What got you through law school

11 tips you really need for law school

Pretty much everyone will have thought at one point or another during their studies: "If I had known that beforehand". Experience shows that generations of law students have more or less the same problems. Many are avoidable. Unfortunately, that often only becomes apparent when it is too late. We have therefore put together 11 important tips for first-year students for successful studies and exams. They come, marginally edited, from our e-book "100 tips that will make your law studies easier", which you can download here for free.

The day of the exam will come

And faster than you would like! Therefore, learn continuously from the beginning. Because you will be terribly annoyed when you realize while preparing for the exam that you have slept all your studies. Let's be honest: Working up the material within a few weeks will be tight or impossible. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

You are only a student once in a lifetime

It is not advisable to do nothing for your studies until shortly before the exam and then to panic and start exam preparation a few months in advance. Studying law is certainly no walk in the park and you will have to invest a lot of time to understand the systematics of law and to get the extensive material into your head. But: studying law is not rocket science either. And it is not (yet) a Bachelor / Master course. That means it is far less schooled than most of your friends' degrees in other subjects. And it starts off pretty easily. You have to pass the small certificates and the intermediate examination, but in the end it doesn't really matter what grade you get. Nobody really cares, even if it may be difficult to imagine for you at the moment, as these exams will determine your life in the very near future. There is one exception to this, however, which should be mentioned for the sake of completeness: grades from your studies can definitely be decisive for scholarships. Otherwise, during your time as a law student, as one of the few remaining students in the European education system, you have the chance not just to see yourself as cultivated and standardized human capital, but to develop your mind and learn to think independently. So use your time as a student to develop yourself further as a person and not let yourself be drawn into a mere technical idiot. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Just do it!

Of course, preparation, good resolutions and the right learning system are very important in your studies. But it is much more important that you just start and do something. If you heed just this one piece of advice, you will already feel progress. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Trust, look who: textbooks or scripts?

Especially in the first semester, the professors tell you which textbooks you absolutely have to buy. Most of the professionals then mention that they do not get any benefit or profit from these recommendations. However, this is not entirely true, because it is of course somewhat likely that professors will recommend the textbooks of those colleagues to whom they are also close in the rest of their professional lives (and who quote each other in specialist articles). The best way to find out which textbooks should not be missing in any legal household is from fellow students in higher semesters. Incidentally, you can find every book in the library and usually borrow it, or at least read it on site. Usually textbooks are very extensive and overwhelm the student with information. Therefore, you should inform yourself well beforehand and dare a few glances into the respective work before you spend several days reading it. Even if you should never say it in front of Profs: You are usually better served with a script than with a textbook (exceptions are, for example, homework, in-depth preparation, etc.). To be fair, it has to be said that there are now really a few good textbooks that are specifically tailored to the needs of students. The professors also conveyed early on that one should steer clear of thin scripts that are provided with signal colors. These scripts are not sufficient, deal with the matter only superficially, omit problems, convey false security and cannot replace a textbook. But as always in life, it is important to differentiate: On the one hand, there are the fairly detailed scripts by the relevant instructors such as Hemmer and Alpmann-Schmidt. These scripts sometimes don't really deserve the name "script". Occasionally they are more extensive than many textbooks, even if they are usually written in a more understandable way. If you were to buy all the scripts (from a provider) that are necessary for the first state examination, you would get a considerably large pile. On the other hand, there are the really small scripts and booklets that want to give the reader a quick insight and overview of the matter - the Bild newspaper among the scripts, so to speak. These are the scripts that the Profs warn against. Of course these booklets are not sufficient, of course they only deal with the matter superficially and leave out problems and can therefore lead to dangerous fallacies about one's own abilities. But: If you can handle them correctly and know about the dangers, then these scripts can also be a useful addition. Because only with them is it possible to familiarize yourself with a completely foreign area of ​​law within one to two days. They give you a quick overview of the entire area and are written in such a way that you can understand them. The good ones among the short scripts also point out in the footnotes if problems have been left out or have further advice. It is not uncommon for these scripts to address the problems that typically arise in the exams. They are therefore the ideal introduction to a field of law or also suitable for quick repetition. Often there are also tables to make the abstract matter more manageable and more tangible. Learning with this type of script is sufficient, especially for the small bills. You just shouldn't make the mistake of missing the jump to the detailed literature (more on that later). Because the little booklets are usually just too superficial for exam preparation. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Not just gray theory: learning with cases

In the meantime, there are smaller scripts or textbooks from various publishers that bring you closer to the necessary knowledge on the basis of small cases. These little case books are a great way to get to know abstract legal expertise in a specific case. Of course, at one point or another you will not be able to avoid reading a large textbook or scripts. However, it is a lot easier to understand certain things and to understand them correctly when you have a specific case in front of you. These little case books are didactically wonderfully prepared and are also very suitable for learning a new subject area and for getting a feel for the most important problems in the respective area of ​​law. It is more important than any detailed and specialist knowledge to have a solid basic legal knowledge and to be able to apply the law accordingly. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Practice creates masters

One of the keys to a successful exam is the repeated writing of practice exams under real conditions. You should therefore start at least one year before your exam to attend either one of the university's courses or a commercial exam course run by the relevant instructors. By writing the exams, you get feedback and know in which grade range you are allowed to be on the road. It is also essential to acquire the right technique for writing exams, especially when it comes to time management. It is therefore very important to actually write home practice clauses in the prescribed five hours. This is the only way to learn to correctly assess and divide the time available. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Study load: at least eight hours a day?

