Here, all future and current students will find some advice which they should follow to avoid the traps in this field of studies. First and foremost, there is good news and bad news: the good news is that the first year of law studies is the easiest. The program is less difficult than it will be the next year. However, the bad news is that the pass rate for the first-year exams is one of the lowest. In the best law universities, it ranges between 30% and 35%. But you should not be alarmed – it simply means that you have about one in three chances to succeed. Still, it is imperative that you are aware of the need to go beyond the minimum which is required for your year. For example, you should aim higher than the average score of 10/20.
Why Should You Work Hard?
Indeed, if you want to go far in your studies of law, it is essential to get the best grades possible. Your admission to a Master’s program in the future depends directly on the quality of your previous score. The better grades you have, the more chances you will have to get the Master’s program of your dreams. While it may seem surprising to start the student race from the first year onwards, you should know that some Masters programs require a minimum of 3 or 4 honorable mentions – that means that you should finish each of your years of studying with honors. So, it is better to start thinking about it as soon as possible. Now that your goals are clearly set, here are our tips that should help you achieve them.
Attend All Lectures and Tutorials
The first advice we can give you is to attend all lectures and tutorials. All information and knowledge that is given during that time is very important. This may seem contradictory, but you should know that not attending a lecture will cause you to lose much more time than attending. Why? A lecture or a tutorial lasts, for instance, 3 hours. And of course, there are several lectures per day. If you decide to skip a class, you will free up to 3 hours in your schedule, which will be more or less beneficial, depending on whether you use them to play on your gaming console or to write an essay. However, you will have to catch up on this information from the course that you did not follow using the notes of another student, which implies either copying the notes (and copying the notes takes much longer than writing directly while listening to a professor because you have to decrypt a note-taking system of another person) or taking a picture of everything to look through it later, which is rather time consuming since you read the information which was written using a system much different from the one you are most likely used to.
In addition to that, you will soon face two difficulties. First of all, it will be difficult to find students who are friendly enough to give their notes, because most of them do not wish to help someone who did not attend a class. Then, assuming that you did find someone who was kind enough to help you, you would have to trust the quality of the notes that have been given to you. Many first-year students do not know how to take notes. You need to understand that the best students with really good notes are generally those who refuse to lend them to you, considering that they do not have to give other students the product of the efforts they have made to remain seated for hours in an overheated classroom to write dozens of pages while disregarding the wrist cramps. Consequently, it is very likely that the students who agreed to lend you their notes are not the most serious in their endeavor. In conclusion, do your best to attend all the classes – especially all tutorials. A lot of colleges will make you repeat the course if you have been absent more than three times.
The second crucial piece of advice is to work as regularly as possible and not to delay anything. It seems obvious, but remember – simply having knowledge without any work means nothing. Talent is only the result of the sum of your intellectual capacities and the work that has taken place to develop them. Until now, infused legal science has never been demonstrated. In other words, you can have a great deal of intellectual capabilities and have perfect legal logic, but you will still face failure if you do not develop any further. A number of students who had brilliant results in high school fail in the field of law because they refuse to work enough to acquire and deepen the legal knowledge. It is therefore essential to work from the beginning of the year and on a regular basis.
What Should You Do?
In practical terms, this means that you will have to systematically learn all the courses and prepare your essays and assignments as soon as possible. All this results in busy days! Generally, your law studying rhythm revolves around 60 hours of work per week, and if you want to work for only 35 hours per week, then this area of studies is not meant for you.
Working in a Smart Way
Working regularly is one thing, but how to work well and productively? This is a very important issue. Too many students fail while still working enormously by writing dozens of essays. The issue is that they work ineffectively. In reality, they give the impression of working by doing tasks without thinking. For instance, many students tend to rewrite the notes they have already taken. It may seem like a good way of memorizing things, but only if they look through the most important courses. Nevertheless, copying your notes without a second thought and in front of the television has little to no use. You should pay attention to the contents while you are writing an essay.
How to Study Effectively?
It is important to review the information on a computer and to take advantage of it to find out more data on points that have not been understood or badly rated. It is useful to take a course on a computer by deepening it, understanding it and learning it. Once again, we are giving you a very important piece of advice: before you learn the law or write an essay on a legal topic, you have to understand it. You can remember something well when you understand it well. When you think of the logical sequence of information, you no longer need to learn it by heart. On the other hand, memorizing the information that you do not understand and that is not clear enough to you is the best way to forget it in the next days.
How to Memorize Information Quickly and Productively?
We keep telling law students that there is no use in learning the articles of the legal codes by heart while not understanding absolutely anything of their true meaning to write an essay. It is enough to refer to the code in which the legal article is to know the exact content of it. However, we are not saying that learning by heart is completely ineffective in law. As in any other matter, it is necessary to acquire the knowledge to write a decent essay. But it is a question of acquiring this useful knowledge, or in this particular case, the legal principles and their application in jurisprudence. All of that should be definitely mentioned in your essay. Still, being able to recite the 2534 articles of the Civil Code serves mainly to amaze your friends, even though we are not sure that someone will bother to listen to you to make sure you are not lying. If you have not heard of the last fundamental legal case of the Court of Appeals, you will not be a good lawyer.
Mastering Computer Skills
Any computer is a lawyer’s best friend. It is therefore important to know how to master all required computer skills. As a law student, you will be asked to use some word processing software to type your essays, your assignments and preparations for the tutorial sessions. In general, having your homework and essays on a computer is always more pleasant as it allows carrying everything around on a flash drive. This way, you can work anywhere. The advantage of resuming a course on a computer is that it makes it possible to reread the information and redo some reasoning examples, thus proving that you have a better understanding of it. From a practical point of view, it also makes it possible to reuse any information of the course which was already written during the preparation to tutorial classes (the copy-paste method saves valuable time). For students who have laptop computers and who can type fast enough, it is even possible to take notes directly on the computer and only to edit them at home.
Advantage of Having a Computer
The advantage of the computer is that you can organize the information better by moving the sentences in any order, which is impossible to do when you keep these notes on paper. Also, you can use the Internet to find additional information, as there are many free Internet websites for lawyers where you can quickly find a lot of data and keep up to date on all legislative, regulatory and jurisprudential news via email alerts. Use the computer’s hard drive to sort and archive legal documents and information, because there is a lot of documentation and the computers are convenient to easily archive and carry it with you. In addition to that, you can use a printer to work with the stored materials freely. Moreover, you can use a spreadsheet in a specific tool. It is not compulsory, but it will allow you to make tables directly in your notes and it will help you in the preparation for your exams, allowing you to see your advanced average in a precise manner. On the other hand, you may be able to familiarize yourself with the software of calculations of different fees that you will use when you will be a real lawyer later on.