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An overview of how to succeed on law school exams

Here, we give a brief overview of how to succeed on law school exams so you understand exactly why this guide is broken down the way that it is.

Note that no matter what class it is or what style exam it is (open-book, closed-book, essay, multiple-choice, or a combination), your law school exam will test two things: (1) how well you know the law and (2) how well you can apply it. So, you need to focus on learning and applying the law throughout the semester. That is it!

An overview of how to succeed on law school exams

how to succeed on law school exams, how to excel on law school exams

How do you learn the law really well? 

  • Outline (i.e., organize the law into an outline)
  • Learn your outlines

How do you get good at applying the law to difficult fact patterns? 

  • Learn a good strategy for answering exam questions
  • Practice that strategy

We cover these skills in depth. Specifically, in the next few sections of the guide, we will tell you all about:

  • Outlining
  • Memorizing your outlines
  • Taking practice exams using an effective strategy

Lastly, we will discuss how to make an effective law school study schedule. We break down the best way to make a weekly law school study schedule and a daily law school study schedule. If you have an effective law school study schedule, you can make sure you are focusing on these three important skills!

In the following section (part three), we discuss other important law school skills. These include:

  • Reading and briefing cases
  • Preparing for class
  • Surviving the Socratic method
  • Networking in law school

Note that you need to, of course, read cases, prepare for class (and prepare to be on call), and network. But, these activities will not directly prepare you for the final exam nearly as much as outlining, memorizing your outlines, and taking practice exams. That is why we focus on outlining, memorizing your outlines, and taking practice exams in part two. In part three, we will tell you how to effectively manage all of these other tasks on your plate. The goal is to still do these tasks—i.e., be familiar with the cases, be able to answer questions when on call in class— well, but not spend too much of your time on them. So with that, let’s dive into how to succeed on law school exams!

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