Most of us want to get better grades while in law school. But the semester moves so fast, and everyone seems to have conflicting advice. How can law students improve their grades when their days are already jammed pack? The good news is that this post tells you what you should prioritize in law school.
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Participate in Class to Get a Grade Boost
Nobody wants to be the gunner, but participating in class can seriously help you get better grades in law school. You don’t have to raise your hand and answer every question, but you should aim to speak at least once per class and be noticed by the professor. If your prof gives grade boosts, which they’ll likely let you know at the beginning of the class, you’ll be rewarded for your extra effort.
Participating doesn’t just mean giving the correct answer. Another way to participate is to ask thoughtful questions. Don’t be annoying, but don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on a concept you don’t understand. And don’t be afraid to be wrong. You just need the professor to see that you care and that you’re meaningfully contributing to class discussion.
Read Next: Every Law Student Needs These 10 Things
Pay Attention in Class to Succeed in Law School
This seems like common sense, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen students texting or getting distracted on their computers. When you aren’t present, you miss critical information. And when you miss critical information, you miss answers to important questions.
If you read my blog regularly, you know my mantra: law school professors don’t test on what they don’t teach. Save yourself a lot of headaches and time. Attend class, pay attention, and take excellent notes.
Never Skip Class to Catch Up on Reading
Similarly, there are legitimate reasons to miss class, like an emergency or an illness. But skipping class to catch up on reading or finish another assignment is not a good reason.
Students who do this are actively hurting themselves because they miss what the professor wants them to know and they’ll spend a lot of extra time trying to catch up on and understand the materials they missed.
Read Next: More Tips to Succeed in Law School
Outlining is Essential for Getting Good Grades in Law School
Aside from paying attention in class, creating your own outlines is one of the most important things you can do to improve your law school grades. It helps you to understand how the concepts fit together in a way that you won’t get from working off another student’s outline. It’s also a method of active learning instead of passive. When you create your own outline, you are synthesizing your class notes in preparation for an exam.
Improve Your Writing Skills to Ace Your Law School Exams
You may have heard that your writing skills won’t matter when it comes to taking a written, issue spotting exam. But this advice couldn’t be further from the truth.
Writing does matter when it comes to improving your law school exam grades. A strong answer will spot and analyze the issues. This should be your main focus. But you’ll also need to be able to effectively communicate your thoughts in writing.
So, while you shouldn’t get hung up on spelling or crafting a perfect sentence, you should be able to concisely communicate your thoughts in a way that’s easily understandable to the reader.
Read Next: 7 Tips to Survive Law School
Read Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams
At TGElsher.com, we think Getting to Maybe is a must read for every first-year law student or any level law student who wants to improve their law school grades. This is because law school exams are nothing like undergraduate tests. Instead, they require a unique set of skills and an approach that is very different from what you learned in college. The good news is, you can learn this quickly, and Getting to Maybe is an excellent way to get the inside scoop on how to excel on a written law school exam.