FROM A FORMER LAW LECTURER
To Help You Survive Law School
Writing essay-style assignments in UK law can be quite a challenge, because it varies a lot from writing answers to problem-style questions, which many law students prefer. Problem-style questions require you to explain and apply specific sections and cases to solve the issues mentioned in the scenario. Law essays, on the other hand, ask you to present an opinion about a particular area of UK law, which can be much harder than simply finding the right cases or statute sections and applying them to the scenario. This is why many students make common basic mistakes when answering essay-style questions in law, and those mistakes lower their grades and prevent them from getting a first. The best way to avoid those mistakes is to follow a winning system of writing essay-style courseworks, which can pretty much guarantee you a first (if followed correctly). Here’s how you can do that.
One of the frequently asked questions by students is about how to answer problem-style law questions in the most coherent manner. The method that is often recommended by lecturers is the IRAC method, which consists of four elements: Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion. The IRAC method allows you to answer problem style questions in law, i.e. the questions that involve a real-world scenario and ask you to provide your advice to any parties involved. Although it is not the only method that you can use to answer problem questions in law, it’s advantage is that it enables you to break down the scenario questions into four comprehensive sections. If you want to learn how to use the IRAC method then keep on reading.
If you are wondering how to pass your law school exams with flying colours, you are not alone. The reality is that revising several law modules at the same time can be quite a stressful period, especially if you don't have a proper revision strategy in place and attempt to revise everything. What happens is that you end up spending a lot of time on things that aren't as important, and you are left with little time to focus on things that are actually really important. This has a direct impact on your exam performance, as you struggle to reproduce concepts that you haven't spent much time on revising.
Many students get discouraged from getting a law degree because they buy into the myth of not finding a job after law school. It's true that there are many law graduates who struggle to find a decent job after they've graduated. But this usually happens in situations where the students are only focused on getting the highest grades and don't take any initiative to get some experience in the legal profession. While it is crucial to build a theoretical foundation in law, it is also equally important to familiarise yourself with real-world scenarios and situations, so you can actually apply the law in real life. Some students believe that only grades will define their worth in the job market once they have graduated. But those types of expectations are just unrealistic. If you are keen to make yourself more employable after your graduation from law school, don’t fall for the myths mentioned below.
Your performance in law exams depends on your ability to revise strategically and for that you need well-organised law revision notes. While you may not pay a lot of attention to this at the beginning of your law school journey, having a proper system on how to organise law notes can be very useful. Without having organised revision notes you will struggle to revise properly for your modules and that will definitely affect how you perform in your exams. Fortunately, you can easily learn how to organise your law notes by applying a few easy-to-follow tips.
While you are envisioning a legal career that requires you to argue before courts, negotiate deals, or resolve disputes, studying the law may be a bit disappointing at first. Before you can do all those exciting “lawyerly” things, you actually need to learn the basics, such as memorising statute sections. As a law student, you are not only required to understand the law and analyse how it can be applied to specific situations, but also to commit to memorising law sections before your exams, especially if you want to get a first. The challenge here is not so much in understanding the law but in how to remember law sections during exams when the pressure is high. Although you can’t avoid memorising specific statute sections, there are steps you can follow to tackle this seemingly arduous task strategically and perform better in your law school exams.
How difficult is it to study law? This is a question you might be asking yourself not only before starting your degree, but also during the course of your law education. Now, you might think that law school is extremely difficult and may question your abilities, thinking whether you should continue with your LLB law degree or not. But the truth is that passing law school isn't that difficult. In fact, even getting a first class degree in law isn't that big of a challenge as it is made out to be – as long as you follow an organised plan and implement smart studying techniques. So once again, how hard is law school? Not that hard. Let me prove it to you. Below are a few myths about law school which make law students think that law school is difficult.
Writing long-form academic law essays is an essential part of getting your law degree. In order to do it successfully, you need not only the right information but also the ability to turn your ideas and concepts into written expression. A law essay introduction is one of the most crucial parts of the essay as it outlines the topic and sets the tone for the rest of the content. If you fail to set the tone of your essay properly, it doesn’t only become more difficult for the reader to understand you, but also your essay might turn out to be poorly written with less-than-ideal structuring.
The main objective behind studying law isn't just to memorize legal doctrines literally, you also need to be able to critically evaluate and analyse your law essays. Many students struggle to perform critical analysis and evaluation because they make certain mistakes that lead them to an incorrect outcome. It is crucial for law students to learn the skill of correct, thorough, and precise critical evaluation and analysis so they are in a position to do well in their exams.
Law school exams are very different from exams taken in high school. Since they are not like conventional exams, law students often have to come up with new study strategies in order to to answer law school exam questions and earn high marks successfully. To get a first in law school, you will have to step up your study game a bit and adopt new study techniques. But it will definitely be worth it! Getting a first in law school will benefit you in the long run as you can capitalise on it in your career. Higher grades will act as a launchpad to get you ahead in the race. Also, they will open up new professional avenues at the start of your law career. Here are some law school study techniques and tips to help you achieve first class grades.
