Greedy Associates - The FindLaw Legal Lifestyle and Career Blog

3 Smart Tips to Start the Winter Semester Strong

Coming back from winter break can be a real drag sometimes. Going from large family gatherings, hearty meals, and hard-earned celebration and relaxation to law classes and hours of daily reading isn't easy.

However, when you're settling back into the thick of school, those bad habits from your holiday break have to end promptly. That means no more sleeping in, no more excessively late nights binge watching Netflix, and it definitely means no more drinking a whole punchbowl of heavily-spiked eggnog on a Tuesday night. But apart from the usual the-holidays-are-over-so-you-can't-do-that-anymore stuff, below, law students can find a few tips to help them have a strong start to the winter semester.

Stay Ahead of the Reading

One big advantage students can give themselves for the winter semester involves getting a head start on the reading. More likely than not you can get your hands on the syllabuses for your classes, and all your books, pretty early. And while you may want or need as much vacation time as possible, getting ahead of your reading assignments is a gift you can give yourself that will just keep on giving throughout the semester (especially if you can keep up with staying ahead).

Start Outlining Early

Like getting a jump on the reading, starting to outline at the start of the semester can really help keep your studying focused on what's important. Use your syllabus to put the "big-picture" headings down on the page, then start filling it in as the semester and your understanding of the subject develops. Starting your outline early can be real time saver over the long haul as you can spend a few minutes updating it after every class (or week), rather than waiting until the end of the semester and trying to go through mountains of notes.

Review Last Semester's Exams

Regardless of how you did on your exams last semester, you should review them. After all, given the way some classes get curved, even if you got an A in the class, that doesn't necessarily mean you scored a passing grade on the test. Taking the time to learn from your mistakes could be what saves you from repeating the same mistake in a different course.

Related Resources: