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Study Aids
 • Basics of law study
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School of Law

Study Steps:

Building a Strong Foundation

Read for class

  • Use Table of Contents
  • Refer to notes from previous class
  • Ask yourself the types of questions your professor asked in class as you read.

Go to Class!

  • Take notes
    • Try large margin format - leaving space to put further notes at the end of the week (see below.)
    • On content - the "what" of the case
    • On analytic process - the "why" of the case: questions and reasoning used in class
    • Your professor's emphasis and terms of art, legal principles, and tests
  • Participate in class discussion

Review notes after class

  • For accuracy
  • For comprehensiveness

Review notes before your next class

  • For continuity - today's material usually connects back to and is a continuation of yesterday's material
  • For memory

Review at the end of the week:

  • Look over week's notes for:
    • Whatever your professor emphasized
    • Themes and topics
    • Steps of Analysis
    • Vocabulary
    • Public policy arguments
    • Write at least one practice problem applying this week's topic or theme

End of the unit:

  • Review notes
  • Organize material
    • Goal: To aid in doing legal analysis
    • Means: By using your choice of: outline, decision tree, flow chart, etc.

© Martha M. Peters, Ph.D. 1999.