Now that the glorious week known as Spring Break is over, most students start to turn their attention towards final exams. Hopefully, Spring Break was an opportunity for you to rest, recharge, and get caught up on a few things so that you can enter the second half of the semester feeling energized and ready to work. As you settle back in to your routine after the week off, keep this to-do list in mind to help you make the most of the next few weeks so that you can enter final exams feeling prepared to perform your best.

  1. Make a Study Plan. Pull out your syllabi and your calendar and start planning! Believe it or not, finals are a mere five weeks away, so it’s important to start allotting time for everything that you need to accomplish over the next few weeks. Make sure you have your long-term assignments (seminar papers, LRW briefs, etc.) and your short-time assignments (reading, outlining, etc.) scheduled so that you don’t have any deadlines sneaking up on you.
  2. Outline, Outline, Outline! Creating your own course outline is a tried and true study technique for law school that has numerous benefits. If you haven’t started your outlines, get going now! If your outlines aren’t up to date, get them current! Make sure regular outlining is a part of your study plan and set yourself a goal of having your course outlines finished by the last day of regular classes.
  3. Identify Difficult Concepts. Take a few minutes to review your class notes and outlines from the first half of the semester and identify any concepts that you don’t understand. Seek help (from a fellow, a professor, or us at the Academic Achievement Department – that’s what we’re here for!) right away so that you aren’t scrambling to grasp these concepts right before finals.
  4. Pursue or Follow Up on Summer Employment Opportunities. As it gets closer to final exams, you’ll need to spend more and more time focused on your academics. So to the extent you can, make arrangements for your summer employment now, so that you have one less thing to stress about at the end of the semester.
  5. Make Plans for Bar Prep. For all of our wonderful 3Ls who will be taking the Bar Exam this July, make sure you are registered for your bar prep courses and have made arrangements with your employer to take off as much time as possible to study.
  6. Review Graduation Requirements and Pick Your Classes. It’s important to pick classes you’re interested in, it’s essential to meet all of your graduation requirements. As your reviewing the Fall course schedule don’t forget to make sure that you’re also ticking all the boxes you in order to graduate. Do you know how many Group A courses you need? Do you know how you will satisfy the upper level writing requirement? What experiential course makes the most sense for you? Review the graduations requirements and set up an appointment with your advisor if you need help making class selections.
  7. Do your Spring Cleaning. Eliminating, or at least reducing, distractions so that you can focus during finals prep is important. Use the next weeks to take care of as many non-law school related tasks as you can so that you’ll be able to focus on studying when the time comes.
  8. Back up your Computer. Your computer most likely contains a lot of precious materials – class notes, outlines, research papers. Losing all that hard work would be tragic, so make sure you back up your computer and do so regularly each week until the end of the term.

The end of Spring Break generally marks the midpoint of the semester, and is a great opportunity to assess your progress and identify what you still need to accomplish. Make sure the next few weeks are productive – add your own items to the to-do list and then get to work checking them off!