« on: July 07, 2006, 07:28:25 PM »
i don't know what my class rank was 1L (my school doesn't rank) but i got 6 A's and one B+. pretty much the same advice as everyone else. i never briefed cases, but always went to class (did the crossword puzzle throughout Ks 2nd semester) and did the reading (though i just read the case once or twice). i did reading between classes whenever possible so i had time to go to the gym and have dinner with my husband every night. i didn't work weekends unless i had a memo due. treat it like a job as much as possible, until finals, and then study as much as you need to. i also stayed far away from the library because i didn't like being around all the tweakers.
i think the reason i did so well is that i made a conscious effort to learn exactly what each professor wanted to see on the exam. first semester i made all my outlines from scratch, then second semester i used old outlines. the biggest thing is to take as many practice tests (with model answers) as you can. if the model answers follow a certain format or style, mimic that when you write your exam. pay attention in class to the professor's opinions and what he/she emphazises and bring that kind of analysis into your exam.
just like you can learn how to take the LSAT, you can learn how to take your prof's exam, and you should be studying that just as much as you study the substantive law. keep your focus on what's important (the final) and don't get bogged down in details like case names. you almost never have to refer to a case by name, and on finals only the very broad details matter (i.e. "just like in the case about the cow who turned out to be barren, this plaintiff...")