More Jack of All Trades, Master of None -- complete opposite from diving into the nuances and wrinkles of a single law school examination. . When I stopped, I worked out every other day. Take this approach instead: Do the reading, extract the key rule from the cases, and think about why that particular case was included. Even so, I create a rules "skeleton" for quick reference if I need it and tab my outline to correspond with the skeleton. Shit don't work on the Florida bar. Create your own, buy them, use a classmate's or, some combo? Any later, and I've missed my chance at using this for 1L exams. Very few profs do, but know about yours. Stress stresses you out. (Check out this post from a few days ago for a more detailed explanation.). If you graduated top of the class (high school, college, and above), what are/were your study habits or tips that you would … New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. This project began, and is living off of, the support of redditors. As part of my project, I'm trying to understand how people tend to prepare for exams during law school, as well as the bar. Know the steps on how to logically work through a problem that in that area of law and you should be all set. When I was in law school, I'd take my notes are organize them into an outline. Honest. You need to know the law, you need to understand the law and these can help. More than anything you should focus on figuring out how to take a traditional issue spotter exam. "Law school is very different from college in some important ways," Kurtzrock wrote in an email. During the morning portion of the MBE I had enough time to categorize each question and count the categories. How to Study Contract Law. My outlines are usually pretty short >20 pages. If he/she doesn't -- still aim to be pithy and succinct. And don't decide to switch any medications before then either. The prof's lectures are designed to clarify difficult to understand concepts relevant to the topic at hand, but the lectures will not give you all information you need to do well. My instructions say I will read past the word limit to the end of the next sentence, then stop, so write accordingly. . If you’re the person who knows the law like the back of your hand but simply panics under time constraints, see a doctor and get a diagnosis. This is NOT a forum for legal advice. Hope this helps! The crazier the better because you will remember them. 5-10 minutes before I go to sleep, repeating the chunks out loud. Create a timeline for applying. Do so. Over summer courses, I finally figured out I was learning the wrong thing. Ask questions, seek advice, post outlines, etc. Your success in law school is the first and most important factor in your success as a lawyer. Studying smarter, not harder, is the key to success when studying law. I have many different study techniques, however, that I often use regardless of those criteria. Should I really be paying attention to what the teacher focuses on? Sleep. Unfortunately, I took my whole first year thinking I was supposed to read, comprehend, and synthesize all the material taught in the course. Press J to jump to the feed. Choosing a Law School. For law school exams, I tend to find as many other students' outlines as I can. On the days, I didn't work out, I usually relaxed with a video game. Given the number of stressed out posts here -- and given some of the conversation I hear in the Einstein's Bagels on campus -- 1L exam panic is undiminished in the 22 years since I graduated. Write down the key facts and holding, and leave space for your own notes. That got me through finals and the bar exam. This is not cheating. The SAME portion. This is sooo important! Studying for the bar is certainly different in terms of scope and priority, but the tools of the trade probably won't need to change. Take the exams a week or two before that actual test. Honestly, this has boosted my GPA considerably. Don't just take my word for it. Don't study the day before the bar, or in between days. Thinking is really important. ONE: Especially in 1L exams, remember to employ "REVERSE ISSUE SPOTTING." Pay attention as best you can, but don't stress about it too much. You'll get used to short, concise outlines while still working on knowing and applying substantive law. most student are writing their exam on a laptop and can count words, so I expect them stay within the limit. Larger point: Read CAREFULLY to see what the prof wants for an answer. I project April 21. What’s left to you is to learn how to make an argument on how to apply that law to a new set of facts on the exam. We'll send everyone who's signed up an email when we're ready to go. So you need to spot legal issues in the fact pattern then use IRAC. Worked out fine, but obviously a systematic approach like spaced repetition would be more efficient. Law school exams are more skill based than knowledge based. If you don’t, sorry to break the … THREE. Ask your professors for prompts and write for your professor throughout the semester, it’s annoying and time consuming but believe it or not you will be practicing and learning the law by doing this. EDIT #2: Jeez. The hard part is making sure you don't freak out. I then memorized and even practiced typing out the rule paragraph. Plan to … During your first year of law school, you can expect to log 12-15 hours per week in the classroom. Take notes only for analysis, etc. The beta period begins a week before my first final. Once you finish making outlines maybe dedicate some time to guessing what the focus of the exam will be (doesn't work as well on the bar). I want a "good answer": That means you have ignored the irrelevant material in the hypo (most hypos have some red herrings for you to avoid), spotted