skw wrote:This is highly variable. I get to school an hour and a half before my first class, which starts at 8:45am and start studying. Class from 8:45 to 9:40. Study from 10-1, class from 1-4, then home, exercise, dinner, then usually another 1-2 hours of studying. On weekends I put in 6-10 hours total, depending on what is going on at school. I hear from some students they don't study at all on the weekends, but since I don't know their grades, I can't speak to how that's working out for them. I can tell you that using my study approach, I was done with all reading 2 weeks prior to finals, all my outlines were also ready, and I had done 5-6 practice exams for each course final by the time the tests rolled around. I was tired sometimes first semester, but I NEVER felt overwhelmed and I was 100% prepared for finals and not stressed AT ALL during that time. In fact, not having class during reading days and being uber-prepared made exam time almost zen for me. I did very well studying this way, but that's as close to revealing grades as I'm comfortable with. I'm sure some students studied less and also did well. Others probably studied more and did not do as well. Law school is not a one size fits all thing -- you have to find what works for you.
One bit of advice though -- if anybody tells you they have a shortcut (you don't really need to read the cases, supplements are for finals, you don't need to make your own outline) -- carefully consider the source. My experience is that hard work pays off and shortcuts don't really exist if you want to do well.
Holy crap. SKW is so exceptionally efficient it's intimidating. I don't think it works that way for a lot of people. Of course, I have attention issues and am not very good at bracing down between classes (example: now). I take a lot of internet breaks and yack on the phone quite a bit, so I end up having late nights on a regular basis. I also attend Bar Review religiously. I had trouble getting my outlines started last semester and did a lot of unnecessary work, so that also put me behind, but then I made a strict schedule for the last few weeks before exams where I would have about 6 days per class of nothing but outlining for that class followed by three days of reviewing my outline and taking practice exams, and it ended up working out okay. But I would still recommend getting started a lot earlier than I did, because I didn't have any kind of zen
leading up to exams.
Okay, advice time.
If you're anything like me, people will tell you this over and over during first semester and you'll just kind of ignore it and then regret it later. REVIEW AS YOU GO ALONG. Like at the end of a unit or something. KEEP UP WITH YOUR READING. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE TIME TO LEARN IT ALL AND GET ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU HAD POP UP THROUGHOUT THE SEMESTER ANSWERED DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS BEFORE EXAMS. This might involve getting study aids early. Take suggests from your profs and older students on what books they recommend for that particular class, and also read Amazon reviews so you don't buy one that turns out to be crappy. It might be useful to spend some time in the RRWA ("research ... something.. writing and advocacy".. it's the name of our legal writing course) suite where they have study aides that people donated, and you can look through and see which ones follow a format that you like. The study aides will help you keep in mind the concepts you're supposed to be taking out of everything (from my experience, it's easy to obsess over individual cases and forget to think about how they fit into the big picture). This is where starting your outlines early will help, also so that if you start with a format that you end up finding doesn't work very well, you can scrap that early while you've still got time.
Law students love giving advice. But seriously, don't ignore this like I did. Review as you go along and make sure you understand something rather than saying "oh, we still have ______ until exams, I'll do it later." I promise you.. the people who are telling you this are most likely telling you from experience, and you should listen.