Study period has almost begun for the vast majority of law students. Many students wonder how they can best spend their time and most effectively prepare for their law school final exams.
It is critical that you spend your study period in the most efficient way possible. Why? Because how you spend your study period can make a big difference between a high grade and a low grade (which can make a big difference in whether you have a job after your first year!).
With that said, please, we beg you, do not spend your time re-reading cases. Do not spend your time briefing cases. Do not spend your time arguing about the facts of cases with your study group. There are much more efficient ways to spend your time to raise your law school grades.
So what should you do during your study period? Generally, there are two tasks that you have to focus on.
Two Tasks to Focus on to Prepare for
Law School Final Exams:
Task One: Learn the law as well as possible. This is done through outlining and memorizing your outlines. This means you should spend a good deal of your time condensing, organizing, and outlining your class notes and other materials (if you have not already) so that you are truly able to understand and learn the law. After you have your outlines made, you should spend a significant chunk of time committing them to memory – even if you have an open book exam. To do well on an exam, you truly need to know the law. It has to be on the tip of your tongue!
If you are just getting started with your outlines and do not have time to learn all of them, and you have open book exams (where you are allowed to consult your outlines), we recommend you learn your outlines as best as you can, then tab them so that you can easily find the law that you need during your final exams. You could even make a one- or two-page “mini outline” of just the black letter law to put at the front of your outline.
Task Two: Practice exam problems. This task is so underrated but so important! The best resource you have at your disposal is your professor’s past exams and model answers (if he or she provides any). If your professor does not have any exams available, you can go online and search for exams. Law school exams are not like undergraduate exams and you need to practice answering law school exam questions ahead of time if you want to adequately prepare for law school exams.