Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, August 25, 2014

Get Organized -- from the beginning

When you start anything new – it is good to get organized.  Starting school off right is beneficial – whether you are the teacher or the student.  Law students should identify a study spot and equip it with space for casebooks; study aids; and office or school supplies, such as paper, pens, markers, etc.   When you use the study space, keep it organized.  If everything that you will need has a “spot,” you will be more effective when you use the study space. So, keep the space organized by returning items that you use to their spots as you finish tasks.

Get a good calendar.  Review your course syllabi to create monthly, weekly, and daily schedules.  Note major deadlines and be prepared to work backwards from those deadlines. Mark all deadlines and exam dates on your calendar as they become known to you.  For example, your student records office or registrar may have posted your final exam schedule and your Legal Research and Writing Course syllabus likely includes due dates for major writing assignments. 

Create a weekly schedule.  Begin by penciling in class times and any regular appointments.  Next, block in study time for each class.  At the outset your weekly schedule should include times to do course reading, times to review reading notes and case briefs before class, and times to review class notes.  Review reading notes and case briefs before class and review class notes within twenty-four hours of taking them.  Note that recently published studies indicate that taking notes in longhand promotes learning more than typing your notes on a laptop.

Last, but certainly not least, your weekly schedule should include some “down time.”  Get weekly exercise; eat well; and enjoy the law school ride!

(Myra Orlen)

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