Criminal law just ended and I cannot believe one year of law school is over just like that... a handful of exams of open ended essays to determine whether I done good, or done not so good.... But here is some advice, I dont know how handy it will be for non Georgia State Law Students but it's what I got..
1. A good motivated study group is not just important- it's invaluable.
2. Don't go part-time to law school- unless ofcourse you're like Edison who worked on only 3-4 hours a sleep and invented, well, the lightbulb.
3. Unless the class tells you the cases will need to be referred to on exams, don't focus so much on them. Focus on the rules and the reason for the rules.
4. I learned from one book how to brief and remember your cases, read the case and draw a picture (yes a a real doodle) summing the story up. It will help you when you go back to review what the cases discussed. This REALLY works.
5. Compete against yourself. Stop thinking about the curve. Thinking about the curve has definetly not helped... As study buddy Drew pointed out, just be glad you're in the curve at all.... Focusing on the learning and now how well your peers are learning will keep fragile nerves in check- maybe your cool demeanor will intimidate the "competition"
6. Have a "me" day. Just like your body needs breaks between difficult weight training sessions, your mind needs a break too. Watch office space on repeat, go to the beach, say hello to your spouse, something anything not study related.
7. #5 being said, once time is gone it ain't going back. Don't forget...
8. Keep on truckin' even when its hard....as I read on one proff's website "If you're already in hell you may as well keep going" and "If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail"... truer words never spoken.
9. Work on your outline after each chunk of learning material is taught. I wish I had consistently done this.
9. Take your exam on laptop! If this option is available, TAKE ADVANTAGE. I cannot explain the difference of being able to delete, cut and paste, etc. that you just can't do on paper/pen. If you think you're not a good typer, take a class, practice, but make sure you do take it on laptop!
10. Oral arguments are not as bad as they seem. I dreaded this more than most of law school. It was only 10% of a 3 credit hour class's grade in Georgia State University's School of Law, and once I did it, I realized I worried a lot for nothing. Keep perspective and worry about what's important. This being said
11. Don't let RWA (Reading, Writing, Argumentative Speaking class) take over your life. Seriously. It's the only class in law school that you turn things in through the year, so a lot of times people end up forgoing stuff for other (yes, more important) classes to do this. It's only a 3 credit hour class. Your other ones are 6. Neglecting it would also be a BIG mistake, but letting it get to the point that you are letting other things slide for it--- not good.
And that's all I've got for now folks....:)