A few 2Ls who booked their classes at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in Fall of 2016 were asked questions regarding advice for 1Ls who are facing final exams in less than a month. The responses came from 2Ls in various sections and in different classes.
Meghan Kircher booked Constitutional Law with Professor Hernández-Truyol.
“I made sure that during the semester I took really detailed notes on each case that we read so that when it came time to outlining I didn’t need to go back and spend time re-reading the textbook. Con Law is all about how the cases build off of one another so I structured my outline into sections; separation of powers, federalism, and individual liberties. Then, I created lists of cases involving the same themes like marriage, LGBT rights, and civil rights. In Professor Hernández’s class the key to doing well is listening to her hypotheticals in class. Most of our exam questions were a variation of a question she posed involving current events. I made sure to write those questions down and look for answers. When I saw a similar question on the exam I didn’t have to start from square one because I already had an understanding of the constitutional issues and which cases might apply.”
Andres Perotti booked Torts with Professor Stein.
“The most important piece of information I could give is figuring out what the professor wants. Some want more analysis, some want the rules to be very well developed. Knowing that will help tailor your outline differently for each class. I only used supplements in classes when the professor recommended one.”
Jessica Beugen aced Criminal Law with Professor Nunn.
“My best advice for studying for crim is to know the elements of all the crimes really well. The Dressler supplement really helped me. I remember it was important for Nunn’s class to know the distinctions of the MPC and Common Law. Also make sure to look over policy. I remember there was a policy question, and most people forgot to study that topic. So study all your notes to make sure nothing catches you off guard. I also liked to bind my outlines on card stock so it would be easy for me to review them as much as I could before finals. Practice tests are a must… and don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors. They are there to help you!”
Kailyn Allen booked Contracts with Professor Davis.
“I was extremely engaged during [Professor Davis’] class… He teaches you how to think like a lawyer, which means thinking analytically, creatively, and strategically. You can only acquire those skills by paying attention in his class and you will not learn that from any textbook or supplement. Professor Davis is one of the most brilliant legal minds in the nation and he asks questions in class for a reason. Pay attention to the questions he asks in class and the way he analyzes cases and arguments… I printed out my class notes at the end of the semester, put them all in a binder, and spent two days reading through my class notes. I then went through his old exams and tried to learn how certain facts corresponded with issues and arguments. In addition to my binder of class notes, which I arranged by topic, I made a brief outline the night before the exam with just a list of topics for issue spotting purposes… The key to success in the class is to learn the thinking style and not just the black letter law. Everyone will know the black letter law, and you need to learn that too or you will not have a foundation upon which to build your analysis, but the key to getting an A is issue spotting and analysis… The last piece of advice I will give is from my boyfriend, who golfed for UF and is now a professional golfer. I was freaking out before exams thinking that everyone is so much smarter than me and did so much more than me to prepare… Stay focused, and don’t freak out because that does not benefit you in any way. You have zero control over anything but your own performance, so do not waste energy worrying about anything you cannot control.”
Alejandro Moreno booked Introduction to Lawyering with Professor Nance
“ITL was the one class I feel other students didn’t take too seriously, so I showed up to every class prepared and with my notes. At the end of the semester; when everyone was stressing for the ITL exam after all of their other finals, I was pretty calm because I had done all the other work. As cheesy as ITL can be, putting some earnest enthusiasm goes a long way with Professor Nance. He loves his big cookies.”
What will you do differently the second semester of your 1L year?
“I would make the most out of the beginning of the semester while I have a little more free time. Having just moved to Gainesville, I know there’s a world of fun and opportunity out there and now that I’m cooped up reading inside all day I feel as though I’m missing out on all that this wonderful area has to offer. Also, one thing I can already feel myself doing this semester that has been working really well is whenever I get stressed about finals or grades or competition, I look around and marvel at the fact that I even have this incredible opportunity to take a law school final at Levin College of Law…” – Daniel O’Byrne, 1L
“I’ll let you know when I get my grades back.”
-Jacob Markham, 1L