Memorization Techniques & Learning The Law
When talking about memorization and studying, it means understanding material and memorizing a substantial amount of material, in a short amount of time. While law school exams primarily require applied knowledge, not rote memorization, you still have to know the material, which requires some (a lot of) memorization.
Repetition of the material is necessary for retention of the material. This requires repeatedly studying a topic or concept and actively practicing your recall of it. There are devices available to help you such as your course outline or even flashcards. Of course, any device is only as good as the time truly spent repeating your review of it.
A key to learning and remembering is spaced repetition of the review of the material. Learning material in shorter sessions over a longer period is much more preferable and effective than cramming at the end of the semester.
You still must learn and apply the knowledge. This means knowing the actual meaning of legal terms, their applications, and the exceptions and variations associated with these terms. Ultimately, how you accomplish this is up to you. At this point time, you should be well familiar with your learning style. Everyone learns differently and you know the best way that you have learned information in the past. Awareness of your learning style will save a lot of time when studying and memorizing material
You likely fall into one of the following three learning styles defined by a plethora of studies:
- Visual learners learn best through seeing, and typically prefer visual aids such as flashcards, diagrams, and pictures.
- Auditory learners learn best by hearing verbal or vocalizing written material.
- Kinesthetic learners learn best when they are actively hands-on with the material or subject matter.
A mnemonic device is a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something. They may seem a bit outlandish for law school, but every law student is familiar with IRAC and TTIP. These devices can be useful if they help you truly learn the material. Making up your own by using the first letter of each definition of a key legal term may help jog your memory when you need it most and even be fun.
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