Welcome to my Law blog specifically intended as an aid to law students. I will post comments and white papers, from time to time, and I am happy to carry on conversations with students who are in need of help in law school.

I am most conservative and appropriate in my approach so if you comment and/or have questions to ask, please do so with an equal degree of appropriateness.

I am a Professor of Law at Concord Law School, an Internet Law School located in Los Angeles, though I live, teach and otherwise work out of Lakewood, Colorado, resting up against the foothills just west of Denver.





I have no set schedule of posting, but I hope you will check in from time to time.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

20 - Confusion About Succeeding in Law School – Where to Start When You Feel Overwhelmed

20 - Confusion About Succeeding in Law School – Where to Start
When You Feel Overwhelmed

When you are overwhelmed, always return to the basics. This approach is true for law school as well.

Start on the first day of law school. Yes, I know, you weren’t feeling overwhelmed on the first day of law school. This is why I have, for many years, started the first class of each year by telling my students how hard it is going to be. Then I try to give a variety of tools to help manage the difficulty. You might want to review my previous blog under this title, Succeeding in Law School. Many are already there.

One of the first things I tell students is that you must read with the purpose of understanding what you are reading rather than having the purpose of merely getting the reading assignment done. The easiest way to do this is to look at the table of contents of your book and look at the topic. You have to say to yourself, “When I am finished reading, what am I supposed to know?” Then, when you have finished, you must have an honest self-assessment. Do you really know it? If you can pick out a stranger and explain it so it is understandable, then you have accomplished the task. If not, then do it all over again.

I hear all of the time from students who say, “I don’t know why my grades are low. I really know the law.” Generally, I can ask a few questions to illustrate to the student that s/he really doesn’t know the law very well at all. Don’t kid yourself. I know from experience that most students who are receiving low grades really don’t know the law all that well.

I also hear a lot, “I know the law, but when the exam starts I just freeze and can’t think.” Again, don’t kid yourself.

You will be much better off admitting that you do not know the law very well and then resolving to know the law well enough to perform and score well on the exam.

How do you do this? That’s the next blog.

Professor Holden
© 2010. Douglas S. Holden. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I appreciate tonight's lecture. It was very motivational before the tide rises. We all have to remember-remaining focused and having clear, smooth, logical thinking is critical to succeeding.

    Do I detect some Texan in your accent?

    My Great Grandfather hailed from DFW. My Great Uncle still lives there. He's a 90+ year old Reverend-http://www.praywithchrist.org/opricetestimony.php

    I'm glad to have a professor who believes in Christ. I've had them who did and who didn't and I prefer the former. Apart from God man is nothing. Post-modern, arrogant man with all his comforts may not want to accept this but it is the absolute truth in an era in love with relativism. At the end of the day, we must stand up for the good, just, and true in an age of madness. In the West, we are immeasurably fortunate to be standing on the shoulders of giants who made this civilization what it is(i.e., Samuel Rutherford,John Knox, Thomas Jefferson). If we aren't going to follow Rome in our societal demise we'd better get back to clear thinking like our forefathers had.

    God Bless The REPUBLIC,
    Joe Ramirez

  2. Hi Joe. I was born in Ohio, but moved to Pasadena (just outside of Houston), Texas when I was too young to remember. We moved to Colorado just after I finished the fourth grade. I've been there ever since, except for four years in the military, a small amount of time in college and three years in law school. I didn't realize the accent came through any more, though it can be turned on in court for effect!

    I appreciate your kind comments about the motivational talk in class. I am concerned that some might take it as disingenuous.

    I am outspoken about my faith, but when I teach law, I stick to law, though Biblical principles still show up since they are relevant in everyday life.

    On the other hand, I am sensitive to those who are not Christians as they are some of my students, colleagues and friends. I hope my life displays my faith and touches those students, colleagues and friends.

    Best regards,