Law School Materials for Success
first Edition

Law School Materials for Success

by Barbara Glesner Fines

The first year of law school is, for many people, one of the most significant transitions of their adult life. Law school demands a lot as it helps you make the transition from your prior identity as student (or as some other occupational role) to your new identity as an attorney. To meet the demands of law school, it is often helpful to have the big picture before you begin – a sense of what it is you are trying to do as you prepare for classes, participate in those classes, review and prepare for exams, take exams, and then begin the cycle once again.

Law School Materials for Success is designed to give you the essentials of that process. It is purposefully brief – most law students do not have the time for an extensive examination of the study of law school. Rather, they need a source for some basic, critical advice and some pointers on where to go for more if necessary. That is what this book and the accompanying podcasts are designed to provide. 

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Law School Materials for Success
About the Author
About CALI eLangdell® Press
1. Assessing your Resources
1.1. Resource Priorities
1.2. The Survival Resources
1.3. The Most Limited Resource
1.4. A Calendar
1.5. The Non-cognitive Resources: Self-knowledge and Self-esteem
2. Preparing for Class
2.1. Critical, Active Reading Skills
2.2. Critical Writing Skills: An Introduction to Briefing
2.3. A Sample Briefing Format
2.4. The Importance of Vocabulary
2.5. Guided Reading of a Case
2.6. Case #2
2.7. Reading the Law from a Series of Cases
3. Getting the Most from Class
3.1. What to Expect in Class (and Why)
3.2. Making and Using Class Notes
3.3. Note Taking Skills, Problems and Solutions
3.4. Tips for Active Listening
3.5. The Relationship Between Classes and Exams
3.6. Thinking like a Lawyer -- Applying the Law to Facts
3.7. Identifying Issues
4. After Class Review
4.1. Why review?
4.2. Group Study
4.3. Procedure
4.4. Supplementary Resources
5. Outlining and Exam Preparation
5.1. Knowing your goals
5.2. Knowing your subject
5.3. Knowing your audience
6. Taking an Exam
6.1. Remember your goals
6.2. Exam-taking techniques
6.3. Some General Tips
7. The Next Semester
7.1. Reviewing your past semester’s learning
7.2. Reviewing your past semester’s grades
7.3. Meeting with your professor
7.4. Meet with your colleagues
7.5. Plan your new semester
7.6. If you feel like you’ve failed

Barbara Glesner Fines is the Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law and Executive Associate Dean for Faculty and Academics at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where she has taught since 1986. Professor Glesner received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her masters of law degree from Yale Law School. She teaches Professional Responsibility, Family Violence, Divorce Process, and a Seminar in Ethical Issues in the Representation of Families and Children.

Her recent publications include ETHICAL ISSUES IN FAMILY REPRESENTATION (Carolina Academic Press 2010); PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY: A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH (Context and Skills Series)(Carolina Academic Press 2012); Fifty Years of Family Law Practice - The Evolving Role of The Family Law Attorney, 24 J. AMER. ACAD. MATRIM. L. 601 (2011); Lessons Learned About Classroom Teaching from Authoring Computer-assisted Instruction Lessons, 38 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 1094 (2012).

Professor Glesner has held leadership positions in many organizations devoted to legal education, including the AALS Section on Teaching Methods (Chair 2012-13); the AALS section on Professional Responsibility (Chair Elect 2015-16); the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (Board of Directors, 1998‐2005; President 2002‐2005; Editorial Board 1998- current); and the Institute for Law School Teaching and Learning (Advisory Board 2003-date, Acting President 2006‐2008).

Barbara Glesner Fines, Law School Materials for Success, Published by CALI eLangdell Press. Available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 License.

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