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Preparing for Final Exams

Like many 1Ls, you may find law school disorienting initially, because you are evaluated in a totally different way than what you were used to in college. While in the past your grade may have been determined by a combination of your class participation, weekly assignments, a paper, and a midterm or final exam, in the vast majority of law school courses, 100% of your grade will be determined by your performance on the final exam.

So does this mean you should start studying for your final exam on the first day of law school?

In some ways, yes. While most law schools offer reading days for students to prepare for final exams, it’s impossible to cram for a law school exam. You should prepare for your exam throughout the course of the semester and use the time before exams to make your final push toward the finish line. For more information about the work you should be doing day-to-day, check out our “Preparing for Class” guide. This guide will focus on what you should be doing in the weeks leading up to the exam, that final push before you cross the finish line.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • the dual purposes of an outline
  • how to utilize practice exams
  • how to best approach non-traditional law school exams