You worked through four years of undergrad. You have studied, outlined, and IRAC’d your brain to death. Are you ready for your law school finals? Most people answer that question by looking to the other law students in their school, who are just as terrified and confused as you are. Most end up studying WAY more than is necessary, to their detriment. cactusgomel Follow these seven basic tips to set you straight.
- Make sure you have your assigned readings
Know what will likely be on the test, and more importantly, what won’t be on the test. Most cases can be condensed into their black letter law, otherwise known as “this case stands for the proposition that [x]”. Spending your precious study time jotting down facts, issues, holding & dissents will only frustrate and delay you.
The assigned readings are also important because they give you insight into which cases your professor deems important. hulksms As a general rule of thumb, the cases that your professor spends the ENTIRE class period on will likely have parallel fact patterns on the exam. Use this to your advantage: pick up a casenote legal brief supplement (the brand doesn’t matter). Copy the one paragraph fact pattern, the issue and the holding. Boom, you’re done.
- Purchase supplements
The majority of your study time for your law school finals should be spent with supplements you purchase from the student store. They condense a week’s worth of material into an hours worth of coherent, easily digestible information. I’m not in the business of recommending products that simply add to their respective law professor’s coffers, but the best that I feel necessary to highlight are:
Civil Procedure: Joseph Glannon’s Examples & Explanations. For many of you, this is required reading anyway. If not, BUY THIS RIGHT NOW. miniboom It’s amazingly clear, and Glannon’s ability to help you understand Erie Doctrine, pendant jurisdiction and ancillary jurisdiction, amongst others, make this worth every penny.
Torts: Joseph Glannon. Not to lick Glannon’s boots, but his One L Torts book is just as impressive. I remember his chronology vastly different from my professors, so be sure to cross-reference your syllabus.
Con Law: Erwin Chemerinsky. This one is THICK! At well over 1,000 pages, it’s as tough to get through as the class itself. What makes Chemerinsky’s treatise so necessary is that it provides the one thing that makes Con Law so frustrating without: context. Chemerinsky has a way of making all of say, 10th Amendment, coherent and digestible. hyperlaxmedia I was amazed how many of the cases we went over in lecture were also directly (hmmmm) lifted from this book. Chemerinsky had more of a presence in my outline than I did.