Better Law School Grades Require Better Prep.

Law Schools released the fall semester grades this month.  

Far too many students are experiencing the disappointment of grades that don’t match their study efforts. Don’t panic! One semester does not define you as a student or limit your career opportunities. But failure to resolve the issues causing your poor exam performance might.

 1.  Begin by acknowledging your disappointment. Those feelings are real. It’s also true that your past academic success was achieved by more than just ambition and hard work. That success was based on your ability to respond assertively and strategically to adversity.  The same is true now.

 2.  Next, “own” the mission of improving your exam performance. You should know from this Blog that Law School is largely a “self-taught” endeavor. It’s entirely up to you to adjust.

 Adjustment starts by reviewing your exams immediately. Identify where you lost points. Meet with your professors to discuss how you might have more closely met their expectations. Did you lack sufficient knowledge of the law, fail to draft “lawyerly” answers, or some of both? Be respectful, but also persistent.

 3.  Finally, evaluate the effectiveness of your study and exam prep strategy in light of your exam performance. You can't keep doing the same thing and expect better results. And working “harder” is seldom the solution.

The fact is that most students have no exam prep strategy. That’s stone cold crazy. The stakes are high and the challenges unique. What was your strategy last semester? Was it specifically designed for Law School exams? Did it work well?

Let’s be honest. Most law students do not enter exams with the skills needed for success. All the enthusiasm, motivation, and hard work means little if they don’t understand the “self-taught” nature of the Law School experience or learn meaningful information and time management skills. For these students, their fate is sealed before they even begin exams.

Law School exam success is easily within reach, but only if you understand the challenge and adopt a smart study and exam prep strategy. That strategy must help you learn the law and produce a “lawyerly” analysis – all within difficult time constraints and in the style expected by professors.

If any of this hits close to home, then seek support now. Speak with successful 3L students, visit the writing center, meet with mentors, and attend exam prep workshops. Or call Lawrite. But don’t give in to disappointment.  You’ve come too far and the rewards of an exciting career are too close.