How to Prep for law school, marathons or hot dog-eating contests

I recently read a post on TheLawyerist.com about preparing for law school the summer before entering.

For those not doing a pre-law school preparation course or “boot camp,” Laura Bergus advised:

“Law school is not easy, especially not if you’re trying to excel. Do yourself a favor and use your 0L summer to mature as a worker: kick the Facebook-checking habit, learn to focus on simple or mundane tasks (without human interaction) for hours at a time, engage your brain when you can, and, most of all, just get comfortable with committing the time it will take to be a good student.”

She’s right.  A little over a month ago, I gave similar advice focused on LSAT preparation and simulating the conditions you should expect when taking the LSAT or training for any challenge—whether law school, a marathon or (if you’re so inclined) hot dog-eating contests:

I was tweeting a few days ago, and saw messages from people who were studying while tweeting, were taking breaks to tweet and eat, etc.  Let’s call that SWT (“Studying” while Tweeting“).  It’s a lot like “Driving” while Intoxicated.  I don’t want to sound like a scold (and it’s ok, it’s ultimately your money and opportunity), but as The Hold Steady once said, “Guys, it’s like we’re not even trying.”  You can’t run a marathon if you practice in 50-yard dashes.  And you can’t do your best on the LSAT unless you’ve practiced—a lot—under game conditions.

To succeed at any complex and challenging task, you need to replicate game conditions to the extent possible.  Law school and a career in law are demanding and difficult and also wonderfully rewarding (yes,  even the LSAT can be fun and teach you a different way of thinking that I know from personal experience will be useful to you in law school and beyond).   But to be able to receive the most from all of these that you can, you need to be in condition—and that means getting in condition by matching your preparation to the circumstances you’ll actually be in.

~ by Kyle Pasewark at Advise-in Solutions on May 27, 2010.

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