Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review-Law School Fast Track: Essential Habits for Law School Success

 
Law School Fast Track: Essential Habits for Law School Success I recently had a chance to read Law School Fast Track: Essential Habits for Law School Success by Derrick Hubbard.  Derrick is a current law student and somehow managed to write a book while doing fairly well in law school. His book is full of 14 habits for success in law school.  I wish I read a book like this when I was in law school. Actually he recommends reading it before you start law school, so you can be prepared for the rigorous studying you will need to do well.  He writes what you should do the very first week to establish successful habits. The book emphasizes that surviving law school and succeeding in law school are not the same things and that you will need to develop good habits early on.  The book includes his tips on how to more efficiently brief cases, (Chapter 4) how to outline (Chapter 6), and even includes an example of a typical law school exam and his approach to tackling it. (Chapter 9).

One of his habits for success is to set short term attainable goals, as well as, long-term goals. This habit is important in law school and in the workforce. Additionally your short-term goals should help you achieve your long-term goal.  Your goals will help you stay focused and on track (pg 13).  Derrick's suggestion for how to read cases is also very helpful. When reading your cases, he suggests asking yourself, "Why am I reading this case and how does it fit in?"  You aren't reading cases just to read them, but you build your understanding in an area of law. Each case adds to your understanding of a new element of the law.   I wish I had briefed cases the way he suggests, rather than what I did in law school. (pages 31-32). I started off fully briefing cases, realized it took too long, and then started to book brief (a big no-no according to Derrick). Derrick's briefs go right into his outline from week 1 (making outlining a less daunting task).  You start getting the cases in your memory right away, make connections to the bigger picture and save time down the road that you can use for doing practice exams rather than cramming or trying to finish outlines. Habit #7 is another good tip: Study your law professors.  How he or she conducts class is probably how he or she will test you.  Some professors don't care about the cases and just want to know the elements or the statues, so you should write your exam answer in that manner.

Anyway, I don't want to reveal too much. I highly recommend that you check out this book, or download it on your Kindle. It is full of essential habits for success in law school. It is about studying smarter, not harder and focusing on habits that will not only help you become a successful law student, but also a better lawyer and employee after law school.

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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