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Classroom Life-Skills: Developing Effective Class Notes in Law School

One of the most underrated issues I want to put forward is the importance of taking running notes in your classrooms. In today’s technologically advanced countries, there are record lecturers and on-demand tutorial classes but let me tell you, nothing beats the old-school note-taking approach in your classrooms. Human brain encodes information in different ways and one of the most proven scientific ways to retain memory is through writing. Furthermore, it is proven that writing memory retention and visual memory retention when coupled together form the best retention technique. Therefore, what one listens in the classrooms, shall go into one’s notebooks. There is always that one nerdy student from whom everyone takes the notes at the end and then slog for their exams. Most law students find the rhythm missing from such notes since they are not written by themselves.

In this blog, we’ll convince you to write your own class notes and give you sure short tips of how to ace your classroom notes game and be on top of it always!

1. It must be predominantly understood and comprehended as to how to structure one’s class notes. Really speaking, at the start of any semester / session, one must analyze the pattern and manner in which the professor delivers his lectures and at the same time take very detailed and thorough reflection notes. One can understand how their law faculty ‘thinks’ about law and how he expects you to respond to questions. Moreover, when you write notes, you form your own interpretation of the law and sharpen your analytical skills. In other words, you write only what you understand and question the content that you don’t under comprehend. Therefore, you develop your own interpretation skills while writing running class notes.

2. Jotting down areas of ambiguity / debate is another important parameter to be noted. Such important issues are most likely to crop up in your examinations and are also academically  arterial since they mainly constitute topics of current affairs and any law student must know about in his law school tenure.

3. It is also very important to understand that writing your class notes actually helps you think better and visualize your notes in an effective way. Writing notes is important and applying your class notes is even more important. A given set of legal principles which you’ve noted during your lectures are of less use if you don’t know how to actually apply them to a given factual scenario. Such tricks can come in handy when prepping for your exams.

4. Conquering your professor’s thought process. This is a very interesting thing to understand. Once a person learns how his professor’s mind works he can anticipate the type of questions he can put forth and get flying colors in examinations.  For example, in my Constitutional law lectures, my professor emphasized way too much on dissenting opinions in Keshavananda Bharati case. We all were perplexed and failed to understand his thought process. At the end of our semester we were asked a 20-mark question (in a 100-mark paper)! Now you tell me, it makes sense, doesn’t it?

5. After we have understood the basics of note making, we can move to a more advanced topic of making thematic notes. Broadly speaking, it is division of notes based on certain topics or bifurcation of class notes in a rhythmic pattern.

Don’t just write whatever is told in a given lecture. Rather take important pieces of information and make a mental bridge of the same in your mind.At WOLR, we have a team of legal assistants who can cater to your classroom needs and provide  assistance in matters in and out of your classroom. We curate customized notes for you and provide you with comprehensive last-minute reading materials for your examinations! We are your last-minute teacher friends. Contact us for more information.