Law School Discussion

Question for Current Law Students: School Supplies and Study Methods


I'm playing around doing some online shopping, buying the obvious like highlighters and legal pads.  I got to thinking about what else I might need as far as school supplies go...

I'm a very organized person, maybe overly organized.  I plan on typing all my class notes, briefs, outlines, etc.  However, I like to have something tangible in front of me, not just on the screen.  Would it make sense to get a binder for each class and print my briefs, notes, etc. and put them into a binder for each class?  It seems if you were in class and needed to refer back to something from another day it would be easier to flip back in your binder than try and open old files on the computer.  What have you all done?

Also, I've read all the threads about programs like StoreLaw and Case Ace and all.  I've decided to go the Microsoft Word route for now.  Instead of opening a new file for each day's class notes, would it make more sense to just have one large file for each class and start a new page each day?  That way it would all be in one document and you wouldn't have to have multiple documents open.  What methods have some of you used?

Thanks in advance!


Re: Question for Current Law Students: School Supplies and Study Methods
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2004, 03:51:45 PM »
Just finished in the top 2% of class for first year.  Couple of tips: 

1) put all your notes in one document.  Put all your case breifs in one document?  Why?  Because many professors will jump back to previous cases or sections of the class.  If you have only two docs open, you just go to the right one, hit ctr-f then type the case name, or topic.  You don't have to search through fifty docs to find the answer.  I learned this after my first semester.  If saved me several times, other studens thought I was amazing when I could recall facts, but I was just well organized.
2) Figure out the way the game is played.  Check out  Worth the money.  Also, the nutshell book "the introduction to the study and practice of law."
3)figure out what works for you.  Prof swore off supplements, but some classes, they can save a lot of time.  Just don't use them to replace hard work.  Still breif every case, and use them to make sure you get the black letter law right, because in the end, that is all you need for the exam.  The breifing helps you learn to pick out issues, and analysis.

Re: Question for Current Law Students: School Supplies and Study Methods
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2004, 06:11:01 PM »
Do what you will feel comfortable wtih, that is the most important thing. I started off very similar to what you said. I had a separate binder for each class. I had a section for the current day's materials, a section for my class notes and a section for briefs covered in prior class meetings. Once the class would change topics, I started my outline for that class (using my class notes and briefs to construct the outline) and kept my outline for that class in another section.

I would type out the briefs for each class and bring those for that day's assignments. I would bring those to class and use my laptop to type class notes for that day. When I got home, I printed those out (dated and titled for that class) and put those into my folder into their sections.

I used microsoft word for class notes. I made a computer folder for each subject and saved it to the hard drive and also used a separate disc for each class and saved to disc. ALWAYS SAVE IT MORE THAN ONE PLACE. We have had more than one student lose an entire semester of work because they only saved to the hard drive. Once I get done with class that day, I save to the hard drive of my home computer when I am printing notes out for the day.

I no longer bring my binders with me to class, but that is how I started out. I still take my briefs with me to class, take class notes on my laptop, print out class notes when I get home and put them into a folder. I use the same method, I just got tired of carrying everything around. For the first semester, do whatever you need to do to make yourself as comfortable as possible. You can figure out later what you really need and what you do not need.

Good Luck