Before You Arrive

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

Summer Assignments

Click here for Orientation Assignment.

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

Second, 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.

Third, we highly recommend that you read three easily obtainable and, more importantly, inexpensive books:  (1) Expert Learning for Law Students, by Michael Hunter Schwartz; (2) Reading Like a Lawyer, by Ruth McKinney; and (3) Gideon’s Trumpet, by Anthony Lewis.

The first book, Expert Learning for Law Students, is designed to help law students build the learning strategies and analytical skills necessary to succeed in law school and in law practice.  The book provides a helpful introduction to law school instruction, as well as tips and strategies for developing the most common skills you will need in law school: reading and briefing court 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.

The second book, 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 that they wished they had read the book before they started law school.

The final book is Gideon’s Trumpet, a highly acclaimed narrative history of the landmark, 1963 Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright, which established the right to counsel for indigent defendants in criminal cases in the United States.  Lewis, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, covered the case for the New York Times and subsequently broadened his reporting when researching the book.  This book is directly relevant to an exercise you will be doing during Orientation in mid-August.

UCI Law may be able to provide a limited number of complimentary loaner copies of the first two books to students who do not have the resources to purchase them, on a first-come, first-served basis.  Please contact Michael Hawk at

Summer Communication
Student Services and Community Fellows Newsletters are coming soon!
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 Denise 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 2016-2017, you must submit a request online during the open waiver period, for the Fall 2016 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 2016 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 17. Avoid late fees - Tuition and Fees are due on Monday, 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 16, 2016.  The picnic is free, but we need a head count for ordering food.  Please 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.