How to Be a Top Law Student

26th May 2021

How to Be a Top Law Student

What are the best habits for surviving law school? How can you be a top law student? Read our guide to learn what to do.

There are more than 100,000 law students in the United States. This means that - by the time these students graduate - they're going to be fighting over top spots at the best firms across the nation.

So, if you're looking to get your dream job in your favorite place, you need to stand out among other law students.

This means more than being the top student at your school. You're also going to be competing with students across the nation. You never know who else is going to apply for the jobs you're looking at in the future.

So, let's talk about that. How can you be a top law student? Keep reading to find out.

1. Read, Read, Read

Being a law student means that you're going to do a lot of reading. It's likely that you've got enough reading material to last you the rest of your life. And, if you get behind, you'll likely never be able to catch up.

So, you should make sure that you're prioritizing and completing the readings that your professors are assigning.

If you find it difficult to get your reading done, you need to figure out the best environment for you. You may have an optimal time of the day to read as well.

So, you should experiment with what your reading time and techniques. You may want to highlight information, chunk it up, or perform some other reading method.

2. Brief Every Case

Throughout law school, you'll read about past, present, and future cases. Learning about these cases is important for establishing knowledge for cases that you may be a part of in the future.

So, you should take the time to brief each case. Write down important facts like the holdings of the case and the rationale for the court's decision.

And, keep the name in mind. These briefs should be just that: brief.

3. Review Your Notes

Before you go to class, you should take the time to review your notes. This will keep the information fresh in your mind. And, you'll able to follow the class discussion better.

Plus, you can avoid any embarrassment if the professor decides to call on you during class.

4. Go to Class

This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many students believe that attendance doesn't matter. They believe that they'll learn everything by reading the textbook and completing the assignments.

But, the professor covers information that isn't in the textbook or a part of the assignments. And, the extra information that they cover will likely be on any exams that you have.

Plus, you'll be able to dive even deeper into the cases that you've been reading about. This is the key to surviving law school.

5. Pay Attention

If you aren't paying attention during class, there's no point in going to class. You might as well not even be there.

When you're in class, you need to focus on what's in front of you. Otherwise, you're not going to get anything from going to class.

Put away the phone, and close your laptop. That is unless you can trust yourself to take notes on your laptop without getting distracted.

You need to listen to everything that your professors are saying. And, pay attention to the questions that your fellow classmates are asking. You may have the same question or not have even considered asking that question.

6. Participate in Class

Going to class involves more than taking notes and listening. You also need to participate.

Be willing to ask questions and answer others. Nod your head and absorb information.

Students learn better when they're taking part in the learning process. Active learning is the key to ensuring that you're getting all of the information that you need to know for exams and future work.

7. Take Key Notes

While you're in class, you need to make sure that you're taking down some notes, too. But, this requires a delicate balance.

You shouldn't spend so much time focusing on taking notes that you forget to pay attention and participate. But, you do want to write down key things that you can't find in the assigned readings.

Focus on the big picture concepts and write down notes that you don't have written anywhere else. If it was in the reading, you shouldn't waste your time writing it down.

8. Make an Outline

You should be making outlines for each one of your classes. And, don't bother trying to find outlines from previous students. You should be actively making your own outlines so that you can practice the course material over and over again.

The better you can connect concepts independently, the better you'll master the material.

9. Form a Study Group

Student groups are a great learning tool (if you use them correctly). Your group should be there to help you with concepts that you may not be able to understand independently. But, you should depend on them to answer every question that you have.

The best part of study groups is that you can see class material from a different perspective.

10. Accept Feedback

Your professors are likely going to give you feedback with every answer, exam, case study, and more. You should take this feedback openly.

Professors are giving this feedback so that you can learn and do better in the future. They don't have any personal vendettas against you. They're here to help you learn.

And, their feedback is a part of it.

If you feel that you aren't receiving enough feedback, you should ask for it. Professors will appreciate that you're open to criticism.

Bonus Tip: Law Student Supplies

As a law student, you likely have papers, folders, forms, and more. Organizing all of these items is important. You want to make sure that you aren't losing your readings, case studies, and notes.

So, you need law student supplies. With our supplies, you'll be prepared to take on anything and everything that law school throws at you.

Good luck with your law school experience. And, don't forget to keep up with your work or you'll fall behind.