Law school hack: SKIP THE READINGS [???]

The most effective hack for law school, in my experience, is this: skip the readings and spend your time really learning the material.

This might seem contradictory, but bear with me. (Read more: Anonymous. What is the most effective way of studying law as a student? Answered March 31, 2016.

Law school is all about the reading. It gets piled on like there's no tomorrow, and even if you're a super fast reader and well organized, you will fall behind at some point in time. I spent my first year trying to read 200+ pages a night and then trying to make good notes and summaries for my exams, only to find that by the time I'd reached the exam with my stack of prepped notes, I couldn't find anything I needed. You know what they don't tell you in law school? Most of the case judgements are filler. You don't need to know the color of the defendant's car when he got in drunk, and you don't need to know that it was 8.32 pm. All you need to know is that he was served by the host after he was clearly intoxicated, and he got hurt. Was the host negligent in serving him?

So here's how I went from a B student in 1L to graduating second in my class of 300+ students:

In my second year I got my hands on a set of summaries compiled by law students in the preceding years. Some schools make these available online, others don't. Either way, these summaries are the key to your success. Follow these steps:

1.) Ask around and get a few different summaries that have been compiled by students before you in that class (preferably one who took the course with the same prof and same case book).

2.) Then (and don't fall behind on this step!), before the end of the first week of that class, flip through the summaries and figure out which one seems most insightful, easy to read and understand, and is most thorough, from your point of view. Make sure it has a good index which is aligned with the course reading schedule given to you by your prof on the first day.

3.) Once you have identified the best summary for you, print that summary out. This is now your bible. Don't go cheap. Print. It. Out. Don't print on two sides of the page, you need the backside to add your prof's comments in class.

4.) Bring that summary to your class, every class. Try to read through the section that aligns with your reading schedule. All the cases should be summarized in your Bible. High light the important bits (the ratio and case points should already be distilled). Spend your time understanding the ratio, its application, and some of the case details. Use a highlighter. Since you're not reading 200+ pages per night, you now have time to truly digest and understand the materials.

5.) In class, add your prof's comments to the margins and backside of the summary. Hand write these notes, and keep your computer closed in class. Since you are no longer racing to type everything your prof says, you can hand write and add comments to the margins of your Bible.

For open book exams, spend two or three days tabbing your Bible and knowing where everything is. Law school exams are about speed and referencing. Having worked with your complete Bible from day 1 means you know where the info is, and you'll be well able to access the cases you require on exam day. Read more: Anonymous. What is the most effective way of studying law as a student? Answered March 31, 2016.