Six Keys to Success for 1L Students

Orientation Week is one week away at Charleston School of Law and Michael Banks, Director of Admission, has identified six keys to success for incoming 1L law students.

“Orientation Week can be pretty overwhelming for some students,” he said. “But it’s totally normal to feel that way because so much is being thrown at you in a short period of time. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm and keep perspective. The purpose of the program is to help you feel prepared so that you walk into your first classes and understand what is expected of you and what you should be doing.”

The sense of feeling overwhelmed is expected. If you feel anxious, confused, scared, etc. it’s not a problem. Charleston School of Law has surrounded all of our students with a ton of helpful resources to help you work through any issues that may arise.

Whether it’s in or out of the classroom, Charleston Law is staffed with professionals that can help students that are dealing with a mental health/wellness concern (anxiety, stress, fear, etc.) or academic issues (visit our academic success team and fellows).

One of the foundational keys to success for any academic or professional endeavor is to be prepared. In his experience, Banks said students who are prepared for class are more likely to experience success.

When new students arrive for Orientation everything is new. Law school is not the same as undergraduate or graduate higher education. You will explore new ways of learning. You will have new professors. Even the person sitting to your right and left in the classroom will likely be unfamiliar to you.

We encourage new students to turn this experience into opportunity. “Get out of your comfort zone and make friends,” said Banks. “Everyone is new to law school, not just you.”

During Orientation Week we will introduce you to a laundry list of class and extracurricular activities. As you begin processing all this information, no doubt you will have questions. When in doubt, raise your hand and ask your question. We are here to help.

How can you keep all this information organized? Banks said get a planner. Whether it’s an old school daily planner you can pick up on Amazon or a more sophisticated app, it’s worth every cent. 

Let’s recap:

  1. Stay calm and keep perspective
  2. Tap into all the available resources
  3. Be prepared
  4. Get out of your comfort zone
  5. Ask questions
  6. Get a planner

Have questions? Need someone to speak to? We are here to help you. Contact us anytime. 


The Charleston School of Law is an ABA-accredited law school nationally recognized for its student-centric culture. Our faculty and staff are committed to preparing you for success both in the classroom and in the legal profession.

  • The Princeton Review ranks Charleston School of Law professors second in the country for faculty accessibility (2021)
  • Charleston School of Law faculty ranked among the top of The Princeton Review’s list of Best Professors in the nation (2016-2018)
  • Experiential Learning: Charleston School of Law students have access to about more than 150 externship sites, creating opportunities for experiential learning in the legal field.
  • Community Service: Charleston School of Law students have performed more than 241,000 community service hours (2004-current).
  • Students have won the National Tax Moot Court Championship for seven consecutive years (2012-2018)

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