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Time Management Hacks for Law School

October 9, 2017

If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.   

There is absolutely no substitute for hard work in law school, but I can recommend a few things that will save you a hell of a lot of time to work smarter instead of harder.

 

Let's talk about time management hacks for law school- things that will help you save a huge amount of time so that you can do the things that will really help on the final exam and get you better grades at the end of the semester. We want to cut out all the busy work possible.

 

The first time saving tip that I would recommend is to get prior outlines.

Get old outlines that are specifically tailored for your professor. You can talk to upperclassmen who have had your professor before. Or you can go to OutlineDepot.com. OutlineDepot.com is great. I have no affiliation with them, but it's a great website where if you upload one outline, you're allowed to get a credit to download someone else's outline. And because so many people have uploaded outlines to their database, odds are they're going to have a prior outline for your specific professor in the class that you're taking. So I would recommend getting a handful of outlines for your specific professor so that you can use those as a template to make your own outlines. It's no substitute for putting in the time learning the law, but it can provide a great foundation that you can add or subtract to. It's the beginning of the process that you can use to save a lot of time instead of doing it from scratch.

 

By the same token, use commercial outlines and case briefs. Things like Emanuel's for contracts. There are commercial outlines in just about any class that you can think of. They will save you a huge amount of time in learning the substantive law. And recently there have been a preponderance of websites and databases out there that will case brief every single case you could possibly come across for you. It can save you a huge amount of time. We don't advocate doing any case briefs. We think they're a waste of time. But it's great to look at other case briefs to provide a foundation before you read the case. It's great to understand what the general idea of the case is before you dig into your case book and read the case yourself.

 

Tip number three: use Westlaw.

 Westlaw is great. You will use it all the time in practice, either Westlaw or LexisNexis. So you might as well get familiar with it in law school. And one of the great things that you can do is if you don't want to go the commercial case brief route, things like Quimbee for example, you could use Westlaw to look up the case that your professor wants you to read. Even if the case is old, Westlaw has an army of reference attorneys that summarize every single case. You could just read through the West head notes and get a good idea of what the case is about. And it probably summarizes the exact rule of law that you're going to need to learn for the final exam. So don't be afraid to use Westlaw. It's not cheating. It's a great way to practice something that you're going to use all the time in researching in the real world.

 

Tip number four: outline from day one.

This is controversial. A lot of people wait until the very last few weeks of the semester before they outline. I thing that's a horrible mistake. If you outline every single weekend, you synthesize all of the substantive law, your notes with your commercial outlines, and you put it into a form that you understand. You get that work done ahead of time, it gives you so much more time at the end of the semester to do practice exams, to memorize the black letter law that you're going to use on the final exams. It's a huge advantage. It saves you a huge amount of time and creates more study time at the end of the semester. Tip number five: take a course on law school essays. There are clear strategies for issue spotting exams that you can use on any class whether it's an exam for contracts, or con law, or torts, or whatever. Standard strategies will work on any issue spotting exam. Legal Eagle has a course and there are others out there that are also very good. It saves you a huge amount of time because you can learn to take law school essays yourself. But you have to take a number of practice exams. And often, professors only give you so many practice exams. So it can save you a huge amount of time to learn the strategies up front so you don't have to brute force your way through a huge number of practice exams. Because it takes hours and hours to get through every single practice exam.

 If you learn the strategies and start taking practice exams at least halfway through the semester long before everyone else starts taking practice exams, you will be miles ahead by the time the study period rolls around. And you will save a huge amount of time before you have to take your first final exam. So remember, you can learn the strategies that go into an issue spotting exam the same way that you learn the strategies for reading comprehension and logic games in LSAT.

 

And if you learn those strategies and you start taking practice exams sooner, it will save you a huge amount of time and you will be ready for your final exams much earlier than everybody else. And when you're graded on the curve, that's what matters: being better than everybody else.

If you're getting ready for law school check this out: we put together a free e-book called the “Ultimate Pre-Law Checklist.” Just click the link below to download it. It's some of our best tips and strategies for getting ahead before you start law school, and it will put you miles ahead of your classmates, just click here.   

 

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