Advice for your first year as a law student

@Alejandra Acedo

«It’s not about memorizing material, but learning through a practical approach like moot courts, oral exams, and other ways that make learning more fun and reflect how you’ll work in the future.»

Are you going to study at IEU? We asked some of our current law students to give advice and helpful tips to law students in their first year. Take notes!

Mateo Mollier (BBA + LL.B)

Be ready to study a lot for Criminal Law I and

Constitutional. The principles are very basic, but they will allow you to build strong bases from which to learn other subjects. Listen to professors, most of them are currently working in the field and they provide a lot of knowledge based on their real life experiences. You learn by studying different legal systems, such as Tanzania’s, learning the practical principles, and applying them in different situations and countries.

A dual degree has allowed me to keep my doors open. My idea was to only study the BBA at first, but now I like law way more. Even if I choose not to practice law, I will have a great background in it.

Manuel Contreras (BBA + LL.B)

It’s not about memorizing material, but learning through a practical approach like moot courts, oral exams, and other ways that make learning more fun and reflect how you’ll work in the future. It is important to obtain a global mindset, and business helps you learn how to be sharp and stay on your toes.

Carlos Vergara (LL.B)

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by long books and texts; read all of the materials given to you as it helps your academic development and prepares you for your professional future. You don’t necessarily need to have a ton of prerequisites, as you will learn how to handle situations when they arise. I didn’t read much before and now it’s one of my favorite hobbies. You should keep an open mind towards learning new habits during your degree.

Ignacio Sanchez (BBA + LL.B)

At the beginning, you might feel completely lost when solving practical cases, but that is the best way to learn and get used to solving them. You will make mistakes, learn from them, have fun, and then fix them. You will learn how law is relative, and it is a great complement to a business degree. These two perspectives create a synergy that allows you to have a more complete profile.

Bárbara Gómez (Law Society)

Get involved in anything available and interesting to you. Your university experience is immensely enriched when you feel like part of the community and you contribute to make it better. Be aware of the opportunities that exist and seize them without hesitation; you are here to prepare for the future, but your future starts today. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes—that’s how you learn.

As for your law classes, if you (like me) don’t come from an international high school or school system, I know it can be overwhelming at the beginning, but don’t feel inferior in any way and do not compare yourself to other people! Your only competition is against yourself, not against others. Learn from your classmates as much as possible but be aware that you have your own potential and your own way of being outstanding.

Work as hard as you can without jeopardizing your health and other aspects of your life. The most rewarding thing is seeing your improvement and realizing how much you’ve learned.

Finally, have a good relationship with your professors and learn from their professional experiences. Read their publications and know the background of who is teaching you what. IE has incredible professors in the law school who are beyond prepared and devoted to teaching.

Paulina Godynyuk (Law Society)

I would advise law students to grab all the opportunities they can get from IE University: join clubs such as the Legal Clinic where you can learn and complement your law degree, maintain good relationships with the professors in your field of interest and ask them questions and advice, attend summer school in partner universities, and pursue work experience.

Nieves Delgado (Law Society)

I would tell them what I tell my mentees, which is to try to pay attention in class—you would be surprised how interesting some subjects are. Take notes and try not to stress too much about exams!

Gracia Pujadas (Law Society)

I would certainly advise them to make the most out of IEU, which gives you endless opportunities. For example, the Law Society is an amazing way to stay informed about current legal trends and problems as well as to guide your professional career in one way or another. Also, make the most out of labs (e.g. the Legal Clinic), the advanced seminars that IE offers every semester, other IEU clubs and extracurricular activities…

Ainhoa Busto (Law Society)

I would advise first-year law students to work hard and always try to get involved in extracurricular activities, which apart from being very enriching for them, will also be of interest to potential recruiters.

Teresa Artaza (Law Society)

I would encourage them to participate in as many things as they possibly can, not only events organized by the Law Society but also any talk, meetup, volunteer experience, etc. that is offered by IE. This is the best way to meet people who are interested in the same topics as you and to deepen your knowledge of specific areas.

I would also encourage them to put into practice any idea they have. It truly is amazing how IE gives everyone the chance to unleash their creativity and make their ideas reality and I think this is something students should take more advantage of.

Märit Thomasdotter (Law Society)

Never doubt yourself, follow your instincts, and always work with a goal in mind. Also, broaden your perspectives and don’t forget to truly enjoy your university time, because it passes faster than you can imagine.