Prepared and Undaunted: A Study Guide for Law Students
Updated: Jan 31, 2021
By: Archiebald Faller Capila
The Philippine Bar Exam prides itself as an examination at par with none—consuming four Sundays with a scope of eight general law subjects overall. Preparing for the same is probably more stressful than the examination itself. A lot of takers have shared their experience in getting ready for the same, and all of them yield the same comment—that every student must prepare for the examinations from the first day of law school.
Because of the difficulties encountered in studying law, students must have with them a study routine to follow. With which, better use of one’s time would eventually lead to fruits in the near future.
Students must also remember that the mastery of the law does not come overnight. Those who are trying to be a part of the legal profession must follow certain steps to attain the best version of themselves when studying and preparing for the Bar exams any time soon.
Here are some tips to make good use of time well enough to succeed in law school and life after that.
1. Do not compare study schedules
Each Law Student is different. There are also different ways of reading, understanding, and memorizing the law. The first step is to avoid comparing one’s time frame to that of other’s respective schedules.
They should be comfortable on their own and should not rely heavily on other methods of studying, specifically those of their close friends. Law Students must learn to sometimes isolate themselves from others for them to focus. Self-discipline is important not only in the study of the law but as well as in the practice of the legal profession in the future.
2. One at a time
There is a common tendency among all law students to cram the reading assignments all at the same time—don’t. Take one subject matter after the other, but never at the same time. Understand clearly one subject matter before jumping around several unrelated topics. This will help in focusing on a given assignment and be productive at it as well.
There is no point in rushing everything and finishing all the planned reading assignments if one will not be able to understand fully the topics at hand.
3. First reading is not enough
While memorization is not required, students must still be able to understand what they are reading by heart. Reading all of these once is not enough. Every student must at least read their assignments twice to be familiar with the interlacing concepts the laws provide.
When one reads hastily, it will be difficult to gain mastery of the subject. Thus, it is important to read and reread review materials.
In studying Law, it is not enough to be familiar with the topics. One must have ample time allotted for memory work.
Memorization of keywords to trigger lines of thoughts is helpful and handy when there are instances of a memory block. By remembering some of the key phrases and keywords, one could eventually wing in a recitation, a quiz, or even the Bar Exam because of this method.
Also, the Bar examinations offer a lengthy syllabus that taxes every barrister. By memorizing some of the key words one has learned in law school, it will be easier for a student of the law to sort out matters by topic and by subject classification. With this, students will have an easier time recalling what the questions may posit when it comes to the Bar.
If a student will be able to memorize key points, it will be easy to remember topics when asked in the Bar Exams.
5. Notes are always handy
Students mustn't trust their mind and memory alone. At times, these methods alone will fail them in the future. Jotting down mnemonics, acronyms, or keywords in a separate notebook or at available spaces in the books or codals is one of the best ways to study and remember important points.
6. Limit break time in between studies
Because the world now offers a lot of distraction, students must learn to focus. While law students depend heavily on different social media platforms either for leisure or for work, discipline in using them must also be observed.
A 30-minute break in between would suffice. Law students and Bar reviewees should avoid spending too much time surfing the internet if it is not related to their improvement as students.
7. Brainstorming is essential
Brainstorming is essential because it is a way of hearing how others understand and interpret the law. Sometimes, it is important to have a healthy discourse on confusing topics. This will be helpful in understanding law provisions better.
8. Don’t forget to rest
Of course, it is also important to take a rest and relax. It is not advisable for anyone to remove a rest day for a week. A student must give himself or herself ample time to regenerate the energy lost for a week load of study.
It is important to avoid burnout because of too much studying.
9. Repeat the routine
Daily, a law student or a Philippine Bar reviewee must be able to cope with the stress of everyday learning. But by sticking with his or her routine, specifically those mentioned above, one would be able to reduce the hassle of thinking on how to study.
Studying will eventually become a mere mechanical act if the body will be trained to do these things daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Once a student gets a grip on how this study schedule works, everything that would follow would eventually be easier to handle.
These are some of the tips on how to come up with an effective study routine, especially for law students and those who are vying for the Bar in the near future. With this, one can be assured of his or her preparedness on every matter relating to the study of law.