Law school is a great place to be and studying to become a lawyer can be very satisfying. However, studying law is tough and should not be taken lightly. It requires hard work and commitment and a willingness to give it all you’ve got. This does not mean that you cannot have fun. It simply means that you need to prioritize studying when it is needed and having fun when the work is done. If you are planning on attending law school or already are, we have a few simple tips to ensure that you make a success of your studies.
Tip 1: Do the assigned reading
There is a lot of reading involved in law studies. Make sure that you complete these reading assignments everyday. If you fall behind, you may never catch up and get lost in a frantic scramble.
Tip 2: Make notes while reading
When you are working through reading on cases, take notes. We call this ‘briefing cases’. This means that you make notes of the legally significant facts, the holding of the case, and the reasons for the court’s decision. Your notes should be brief and give you only the most important aspects.
Tip 3: Prepare for your classes
This falls in with the previous 2 tips. Make sure that you have completed all your reading and that you have questions ready if you have any. Be ready to take part in class discussions and be able to answer questions by you professor. Read through your case briefs before class to make sure the cases are fresh in your mind.
Tip 4: Attend your classes and pay attention
Your parents, or you, are paying a large amount of money for you to study. It is wise to make sure that money is not wasted. Attend your classes because professors often discuss material that isn’t in your textbooks and class discussions can bring about understanding and new insights. Pay attention when in class and avoid surfing the Internet or playing games. Your classes are important to pass exams and prepare you for a future as a lawyer.
Tip 5: Take notes and review
Take notes in class of what the professor is teaching and what comes up in class discussions. Remember to also take part in the discussion, but take down important information. It is important that you review your class notes, case briefs, and other study materials regularly. Don’t wait for a test or exam to review. The more familiar you are with the material, the easier it will be to ace your exams and assignments.
Tip 6: Start a study group
A study group can be very useful in your studies. Studying with other like-minded people with the same goals as you can bring better understanding, ‘lightbulb’ moments, and better retention of the material. A study session is also a way of doing review which leads to further understanding and familiarity with the material. You may also find helpful study tips from your group members.
These are the most important tips to get you through law school successfully. The key is preparedness and commitment. If you follow these tips, you will find law school less confusing and daunting.