The plan was always to have a sequel to the initial post. Now, I am just wondering what to type and how not to end up giving unsolicited advice – loool.
One of my friends was like ‘why not let them make their discoveries first, then they can be advised alongside. Answering questions will give them some expectations, expectations can be risky.’ But Seyi Mafolabomi says ‘It is the simple law of life to have people learn from experiences. And the best form of that is to learn from the experiences of those who have gone before you. Faltering is lesser that way’. And I say I will give you unsolicited advice anyway, with a disclaimer, of course. So the disclaimer goes like this: Remember that this is based on experiences at our time in law school and the existing rules, so if the rules have changed, this advice would be inapplicable. Remember also that we are separate individuals, what worked for either or both of us may not work for you. Remember that the aim of this post is to dispel any notion that the Bar Finals are extremely difficult and life in law school is a living nightmare.
So, this post is a joint effort of Ekaete Hunter and Oluseyi Mafolabomi and we are basically testifying to God’s goodness.
So this is what the checklist looks like:
- There is nothing to be afraid of
Honestly. There isn’t. There will be bad days. There will be good days as well. Just remind yourself of the good days and that you have God on your side. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid. Fear not. Be Afraid Not. Keep an open mind. Relax. Take it a day at a time. Don’t be afraid. You have nothing to be afraid of.
Matter of fact, the devil wants you to be terrified. Every time you fear, all you are saying is that God is probably incapable of dealing with that particular aspect of your life. The devil will work overtime to bring that fear to reality, so that you can lose faith in God. Please get out of the fear cycle. These exams are just 28 questions, and you only have to answer 20. Compare that to the over 40 exams you had to face in your faculty. 40 exams, over 240 questions. You passed. Let the fear go, please. When discouragement comes, do not panic. It solves nothing. Just get up and keep on keeping on.
- Know thyself
Very important. You may want to experiment when you see people with superhuman reading abilities and the infamous Mike Ross memory. If you make notes, don’t ditch them because you have heard Adaeze’s notes are the bomb. If you can’t do overnight, make good use of your day. Making up your mind about your desired grade early enough is good. It helps you plan ahead. If you can’t decide, that is fine. Just know yourself thoroughly.
For Seyi, ‘Adaeze’s notes are just notes. Proper application is what you need. I had notes from various “authors” but I cannot pinpoint one as having any special effect. No, I was better off because I attended classes. I would have the notes with me and make necessary corrections as I followed the class.’
He continues, ‘I did my best to follow the lectures closely. I did not read with people until quite late in the programme, and those people were not some fellows concerned with the jurisprudence. I read at night because it was quiet and peaceful. I did a reward system, like read two topics and see a half-hour show or something like that. And do not be concerned if your roommate(s) have sticky notes all over the room. Just know what works for you, and know it early on.’
- Hit the Ground Running
As soon as you start receiving lectures, don’t be slack. Read this case. Don’t postpone it till next week. Draft so and so. Draft it immediately. Research this. Do it at the speed of lighting. If you need to make notes, please start. Don’t miss classes. What do I do? I have a short attention span. Get the recording. Don’t pile up your tasks. Take it a day at a time but do not be slack.
Starting early means you don’t have a pile of work ahead of you when time is running out. And believe me, it helps dispel fear too. In reading your cases, have at the back of your mind the principle drawn from the case. If your friends are cramming whole quotes from the judgment, good for them. You? Case, principle. Fear not. In drafting, be precise. Do it over and over and over and master it, even in your sleep.. Missing classes is a definite no no no. You cannot be doing that. If you have recordings, listen to them. The best time to go over the recording from a class is right after the class. You may do this sparingly though, if you listened well in class.
- Friends and Association
When the bad days come, where do you go to? If you get stuck, whom do you reach out to? For me, awesome friends, God and Clasfon (God first of course). We cried and laughed and fought and stuck together.
This was the best part of law school for me. God became “realer” to me. In times of need, God used these awesome people to strengthen me. Strength in all ways possible. And joining CLASFON was too much of a blessing. The love in that family is contagious and week-in-week-out, the exams became a secondary reason for coming to the Nigerian Law School.
So, there goes the unsolicited list. When you get into the system, you will have more targeted questions. I don’t seem to have time for any other thing, how do I manage my time? I am exhausted after class, I don’t have the strength for group meetings, what can I do? I don’t have time to make notes, should I ditch them? I get tired of reading etc. The truth is there are no hard and fast rules. The good news is that you will have some people come talk to you from time to time – either CLASFON, or lecturers, or your SRC would bring students who graduated with first classes to come talk to you. Even your lecturers, lawyers in the law firms during externship will encourage you, strangers who see your white and black will give more unsolicited advice. You will be fine. Trust God. He saw us through. He would do the same for you.