It doesn't seem fair. After all, no one really tells you what to do. Unlike your undergraduate studies, there isn't a lot of direction or guidance. This is true especially with regard to what you are supposed to be doing and why you are supposed to be doing
The good news is that most everyone else in your class is probably in the same boat. The bad news, however, is that law school is graded on a curve. And someone has to get the "A"s. So, as we speak, there is a process occurring that effects everyone, but not everyone may be aware of it. That process is the light bulb going off for some students, who figure out what they need to do to get the "A"s.
If you've read my book, "Law School Labyrinth", you probably already have a pretty good idea of what you need to do. My book provides a study methodology- I call it the Pyramid Outline method. It's a method to help you distill the massive amount of information that the law school fire hose blasts at you. Use this method as your plan of attack and to help you manage your learning process.
Let's revisit the law school bottom line:
1. You should be learning to "think like a lawyer." This is the real reason you read cases. By studying the analytical process
described in the opinions, you begin to learn how lawyers think and reason. You learn how to spot legal issues.
2. You should be learning the black letter law. Cases can teach you this, but it's a very inefficient way to learn the law. A good commercial outline will teach you the law. It's how you will learn it for your bar exam. You need to know the black letter law, because it makes issue spotting much easier. You also need to know it in order to analyze and reason like a lawyer would.
3. You should be learning how to show that you can think like a lawyer. This means practicing exam writing. I suggest you dedicate at least a portion of your study time to doing this. If you know how to think like a lawyer, and know the black letter law,
but can't showcase it, you won't do well on exams.
The thing about law school is that it all comes at you in a mad rush. You spend a bunch of time memorizing case details because you think it's what the professor wants. And you think it will make things go easier in a Socratic grilling. But the truth is you should be spending more time thinking about the analytical process, learning the law and learning to write exams like a lawyer. Someone has to get the "A's"; it might as well be you.
And that's the bottom line to law school.
Best wishes in your legal studies.