What were the worst times in your law school experience? How often did they happen?
The worst times I’ve had in law school were the times that I actually attended my 8:13 am Civil Procedure class. That happened five times.
If you haven't received A's in all of your classes, what do you think you could have done differently to receive a higher a grade (specifically)?
Though folks here at BW&V Headquarters are still waiting for this semester’s results to come in, I think that, for me, exam performance is directly correlated with exam preparation. But I mean that a lot more specifically than it sounds. When I say “exam prep” I don’t really mean doing the assigned readings or going to class and taking notes. Rather, I mean the insane amount of intense, focused work that I do in the four weeks leading up to class.
Me, I’m a flashcarder. I make flashcards for everything. One for every case, every extra reading, every relevant article the professor has ever written. I’ll usually do another set of cards that outlines the blackletter law for that particular area, and one set that covers any and all applicable theory. Then I’ll usually go thru all of the professor’s old exams, and write a flashcard outlining an answer for every question that’s ever appeared on an exam. And after that, (time permitting) I’ll start writing my own questions and answers, and make flashcards for those. I basically have flashcards for anything I would ever want to have available in my head: statutes, codes, phone numbers of ever girl in the 1L class, the first 550 pages of Black’s 7th Edition. Even if the test is going to be open-book, I feel better knowing that I could still ace the exam even if my outline were to catch fire at the beginning of the exam period. (Incidentally…great way to intimidate your classmates: Memorize everything you need for an open-book test, then just as the exam period starts, torch your outline in plain view of the entire class. Extra points for doing it with one of those things they use to caramelize crème bruleé.)
But that’s just me. Maybe you don’t like flashcards. Maybe you’re more into listening to tapes or recopying old outlines by hand in seven different colors of ink. Whatever floats your boat. But whatever amount of preparation you do, I say that looking at and working with old exams is the only truly indispensable part. Lectures, outlines, readings—any one of these could be taken out of the equation. But old exam questions are like gold. And old exam questions with actual “best” student answers are like gold covered in gold.