How Do I  Prepare for Second Semester of Law School?

Many students email us right around now and ask us how to prepare for their second semester of law school over winter break. Some of them are very nervous about how finals went. Others realize that their study plans first semester were not ideal for succeeding on law school final exams and they want to make some serious changes. If you are wondering what to do over winter break to prepare for second semester of law school, here are some great steps to take.

How Do I  Prepare for Second Semester of Law School?

1. Reflect on what went well and what didn’t go well first semester.

Did you spend too long reading cases? Did you start outlining early enough? Do you wish you would have completed more practice exams? Make it a point to make any necessary changes while these are fresh in your mind.

The most common mistakes we see students make their first semester of law school are:

  • Spending too much time reading/preparing for class
  • Starting their outlines too late
  • Not taking enough practice exams

Some students also:

  • Put off legal writing assignments too late
  • Fail to create their own outlines
  • Struggle with taking high-quality class notes
  • Spend too much time briefing cases
  • Did not have a regular study routine
  • Get too distracted while studying

Take a few minutes to think about what went well and what you need to change moving forward!

2. After you decide what went well and what you need to improve on, figure out how to put this into action.

It helps a lot of students to make a daily or weekly law school study schedule that details exactly what they will do and when they will do it. This turns “theory” into “action” and also will enable you to actually implement the changes you think are necessary.

We recommend you create a weekly law school study schedule that tells you when and where you will study as well as a weekly “to-do” list that prioritizes things like outlining, practicing exams, etc.

3. Relax!!!

You just finished your first semester of law school – which is no small feat. You do not want to forget to relax, sleep, and also find time to enjoy yourself. It may take a little while to calm down (and stop thinking about finals!) for some of you, but you will get there.

4. Spend time with family members and friends.

Your family and friends probably missed you while you were studying all semester. Now is the time to catch up, spend time with them, and relax. In addition, this has the added bonus of allowing you to avoid burnout the next semester. It also will help relieve anxiety and realize that law school is not the end-all, be-all. It will also be a very nice break from only talking to law school classmates!

5. Start to prepare for the next semester.

If you really want to get a head start on next semester, you could start reading Examples and Explanations (or an equally excellent supplement) for classes you find difficult. For example, if you really struggled with Contracts 1, it may not be a bad idea to pick up the book for Contracts 2 and start looking it over. This will help you feel more confident going into the next semester. I wouldn’t overdo it though, if you decide to go this route. It is important for your body and mind to take a true break from law school over your break!

Check out a recent podcast on this issue!

We recently spoke with Chance from about how to succeed on final exams and how to best prepare for your second semester of law school over winter break. The podcast turned out great and Chance has a great site. Check out the podcast here.