Collaboration In Law School – Finding Your People

Diana Hernandez is an LLS student blogger.

When I started law school, I had no idea what to expect when it came to the social and academic environment. On one hand, movies usually show a hyper-competitive environment and during orientation we were told about the dreaded curve. On the other hand, at admitted student’s day, I had met some great, intelligent people, who did not seem ready to go for each other’s throats. Once I started law school, I started to see that while everyone is competitive and extremely intelligent, we all wish to see each other succeed, and we understand that to succeed we must collaborate in learning.

People have very different strategies when it comes to study groups. Study groups are one of those things where you have to try a few ways before you realize what works for you. For me, it was about finding a couple people with study habits similar to mine. I tend to prefer smaller groups, as it is easier to focus. Generally, study groups are useful in helping me figure out what I don’t know, and they help me practice my reasoning. By having to explain what I know- or I think I know-, I am better able to grasp the material. Even when we are not debating or studying for a class, I enjoy working alongside my study group. Sharing a space with my friends helps me with accountability and it provides me with quick feedback when I have a quick question about my own work.

Ultimately, what I have learned about study groups is that you have to shop around to figure out what works for you and you have to be honest with yourself when you are in a situation that is not working.

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