21 tips for surviving law school, as told by law students

All the reading!

1. Reading is extremely important. Don't just read before exams and for assignments, read before and after lectures and seminars. Read around the topics. Basically, read as much as you possibly can. It will help your understanding become more lateral.


2. Read key cases and document them efficiently for future reference.


Organisation is fundamental. Resistance is futile.

3. Be an organisational wizard. Learn how to manage your time effectively. For instance, think of your day as a 9-5 job: if you don't have lectures, study during the gaps.


4. Keep a time plan/diary, and stick to deadlines using realistic targets. It will make your life easier.


5. When it comes to revision, accept that it will take time for you to work out which method works best for you.


6. Never miss a lecture or seminar. You will fall behind.


Work smart. Motivate yourself.

7. We know you work hard. You know you work hard. But working hard and working smart isn’t the same thing. Take your first year as seriously as you would your final.

8. Learn how to reference properly. It could mean the difference between good marks and great marks.


9. Additionally, learn how to use your library resources in first year. Do not leave it until final year. Contact the LexisNexis student rep at your university - it will help you with your research.


10. Don’t spend all of your student loan on textbooks: e-books exist, and there's a good chance your library will stock most of what is on your reading list. Meaning fewer bulky, heavy books giving you back problems at the ripe old age of 20. Hooray!


11. Use some of your free time to do pro bono work and gain some work experience. It will look much more attractive to potential employers.


12. Get into the habit of keeping up with current affairs. Read broadsheet newspapers and sign up to various industry newsletters. It’s vital for your commercial awareness. We recommend starting with the Future of Law blog (see what we did there).


Form a network of support

13. Buddy up with other law students, including those in years above you. They will impart their wisdom on you.


14. Many others will be in the same boat as you, and all of you share the same goal. Having regular study sessions together will give you an opportunity to air anything you don't understand, and discuss it with your peers.


15. Don't be afraid to ask for help, that's what your lecturers and tutors are there for. Get to know your lecturers and maintain a good relationship throughout your studies. Their help will be invaluable.


16. Additionally, get to know the law school admin staff - you will need them at some point.


17. Join your university law society.


Retaining your sanity 101: don’t forget to have fun!

18. Get involved in extracurricular activities - join societies outside of law. University is all about trying new things and stepping outside of your comfort zone!


19. Stay healthy by exercising and eating well - 49p ramen noodles are not adequate brain food. There are alternatives to joining an expensive gym - put down your phone and go for a run around a nearby park.


20. Make sure you get enough sleep. Sleeping five hours per night and then spending your days hopped up on coffee and Pro-Plus will take its toll on your studies and on your health.


21. Finally, go out and enjoy yourself! It extremely important to maintain a balance. Take time out and blow off some steam! You’ll only get to do this once.

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