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Messages - GobBluthJD

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Incoming 1Ls / Time Saving Advice for Law Students
« on: August 17, 2012, 05:29:17 AM »
Hey all,

This forum helped me out a lot back in my pre-law school days (seems so long ago now). I'm currently in my 2nd year of being an attorney, so I thought I'd share a few tips I picked up in law school to help some of those 1L jitters.

(1) Stop prepping for class, start prepping for the final.

Starting from BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS, your only job in your big doctrinal classes (contracts, torts, civ pro, etc) is to prep for the final. Class participation means @#!*-all. Your grade solely depends, for almost all professors, on your final exam. That means stop wasting time with the casebook. I got Aís in Civ Pro, Con Law, Election Law and a few others literally without even buying the casebook.
Before class starts, buy a good hornbook for the subject ó I found that getting the E&E and the LexisNexis Q&A books for each subject gave a good mix of content and practice questions. Work your way through those books for each subject over the first half of the semester. When you get to the halfway point in the semester, switch to taking final exams. You should be able to get practice exams from 2Lís and 3Lís or from the school itself.

THE SINGLE BIGGEST MISTAKE students make in law school is sinking thousands of hours reading and briefing cases in preparation for class, all of which achieves NOTHING for your grade on the final. Taking final exams is an art form that you have to start prepping for on Day 1. All of your classmates will start shitting bricks a week before finals when they realize all the work they spent through the semester means nothing for the final exam.

(2) Stop wasting class time, make class your prep time

If you get called on in class, just ask to pass. Itís embarrassing and the professor may give you *&^%, but just let it roll off you. Donít waste class time f-ing around on facebook or kissing the professorís ass. Neither of these activities helps your performance on the final exam. Use class time to work through the E&E.

If you sit in the back of your big doctrinal classes youíll see something like 40% of your classmates on facebook, another 40% screwing around doing something else, and maybe 20% actually taking notes. None of these activities is a useful way to spend your time.

Open up your laptop lid just so you look like everyone else. Then open up your book of practice questions (E&E or Q&A or whatever) and start working your way through them. I would usually be working through the E&E for whatever class I was currently sitting in, so that it at least looked like I was doing something relevant.
Thatís it.

Those two things are all you need.

Spend ALL of your ďclassworkĒ time in prepping for the final, and spend ALL of your class time prepping for the final.

Now there are as many different ways to succeed in law school as there are law students, but these two pieces of advice are based off of the mistakes I saw all my classmates making, and what worked for me.

Anecdotes are not data, but these two things worked tremendously well for me. I graduated with High Honors, got Order of the Coif, all that happy crap. And I did it while working ~30-35 hrs/wk (in flagrant violation of school rules) and happily maintaining my relationship with my lovely lady.

Because I used class time as my study time, I was able to spend 8:30-4:30 M-F at the law school every week, and never bring a single book home. It was less stressful than any job Iíd ever had.

Law school can be fun. It can be easy. And you can succeed. Just stop wasting your time in class, and start prepping for your finals from day 1 of the semester.

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