Sunday, October 27, 2013
It is a common misconception among law students that studying cannot be accomplished in small time blocks. Yet students feel that lots of other things can be accomplished in smaller amounts of time: e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, cell phone calls, surfing the Web, watching TV sitcoms, exercising.
Here are some study tasks that can fit into less than sixty minutes and less than thirty minutes:
- Read and brief one mid-sized case.
- Read and brief two short cases.
- Draft the statement of facts for a legal memo.
- Draft the short answer for a legal memo.
- Complete ten multiple-choice questions without reviewing the explanations for the answer options.
- Complete five multiple-choice questions with reviewing the explanations for the answer options.
- Complete a one-issue fact-pattern essay and review the model answer.
- Review part of a paper draft for punctuation and grammar.
- Review part of a paper draft for citation.
- Review several pages of an outline for intense learning.
- Create a graphic organizer to summarize a course topic.
- Compare an outline or class notes with a classmate.
- Outline the material from several class periods.
- Read a study aid to clarify a topic.
- Complete memory drills with flashcards.
- Make some flashcards for later memory drills.
- Read and brief one short case.
- Stop by a professor's office to ask some questions about the material.
- Discuss the cases with a classmate before the next class.
- Review your brief, margin notes, and prior class notes to re-visit your class preparation for the next class.
- Review your class notes from a class earlier in the day to fill in gaps, reorganize the notes, and gain deeper understanding.
- Read a study aid to clarify a subtopic.
- Outline a couple of short subtopics.
On the downward slope of the semester, it is important to use time well. Major blocks of time are not needed to make progress. (Amy Jarmon)