Avoid Law School Disaster with a Winning Study Strategy!
Lesson #1 - Law School is a high-stakes competition. Only well-prepared students succeed.
Law School is a serious investment of time, effort, and money. Good grades create opportunities to advance professional goals, including journal and skills board memberships, summer associate employment, scholarships, and transfer possibilities. Those opportunities are scarce and the competition is fierce.
Students earn top grades by analyzing legal issues in the unique structure and style expected by professors. But that’s easier said than done. Most students focus almost exclusively on memorizing rules of law rather than learning to use them. That creates a dangerous learning gap.
Adjusting study habits to meet the challenge of Law School exams is difficult. Not knowing any better, students rely on conventional study techniques -- reading casebooks, briefing, attending lectures, outlining, and memorizing. Accumulating knowledge might have worked well in college, but it doesn’t prepare students to draft “lawyerly” exam answers.
Lesson #2 - Don’t fall into the learning gap. There, you will find only bad grades, anxiety, and no obvious way out.
The scary truth is that students don’t realize that they’ve fallen into the gap until they sit for exams. The time and effort spent learning vast amounts of law creates a false sense of confidence. Knowing the law is essential, but if grades were based on memorization skills alone everyone would ace exams.
Exam success requires analytical skills. The best way to develop that is by practice testing. Only then do students learn to use laws, and that’s what generates top grades. Indeed, this is the same skill set that students need as practicing attorneys.
Practice testing presents its own challenges, especially for those lacking an effective technique or time management skills. Even highly skilled students experience frustration as the process exposes weaknesses in knowledge and analytical abilities. Still, the rewards of practice testing make it worthwhile.
Lesson #3 - Practice testing requires a methodical technique to consistently produce answers expected by professors.
It’s no secret that practice testing is key to Law School exam success. You’ll hear that from professors, upper level students, and countless blog posts (work hard, take practice exams, spot all issues, do a “full” analysis, confront counterarguments, write clearly, etc.).
What you won’t hear is how to spot issues, conduct an application analysis, or write in a structurally and stylistically sound manner – all within difficult time constraints. Exam success calls for a consistent, process-oriented strategy. Studying hard only counts if you’re studying smart. Ask any 3L how it feels to earn grades that don’t match their effort.
In what world would a 1L student have methodical strategy for writing high scoring essay exam answers?
Call us for a free consultation. You have lots to gain, and nothing to lose.