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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Law School Exams (How not to Succeed in Law School)

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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As I’ve mercilessly belabored, more from James D. Gordon’s now slightly depressing, but still masochistically fascinating How not to Succeed in Law School (.pdf)

Studies have shown that the best way to learn is to have frequent exams on small amounts of material and to receive lots of feedback from the teacher. Consequently, law school does not of this. Anyone can learn under ideal conditions; law school is supposed to be an intellectual challenge. Therefore, law professors give only one exam, the FINAL EXAM OF THE LIVING DEAD, and they give absolutely no feedback before then. Actually, they give no feedback after then, either, because they don’t return the exams to the students. A few students go and look at their exams after they are graded, but this is a complete waste of time, unless they just want to see again what they wrote and have a combat veteran-style flashback of the whole horrific nightmare. The professors never write any comments on the exams. That might permit you to do better next time, which would upset the class ranking.

On preparing for the Exam:

Then, memorize the outline. As you pour it in the top of your head, most of it will run out your ears. Keep scooping the stuff that runs out your ears and pour it back into the top of your head. Eventually, a little of it will begin to stick. You should also use acronyms, or “pneumatic devices,” to help you memorize.


Then the two-week exam period begins in earnest, and the typical student begins to feel like a nine-lived cat run over by an eighteen-wheeler. To take their minds off the crush of exams, students engage in a variety of activities, such as

Trying to concentrate while panicking.
Having anxiety attacks while panicking.
Having diarrhea while panicking.
Panicking while panicking.

It should either soothe or alarm you to know that more than one of my professors has mentioned starting with a pile of exams and a bottle of scotch and then ‘having a race’.

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Category: advice to law students, law school


One Response

  1. Hilarity! Where on earth do you find these things?

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