Before You Arrive

Please read through the sections below for tips on what you should do before Orientation begins!

Summer Assignments

First, and most important, make sure to find the time to relax this summer. The best advice we can give you is to come to law school well rested.

Second, we’d like you to read three edited cases before arriving at UCI Law; you will discuss them on the first day of Orientation, and in your Lawyering Skills classes during Orientation. Please click here for the cases and the Orientation Assignment. 

Optional Reading/Preparation

We do not recommend that you spend any money on the bevy of commercial courses to prepare students for law school.  These are sometimes called “law school boot camps” and some are offered live and others online.  We firmly believe that they are not worth your time or money.

We highly recommend that you read three easily obtained and, more importantly, inexpensive books, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson,  Reading Like a Lawyer by Ruth Ann McKinney, and Expert Learning for Law Students by Michael Schwartz.

Just Mercy is a highly acclaimed memoir by Bryan Stevenson, one of the nation’s pre-eminent death penalty attorneys.  Stevenson is the co-founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative.  He has successfully argued several cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and received numerous honors, including the so-called MacArthur Foundation’s “genius award.”  Students will discuss Just Mercy in small, faculty-led groups during Orientation.  The book is available in most libraries or you can buy it in soft cover, as an e-book, or an audio book read by the author.

Reading Like a Lawyer is considered one of the best books available to help new students get oriented to the study of law and how it differs in some fundamental ways from your prior academic endeavors. Numerous UCI law students who have read the book after they arrived here have told us they wished that they had read the book before they started law school. You can obtain the book at a discount through the publisher, Carolina Academic Press, either in regular soft cover book form or in an e-book version.

Expert Learning for Law Students helps law students build the learning strategies and analytical skills necessary to succeed in law school and in law practice.  The book introduces law school instruction, as well as tips and strategies for developing the most common skills you will need in law school: reading and briefing judicial opinions, learning in the law school classroom, understanding and applying rules of law, and preparing for and taking exams.  The book also introduces students to what expert learners know and do to improve their academic performance.

UCI Law will provide a limited number of complimentary loaner hard copies of Reading Like a Lawyer and Expert Learning for Law Students to students who do not have the resources to purchase the title, on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please contact Michael Hawk at

Disability Services

Students who experience all types of disabilities are eligible for support services.  UCI’s Disability Services Center at UCI (DSC) provides a variety of services and accommodations. If you will be requesting accommodations while at UCI Law, please begin the process over the summer so that we can provide you with the proper accommodations from the very beginning of the school year. 

To request services or accommodations for the upcoming academic year, you must register with the Disability Services Center.  To begin this process, please fill out the online intake form. You must also provide documentation verifying your disability. Detailed information about necessary documentation can be found on DSC’s web site.  

After you submit the intake form, a DSC staff member will contact you within 5 business days to make an appointment with Lori Palmerton, the Law School Disability Counselor. If you have any questions, please contact Lori at or 949-824-7494image949-824-7494.

If you have any questions about this process please contact Lori or Jennah Jones, Director of Student Life. 

Health Insurance Waiver DEADLINE

All eligible graduate and undergraduate students at UC Irvine are automatically enrolled in the UC Student Heatlh Insurance Plan (UC SHIP) and charged a health insurance fee as part of registration at UC Irvine. If you are currently covered by major medial health insurance that is comparable to UC SHIP, you may request to waive out of the plan.

To waive out of the UC Irvine sponsored health insurance plan for 2017-2018, you must submit a request online during the open waiver period, for the Fall 2017 semester. If approved, the waiver is in effect for the current term and the remainder of the academic year. A new waiver request must be submitted at the beginning of each academic year. Full details and information about waiving UC SHIP is on the UC SHIP web page.

Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees for the Fall 2017 semester will be assessed by the first week of July.  Log in at Zot Account after July 15 to tell us where to send your funds. Once you log in and get to "Welcome to ZOT Account Online," select "Direct Deposit (DEFT)" and provide the requested information. Financial Aid funds will be deposited on Wednesday, August 16. Avoid late fees - Tuition and Fees are due on Tuesday, August 15.

Informal Head Shot

Faculty and staff try hard to get to know everyone by name as quickly as possible. We would greatly appreciate it if you emailed an informal headshot (we’re not looking for something professional!) to Student Services Coordinator Debbie Mondares at We will use your official ID picture for the password-protected Law Student Directory and faculty class rosters.

RSVP for New Student Orientation Picnic

New students, family, partners, and kids are welcome to join faculty, staff and Community Fellows for the New Student Orientation Picnic on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.  The picnic is free, but we need a head count for ordering food. RSVP here.

Sign up for an SBA Mentor

Please check back later this summer for more details on how to sign up for an SBA mentor.

UCI Parking Permit

Parking permits are available at the Parking Office (building 7 on the campus map), located above the UCI Police Department, across the street from the Law School . If you purchase your parking pass early, you can avoid paying the $10 daily parking fee during Orientation week. Please bring a form of picture identification with you (we recommend your UCI Student ID) to purchase your parking pass. Parking pass rates vary depending on your specific needs. You can learn more about parking rates and passes on the Parking website.

UCI Student ID Card
All students are required to have a UCI student ID card. While there will be some time to obtain your ID card during the UCI Law Orientation program, students are welcome to visit the Hill Bookstore at their convenience to get their picture taken, and have their ID card printed. ID cards are printed any time the Hill Bookstore is open. Students will need provide their student ID number as well as a photo ID in order to complete this process. The Hill Bookstore hours can be found here.