Law school is difficult, but there is a proven formula to succeed. Follow along with the resources here, and start your law career right.
How to Succeed in Law School
Law school is difficult. It’s grueling, anxiety inducing, and has the potential to force the brightest and most sure persons into an existential tail-spin. The law school-to-career pipeline is designed to ensure that only so many from each class achieve a certain grade. After a semester worth of reading, participating, and all-nighters, one’s actual grade comes down to an exam that lasts only a few hours.
Law Exams Guide provides a broad resource to help law students learn how to do well in law school and take control of their law school experience by focusing on the most important part of the process: the exams themselves. We call this the rungs of the ladder.
Whatever the merits of the brutal law school system, for better or for worse, at the end of the day it is one’s GPA that matters above all else—and that GPA is (usually) entirely composed of a handful of exam scores. Each score is a rung on a ladder which carries your career to where you want it to be to succeed.
The Law Exams Guide philosophy focuses on three concepts to help student’s find their path to success:
- Know your purpose;
- Understand the game; and
- Focus on the rungs of the ladder.
Know Your Purpose
Take a second to acknowledge that you have made it to this point. It might be easy to forget, or to trivialize, that you are on track to achieve an advanced degree, a privilege attaining to less than 13% of Americans and even fewer persons worldwide.
But it wasn’t an accident, or sheer luck, that got you here. It was determination, perseverance, and hard work. You have what it takes to succeed. You’ve overcome personal challenges, completed an undergraduate degree, overcome the LSAT, and been admitted in a competitive process to a school of law. So while the school will give you grades based on a curve, that curve is not determinative of worth or even necessarily predictive of future success. It means that you might have worked a bit harder, found the right resources, or a combination of both with a bit of luck. Law Exams Guides aims to help you take control of your law school experience by directing you to the right resources by which, with that same perseverance and hard work that got you here, you can ensure that you are satisfied with your performance.
But in a broader perspective, it is important to intentionally consider your purpose and goals. As difficult (or miserable) as law school may be, it is an opportunity to learn, to engage with others, and to gain skills like negotiation and oral advocacy. It’s an opportunity to enjoy. Part of finding that enjoyment is in discovering why it’s important to you to achieve that degree.
This doesn’t have to be the same as the nagging question of what you want to do with the degree (which, frankly, most law students don’t seem to be able to answer). Maybe it’s important to you to prove to yourself you can achieve this goal. Or you will be the first lawyer in your family. Maybe you want to be a public defender or work in biglaw. Maybe you just want to follow your interests. Whatever your reasons are, having a purpose to center yourself and carry yourself through the arduous work of studying is important.
Law exams are the biggest piece of a larger puzzle, because there are other parts of law school, like networking and law review, which play a part in decorating the ladder. Different career paths might place varied emphasis on the importance of these activities. But every student relies on a strong foundation of exam scores to ensure that their ladder takes them where they want to be.
On this site, you’ll find various resources and methods to help you navigate the academic center of law school—how to conquer your exams and propel yourself to your dream career. As worry about how to ace your law school exams fades away, you’ll be able to focus on finding opportunities you’re interested in, networking, and your own mental health.
Understand the Game
To conquer your law school exams, take control of your law school experience, and succeed in law school you have to understand the game. Learning to ace your law school exams is about identifying what your actual judged work product is. There is a misconception among the outline-devout that law school is about cramming to produce recreations of an entire class at the last minute. This is a major mistake.
The central focus of your law school practice should be on the exams themselves—the lifeblood of your GPA. This process is not a mystery, in fact, it’s entirely transparent. Everything you need to do well is right at your fingertips. You only need to reverse-engineer the torts, civil procedure, or criminal law exam and undertake the iterative outline process. By focusing on what you need to produce—an exam that applies your independent analysis of the law to the facts—you can break down your steps to get there, like rungs on a ladder, into totally manageable sub-pieces without getting distracted by the missteps others may make. You won’t be tested on how well you outline. You’ll be tested on how well you can discuss the law at hand. There’s no time to be distracted by inefficient preparation methods. Focus on what matters. You’ll find everything you need to supplement your outline process in the resource library.
Focus on the Rungs of the Ladder
Each exam is a rung on the ladder to your success in law school. They are the steps in the game, which once you understand as being the sole necessary deliverable of law school, become very clear.
Law Exams Guide seeks to provide the most efficient and helpful resources and tips to build a strong ladder and help you succeed in law school. On this site, you’ll find ways to explore the ins and outs of various exam styles and preparation methods. If you have something you have questions about or would like to see covered, shoot us a message!