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Author Topic: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?  (Read 3222 times)

Jumboshrimps

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2007, 10:28:44 AM »
Here's something I found interesting. An old and respected professor spent several minutes at the beginning of a class period talking about how valuable "multitasking" is to keeping's one's brain in shape. He was explaining how skilled lawyers are able to deal with multiple, diverse matters at the same time without skipping a beat.

Then, he switched gears for a while and talked about the day's cases, etc.

In about the middle of class, he said, "Oh, by the way. You are all doing yourselves a great disservice by screwing around and playing games on those computers during class. Don't even THINK about pulling that crap when you get out and practice. There is no way you can pay attention with that going on in front of you."




Suzieq830

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2007, 11:37:14 AM »
i would be lost w/out my laptop but thats just me

nbf

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2007, 04:16:55 PM »
Umm... for all of you who play solitare or search the web during class - THANK YOU for making it easier for me to be in the top 10% of my class! There is no way I would be paying all of this money for a legal education to waste a second of it.

It depends on the class for me. If it's a heavy notetaking class, I use my laptop. If the prof. is more interactive, I sometimes take notes by hand and transfer them to the laptop later. Come exam time, there is NO WAY that I would handwrite. I type 120 words/minute and I can get double or triple the info down vs. someone who is handwriting.

But hey, don't listen. I like being in the top of the class. ;D



I'm in the top 5% of my class fwiw.... 

4yearPLAN

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2007, 07:57:54 PM »
Pen and paper.  Having to decipher my notes later in the semester allows me another chance to think about the material.

TDJD84

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2007, 09:39:32 AM »
Laptop! Don't underestimate the ability to look up a case on lexis in class if you forgot to read it, or didn't understand it, and your about to be called on!

likewise

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2007, 12:21:51 PM »
I do laptop for notes in class and outlining and handwrite my exams.

I would never transcribe notes to computer if I took them in class; I'm simply too lazy.  And anyhoo, comp allows me to dump notes I got from a fellow student into the right spot in my doc, when I miss a class...or space out.  Comp helps with outlining too, cuz one can just chop down class notes and chuck them in an outline.  Just don't take TOO many notes if you take them by computer, and if you brief, don't make your briefs too long.

I take exams by hand, though.  This is where I revert to my true old-school nature. I do this because

1) The room I take the exam in is always smaller, like a normal classroom, and I just feel more comfortable. This is also better because I do break for smokes and the bathroom during exams, so I don't feel like I'm bothering as many people.
2) I cannot stand the clickety-clack of keyboards and wouldn't be able to think straight. I know, I could wear earplugs, but then I'd hear my own heartbeat.
3) I suspect that profs are easier on handwritten exams than typed.
4) I fear technology.

xferlawstudent

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2007, 12:34:14 PM »
I've taken notes during class both handwritten and on computer.  I've also taken exams both handwritten and computer.  For me, I prefer preparing for class by taking notes in the book (book-briefing) and taking notes by hand.  Then throughout the semester I outline based on the cases/book notes and handwritten lecture notes.  Then I take exams on computer.

I feel like this is the best system for me.  If I take notes on computer it is too tempting to sneak away from the lecture to check an email or play solitare, etc.  Some will say that they have the willpower, but I have never known a laptop user to never check email or play games.  These small distractions add up.

Also, I tend to take too many notes when typing.  When using a computer, I tend to transcribe the entire lecture--I'm going to be a lawyer, not a court reported.  Also, too many notes makes it more difficult to outline later and results in distracting me from the main issues that the exam will cover.

Finally, I think exams are better taken on laptops, particularly for the reason that you can neatly add arguments you may think over later or when checking your work.

xferlawstudent

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2007, 12:36:06 PM »
Also, I second the notion that top students tend to take handwritten notes.  Obviously there are some people at the top of the class (like the person in this thread that is top 5%) but I bet a higher percentage of top students take handwritten notes compared to lower-ranked students

osakakid

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2007, 10:14:34 PM »
I would be willing to bet that there is absolutely no relationship between grades and the medium upon which a law student takes notes.  The only reason to go to class is too learn which black letter law each particular prof emphasizes, as well as to get a feel for the quirky particulars of what a prof would expect on her exam.  The main notes for each class should already be in your notebook/computer before you even show up.

challandler

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Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2007, 12:24:42 AM »
The only reason to go to class is too learn which black letter law each particular prof emphasizes, as well as to get a feel for the quirky particulars of what a prof would expect on her exam. 

I really, really hate this piece of common advice.  While it is likely a true statement for 90% of law students, I don't want it to mislead incoming students who may end up at a school that is theory heavy or those who are striving for the very top of their class.  BLL is the foundation to every law school exam, but at some schools much more theory, policy, and analysis is needed to do well. 

Also, I second the notion that top students tend to take handwritten notes.  Obviously there are some people at the top of the class (like the person in this thread that is top 5%) but I bet a higher percentage of top students take handwritten notes compared to lower-ranked students

In my 1L class, 91/93 students typed their notes.  The two who did not are both bright students and undoubtedly did well, but too many students type these days to be able to draw the arrow of causation the right way.  It might be that the already-brilliant students are drawn to hand-writing, but that hand-writing might be a detrimental technique for the average student to employ.  We just have no way of knowing.