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Quick: Which Counts for Your Grade? Daily Class Performance, or Exams?

Again: what matters? Exams. Exam performance is the only thing that matters. But because you don’t have exams every day, and you do have class every day, One Ls become persuaded that daily class preparation should be their focus. Everything is oriented around preparing for tomorrow’s class.

This is terribly wrong. You want to be in a study group? Get a group together and chant this a hundred times: “Exams are the only things that matter.” “Exams are the only things that matter.” Exams must be your focus. Class room preparation is about 20th on the list.

Don’t misunderstand me, attending class and listening in class is critically important. And you know what? That takes almost no energy, and no prep time. All you do is show up with some coffee and I am sure you can manage that. In fact, listening closely in class is the biggest bang for the effort buck that you can get in law school. You do virtually nothing, and get a lot of payout for it.

But listen to me: Most of the time in each of your classes is going to be spent on what will end up distilling down to one concept. Do you understand the significance of that? Law school professors spend most of every class focusing on one or two ideas. That’s it. As I explain in the book: this is why we love the Socratic method. The Socratic method dramatically limits how much ground is covered in any particular law school class.

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