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School of Law

Study Groups

The Purposes of a Study Group Are:

  • To clarify information,
  • To identify questions and sequences for legal analysis,
  • To apply legal knowledge and reasoning to factual situations,
  • To test understanding through discussion and debate within the group,
  • To practice writing skills.
  • Some Guidelines for Forming Study Groups:

Optimal size - 3 to 4 persons.

  • Form study groups on the basis of common goals and commitment to those goals. Do NOT form study groups soley on the basis of friendship, similarity of thinking, or political conviction.
  • Rotate leadership among the group. A primary role of a leader is to encourage each person in the group to participate in discussions.
  • Set the purpose and the goals for the group.
  • What types of activities does this group want to do?
  • What do you expect the group to accomplish during the semester?

Some Useful Ground Rules for the Group

  • When will you meet?
  • Where will you meet?
  • How long will you meet?
  • How often will you meet?
  • What is expected of each person in the group?

Some Questions to Guide the Group from One Meeting to the Next:

  • What do you want to accomplish in the next meeting?
  • What material do you expect to cover - torts, property, contracts, etc.?
  • How much material do you expect to cover - one chapter, one section, one lecture, etc.?
  • What do you expect to do with the material - go through hypothetical; review lecture notes, answer practice exams, etc.?
  • Who will be the "leader" of that group?


For more information on Study Groups, view our PowerPoint Presentation.

© Martha M. Peters, Ph.D. 1999