How to be better than average law students

I don't mean to sound patronizing, but you really have to figure it out for yourself. The average law student studies in a very specific way. If that works for you, that is what you should do. What does that mean? (READ MORE: Jennifer Ellis , I'm a lawyer in PA, USA. Nothing I write is legal advice. https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-be-a-good-law-student.)
  • Do the readings
  • Show up for class
  • Pay attention
  • Create outlines based on the syllabus
  • Synthesize those outlines throughout the semester
  • Use those outlines to study

That is not what I did. I did the readings. I jotted down minimal notes in the margins of my books during class. I re-read the appropriate chapters before my exams. This worked for me. It would not work for most other people, but it would work for some other people.

Be Careful How You Read

One thing I will say is this. Don't read and memorize. You did that in College, maybe, and maybe it worked for you. But in law school, you need to understand. Learn to read and understand law. Slow down. Don't skim through it and memorize it. Make sure you understand what you are reading. If you don't understand it, look it up.

The key is not just understanding the rule itself, but how to apply it and why to apply it the way the Courts do. What is the reasoning behind the application? Understanding the analysis is critical.

Learn What the Professor Wants

Many professors have copies of their law school exams available for review at the library. If yours do, review them. Meet with your professors. Ask questions. If you aren't sure you understand something, ask your professor. Professors like to be asked questions. It is why they are there. They have office hours for a reason and it is amazing how often no one shows up.

Have Fun

Also, give yourself some time to rest. So many law students stress themselves out beyond belief. Have hobbies. Go out. Have friends. Go for a run. Do stuff. Don't focus on work 100% of the time. Pace yourself. (READ MORE: Jennifer Ellis , I'm a lawyer in PA, USA. Nothing I write is legal advice. https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-be-a-good-law-student.)

Popular Posts