Looking for a strategy to conquer your law school final exams? Here, we tell you exactly what to do – and what not to do – in a quick, five minute read. I (Ashley Heidemann) graduated as the #1 law student in my class of 203 students in 2011. I attribute it to having a great law school final exam strategy, which I will share with you here!
A 5-Minute Read on How to Conquer Law School Final Exams
First step: Make or acquire outlines.
You need outlines that clearly state the black letter law. Ideally, you should have been composing these outlines throughout the semester. However, if you have not written one word of an outline yet, you have two backup options: The best option is to condense your class notes into an outline. Focus on the black letter law rather than cases!
The second option is to get an outline from someone else or somewhere else. This outline should be written by someone who had your same professor! Not sure where to look for law school outlines? Check out this post.
Second step: Learn the black letter law by memorizing your outlines.
Stop focusing on cases and case briefs! Print that beautiful outline of yours and instead focus on memorizing the black letter law. Memorize that a battery is an act with intent to commit a harmful or offensive contact or imminent apprehension thereof and a harmful or offensive contact directly or indirectly results. You should know these elements as well as possible!
We have some tips on how to memorize your law school outlines here if you really are unsure of where to start.
l used to memorize everything by covering up a page or a section (say, intentional torts) and seeing if I could rewrite all of the intentional torts and all of their elements. Obviously the first time I went through the outline, I could not, but after doing it a few times, I could. It is very important to know the law as well as possible going into a final exam.
Third step: Complete practice exams
The difference between an “A” student and a “B” student is that the “A” student completes practice exams. Both “A” and “B” students know the law well, but the “A” student takes it a step further by practicing application.
So many students put this off to the point of not doing it at all. Partly because they are scrambling to do all the other things they have to do. And partly because they are scared. But it is very important to complete practice exams prior to your final exams! This will make you confident walking into the exam. And it will make the exam not seem quite as difficult!
The best resource is your professor’s past exams. (Make sure to get a model answer!) If they do not have past exams available, the second best resource is google! Google “Contracts exam model answer” for example and print a few exams for each class. See this post for some links as well as some tips on how to take law school practice exams.
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