Becoming a successful law student isn’t rocket science. You’ll only have to do a number of things that have been tried and tested by other law graduates and known to work. As a law student, it is important you maintain focus every step of your undergraduate days, while also staying the course. It’s also important you know how to apply the IRAC rule in answering law exam questions. If you didn’t already know, you will also be dealing with a ton of cases to memorize as a law student and that would also require that you know how to memorize faster and effectively as law student. Anything less would lead to a poor grades which I definitely know you don’t want. Assuming you’ve mastered all of the above, you can now take further steps to do what other successful law graduates have done to be succeed as law students. Here they are
(1) Participate In The Moot And Mock.
The moot and mock courts located within every law faculty are modeled after real life courts. The aim is to aid law students in their mastery of legal advocacy so it is important you take part in them. Don’t shirk form it, throw yourself in. It will also teach you a thing or two about civil procedures and help you gain even greater acquaintance with the court setting.
(2) Brief Your Cases.
It’s okay if you have recourse to online legal resources especially case summaries but don’t live off them as a student. It will do damage to your lawyering skills. Most case summaries you find on-line are abridged with the legal arguments and policy considerations and reasoning that lead to them expunged to make them less bulky for your use. Your over-reliance on them will deprive you of really knowing how decisions are reached in court.
Ensure you use the law library to brief your cases sometimes. The more time you spend reading full case reports, the more you’ll understand how the law works and your legal reasoning will in turn mature.
(3) Have A Schedule.
Schedule regular blocks of time for all your important tasks as this will help you know where all of your time goes. You’ll also know when to eat, sleep, exercise, do chores and relax.
Also find out the time needed to finish each course on your curriculum. Time yourself reading a number of pages in a chapter. Then multiply that time by the number of pages in the entire book. With such a technique, you can better tell how much time to invest in your reading to finish up all your courses.
(4) Prepare For Class In Advance.
Let your course outline be the guide in your daily studies. Follow the sequence of topics in the outline as you read and read well in advance prior to class. That will help you gain deeper understanding of the topic and marshal out relevant questions you’ll ask in class the following day of lecture.
(5) Choose Practice Ready Electives.
This advice is more on how to be a successful lawyer than a law student. But it is still relevant here. Always have it at the back of your mind that your long term goal isn’t just about passing law exams but really about becoming the best lawyer you could possibly be. Don’t choose law electives for the grades alone rather take courses in areas of law that will prepare you well in advance for the rigors of law practice. Let every elective you offer in school dovetail effectively with your future practice interests.
A youngish lawyer with penetrating insight, Patrick Herbert is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Lawstudenthub, a site dedicated to helping new wigs find their footing in a trickily slippery legal profession and stay current with emerging developments in the legal industry. He holds an LL.B from the University of Benin and a BL from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja.
To get in touch, follow him on social media.