Tuesday, March 15, 2011
This is an update Amy or one of the editors does almost every year. For those new to ASP, spring break is the time when two types of students come to see you: those who want to know what to do during spring break, and those students who are behind yet have plans for spring break.
For those students who want to know what to do over spring break, start by assessing where they are now. Have they started their outlines/course summaries? Have they taken any practice tests or worked on practice questions? Do they have a study plan for the rest of the semester? Start with the obvious; if they aren't where they need to be now, put together a plan to use spring break as a chance to catch up. Be sure to give them time to relax. Spring break should not be so jam-packed with law school work that the student does not get a chance to recharge their batteries. The semester starts to move at warp speed after spring break, and they need to be ready to work when they come back.
For those students who are behind, in denial, or are planning a spring break without law school work, sit down with them and assess what they have done and what they need to do. Many times, these students feel like they have more time to study after the break than they really do. Sometimes, the act of sitting down and looking at what needs to be done is the moment they wake up. For other students, especially students who are struggling but in denial about they amount of work they need to do to be prepared for exams, a sit-down is not enough. One way to reach those students is to ask them how they are planning to study. By asking them questions instead of telling them what they need to do, they don't start on the defensive when they meet with you. Often, these students are certain they have a plan in place that will fix the issues they had in the fall. By asking them how their plan will accomplish their goals they can begin to see that they need to get working. Even if the student plans on heading out to Cancun, Jamaica, or elsewhere, long plane rides are a great opportunity to get some sustained study time in before they relax. Even a little study time is better than no study time.
As for ASPer's, use spring break as an opportunity to recharge your batteries as well. (RCF)