04
Aug 2017

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Law has a reputation for being hard. Beyond the fact that the concepts are challenging, the workload heavy, and all the teaching staff demanding, it has the tendency to be boring AF. Most of us have questioned our choices when it comes to studying law. Not so much, “Do I really want to be a lawyer?” But more, “Why have I chosen to subject myself to such brutal banality?” It’s bearable enough of the time for us to continue, but when it blows, it’s like hurricane fucking Katrina. The dull rating makes it that much harder. At least if it were interesting we wouldn’t mind putting in all those hours, right? Thankfully there are some tricks to make law unit enjoyable, maybe even interesting. But it’s a big maybe.

 

1. Escándalo!

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I learnt early on in my law career that if you find the humour or scandal in something you’ll have a better chance of remembering it. Criminal Law doesn’t really need this much help, but Torts, even the dreaded Property Law, is littered with cases which are capable of being a Neighbours story line. Find the debauchery behind a case, make up a dirty pneumonic device to remember the elements to a crime, or play out the scene of a case in your head using the full force of your imagination. The more outlandish and Telenovela-esque, the better.

 

2. What would Cleaver Greene do?

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Think about a fictional lawyer or other fictional person whom you admire and think about what they would do in your situation. Take it one step further. When it comes time to do the assignment on the dreaded subject, write it in their voice. This is great if they’re really verbose people. I find Dr Frasier Crane/Sideshow Bob’s voice very helpful/evil.

 

3. You do you, boo boo

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Rewards, self-care, conditioning, call it what you want, if you can make yourself happy you’ll probably be more likely to just get on with it.

 

4. Know your learning style

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One of the things about law school and basically all education in general is that we’re taught there’s only one or two ways to learn. Tonnes of reading and writing notes will not and does not work for everyone. It’s that whole ‘if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree’ thing. If you can’t climb a tree, stop trying!! One of the ways I learn best is by taking information and organising it, either by making lists or flowcharts. Another way is by talking about a concept and explaining it – even if there isn’t anyone there to explain it to (which is sometimes preferable). Just having that conversation helps to cement that concept into your brain. Some people love colour and learn really well by doing massive brain storms. Some people can get everything they need by listening to lectures over and over. Take the time to know yourself and your learning style. This will make a subject seem way less daunting and you’ll probably enjoy putting your new ideas into some practical use.

 

5. Get a pity party

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AKA a study group. Getting a regular study group going once or twice a week can make the gruelling task of getting through a terrible subject more manageable. They’re your comrades, comrade! You can bitch about the unit to each other, have a library picnic while quizzing each other, and maybe even pass this stinking unit! Almost sounds like fun, no?

 

6. Drink

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Recent studies (conducted by me) have shown that having a drink or two while studying or writing an essay can not only help the process but make it more enjoyable. Just be careful to pace yourself otherwise you’ll spend more time deleting rants filled with “legalese” than actually writing it.

 

7. Get some perspective and calm down

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You hate the subject, we get it. But it’s just a matter of getting through it, right? Does it really matter if you don’t get an amazing grade? What you’re getting out of it is the knowledge that you want to work as far away from that field as possible, skills to make other arduous tasks slightly less horrible, and building up a network of people who hate the same thing you do! That’s love, baby. Yes, you’d much rather be binge-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race for the zillionth time. But, it’s 16(ish) weeks for a goal affirming, full, and happy life. Some of the time. If you live to be 85 it’s about a 276th of your life. Not really that bad, right?

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