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Study Tips For Law School

Study Tips For Law School

Most law students consider themselves as crammers, so many will be LEARNING rather than REVISING in the run up to law exams. That's why it's imperative to make learning the law as efficient and effective as possible.
 
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Choose efficient study methods
Wish you’d started revising earlier? Of course, you do. Everyone does, even those guys who proudly parade their colour-coded, laminated law notes and their pretty mind maps you’re so jealous of. So get off the guilt trip you’re on because you haven’t started revising until now. Law courses are as much a battle against time as they are a battle against the volume of information. It makes sense to try to find the most efficient way of learning. For example, mind maps have been scientifically proven to be extremely effective at helping people to remember information, but it takes a very long time to make good, informative, clean mind maps. That’s why we have pre-prepared mind maps for people to use (see www.lawmindmaps.com). However, even with the most efficient study method, for the best results you need time to repeatedly go through the course content as often as possible. If you feel you’ve left it a bit late, there’s only one solution. Get as much help as you can and start now. (Well, right after you’ve read the rest of the tips below.)
Get as much help as you can
Law students are notoriously – and arguably unnecessarily – competitive. However, law is hard and getting help is the clever thing to do. Don’t be ashamed of asking for help – whether that’s getting your food delivered, buying some revision aids, filling in any gaps in your notes (perhaps with one of our mind maps), setting up a study group or simply calling your mum for moral support. Don’t take advantage of others– as it’s a fast way to lose friends – and be respectful of the pressure they too may be facing. You don’t have to go through this alone, and show others they don’t either. Be willing to help others where you can

Get Some LawMindMaps

We get some great reviews and feedback from law students. Whether BPTC, LPC, GDL, GE, LLB or CILEX, LawMindMaps has mind maps that can help you.
Be positive!
There’s just no point being negative. It’s a waste of energy. Be realistic, understanding the task at hand, but be positive. If you’re not feeling positive, try to fake it. A positive mental attitude helps to keep you more cheerful, and can motivate you. Being negative can cause motivation by fear, but it’s just not as pleasant. You’ll be much more fun to be around too.
Organise your info
Get your notes together, and make sure you fill in any gaps in your lecture and tutorial notes. (We offer individual mind maps to cover particular subjects precisely for this reason.) Make sure the information you need is well structured and easily accessible. That was one of the main thrusts of the LawMindMaps project and one of the things law students compliment us upon. People often find our large mind maps useful because the information they need for one subject is laid out on a single sheet, so they don’t have to flick through pages of notes or large law books to find what they need.
Get Sleep, Eat Well & Stay Healthy
Have a regular sleeping pattern, and try to stick to it. Try to crash out by 10pm. Seriously, it’s not too early, and you will be glad you did.

The temptation to go for chocolate, coffee and even cigarettes when preparing for exams is huge, especially during the breaks. They really don’t help to relieve stress, and perhaps if you are stressed, then coffee is the last thing you need. What’s more, they can interrupt your sleep, which you really need when revising. Brains are muscles as much as any other, and they need fuel. Stock your fridge with food you like – but make sure there’s healthy options too. Cooking and eating dinner away from your desk is another valuable break that gives you rest and reflection time.

Also, use the revision period before exams to have a little health kick. Those 15 minute breaks are perfect for short bursts of exercise, whether that’s pounding a punchbag, a quick run around the block or some sit-ups to work on your six pack. Eating healthily and exercising regularly will give you a kick of endorphin, keep you relaxed and stave off stress. Keep away from alcohol too.

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This BPTC student found LawMindMaps really useful. 
Use a desk/table
Sitting at a desk – or standing at one of those new-fangled standing desks – keeps you alert. Lying down or sitting in any sort of chair where you slouch impacts your mental state so you are less alert and risk falling asleep. You need to be alert, so get your body posture in an alert position. Our mind maps are designed to be spread out on a desk so you can learn the information from there.

Use your walls

Sticking notes, diagrams, key phrases and procedures to your walls puts key information in accessible places. Law Mind Maps are designed to be used on the desk in front of you but can also be hung on walls so you can refer to them and look through them when you are not at your desk.

Take Breaks
There’s loads to learn. That’s law. Most students, regardless of their methods, will be spending long hours studying. So take breaks frequently. A break roughly every 45 minutes for 15 minutes is a good measure. You can start studying on the hour, but give your mind some relaxation and reflection time away from your desk for those 15 minutes every 45 minutes. If you're on a roll, don't interrupt it until there's a natural break, but if you find that you're struggling, keep revising for 45 minutes, then take a 15 minute break. You will get through it.
You're NOT Sheldon Cooper - Use The 6 Rs 
Some people think they’ll remember stuff just by reading it once. If you’re Sheldon Cooper, that might be right. Most of us are not Sheldon Cooper. Others think that by highlighting information as they read it the highlighter magically moves info into our brain. It doesn’t. Highlighters can help to identify key info, but that’s just to help you note that information down later. You need to actively learn. Our five Rs of revision have been used successfully to pass law exams. They are:

1) REDUCE information into shorter summaries so they're easier to remember;
2) READ these short summaries;
3) REMOVE the info from your eyesight, by looking away or covering them up;
4) RECALL the information by writing it down from memory;
5) REVIEW what you just wrote down against what you initially read;
6) RIGHT? Move on when your review shows your recall was right.

Work through the information, slowly building up the amount you have read, removed from your eyesight, recalled by writing it down and reviewed. That’s how Law Mind Maps are designed to work. By being graphically laid out they also help you picture the information in your mind’s eye.

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