Outlining: Start Earlier Rather Than Later
While there are so many responsibilities in life most of us know we must tackle head on and we do so, out of basic obligation, there is just something about studying that brings out the procrastinator in everybody. Getting educated and learning about the inner workings of history and our world, getting to more about the type of law practice you seek, becoming adept at problem solving, preparing for major exams, and more, can all be extremely exciting, but there may be many a night when you would rather just get into your pajamas, watch TV, and sack out early. Rather than studying, you may want to take a walk (a very long one), go to the latest movie, or spend the evening relaxing with family. The reality is that you may not be able to do that as much as you want.
Hopefully, by the time you get to law school, you have suffered the consequences of studying procrastination so many times that you don’t want to go through that pain ever again. Also, you made it this far, and flunking out is probably your greatest fear. While showing up to class is key, showing up to your own personal study hall is each day is just as important. But this is the time to use that modern adage, ‘work smarter, not harder.’ Studying is about using every moment possible to take in and comprehend information that you may later be repeating in class, on an exam, or many times in your career after graduation. It is about retention and reinforcing your education. It is about success.
And while outlining can be important in other studies, for law school especially it is a critical tool, allowing you to get a rough idea of the entire class as you outline your syllabus and coursework from the beginning, and stick with it. Outlining initially and never getting behind is central to good, organized study habits. This means outlining all major topics and then knowing them inside out. This will serve you well in class and practice exams. It is crucial to make your own outlines but consider borrowing other outlines from classmates to get another perspective, as well as seeing what techniques others use.
The worst thing you can do—for both your grades and your own sanity—is to wait until the last minute to read assignments or perform outlines. Learn to embrace studying; after all, the rewards have the potential to make your life amazing!
Our mission at CDTA College of Law is to educate, train, and develop extraordinary legal advocates. Your legal education will be comprised of bar-tested academic subjects, skills training, and values reinforcement. Upon completion of your four-year course of study you will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.