Post-GDL

Hurray!! I finished! Ten months, seven subjects, and seven three hour+ exams in four weeks. After a week’s worth of remembering how to log off my computer before 11 p.m. every night and several naps, I’m getting back into the swing of post-course summer life.

For example, I just took two hours to do yoga and put dinner in the oven after that paragraph. Yippee!

Before I move on fully with my summer projects and placements, I want to write myself some notes about what did and didn’t work for me in my first year of British school with the GDL, in the hopes of making next year’s LPC easier.

  • While the timing of my two weeks in California was completely outside my control, I desperately wish it hadn’t have been at the beginning of the revision period. Even studying while I was there, I felt constantly behind the curve in the run-up to exams. I won’t be doing that again if I can help it. Though revision in California does involve a lot of Starbucks and beaches. 🙂

    California Revision

    California Revision

  • I continue to be a primarily kinesthetic learner. The more I physically write, the better I did with material. That includes not just typing up my notes after a lecture, but writing hundreds and hundreds of flashcards. Even if I only read them over a few times, writing them was immensely helpful.
  • Having a combination of physical notes and typed notes is useful for different reasons. Written notes are kinesthetic, and typed notes are full-text searchable.
  • I wish I had spent MORE time with individual topics while they were being lectured and the subject of small group sessions. Looking back, I don’t see how that could have been physically possible without consistently giving up sleep – there was just too much material to cover to allow for slowing down and digging deeper in a larger group setting. One of the things I’m greatly looking forward to on the LPC is if not a slower pace with material, than at least a smaller quantity of it.
  • Exam snacks are ESSENTIAL. Gum is more effective than chewy mints, but both work.

    Exam snacks

    Exam snacks

  • Having subjects “click” during revision is a new sensation. I think I like it. But I also think I’d like it if it happened a lot sooner than the four weeks of revision / review before the exams.
  • Like it or not, caffeine and huge quantities of it will be necessary during revision. All that tannin will leach iron from your blood, so don’t make another donation appointment directly after exams.

    All The Tea!

    All The Tea!

  • During revision I kept finding myself wishing I’d kept a more comprehensive list of cases. One of my day-before-the-exam techniques was recreating  key cases list in a way that I could quiz myself. Next year I want to create an Excel spreadsheet from the get-go, and then I can tease out key cases and re-write them as flash cards or a quizzable case list on a rolling basis.

    Case Tables

    Case Tables

  • The right kind of pen is a thing of beauty and comfort. Running OUT of said pen can cause me to panic. Have lots of the right kinds of pens up front. Same goes for highlighters. Finding out my cool new purple highlighter was neither cool nor effective DURING the exam was a panic I don’t need again, thanks. Although it must be said, the view was amazing.

    Albert Hall

    Albert Hall

Given all this, I’m already starting to think about how I’ll handle the LPC. Specifically, how to balance the needs of kinesthetic learning with receiving all our notes in electronic format next year. The “scribble in lecture, type it up later” technique worked for me. A notebook per subject might work, but being able to highlight key cases and write in the margins of the notes themselves was awfully efficient. I might wind up printing out the material and binding it into some form of booklet, but I’m not sure how much that would cost.

Over all I greatly enjoyed the course. While a lot of the basic material and vocabulary was review for me, I feel much more grounded in the British reality of “law on the ground”. I loved serving as a course rep, and I’m looking forward to finding out how I can participate with mediation next year. But for now? To the fun reading pile!

Reading Pile

Reading Pile

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Published in: on June 18, 2013 at 13:47  Leave a Comment  

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