Thanksgiving Break? Nope. You're Going to be Outlining.

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By William Peacock, Esq. on November 18, 2013 12:06 PM

Some choose to outline religiously. Others don't. If you're a 1L, however, your best bet is to stick with the tried-and-true methods, at least until you burn out in the beginning of your second year of law school.

That means, it's outlining time. (And no, we're not suffering under the delusion that you are one of those good students that have been outlining all along. Thank goodness for Thanksgiving "Break," right?) Ha. No.

Abandon the Family and Significant Other

Your parents will be sad. So will your girlfriend or boyfriend. Too bad. Relationships can be healed. Law school grades cannot.

If you're already behind on your studying for finals (which are mere weeks away!), at most, you should spend dinner, on Thanksgiving, with your family. (This assumes you celebrate Thanksgiving at all. If not, carry on.) Aside from that single reprieve, your penitence for a semester of Women's Law Student Association cocktail parties and intramural football matches is solitude and a week of paper cuts.

Make a Well-Informed Plan

At the beginning of the semester, you probably planned to split your studying time evenly between classes.

Now, you know what your strengths are. Maybe your Torts professor has legendarily difficult exams. And that contracts professor has made the test open book, open outline, open notes, open Internet. And CivPro? Easy, bro.

Though you'll want to cover all subjects during the break, you obviously don't need to cover them equally. Make a schedule now, with appropriate amounts of time blocked off.

And though some will advise against using study supplements, if they're working for you, make sure you have them handy when creating your outlines.

Most of All, Ignore Everyone Else and Do What Works for You

Yes, that includes all of the above advice. We can tell you how we studied, or how we wished we had studied, but truth be told, everyone has their own method.

Did I outline religiously? Not a chance. My best grade came after watching a triple-overtime Bulls v. Celtics masterpiece, shotgunning two energy drinks, and reading the professor's own commercially-available study supplement, plus reviewing my copious notes from his in-class PowerPoint presentations. Test in eight hours? Joakim Noah game-winner. Either way, clutch.

That worked for me. Others might have a mild stroke after so much caffeine and stress. Hence, the outlining-in-solitude recommendation, which is far less stressful. At this point, you probably know what works for you, but if you coasted through high school and college (cheers to mediocre GPAs and liberal arts degrees!) it might be worth trying the responsible route before reaching for the Red Bull.

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