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How To: Take Notes in Law School

Taking notes is so important in law school. Your notes will form the basis of your understanding of key legal concepts and will likely help you prepare for your upcoming exams. Reading long cases and attending 3-hour seminars, you may be wondering, how exactly do I take useful notes in law school?

This is your ‘How To’ guide on taking the best notes in law!

Taking notes that are useful from the start will save you time in preparing for assignments and exams as the bulk of your work will be done. Here are 3 helpful steps to start you off:

1. Summarise

Cases in law can be extremely long and you do not want to find yourself reading pages upon pages of case notes the night before your exam! Summarise the key facts upon reading the case, write down the area of law the issue relates too, and summarise the verdict reached by the court.

2. Use abbreviations

Using abbreviations in your notes can help you write in a shorter time frame and avoid repetition. It is also worthy to mention using abbreviations in exams is possible as long as you state the full-term the first time it is used!

3. Write in simple language

Writing your own set of notes might seem obvious, but it is one of the most overlooked, yet beneficial parts of notetaking. Avoid copying slabs of text from textbooks, cases and legislation and instead write down brief points in your own words. As these are your study notes, you don’t need to impress anybody with them and after all what point is it using fancy words you don’t understand!

These starters should help you to write the best notes possible. The key thing to remember is to take your own notes in your own style.

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