By Raihan Rahman Rafid
Studying law demands a never-ending relationship with law books but never promises you a reciprocating result in the exams. If going through thousands of pages is hard, then delivering them properly in the answer scripts is even harder. With a pile of books to be read, the time constraint always seems an ‘injustice’ to the future ‘Pillars of Justice’.
The first thing a law student should realize is that, there’s no shortcut to a law degree. The whole academic process is designed to make one a better lawyer in their later life. Working under pressure and meeting the deadline is a regular affair in a lawyer’s life. One must learn how to deal with these from the student life and stop complaining about petty issues. Complaining never helps nor does procrastination and putting things off for tomorrow. Making the most out of the little time after daylong classes is the key to success for a law student. Alongside you can follow these ten steps for a better outcome;
- Make a Routine
The best way to have all the reading done properly is to make a routine. Schedule your study accordingly to the days you have left before your exams. Divide the approximate pages of your reading materials with the remaining days, you’ll get an idea about how much you need to study daily and get yourself going.
- Study, Study and Study
Names of petitioners and respondents, citations, definitions, articles, sections and the list of things you need to remember goes longer and longer. Study everything over and over again. It becomes easier each time you read them, you get to analyze the issues differently every time and your brain starts catching those details you need to memorize.
- Make Notes
Make notes of everything you read. It helps you to remember them as you write, but also things get easier for you to revise before the exams when you have notes.
- Try Mnemonics
Sometimes learning anything by heart is tough for some people even after continuous reading. Mnemonics to the rescue! Try connecting the lessons with your daily life and mix things up with people and numbers. When things are fun, it gets easier to remember.
- Make Flashcards
You can make flashcards with summary of judgments or cards containing legal maxims and principles. When they will appear before you every now and then, the brain may work amazingly to capture the information.
- Attend Classes
Law classes are often tedious, boring and unnecessarily long but they are important. You get to know which topics are important for exams and what your teacher likes. Once you have a decent idea of your course, you can prepare yourself adeptly.
- Group Study
Make a group with like-minded friends. Exchange notes and books with them, share ideas and discuss the lessons. Sometimes we learn even better while teaching others. Study group is always important when you are in a law school.
- Answer Structurally
Some students nurture the idea of cramming the pages with unneeded information which really annoys the examiners. Get to the point quickly so that the reader can easily evaluate your script and don’t forget to state your opinion in the conclusion if it is asked for in the question. There are some good accredited methods for analyzing a problematic legal question. IRAC method is generally appreciated by the examiners. But you can always follow a good accepted method and stick to that.
- Case References
Case reference always makes the difference in quality of answer scripts. For substantiating your argument you need to refer cases. State precedents if the given problem is similar to a case you know, otherwise make it clear how the referred case is related to the problem given. Highlight the references for catching the glance of examiners.
- Understand the Questioner and Examiner
The most important thing for a law student is to know what he has been asked for in the question and what the examiner is expecting from him. Which interpretation is preferred by the examiner, has to be perceived. Sometimes your opinion is not welcomed whereas some teachers appreciate it when students present their own thoughts. You have to act wisely in this regard.
These are by all means nothing but some suggestions. Everyone is a different person with their own convenient ways of study. One may discover their own possible ways and follow them for acing the notorious law exams. Last but not the least, law school is inherently stressful with severe strain allowing depression to enter your life. Learn to carry on and survive law!