Continuing our popular “How to Study” blog series, today we focus on the best techniques to study law. Don’t forget to take a look at our previous articles in this series discussing how to study Mathematics, History, Biology and Chemistry.
When we speak of studying law, we are not referring to the entire area but to specific subjects such as Civil Law, Corporate law, Commercial Law etc. These law subjects are also present in many other college degrees such as a degree in Business. If you are undertaking a law subject, no matter what your university degree is, you should find the tips below useful.
Studying law can be highly theoretical and require the need to remember and recall large volumes of information such as precedence, national and international laws and acts, so many students may find this difficult. However, there are some scientifically proven “shortcuts” that can help our brain store information easily.
As we discussed in our recent article about using Mind Maps to improve your memory, if you use your cortical skills more regularly and involve these skills in your learning process, it is more likely that you will remember information better. Read below to see how you can apply this theory to studying law:
4 Steps to Learn How to Study Law Effectively
1. Use Key Words
Underlining key words by using different colours can significantly reduce the material you need to study while stimulating your brain to remember information. It is advised that you read a piece of text to the end then highlight the key words as you would then be aware of which words are most important.
If we go a step further, you can also use the underlined portion of the text to create your own notes as a summary (do not forget to include pictures and different colours also in these notes).
Note: If your notes are similar to the image below, you’d better start again. Avoid highlight complete sentences and paragraphs!
2. Use Online Flashcards to Study & Memorize Key Notes
Create Online Flashcards with important laws you need to memorize for your exam. Once you have created your first deck of Online Flashcards, you can review them and change the order to test yourself properly. In this way, your brain is stimulated to a high degree which in turn will improve your memorization skills.
Note: Saying your notes out loud acts as a memory mechanism in your brain which help you remember your study notes better.
3. Complement Your Study Notes with Mind Maps
Many of you are probably already using Mind Mapping to connect concepts and ideas visually. However, sometimes, the nodes of a Mind Map can be a bit small for a subject such as law, where it is usually required that students write lengthy pieces of text. Therefore, the perfect solution is to incorporate Snippet Notes into your Mind Maps to provide more comprehensive information.
Here’s an example of a Mind Map based on Copyrights & Patents Law – don’t forget to check the Snippet Notes behind the nodes by clicking the note icon to the right of a node:
4. Study Collaboratively
Students should always devote time to studying law online individually, but interacting with peers and sharing questions and concerns can help you understand theory and other points of view. We recommend you create or join groups to study law and use them regularly to avoid falling into the “isolated law student trap”.