Monday, September 15, 2014
Even though the semester is still new, build in time to review. First year students and upper-level students, alike, should build in time for review on a daily and a weekly basis. When first year students hear that law students should aim for approximately four to five hours of study outside of class, for every one hour in class, they often ask what they should do with all of that time. Here is a top-ten list of ways to fill the time:
- 1. Read cases assigned -- once, twice, three times;
- 2. Brief the cases [yes: brief all of the cases]; do not book brief--brief!;
- 3. Get to each class five-to-ten minutes early and review briefs and class notes from the previous class --yes, this time counts, too!;
- 4. Within 24 hours after each class, review class notes and briefs that you have corrected during class;
- 5. At the end of each week review your notes and briefs for each class; clean them up and revise;
- 6. In the context of the weekly review, begin to outline concepts completed in classes;
- 7. Reread your outlines a few times each week;
- 8. Begin to work with carefully chosen practice questions
- 9. Judiciously consult study aids; and
- 10. Last, but not least, build in time to incrementally complete legal research and writing assignments.
- To master your time management and make the most of your study time, create a weekly schedule. In that schedule, block out times to study and assign tasks to each time. Create blocks of one-to-two hours and build in breaks of ten-to-twenty minutes. Keep a study journal in which you can reflect on what you've done and how well your time management and study techniques work.