Things that worked for me first semester...any other thoughts/tips would be greatly appreciated....
I took LEEWS. Although I never really used it strictly for any of my exams, it was very helpful. If anything, it boosts your confidence going into the exams.
I never "briefed" a single case. I book briefed and only took about a half of page of notes per class per day.
My final outlines were 25-40 pages long. They were about 60 pages long in week 12 and I managed to boil them down in the last couple weeks.
I went to every class and I never used a laptop. Laptops in my opinion are way too distracting. If you read, take notes by hand, then take notes by hand in class, then take all those handwritten notes and plug them into your computer later you are seeing the notes twice, or three times whereas laptop users are usually seeing them only once and simply copying and pasting for organizational purposes when it comes to doing outlines.
Every Saturday I spent about 3-4 hours just reading supplements and joting down notes I did not already have. Sunday was devoted to doing the reading for the entire week. Just read through it once, fairly cursory. Do not take notes; find a comfy chair. It sounds like it would take a long time, but it really doesn't. And hey, in a few weeks there won't be any NFL games on anyways.
I did 1 or 2 exams per week with a couple of friends. Usually we did this on Friday then went out right afterwards.
Do not study around lots of law students. I really devote a large amount of success to studying at home. Some schools may have great study areas, but at my school people are constantly talking to each other and not really focused on doing good, quality studying. Go to an undergrad library or a public library; a place that is quiet but not law school oriented.
Find something to do everyday for about an hour that is completely un-law-related. The easiest thing would be working out. It really helps you manage your time and get some anxious energy out before sitting down before studying at night.
Well, that's about all I can say. I finished the semester with a 3.572 and am well into the top 10% of my class. The above worked for me and hopefully you will find some of it helpful.