When it comes to law school success, easy-to-remember advice is the best.
It is the only advice we act on.
For instance: Jon Snow’s sword-fighting advice to Arya when he gifts her the sword:
That is the essence of sword-fighting.
Of course, sword fighting is more nuanced than that.
But at the end of the day, what do you do with a sword, when you can’t remember anything else?
Ned Stark — no slouch with a sword — agrees with Arya when she repeats what Jon said: “Stick ’em with the pointy end” is the essence of sword fighting.
And this general advice points Arya in the right general direction.
I mean, good gravy does Arya follow Jon’s advice.
* * *
So, what is the law school equivalent of “stick ’em with the pointy end”?
If I could reduce law school success to a single word, it’s this:
I cheated. This is an acronym made up of 6 words:
Take A Practice Exam A Day.
That is it.
Say it out loud.
It sounds like “tapenade”, or maybe a portmanteau for “a tapestry that you see at the French business school INSEAD” (Tap-EAD?).
If it helps (for those of you who think visually), imagine — to lock this in your head — yourself naked, covered in olive TAPEAD, while speaking business French and casually leaning on a tapestry that you are totally ruining because of the tapenade.
I won’t draw that for you.
So, TAPEAD: Take A Practice Exam A Day.
Simple advice. Easy-to-remember advice.
Why will this lead to law school success?
If you take a practice exam every day, you are actively exercising your issue-spotting muscle, the one skill upon which your grades depend (but that law school does not teach you directly).
If you follow this simple, easy-to-remember advice, you will survive law school. (Meaning: everyone passes, but you will do well.)
Now, TAPEAD does not contain every nuance on law school success.
When to start? When is the “every day”?
Well, as soon as you can. Maybe starting the summer before law school.
In any case, no later than September or early October of your first year — do it every day.
I set out “the essence of it” in the video embedded below (I don’t call it “TAPEAD”, but you get the point):
Remember: even Jon Snow (who knows nothing) says “you have to work at it every day.”
Which is why the daily practice of TAPEAD is the essence of your law school success.