Law School Study Techniques
In this post, we give you some law school study techniques to help you succeed in law school. I was fortunate to graduate as the #1 student in my law school class and these are the techniques that I used (as well as techniques that many of my students find very helpful).
Note, that I am going to assume you know the basics of how to succeed in law school. If you do not, please read this post on how to succeed in law school first. These law school study techniques are meant to complement that post!
Law School Study Techniques
1. Make sure you know key words.
One issue I see is that students have an idea of what the law is but they do not know the key vocabulary words. Like they cannot say that an offer requires a manifestation of intent to enter into a contract. Or that a battery is an act with intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact or imminent apprehension of that contact and a harmful or offensive contact directly or indirectly results.
If you struggle with memorizing key elements or if you frequently find yourself drawing a blank, I recommend highlighting these words in your outline.
2. Print your outlines
We are always talking about the importance of creating outlines early in law school. You should start right away. And if you are unsure how to do this, please see this in-depth post on how to make a law school outline.
Some students start creating outlines right away but never print them. For most, though, it is easier to learn from a hard copy of an outline than it is electronically. (You can also draw on, underline, and highlight a hard copy which is convenient!). I recommend you print your outlines as you create them and constantly review them throughout the semester.
3. Take note of your learning style.
If you are a visual learner, incorporate colors, charts and diagrams into your outline. If you tend to learn better from hearing/talking (that is, you are a more auditory learner), then make it a point to make up mnenomics/rhymes to memorize elements and consider joining a study group or having a study partner.
Most law students tend to be more visual and benefit more from charts, colors, and diagrams. But you may find you benefit from other methods of learning.
4. Study at your best time.
Do your hardest work (for most, that is memorizing outlines and completing practice problems) at your most productive time. It might be early in the morning, late at night, or even some point during the day (e.g., in the afternoon after you go to the gym).
By doing your hardest work at your best time, you will be maximizing productivity.
If you are unsure what your best time, ask what worked for you in undergrad? Or ask yourself when you feel the most alert.
5. Don’t procrastinate!
Learn the rules right away. Start practice exams sooner rather than later!
If you want until “reading period” or “study period” (generally the two weeks before finals) to start this, you will be behind. Making sure you have a good study schedule from the beginning that incorporates everything you need to do will help maximize your chances of success!
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