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How do I succeed in law school?

Tips for Law School Success
Tags: 1L, final exams, law school success
Jun 13, 2023

Team LSData here with unsolicited tips for law school, curated by a top 10% HLS grad.

Topic of the week: How do I succeed in law school?

Work hard. Work smart. Success in law school requires dedication, discipline, and strategy. Your post-law school outcomes will largely rely on two factors: your grades and your networking.

Law School Grades: For most law schools, the only grades you receive will be from a single final exam at the end of each course. There’s no homework, no midterm, just the final exam, which is usually a 3-hour in-class essay. Your goal from day 1 should be to crush your finals.

  1. Be dedicated: Law school isn't just a sequel to your college days—it's where you prep for your future career. Treat it like a full-time job, not just an extension of college. Your mindset should be to dedicate at least 40 hours per week to school.
  2. Be disciplined: Like I said, treat law school like a job. Don't skip your 8am Contracts class because you're hungover, and don't procrastinate on your readings to binge watch The Office for the fourth time.
  3. Be strategic: Your job is to crush your exams, not to memorize the facts of every case, not to answer every cold call perfectly, and not even to do all the assigned readings. Understand what your professors are teaching, but more importantly, figure out what their exams are asking, and what kind of answers they want from you.

Key Tips:

  1. Learn your professors' preferences: Each has their own teaching style and grading criteria. Understand what they expect in exam answers. Some professors prefer an in-depth analysis to demonstrate mastery of fine detail, while others want concise and direct answers that show a holistic understanding of how all the pieces fit together. Consider asking your professors during office hours. Or better yet, hit up the student exam bank for exams that received top marks. Read them and emulate them on your exam.
  2. Concentrate on key legal concepts: Avoid memorizing every case detail; instead, understand the key principles behind them.
  3. Prioritize wisely: The heavy workload in law school demands efficient prioritization. Focus on what matters most to your grades and long-term goals. Balance between readings, classes, and extracurricular activities. Don't try to do everything. You'll burn out.

Remember, your goal is not to be the most well-read or the most participative in class (don’t be a gunner), but to get the best grades possible on your exams. Focus your energy and resources towards this goal.

Next week’s topic: What should I be doing this summer to prep for 1L?

LSD+ has everything you need to take your studies to the next level and crush your 1L exams. We offer over 50,000 case briefs; each with an integrated legal dictionary and deep dive tool that make it as easy as possible to prepare for class. Plus, with millions more cases at your fingertips, you'll be prepared for whatever the professor throws at you. Our short video summaries make studying efficient, so you can effectively use your time - on the bus or in the library. Learn more or subscribe to LSD+ today.

cryptanon HLS '22 & LSD creator

Tech-focused creator of LSD.Law. I built LSD while applying to law school. I saw unequal access to knowledge and built LSD to level the playing field and help applicants make thoughtful, well-informed decisions in the application process.

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robotarmsapartments
21:19
Enjoy the weekend
8888887777776t6t
21:19
Haha. I'll try. You too.
That is miserable, I am sorry for that outcome
8888887777776t6t
21:23
At this point, what I want is an OSU A with a full ride. Judging from lsd data, that seems realistic. If that happens, it'll come down, most likely, to OSU and a small handful of (slightly) better schools that haven't given me a full ride.
honestly, i think they overlooked a lot of 1/22 II's @8888887777776t6t
only 1 1/22 has heard back, and i haven't, neither has my roommate who has the exact sam stats + when to cornell UG
8888887777776t6t
21:23
Oh, I see you're a 1/22. Phew! Gives me hope. :)
8888887777776t6t
21:23
I hope you're right.
their app closes today, so they need to fill out a class w/ their current pool.
8888887777776t6t
21:27
I don't really understand how they could overlook IIs though. Like, do you mean they made a mistake in overlooking them or that they deliberately set them temporarily aside for some reason?
the latter
additionally, idt they go by sent date, most of the A's seem to be mixed dates
Done with my hail mary cornell app
No more living in regret abt skipping them the one year they decide to like splitters
8888887777776t6t
21:31
Bro, it's not a hail mary. You have a 180.
8888887777776t6t
21:33
@sufferchildrensmiths: Also, you're making me more hopeful (though I still want to keep my expectations low at this point). For we do have a fair amount in common besides the 1/22 II date. We both submitted on the same date, we have the same GPA, and we both have a grad degree.
8888887777776t6t
21:37
I'm at 15/15, so I'm going to stop talking now. :)
Good luck, I am glad hope has returned
0:16
sup everybody
hello lsd.law user hotwhale
good to meet you
DLH
1:12
Silly question: Is the standard procedure for withdrawing an acceptance/waitlist to simply email the admissions department/primary contact?
@FranticSpiffySwallow: You'll get into a top school
some reverse-splitter will counteract your GPA
if your school does not do out of 4.3, then you have nothing to worry about. :)
Pongleton
11:56
For a scholarship that has an additional essay do yall think the scholarship committee reads your full app to that school plus the extra essay or just the extra essay? Trying to figure out if things would be too repetitive
[] ararara
12:19
@DLH: yes!
Ijustwannagetinman
12:28
What schools do we expect to have a Monday wave
CLS
cornell mayeb
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