Regrouping For The Second Semester
Law school is a marathon. Although you have a finite amount of time to earn your JD, the opportunities for mistakes during this time are vast. But the key is learning from these mistakes and not repeating them. It’s also essential to have the ability to regroup for the next brief, exam, paper, or semester so that you grow as a law student.
If you have had an unsatisfactory first semester and want to regroup for the next, self-examination is the place to start. Be humble. You must be able to admit that you may be the problem and try to identify what you did wrong during the first semester that caused your poor grade.
Was your grade the result of poor study methods? A problem with memorization? Difficulty issue-spotting? Did you take too much time reading cases? Did you start your outlines early enough in the semester? Did you complete enough practice exams?
Once you believe that you have determined the causes of your mistakes, you must know how to repair them. This may not happen overnight. You must make effective changes, and these changes must be your new norm. While it takes time, organization, patience, and persistence, it is possible to reinvent yourself as a law student.
Do not forget to reflect on what you did well and build on this. List the things that you did well and plan to do the same, improving upon them when possible.
The most common mistakes students make their first semester of law school besides those mentioned above are:
- Spending too much time briefing cases;
- Postponing or putting off legal writing assignments until it’s too late;
- Failing to make their own outlines;
- Failing to take excellent class notes;
- Failing to have a regular study routine; and
- A propensity to get distracted while studying.
Some solutions require only a little common sense. If you tend to get distracted while studying, then you need to find another environment more conducive to studying. There’s also no reason you can’t start preparing for the second semester during the holiday vacation and get off to a good start. Remember to focus on exams from day one of the semester. Good luck!
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