I'm going to get straight to the point:
First and Foremost: Master IRAC
Take plenty of practice exams, and when doing so if it is more logical to separate issues by party as opposed to issue, then do so. And the same applies to issues. Memorize the Rules, and make sure they are accurate. The best way to be sure of accuracy is to ask your professor. If your professor is an ass, and doesn't like for students to ask him/her questions, ask another professor at your school who is familiar with the subject or you could utilize LexisNexis or Westlaw. Memorize those rules and tests.
When taking exams, apply the rules to the facts WITHIN the hypo.
Do not add facts to the exam or skip important facts. Provide arguments as best as possible for both sides. Sometimes it may be so obvious to you who think should win. But, law school exams usually are never that cut and dry. There's always room for argument on the other side, just pay close attention to facts in you hypo. Do not be conclusory, and explain why the rules you are using apply to your exam hypo/s, and fully explain your arguments.
Don't rely a lot on commercial outlines. If you must use a commercial outline, use Emmanuel's or Gilbert's. They are sold at your law school bookstores, and online. I found Emmanuelís to be better because it is very detailed and more accurately provides the rules and tests than Gilbert's. Gilbert's, however, is better organized and includes a lot of extraneous information which could be relevant for your exam.
Be careful when using other people's outlines also: they tend to shorten their outlines in ways that may be confusing to you . My advice is to just Do YOUR OWN outline because (a) itís a meaningful part of the study process (as you are typing or writing the outline you're learning) (b) you can organize your class notes, material from commercial outlines, other outlines you've gathered in a way that makes sense to you.
Preparation for class can be taxing. The best way to be prepared for class is to read the cases assigned. Don't use commercialized case-briefs 9/10 you won't fully understand what the cases are about (even those casebrief books that are keyed to your law book).
Understand that rules, propositions, etc. that YOUR professor wants you to draw from particular cases. You would definitely want to know what the current law is, and which topics tend to have a lot of mini issues, which is where your arguments and counter-arguments derive.
This is where having a study buddy may be helpful. If donít understand something your study partner just might, and vice versa.
Study Groups for exams, however, are only necessary if you are a person who relies on others to keep you motivated. For me, studying with others proved to be a distraction, and not because other group members were chatty, loud, etc. I just prefer to study alone.
Treat law school like it's your job, which means put in the work!
It may be hard considering a lot of first years typically have 5-6 classes. But develop a routine that permits you to be prepared for your classes, allots time for you to study, complete your Legal Memos, rest, eat, exercise, etc.
Stya Confident and Motivated!