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Note-Taking for Law Students | Abraham Lincoln University

Note-Taking for Law Students | Abraham Lincoln University

There are many resources online giving tips about taking notes in law school, but what they all tend to agree upon is that students should find a way to take notes that works for them and stick to it. This may be a note-taking technique from previous years of schooling, or something developed in the first semester of law school. The manner in which you take notes is not as important as the fact that you do take them, yourself.

We’ve collected some of the more common tips found online for law school note-taking, and hope they’re of help to you as you begin or continue your law school studies.

Prepare Notes Before Class

One of the major differences between law school and undergraduate study is the need to prepare notes before class. It’s easy to get away with not taking notes before classes in many undergraduate disciplines, but preparing by doing the reading ahead of time and writing up a case brief is necessary in law school.

Don’t Waste Class Time Writing Down Case Facts

When discussing a case from your case book or textbook in class, there is no need to waste time writing down the facts. You will take many notes and therefore you can simply highlight or underline important parts of the case in the book instead of writing down again.

Take Note of Recurring Themes

Professors will often revisit themes and issues. Take note of these and after class begin to make connections using these repeated mentions—you could be getting a jump on potential exam essay questions!

Review Notes After Class

Make sure to keep the lecture fresh in your mind as you review notes after class, either on your own, or, if you prefer, within a study group. You can compare your notes from multiple classes, making the aforementioned connections between recurring mentions made by your professor.

Be Sure to Take Your Own Notes

Relying on another student for note-taking is definitely not recommended. No matter how much you might trust another student to figure out what needs to be written down, writing the material down yourself can help you remember and understand better, and you’ll only have yourself to rely on during the test. Comparing notes with other students in study groups is recommended, though.

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