Myth 2: 100 Topics to revise and no Areas of Concentration
I had a friend back in Uni who was the master of last-minute exam revision. She was so good at it that for one of our exams, I taught her the entire course two nights before the exam, and when results were published, she made an A while I made a B.
Two years on post – graduation, I was shocked when I ran into her in Law School, about two weeks to her Bar Finals, and she was in a state of absolute panic. She had set up camp at a corner of the dinning hall in the Abuja campus; she had her blanket, pillow and mosquito repellent lotion with her, and there were empty cans of energy drinks littered on the floor around her. I reminded her of her last minute heroics back in Uni and she said to me, “Enyi, this time things are different. I have 100 topics to revise, and there are no areas of concentration. I don’t even know where to start, but I’ll see what I can do”. Sadly, she failed.
Her message to me that evening in the dinning hall stuck with me, 100 topics? That sounded like quite a challenge for a person like me who would never pick and choose topics for exams but prepare for everything. However, as I discovered with most things I was told before I got to Law School, it was not true.
The Law School Lesson Plan is organised to span over a period of 20 weeks, and in each of the 5 courses, a new topic is taught each week (which is why my friend said 100 topics i.e. 20 weeks x 5 courses). If you pay closer scrutiny to the plan however, you’ll see that the first 3 weeks are set aside for orientation and pre – class activities. So, if you deduct 3 topics from each of the courses, that leaves us with 85 topics for revision.
And though there are no AOCs (Areas of Concentration) it is sufficiently clear from Day 1 that you can hardly take a criminal litigation exam without a compulsory question on Charges, or a civil litigation exam without a compulsory question on Pleadings and Commencement of Action in the High Court
If you further analyse the plan, you’ll also discover that certain topics extend over a period of weeks. For instance, Trials is taught over a period of 3 weeks in Civil Litigation and over a period of 4 weeks in Criminal Litigation. In Property Law Practice, Sale of Land and Conveyancing lasts for 2 weeks, Leases is a 3 weeks topic, and the same thing applies to Mortgages and Charges, and Wills and Codicils. If these repetitive topics are merged into one, you’ll about 10 more topics to deduct from the total (i.e. 85 topics – 10 topics), which leaves us with 75 topics. Finally, some topics are duplicated in more than 1 course. For example, a lot of the knowledge from Trials from Civil Litigation is still relevant in Criminal Litigation, and same thing applies with Billing and Accounts in the Property Law Practice and Ethics courses respectively. If you deducte these, it brings the total down to approximately 70 topics.
And though there are no AOCs (Areas of Concentration) it is sufficiently clear from Day 1 that you can hardly take a criminal litigation exam without a compulsory question on Charges, or a civil litigation exam without a compulsory question on Pleadings and Commencement of Action in the High Court, or a property law practice exam without Sale of Land and Probate Practice, or a corporate law practice exam without formation of business and non – business organisations.
So with 70 topics (i.e. an average of 14 topics/course) and at least 2 topics that may be identified as forming the core of each course, the workload doesn’t seem as bad as before. Don’t be like my friend who waited just 2 weeks before the exam to start serious revision, but don’t also panic about the revision workload; 100 topics is a myth.
February 3, 2019