The Seminar in Written Advocacy (Prof. Jones), Spring 2011, can be used to satisfy either the upper-division writing requirement or the upper-division skills requirement. However, academic rules prohibit students from using the course to satisfy both requirements with the same course. Therefore, each student must elect which of the two requirements the course will satisfy by notifying Professor Jones.
Everybody is (or should be) sliding into “studying for exams” mode. Time becomes a critical variable now. It is important to find time for all of your tasks. It is also important to be productive with that time. This week's tips will focus on how to get more time out of each day and be more productive during studying.
Tip #1: Evaluate your day for “lost” time. Look for time wasted in the following ways: unproductive time between classes; assignment time stretched to 3 hours when with more diligence it could have been finished in 2 ½ hours; delay in starting a project because “I have all day;” inefficient and scattered errand running or other non-school tasks; completion of chores or other non-school tasks during prime study time. If only ½ hour is captured each day of the week, it nets 3 ½ hours of extra study time.
Law school classmates are sometimes the hardest to say “no” to because they are adept at arguing that not studying is reasonable. After all, if they can convince someone else to waste time, their own wasting time isn’t as obvious.
Instead, walk away from temptation. Focus on one day at a time. All you can ask of yourself is your best. Work as hard as you can each day while allowing time for meals and sleep. Then, you can go to bed knowing that you did all you could do that day.
Bad advice: You can’t do any practice questions until right before the exam because you don’t know enough. Why this advice is bad advice:
- Exams are all about applying the concepts and law that you have learned all semester to new fact scenarios or legal problems.
- You wouldn’t run a 26.2 mile marathon without lots of training and practice. Why would you go into a law school exam without having worked on several practice questions throughout the semester?
- A multitude of practice questions are available that test your knowledge on sub-topics and topics and not just entire courses.
- Do some practice questions at the end of each sub-topic to test your application skills. Can you spot the issues and sub-issues? Can you apply the concepts correctly? Can you apply the rules and exceptions to the rules?
- Practice your approach to questions: how will you analyze the question; how will you marshal the facts; how will you organize your answer; how will you write the answer in the most concise way.
- Become more adept by starting with one-issue questions, then progressing to two- or three-issue questions, then progressing to more extensive questions. Once you can organize and answer shorter questions, you can practice your organization for longer questions.
- Use multiple sources of questions: questions handed out by the professor; questions in study aids; questions you and your study partners write and swap; questions from prior exams.
- Schedule practice question time each week for each course so that you do not forget to practice or put off practice too long.