Five Law School Time-Savers to Make You More Productive

If you are a law student, you may feel there is too much work to do and not enough time to get it done! A few time-savers can go a long way in boosting your law school productivity. The goal is to get more done in less time so you can have some time to yourself (guilt-free!). These helpful tips will help you make the most of your time each day.  

Complete Your Reading as Close to Class as Possible

In an effort to get a lot done, some students will read all of their cases over the weekend. But, by their Thursday class they will likely forget what they read. At best, this leads to rereading cases again before class—essentially increasing your workload. At worst, this leads to not following along well in class. If you complete your law school reading the night before class or the morning of, you will recall more and minimize the need to reread. 

Condense and Organize Your Notes Right After Class 

The best time to condense and organize your class notes is shortly after class, ideally within the first few hours. You will recall the lecture much better if you make it a habit to take this step. Even better, take this time to use your class notes to outline each day after class! You will be ahead of the game if you outline early and consistently. 

Do the Task You Dread First!

Everyone has a task they dread—maybe it is that legal writing assignment, or reading for Civil Procedure, or getting ready for your oral argument. Even though you may be tempted to put it off, do it first! You will get it out of the way. You will feel productive. And it won’t be hanging over your head all day (or all week!). You will be energized and motivated to plow through the rest of your to-do list once that dreadful task is crossed off of it! 

Plan out Your Day

Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” If you sit down to study with no plan you will likely find yourself checking your email, going on social media, texting, or finding anything to do other than studying. 

Instead, plan your day or your week ahead of time. Make a list of things you hope to accomplish and prioritize them. Then when you sit down to study, you will have a list of tasks to get through. You will be much less likely to procrastinate. 

Be Strategic About What You Say “Yes” to 

Some law students want to say “yes” to everything. They join every club. They join multiple study groups. They try to form relationships with every faculty member. They are eager to be involved. 

But when you say “yes” to something, you are inevitably saying “no” to something else. Being involved is good, but it is better to be strategic about how you spend your time. For example: 

  • Say yes to an extracurricular, a clerkship, or an internship that will further your career or your relationships. 
  • Say yes to getting to know faculty members and other students that you feel a connection to. 
  • Say yes to your health including exercising, getting enough sleep, and making mental health a priority. 

Being thoughtful and strategic about your time is critical. If you implement these time-saving measures, you will be working smarter, not harder. And that is the key to success in law school and beyond!