I would most definitely recommend the FSGs for students unsure of how best to approach studying law in their first semester. Every first year has the skills necessary to undertake tertiary study, but the study of law requires a very distinct skill set, which will need to be developed over time.
Having access to the later year Facilitator was the best part of participating in the Facilitated Study Group. Having an opportunity to talk to someone in an open and frank manner who has very recently gone through the ‘first year experience’ was incredibly helpful. The Facilitator was able to offer great ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, as well as a multitude of approaches that worked for them or their class mates.
I found the process of meeting as a small group week to week and participating in discussion of issues and subject materials most helpful. The regularity of meetings and the opportunity to talk to not only the later year Facilitator but also my colleagues was very beneficial. Very often my class mates had great tips to offer that were very helpful in developing effective approaches to how I studied law.
The later year Facilitator of my FSG was incredibly helpful. The Facilitator, as a final year student, had already been through the trial-and-error of how best to study and prepare for assessment. As a result, they had a lot of good advice to share. This ultimately saved me from wasting time studying inefficiently before discovering these better study skills/methods for myself. They were familiar with the various pieces of assessment we due had for each subject (from oral presentations with the ‘Attorney-General’ to research papers) and were able to offer suggestions as to how these should be approached or managed. This assistance went beyond generic criteria in the marking guide and was of more practical assistance.
I found the process of meeting as a small group, the discussions and the facilitator very helpful, particularly in regards to studying for subjects that had exam formats different to those I was use to from my undergraduate degree.
The FSGs were a good place to discuss concerns about studying law with other people who felt the same and with a facilitator who could help put those concerns into context.