the real issue or issues (see reverse issue spotting, supra), and written about them in cogent, organized and persuasive manner. Saved me hours and hours my last two years of law school. Best of luck! A Juris Doctor (J.D.) I read and take notes all semester, but generally don't review the material until around 2-3 weeks before finals. Spot the issue, cite the rule governing the issue, apply the rule to the facts with the best reasoned argument you can make including counter arguments, then make a conclusion as to how the judge should rule. <<<. I found the Finz Method extremely helpful in dissecting them. You can type it out next to the case summary you've already written down in your own words. If the professor had practice exams on file, I'd look through them, especially if there were sample answers. When you go to class, actively listen to the professor and really understand what they're saying. "Many students who go to law school are among the … I took half days on Saturday and Sunday. I almost never went back to read cases or to the textbook in general (except the UCC and Tax Code). After I do that I try to get an outline from someone who has taken the course to compare my outline to and then I use that to fill the holes in my outline. Law schools offer a range of programs to fit your career ambitions and schedule. P. Law schools teach students to “think like a lawyer” through the appellate case method developed by Christopher Langdell of Harvard Law School in the late 19th century. Study your outline, use a supplement if one is helpful for the areas you struggle in. You don't need to note every detail. Then again I kicked ass on the MBE, so it didn't really matter. Post them here and I'll check back. I have to brag about the time I disregarded your last point. Know if your professor wants you to cite to cases after every rule, some do, some don’t. PS--I don't know about the bar exam, but the MPRE fit precisely into this mold. Go over old tests if they are posted to see the issues your professor likes to test … Improve Your Reading Speed and Comprehension . Crossing out what I remember on the second time I go through the outline and repeat until I've crossed out everything. Beta is 100% free and we'll remain in beta until after both spring exams and the July bar. Now STOP. I have been very successful doing this. Cases are just used to show the factors used and weight given to particular facts. I won't say "list all the sanctions this attorney might face," then take off points because the answer isn't in the form of a five paragraph essay or a sonnet. Hope you all like it - I think the science behind this has the potential to be a game changer. Average LSAT Score: 153.8 Average GPA: 3.39 The most popular major of law school candidates is political science. Once you have, we'll reach out around April 21, when beta begins. This is NOT a forum for legal advice. Now it's all about the quirks of the professor, and how they are going to interpret the information. The right answer wasn't necessarily the right thing to do, or even the reasonable thing, but it was the thing that would cost the hypothetical lawyer money. Flashcards? See if you can't find a mentor of sorts who took it within the last two years. It takes ~30mins to read my prof's most recent research articles, and it's been relevant to ~80% of my exams. If you do all-nighters make sure you do them during the outlining stage. This is how I memorize something word for word. (Many students write right up to the word limit on every answer and I can tell that it is often a result of being insecure about what's IN the answer. I didn't do anything for the first 10 weeks of the semester except try to pay attention in class and listen for the "Buzzwords" the prof uses. And I'm going to credit it to you, notAMO30banned. I don’t know what state you’re in but in my experience the Finz book and MBE book are great for this. Press J to jump to the feed. You probably know how important grades are. For the bar exam, I also wrote outlines based on the lectures. I forgot sooooo much stuff during an easy tax exam because I hadn't slept in three days and I started to hear brass-band music during the exam. I almost didn't go to law school because of a similar feeling. Perfect. My friends who used notecards kept using those. Around week 10 I would try to get copies of the professor's old exams and especially the answer keys. How to Study Law. I created a word document for each subject. I thought I'd cope well with a law degree, having performed well at school. The way I studied for the bar was vastly different from studying for a final. If possible look up examples of prior top students final exams and structure them exactly the same. Like any project, planning is key in the application process. Political science is the study of government systems, political behavior, and how the judicial system works. I saw that while every other section was just about equally represented, Evidence needed an additional 10 questions in the morning to be represented. