Unhappy With Your Law School Grades? Get Real
“It won’t be as bad as you think.”
That’s how your friends comforted you over the break. You were rattling off, in excruciating detail, everything that went wrong in your exams. The questions focused on concepts they barely covered. You somehow forgot large clumps of what you studied. And you weren’t sharp, with your energy consumed with fending off the flu. When it was over, you trudged home disillusioned. And you told anyone who’d listen that you didn’t think you were “lawyer material.”
Now, the results are in. For some reason, this quip rolls through your head: “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean someone isn’t out to get me.”
Yeah, you bombed the exams… if you consider B’s and C’s as marks of shame. But it can be pretty humbling to learn that you’re not a rock star among your peers.
So what can you do? According to Law School Toolbox, you have two options: Work harder or work smarter than everyone else. No silver bullets there. In fact, it sounds more like a football coaching cliché. But it’s true. And your 1L year is when you learn the true key to excelling in law school:
“On some level, law school really is a brute force game. If you do more work than most of your classmates — in terms of hours legitimately invested in reading cases, studying the law, and practicing your exam writing — you’re probably going to be an above-average student.”
So how do you work harder and smarter? Law School Toolbox offers two pieces of advice.
First, you should examine your routine to find that extra time. For example, you can use your commute to listen to law school aids. You can also track how you spend your time, to pinpoint how much time you waste surfing the net or procrastinating. And think about when you’re handling basic tasks like eating and laundry. Ask yourself: Can you outsource your laundry or cleaning or buy pre-made meals to save time?
Second, get feedback on where you can improve. Start by reviewing last semester’s exams, comparing your answers against samples. What’s more, talk to your professors to learn where you can improve. They’ve watched plenty of students struggle like you have. And they see where you need to improve far better than you can.
So buckle down. Last semester wasn’t an anomaly. And the upcoming one won’t get any easier. Make yourself aware of the routines, myths, and academic weaknesses holding you back. And never forget Albert Einstein’s famous dictum: The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Sources: Law School Toolbox
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