A letter from me to you,
This is just a quick note outlining what I have found successful in law school. Most of this will feel like I’m preaching to the choir. Everything that I have done are techniques have been proven to work. This semester is the first time I have felt confident in my ability to utilize these techniques effectively. I want you all to succeed so here are my tips on what you can do to perform to the best of your ability.
You may or may not be surprised at how often I review. Thinking back right now, I can think of about 5 ways that I review a single principle. I’ll get into those methods in a minute, but want to isolate them to emphasize their importance. Ultimately, about half of my time in law school is spent reviewing in one way or another.
But what are the best ways to review?
Review in as many different ways as possible
I do not recall the study at the moment. However, I have heard about studies that emphasize using as many of your senses as possible. We hear about people who are visual learning, readers, creative, etc. In truth, we are all visual learners, readers, and creative in our unique ways. The key to unlocking your memory to material you have introduced is to reintroduce that same material in as many ways as possible. Take this website and podcast as an example:
First, I read the material. I mark up the book with key points I takeaway (Reading).
Second, I brief the cases and take notes based on what I remember were those key points (Writing).
Thirds, I go to lecture and take extensive notes where the gaps need to be filled in (Audio).
Fourth, I make an audio recording of my notes (Audio and Creative).
Fifth, I review those audio recordings often, either in the car or along side my notes (Audio and Reading).
Finally, I use those notes to practice with hypotheticals (Application).
It sounds like a lot (and it is) but it has really paid dividends in a lot of legal skills (writing and oral presentation) and has made a positive impact on my grades.
Find your own ways to review often. But if I had to recommend certain aspects, make sure you have a creative element and a skills based element to your review. In my case, the creative element is this website and the skills based element is the podcast (oral presentation).
One last piece of advice. Be accountable to someone for your success. Of course you need to hold yourself accountable, but be creative in how you do so. For instance, I hold myself accountable to everyone who reads this post, my notes, listens to my podcast, etc. In my mind, I want to do the best I can so everyone else can succeed as well. My making a goal to stay accountable to others (even if it’s only to a few people) has strengthened my motivation for continued success.
Summing it up
The three big takeaways are: first, review often. Second, review in as many ways as possible. Third, stay accountable to others. If there is one tip that I have found the most helpful of those three, it would be the second. Everything else I have done surrounds that piece of advice.
Thanks for holding me accountable.