Tag Archives: first year

Why You SHOULDN’T Brief Cases In Law School!

brief cases in law school

Why You SHOULDN’T Brief Cases In Law School!

Usually, one of the first things taught in legal research and writing class is how to brief a case. Many students, after learning this one of their first days of law school, brief cases for the next three years. However, this is a mistake!

I (Ashley Heidemann) graduated as the #1 student in my class of 203 students at Wayne State University in 2011 and I never briefed cases!

Read further to see why you should NOT brief cases in law school.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

5 Things to do NOW to Get Ready for Law School – Advice from a Student who Graduated #1 in her class

5 things to do now to get ready for law school 5 Things to do NOW to Get Ready for Law School – Advice from a Student who Graduated #1 in her Class

In this post we discuss five things you can do right now to get ready for law school. This post is written by Ashley Heidemann, who graduated as the #1 student in her class of 2011 at Wayne State University Law School.  Ms. Heidemann also has designed a law school preparatory course for those looking to learn the exact techniques she used to succeed in law school.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The 1L Orientation Experience – What is it Like?

The 1L Orientation Experience

The 1L Orientation Experience: For any incoming 1L student, it is perfectly normal for the anxiety and nerves to be high.  Luckily for you, pretty much every member of your class is feeling the same way right now.  Law school is completely unknown to you.  You’ve probably heard a lot of horror stories, or seen the t.v. show portrayals – but everything is still a mystery.  But while law school is extremely difficult, it can also be a great experience.  You’ll make lifelong friends, meet incredibly supportive mentors, and develop skills that will benefit you in so many ways.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Should I Take the MPRE the Summer After 1L Year?

Should I Take the MPRE the Summer After 1L Year?

Should I Take the MPRE the Summer After 1L Year?: Now that your first year of law school is completely behind you (yay!), one thing to start thinking about is when to take the professional responsibility exam.  The MPRE is offered three times a year: March, August, and November.  You have to achieve a passing score on the MPRE before you can receive your law license in most states. (Some states limit the number of times you can take the bar exam without a passing MPRE score. A couple states prohibit you from taking the bar exam at all until you pass the MPRE!)

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Nervous About Starting 1L Year – What Should I Do?

Nervous About Starting 1L Year – What Should I Do?

It’s perfectly normal to be nervous about starting 1L year.  An approaching big change in your life is always nerve-wracking.  But one thing to remember is that everyone in your class is going to be nervous.  I remember a few months before I started I asked a friend who was going to be in my class if he was excited.  The response?  “Not really.”  Everyone feels some sort of apprehension about this new challenge.  No one really has an advantage going in as no one has ever done this before.  At the risk of sounding cliché, you’re all in this together!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Tips for Trying Out for Law Review

February 2017 MEE, failed the kentucky bar exam

Tips for Trying Out for Law Review

Joining an extracurricular activity during law school like Law Review, Moot Court, or Mock Trial can be very beneficial.  Potential employers love seeing participation in these groups on your resumes – in fact, some even require it!  The skills you develop are invaluable for your future as a lawyer.  For current 1Ls, now that your first year is nearly complete, it is time to start considering whether you would like to join one of these activities.  I, Laura, previously wrote a post detailing what is involved for each of the three main extracurriculars and what skill sets they are suited for.  My personal experience is in Law Review, and so I would like to share some tips for those who are thinking about trying out for Law Review.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Should I Study the Day of a Law School Exam?

conflicts of law on the mee

Should I Study the Day of a Law School Exam?

Should I Study the Day of a Law School Exam?: It can be very tempting to want to wake up early the morning of an exam to get a few last hours of studying in. Try to resist this temptation! It is not usually a good idea to study the day of a law school exam.  There are better things you could be doing with your time in those last remaining hours. You are likely going to feel stressed and overwhelmed that day (perfectly normal!), but you don’t want to do anything that could add to that.  If you’re feeling panicky and trying to frantically review information you probably already know, you risk unnecessarily confusing yourself.  You don’t want to risk altering what your brain has already stored correctly.  Trust yourself and the studying that you have already done!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Law School Final Exam Week Tips

