A+ law school study routine

My A+ Law School Study Routine

Here, I will go through the law school study routine that I used to get A+s in over half of my law school classes. (I also got A’s otherwise, and graduated as the #1 law student). Note that I took every Sunday completely off in law school. So, my routine focuses on efficiency and doing what is necessary to graduate at the top of your class.

Daily Law School Study Routine

As noted above, this study routine focuses heavily on these principles on what it takes to graduate as the #1 student. So, please bear that in mind. My law school study routine was not filled with reading and briefing cases, attending study groups, or trying to do the best in the class when I was on call. To the contrary, I spent less than an hour a day on cases, I didn’t have a study group, and I didn’t do very well on call!

I did, however, graduate as the #1 law student.

This is what a typical weekday looked like:

Before class:

  • Get up early (I am a morning person so I accomplished a lot before class!). Exercise. Eat breakfast.
  • Work on reviewing and memorizing outlines. (I found it difficult to do this so I did it when I was at my best — 5 AM, with a big cup of coffee and no distractions). This would take an hour or so.
  • Read cases for the day and prepare for class. I tried to spend less than an hour on this and focused mostly on case briefs.
  • Go to classes. I went to every class and took notes!

After class:

  • Make outline from class notes (add to the outline I already had) and print the new portions I added and put in my outline binder for the class. (Please see this in-depth post on how to make a law school outline if you don’t know where to start.)
  • Review new sections of outlines (this helped to cement it in my brain! I recommend you review lecture notes within 24 hours of lecture — you’ll remember so much more!)
  • Take practice exams (in the beginning of the semester, I would do isolated problems from Examples and Explanations. Later in the semester, I would do problems from practice exams or full practice exams. This was a nice active way to review the law!)
  • Work on legal writing assignment (I did this a little bit every day so I never rushed to complete it on time!)

This law school study routine would shift throughout the semester. For example, in the beginning of the semester, it did not take me very long to review outlines because my outlines were so short! Toward the end of the semester, it would take a long time. Also, toward the end of the semester I would focus more time on completing exams than I did in the beginning of the semester (since I didn’t know enough law to complete a full exam in the beginning of the semester).

And, of course, things happen that throw off your schedule. Maybe your 1L legal writing brief takes longer than expected and you have to start over shortly before it is due. Maybe a relative passes away. Maybe a global pandemic hits and it changes the structure of your final exam! Not everything will go according to plan. But, having a good plan in place for the “regular” days will help you accommodate any necessary changes.

Your law school study routine may not look exactly like mine. (For one, I find most law students prefer to study at night and don’t get up before 5 AM like I do!) But, you should focus on outlining, reviewing your outline, and taking practice exams. If those three things are your focus, you are likely to succeed in law school!

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