Here are three more tips from Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher, president of BarWrite®, to help you get the maximum pay-off from every minute you spend preparing for law school exams or the bar exam.
1. Before you read a set of notes for the first time, ask yourself what you already know about the subject. Write down three questions for which you will seek the answers as you read. When you are finished with that days reading, make sure you have answered your questions. BE AN ACTIVE READER.
2. The bar exam graders are looking for evidence that you know the black letter law and can apply it in
You must be constantly adding to your inventory of black letter law, quizzing yourself, reciting law from memory, and practicing applying law logically. Merely recognizing law will get you nowhere. Shotgun, random, fact-based, "issue spotting" will get you nowhere.
Some activities feel like hard work, and they are hard work, but they don't help raise your grade, and so they are a waste of time. Many students like re-reading their notes, but re-reading is worthless if no new law remains in your memory. Some students like to re-type class lecture notes, but when I ask such students what they have learned afterwards, they don't have an answer. In other words, merely re-reading notes without learning new law or re-typing notes without learning new law feel like a lot of work, but by themselves, they are a waste of time.
3. Focus on reviewing the most-heavily tested areas of law and on learning the most-heavily tested rules of law. Within each subject, learn the most-heavily tested rules by heart. Study several areas of law every day. It is foolish to think that you will remember much law if you study nothing but torts or nothing but contracts for a full day.
Remember, for best results, you must question yourself about what you are about to study, you must quiz yourself afterwards, and you must recite from memory.
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