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Make the Most of Your Law School Reading Week

Shot of a young female student studying at home
By Laura Temme, Esq. on October 26, 2020 3:38 PM

Classes are finally over, and you've got a week to get it together before finals. But without the structure and regular schedule you're used to during the semester, how do you make the most of your time?

Here are some do's and don'ts to have a productive and rejuvenating reading week in law school:

DO Edit Your Outline

First things first: Let's clean up that outline. Ideally, you'd have your outlines more or less complete by the time classes end. But taking the time to go through and make them easy to read can make the rest of reading week much more productive.

Remove redundancies and streamline sections that cover rules you already know so well you could recite them in your sleep. Let's face it, if you don't know the elements of a tort by now, we've got bigger problems.

DON'T Re-Read Everything

Put down the highlighter. If there's an important case you struggled to understand, go ahead and revisit it. But re-reading all the course material isn't an effective use of your time. Doing more practice questions will help you identify any concepts you need to review. Plus, the more you practice, the more likely you'll be able to finish your exam in the allotted time.

DO Mix Up Your Study Sessions

Staring at your Contracts outline for four hours straight isn't going to accomplish much. Instead, try reading through all of your outlines, then try some short practice essay questions for each course. Changing topics every hour or so helps keep your brain alert, so you can make the most of your study time.

DON'T Burn Yourself Out

Reading week is primarily for studying, but that doesn't mean you have to spend every minute hitting the books. Catch up with friends, cook a good meal, take a long walk. All the studying in the world won't help you if you walk into finals burnt out. If it helps, make a schedule for yourself where you stop studying at the same time every evening. Give yourself time to eat, shower, and sleep.

And most of all, remember that you've got this. You've already gotten into law school and survived your first semester. You have what it takes to get through finals.

Related Resources:

Technology Aids for Studying (FindLaw for Law Students)

Law School Practice Exams (FindLaw for Law Students)

Outlines and Exams by Subject: 1L (FindLaw for Law Students)

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