To do your "personal best" in law school:
1. Read and brief every case. This is the only way that you will THOROUGHLY understand each case. This is also an exercise -- read: "practice" -- that will help you when you professionally practice law. Lawyers read and write synopses (briefs) of cases all the time, to prepare for court, to include in letters to clients, to write appellate briefs, to write memoranda to submit to courts. Get used to it. Get very good at it. Do it from day one of law school. Remember, it's more than just getting by in class -- it should be about doing your BEST in class, to pass the bar the first time around, and to be the BEST lawyer you can be. Take this seriously. It isn't college. It's the start of your career.
2. Attend every class. Take notes that are complete, but lean. Think of it this way: if you were attending hockey practice each day, what notes would you take? Not many, because you'd need to be on the ice, doing and paying close attention. But when you DID write something down, it ought to be concise and to the point.
3. Transform your notes. As soon as possible after class (minutes later, if possible) flesh out those notes.
4. Write course summaries (AKA "outlines). (Visit my website to learn more about this.)
5. Prepare flow charts.
6. Most of all: once you thoroughly understand the law, and have mastered each topical area ... spend lots of time answering practice hypotheticals in writing. Why? Because that is precisely what you will be doing at the end of each semester for your grade. If you don't practice ... over and over and over ... how can you be excellent at it? Lawyers prepare (read: rehearse). You should, too, if you're "practicing" law ... if you want to do your personal best in law school.
Are there shortcuts? You bet. Can a bright law student book brief and get pretty good grades? Many can. Are they doing their personal best ... and preparing to be the best lawyers they can be? Probably not. Think about it.
Dean Tonsing -- Thanks for that information. I just started your book this morning. I am starting LS in August doing a PT Evening program. I appreciate the posts you have made here to help folks sift through the information (and misinformation) that is out there.