With the school year approaching, many new and returning law students are preparing for classes, hours spent at the library studying for midterms, and trying to manage a social life. Among all the stresses and transitions, here is some advice to help and remember as you make your way to your J.D.:
Law school is not a marathon. Students tend to become competitive in school and feel as if they must graduate in a set amount of time; Also, spending all of your time studying seven days a week is not effective either. Pace yourself and remember to take breaks. If you need time away from school to readjust your life, then do what need to be done.
Find your study strategy. Making outlines is not for everyone. Neither are flash cards. Studying is not a one-size-fits-all situation. You have to find what works best for you by using various strategies. Ask your friends what works for them. For some people, forming a study group with students from class to gives a well rounded view of a subject because of everyone’s different points of view.
Use the library. It’s not just a place for study hall. It has many books and study aids that can help you understand the material in a different way. Librarians are also great resources, and enjoy in helping students find what they need. Also, using the library is cheaper than buying study aids and extra books.
Participate in class. And don’t sit toward the back. Sitting closer to the front with fewer rows of seats in front of you means you are less likely to become distracted, scroll through Facebook, or wander onto Pinterest for recipes. You can also engage more during class with the professor and classmates. The more participation and engagement in class you have, the more likely you will understand the material.
Balance is key. Make sure you take out time from studying to get a good night of rest. Pulling an all-nighter for an exam seems like a good idea at the time, but the exhaustion afterwards has negative effects on your body. Focusing on law school is important, but so is living a healthy life. Set a schedule for studying, socializing and sleeping to make sure you don’t over work yourself.
Use Bar Review materials. The Bar exam materials are condensed outlines, notes, and samples of exam questions that are similar to first year law school exams. Do multiple practice exams, and as many as you can to see where your weaknesses and strengths are.
Overall, the goal of law school is to mold you to become a successful attorney in whatever practice area or career choice you make. The difficulties that come along with being a law student are normal, and finding your way to get through it will help you in your future career path.