Are you a new paralegal student? Here are some tips for success in your first semester.
Keep up with your reading. Don’t try to absorb material by cramming at the last minute.
Keep your grades as high as you can. It ensures you know the subject material, and also helps with financial aid, and transferring to a four year institution later on.
Understand what the prerequisites are for your plan of study. “Prereqs” are classes you must take in order to advance to a higher level class. For instance, in order to take Legal Research & Writing II (LEX 121) you must first successfully complete Legal Research & Writing I (LEX 120) with a C or better. You will need to earn a C or better in any prereq class.
Get those math classes under your belt. You may have to take a placement test to determine which math class to take first. Do not wait until your second year to do this. Get started on your math courses now.
Manage your plan of study. Plan ahead so that you know what courses you are taking and when. Remember that while many General Education classes are repeated in both Fall and Spring semesters, each of your paralegal courses are offered just once each year.
Once you’ve registered for a semester, immediately start planning the next one. You’re required to contact your advisor every semester to have your registration restriction lifted, and your first advising meeting will likely be face-to-face before you can do online advising. Check in with your advisor no later than one week prior to your registration date.
The paralegal program coursework involves a lot of analytical reading and very clear writing. The better your English (ENG) grades are, the better off you will be as a student and in your paralegal career.
Use proper English and formal formatting when contacting your instructors and advisor. Using “text-ese” won’t cut it. It only takes a few seconds more to write a note properly. Add in your student ID number for even faster response. Make sure you use your college email account. And remember that instructors have a home life, so they may not respond immediately at night and on weekends.
If you run into difficulties in a class, contact your instructor immediately. Things rarely get better on their own, so be proactive when it comes to problem solving, and put your instructor on your problem-solving team.
Stay positive. What you think about, your bring about!