Choose your partner wisely

couple-park-bannerNo, this is not an advice column on relationships and its ups and downs. This is about how you structure your studies when you are on your own without any institutional support behind you. This blog entry is for those brave souls who are so committed to self-study that they – as Captain Picard said – will boldly go where no one has gone before.

Let me start by saying, those of us who are studying towards our designations on our own, are a rare breed. We must be crazy or damn close to it. Nevertheless, here we are at the beginning of the academic year and it is the right time to discuss how we will survive it.

I can honestly tell you, having a study a partner is a must. To me, it was life-saving. My study partner lives in Italy and I live in Canada. You can imagine the logistics of setting up regular sessions between us. Thankfully, we only have 6 hours in time difference, just imagine if he lived in Australia. The key to a successful study pairing is having a plan. Here are some tidbits as to how you may want to set up a thriving study group:

  • Have an outline of the subject you wish to study (the Study Guide would be the best place to start)
  • Find a study partner who is committed to regularly connect with you
  • Set up a schedule for calls (I do use Skype it works perfectly)
  • Divide and conquer, split the workload up, choose certain chapters from the material you will be responsible for
  • The calls should be a minimum of one hour if you can devote more time, even better
  • Go through every exam question from the past 5 years, pick randomly and start solving them
  • Be there for your study partner, there will be days when he/she may not feel up to anything, be supportive.
  • Brainstorm
  • Most of all enjoy your sessions.

For me, having a steady study partner was a revelation. I knew I would be successful overcoming any obstacle by sticking to our regularly scheduled study dates. It worked, and I am happy to say, we are back at it this year too. I will let you know how it went next summer when the grades will be in. In the meantime, have a wonderful year, go and kick some you know what!

Judit is studying the LLB by distance learning in Toronto, Canada.


10 thoughts on “Choose your partner wisely

  1. Are there tutors and/or student academic support available for the LLB program? Or is the only option to find a study partner?


  2. Thanks Judit for this. I’m just starting an English course and have a couple of questions- how did you go about finding your study partner? Did you get to know each other through the online tutorials? Or study forums? Also, should we wait and get some of the study under our belts first? And how did you tackle the essays- did you both tackle the same one and then look at how you both perhaps tackled it differently, or did you just pick different essays and then present them to your partner for constructive criticism?


  3. Hi Karen

    I found my on the online forum, from there we developed a very good working relationship. Obviously the best would be a local partner, but you take whatever you can get. We printed out 5 years of worth of exam questions and went through them, looking for patterns. We picked the four most asked questions and went for it. We did some essays, but in law we tend to focus on problem solving, so those questions were in our focus. I would get a study partner right away, it would have helped me tremendously in my first year.


  4. Hi Sydney,

    Depending on the country you live in, there may be institutional support. If yes, you have to register with them, which means hefty tuition fees.


  5. This is great I need study partner for Contract, Public Law and element of Legal system and method.
    Currently am in Orange City california USA.


  6. That’s exactly how it happened. My study buddy was very much involved in the online forum. We struck up a conversation and next thing you know, we were ripping the course apart :)


  7. As far as I know there are supporting institutions depending where you live, but it cost quite a bit to be enrolled. I strongly recommend the revision courses, I took mine with QED Law.


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