Prior to beginning the How to Succeed program, please read this short memo regarding how best to utilize the program to your benefit.


How to Succeed in Law School in 5 Hard Steps is a four-part video series offered by Professor James E. Byrne. Utilizing a “hands on” approach, the How to Succeed program challenges you to work alongside the videos, learning as you go. The program is constructed around Professor Byrne’s unique 5 step approach, that has been honed over his 30 years working as a legal educator around the world.


Most 1Ls are unprepared for the challenges of the first year. Attitudes and methodologies carried over from college, however successful they may have been, leave students ill prepared for law school.

This program is designed to give first year law students a realistic viewpoint of how to approach law school, and the tools necessary to succeed. This program is intended to shift your attitude and perspective, and to help you avoid the pitfalls faced by most students in the first semester.

One of the most common mistakes made by 1Ls is spending too much time preparing for class, and not enough time outlining or preparing for exams. The final exam is the end towards which all of your work during the semester is a means. To that effect, proper time management, efficient briefing and outlining are essential components in achieving A’s on exams. In the How to Succeed Program, you will learn how much time should ideally be spent briefing, outlining, and preparing for exams, and how each of these critical processes can be undertaken most effectively.

Who is this for:

This program is designed to be helpful to all first year law students. In fact, the tools you will learn are applicable for all of law school, and even for much of lawyering!

Second semester students who didn’t perform as well as they’d hoped stand to benefit greatly from the How to Succeed program. By establishing proper study techniques, and ridding yourself of unhelpful habits and perceptions accrued during the grind of the first semester, you will enable yourself to drastically improve your performance for the rest of law school.

New students in their first semester will be given a monumental advantage over the competition by beginning this program right away. You will learn to avoid the all-too-common stumbling blocks and misuses of time that plague 1Ls and develop strong habits from the start.

The 5 Hard Steps are as follows:

  1. Perspective
  2. Time Management & Class Preparation
  3. Briefing & Strategies for Non-Casebook Courses
  4. Outlining & Pre-Exam Preparation
  5. Exam Preparation

Session One is entitled The Steps to Success and covers steps 1 and 2. This 45-minute long video gives you an understanding of the program as a whole, and offers insight into the challenges facing new law school students. With an in depth look at how to budget your time as a 1L, as well as practical advice preparing you for what lies ahead, The Steps to Success is a necessary beginning to the How to Succeed in Law School program.

In this Session You Will Learn:

-The Necessary Mindset for Law School

-How to Prioritize and Manage Your Time

-Efficient Class Preparation Tools

-The Necessity of Building a Schedule


Session Two is entitled Briefing and covers Step 3. This hour long video will offer an in depth look into the process of briefing cases. After breaking down the various elements of a brief and explaining them individually, the method is illustrated in real time as 3 common first year cases (Hamer v. SidwayVosburg v. PutneyPierson v. Post) are briefed onscreen.

In this Session You Will Learn:

-The Elements of a Brief

-The Optimal Approach to Briefing

-How to Effectively Read a Case

-What to Do with a Brief in Class

-The Briefing Method Illustrated


Session Three covers Step 3, which is Outlining & Pre-Exam Preparation.

This 60 minute video will offer an in depth look into the process of Outlining, and offer practical advice for beginning exam preparation.

Session 3 covers the critical process of outlining in two ways. In the first part of the session, there is a theoretical discussion of the Elements of an Outline, in which the various elements to successful outlining are broken down and explained.

In the second part, an actual Contracts 1 outline is composed from the very beginning stages of choosing the right amount of materials covered, to the ending stages of composing a prose summary. You will gain valuable insight into Professor Byrne’s approach to outlining, including the use of secondary sources, and the various stages of refinement.

In this Session You Will Learn:

-The Role of an Outline

-What Outlining is/isn’t

-The Steps to Successful Outlining

-Practical Breakdown of Outlining Steps shown onscreen

-Pre-Exam Preparation guide


Session Four covers Step 5, which is Exam Preparation.

This 60 minute video covers both the task of preparing for exams, as well as the actual taking of law school exams. This session will give you a truly unique insight into examinations, since was created by a renowned law professor who has been writing and grading exams for three decades. You will gain an insider’s knowledge into how some professor’s approach grading, as well as the distinct viewpoint of student exam performance that could only come from a longtime professor.

In this Session You Will Learn:

-How to Tie Together the Work from Sessions 1-3 with a View Towards Exams

-How to Deal with Each Type of Exam

-How to Optimize Your Exam Preparation

-How Best to Sit an Exam