Law School Fast Track: Essential Habits for Law School Success

Law School Fast Track: Essential Habits for Law School Success


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781888960242
Publisher: Fine Print Press, The
Publication date: 11/30/2010
Pages: 93
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Derrick Hibbard currently lives in Massachusetts. He is the author of the Fast Track Series, about establishing good habits in law school and college that lead to success as a student. He is also the author of the novels "This Side of Eden," "The Double Stroller Hand Grenade," "Impish," and his latest: "The Snow Swept Trilogy."

Attorney, adjunct professor of business law, and author of The Young Lawyer's Jungle Book: A Survival Guide; Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold; and Con Law: Avoiding...or Beating...the Scam of the Century (The Real Student's Guide to Law School and the Legal Profession).

Read an Excerpt

Why Habits?

Habits help us. Or they hurt us.
Good habits can help in everyday life, in the many day-to-day things we have to do. Being a student is really no different. When you develop good habits that help you accomplish your goals and tasks quickly and well, you will be more successful.
A habit is something you do without needing to think. In law school you will need to think—a lot—but you will need to focus all of your energy on thinking about the law. If you develop habits that will naturally help you as a student, you will be able to focus on learning. Success will come.
Advice is useless unless it is incorporated into your routine. Good habits have to be just that—habits—to be any use at all. Thus, developing those good habits is perhaps as important as the substance of the habits themselves.

Although the advice in this book is helpful and will ultimately make your experience as a law student less rough, the road is far from easy. You will still have to put in long hours and you will have to work hard. The point is that by establishing these good habits you won’t have to work as hard. And when you do work, it won’t seem so much like “work.”

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


I read several of these other guides before I started law school, and while they are helpful, they provided too much information. These guides did explain the law school experience, but I needed quick answers about simple things—questions on such things as writing a brief, or how many notes is too many notes, or how to prepare, day in and day out, for the ever-important final exams.I ended up wasting time reading about things I didn’t really need to know—points that didn’t really make much difference—or things that were self-explanatory. Eventually I had to cut through the mass of details to find what I really needed.

So the point of this brief guide is to cut through that mass of details for you. Obviously there are many things to think about in law school—but these are the basic principles that will help you right now. This guide assumes you are smart, with years of experience in education. This book thus provides the essential habits you will need to do well in law school.

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