By Kaweme Ng'andwe, McKinney 3L
The Law Student Division recently hosted What You Need to Know: Surviving Your First Semester of Law School. Although the event title seems to be geared toward first year law students, the WYNTK series is beneficial whether you are 1L preparing for your first law school exams or a 3L/4L preparing for the bar exam! Holly Wanzer of Wanzer Edwards PC shared the tips and tricks she used to help her graduate at the top of her class. Here are a few tips I picked up, in case you missed this last WYNTK.
First, when reviewing the case law, keep in mind that each case adds an additional aspect to the “big picture” rule. Understanding what rule each case highlights will further your knowledge of the bound of each legal issue. If you did not get to a particular case, use LexisNexis or Westlaw headnotes to glean the nugget that case was highlighting.
Second, the sooner you get those outlines done, the better! One of the biggest mistakes law students make is not leaving enough time to study their outline. A good rule of thumb is to spend 70% of your time outlining and 30% studying your outline. Use mnemonics and other memory tricks to help you memorize elements and factors.
Finally, no matter how much work you have to do between now and mid-December, it is never too late to do well this semester. Use the tools you have already been given to help you get started. Whether it is creating a skeletal outline or hunkering down a silly mnemonic for negligence, every little bit you do today is one less thing you will have to prepare during the busy exam period. It’s all worth it!
Keep these tips in mind as you outline and begin to study over Thanksgiving break!
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