Most professors allow you to choose a specific seat on the first day of class, but they require you to remain in that seat all semester. It is easier for the professor to remember your name if you don’t move around. Make sure you arrive to class early the first day to stake out your spot because you do not want to get stuck somewhere that makes you uncomfortable. Even if your professor allows you to move around, other students expect to get the same seat each class session. Don’t poach others’ seats.
There are some who say that a professor has a better perception of you if you sit up front. That may be true in undergrad, but not in law school. Your law school professor will judge you by how you respond to questions and brief cases, as well as how respectful and attentive you appear. There are those who say the students who sit up front are the brainiacs. In law school, everyone is a brainiac - even the student in the back corner.
Therefore, where you sit should fit what you need for comfort and learning, not what you think your professor wants. There are advantages and disadvantages to different seat locations.
Up Front and Center
Pro: Easier to maintain focus when the professor is in your face; less likely to surf the web for fear of getting caught; easier to see the board or screen
Con: Too many eyes on your back, especially when you have to stand to brief cases; too many eyes on your computer screen, especially when you are on Facebook; if you have to take a bathroom break, everyone watches you walk in and out
Pro: If you like to fidget, lean back in your chair, or stretch, you can do so without bothering anyone; you have more space because you can dump your stuff behind you; when you speak, not as many people stare at you; you can surf the web with privacy
Con: Not the place to be seen if you want everyone’s eyes on you every time you speak; no outside influences to keep you off Facebook and on task; the person next to you may distract you with what he has on his screen
In the Middle
Pro: The best place to get to know the most people; more access to help from others when the professor asks a question and you draw a blank or you weren’t listening
Con: you have less space; you have more people near you, so it is more likely that someone near you is annoying; you have to climb over people to take a bathroom break
On the Edge, Near the Door
Pro: The place to sit if you need to take bathroom or mental health breaks; you should never be late, but if you are, this is the least intrusive seat when walking in late; when you have a tight schedule, you can be the first one out the door after class
Con: The sight line to the screen or board may make it difficult to see; the professor may never learn your name or face because he or she rarely looks in your direction