Taking notes in law school is one of the most important skills to develop and nurture, as you move ahead in your law career. Good notes not only help you to make case outline and study for final exams, but also help you to recall ideas and facts that you might have forgotten.
Following are the note taking tips for law students.
- Choose a method of note taking – There are many ways to take note for law students, from software programs to paper and pen method. Try those methods early in the semester, but quickly select the one, which suits your learning style best and stick with it for the rest of the semesters.
- Writing important information – There are some information that requires special attention –
- Events date – Write down the dates of the important events, which will help you to understand the context of an event.
- Theories – Theories are the main points of most classes, so any statements of a theory should be recorded.
- Definitions – Write down the definition of any legal terms that you encounter during the lectures.
- Debates and Arguments – Any analysis of a key idea, list of pros and cons of any debate or argument related to law topic should be recorded.
- Your own questions – Make sure to record any question that occurs in your mind during or after the lectures.
- Recurring themes in lectures – If your professor brings public policy into every discussion, then pay special attention and take notes of professor’s reasoning; it will be useful in case methods, case briefs and exams.
- Facts of the case – Don’t waste your time in writing all facts of the case discussed in the classroom. If any facts are important, then circle, highlight or underline them in your textbook with a note to remind you why they are important.
- Outlining – It is an effective way to capture the hierarchical relationships between data and ideas. You can use bullet points or Roman numerals.
- Review your notes – If something is unclear either factually or conceptually, then it is a time to clear it up either with professor or your classmates.