Is law school starting to get you down? Do you feel like you’re just treading water, trying to get by?
There are more than 200 law schools in the United States and thousands of students, all vying to graduate at the top of their class.
Law school isn’t for everyone, and it can be grueling, even for accomplished students. This article will help you make it out the other side and conquer the challenges of reading the law.
Let’s get started with 10 anti-stress law school tips!
1. Don’t Get Caught Up in Competition
Always remember that there’s only one top spot. You should aim to be first in your class, but there are thousands of successful lawyers who graduated with a decent average.
Do your school work and focus on your grades, but don’t stress out over your position in your class.
2. Make Time for Relaxation
Do you like to go for walks? Sing? Dance?
One of the best pieces of law school advice is to make time for your favorite hobbies.
We all know that law school is crazy-stressful, so make time for some downtime. Even if you just take a few minutes from studying to go outside and look at the stars, make sure that you’re doing something to keep your body and soul together.
Keep a few inspirational books handy and read a page or two every day.
3. Take Notes in Class
Wondering how to succeed in law school?
Take notes in class. Be careful taking too many notes, or you could miss the gist of what your professor is saying.
If you’re good at touch typing, bring a laptop and make some notes during class. It’s quicker than writing them out and you can easily re-organize them into outlines for each class.
If you miss a class, see if one of your classmates can email you their notes. Try to keep your notes up to date and organized.
4. Take Practice Exams
Even if you’re doing well in your classes, take the time to take practice exams.
If you can find tests that your professors have used in past years, that’s ideal, but even practice tests online can be handy. You’ll get a good idea of what you need to improve and you might find that you’re doing better than you thought!
If you’re acing the practice exams, you should do pretty well on the tests. Practice exams can help students with test anxiety to remain calm.
5. Create a Study Group
Are you an undergraduate wondering how to prepare for law school?
Study groups are the way to go. Whether you’re getting ready to take the LSAT or you’re already in law school, forming study groups is key.
You learn from your group members and reinforce the information that you’ve already learned.
Don’t meet too often: about twice a week should be your goal.
6. Do All of the Assigned Reading
While it might be tempting to skip some of your reading, the key to studying law is to read it. All of it.
Don’t go online and get summaries because they might miss some key points. Invest your time and do all of your reading.
You never know what a professor might ask you in class, and you want to be prepared.
7. Brief Your Cases
While most professors will never ask to see your case briefings, it’s still important that you write them.
Briefing a case means that you read the case, re-read it, and encapsulate the reasons behind the decision. Once you’re a practicing lawyer, you’ll never have to write a case briefing again.
Law school is the time to take your time to analyze historical cases.
8. Participate in Class Discussions
If you take notes during your reading and brief your cases, you should be prepared to participate in class.
You should briefly go over your notes before every class and think of a question that you can ask your professor. Some students hide in the back of the classroom because it can be intimidating to ask questions.
You will do much better in law school if you raise your hand during every class.
9. Go to Review Sessions
Don’t skip review sessions! Your professor or teaching fellow will schedule review sessions before major exams, and you should definitely go see what they have to say.
You may prefer to make your own course outlines, but your professors’ outlines could give you a major clue as to what will be on the test. Take the time and drop into any and all review sessions.
10. Attend Workshops
Your law school may have a host of optional workshops, all of which are worth your time.
They may give small classes on time management, job networking, or organization. While you’re probably swamped with classwork, you should always invest in yourself and learn new skills.
Professional auto accident attorneys, for example, need to have organizational skills to manage their workload. You should also attend any alumni events to meet potential employers.
More Law School Tips
The most important law school tips relate to your health.
Try not to stress too much about your grades or your future. Make sure that you eat every day and that you’re sleeping at least seven hours per night.
If you feel like you’re getting into a bad mental space, contact your school’s counselor and talk to someone directly.
Law school doesn’t have to be stressful, but it is always going to be demanding. Keep in mind that your life will be significantly easier once you’re a practicing attorney.
Try to exercise regularly and maintain a sense of control over your life. During the summers, you might want to clerk at a law firm, but take a week or two and travel if you can.
Don’t let your schoolwork take over your life.
Drop us a line and let us know how you stay sane in law school. We’re always interested in good diet and exercise tips!