Law School,  Work Life Balance

Preparing for Law School Finals

It’s almost that time.  Stress level is probably at an all time high.  You may be behind in some classes, trying to get all your reading done; finalizing your legal writing class memos; editing writing samples and resumes for your job applications; maybe even working on cites for journal, on top of everyday life.   First, I’m sorry.

Second, have you started preparing for finals?  Because it’s time.  I know if you’re a 1L, it may seem like an impossible task, and as an upperclassmen, it’s just another layer of work you have to dig through.  But before you know it, you’ll be sitting for your tests so it’s vital that you make a game plan now so that you can get the best grades possible.


law school finals

One.  Revamp your study schedule.  Reorganize your calendar so that you have time to create study tools or outlines (whatever study aid you need to help you learn the topic).   One warning, a lot of people spend their finals cycle creating outlines (because outlines are law school’s holy grail), but it’s not a useful tool if you spend more time creating the outline than you do studying it.  That’s why you really need to start focusing on finals now so that one you create your study tools–you can actually study them.

Two.  Add supplementals to your study sessions.  It’s just not worth it to reinvent the wheel.  If you haven’t started using supplementals, you should look into reviewing them–at least for the topics you find most challenging.  I wouldn’t ever advise studying off the supplementals alone.   Instead, these books are a great way to have material explained to you in simpler terms so that you are able to move on to other areas of law.

Three. Finally, ask all the questions!  This isn’t the time to care if anyone thinks you’re a gunner.  Ask questions if you need clarification or are completely confused on a topic. Likely others have the same question but are too scared to ask, or too cocky to admit they need help.  Go to office hours.  Visit teach assistants.  If other professors have open review sessions– attend!  Some student organizations may host workshops on the proper IRAC form or study tips for finals–go to them!   The plan here is to do everyone you can because the last thing you want is to be kicking yourself after earning a poor grade because you could have done more.

Four.  You also need to prepare mentally.  Make sure you are sleeping and eating well.  Don’t buy into some warrior-like mentality from people that claim they don’t sleep and survive on nothing but coffee or that they don’t need to study.  That’s great for them, but you have to do you.  Keep yourself healthy and sane.  And just as important, you need to realize that in the next few weeks you won’t be able to give 100% in all other areas of life.  That is the nature of law school, but remind yourself and your loved ones that this is temporary and ask that they cut you some slack.  You should be back to normal by year’s end!
Good luck!  Si se puede!!

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