Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Importance of Study Groups

Law school has a reputation for being difficult. It is absolutely true that it can be difficult. Sometimes, it can be extraordinarily difficult. But it can also be exhilarating, exciting, and occasionally overwhelming. But it is never easy. It is a place where success is contingent on putting in the work. Talent can only take you so far. Intelligence can only take you so far. A good memory can only take you so far. At the end of the day, or the end of the course, what takes you over the finish line is dedication and hours of study. Endless. Hours. Of. Study.

Being able to rely on the people around you is important because studying in law school is a group endeavor. Your classmates are facing the same challenges that you are. The advantage of group studying comes from the fact that they notice things you have missed, and vice versa. Many of them are able to grasp areas of the curriculum that confuse you, so they can help you shore up your weak points. In areas in which you have a better understanding, explaining it to others helps not only to deepen your own understanding of the material, but also helps you to determine which areas your own understanding is incomplete.

Before I came to Loyola, I had always studied on my own, so study groups were a relatively new thing to me. The exams are strictly timed, which makes bridging the gap between knowing the material and demonstrating that knowledge a challenging endeavor. In addition to simply discussing the material with classmates, I felt that the time I did spend in study groups was best spent writing essays and comparing answers within the group. Many of the sample essay prompts don’t come with sample answers, so it can be difficult to gauge if your answer is complete or even on the right track.

My fellow students at Loyola are extremely supportive and very helpful. Everyone realizes that the success of others adds to their own success. That means that everyone has a strong incentive to learn as much as they can from their fellow students. This cooperation within the student body is crucial to our success, and at Loyola people work together to succeed and I think it shows.

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