LAWTUTORS ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW EXACTLY TO GET GOOD GRADES DURING YOUR FIRST YEAR OF LAW SCHOOL
DATA FROM HUNDREDS OF OUR LAW STUDENTS: PART IV
By Professors Brittany Raposa, Hemanth Gundavaram, and Heather Kenny, Attorney Instructor Sheri Mason, and CEO of LawTutors Tania Shah
What do we know? Our LawTutors Team, still decidedly relatable and hip, have not been 1Ls for a long time. We heard you. You want the real stuff from the people who are in it right now. So, the LawTutors Team gathered data from hundreds of first year law students who had just completed their first semester of their first year of law school and had received their grades to put together this Ultimate Guide.
The purpose of article is to share with you the feedback we received from all of these students on what worked for them (and what did not work for them).
We have shared with you a plethora of guidelines in Parts I, II and III. Please read on for Part IV
Those students who did well seemed to consistently read ahead in order to avoid the domino effect of either catching up or rushing on the reading. Those students who performed the best felt the least pressed for time.
One suggestion to help you manager your time is to color-code a schedule (much like the below example developed by Stephen Covey of Seven Habits of Highlight Effective People) ahead of time, using the following categories:
• Case Reading
• Class Time
• Condensing Notes
• Practice Problems
• Writing Assignments
Some of us utilize this method professionally, so we know where our time must be spent on certain aspects of work, and where we have more flexibility with our time.
Another effective way to also manage your time is to do short bursts of intense work and then have meaningful breaks, which has been proven to produce better results and productivity than long days of mediocre work. We can speak from our own experience that a long 12-hour workday will be much less productive (and more draining and stressful) than short bursts of intense work involving breaks, getting up and moving around.
Time Management and Exams
Many of our students felt like they ran out of time on their first exam and got better as they went along or that they weren’t targeting their answers to the questions but instead just writing every rule/case/fact they knew into their answer.
By frequently taking practice exams, you get all of those mistakes and timing errors out of the way before you get to the real exams.
Time Management on Writing Assignments
For most of our students, keeping up with their writing assignments and outlining/condensing often came into conflict with one another. Most of our students would only focus on your writing assignment, but when it was complete, they felt as though they fell behind. This is where using a color-coded schedule ahead of time (as discussed above and shown below) could be most helpful.
Stay Tuned for Part V