Is law school a lot of work? Yes! You will be assigned much more reading than you ever were in college, and you will be required to learn that material at a faster pace. But don’t worry! By utilizing a few skills, you can learn what is important to know, and what you need–and don’t need–to do. Consequently, this will reduce the amount of work you need to do to be successful! Here are a few key skills that are essential to cutting down your time spent on studying.
Is Law School A Lot of Work? Yes! But here’s how to do it efficiently:
1. Learn to use case briefs and other literature to quickly get through your assigned reading.
Inevitably, your law school professor will assign a lot of reading. Most of the reading will revolve around cases. Fortunately, there are some great ways to work through reading cases efficiently. In short, utilizing case briefs and other tools at your disposal can allow you to read through the cases very quickly without missing out on any key information. You will have “primed” yourself to complete the reading in a much quicker way.
You will also naturally become better at picking out the salient points of cases as read more and more of them. You will learn to sift out unnecessary or extraneous details that, while interesting, are not key takeaways. So while it may seem like reading assignments in law school never end, you will can use techniques and experience to become more efficient in working through them.
2. Learn to efficiently outline; this saves time reading classes notes. It will also help you feel confident. You will not feel lost in law school.
Distilling your class notes into efficient outlines is another skill that will save you a ton of time and effort in law school. Your initial class notes will probably be long, drawn out and scattershot. However, if you learn how to take your notes and distill them into an efficient outline, will remove extraneous information that is not necessary for you to know. You will also streamline what you do need to know so that it is much easier to learn. Outlining is so important to success in law school. It allows you to focus your attention on only what you need to know.
It is also a great idea to outline early on — right from the beginning of the semester. This way, you will tackle your outlining on a day-by-day basis. You won’t have to spend hours trying to figure out what your class notes say (because you will be converting them into an outline soon after your class). And, you will have time to learn the material as you go along. This will save you a ton of time during “study period” because you won’t be scrambling to catch up. Further, you will not feel lost in law school. Rather, you will feel confident about where you are!
3. Learn how to learn!
Many students got by in college without ever really learning how to memorize. Or without ever really learning how they learn. Are you visual, auditory, kinesthetic? Or don’t you know? We have several tips on how to learn your law school outlines. It is not enough to just have law school outlines — you have to know them!!
By starting off with a few solid techniques from the beginning, you can make your sessions that much more productive.
4. Learn how to take practice exams.
The key to doing well on final exams lies in using your outlines, along with practice exams, to focus your studying. Practice final exams are a great tool and can help reveal the larger issues of the cases. Students should use final exams and outlines in tandem to avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary details. You can save hours worth of studying by focusing solely on preparing for final exams. You do not need to know every minor point of a given case. Rather, you should tailor your studying to what you will need to know for your finals! By concentrating on what you need to get a good grade in a class, you can save yourself hours of fruitless studying and work.
5. By doing the above, you will work through your course material quickly and have extra time for yourself!
Believe it or not, I was able to take a full day off each week of law school. Sundays were my day to recuperate and recharge for the upcoming week. It might sound too good to be true, especially for those who have never taken any law school classes. But by learning to work through course materials efficiently, you do not need to study 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in law school!
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