Congratulations, you’ve made it to Law School. Now comes the hard part; getting through the labyrinth that is Law School. We all know reading law is not easy, but it really does not have to be overwhelming. The following tips will show you how to navigate the ostensibly treacherous waters of Law School as a fresh sailor (student).
1. Keep up with your readings consistently.
Reading materials will only increase in volume and substance as the semester wears on and it is truly in your best interests to keep up with consistent reading. Beats that last minute cramming which, by the way, will no longer work here.
2. Prepare your social life for the back seat.
Accept that you are no longer on equal terms with your peers who are studying Music or English or any other subject for that matter in terms of hours afforded to social life. You simply have more work, at times, than any of your buds combined. Friday nights out are still fine and dandy but be prepared to make the library your second home.
3. Do your tutorials ahead of time.
There really is no point in wasting your time, and money, if you attend your tutorials unprepared. You will not know 1) what on earth is going on and 2) what questions you are supposed to ask. This is tantamount to academic suicide.
4. Pay attention in lectures.
Lecturers, dull as they may occasionally be in the deliverance of the modules, are great repositories of legal knowledge. Respect that and pay attention and you may learn a great deal more than reading off the Powerpoint slides.
5. Think outside the box.
As much as we think of law as being rigid and stoic, the study of it encourages hybridized methodical reasoning and thinking. If you can manage to float your own ideas within the established ones, then you are on course to lay a smack down on your modules.
6. Plan a schedule.
Failure to plan is planning to fail. Nuff’ said.
7. Learn from your peers.
Your peers are friends who have thought of the other dimension of the question which you have not. By working together, you can supplement each other’s knowledge. Two minds, more often than not, are better than one. Encourage debate and alternative school of thoughts.
8. Think before you write.
Read the question, re-read it, then again for about five times. There always is more to it than the surface suggests.
9. Ambiguity is your friend.
The sooner you accept ambiguity as your friend the sooner you will be on your way to understanding law. While law, in itself, is an ostensibly unshakable pillar of justice, there are many grey areas situated within said pillar. Lawyers earn their keep arguing these grey areas. Find your place in there and dig in.
10. More Sweat, Less Blood.
More sweat in the practice arena equates to less blood shed in battle. Consequently, regular practice through the form of tutorial completions and regular readings will ensure that you will not leave the exam hall as a victim of a massacre, but as a victor.
With this I wish all readers and first year law students the best of luck. Believe in yourself and work your ass off. (Don’t forget to have fun along to way!)