Before he embarked on a successful legal career that has spanned more than fifteen years, Dan Chammas was a student at Stanford Law School, which is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United States. To succeed in law school, students will need to adapt in a number of ways so they can face challenges they may not have experienced during their undergraduate studies. The following are all useful pointers for those who are just getting started.
You will be faced with an enormous volume of work practically from the moment you start law school so you need to get organized as quickly as possible. Create a study schedule and find an area where you feel comfortable in doing your reading. Your aim, especially at first, is to start making sense of the materials that you are given. Your lessons will help with this, but that is not an excuse to hold back on your studying. Get started early and you should find that everything comes together quickly.
Always Do Your Reading
Most of your classes will require you to have done some reading beforehand. Not only will this prepare you for the class, but it will also allow you to figure out areas of the reading that you don’t understand, which means you will have questions to ask during the session. Sitting in the class quietly and trying to avoid being picked to answer questions because you haven’t done the reading prevents you from taking full advantage of the benefits that the classroom offers you.
When reading over your cases you should get into the habit of taking notes. This is called ‘briefing’ the case and the notes you take should be short and concise. Your aim with these notetaking sessions is to pick out anything that stands out to you, be it a relevant law for a specific aspect of the case or a contradiction in what you are reading.
Study With Others
Many law students try to take a lone approach to their studies, but this prevents you from accessing the benefits that come from working as part of a team. Try arranging a study group and you will find that most cases offer alternative perspectives. This will give you a more well-rounded view of the materials you are studying, plus it can act as preparation for working as part of a legal team.
Lower Your Stress
Law school will present a lot of stresses, so you need to be in a position to handle them. Make sure you eat well, exercise and get plenty of sleep. You should also take advantage of any opportunities you have to take time for yourself.
Dan Chammas is an experienced attorney and Stanford Law School graduate.