Three Secrets for Law School Success
1. Take Control of the Learning Process
Law School is largely a “self-taught” endeavor. Take the initiative to teach yourself the basic law covered in each class by the middle of the semester. Professor will refine that basic knowledge. It’s up to you to control what, when and how you learn much of the law.
Don’t let that scare you. Instead, let that motivate you to draft comprehensive, accurate, well organized, and concise course outlines. Match your syllabus to your casebook, hornbook, commercial outline, and outlines drafted by other students who have taken the same professor. Revise it on a regular basis by incorporating lecture and reading notes.
2. Manage Time like a Professional
Law School is like a full time lawyering job. There should be nothing casual about when you show up for work. Be prepared to contribute value in and out of the classroom. Never miss a deadline. Always give your very best effort.
Effective time management gives you a competitive edge over students lacking such discipline. They become overwhelmed by the heavy burden of studying, participation in academic and student organizations, and job hunting.
Calendar key dates at the beginning of each semester, including writing assignments, exams, course outlining, and exam prep. Assign deadlines that reflect the realities of when work should be completed. If you’re not sure what that includes, seek guidance. No exceptions. No excuses.
3. Begin Practice Testing Early
Law School exams test your ability to spot and analyze legal issues under difficult conditions. The most effective way to prepare is by writing practice exam answers. And starting long before the exam period makes all the difference in the world. In fact, we urge students to begin by the middle of the semester. But how can you begin practice testing before you know the law? As explained above, teach it to yourself. Seek help if you don’t know how to do that.
Learning the law early in the semester makes lectures more meaningful. You will find yourself listening with a more critical ear, understanding the context of the discussion, anticipating the direction of the discussion, and discovering valuable points to include in your outline.
But most importantly, learning the law early in the semester puts in you in position to begin practice exams – and that’s the biggest advantage you can get over your competition. It is absolutely critical that your answers are structurally and stylistically consistent with traditional principles of legal writing. Even if you have a strong grasp of the law, your grades will suffer if your answers don’t meet the professor’s expectations.
Do you know how law professors grade exams? Do you know what a high scoring answer looks like? Do you have a strategy for writing exam answers? Can it be applied in every class? Does that strategy account for the difficult exam conditions that you will confront? If you answered no to any of these questions, then seek guidance.
We’re not trying to be coy. Instead, these are legitimate testing issues that you must resolve if you hope to achieve exam success. Contact Lawrite to learn more about our Law School essay exam writing technique.