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You’ve recently been accepted to the law school of your dreams and you couldn’t be happier. But eventually, the sense of wonder will fade away, striking you with the reality that thousands of law school students know all too well: no one makes it out of law school by cruising.
When you’re feeling stressed over the sleepless nights reading cases and days buried in law books, don’t forget you’re why. All your efforts are focused on becoming one of the country’s most prestigious lawyers, like the esteemed LegalVision NZ lawyers.
So get out there and work hard. Here are some tips to help you get through law school.
Tips For Getting Through Law School
Consider Forming A Study Group
Talking with a group can help you retain information, but that’s not all there is to it. There are multiple benefits that come from collaborating with other law students, such as:
- Encouragement and support through classes
- Sense of commitment and accountability
- Mock group discussions before the tests
- A place to compare class notes
- Opening your view to different perspectives
- Interaction with other future lawyers
With that said, it’s also easy to distract yourself and delve into unrelated chatter during these sessions. While casual and friendly banter is fine sometimes if you feel you’re not getting value from the group, distance yourself from the group and find more productive ways to study.
Make A Rough Outline For Each Class
An outline is unique to law students as the law most commonly applicable for each class may differ from one another. By preparing an outline, you’ll get to determine at a bigger picture how concepts relate to each other, as well as a deeper understanding of the course.
While there might be outlines out there from past students, professors aren’t exempt from changing their teaching style that quarter. So outline for yourself. Some students would recommend it once a week, some would do it every month. Pick which works for you and remain consistent with it.
Take Practice Exams
If your professor gives you sample tests, set some time to go through them. This can give you a feel of how it’s like to go through the actual exam. It’ll also give you more perspective on your abilities to accomplish the test, including what works and what doesn’t. This especially holds true if there are answers that come with the exam, so you can compare your answers from what’s written on the paper.
If you feel the learning material you have isn’t sufficient, it’s not uncommon for law school alumni to have a folder of past exams passed around too. Contact your alumni acquaintances or senior friends if they have any leads, and if they do, great! You’ll get yourself a repository of tests to practice on and evaluate your performance with.
Practice Self-Care To Minimize Stress
While self-discipline is essential to making it through law school (those hundred-page cases aren’t going to read themselves), self-care is also just as important. Getting only four hours of sleep or less will take a toll on your body, and it can even worsen your performance during class instead of improving it.
Here are some self-care tips:
- Snack on fruits and healthy grains in between study breaks
- Do a few push-ups or stretches regularly
- Skip the caffeine; stay hydrated with water
- Maintain a social and personal life outside of school
- Talk to friends, parents, professors, or counselors if stress is too much
While time management can be hard to balance, it’s incredibly important to have a schedule to keep your sanity intact. You might’ve heard tonnes of law school horror stories, but your experience doesn’t have to follow that expectation too. Set some time to yourself, and you’ll feel less of the pressure from law school in due time.
Consult Your Law Professors After Hours
It can be tough getting accustomed to law jargon, law concepts, and their real-world applications. This is especially true for first-year law students who didn’t have a law-related background in their undergraduate years. If your professor allows for consultation outside class hours, take every advantage of that to clear some issues you may have with the text.
There may come a time when your question would find itself in the exams and you wouldn’t be able to answer it: so send your professor a message or hit them up after class hours to be prepared.
Don’t Procrastinate, Ever!
Maybe you’ve scraped by high school with above-average grades. Maybe you’re a prodigy-level who’s got a college diploma without much effort. But don’t expect yourself to ride the same smooth-sailing experience in law school.
You won’t be able to trudge your way towards graduating law by skimming key terms the day before. You’ll take the high ticket out of school if you do. Instead, you’ll be assigned many cases that you’ll have to digest every week or so, and this can take many hours of your time just reading through from start to finish due to the sheer length. Instead of picking up your phone to browse social media the nth time, actually, read and review for exams.