By NURFAATIHAH NORHAZI
Life as a law student can be tough. For each subject you have between 60-80 cases, a couple of related statutes and many, many legal principles to commit to memory. It is one crazy ride, so crazy that you are either constantly on the verge of tears, reevaluating your life decisions, or contemplating ruining a friendship by telling your friend just what you think of his or her pathetic contribution to group assignments.
Most of us still do not even know how to study. Thankfully, there are people who have trod this path a little before we did and who are more than happy to share their personal guides to studying effectively.
“How I survived law school is by shadowing the super smart kiasu students during study week. What I did was borrow their notes (I never took notes in class) and work on my own notes from there. I always had discussions with them or at least listened when they had their discussions. I even spent my nights with them!” says IIUM law graduate and social media personality Syahira Zakaria, 23. She continues, “My brain works best through listening to people. Of course, I’m also lucky that those kiasu students were, and still are, my good friends.”
When asked how effective this method of studying proved to be for her, Syahira says, “I have been doing this since my high school years and I was a straight-A student throughout those years. Plus I survived law school without a hitch (no repeats and no fails, even though I really ever studied the day before an exam paper), so I would say it is really effective!”
Ingenious though it is, Syahira’s study style works best for those with KBFs (kiasu best friends). For those without, 23-year-old vlogger Caely Yo Yi Yun shares her own study tips.
“I always ensure that I know what is expected of me and what I am supposed to know as a student. You can know this from the ‘Learning Outcome’ section in your notes or textbooks. I also go through past examination papers because it’s important to know every angle they might test you from, but I don’t “spot” certain topics and hope for the best. Also, read the original texts instead of lecturers’ or friends’ notes. Our own understanding and interpretation are key, and though other people’s notes can be a starting point, we should not rely on them too much.”
Thinking about it, there is probably a direct correlation between not doing well in Law school and having textbooks with un-cracked spines. Or worse, not getting textbooks at all…
Caely, who studied Law at Advance Tertiary College (ATC) for the University of London Programme, is sure that her way of studying is effective. “Whenever I read directly from the sources, my understanding is more thorough. Only then can you see the bigger picture and reasoning behind the law. One’s essays can truly stand out because of this! This even makes subjects like Jurisprudence, Human Rights and Commercial Law interesting to learn.”
Syahira and Caely’s helpful tips sound like they suit most, if not all, law students. However, the only way to know for sure is to try them out.
Be right back guys, drawing up a personal study guide whose existence will not be ignored after two weeks of practice.