Where To Start Your Civil Litigation Revision
The Civil Litigation course can be daunting to tackle, and as a Bar Student it can feel overwhelming to even begin. This blogpost is designed to help signpost you towards useful steps to take in order to make your Civil Litigation Revision easier to manage.
Understand the Civil Litigation Timeline
Civil Litigation follows different stages and has a timeline to it. Understanding the actions and steps that occur during the various stages of the litigation timeline will help you grasp the course content with confidence. Try to obtain yourself a resource like the BATB Civil Litigation timeline that will allow you to map out the different stages of the litigation process. As well as helping you to understand course content, it will also help you know what you need to be advising your clients of with respect to next steps in the civil litigation procedural process.
Using a timeline also makes it overall easier for you to answer questions and recall the procedural outcomes based on what steps the different parties have taken. I always recommend that you consider revising litigation as a board game in the way that you start at the beginning and all players are at the same stage, but once the game ‘kicks off’ different things impact the players as they move across the board towards the finishing point (trial).
Depending on what you encounter after the game starts, you may have to take some steps forward, take some steps back, pay a penalty or so on that can happen to parties to litigation at different stages of the timeline.
Organise and consolidate
The second stage of your civil litigation revision should be to organise and consolidate. When you organise and consolidate what you’ve done so far on the course you can identify gaps in your learning. Once you identify those gaps, you can take them head on. The BATB Civil Litigation syllabus tracking spreadsheet allows you to plug in your progress on every different topic of the syllabus.
It uses both a traffic like system to mark whether work on a topic has been done, is pending, or it has not been done and a seven step study process that acknowledges different ways that you’ve used that information. For example, if you’ve marked the CPR for advocacy, but you’ve never read the chapter, you would mark your progress with that particular syllabus topic as pending. Similarly, if you have marked CPR, made notes, revised, made a few flashcards – that topic is consolidated and just ready to commit to memory.
You can also get a little bit more old school and just go through your syllabus and tick off with a pencil just where you have covered those particular CPR on the syllabus.
Learn and test the gaps in your knowledge
Where topics are orange or even red on your Civil Litigation syllabus tracking spreadsheet you can get an indication of where your fault lines are. By focusing on answering lots of questions in areas that you don’t feel confident in, you don’t need to put as much time and effort you consolidating or learning knowledge that you know. If you take a strict chronological approach to your revision you may exert a bit too much time and energy on strong areas and not focus enough on the areas that you are weak in. There is nothing wrong with having areas of the extremely vast Civil Litigation Syllabus that you are weak in. Identify what you need to know, and then develop a learning strategy to tackle all of those areas that are grey or a bit wobbly.
I’d like to share a piece of advice that I received when I was on the Bar Course: although the overachiever in you may want one hundred percent in your litigation exam, remember that you don’t need to get every single answer correct in order to do well. You need to show an overwhelming knowledge of the overall syllabus and this does not mean you have to know everything. You just need to do most of it to a standard well enough to get yourself a good grade. So if you take that pressure off, it suddenly becomes much easier to deal with your revision and to conceptualise yourself in that exam room, sitting that paper and getting a really great grade as a result.
Good luck with your Civil Litigation revision! If you’d like extra support beyond the resources on the BATB Study school and on Shop BATB, book in a private tutoring session with BATB’s Law Tutoring Service.