Studying law is complex, rewarding, and stressful. Read here for law school tips to staying organized, present, and productive!
Let's not sugarcoat the undeniable truth: law school is hard. Not everyone that enters a law program will make it out the other side with a degree in hand; many will drop out for various reasons. The process can be grueling.
If you've signed up for a program that means you're likely committed to trying to get through to the other side and to obtain your law degree. That's admirable, and you need to stick with that sense of courage and purpose.
What are some law school tips that will help you to stay organized, present and productive throughout your years of study? Read on, and we'll walk you through what you need to know.
Outlines Are Essential
If you're hoping to get through law school in one piece, there's one thing that you need to remember. Outline and outline often. Every time you get new material from a class, start an outline or add to an existing one.
The act of creating an outline will help you to commit what you need to know to memory. The very act of writing it down will help you stick it into your brain. This has been proven time and time again.
On top of that, you'll have created something to reference that can help you to study and review information in the weeks that come.
Stay atop of your outlining and don't procrastinate if you can help it. Avoid the need for perfection, which can only push you to ignore or avoid the process of making your outline. It doesn't have to be the best outline ever made; it just needs to exist.
As you create your outlines, make sure to create an organizational system of some sort. Staying organized will be key to your ability to find information when you need it.
You will put yourself in a much better position if you start and create your outline as the class goes along, not weeks in. Starting late can make the mountain of work in front of you seem unscalable.
You might give in to the pressure to just give up at this point. You don't want to chase the feeling of having to catch up all semester. Creating and relying on your outline as new information comes in can help you feel grounded and in control.
Consider a Study Group
Not everyone studies the same way. Not everybody can find success in studying in a manner that other people do.
However, if you've never tried out a study group before it might be worth trying during your time in law school. There are a lot of benefits to studying within the structure of a study group.
For one, there's the outside pressure and expectations to live up to. If you've all set a time to study, you can't procrastinate and give in to distractions. You'll need to show up and study. This alone can be a powerful tool.
In addition to that, some people do really retain information better if they can go through it with a group of people. Your study group can break down concepts and explain them to one another.
The act of conveying information to another person forces you to really internalize it. This can really help you to actually learn the material, not just read it to yourself over and over in your bedroom.
Also, if you run into issues or things you don't understand from class, your classmates can help out. There's a good chance that at least one person in your study group will be able to explain the concept you are struggling with - in a way that you'll understand.
Practice Exams Are a Great Tool
Want to make sure you'll get through law school with grades you can be proud of? Practice makes perfect, and there's no greater law school tool out there than the practice exam.
Outside of note-taking and attending class, hitting yourself again and again with a good practice exam can sharpen your skills. It can get you ready for the real thing.
If you can find exams that were previously administered by your actual professor, this would be a huge bonus. At the very least, this will give you a strong sense of how your professor structures his or her exams.
Before you start a practice exam, make sure that you'll be able to access an answer key to check and see how you did. There's no point in taking a practise exam if you aren't able to see what your performance was like!
If you've missed questions, you'll want to take the time to go over the information presented. This is a huge learning opportunity. Don't just see what the right answer was a move on.
Really take the time to understand why you chose an incorrect answer. Identify the line of thinking that led you there. This can help to prevent you from going down the same path again in the future.
For written sections of an exam, see if your professor would be willing to read your writing and judge how well you did. The earlier you can ask a professor to look over your practice exam, the better.
The closer the exam gets, the busier they are likely to be. They won't have as much time to help you with your study process.
Essential Law School Tips
Law school is an exciting but often difficult time in someone's life. If you're just starting out in a program this year, you'll certainly want to take the above law school tips seriously. They can help you get yourself grounded in your program and excel far into the future.
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