You should study at least eight hours a day to pass the exam! Don't panic, it was just fun. Of course, you have to put a lot of time into learning the legal material. But how much time you need and how long you have to study each day, that depends entirely on you. Some students hang out in the library all day, but actually only drink coffee. Others, on the other hand, learn several hours, but are only really productive for a short time. You should therefore find out what kind of learner you are and how you can learn most effectively. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Bib versus couch

At some point, all students ask themselves what is the best place to study: Is the library or your own room the more productive place? As is so often the case with lawyers, the answer is highly controversial. Ultimately, it all comes down to self-discipline. If you study at home, you have to resist numerous temptations: the cozy-looking bed, the television, the Internet, the urge to clean up first; the growling stomach that wants to be cooked and possibly all too annoying or way too nice roommates who, as non-law students, seem to have all the time in the world. On the other hand, your own four walls offer you a good learning atmosphere, because ideally you can spread out undisturbed, you don't have to constantly greet someone, you are not tempted to look after the boys / girls and concentrate fully on yourself and your work without being distracted by alarmists or other people. What speaks in favor of studying in the library is that you can create a very clear separation between work and leisure: you learn in the library, you relax at home. In addition, you do not have to worry about food intake when studying in the library, as the next cafeteria is usually not far away. Textbooks and scripts are also there - if not here, then where? - available and visible. Another plus point for the Bib is of course the social component and the knowledge exchange that goes with this learning location. So it's best to try both and then decide. It's all about you and it's just your choice. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Off to abroad

During your studies you have the unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign culture for a longer period of time. It is up to you whether you take immersion literally and are permanently drunk during your stay abroad or whether you spend time under sea level in tropical waters or whether you actually use the stay abroad to get to know the country and its people and their legal system. In any case, you should plan your stay abroad in good time. One and a half years are sufficient for this, but are also necessary. The best time for the big adventure: if you have no license, i.e. after the sixth semester for the average law student. The first point of contact should be the international center, which can provide you with initial information and help you with the further process. You should also think about financing at an early stage, because a stay abroad can be quite expensive. In addition to foreign student loans and (private) credit, there are also numerous scholarships for financing. Above all, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has numerous scholarships ready if you invest the time and effort until you have all the necessary documents such as letters of recommendation, study plan, letter of motivation, overview of grades and the like. Depending on the host country, a visa or vaccinations should also be considered. Of course, it is an advantage if you already have some knowledge of the national language. You should therefore make use of language lessons at your university early on. If you want to do an internship in your host country, you should take care of it at an early stage, because the relevant positions are in great demand and require additional organizational effort. A year abroad (or half a year) is an unbelievable enrichment that you will probably keep in your memory for the rest of your life. And those who do well will return home with loads of new friends, contacts, experiences, and maybe even an LL.M degree. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Free shot or not?

If you go through your studies quickly, there is the possibility in some federal states of taking an additional attempt at an exam. This so-called free shot must mostly be taken after the eighth semester. But does it always make sense for everyone to perceive it? One advantage is that if you fail the free shot, you can continue to make your two regular attempts, so nothing is lost. In the event that the free shot was successful and the exam was passed, there is still a one-off opportunity to improve. That seems ideal - especially for those who tend to be nervous and fearful of exams. Nevertheless, participation in the free shot should be carefully considered in any case. If you are not one of those students who stayed on the ball right from the start, it is likely that by the end of the eighth semester you will not be sufficiently prepared to pass the exam. Before you decide to take the free shot because you think you have nothing to lose, you should realize that you have something to lose: energy and motivation. Make no mistake about it: of course you will want to learn to take the free shot and of course you will secretly hope that you will pass it. But if that doesn't happen, there is a risk that you will have burned a lot of energy through the "half" study (because it was only for the free shot), that you are intimidated by the setback and that you are afraid of the first "sharp" attempt develop. In the worst case, you will only write the exam a few years after the unsuccessful free shot attempt. In this case you would have done better if you had just waited another semester or two and then gone into the "regular" exam with full strength and seriousness. So you see, the free shot is a coin with two sides. On the one hand, you will be given an additional attempt and you will have the opportunity to complete your studies quickly. On the other hand, the time advantage can also be reversed and cost you a lot of energy and motivation. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.

Why are we falling

So that we can learn to get up again! The young Bruce Wayne learned this wisdom from his father. It was she who helped him find his way and fight for justice as Batman. Even when studying law, it can happen that one is confronted with severe setbacks. The intermediate exam is messed up, the housework that you have put into over four weeks of your precious vacation is awarded two points or you even fail the exam. At first glance, these defeats seem overwhelming and downright fatally unfair. In the worst case, sustained self-doubt spreads. But at the latest after the first shock and the first anger have been overcome, you should remember the quote from "Batman Begins". Well, now it just didn't work out. Then I just have to do something differently and come up with a new strategy. Have i learned enough Or maybe I learned too much and got confused as a result? Did I learn wrong? Or was I just having a bad day? Often you only realize much later that the alleged defeat has brought you an advantage for the future. Anyone who gets through the exam without knowing anything and with a lot of luck will pick up the receipt for this in the second state examination, at the latest in the professional world. You may have failed once, but that's precisely why you dealt much more intensively with the whole matter - in your legal clerkship and in the professional world it can still pay off! Quite apart from the fact that you value people who get back on their feet. So remember: failure is a part of life. At best, they will make you even more successful. Get up again. You can download the complete e-book "100 tips to make studying law easier" here for free.