Note taking in law school is a unique
art form. It is important to be aware of the kind of learner
you are, and to take notes with that knowledge in mind. Are
you a listener who needs to sit down each week to summarize?
Do you prefer to take notes daily in class, then summarize?
Or do you outline as you go along?
Listed below are some basics tips for
general note taking and summarizing. Keep these tips in mind
as you create your study plan.
|Reasons given not to take
notes:||Reasons to take notes|
- Conflict between taking notes
and listening with full attention
- Not knowing what to take notes
- Learn from your
- Make a record of class
- Recreate the questions for
- Identify terms of art and how
your professor uses them.
- Know what you missed by
comparing with others.
- Get multiple reviews for
- Use as resource for practice
The best way you can! Something is better than
Questions + summary of responses and hypotheticals are
Review after class and add to notes while you still
remember important concepts covered in class.
Make later additions in a different color.
What is the big picture (main topic areas) for the week?
Class discussions addressed what general issues?
How do the cases relate to each other?
Do they represent a progression or evolution of the
law? Do they show variations?
How are these cases alike? How are they different?
Steps of analysis
What legal tests might you need to make for new problems in
this topic area?
Is there a sequence you need to follow?
Create a fact pattern that illustrates a legal
principle and analysis