The Best Study Tips for Law School

Published: March 5, 2014

Being in law school is difficult.  From day one, you find yourself surrounded by a bunch of students who are struggling to stay afloat like you.  To make matters worse, most law schools grade on a curve, meaning that students are ranked against each other.  The list below provides tips for new law students or existing students who are struggling.

  1. Outline, outline, outline.

    I'm sure you've heard it all before - outling is the key to succeeding in law school.  Outlining not only makes your brain extract the most important information from what you just read, but it serves as a retention tool as well.  More likely than not, re-writing information you just read will help you retain it better.

  2. Make friends.

    Finding friends who can serve as study buddies and quick contacts for random questions is critical for getting through law school.  Even if you prefer to study alone, it is important to have friends in law school who you can talk through problems or questions with.  These friends will most likely be from your first year section.

  3. Ask questions.

    You know that intimidating Professor you had for first year torts?  He/she probably isn't actually as intimidating if you go talk during office hours.  Most of us are intimidated by asking questions that may seem "stupid" especially in large lectures.  Take advantage of any office hours professors might have to clarify your questions.

  4. Don't read ahead.

    You know those professors who give you the semester-long syllabus on the first day of class?  They do that so that you keep up, not so that you get ahead.  If you read too far ahead, you'll find yourself forgetting what you were supposed to read for the present day.  Stick in the moment.

  5. Take courses that interest you.

    While most law schools will suggest specific classes that are recommended for the bar exam, most schools also offer a variety of other classes that most students don't realize.  Students can learn a lot from taking a one credit course on energy law.  Classes like these can also keep you interested in your courses.

  6. Network.

    While some professors are full time, other professors are practicing attorneys with great experience.  Aside from their experience, most also have great connections.  It is important to get to know these professors and to see whether they have any connections.  Some are even able to answer questions you have about their field.

  7. Extra Activities.

    Aside from networking, joining extra clubs or socieites is a great way to meet people and expand your horizons during law school.  Not only do you get to meet other fellow students, but you also get to do fun activities where you will meet practicing attorneys.  These activities also look great on a resume.

  8. Always carry a copy of your resume.

    While it is not recommended that students proactively give out their resume, you never know when someone might ask for a copy of your resume.  Make sure it is always updated and that you always have a copy. You never know when you might run into someone who will want to pass it off.

  9. Find an externship.

    Even though most say that law jobs are far and few between, it is still important to get in evey experience you can during law school.  Take unpaid externships.  You're one step ahead of that classmate who didn't.  Volunteer on the weekends with an externship.  You never know who you will meet.

  10. Find time for yourself.

    Don't let law school consume you.  It's easy to worry that you're not studying enough especially compared to your classmates who claim they study for 20 hours a day.  You will hit a wall if you live your life this way.  Make a list of things that take you away from law school.  Make sure to find time for those things every second you can.

Law school is hard.  It involves networking, keeping up on homework and reading, finding the best study strategies that fit you, and trying to find a job.  At the end of the day, it is most important to find time for yourself and doing the things you enjoy.  Don't make law school your life, just most of it.