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29

Practice Makes Perfect: Examples and Explanations

    INTRODUCTION

This may sound like heresy, but the plain fact of the matter is that most students spend entirely too much time studying for their first-year exams.

  Let me clarify what I mean. Most students study for their finals by reviewing their notes, rereading material from the casebook, writing outlines, and memorizing the legal doctrines studied in the course. All this is very well, and should be done, but learning every minute rule in the Torts course is not the best way to assure a strong performance. The best way to prepare for your law exams, once you have mastered the basic legal rules, is to take some law exams. There's a big difference between reading about chess and playing the game. If you were going to a chess tournament, you would prepare by playing a lot of chess. Similarly, there's a big difference between learning legal rules and using them effectively to answer an essay question. If you want to develop a facility for clearly applying the law you have studied to new facts, the best way to do it is to practice at it.

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