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Academic Success  

The purpose of this guide is to aid law students in achieving success in their academic endeavors and to develop skills useful to their future practice of law.
Last Updated: Aug 28, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Further Help/Bar Exam Study Information Print Page

Additional Suggestions

The Law School offers the following policies and suggestions to assist you in successfully completing law school at The University of South Dakota School of Law:

  1. Regular and punctual class attendance is required.
  2. Full-time students may not work outside their law-course studies more than 20 hours per week.
  3. Focus and keep distractions at a minimum.
  4. Plan with your family members (your highest priority) and ask them to please realize the role you are in as a law student and how important it is for you to focus on law school.
  5. Keep a schedule and follow it.
  6. Start early on papers and projects, doing those you dislike the most first.
  7. Approach class like court - consider the professor a judge and you as a lawyer.  If given a task/order (assignment) and a deadline, you must get started and finished or you/your client will suffer the consequences (then you risk consequences from a suit by your client).
  8. Study at least 40 hours/week.  This is your job.  Many law students study 50-60 hours/week.  Using a 3:1 ratio, if you have 15 hours in a semester and study three hours outside class per one hour in class, you are working about a 60-hour work week.
  9. Manage your time effectively by managing the tasks/work you know needs to be completed - you cannot control time.
  10. Defeat procrastination: divide complex tasks into small parts; set a schedule and deadlines for each part, and follow your plan; deal with "unpleasant" tasks first; and, have an action plan and prioritize activities and tasks for each week.

These suggestions are from a variety of academic sources and come highly recommended.


Who Can I Talk To?

There are people to help you if you feel like you are really overwhelmed or really struggling.  The Student Counseling Center is available to help you overcome challenges.  The Student Counseling Center understands law school can be challenging.  If you are presented with challenges which may interfere with your academic progress and emotional well-being, the Student Counseling Center can provide assistance.  It is open all year Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Student Counseling Center
Cook House
Vermillion SD 57069
Phone: 605-677-5777


Bar Exam Study Information

If you are looking for information on studying for the Bar Exam or any other Bar Exam related questions, you are in luck!  The Law Library has created a separate complete guide that is the perfect place to start.  Click below to jump directly to that guide:

Bar Exam Study Information

Other helpful websites for bar exam study info include the following:

The Lawyerist Blog's Advice

The Bar Exam Toolbox 


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