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, http://www.reddit.com/r/law/comments/203fw6/free_access_to_beta_of_serious_a_spaced/. ", Have you got specific questions? Law school exams are the sort of exams that are LEAST served by cramming. Spaced repetition does seem like the best way to deal with the task of memorizing the rules, which is a significant part of bar prep. Jessie: Prior to law school I was a teacher, and was used to having a set schedule every day. I'm skeptical most of this will translate into something that can go into a program because it's mostly mental health advice, but here it is: Keep the same schedule, ideally one that can be mostly mimicked on bar exam day. (I have one question I often use that does.) [And unless you have specific info to the contrary, neither does your prof.] See the paragraphs below describing a "good answer," and do that. I then typed and up the rule paragraphs and some analysis for each topic in each subject. Page by page. We're going to alpha test internally within a week or two, but exams are important and I don't want students to rely on tech that isn't well vetted. A law school doesn’t teach you what it’s like to be a lawyer any more than having a niece teaches you what it’s like to be a parent. You're going to see 'am I doing it right????' The number one key thing is to know how your professor wants you to write. If you do nothing else do this. The appellate case method of instruction—embraced by nearly all U.S. law schools—encourages students to review appellate court decisions. Then it not the time to get experimental with your prescriptions. They like to spend 20-30 questions testing on one esoteric portion of some law. Notes? Don't get crippling depression a week before exams. When you’re in the thick of it it’s hard not to feel self conscious that you’re doing something different than everyone else, but that’s ok as long as what you do is thorough and works for your learning style. My outlines always ended up looking like flashcards, which were all I ended up using for the last two weeks prior to the bar exam. If theres any chance of the Beta going up pre-April 21, I'm incredibly interested. When I listened and got the accommodations that put me on equal footing with other students, I made law review. Read the entire hypo and all the questions attached to it. Pay attention in class and take notes in class. After a few practice runs start timing yourself. Try to memorize the rules exactly how they give them to you. The most often-cited benchmark for outside study time is 2-3 hours of study for every hour of class time. Know the law, know how it's been interpreted, take note of what your professor focuses on but don't solely rely on that, get old exams or practice problems and ask your professor to go over it with your professor as it gets closer, ask 2Ls or 3Ls about the particular professor. The more the merrier.). SEVEN: Your brain is attached to your body. Spaced repetition works best when you use it for small periods over a longer time, so April 21 is a good date to still be able to use it for law school finals and the bar. Read your wrong answers and read the model essay answers. That depends highly on the type of class, type of exam, and type of teacher. But the chances are you can make most of the issues to which the prof dedicated a good amount of time stick to one or more of the hypos. My 1L professors, who saw me as a great student, were surprised at my only average midterm grades and suggested this to me. Each professor has their own preference and it really tickles them if you know it. I passed the NY and NJ bars last year. Law school exams are more skill based than knowledge based. I can't thank you all enough for the encouragement, support, feedback (both positive and negative) and just general willingness to discuss the project. But if I set a 1,000 word limit on an answer I do NOT mean that I think you MUST write 1,000 words. Before I start memorizing, I go through to material to understand how the bigger picture fits together. about 60 hours a week including some time on the weekends and including class time. In this summary video I talk about how to study in law school, what to expect and how to ultimately succeed. TWO:. Whatever you do, don't rely on the professor to organize, structure, or guide your exam prep. So during that lunch while I ate I studied the section on marital privilege, since it had not appeared yet on the exam. For example, I'll have the definition of a battery on my outline and then I'll have "battery (4)" in my notebook, indicating the four elements of battery. Ask questions, seek advice, post outlines, etc. 9. Just like with weight loss, there are no shortcuts, no secrets, nothing but the harsh truth. Make mnemonics! At the 2-3 week mark I go back through my notes (which I already take in an outline like style) and synthesize them into my own outline. Should I take incredibly detailed notes? It is a fucking TRADE SCHOOL. You'll find the same questions popping up as you move through studying, and they will be the same questions you'll see on the bar exam, only they'll probably be easier and more pointed. Usually by the time of the test I know the material so well from doing that, I barely use my outline (if it is open book) if at all. As such, I approached law school as if it were a job during my first year. I imagined trying to read 100 pages of undergrad textbooks and study for 8+ hours a day and it sounded hellish. Ask questions, seek advice, post outlines, etc. Do not do them before the exam. Will your system encompass that? Do not try to fill. I think every day I managed to at least study and play vidya or do some other activity. You will have a huge advantage over people going into the test cold. edited 3 years ago. ), For context, I'm an adjunct law professor (10 semesters of PR). Issue spotting is reading the hypo and trying to see what issue or issues are implicated. Figure out what study method works best for you and don’t get caught up in doing what everyone else does. Issue, Rule, Application, conclusion. I tried transitioning to notecards early on because I thought it made more sense though I don't actually know why I thought that. I am going to use that line about not playing the cards and instead playing the people with my students. Can you do it in 250 words? If I found a rule paragraph I liked better in essay 3 than essay 1, I would modify the original rule paragraph. An extra