Thursday, October 22, 2009
I am seeing lots of students who have fallen behind because of the cold and flu season. Some students have missed five days of classes straight; some students have relapsed missing several days a week over a series of weeks. Just when most people seemed to be getting better, a second cycle has hit the law school.
Here are some tips to help students who have fallen behind because of illness:
- Get plenty of sleep and eat well. You will risk a relapse if you stay up late and skip meals to catch up on your law school work.
- Focus first on reading current material for classes so that you can follow the discussions.
- Catch up on back reading in small chunks. Slip in one case or a few pages as you can. It is almost impossible to find time to catch up for a course in one sitting.
- Consider scanning a study aid for missed material to fill in gaps in your understanding until you can do all of the back reading to learn a topic thoroughly.
- Get notes for your missed classes as soon as possible from classmates whose note-taking skills you trust.
- Unless the material builds on what you missed, outline the current class material and catch up on outlining the back material as you can.
- Arrange for mid-term makeup times or paper extensions as available for your courses. Try to complete these missed tasks as soon as possible, but be realistic about dates if you have options.
- Ask your professors questions about the material you missed as soon as you have sorted out your areas of confusion.
- If you are a 1L student and your law school has teaching assistants or tutors for your courses, make appointments for some one-on-one assistance.
The academic support professional(s) at your law school can probably help you with time management if you are at a lost as to how to begin to catch up. A structured schedule can assist you regain control of your studies. (Amy Jarmon)