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Author Topic: So everyone in law school uses a laptop during class?  (Read 1275 times)

AppleDuck

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So everyone in law school uses a laptop during class?
« on: September 06, 2008, 11:19:16 PM »
I am serious when I say that about 98% of the people in my classes use laptops to take notes.

I always use the pen and paper when I take notes.  What do you guys usually do?
Pacific McGeorge '11

lawmama09

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Re: So everyone in law school uses a laptop during class?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2008, 11:25:45 PM »
I'd say 95% of my class uses laptops in class. I am old-fashioned and I only use paper and a pen. I find that it forces me to pay more attention to what the professor is saying, and also, while it is a pain to re-type notes into an outline, it forces me to review everything.

I do use laptops for exams, however. I prefer to be able to rearrange things as needed.

wcombs65

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Re: So everyone in law school uses a laptop during class?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 01:20:48 AM »
Only about a third of my section uses their laptops, if that.  i use pen and paper but I will also occasionally have a typed brief up on my computer if I haven't printed it. 
Oklahoma 1L

Signal

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Re: So everyone in law school uses a laptop during class?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 03:02:14 AM »
I'd say very close to 100% of my class uses laptops to take notes. Many of them use OneNote, though there are other programs, too. There is one professor I know of who does not allow computers in class, but otherwise I know I have some classes where every single student uses a laptop.

mtfbwy

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Re: So everyone in law school uses a laptop during class?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 09:29:57 AM »
People should carefully consider lawmama09's post. 

I graduated this past May, and if I had it to do over, I'd leave the laptop home on most days (for most classes), and hand write notes (but type exams).

I'd say I took about 2 classes (and they weren't during 1L) that required so much note taking that a laptop was essential.  Otherwise, there just isn't that much.  And though I happily surfed the Internet 90% of the time (as did 90% of my classmates) in class (at least during 2/3L; it was more like 60% of the time in 1L), and did just fine, that was an absurd way to experience such an expensive education. 

Plus, I think it forms a bad habit, which I'm now trying to break as an associate: the constant urge to check one's personal email, Facebook, law-related sites, the news, etc. Granted, there is down time in practice, but after just a couple of weeks at it, I'm realizing that time management and concentration have taken on entirely new and important meanings.

Several of the top students at my school used laptops, surfed Internet, and still graduated with honors.  But a few of the very top students were notorious hand-writers, which at times all most put me in awe of them. 

If you're in your first semester, you're likely slaving away under the command of having to fully "brief" cases, take extensive notes, etc., which, for the most part, won't be worth much come exam time.  Yes, learning how to effeciently brief cases now is necessary in order to take your exams (i.e., to "issue spot" and apply a rule to a fact and draw a conclusion), but it all comes down to having crisp, concise outlines to memorize. 

The two cents I've been giving since I finished 1L: get the BarBri first year outline (I think it's a "free" gift when you pay $100 to lock in this year's rate on the full bar prep course).  I found it to be the best statement of the law (and the one, with few exceptions, you'll need to know in three years); for some of my 1L classes, it was as if the professors were reading from the BarBri outline (granted, the higher ranked school one attends, this might be less the case, e.g., one might not ever hear a "black letter" rule in three years at Yale).  I would review the topic we were scheduled to cover that day in the outline, quickly "book brief" the assigned cases, then take notes in class only if the prof seemed especially interested in a dissent, an emerging trend, or public policy issue.


resipsaloquitur

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Re: So everyone in law school uses a laptop during class?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2008, 12:51:10 PM »
I use my laptop for most classes.  I take notes, but not particularly detailed or extensive ones, and I write a lot in margins of my books.

I don't spend my time in class surfing the internet, chatting, or playing games. I think if you can't resist those things, then leave the laptop at home for your own sake and for the people who have to sit around you because it can be distracting for them as well.