Blog Entry 71

Posted by Meagan Hanna
Meagan Hanna
Meagan is a May 2012 graduate of UDM Law. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar i
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on Friday, 21 October 2011
in Student Blogs

April 26th, 2010
Less than 24 hours until my first exam…yikes!

Yes, I know I should probably be studying, but I’m of the “I can’t study one subject for longer than an hour without going crazy” variety. 

Studying for law school exams is something that I think you just have to experience to know just how different it really is. Throughout the semester, you are given SO much information, and the trick is not to memorize it all, but to determine what the key issues are, learn (not memorize!) those issues, and then determine how those all fit in with the bigger picture.

For the past several days, my Facebook “feed” has been inundated with status updates about spending all day studying, talk about length of outlines (the most I’ve heard is about 100 pages) and number of flash cards (one person I talked to had 500…). There’s nothing quite like picturing your classmates rotting in the library studying all day to make you feel as though your own study skills are completely inadequate. For me, law school was really the first time in my life that I found it necessary to really study the material before exams. Even as an undergrad, spending two hours reviewing the day before an upper level political science exam was sufficient to guarantee an A…and then I came to law school, where we have all sorts of time off before finals just to review, workshops dedicated to the art of studying for exams, and countless panicked peers whose fear seems to
be contagious.

When all is said and done though, I think law school exams require
students to follow my philosophy towards law school in general, “keep other people out of your head.” If you find a study method that works for you, go for it! Keep in mind that more is not always better and that learning is about the process, and not about how spiffy your learning aides look …and you should be able to survive finals with some semblance of sanity intact. (Remember, they sell commercial outlines in the bookstore and the school authorizes an “outline bank” for people to post their outlines online…would they really do this if having a fancy outline was enough to guarantee you a good grade?)

On that note, if you can find somewhere off-campus where you can study, go there! I find it 20x less stressful to study where I just have my own panic to concern me...and not that of my classmates. Although I generally find myself at places like Panera or Caribou, even my local public library offers a nice, quiet retreat.

Less than eight days and I will be done with my first year of law
school…the end is near!

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About the author

Meagan Hanna

Meagan is a May 2012 graduate of UDM Law. She was admitted to the Michigan Bar in November, and she recently joined the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor’s Office as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney.

During law school, Meagan was active around the School of Law as the Law Review's Executive Editor of Outside Articles and the Vice-President of the St. Thomas More Society. She participated in the Criminal Trial Clinic, and took advantage of two internships with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and a summer internship with Judge Stephen Murphy of the Eastern District of Michigan.

In her free time, Meagan also serves as a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, enjoys tap dancing, and can't resist reading a good book.

Meagan genuinely enjoyed her time at UDM Law and she is passionate about talking to prospective students about her experience. Please contact the admissions office to obtain her contact information.