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Top 5 Mistakes 1Ls Make (and How to Avoid Them) - Part 3

1l law school Sep 30, 2016

Mistake #3: Getting distracted too early

Technology has most of us moving from pillar to post, from our books or our work or whatever it is we should be focused on, to our phones, our computers, or our tablets. Too often we see students (and we can be guilty of this ourselves) sit down for a planned study session, and as soon as they hit a tough concept, or one that isn't so particularly exciting, their focus wanes and they turn to their device of choice or to some other distraction. This could be as quick as five minutes even. Constantly switching from task to diversion not only hinders your ability to learn (think multitasking), but it also robs you of "getting stronger" at focusing.

"Constantly switching from task to diversion not only hinders your ability to learn (think multitasking), but it also robs you of 'getting stronger' at focusing."

The fix: Put the phone away. If you need your computer to study, turn off the Wi-Fi, or otherwise close any applications that might...

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Top 5 Mistakes 1Ls Make (and How to Avoid Them) - Part 2

1l law school Sep 29, 2016

Mistake #2: Taking too many notes

Yes, you read that right. When you're in class, you want to channel your inner absorber—not your inner stenographer. If you're focused so much on taking down every word your professor is saying, you're likely not processing the information in the optimal way. You aren't "thinking" about how what your professor just said connects to what they said last class and so on.

"When you're in class, you want to channel your inner absorber—not your inner stenographer."

The fix: Think of your notes as cues. In class you should be writing down cues that will help you unlock the more detailed substance of what your professor is saying. How will you remember this more detailed substance? You'll be listening now, instead of writing. Better yet, you want to be attending to what your professor is saying. Write down key words and phrases, and pay attention to the rest thinking about how the concepts fit together, and if you can tie it to a...

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Top 5 Mistakes 1Ls Make (and How to Avoid Them) - Part 1

1l law school Sep 28, 2016

As a 1L, you enter law school with the best of intentions. You're full of excitement and drive, and you may even be bringing with you some study habits from undergrad. Some may help, others may not. Follow along over the next few days as we roll out a short and sweet, yet infintely helpful, series on identifying the top 5 mistakes 1Ls make, and, of course, how to fix or avoid them.

Mistake #1: Taking on too much too soon

You're finally in law school, which for some of you is the start of your lifelong dream of becoming an attorney. So your excitement and ambition is completely justified and understandable. But there's a reason most law schools rein-in your extracurricular and work schedules. Even though most first-semester 1Ls cannot work, intern, or join competition teams, they can still run for student government positions or even assume volunteer roles. Or they devote a lot of time to networking.

"You need to develop a sterling work product worthy of your network's...

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Federal Court Consent Judgment: Reed Bar Review Willfully Infringed Upon Bar Secrets' Copyrights

For the past nine months, Bar Secrets has been privately dealing with a troubling matter. Last week, on September 16, 2016, a federal court order has thankfully and finally enabled us to share this matter publicly.

Late last year, a former student alerted us to some materials that Chicago-headquartered Reed Bar Review was disseminating. After an investigation, we learned that these materials were our materials, only our copyright notices were removed and a Reed Bar Review logo and warning was added. Reed Bar Review did not have our permission, blessing, or otherwise to profit from materials we worked so hard to innovate. So in December 2015, our company, Applications of Psychology to Law, Inc. (APL), sued Reed Bar Review and its owner, Hubert "Hugh" Reed (collectively, Reed), for Copyright Infringement in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. In our Complaint, we alleged that Reed infringed upon our study materials, and in such...

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The best time to practice multiple choice questions and review past essay exams is...

Right now.  Yes, right now.

One of the biggest mistakes law students make is putting off practicing multiple choice items and reviewing past essay exams until the very end of the semester.  The thought goes something like this:

Multiple choice items and past essay exams are testing my knowledge of the law. I don't yet know or have memorized all of the law. Therefore, I should wait until I do know all of the law or have it memorized.

Now, doing so at the end of the semest may end of giving you a realistic indication of where you are at that point.  But it's not the best implementation of these practical skills.

The best way to learn the law is to apply it.  And what are you doing when you take multiple choice items and take your professor's past essay exams?  You are applying the law.  True, you may not have covered a concept yet and so you may get the question wrong.  But now you've given yourself a frame of reference and a hypothetical...

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