7 Ways to Get Your Professor to Love You

ProfessorSchool is starting back for many law students this week. If you’re in the second semester of your 1L year, congratulations! You’ve made it through the hard part! Now that you’ve gotten into the swing of things, you are probably wondering how to get into good favor with your professors. This information is valuable to anyone in law school, so keep reading even if you are beyond your 1L year.

On The Office, Michael Scott once asked, “Do I want to be feared or loved?” His response was almost genius–“Um…easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” Now, maybe you don’t want your professor to love you that much, but it is important to make a good impression.

So, how do you do that?

It's important to go to class prepared each day.

You’re not going to be well liked by your professors if you’re always unprepared for class or never have a decent response for questions. You have to do the assignments, read all of the cases, and brief your cases so you’ll be ready when you’re called on. It’s our experience that if you’re always unprepared, you’re going to get called on frequently and not for the right reasons. So, go into class each day like you’re prepared for battle.

Since you're already prepared to be called on each day anyway, answer the questions when no one else will answer.

That’s going to earn you great favor with your professors. Professors dislike looking into a sea of blank faces as much as you hate being in the hot seat.

Contribute to the class discussions.

The whole point of the Socratic Method is to get ideas flowing. If an impromptu debate crops up in class, contribute some healthy and constructive banter to the mix. Your professor will notice.

You don’t want to be the only one talking all the time. That’s almost as bad as not talking at all. Know when to answer questions and when to stop. You can usually tell if you’re talking too much if you hear a collective groan in the room every time you start to speak.

...but know when to stop talking.

You don’t want to be the only one talking all the time. That’s almost as bad as not talking at all. Know when to answer questions and when to stop. You can usually tell if you’re talking too much if you hear a collective groan in the room every time you start to speak. 

Go to your professor's office hours.

The office hours are in place for a reason. Take advantage of them any time you need clarification on a concept that you don’t fully grasp or when you need advice. It’s good to set up a line of communication because your professors will be your references for employment when you don’t have a lot of practical experience, and they provide excellent letters of recommendation for your jurisdiction’s Office of Bar Examiners.

Continue taking the classes of the professors you enjoy.

Once you get past the 1L auditorium classes, your elective classes are going to be much smaller. Your professor will notice you in the class either way though. Trust us. The smaller classes lend themselves to in-class discussions and less to the rapid-fire questioning that you’ll see in your 1L classes. Contribute well-thought arguments to your classes over time and your professor will love you even more.

Don't be afraid to ask questions if you don't understand something.

I would worry more about understanding the concepts in the material than what your classmates think of you. Your professor understands that it’s not always easy to ask questions, so they won’t mind if you have to ask one in class. If you’re shy about it, you can always go to their office hours.

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