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Archive for July 31st, 2017

Smarter Law School Study Habits

Whether you’re about to enter law school as a 1L or are gearing up for your upper level classes, smart law school study habits are a must. In a recent article, a law professor and a psychology professor team up to empirically examine the study habits of law students. From their research, here are some tips for smarter law school studying:

  • Avoid the “law school learning trap” of relying solely on passive learning techniques like reading and rereading, or case briefing without self-testing.
  • Incorporate as many active learning strategies as possible. These include retrieval, self-testing, and elaboration.
  • Use practice questions to study. These can come from sources like study aids (see our research guide on study aids), past exams (see our past exams online), or from the “Notes & Questions” in your casebook.
  • To incorporate elaboration as an active learning strategy, avoid using cut & paste for case briefing or blackletter law. Instead, focus on reformulating the holding of a case or the point of law into your own words as you add it to an outline.
  • Treat mistakes and set-backs as a normal part of active learning.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek help from your professor or from Academic Support.

See Jennifer M. Cooper & Regan A. R. Gurung, Smarter Law Study Habits: An Empirical Analysis of Law Learning Strategies and Relations with Law GPA, 44 Cap. U. L. Rev. (Forthcoming 2016) full text available through SSRN.