law school academic success

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Law School Notes

Man in blue suit.

Are you wondering how to take law school notes? If you are not a genius, like Mike from Suits, you will need to learn the best how to take notes during a classroom discussion. Many new law students fall into the trap of thinking they need to write down every word said during a class. This is a mistake! The key is engagement, rather than mindlessly copying everything you hear in class. Here are a few things that will help you in determining what you need to write down from a classroom discussion.One thing you should be aware of is...

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Case Briefs: Key to Success

Shakespeare Portrait: to case brief or not case brief

To case brief or not to case brief? That is the question! Your professors and academic support faculty are telling you yes. And some upper level students are telling you no.Early in my teaching career, this question came up in a faculty meeting. In the room were very successful academics who attended the most prestigious law schools in the country. About half of them said they briefed all throughout school, the other half saying they quit after the first semester.Before answering the question, we have to discuss the purpose of case-briefing, which is two-fold. First, case-briefing is designed to prepare...

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When to Use Law School Study Aids

Person at desk with a book covering their face

Have you wondered when to use law school study aids? Perhaps you have heard some 2Ls or 3Ls talk about certain study aids that helped them get an A in a class. Maybe one of your friends bought one of those 3L’s study outlines. If you are considering using a commercial study aid, please read this first to learn how to effectively use these study aids.A commercial study aid is anything other than what you created. This can be outlines, hornbooks, treatises, notes from a prior year, case briefs, audio, video, anything that you did not create is what I...

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How to Read and Outline a Book

An open book with eye glasses on an open page.

Have you wondered what is the best way to read and outline a book? When most students read an assignment from a book, they pull out the book and the assignment, which says, for example, read pages 39-47. So they go and read the pages. That’s what most of us do unless you learn how to read a book better.When you start reading the assignment on those pages, have you ever asked yourself what you are about to read? Probably not. Students will of course know the title of the course and maybe even the topic. But they probably will...

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Memorization Issues: Try Leitner Boxes (Flash Cards)!

Lined note paper.

If you have worked hard to prepare for classes all semester, you probably get frustrated when you have trouble remembering information for final exams. The method we learn in today’s blog post will help you move that information from your short-term memory to long-term memory....

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Overcome Mental Roadblocks When You Can’t Study Any Longer

We’ve all reached that point where we just can’t study any longer because we have been studying too long.  Some people just keep reading, even though their brain stopped working hours before.  What you need is a mental reboot, so just stop and go do something else for a couple of hours.  Make sure that whatever you do is completely unrelated to what you’ve been studying....

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Law School Exam Grading: How Law Professors Grade Exams

A plus law school graded exam

Law school exam grading is one of the least transparent aspects of the law school experience. A student takes an exam and then weeks or months later gets a grade. But most students will never know why they received a particular grade, and almost certainly will never receive feedback on what they can do to improve....

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IRAC: Law School Essay Formatting Method

Organization boxes representing IRAC method

The IRAC method is the most popular organizational method used on law school exams, with IRAC standing for Issue, Rule, Analysis (or Application), and Conclusion. Without a solid organizational system, students miss issues and fail to do the kind of deep analysis that law professors are looking for. ...

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