Thursday, July 31, 2014
How to Prepare for Class by Aaron H. Caplan.
"This document was prepared as a handout for first year law students in a Civil Procedure class, but it could be useful for students in any class where both cases and statutes are read. In addition to providing general advice on study habits, it suggests formats for students to use in summarizing (or briefing) both case law and statutes. Since fewer resources exist to guide students in reading statutes, the handout devotes more space to that topic, including examples and problems."
Among Professor Caplan's hints are
1. Paraphrase Material in Your Own Words
2. Use Your Study Group
3. See the Big Picture and Details
4. Work on Reading Techniques (both case and statutory)
I especially like his advice to paraphrase material. When you put something into your own words, you manipulate it. By paraphrasing, you can remember material better, and you can apply it to other situations easier. I advise students to do their case analyses in their own words and to rewrite their class notes every evening.