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A Law School Epic Fail

During a year end celebration following the end of exams of my first year, I was out with some friends having a beer. At some point a friend of mine who was a high ranking One L—at the time—was talking about this exam that we both had taken, and how it was the first time in her life she had been unable to finish an exam. She couldn’t understand it; she had found herself with about 20 minutes left in the allotted time, starting a question that had a suggested time of an hour left to go. This had never happened to her before, and she was dumbfounded.

The exam was set up in two sections. In the first section there was a fact pattern and three questions, with a suggested time of an hour and a half a piece. Then, there was a final question with an allotted time of an hour.

“How long did it take you to finish the first section?” I asked her.

“Three and a half hours, and I thought I was ahead of schedule.”

And then it dawned on me: She hadn’t read the instructions.

“You were only supposed to answer two of the three problems.”

It got very quiet about then.

What is the point? The point is that almost all time One Ls spend during the semester are spent on things that don’t matter, and almost no time is spent on what really matters: the exam itself and how to take it. There are simple things you can do that you can get ready for any exam in any law school class, and almost no one does them. Except you, because you want to focus on the right things to succeed. The purpose of my book, and this blog, is to teach people to master them.

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