I am really excited about this one guys! Welcome to my University Diaries!
In this series I want to talk about tricks and tips that I have learned at law school.
Specifically, I want to focus on the following area; ‘learning how to learn at law school.’ This means that I don’t want to speak to the substantive content as much as I want to really engage with some of the tricks and trips that I have found helpful for actually learning how to get better grades.
With this broad goal in mind, I wanted to create an initial discussion outlining the content that will be contained in this series, and how I am going to approach that content.
Before that though, I think it is really important for those of you reading this to understand the perspective in which I write on this topic.
I am in no means the top law student, I do not possess some hyper intelligence, nor do I know everything there is to know about success at law school (Just me, or does it sound a little bit like I am disclaiming liability here, hmm, classic!)
In fact, law school was not always in my cards. I had a somewhat disrupted youth, and my academia was severely neglected. So much so that I can safely say that I possessed very few academic skills necessary for studying at any level, let alone the collage/university level.
Nevertheless, we got there! And yes – let’s lay this one out right away; I do get A’s in law school, and I have for a little while now. This is important only insofar as I hope that it helps you have a little faith in the fact I may have a little bit of an idea about what I am talking about.
Because the grades did not start there.
So, I write from the perspective of someone that found themselves (after a few alternative paths) at law school, not knowing how the heck I was going to approach learning the substantive content. However, I have spoken to individuals, my partner included (who doesn’t really count because he is the aforementioned brainiac), who built a solid academic background before entering university, but nevertheless still found learning how to learn at law school difficult.
I think the primary difference between me, and anyone in a similar situation to me, and those people in a category like my partner, is simply that in the former category is might just take a little bit longer for us to catch on to the tricks and tips that I am going to go into in this series- that meaning that perhaps the initial foundations for learning how to learn are better in place for the latter category. But nevertheless, hopefully these posts will be of some avail to people in either category! Because law school can be bloody scary, especially when you start out feeling like you are already behind.
That’s where I come in. I want to calm those jitters and give ya a chance to breath. Don’t worry, I’ve been there too!
Let’s start with the layout and what to expect.
I am going to approach these blogs as if they were a pyramid. The substantive goal that I think many, if not all, law students have, is to attain ‘A’s.’
The actual attainment of an A will make up the top of the pyramid then.
However, we cannot start at the top (well at least most of us can’t). Rather, we have to start at the bottom and build our way up.
So, that is exactly how I would like to approach the content. In numerical order I will label the (very) broad ‘levels’ of our blog series;
- What Does An ‘A’ Actually Mean
- Planning and Scheduling
- Working Out How You Learn
- Class Notes
- After Class Work and Preparation
- Studying for Exams
I will note at this point that many of these levels may involve, or necessitate, the use of sub levels.
Another critical point to note at this point is that every university is different (both domestically and internationally) with regards to the amount of content that is provided in lectures. This lends to the amount of extra work that may or may not be necessary outside of class. We will get into this more later!
Finally! I want to end the series with a discussion of the things that I’d wish I’d known before I started law school.
But without further adieu, let’s jump right on in!