#The3Llife: Planning Ahead for Finals

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GUEST BLOG by Harrison Thorne,
3L at UCLA Law

Finals are around the corner.

Many law students will begin spending longer hours in the library. Panic will ensue. Instead of joining the masses, here are my suggestions:

  1. Prioritize what matters.
    Reading for classes is very important. However, late in the game, finals prep is more important. If you have not begun outlining, then I would suggest allocating your time that way instead of meticulously reading every page and underlining/highlighting key phrases. Think about it—how many times have you gone back and looked at what you highlight?! Instead of reading, consider getting a Quimbee account and reading well-written case briefs.
  2. Collect past outlines.
    Many schools have outline databases. If your school does not, reach out to former students, or search for outlines on an online outline-bank (they’re out there).
  3. Meet with teachers.
    This cannot be emphasized enough. Teachers are the people writing and grading the test. If you speak with them about any and everything you don’t understand, you will be ahead of the game.
  4. Take practice tests.
    Many students wait until they feel sufficiently prepared before even considering practice tests. This is a mistake. Do not take practice tests before you have done any preparation, but do not wait until the day before the test, either.
  5. Stay calm.
    A lot of law students turn into piles of anxiety during “finals season.”  Do not do this.  Worrying excessive does not change your test date or help you study. In fact, worrying causes decreased memory retention, and ruins your life! A bit of healthy fear is fine, but do not freak out.  And do not look at what other people are doing. Do your own thing, work hard, and let the results fall where they fall.
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