When undertaking legal studies, it is important to possess the ability to organise and plan your studying in an efficient way which maximizes one’s ability to achieve desirable results. Good organisation and hard work is key to succeeding at the university level. However, if these are not your strong points then do not be alarmed as we are here to teach you and give you some useful study tips based on previous experiences.
1. Look at your reading list each week. Plan your reading in a way which fits your timetable. Usually, students find that making a plan of what to read at the beginning of each week works very well. Whilst this may initially be burdensome, adopting this practice tends to lead to significant long-term results.
2. On average, law schools give students approximately 100 pages to read per week. This can be very challenging due to the complicated legal jargon and language used in these books and the vast amount of time necessary to comprehend the material read. Reading lists are generally divided into two categories: essential and additional reading. We would recommend to firstly open the lecture outline or slides (whatever your university uses), read them, copy the information to a separate word document and add the lecture notes and reading notes there. In this way, you can focus on the essential issues that are discussed in the lecture and not the whole chapter of the book; part of which will not be necessary to know.
3. If you think that this task is very hard to complete, remember that we have already done a lot of the work for you! We provide brilliant notes which are probably shorter than your one week reading list and should contain most of the necessary information which you need to know from various reliable sources. Our notes are made following the structure noted above so it only mentions the cases and concepts that are usually covered on the LLB Law degree. However, you should note that your university might be covering some other cases and materials as well, so make sure that you check that our notes contain all the information you need.
4. Our notes should be used as a reliable summary of a module; it is still recommended that you read the book and articles provided to attain an in depth understanding of a topic. Our notes are ideal to use for revision purposes before examinations as it sums up everything in simple terms.
5. UK based law schools tend to provide approximately 8 to 16 hours of teaching time per week. Do not underestimate this! Having such few contact hours with lecturers does not equate to excess free time. On the contrary, this means that the majority of work must be completed on your own. Accordingly, you are expected to dedicate large amounts of time to your reading.
6. In terms of timing, it is estimated that one should be reading at least 5 hours after lectures daily and about 7 hours on weekends and day-offs. You can either follow your after lecture reading list or tutorial reading list; they should generally be the same.
7. If you decide to rely on our notes instead of following the reading list, this will be able to reduce considerably the amount of time you need to be spending reading. However, we would strongly recommend that you complete at least the full reading in regards to the key cases and concepts if you aim to achieve excellent results.
8. Do not misinterpret the concept of reading week! Many students understand this to be a holiday; this is a big mistake. Reading week is given so that students can get up to date on reading material. It is therefore advised that you utilise reading week to complete as much actual reading and revision as possible.
9. In terms of planning your reading, once you have read the very essential concepts in your book, try to read something interesting and important in your additional reading list. Usually, if there is something of major value in your additional reading list, a lecturer may mention it on the lecture. This means that you should attend all lectures. If you do not it shall be quite difficult to catch up on the modules on your own.
10. Most importantly, do not think that first year does not count. This is a huge misconception. Whilst most universities may not count first year grades towards your degree classification, when applying for your internships and training contract/pupillage later, organisations shall examine your grades from as early as the secondary school level. This means that if you do not do well in your first year, you shall lose your opportunity to get work placements at the end of your first year in order to make your CV interesting and increase your chances of getting a training contract/pupillage.
11. To sum up, it is best to do your essential reading and plan your reading weekly, attend lectures and use our notes as well-structured and short summary of modules. Also, in order to test your knowledge, we provide quizzes that are specifically created to help you memorise key cases and key concepts in the easiest way possible. We also have short summaries for key cases for further practice. If you do not have time to read books every week, read our notes and practice with our resources so that you do not fall behind!
12. In terms of practice, try to go to the tutorials and draft your answers to the tutorial questions beforehand. Our notes should be ideal for you to use to answer tutorial questions. Try to engage yourself in the discussion during seminars as this should help you grasp the information and form arguments.
13. Moreover, it is very important to know exam techniques. You may know the law well and do all the reading but still get low grades. This is due to a limited understanding of what is actually required during an examination and how to structure answers. Accordingly, we would strongly recommend that you read our exam tips as this contains valuable information which may be useful with this discipline. We also provide model essays which can be used as examples of what is expected to attain a high-level result. All of this and more is available when you upgrade your account to premium.