Better Grades. Less Stress.

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What Should I Do with My 1L Summer?

As the new semester kicks off, many 1Ls are beginning to contemplate their summer employment options. What should I do with my 1L summer? In this post, I tackle that question. Regardless of what you decide, take the time to meet with your career services office (if you haven't already) and get their input. You'll find most career services advisors [...]

By |Categories: Law|

Why so many law students perform poorly on exams (and what to do about it)

Imagine you’re preparing for a marathon.  But instead of training by running, you decide to tackle this challenging endeavor by developing an intellectual understanding of it.  You read numerous books on marathon running and learn all about the trials and tribulations of a marathon runner. You then run the marathon without doing any actual running yourself. Recipe for disaster, right? [...]

By |Categories: Law|

Office Hours: The Underappreciated Legal Job Search Tool

Students frequently ask me to be a job reference or write a recommendation letter for them. Often, I’m at a complete loss for words. I teach classes with large enrollments. If the student never stopped by my office or otherwise got to know me, I can’t say much more than the following: “John got a B+ on the exam, arrived [...]

By |Categories: Law|

Why Law School Case Briefing Can Be a Waste of Time (and How to Efficiently Prepare for Class)

I have a confession. Two weeks into my first year of law school, I stopped briefing cases. I was putting too much time and effort into preparing them and was getting too little in return. Now, as a law professor, I don't expect my students to brief their cases. Don't get me wrong. Briefing can be a useful exercise for [...]

By |Categories: Law|

A Deceptively Simple Thing Law Students Can Do to Boost Final Exam Performance

In studying for finals during my 1L year, I learned an important lesson. As I reviewed my class notes in preparation, much to my astonishment, I discovered that many of them made no sense. I had typed them in a frenzy during class and used shorthands that were nonsensical. It was as if someone else had written my notes and [...]

By |Categories: Law|

Why Law Students Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Socratic Method

If I were to survey law students about their biggest fears, the Socratic Method would certainly rank among the top three. Often referred to as “cold calling," the Socratic Method ordinarily involves a law professor randomly, and without prior notice, calling on a student to answer a series of seemingly endless questions. The questions run the gamut from the facts [...]

By |Categories: Law|

In Law School Success, Less Can Be More.

"Do as little as needed, not as much as possible." -- Henk Kraaijenhoff As a law professor, I came to realize that the traditional success strategies in law school advice books are outdated, inefficient, and ineffective. Over the years, I shared with my own students a series of proven, yet unorthodox, strategies for law school preparation and success. These are [...]

By |Categories: Law|