Today, we’re excited to bring you our first guest post written by a current law student! Katie Clarke is a rising 3L at Carolina Law, and Rachel was lucky enough to teach her during Katie’s very first semester at Carolina. Additional biographical details appear below.
Growing up, I excelled in school because I tried harder than most and had figured out the best way to study to perform well on exams: rote memorization. That changed when I started law school. During the first semester of my 1L year, I spent hours each night reading and briefing cases, ensuring I memorized every last detail. To my dismay, I soon learned that those exact details, like whether a car was red or blue, really didn’t matter to the professor. As a very detail-oriented person (in fact, one of my law school professors gave me the superlative of “most detail-oriented”), I struggled to grasp the idea that the details didn’t matter as much as understanding the big picture (i.e., the holding) and the ability to apply the law moving forward.
In October, with midterms around the corner, most students had already begun outlining, or at least familiarizing themselves with outlines provided by 2Ls and 3Ls. I saw classmates with 100+ page outlines and heard about how they had spent hours outlining, but weren’t even halfway through the material. Needless to say, this was overwhelming. Although I appreciate details, I am also aware I can get bogged down by them and was fearful that I would freeze up during an exam if I tried to using a 100+ page outline. This led me to decide that the “traditional” Microsoft Word, bulleted, Times-New-Roman outline would not be for me. Continue reading “Finding my flow: how I developed an exam preparation strategy that worked for me —guest post by Katie Clarke”