I was fortunate to get all A’s in law school (several A+’s and a couple A-‘s) which helped me graduate as the #1 law student. There are things you should definitely do if you want to excel in law school and you can read about them here. In this post, I am discussing the mindset you should be in if you want to get all A’s in law school.
The Right Mindset to get all A’s in Law School
You have to be okay with NOT following the crowd.
If you follow the crowd, you will end up with the crowd—that is, average. You have to be okay with doing something different. Everyone else studies every word of every case, and obsesses over how they perform “on call” (see the next point). You cannot fall into that those traps just because you see everyone else doing those things. You have to be okay with being different. Being different is good as it means you can stand out and be at the top.
This is probably the most important mindset you can have to get all A’s in law school.
Don’t worry about impressing everyone in class.
“Gunners”, as they call them, are always raising their hand and talking in class. (They tend to annoy rather than impress people!) But even if you are not a gunner, let go of the idea that you need to impress everyone.
Feeling the need to impress everyone will make you more nervous, less able to think on your feet if you are called on, and as a byproduct of that, less impressive. If you tell yourself it is okay if you don’t know everything (because it is) not only will you be more confident and quicker on your feet, but you will also waste less hours reading every word of every case and being unproductive. It is important to prepare for class, but don’t do it for the wrong reasons.
Be nice and helpful.
While this may sound obvious, it is surprising how cut-throat law students can be. During final exams in my law school, students would try to distract one another. Someone stole the powercord to my laptop right ten minutes before my Criminal Law final. These are petty things and you need to rise above them!
Not only is this important generally (because being a good person is more important than being a top law student!) but it will also help you in law school and in life. You never know when you may need someone’s help with a tricky legal concept, or when someone may give you a helpful outline to look at, or when someone may serve as a referral for an internship. Your law school classmates will one day be your colleagues and it is important to start treating them with respect, and earning respect, early on.
Looking for law school tutoring?
If you are interested in tutoring for law school exams or learning more about how to answer law school exam questions, please visit our law school tutoring page here or contact us here! We offer sessions both online and in-person in our office in Birmingham, Michigan. We provide outline assistance, feedback on exam questions, and also one-on-one assistance in tackling an exam question. In addition, we are very flexible about scheduling sessions — some students just meet with us once to go over an exam; some students meet with us multiple times to reviewing the substantive law, outlining, and exam-taking strategies! We are happy to help, even at the last minute!
Ashley Heidemann is the owner and founder of JD Advising. Ms. Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011 after graduating as the #1 student in her law school class of over 200 students in 2011. She, as well as a team of others, offer bar exam courses, seminars, and private tutoring for bar exam students nationwide. This includes services for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and Michigan bar exam. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions.