks.  We had a great season here at SLSAC, and every client from the past season will soon begin at a law school to which they are – as they should be – proud to have been admitted.  As I do every year at this time, I write (OK, I copy from last year) a piece with advice just for these now former clients as they begin law school.  As to the new clients out there, stop reading.  You’ll see this next year.


First, get in shape.  Physical stamina is as important as intellectual ability in law school, as you will see, so start exercising.  Even if you just walk for thirty minutes a day, that will do, and if you keep it up through the fall, it will do wonders to clear your head and relieve stress.


Second, don’t be overwhelmed by your classmates.  Your first full day at law school will include a period when you are thrown into the pool with your classmates.  It will be sort of your first grown-up cocktail party.  Now I don’t care how humble or modest you are, admit it, you haven’t met more than 7 or 8 people in your life who are as smart or accomplished or smarter or more accomplished than you think you are.  Well, join the party.  You are, at this gathering, going to meet HUNDREDS of people just like you.  EVERYONE you meet will be as smart or as accomplished or smarter or more accomplished than you, and the nightmare is that no matter how humble or modest you are, you’ll realize it.  It’s like they have all been here, all the time, just waiting for you, just to rub it in your face.  At my “cocktail party” at the University of Chicago, a Dartmouth summa said as he was shaking my hand “if you’re as impressive as the last 3 guys I met, I’m leaving.” (He left.  OK, three years later, and with a degree, but he left.) Don’t be intimidated.  If you are among them, believe me, you deserve to be among them.  Keep your cool.  Keep your head down.  Focus on your work.


Finally, after the first 2 or 3 weeks of craziness in class, where concepts seem to be coming out of nowhere, and making sense of it all is a distant memory, do this: go to the library and ask for last year’s exams and exam answers in each of your classes. Go to a quiet place for several hours and go through them.  Look at them.  Guess what.  THAT’S IT.  That exam and that exam answer are what all this craziness is about.  There is no class participation, no paper, no quiz, no midterm, no nothing.  Just an exam like this and an answer like that.  Use the experience to reorient yourself as you go back to class and to your studies.  Just getting an answer like that onto a piece of paper is all that this is about.  (It might also behoove you to remember the answer.  I know the question will be different when you get it, but the way the A+ last year described causation on his tort exam was probably the right way.)


Good luck to you all, and thank you for using SLSAC.  It was a pleasure working with you, and if you need help during the coming year, please don’t hesitate to call me.


Dan Sullivan

Sullivan Law School Admissions Consulting

(781) 862-0701