Monday, January 22, 2018

Tips for succeeding in the second semester of your 1L year

Law school, especially the first year, is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time for the lessons to sink in and proverbial "light bulb" to switch on. It means that for many students, after the first battery of exams is over and the second semester has begun, they're still working their way up the learning curve.  And that means many of those students may be disappointed with their first semester grades and can easily become discouraged. But you have to remind yourself that the moment when all the material finally "clicks" occurs at different points in the semester for everyone. You'll get there, it just takes time.

To help keep 1L students motivated so they can push through the disappointment of first semester grades, this column from the National Jurist Magazine offers the following tips:

  • Focus on exams and your exam-taking techniques from day one. Treat the writing of exams like it's an additional substantive course in your schedule. Analyze what went wrong, what you did right, and schedule time into your weekly study routine to take practice exams. (From my perspective, this can't be emphasized enough - the need to treat exam writing like a separate, discrete skill that must be practiced over and over again in order to improve).
  • Related to that, develop a relationship with your professors. If you didn't do well on first semester exams, make appointments to meet with each of them in order to understand why. Even if you did well, meet with then anyway so you can better understand what went right and why.

Check out the rest of the column here.


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