Hello, I am trying to relax during my summer break right now, but I am still very preoccupied with receiving tips on how to reach that prized top 10% position in my school, so I am on the right track from the get go. Can any of you offer me some advice so I start law school knowing exactly what I need to do to reach my goal?
I'll second the LEEWS suggetion, or read John DeLaneys "learning legal reasonsn" and "how to do your best on law school exams."also, I checked out all of the study guides before I began 1L, just to see what is out there. Get your hands on a couple E&E's (examples and explanations) or some commercial outlines (gilbers or emanuels). You dont need to read them over the summer or anything, but it will be beneficial when you first begin if you know what additional material you will be using.i would also reccomend PLSII, but just for the studying advice.
I did nothing over the summers. I relaxed over my summer. I only do work during the week and Sunday evenings. I never, except during exams, did work on Saturday or on Friday evenings. I know, including myself, several people in the top 10% of my class. Most of them never took a course before school, but each of us kept up the entire semester. I have never been unprepared for class. I am about to enter my third year. I have never passed when called on. I think this is the key to doing well. Be prepared all semester long. Keep up with your reading. I also didn't go out during the week. I came home when classes ended, got right to work, and I was usually done by 6pm so I could relax the rest of evening and get a good nights sleep for the next day. I treat law school like a job. I get up at 7, I am at school in class by 8 or 9. I work all day until 5 or 6. This kept me on a routine, and keeps me disciplined. The other thing I did was wait until the end of semester to outline. I know people who outline all semester. They tend to be in the middle or bottom of my class. I believe that if you outline all semester you are missing the big picture. If you wait until November to start outlining, you are far better able to put things together in a manner that is logical and allows of easier reading. Also, the act of typing out an outline forces you to learn it as you type it. Things you are not sure on, you can spend more time on. Things your know well, you can type it and then move on. I think this helps you more at the end of a semester rather than all semester. Lastly, I keep things in perspective. I largely believe that law students are drama queens, and enjoy playing the role of the stressed out student. Can it be stressful? Hell yes. But, it can be managed. Most of the time it is going through the motions. This outlook has worked for me. Will it work for everyone, no. My best advice is do what you feel is necessary. Listen to no one else but yourself. Pay no attention to how much time your classmates spend on doing things. If 2 hours is all you need, good for you. If you need more time to study, great then do it. Don't change how you do things because your classmates may have spend 3 hours on two cases, while your spent an hour. If you feel you know it, then you are fine. But, also don't be afraid to be flexible. If something isn't working, change what you are doing until it works. Most of all, learn to relax. I believe that alone will help you more than anything.