How much do law students study, really?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
PLATONiC
Posts: 358
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:13 pm

How much do law students study, really?

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 1:21 am

I'm assuming that things get really intense/busy when exam time comes around. So I'm especially curious as to how much they study throughout the first half of the semester.

How much time does a law student spend studying a day/week? How much time does one invest into law review?

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby A'nold » Sat May 15, 2010 1:24 am

You read most of the day throughout the day, but it is not totally stressful (still a lot of work b/c of many things that take up your time). However, I just got 1-2 hours of sleep last night after studying the entire day before (this happens a lot during the last month of the semester).

thistimereborn
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:28 am

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby thistimereborn » Sat May 15, 2010 1:36 am

What most people realize (actually realize in a true and useful way) too late is that the only thing that matters is performing well on the single exam at the end of the semester for each class. What this means is that you don't have to follow Law School Confidential's crazy 9 hours of reading per day schedule. In fact, you don't even have to do most of the reading for certain classes.

If you're reading 9 hours a day, you're probably doing something wrong. Knowing too much can be the death of you come exam time, because you're actually being asked to do very little on the exams, but to do that little bit extremely well.

Just take a look at the old exams as you move throughout the semester to figure out what your ultimate goal is. The sample answers from those exams will often summarize the material you need to know for the exam in a concise, easy to apply way, written in the exact way that will get you big points. Just replicate that on the real exam and you'll be golden. Preparing to do any more than that is counterproductive and may make you miss the mark. Also, if you befriend 2Ls who provide you with good outlines for the classes, you will basically have all you need to succeed.

Bottom line: you can get away with only doing a few hours of reading a day if you do it with tact and with a clear endgame in mind.

Think of the assigned class readings as interesting bonus material, commercial outlines as your real friends, good student outlines as your lifeline, and past exams as your key to success.

This is coming from a soon to be 2L. I think the best advice I can give you is: Just study for the exam. It is all that matters. If you can figure out what this really means, you'll be leaps ahead of the others.

User avatar
PLATONiC
Posts: 358
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:13 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 1:54 am

I'm just worried that I might end up looking like a tool when the professor socratic methods me and I don't have an answer.

User avatar
1ferret!
Posts: 280
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 4:59 am

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby 1ferret! » Sat May 15, 2010 2:05 am

willingness to look like a tool may be a prerequisite to having a social life. Besides, you can always laugh later when you are ranked better than the people who spent 14 hours a day in the library.

User avatar
PLATONiC
Posts: 358
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:13 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby PLATONiC » Sat May 15, 2010 2:07 am

1ferret! wrote:willingness to look like a tool may be a prerequisite to having a social life. Besides, you can always laugh later when you are ranked better than the people who spent 14 hours a day in the library.


You have a pretty fair point, and I think I'll apply that to my studies. But I'm gonna have to be a little careful about it, I think. I'm interested in breaking into academia/clerkship, so I still need to have some decent contacts with some profs.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11728
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby kalvano » Sat May 15, 2010 2:16 am

Study smarter, not harder. Figure out what works best and stick with it. If you don't need to study 14 hours a day in the library to understand something, don't do it just because someone else is.


Granted, I have taken no law classes as of yet, but I did take 4 English classes in one semester, all with professors who enjoyed handing out lengthy papers like candy. It worked for me.

User avatar
gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby gwuorbust » Sat May 15, 2010 9:28 am

thistimereborn wrote:What most people realize (actually realize in a true and useful way) too late is that the only thing that matters is performing well on the single exam at the end of the semester for each class. What this means is that you don't have to follow Law School Confidential's crazy 9 hours of reading per day schedule. In fact, you don't even have to do most of the reading for certain classes.

If you're reading 9 hours a day, you're probably doing something wrong. Knowing too much can be the death of you come exam time, because you're actually being asked to do very little on the exams, but to do that little bit extremely well.

Just take a look at the old exams as you move throughout the semester to figure out what your ultimate goal is. The sample answers from those exams will often summarize the material you need to know for the exam in a concise, easy to apply way, written in the exact way that will get you big points. Just replicate that on the real exam and you'll be golden. Preparing to do any more than that is counterproductive and may make you miss the mark. Also, if you befriend 2Ls who provide you with good outlines for the classes, you will basically have all you need to succeed.

Bottom line: you can get away with only doing a few hours of reading a day if you do it with tact and with a clear endgame in mind.

Think of the assigned class readings as interesting bonus material, commercial outlines as your real friends, good student outlines as your lifeline, and past exams as your key to success.

This is coming from a soon to be 2L. I think the best advice I can give you is: Just study for the exam. It is all that matters. If you can figure out what this really means, you'll be leaps ahead of the others.


+1

there is this thing called diminishing marginal returns. It happened in undergrad and I expect it will happen again in LS. Study smart, not till you drop.

Leeroy Jenkins
Posts: 1003
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:19 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Sat May 15, 2010 9:37 am

5 minutes/ day to look up the case of the day on Lexis.

20hrs/ day two weeks before exams to read the relevant cases, supplements, etc.

thistimereborn
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 3:28 am

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby thistimereborn » Sat May 15, 2010 9:43 am

wikipedia is surprisingly useful. in class. especially for constitutional law.

JonathanA157
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby JonathanA157 » Sat May 15, 2010 6:02 pm

thistimereborn wrote:wikipedia is surprisingly useful. in class. especially for constitutional law.


For some reason wikipedia is pretty accurate in its pages on court cases. A mentor of mine is an ex-law professor and she praises wikipedia for its ease of use and accuracy for that kind of stuff.

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby traehekat » Sun May 16, 2010 1:06 am

JonathanA157 wrote:
thistimereborn wrote:wikipedia is surprisingly useful. in class. especially for constitutional law.


For some reason wikipedia is pretty accurate in its pages on court cases. A mentor of mine is an ex-law professor and she praises wikipedia for its ease of use and accuracy for that kind of stuff.


I used wikipedia a lot for my conlaw class in ug. Very useful for clarifying facts and even reasoning.

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby traehekat » Sun May 16, 2010 1:07 am

traehekat wrote:
JonathanA157 wrote:
thistimereborn wrote:wikipedia is surprisingly useful. in class. especially for constitutional law.


For some reason wikipedia is pretty accurate in its pages on court cases. A mentor of mine is an ex-law professor and she praises wikipedia for its ease of use and accuracy for that kind of stuff.


I used wikipedia a lot for my conlaw class in ug. Very useful for clarifying facts and even reasoning (sometimes).

katjust
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:49 am

Re: How much do law students study, really?

Postby katjust » Sun May 16, 2010 1:29 am

My con law professor who is the author of our case book actually points out in the case book how wikipedia is inaccurate regarding US v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. Be careful.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Lawl_Schoolz, packerboy31489 and 5 guests