Monday, February 05, 2007

The 1L Diaries: Alexis

This entry in The 1L Diaries was written by my classmate Alexis, who also started law school in the summer of 2005.

My sage advice:

All first year students need to relax. Believe it or not, your stress level will not correlate with your first semester grades. It's important to really take stock of what study methods work best for you and stick with them. Just because it seems like the whole class is spending all of their time reading study aids doesn't mean that you have to. For example, if you understand torts then you don't need to pick up a study aid, but if you need to then by all means get the help.

Also don't get caught up in the outlining frenzy. Remember that some classes lend themselves to outlining more than others. Don't feel like outlining is the only way to study in law school.

Take a look at your readings for the upcoming week on the weekend. I've always preferred to do the reading for at least one course over the weekend, and then take some notes the day before as a way to remember what the reading was about. I've found that knocking out the reading for at least one class really lightens my work load to the point where I rarely did homework in the evenings. Some people don't like doing more homework on the weekend than what is due on Monday, but I didn't mind reading in the morning or mid-day on the weekend.

I also really like highlighting my notes in different colors (ex: holding is orange, facts yellow, issue blue, rationale pink, etc.). It sounds complicated but if you ever get called on in class and haven't taken any written notes you'll be able to find the answer very quickly using the colors as your guide.

Last but not least don't underestimate the importance of study groups, especially for issue spotting exams, and of course going to class and keeping up on the reading will make your life a lot easier (especially, go to class if you think it's going to be a hard course for you, you might need that little extra attendance/participation bump in the end).

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