A Student's Guide to Law School
What Counts, What Helps, and What Matters
As a recent graduate and an appellate lawyer, Andrew Ayers knows how high the stakes are—he’s been there, and not only did he survive the experience, he graduated first in his class. In A Student’s Guide to Law School he shares invaluable insight on what it takes to make a successful law school journey. Originating in notes Ayers jotted down while commuting to his first clerkship with then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and refined throughout his first years as a lawyer, A Student’s Guide to Law School offers a unique balance of insider’s knowledge and professional advice.
Organized in four parts, the first part looks at tests and grades, explaining what’s expected and exploring the seven choices students must make on exam day. The second part discusses the skills needed to be a successful law student, giving the reader easy-to-use tools to analyze legal materials and construct clear arguments.
The third part contains advice on how to use studying, class work, and note-taking to find your best path. Finally, Ayers closes with a look beyond the classroom, showing students how the choices they make in law school will affect their career—and even determine the kind of lawyer they become.
The first law school guide written by a recent top-ranked graduate, A Student’s Guide to Law School is relentlessly practical and thoroughly relevant to the law school experience of today’s students. With the tools and advice Ayers shares here, students can make the most of their investment in law school, and turn their valuable learning experiences into a meaningful career.
Part I: The Way You’re Judged
1. What Exams Want
2. Seven Choices You’ll Make on Exam Day
3. What You’ll Need by Exam Day
Part II: The Skills You’ll Need
4. Distilling the Law
5. Issue Spotting
Part III: The Work You’ll Do
8. Speaking in Class
9. Listening in Class
10. Notes and Outlines
11. Ten Ways to Use a Study Group
12. Beyond Traditional Classes
Part IV: The Lawyer You’ll Become
13. Judgment Calls
14. What Lawyers Do
15. The Hats Lawyers Wear
16. The Person under the Hat
Conclusion: The Questions You’ll Ask
Suggestions for Further Reading
About the Author
Sources for Epigraphs