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Key Strategies to Be Successful in Law School

When you’re more than used to arguing (and winning those arguments) with people, you may have thought that you might as well enrol in law school. However, getting into law school isn’t as easy as entering into an argument whenever you feel like it.

The term “law school” alone often conjures images of students buried under piles of casebooks as they try to memorize various legal jargon and concepts that the average person can barely comprehend. If you’re currently in law school or are planning to go, here are some key strategies that you should use to become successful during your studies there:

Start becoming organized

When you first decided to enroll in law school, you may have initially thought that it’s very much like going to college which may then lead you to underestimate the difficulty of surviving there. The simplest way to make it through law school all in one piece is to practice managing your time and taking down notes more efficiently.

  • If you’re the type of student who likes making spur of the moment decisions, you need to change that even before enrolling in law school which will require you to organize your time properly.
  • You might also want to stop doodling random notes that don’t make any sense at all and start learning how to write your course outlines consistently. However, you shouldn’t rely on commercial outlines alone that claim to make law students’ life easier as they can’t provide you with everything you need to know about a certain topic, especially as your professor may tackle it with a unique approach.

Earn above average grades as early as your freshman year

Some college students fail to get passing grades during their first year in school and still somehow manage to finish their entire four or five years of post-secondary education. Unfortunately, law school can’t provide you with that same privilege.

  • Your grade point average or GPA during your freshman year in law school can make or break your desire to become a lawyer, especially if you want to apply as a summer associate for a large law firm some months before you enter your sophomore year.
  • The law firm where you’ll be applying as a summer associate will use your first year GPA as the basis for whether or not they’ll be hiring you.
  • Becoming a summer associate gets you exposed to the real-world applications of the law topics that your professors taught you. Thus, you should always try to aim for grades that are above passing so that you have an above average GPA by the end of your first year in law school.

Attend every single class listed in the schedule given to you

No amount of persistent reading of all those casebooks can take the place of actually going to every single one of your classes, especially as some of the professors handling it might tackle certain topics that aren’t written in your reading materials at all.

  • However, attending a class doesn’t only mean that you’re supposed to show up in-person, as you should also pay attention to everything that your professor is discussing with you and your fellow students.
  • You can even learn more about a certain topic that your professor is presenting by engaging in an active discussion with them.

Find the right balance between law school and your life outside of it

Most college students think that college life is already stressful enough as it is, but little do they know that those in law school have it much worse. In fact, it was found out in 2016 that law students are more prone to falling victim to depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse as a result of being stressed out during their time in law school.

  • If you can afford to take some time off of your law studies, you should make the most out of those breaks by finding a hobby to pursue. Reading casebooks doesn’t count as a pastime though, sorry.
  • You should also find some time to socialize with other non-law students so that you can enjoy life even when faced with obligations that law school demands of you.

Compared to most other college and higher degree students, the typical law school student spends a minimum of 10 hours every single day including weekends studying when everyone else is taking a break from their obligations. That alone should be more than reason enough for you as a law school student to take your chosen path seriously. Following the above-listed strategies will help you become successful in law school as you try to pass every subject with flying colors. Who knows, you might become a prized lawyer yourself right after graduating law school.

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About the Author Janine Penn

Janine Penn has been a law writer for more than a decade. She hopes to impart some of her wisdom to others through her written works. She is often reading a new book whenever she has the time.

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