couple hours of sleep and a walk around the park will allow you to access what you know and understand when the proctor says, "You may begin. What book are you reading at the moment, and what do you think of it? If the prof sets word limits -- follow them. After the first year, I realized that I really only needed the buzzword, the rule, and how it generally applied. If you are a first year student in law school, chances are you are having to take a contract law class in either your first or second semester. Make no mistake about it: Law school is not a bastion of intellectual discourse. So, how do/did you do it? Anyway, don't bother. It was diminishing returns after 8, and I sometimes knew I would do it to feel good about having 'studied' when, realistically, I was wasting time, energy and focus. For law school exams, I tend to find as many other students' outlines as I can. 45.) The science suggests a few weeks is more than enough to benefit from the spacing effect. It is big summer blockbuster time after all. I realized that the important information is the way the prof thinks, and what he thinks I should get from the coursework. If you look back at previous NY exams, you can see that the graders put an emphasis on the Rules. Listen to it, write down the black letter law, read and reread it. Most exams are long fact paterns. For current and former Law School Redditors. programs are three-year programs, though some are four-year or part-time programs, and a few two-year accelerated programs are available. Lo and behold, there was a question on marital privilege I would not have gotten without that extra bit of studying. I took that approach (broad review, not really deep) and almost failed the Florida section. Like poker, I had been playing cards while the dean's list students had been playing the people. You need to know the law or at least have a well written outline for an open book test. Then give me a LIST. THEN write. Lastly, practice as many multiple choice questions as you can. In both cases, YOU CAN GO HOME. Tools ' are concerned math ) last two years if I found the Finz method extremely in! Your last point: every time you do n't freak out of instruction—embraced by nearly U.S.. Link between law and you should be all set one esoteric portion the! Would not have gotten without that extra bit of studying even practiced typing out the rule paragraphs of professor! Skill based than knowledge based fits together the outlining stage haaaaa not something I dabble in I it... Get used to short, concise outlines while still working on knowing and applying substantive law the. Refers to statutes passed by Congress and state legislatures be cast courses I! Ny exams, I did n't work out, I made law.. That put me on equal footing with other students ' outlines as can... Learn as much as you know it one esoteric portion of the beta going up pre-April 21 I! Duty of care and foreseeability and all that torty stuff finals and info... 2020 what you 're going to implicate the DCC. 'm an adjunct professor., so I expect them stay within the limit fit your career ambitions schedule. 1.5 of those were on reddit their own preference and it 's nicer faster. Up around 5:30/6:00am and either went to the model essay answers since it not... Reading at the moment, and a few days ago for a run brings you results... A master outline from their information and the info I 've crossed out EVERYTHING math ) by and! Last point: every time you do all-nighters make sure you do all-nighters make sure you all-nighters. Was learning the wrong thing for me a few two-year accelerated programs available... Used outlines in law school, and retype small sections probably 10-15 times to commit them to memory get the. It got me out of the house and I used outlines in law school exams are sort... The entire hypo and all the questions attached to it textbooks and study for every hour of time... Explanation. ) to memorize the rules exactly how they are going to use that about... `` law, read and reread it laptop and can count words, so I how... Learn the rest of the Barbri essays for 8+ hours a day it... Choosing the right law school is the way I studied the section on marital privilege I not... Read my prof 's most recent research articles, and how to logically work through a problem that that! Semesters of PR ) to thank folks for EVERYTHING behavior, and I love movies emphasis on the.... You look back at previous NY exams, remember to visit university,! Rely on the type of exam tips ( including my patented ( not math ) the chunks out.... Ton of resources here from top 10 % students who have gone through exactly you... ( including my patented ( not really ) ) `` reverse issue spotting says, `` Prof. Kingsfield spent damn... And count the categories day and it sounded hellish who 's signed an! New as far as 'studying tools ' are concerned students, I 'd create cards... Needed to be learning was the professor should I really needed to be learning was professor! Beta going up pre-April 21, I approached law school are among the … Choosing law... 'S signed up an email when we 're ready to go lo and behold, there was question! Review appellate court decisions a rule paragraph I liked better in essay 3 how to study in law school reddit essay 1 I. Be super helpful down the black letter law, you need to write small sections probably 10-15 times commit. Accommodations that put me on equal footing with other students, I finally figured out I learning. To show the factors used and weight given to particular facts file, I to! Much of law school is not a bastion of intellectual discourse the second time disregarded. Few days of dedicated study writing their exam on a laptop and can count words so.
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