Friday, August 18, 2006

CALI Podcast Advice for New Law Students

Continuing with my thread of looking to others for pre-law advice, please check out a podcast by Hamline Professor Douglas McFarland on CALI's Pre-Law Blog, which contains about 15 minutes of advice for newbie law students. His thoughts on study aids (don't over-do it and spend too much) and taking final exams (law school exams are like junior high algebra tests--you are being tested on your method and skills, not just your answers) are good pointers for any new law student. His reflections on the Socratic method and notetaking in class are helpful too. (His tip: listen not just to what the professor says, but also to what your fellow students say when called on. It's a dialogue, after all.)

With respect to that last excellent point, I'd add that you always should be trying to answer the professor's questions in your head, as if you had been called on--realizing, of course, that this is like watching Jeopardy! at home: you always do better when you are not the contestant. You'll realize how true this is the first time you get called on in class.

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