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For a law student, numerous and massive assignments loom from the very first day - with no let-up until final exams - and with zero feedback until those finals. Law students wonder where to begin, how to begin, and what to do each day. Law School Fast Track is unique in its format: short, fast, inexpensive, and easy-to-read. It is written to help law students starting on day one with one thousand pages of assigned cases. Its immediate ...
For a law student, numerous and massive assignments loom from the very first day - with no let-up until final exams - and with zero feedback until those finals. Law students wonder where to begin, how to begin, and what to do each day. Law School Fast Track is unique in its format: short, fast, inexpensive, and easy-to-read. It is written to help law students starting on day one with one thousand pages of assigned cases. Its immediate suggestions, examples, and tips are invaluable - worth far more than its modest price.
Law School Fast Track is also unique in that it focuses simply on the first week of law school - emphasizing the importance of establishing and maintaining good habits. Most habits in law school are formed before and during the first week. For example, during the first week a student will decide where to study, how long to study, how to brief a law case, what to do with class notes, how to outline, and when to start outlining, among many other demands.
Law School Fast Track is a concise, inexpensive, and easy-to-read guide written in an approachable, peer tone. In focusing on the first week of law school, this book emphasizes the importance of establishing and maintaining good habits, thus giving the readers an early advantage.
Why This Book" xvii
Why Habits" xvii
Why Essential Habits" xviii
Why Focus On Your First Week of Law School" xix
Chapter 1 The Most Important Habit 1
Habit #1 Make Your Study Efficient and Effective 1
Chapter 2 Before You Start 3
Habit #2 Make a Plan and Stick To It 3
Be Flexible, But Stick To The Plan 11
Habit #3 Set Goals And Follow Up 12
An Additional Point For Your First Week 14
Chapter 3 Reading the Law 17
Habit #4 Read Effectively 18
Survey Each Case Before You Read It 19
Create Your Own Questions 20
Review Your Notes OUT LOUD As You Read 21
Read Only Once 22
Get Rid of Distractions 22
Read Only What You Have To 22
Little Details 23
Chapter 4 Those Awful, Horrible, Crazy Case Briefs 25
Traditional (Bad) Case Brief 26
Traditional (Bad) Case Brief: Sample 30
Habit #5 Brief Every Case, But Be Brief 31
The Book Brief 33
Chapter 5 Your First Week 37
Don't Be Nervous 37
Habit #6 Be Active In Class 38
Your Grade Comes From Your Exams 39
Listen To Your Professors 40
Habit #7 Study Your Professor 41
Talk With Your Professor 42
Practice Tests 43
Talk to Upperclassmen 43
Habit #8 Stay Organized 44
Chapter 6 Preparing for Finals 47
Habit #9 Break The Note-Taking Habit.
Take "Outline" Notes 48
Habit #10 Write Your Own Outlines 50
Standard Outline 51
Bulleted Outline 54
Habit #11 Add To Your Outlines Daily 57
Outlining For Open-Book Exams 58
Habit #12 Plan One Day Per Week to Review for Each Final 59
Chapter 7 Keep Living Life 61
Habit #13 Don't Worry (Too Much). Be Happy. 62
Manage Your Stress 62
Don't Overburden Yourself 64
Habit #14 Maintain A Positive Attitude 65
An Attitude Of Success 66
Unrealistic Expectations 66
Your Classmates 67
Law School Is Not Forever 69
Performance On Exams 69
Positive Attitude, One More Time 71
Chapter 8 Acing Your Final Exams 73
Exam-Taking Routine 74
Your Exam Ritual (Leading Up To The Actual Exam) 75
How Professors Write Exams 76
How Professors Grade Exams 78
Cramming For Exams 79
Yet More Additional Tips On Exams 80
Chapter 9 Sample Exam and Answer Key 83
Sample Exam 84
Sample Exam: Scoring Sheet 88
The Grading Sheet 91
Chapter 10 Good Habits, Good Start 93
About the Author 95
Other Books 99
Posted February 21, 2012
There's plenty of law school "how to succeed" guides on the market, but Hibbard's "Law School Fast Track" stands out from the crowd by following its own advice: identifying things that waste time and not doing them, and identifying and doing more of the things that are effective and efficient uses of your time. LSFT is a remarkably concise, yet thorough and practical guide to perhaps the most important part of law school - the first week (or the first few weeks). It's common knowledge that the grades you earn as a first year student often determine the kind of employment you'll end up with coming out of law school - firms interviewing for coveted summer positions between 2L and 3L have only your 1L grades to use to distinguish you from the other law students on paper, and I've seen many a great but slow-starting law student passed over for interviews based on an employer's GPA "initial cut", while lucky, smart or hardworking law students with decent 1L grades get the interviews. The importance of hitting the ground running cannot be overstated.
Which is where LSFT comes into play. By narrowing the reader's attention to the important, efficient, effective and proven ways to immediately fit into law school in an academic sense, the reader will be able to walk into law school during that first week and make some sense of what's going on. Other guides - mine included (Later in Life Lawyers) - are perhaps guilty of overreaching and trying and do too much to soon. For the average incoming 1L, knowing about stuff that happens in the second and third years isn't as important as making sure he or she is fully understanding the stuff that is happening right now.
In short, it tells you what you should be doing the moment you walk into your first law school class, and with luck, these habits will stick and see many a law student through a successful first semester, first year, and forward into their careers. This is the advice most law students pick up, overhear, or figure out over the course of the first year, but by then, it's too late in many cases to salvage a first class performance from what has generally become an stressful, expensive, and difficult trial by fire. Hibbard is that friendly, successful law grad who is willing to share his tips and expertise before you set foot in law school, rather than over a beer half way through your first semester when it's too late.
This isn't a "law school" guide book in the traditional sense, and by "traditional", I mean a book that covers the entire law school experience from soup to nuts. Hibbard is right on the money with this book, and every incoming 1L should pick up a copy of this book, regardless of what other preparation has been done beforehand, and regardless of what study habits you think you already possess. It's a short read, but that's exactly what it should be - it cuts through the junk that isn't relevant to these vital few weeks of 1L, and offers simple, foolproof, and sensible advice that is so scarce in many a law school guide these days. This piece of work is right up there with those two other incoming-1L classics: Delaney's "Learning Legal Reasoning" and "How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams". Combined with Delaney's work, LSFT could round out the ultimate trifecta of 1L prep materials.
Posted December 15, 2010
No text was provided for this review.