Wrapping up First Year

Hi there,

Well, I cannot believe the year is coming to a close and I am almost done my first year at Queen’s Law! I have written 3 exams so far, with 2 left. To prepare, I drafted detailed outlines for each course which gave me a chance to review the content again. Outlines are summaries of the cases and notes about the cases. Most exams are open-book so we can bring those in with us. It sounds like heaven, but the exams are challenging and outlines will not help if you don’t know your stuff. The goal is to know the material well enough to not use your outline much in the exam. The exams are 3 hours of non-stop writing, so the less time spent on figuring things out the better. I also joined forces with 2 other students and we have created a study group for the exams. So far it has really paid off, and it gave us a sense of what we know well, what we need to review, etc.

Exams are not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. If you are prepared it pays off. I have not had any meltdowns. I am making sure to get my sleep, create a study schedule (and stick to it!) and I am consciously going in with a positive attitude. I think the best advice I can give is to worry about your own exam. If you start to wonder how you will do next to someone else, your mind can start to question what you know, you doubt yourself, etc. and then your confidence suffers and so does your ability to remain calm and focused.

The year has been a LOT of work but when I think about it, I have learned so much. It’s been a wonderful year and I look forward to next year already…especially since we get to pick our own courses so we can gravitate toward ones that really interest us.

Have a great summer everyone!

This was meant to be posted Feb 26th but I somehow didn’t post it right…

Hi Everyone,

I have been meaning to get on here but have been so busy. Exams in December were fine. I managed to get a study groove going. Based on the feedback I have received, it’s all about structure and organizing your analysis clearly and comprehensively. My advice is to find out how each prof would like to see the info laid out, and follow that method for the appropriate exam. Some profs will want similar types of responses, others may prefer a different layout. Exams were not as horrible as I thought they would be.

We just finished reading week and it was so great to have a week off after the previous crazy week. Our section had 3 major things due within 5 days. It was nuts, but I am proud of myself for pulling it off. So far the feedback has been positive. I am waiting on one more mark.

I cannot believe we only have about 5 more weeks of class. Wow. This year has really gone by quickly. I have managed to stay on top of all of my class readings. It is doable, but you just have to sacrifice other things like going out during the week. Every weeknight and every weekend, I am reading. I do have a life too, and see friends, family, do social things, but these are limited to weekend nights. My reading has become faster and I have learned to take more concise notes as well, which has helped. Not everyone feels the need to read absolutely all the assigned cases, etc. but for me, reading the material ahead of class helps me to feel connected to the material and more engaged in class. As I said, it comes with a price, but the reward of feeling prepared for each class is worth it. Plus, come the weekend, I still do things and have fun when my work is done plus it’s really difficult to catch up once behind, as the volume of reading is consistently high.

I want to comment on the competitiveness of law school. Because we are on a B bell curve, there is a lot of clamouring for those elusive As. One thing that has really helped me is not to worry about others around me. What works for one person may not work for another. Pushing myself to do well is fine, but comparing myself to others is not. Everyone is different. Some people may write something down that the prof said, others may not. If you let others affect your behaviour and self-confidence, you will drive yourself crazy (unless there are good tips that are helpful to you). You got into law school because you can do this. Believe in yourself, apply yourself, put the work in, and you will be successful.

This is Post from Feb 26th

Hi Everyone,

Somehow this post was not categorized as a Queen’s entry. Not sure what I did wrong…but I am reposting it now in case some have not seen it:

Hi Everyone,

I have been meaning to get on here but have been so busy. Exams in December were fine. I managed to get a study groove going. Based on the feedback I have received, it’s all about structure and organizing your analysis clearly and comprehensively. My advice is to find out how each prof would like to see the info laid out, and follow that method for the appropriate exam. Some profs will want similar types of responses, others may prefer a different layout. Exams were not as horrible as I thought they would be.

We just finished reading week and it was so great to have a week off after the previous crazy week. Our section had 3 major things due within 5 days. It was nuts, but I am proud of myself for pulling it off. So far the feedback has been positive. I am waiting on one more mark.

I cannot believe we only have about 5 more weeks of class. Wow. This year has really gone by quickly. I have managed to stay on top of all of my class readings. It is doable, but you just have to sacrifice other things like going out during the week. Every weeknight and every weekend, I am reading. I do have a life too, and see friends, family, do social things, but these are limited to weekend nights. My reading has become faster and I have learned to take more concise notes as well, which has helped. Not everyone feels the need to read absolutely all the assigned cases, etc. but for me, reading the material ahead of class helps me to feel connected to the material and more engaged in class. As I said, it comes with a price, but the reward of feeling prepared for each class is worth it. Plus, come the weekend, I still do things and have fun when my work is done plus it’s really difficult to catch up once behind, as the volume of reading is consistently high.

I want to comment on the competitiveness of law school. Because we are on a B bell curve, there is a lot of clamouring for those elusive As. One thing that has really helped me is not to worry about others around me. What works for one person may not work for another. Pushing myself to do well is fine, but comparing myself to others is not. Everyone is different. Some people may write something down that the prof said, others may not. If you let others affect your behaviour and self-confidence, you will drive yourself crazy (unless there are good tips that are helpful to you). You got into law school because you can do this. Believe in yourself, apply yourself, put the work in, and you will be successful.