Advice for Entering Law Students:

Master Conspirator Eugene Volokh has suggested that we might do some posts giving advice to entering law students. I don't have much to add to what I said in this 2006 post on the subject.

However, I will give one new piece of advice: don't automatically believe everything you hear about the "right" study methods for learning the law. From the first day of law school, many people will tell you that studying law is radically different from studying anything else and that you need to use all sorts of time-consuming new methods just to keep up. For example, some will tell you need that you need to outline every case you read in great detail or that you have to buy lots of commercially produced study guides.

It may be that some or all of these things really will help you get through law school. But you may want to consider the possibility that you can study law more or less the same way you studied other liberal arts and social science subjects as an undergrad or graduate student. With relatively minor modifications, I got through law school using the same study skills as I had used before. Lots of others have done the same thing. Many people achieve excellent records in law school without tedious new study methods, and without ever so much as glancing in a study guide other than the assigned readings. It can work, and if it does, it'll be a lot less aggravating than the alternatives.

Different people learn in different ways. My approach to studying may not work for you. So I'm not saying that you should necessarily do what I did or that you should reject study guides, detailed outlines, and the rest out of hand. Just approach the task with an open mind, and don't assume that the only way to survive law school is to adopt the time-consuming study methods many people will try to foist on you during your first year.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Advice for Entering Law Students:
  2. Advice for 1Ls: What If You Don't Know the Answer?: