If you’re in the first year of your law school program or just starting out a Juris Doctor online degree, you’d probably be feeling a great deal of stress as a result of the demanding nature and heavy course loads of studying law. You could also be wondering if you made the right choice in your pre-law major. Luckily, there are tips that can help you survive through your first year in law school. In this post, we will share five of them.
1. Improve Your Comprehension and Reading Speed
Your first year at law school requires you to read and summarize several cases up to 30 pages/credit hour, around 450 pages each week. You have to learn to read and comprehend complex materials quickly. Being able to comprehend is as important as reading. You should be able to pick out relevant information and connect varied pieces together, then take the information and explain it to others. Comprehending a material requires you to utilize your language and experience while reading to form a new understanding.
2. Develop Your Writing Skills
Another tip you need to succeed as a first-year law school student is exceptional writing skills. The grading process of most law schools revolves around the student’s ability to create a properly written essay. As a law student, you must be able to gather information based on your analysis, identify issues, organize your researched data, create a well-thought argument and sum it up with a perfect conclusion. Your response must also be delivered in clear and brief prose. You need to constantly practice or read materials on the art of writing to improve your skills. Alternatively, you can also take pre-law writing courses or complete a practice exam.
3. Develop Strong Note-Taking Habits
The idea of cramming when studying for an exam is not an effective approach in law school. It is almost impossible to memorize and learn a voluptuous amount of information taught throughout the year in a few days. To properly study for an exam, you need to complete the required reading schedule and take valuable notes during lectures that will assist you in reviewing the course before an exam.
4. Buy Commercial Study Aids
There are several complex concepts of law that you will come across in your first year, and understanding them can consume your time. However, there are commercial study aids that can help you learn these complex terms and aid you in preparing for exams. While study aids are helpful, they shouldn’t replace your efforts while preparing a course outline.
5. Study Regularly
To excel in law school, you must make studying a full-time job. Some advisors may tell you to spend about two hours studying each subject daily. In most law schools, you may have about 15 hours of class time weekly, so you’ll need around 30 hours of study time. You need to create a study schedule and follow it without default.
The requirements needed to succeed in a law school are high. However, knowing the right tips before entering the system can guarantee success.