Hack law school:
Calm the f*** down &
pick strategies that work

Yes, it's true: Law school drives even ordinarily sane people insane.

Every aspect of your legal education seems designed to induce paralyzing anxiety -- the admission process, its high cost, the prospect of $200,000 in loans the classroom instruction, the bar exam.

Everything is stressful!!!

Follow the right strategies, and you will carefully steer through all of this unscathed.

Listen to the advice on this site, and you may calm your nerves, get excellent grades, and even enjoy law school a bit.

But with the wrong strategies (or none at all), being a law student becomes even more stressful than it already is.

The standard, crappy advice you get from your well-meaning but idiotic elders in the law will ultimately only feed your stress because it will focus on doing lots of work instead of doing the right work.

Well meaning law students or lawyers will tell you to do things that did not work for them. But they will give you this advice anyway because it was the advice they received: brief cases, read the cases over and over again, don't read outside materials, etc.

Ordinary advice misses the point entirely. Your real goals are getting good grades and, based on those grades, a good job.

I guess you get this bad advice, in part, because doing high volumes of totally pointless work is part of the culture of the legal profession.

This advice also seems right to people because it at least sounds familiar: "Work hard, listen to your professors, do all of the reading" sounds like what you did to get good grades in college. So what's the harm in it?

Well, working really hard at doing just what you did in college will actively hurt you. "Read, listen & regurgitate" is not how you get an A in law school.

You have limited time, and you must spend that limited time doing the right thing.

No matter what, being a law student and a lawyer ae a lot of work, no matter what.

But hard work alone isn't enough.

It's possible to work very, very hard and be a terrible law student and lawyer.

COME ON people! It's the 21st Century! Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek and blog) cries himself to sleep on his pile of money whenever he thinks of earnest law students and lawyers doing what they're told and running themselves to death on a giant hamster wheel of doing work for work's sake.

Stop working hard.

Start working smart.

Ask yourself, WWTFD, or:

"What Would Tim Ferriss Do?"

He would ask: What are my specific, measurable goals, and what critical activities that will help me achieve them?

So, what are your specific, measurable goals?

The last one is a little subjective -- a "good job" is not necessarily the highest-paying one, especially in the law--but all of these things can be measured, analyzed and achieved.

So what are the few, critical things you need to accomplish these goals?

Well, that's what this website is for.

I am a practicing attorney and tutor and coach to law students. I was a top law student, and on this I have assembled the best free advice on how to excel at the few critical skills you need to do to get into a good school, succeed on your exams, and get a good job.

Just as important as what to do, I identify what you should not do--specifically those make-work activities that take up your time but get you no where.

Work the smart and easy way, and you'll be a success without having to work too hard.

Work hard at working the smart and easy way, and you'll be a big success.

Work hard the wrong way, or work hard at the wrong, unproductive things (like many of your classmates will do, guaranteed), and you'll be burned out and emphatically not a success.

And if you're not a success in law school, you can still be a success in life by dropping out of law school.  Seriously. 

Now, wait a minute. Maybe you've already had difficulties--that you did not get into a good law school (or can't because you didn't finish college or some other reason), that you didn't do well in school, or that you have a terrible (or no) legal job after graduating.  And you're still hell-bent on going to law school.

Well, this site is still absolutely for you.

I have a strong interest in helping you "hack" the legal profession and flip off the legal establishment.

Some other topics I cover here include:

  • Are there circumstances under which it makes no sense to go to law school? As the computer in the movie WarGames said: Sometimes the best move is not to play.

  • What are the alternative ways to becoming a lawyer, other than going to a traditional three-year juris doctor program?

  • Specifically, does it make sense for me to look into getting an online law degree?

  • Are there good law firm jobs out there other than the so-called "BigLaw" jobs with big law firms?

  • How can I pursue and alternate, non-traditional legal career?

So, are you ready to join me to "hack" law school and the legal profession?

As Arnold said in Terminator 2:

"Come with me if you want to live."

Let's start:

Blog
Updates to the Law School Hacker site are posted here whenever they occur, as well as other blog entries.

About Me
All About Me: Almost everything you want to know about the author of Law School Hacker

How to Study Law, Ace Exams & Be A Law School Success
A detailed, step-by-step guide on how to study law the easy and smart way.

Top Ranked Law Schools: Hacking the Rankings of the Best Schools
Here I analyze the top ranked schools, assess why they are considered the best, and explain why there is a “top fifteen,” not a “top ten."

Law Degrees - JD, LLM, online, etc., which degree is right for you
All About Law Degrees - What you need to know about all of the different types of degrees you could get, and how to decide which is right for you.

Requirements for Admissions: Applying & Getting In
Hacking Admissions By Successfully Applying and Getting Into Law School

Scholarships, Grants and Loans; Financing Your Legal Education
The Best Tips On Where to Find Them and How to Get Them So That You Don't End Up Broke Or Worse (That is, With $200,000 Debt That You Can't Get Rid Of Even in Bankruptcy!)

Prepare Right: A Hacker's Free Tips on How to Study Law and Succeed
Candid tips from an insider on how to prepare for law school and study law to succeed

Some books (other than your casebooks) are worth buying.
Pick the best law school guides and find law books online

An Online Law Degree: Is It For Me?
All about getting an online law degree from students who studied at online schools.


Manny Recommends:

Here are my personal recommendations for products and services that I have reviewed that can improve your results in law school.  This list is short because I include only my top picks.  

7Sage Law School Prep  - Get top grades in law school. 
Planet Law School - Understand the law school game.


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