Law School Final Exam Week Tips

Law School Final Exam Week Tips: With final exams rapidly approaching, it’s time to focus on only what is absolutely necessary for success on your exams.  It can be a stressful period, but try not to let it overwhelm you. (If you’re feeling too anxious already, see this post with great tips on lowering stress during finals!)  Stop thinking about all those tiny details in the countless cases you read – let those go!  Focus on memorizing the black letter law and practicing how to issue spot.  This is where the points are for law school finals, not in remembering what the plaintiff argued in a specific case. Here are some more tips on what to do during law school final exam week!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

How to Study Effectively For Law School Exams

Study Effectively For Law School Exams

How to Study Effectively For Law School Exams

Now that there are only a few weeks left in the semester, it is time to start thinking about how to study effectively for law school exams.  It is important to make sure that you are not wasting the valuable time that you do have on tactics that will not be helpful in the end. At this point you should already have made significant progress on all of your outlines.  If you haven’t, make sure you’re concentrating heavily on that!  Doing detailed case briefs from your readings this late in the semester is not beneficial – your outlines are a much more critical tool for success on the final. If you are feeling a little lost, or feeling the pressure build up, here are some excellent do’s and don’ts on how to study effectively for law school exams!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

How To Make A Law School Finals Study Schedule

How To Make A Law School Finals Study Schedule

Since final exams in law school make up the vast majority of your final grade, it is very important that you learn how to study for finals correctly.  A significant part of that is developing a personalized law school finals study schedule!  Since most of your friends are probably taking different classes, their finals schedule will be completely different than yours – thus the need to make your own!  Your study schedule needs to emphasize the most important elements of studying for law school finals: finishing your outlines, reviewing/memorizing your outlines, and taking practice exams.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

One Month Until Law School Exams: How to Study

bar exam essay feedback

One Month Until Law School Exams: How to Study

As the end of the semester approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the final exam.  Now that there’s only one month until law school exams, your focus should shift to how best to prepare.  You should not be spending as much time on cases. Cases will not help you do well on the exam.  Law school exams are not going to give you a fact pattern that mimics an already decided case.  The fact patterns tend to be long and incorporate many different issues, generally focusing on more grey areas that prompt you to interpret existing law.  This is why it is important for you to focus on learning the rules taught during the semester and then applying them to unfamiliar fact patterns. In this post, we tell you how to do that!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Law School Class Schedule – Bar Subjects or Personal Interests?

Law School Class Schedule – Bar Subjects or Personal Interests?

As the semester starts to wind down, many students start to think about what their law school class schedule for next year will look like.  Picking classes can seem somewhat daunting, especially for 1Ls who had virtually their entire first year planned for them.  A lot of the class topics might be completely unfamiliar.  One easy way to break down the options, however, is to divide the subjects into ones that are on the bar exam and ones that aren’t.  When I (Laura) was a 1L my favorite question to ask older students, advisors, professors, etc. was whether I should be taking bar subjects or subjects of personal interest.  Unfortunately I never really got a straight answer.  Now that I’ve been through both law school and the bar exam, I have a better perspective. So, when planning out your law school class schedule, prioritize classes that are of interest to you!

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Why Briefing Cases in Law School is a Waste of Time

Why Briefing Cases in Law School is a Waste of Time

Why Briefing Cases in Law School is a Waste of Time: Law school is filled with a seemingly never-ending amount of work.  The amount of assigned reading alone can be overwhelming and is comprised of almost completely unfamiliar content.  Many students come into law school having never read a court opinion before; suddenly reading assignments are full of them. In order to try to absorb all of the information presented in a case, students resort to case briefing, a strategy commonly taught by professors in the first week.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Should I Brief Cases In Law School?

Should I Brief Cases In Law School?

Should I Brief Cases In Law School?: On day 1 of my first year legal research and writing class we learned about briefing cases.  We were taught how to break down cases into their components (procedural history, issue presented, facts, rule, reasoning/analysis, conclusion), and we learned the importance of each.  Our first homework assignment was to make a word document template for briefing cases and to then fill it in for one case.  The assumption was that this would become a habit and we would make a word document brief for every case we encountered in our reading.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

I’m Struggling in Law School – What Should I Do?

bar exam essay grader

I’m Struggling in Law School – What Should I Do?

It is a common misnomer that in law school, nothing matters until the final exam. It is true that in many classes, the majority of your overall grade in the class comes from your score on the final exam. However, one of the biggest mistakes you can make in law school is not devoting enough time to day-to-day preparation.  If you find yourself struggling in law school around the middle of the semester, this would be a good time to re-evaluate the strategies you’re using to prepare for class each day.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail