Law school can be quite challenging, but with the right study habits, you can increase your chances of being on top of your classes and achieving the best results possible. Whether you’re a first-year law student or have been studying for years, these four study tips will help you to maximize your time and set yourself up for success in law school.
Take Copious Notes
One of the most important tips for successful law school studying is taking comprehensive notes during lectures and discussions. Writing down what your professor says will help you stay focused on the material, as well as make it easier to refer back to later when you’re studying for exams to pose questions or voice any confusion or misunderstanding you may have.
How to take notes properly:
- Create a system that works for you, such as using index cards, outlines, or notes written in the margins of your textbooks
- Get as many details as possible, such as specific laws, statutes, dates, and cases
- Write down any examples or analogies used by your professor to further explain the material
Whether you’re taking a course on insurance litigation or property law, active reading is an effective way to revise.
Active reading is the process of taking in information, analyzing it, and then responding to it. This method helps you digest and understand material more quickly and easily than passive reading, which involves simply looking at words on a page without any analysis or response.
To actively read your legal texts:
- Read slowly and carefully; refrain from skimming
- Highlight important passages
- Break the text into chunks, understanding each part before moving on
- Construct mental frameworks or diagrams to better process the information
Manage Your Time Wisely
Time management is the key to success in law school. Primarily, this means creating a study plan that fits your lifestyle and allows you to stay on top of all assignments, as well as have time for yourself.
Here are some tips for managing your time wisely:
- Make a weekly schedule of tasks with deadlines
- Break down large assignments into smaller tasks
- Prioritize tasks based on deadlines and importance
- Set aside some unscheduled time to accommodate unexpected circumstances
- Schedule time for rest
Create a Study Group
Law students are expected to work together in studying and preparing for exams, so use this to your advantage. Forming a study group with classmates is an effective way to review course materials, as well as practice analyzing cases and solving problems. Plus, it can help keep everyone motivated and on track with their studies, as well as provide an opportunity to socialize and build professional relationships.
How to create a successful study group:
- Include members who have different strengths, such as those who are better at researching or outlining the material
- Choose a comfortable and quiet space for studying, free from distractions
- Set ground rules, such as times everyone will meet
- Create an agenda for each meeting with goals and objectives
Law school can be a difficult journey, but with these tips in mind, you can set yourself up for success. Remember to take advantage of every resource available, such as professors and peers, while still finding time to relax and rest.