The 5 Steps to a High Distinction
In first year, it seemed impossible for me to get a great mark in Law, and it felt like everyone "got it" but me. Trust me, everyone is wondering the same thing. By fifth year though, I had accumulated some tricks of the trade which made Law easier to study and therefore easier to get good marks.
Here are my 5 steps to a HD:
1. Use the best resources - the ones that give you the answers! If your lecture notes just don't cut it, check out online commentary and looseleaf resources - they summarise the law on almost every topic (just check when they were last updated). Some of the encyclopedias contain excellent commentary on sections of legislation, and others have amazing case headnote summaries - they summarise the facts and findings of every case! Lexis Nexis is a great resource too, especially for Corporations Law.
2. Teach someone else something - the best way to learn is to teach! Try explaining the topic, or one aspect of the subject to someone else, in plain English. If you understand it, you can make anyone else understand it! The best law lessons can be learnt in a coffee shop with your uni friends after a lecture!
3. Summarise your lecture notes into 'cheat sheets' - after each lecture, try to summarise the lecture with a takeaway message or a cheat sheet containing the key concept, key case and key legislative provision. Then add your details in for a more detailed summary of the week's content.
4. Break it down - The best way to interpret legislation is to break down the provision into parts. The best way to summarise a lecture is to break it down into sections. The best way to answer a legal problem is to break it down into headings and subheadings. Everything is easier if you just break it down.
5. MODEL ANSWERS!!! The greatest thing you can ever do for exam preparation is to write model answers. That way, you have a polished essay which you can essentially regurgitate in the exam and all you need to do is add and apply the relevant facts.