The First Year Officers
What I’d wish I’d known…
We asked older law students to think back to what they wish they had known from First year. Thank you to all the students who shared their wisdom with us!
How to survive your law studies:
1. Keep on top of the content each week. It is so easy to fall behind on readings and lectures, but if you stay on top of the material you can ask your tutors and lecturers questions, and revise along the way.
2. Put effort into your notes through sesmester, ensuring all tests and rules also mention the case/ statute they are derived from
3. Make the most of your lecturers, tutors, and the academic skills centre. Ask them questions, there is no shame in doing so- they are there to help you, there is no need to stress if you do not understand something at rst
4. Get study buddies! If you can meet up once a week with some friends to just nut out a few points for the tutorial it’ll help you keep up to day somewhat and not waste valuable tutorial time!
5. Learn how to use the legal research online databases (the ones explained in the library seminars)- they make life much easier!
6. Find your most productive study place from the get go and stick to it, whether it be in a café, library or your room. If you end up procrastinating on your phone or laptop, turn your phone o and download the so ware SelfControl onto your laptop- it blocks distracting sites like facebook for however long you want during a study session
7. Don’t compare your marks with other students, it will almost certainly make you feel worse
8. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Marks are not the determining factor of your success.The new Chief Justice of the High Court, Susan Kiefel, dropped out of school at 15. It’s what you do with your law degree that really matters.
How to study for and succeed in assignments and exams:
1. Excelling in law mainly comes down to how well you organise your knowledge so stick to HIRAC like your life depends on it
2. Do group study sessions where you attempt practice problems individually and then compare responses. It will help you to realise the gaps in your knowledge and the different ways to approach a problem
3. Make concise exam notes just containing statements of law, the authorities and short notes explaining concepts. You shouldn’t be relying on your notes too much, only look at them to double check a rule
4. Examiners reward confidence in sifting through which legal questions are and are not relevant. Rather than addressing everything in minute detail, move straight onto the longer more demanding questions.
5. When planning a response, understand the big picture concepts and then tackle the finer details. This way you can establish a base and then build up your answer.
6. Be realistic about what you can get done last minute. If you’re almost at exams and have done barely any lectures or readings, you won’t be able to catch up. Find a previous student’s notes and work through problem questions and past papers. It’s way better than going ham on echo360.
“I accidentally submitted the draft of my contracts assignment, the final page read “NEED TO FIX THIS””
“Running into the LSS Common Room door head rst a er pre-empting it opening, when it didn’t…”
“My entire legal education.”
“Not remembering people in my class, a er having tutorials with them for almost two semesters. Get to know faces and be nice. It helps.”