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Law School Fast Track: Essential Habits for Law School Success


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 ...

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Law School Fast Track: Essential Habits for Law School Success

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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 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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781888960242
  • Publisher: Fine Print Press, The
  • Publication date: 11/30/2010
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,016,727
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Derrick Hibbard placed in the top 15% of his first-year class and as a Dean’s honor student at the University of Miami School of Law. Among other law school accomplishments, he received the CALI Award for highest grade in Property Law.
He graduated with high honors from Brigham Young University, earning a degree in Philosophy. He tutored and coached students in both high school and college; worked with Habitat for Humanity; and spent time working in an orphanage and school in Lusaka, Zambia.
Besides a legal career, Hibbard is an amateur filmmaker, screenwriter, and novelist. He is also author of College Fast Track.
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Table of Contents

Dedication ix

Acknowledgments xi

Foreword xiii

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

Sleep 4

Exercise 6

Eating 7

Study 9

Downtime 10

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

Reading 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

Cases 28

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

Index 97

Other Books 99

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2012

    Excellent guide for incoming 1Ls

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

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