Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What Students Should Be Getting from Class Discussions

The Socratic method does not always lend itself to effective note taking in the way a straight lecture might. Students can manage that problem by using the following list to spot important concepts as they arise during exchanges between professor and student. In fact, keeping the list on the desk as they take notes helps students focus on the discussion when they are not directly involved and helps make sense of the direction the professor is leading everyone.


•Key themes running through the course

•Accurately stated rules

•Corollary rules


•Tests, definitions

•Precise understanding of the logic underlying the rules, their corollaries, and their exceptions, tests, definitions

•Key policy aims underlying each rule, etc.

•Essential steps in the logic of applying each rule, etc.

•Critical similarities and differences among rules, among tests, etc.

•Critical attributes of facts that satisfy or do not satisfy the rules, definitions, etc.

•Archetypal fact patterns that implicate each rule

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