If you are a law student who is aiming to perform well in the exams, you need to make sure that you are prepared for everything. Having said that, it is not that easy as there are a number of challenges that law students have to deal with on a daily basis when it comes to their course. One of those challenges is reading and understanding case law reports. Being able to read full case law reports is an important skill which you will sometimes have to use in law school, for example if you are set an essay or exam question about one specific case and the judgements in that case. Learning how to read case reports will also prepare you to practice law in real life.
Wondering how you can get a first class degree in law? You are not alone. Getting a first in law school isn't just an intrinsic reward that you are going to cherish all your life, it also has real advantages that you can capitalise on in your career. Higher grades might open up more professional opportunities for you, especially if you are just starting out in law, and provide you with a springboard that helps you get ahead of the curve. Here are a few practical tips you can implement to get a first class degree in law school.
There are several strategies which you can use when trying to memorise law cases from your revision notes before the exams. The general rule is that different revision strategies work for different students so in order to discover what works for you, you need to try out a variety of case memorising techniques early on in your LLB course to figure out which of them work best for you. Below you will find a suggestion of three key memorising techniques for cases which have been successfully used in the past by first class law students during exam preparation.
Law students often fall into the trap of thinking that they will not be able to get a first in their exams unless they literally revise everything that is mentioned in the textbook. Because of that, when taking notes they try to copy the textbook word-by-word, which is a lot of (unnecessary) hard work. If you want to learn how to take notes in law school quickly and effectively, check out the advice I provided below.
Starting your law essay can be the most tricky part of the writing process. Yet, based on my experience in lecturing and tutoring law students I am confident that the beginning of the writing process is what matters the most when it comes to getting a first. If you want to find out how to set yourself up for success from the start, check out the tips I shared below.
If you are thinking of pursuing a career in academia after your law degree, you should definitely try to get your first journal article published before graduating. Although it might seem like too distant a dream to come true, plenty of LLB students have in the past managed to get their first publication. The key is to submit your essays-turned-articles to the right legal journals which accept submissions from law students. This article contains a few suggestions on where to publish your legal articles.
Tired of not getting a first in your law essays? You’re not the only one. The legal writing style is a difficult writing style to master and students typically don’t get good at it until the final year of their degree. But there are definitely a few things you can do to speed up the learning process. Check out the tips below to help you get better at legal writing.
Law students are often clueless as to how they can find new case law simply because the universities hardly ever provide the right guidance on this. Although looking for new cases might appear to be complicated, it is actually quite simple. Here are four steps which will help you to quickly find the relevant case law for your exam revisions and law papers.
Having worked as a lecturer, I have plenty of advice to share with law students on how to get a first class degree. But this time I’ve decided to reach straight to the source for even more insights. I spoke to several of my top law students who have been consistently getting firsts for at least two academic terms. Here are the top law studying tips that they wanted to share with you.
Writing case notes and summaries is one of the very first tasks you learn in law school. Most students are confused about how to write a case summary because the lecturers often cover this topic during lectures only briefly. There is also a massive misconception amongst law students who believe that they can only create a good case note if they read the case report in full. That’s definitely not true and this article will prove it to you, so keep reading!
Although it might not seem this way, knowing how to structure a law essay even before starting the writing process is the key to getting a 1st in your assignment. A clear essay outline helps to focus the reading of textbooks and journal articles, saving you a lot of time. It also saves you from waffling and makes you stick to the point, so you don’t have to rewrite the essay several times. If you’re interested to learn how to plan a law essay quickly and effectively, keep on reading.
Many students who fail to get a first in their law essays make the same mistake - they don’t apply the legal academic writing style. As a result, their essays tend to look unprofessional and not really academic. If you want to learn how to avoid that mistake, check out this advice on what is the legal writing style, how to use it in your law essays and why it is important to do it.
As all law students, you must be absolutely overwhelmed with the number of pages which you are required to read for each of your modules every week. What’s more, you are probably struggling to condense all those pages into something that can be considered as a “note”. If those words resonate with you, you are in the right place. This article will talk you step-by-step through how exactly you should take notes from law textbooks.
If you Google “how to learn law” you will immediately see a range of articles explaining very complicated systems which you should follow when studying law. Reading most of those articles can make you want to give up on law school altogether. In reality, learning law is very easy and straightforward. All you need to do is follow the four steps below (nothing more, nothing less).
Finding the right law tutor to support you throughout your degree is not an easy task, though the benefits of working with the right person are definitely worth it. From proofreading your law essays to helping you select the right materials for exam revisions, a good law tutor should be able to support you in many ways. But what sort of help exactly should you expect to get from your LLB tutor? If you've been asking yourself this question for a while, below I have provided a few tips that will hopefully help you solve the problem!