The good news is that most everyone 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. The idea is that, in order to fully assimilate what you need to know in order to succeed on law school exams, you must attack the material in a disciplined, orderly fashion.
But before you accuse me of simply trying to sell books, I'll admit that there are many ways to skin this cat. Further, your study method has to work for you. But you need a method. However you begin to figure things out, I suggest that you keep the following in the back of your mind:
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.
And that's the bottom line to law school.
Best wishes in your legal studies.