Law School Paper

How To Recover From A Low Grade On A Law School Paper 

Between the competition among classmates and the nature of the curve, many law school students are disappointed by a grade at least once in law school. While receiving a lower grade than expected may temporarily dampen your mood, don’t let it completely derail you. Follow these three tips to recover from a low grade on a law school paper or exam.

How To Recover From A Low Grade On A Law School Paper 

1. Start With a Postmortem Evaluation

It’s completely natural to feel let down by a low grade. While you may be tempted to try to forget it ever happened, avoid that urge. Instead, spend some time thinking about the different factors that contributed to your grade. Were you sacrificing sleep leading up to that final? Did you devote most of your study to a particular subject that wasn’t actually tested?

If you can’t figure out where you went wrong, your professors are a great resource for insight. Attend their office hours or ask to set up a meeting to discuss your exam. Keep in mind this meeting is not about you lobbying for a different grade. Instead, use the time to gain valuable insight on what you did well and what you missed in order to improve in the future. If you have another class with this professor, it’s great insight into what they’re looking for exactly.

Once you identify the mistakes you made, you can refocus your energy on avoiding them in the future.

2. Shift Your Focus Away from Cases

If you want to recover from a low grade on a law school paper, you need to make sure you’re studying the right material. While much of your law school reading and class discussion will use cases as a starting point, they should not be your focus when studying for exams. Instead, shift your attention to the legal rules and concepts that your professor highlights in class—that’s what your professor wants to see on their exam or paper. Your professor’s old exams and model answers are excellent sources to use to give yourself the chance to earn an A.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Your Study Habits

Not only do you need to study the right material, you need to study the right way. If you often find yourself distracted when studying at home, consider using a library or coffee shop instead. If you realize that you have trouble retaining information when you work on your outline on Friday afternoon, break up your outlining over several days instead. Your professors, peers, and professional tutors are great places to look for ideas for maximizing your study habits. For more ways to change your study habits for the better, check out this list!

It’s natural to feel discouraged after receiving a low grade on a law school paper or exam, but don’t let it keep you down. Follow these three tips and you’ll be well on your way to success on your next paper or exam!

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