Category Archives: Time Management and Wellbeing

Research Plan Checklist

Your first research assessment – whether its an essay, a memorandum or some other task –  can be hard. Not only are you trying conform to new writing conventions unique to law, but you’re also expected to use and navigate legal databases that you may not be familiar with.

Thankfully however, you don’t need to tackle this task completely by yourself. The MLS library not only runs numerous research workshops, but they have also developed a nifty checklist to help guide you through the different steps of planning, writing, editing and ultimately submitting your first paper. Continue reading

Getting Motivated for Group Work

It can be tough getting motivated for group work. You might find that your study and assessment habits don’t gel with those of your group members; that other group members don’t pull their weight like you do; or that negotiating with other members of your group (especially strangers) is difficult. You might also think (correctly) that collaborating for a single mark is antithetical to the highly competitive law school environment.

These feelings are common, and it can be easy to become frustrated with your group or the law school for putting you through the process. There are many reasons these assessments are made compulsory in your first year, so important to understand why your group work matters so you can stay motivated and make the most out of the experience. Continue reading

Avoiding Procrastination

Everyone is capable of working like a fiend when the need arises. Unfortunately, most people only manage to unleash the hulking study-beast the night before an essay is due. For weeks, even months before the assessment is due, people are often held back by procrastination. You may even be procrastinating right now. There is no silver bullet for procrastination. At a certain point, it just comes down to really wanting to improve. Nevertheless, there are a few strategies that can help you to keep it at bay.

Long-Term Procrastination Strategies

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Assignment Timelines

The following materials are adapted from the Legal Academic Writing website.

All good legal academic writing shares common attributes: it is clear and concise, well organized, logical and persuasive, purposeful and relevant, and supported by accurate and current legal authorities.

However, the process of writing, and markers’ expectations regarding presentation, vary significantly, depending on whether you have several weeks to prepare an assignment, or a few days or hours to answer an exam.

Timelines

How long do you expect to spend preparing a 2,000 word hypothetical problem response? Or a 5,000 word research essay? Continue reading

Preparing for Take-Home Exams

**Note: The submission time for the Evidence and Proof Exam may be different from the times included in the below table. You should consult with your teacher and/or Reading Guide for the correct time**

In many ways, preparing for take home exams is similar to preparing for a regular exam – you do the readings beforehand, prepare notes for the subject, and have a look at some practice exams. The extended timeframe in which you have to actually write a take-home does not mean that you will have time to teach yourself the course. Nevertheless, a few points should be noted. Continue reading

Organising A Semester’s Reading

Many students simply use the subject reading guide to keep track of their readings for the semester. While this is a simple and effective way of managing readings, it is also easy to lose track of what readings you need to catch up on – especially when lectures start to fall behind schedule. Therefore, you may wish to use your computer to keep an eye on which readings you have read, taken detailed notes on, and incorporated into your exam notes. Preparation for this can begin before the start of semester.

This has three advantages: Continue reading

Managing Law Exams

Law exams can seem very daunting. Law exams aim to test your knowledge of a subject, your ability to apply that knowledge to new problems, and your skill in formulating legal arguments. If you have understood the major principles and rules of law, how they apply in practice, have read the relevant cases and statutes, and can recognise the major legal issues, you are highly likely to pass the exam.

The strategies and techniques set out below are a good starting point for preparing for law exams. The resources listed at the end can help you to excel.

Revision

Frequent revision is crucial to retaining information and preparing for exams. Continue reading