7 Absolute Must-Haves for Year 1 Law Students in Nigeria

New beginnings are less daunting when you're prepared. To help you succeed, we've put together a list of things you need for your first year as a Nigerian Law student.

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Essentials for year 1 law student

Once you’ve been admitted to study Law into a Nigerian university, it’s only natural to begin planning for your clearance and resumption. Nothing beats being prepared for resuming your first year. It lets you begin your undergraduate journey on the right foot and makes you better equipped for good grades and a successful academic year in general. To help with your preparation, we’ve put together a list of things you need as a year 1 Law student in Nigeria.

7 Essentials for the Year 1 Law Student: The Law Student Starter Pack

1. Your uniform – Black and White

Black and white for year 1 law student

When you study Law in Nigeria, you’re required to wear Black and White. While each university has specific dressing requirements peculiar to them, the general code is a white shirt and black skirt for females, with black trousers for males. This is what you’d be wearing for classes throughout the semester so it’s important to get enough white shirts, a couple of black skirts/trousers, one or a few suit jackets/blazers, and sturdy black shoes.

It is important to check with your school first as some Law Faculties prohibit what others allow. For example, some Law Faculties do not permit coloured bags other than black, while in other schools, any colour of bag is allowed. Also, black formal dresses may be permitted in some schools but strictly prohibited in others. Suits are compulsorily worn daily in some schools, whereas some others only make it mandatory on certain days of the week. Yet others make it completely optional. By first checking the Faculty prospectus before you shop, you can save time and money getting what you really need.

2. Books, obviously

It is not as dreadful as it seems but as a Law student, you have to really study. To do that, you need books. This includes your notebooks and textbooks. While it would help you minimize cost by waiting for your first class in each course to get a list of recommended texts from your lecturer, you can also get at least one text in each course before classes resume to give yourself a fair idea of what the course entails.

If you can’t afford to get multiple textbooks or any at all, don’t panic. This is the time to source free resources online. A platform such as Google Scholar will let you search for a topic/subject and will provide links to free textbooks in pdf format if any. With or without softcopy textbooks (as most texts you’d find would be foreign textbooks), this is also the time to prepare for using the library regularly because you’d need it.

For notebooks, so many options are available in bookshops so you can get any. A word of advice would be to get notebooks that you won’t have trouble moving from hostel to class, especially if your Faculty often has several classes in one day. Also, you might want to get your notes in twos – one for note-taking in class and the other for your personal study.

Books and stationery for a year 1 law student

3. Stationery

Pens, a watch, a ruler (if you’re big on organised notes), a correction fluid pen, a highlighter, and bookmarks are some stationery you should grab with your books when in the bookshop. For pens, you would need either black or blue ink (whichever is your choice colour) and red ink (for writing case names and statutory provisions).

Some students find it helpful to buy even more colours of pen, so they colour code different points in their notes, thus making it easier for them to recollect the points. If there’s any other stationery you’ve always found helpful in studying before you became a year 1 Law student, you should get that too.

4. Planner/Journal

Planners will do you a lot of good in your first year and beyond. You can get a planner that allows you to journal, tracking your thoughts and undergraduate experience. This will go a long way in giving you clarity and letting you figure things out as the academic year progresses. Alternatively, you can get a bullet journal or plain notebook where you can draw out your own planner and to-do lists.

5. Internet-based device

Internet-based device for a year 1 law student

For cloud-based storage (to store documents, including your assignments and lecture notes, and even your undergraduate memories in pictures), sending out emails (whether networking or assignment submissions), getting updates about classes, assessing legal resources online, etc., you would need an internet-based device. Any sturdy mobile device would do but if you can afford to get one, adding a PC would make certain tasks much easier for you as a year 1 Law student.

6. Library card

Once registration for library membership begins, you should go get your library card. While it is true that some people never use the library during their undergraduate days, you do not have to be one of them. The library lets you have access to more books, more perspectives on a course, and a better grasp of concepts taught in class. Also, being in the library takes away distractions and lets you do a really focused study. If you can make the most of it, you’d see the results in your grades.

7. Reading snacks

You need snacks. Lots of it. Studying Law requires a lot of reading, even when you’re still in your first year. For the extra motivation to read and for refuelling during study breaks, reading snacks are invaluable. So, when you’re getting ready to resume your first year (and this is something you’d want to do in preparation for every semester), get your reading snacks.

Bottom Line

New beginnings are less daunting when you’re prepared. By getting the essentials highlighted in this article, you can be sure to go head-on and achieve success as a year 1 Law student.

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