Law has garnered a reputation for being a difficult field to get into. Admittedly, studies can be nerve-racking. Whether you are majoring in corporate law or taking up a paralegal course, studying requires you to retain, recall, and interpret great volumes of knowledge.
One word of advice: be sure to study smart. Focusing on just remembering details will be a waste of energy; you will forget them afterwards. If you study smart, you will actually get to retain things and save a lot of time.
At CLS by BARBRI, we help you go through your endeavors. Here is a rundown of tips that will help you get going.
Use Mind Maps
If you cannot get some concepts right the first time, try creating a mind map. A mind map is a diagram that is created around a single concept. Related ideas and even unlikely items are appended to concept to gain a better perspective of the matter. This technique is effective for visual learners. Advertising creatives and other professionals even use them to draw that big idea.
Some will contend that taking down notes at class is a waste of energy, as there are books already available in the library. Sometimes, professors give nuggets of wisdom, which you can use in your studies. When taking down notes, get the keywords and specific concepts. If you do not feel like your writing can keep up, use a voice recorder.
Reading the Bill of Rights and Amendments is not something that you should take leisurely. Jargons and technical concepts are difficult to understand. Read the text until you get the main idea. Be ready to take note of the thought of the text once you get it. Always have a lexicon by your side when reading.
Form a Study Group
You cannot always do things on your own; even the brightest students realize this. If you fail to find a study group, form one. Choose fellow students who are willing to learn; do away with those who have a reputation for piggybacking.
Show up on time
It’s been said before: The most important ability is availability. The first tip to surviving law school is also the most basic. Go to class regularly, and in relation, show up on time. This gives your professors (and potential future bosses) a good indication of what your work ethic is like under pressure.
Join the discussion
When you show up, don’t just go to class for the sake of going. Participate in the discussion. Ask (hopefully, well-thought out) questions. If you have an opposing thought, say so. As a lawyer, you won’t be paid to be a shrinking violet. The earlier you become comfortable speaking up, the better for your career.
One of the realities of law school that you’ll soon find out is that “there’s always something new to read.” Your professors will happily add to your reading list on a weekly, daily, or sometimes hourly basis, and you need to be able to keep up. Don’t miss out on readings and make sure you’re up to speed on what will likely be discussed during class, because good lawyers…
Do you have a paper due? Are you likely to be called in front to discuss a case? Are you making a presentation? All these basic realities of law school are going to crop up sooner or later, and each one needs its own kind of preparation. Well-written papers need research and study, as well as time for editing and revision if needed, so get your ducks in a row, if you want to ace your class.
The opposite of being prepared, of course, is…
Remember, the name of the game is staying ahead of the curve. When you have to cram, that means you’ve fallen behind it, and have to exert extra effort to keep up. The problem is, with the constant downpour of readings, recitations, mock trials, papers, and all manner of other requirements that your professors will likely throw at you, allowing one or two little things to slip past means they’ll likely be accompanied by five or six new reasons to stay up late. Do a little each day and keep grinding a little bit, so you don’t have to turn yourself into a zombie to make that deadline.
Studying hard may work for others, but if you want to save time, study smart. If you want to learn more about techniques and all things about legal studies, be updated with our blog. You can also browse our other pages or contact us if you are interested in pursuing a career in the legal field. At CLS by BARBRI, we are focused on providing the most affordable and effective legal education possible.