The pace at which law school course materials are assigned can be overwhelming. On top of that, if you are a first year student, you will have a number of research and writing projects to complete each semester.
Setting up a realistic schedule can not only reduce your stress, but also put you in position to EXCEL in law school.
Here are some helpful guidelines.
Set up a preparation list to calculate how much time to devote to reading cases, outlining course materials, and taking practice exams during the semester. Be sure to include the time required for completing research and writing assignments. Then, enter the information on a calendar.
Generally, it will take one hour to read ten pages in a casebook. However, the first semester in law school, the time spent reading may take longer because you are not only learning the law, but also learning a new language. Be sure to look up the meaning of terms which are new to you. Black’s Law Dictionary is an excellent resource.
Plan to spend one-and-half hours per ten pages in a casebook developing a long outline for each course. When writing your long outline, use the structure from the Short Outline that you have developed for each course. Outline by chapter. Wait to write your long outline until after a chapter’s materials have been discussed in class.
The information about how to develop a Short Outline is available in the free online class, How to Get A’s: The Short Outline.
Professor Skillman recommends spending five to seven hours per subject taking practice exams during the semester. The best sources for practice exams are 1) your professor’s old exams, 2) the hypotheticals discussed in class, and 3) the case notes following each of the cases.
Take practice exams, “open outline.” Taking practice exams will allow you to perfect your writing skills. Ideally, you can get feedback from your professors on your practice exams. Schedule a meeting with a professor, and bring two copies of each practice exam answer to the meeting.
In The Basic Exam Course™, Professor Skillman goes into the specifics with respect to how to study, how to set up a study schedule, how to read cases, and how to take class notes. The eight-hour course includes three classes, 1) How to Excel in Law School, 2) How to Outline Law School Courses, and 3) Exam Writing and Legal Analysis. The Basic Course™ is available online 24/7. Students who register for the course have access to the course for a year.
At The Skillman Method™, we believe all motivated students can get great grades if they understand specifically how to prepare, understand the standards applied to their work, and understand how to meet those standards. Great grades in law school translate into bar success, terrific job opportunities, and empowerment.
More than 20,000 students have attended Professor Skillman’s study methods and bar preparation courses. Skillman students report resounding success.
The Skillman Method™ is a transformative tool!