The end-of-semester attempts to get insider information on exam content never fails to amuse me. Most of those attempts come from my 1Ls who, realizing that we have covered quite a bit of information, seem to be trying to narrow their study load to the greatest extent possible! Of course, I rarely allow them to eliminate study of any concept; after all, Contracts is a comprehensive first-year course that covers many concepts important to the bar exam and practice.
In studying for an exam, students should begin with their outlines to remind them of the concepts they have covered, that should be followed by rules of law, and how courts have applied those rules. Students should note any questions the professor raised and important nuance that the professor may have noted. If the class is a problem-based one, they should re-work the analysis in the problems they discussed in class. And by re-work I mean that they should write out their answers not just “think them out”.
In a full year course, students ideally have a greater sense of what their weaknesses were in first semester. Try to avoid making those mistakes in the second part of the class. Also be practical—for example, remedies can be included as part of any question. Since we covered remedies this semester, I will include damages in each of my three exam questions.
I certainly cannot speak for all law professors, but as the professor of a first-year required course I feel a responsibility to cover a broad spectrum of information critical to an understand of basic Contract law, but equal responsibility to demand the analysis that is essential to law school success and legal practice. It is a difficult balance of depth and breadth. Issue spotting is important, but proficiency in applying rules to the hypothetical is also critical.