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Studying Law and Being Able to Recall – Techniques That Work

Fact and figures. Dates and decisions. Statutes and stare decisis. During exams, it can be difficult to pull the right information out of your brain at just the right time. Which is why having a “recall strategy” in place as early in the semester as possible is critically important to doing well when exams roll around.

Here’s a five-step process to help you study more effectively and recall the right bits of information at the right times.


This should go without saying, but too often law school students aren’t as diligent about reading the assigned materials as they should be. So read, but have a strategy that includes pre-reading (scanning), perusing the material and going back to highlight key points.

Use Your Longhand

After you’ve done your reading, go back through the material and make hand-written notes. Your notes should align with the information you highlighted during the reading process.

Type it Out

Typing your notes into a Word document is great for two reasons. First, it forces you to truly concentrate on your notes. Second, you’ll have another visual representation of key fact and figures, dates and decisions, and statutes and stare decisis. In other words: You’ll be burning an image of important information into your mind.

Add a Splash of Color

Once you’ve typed your notes into a word document, print them out on colored paper. Adding a splash of color provides another context through which your brain sees and processes the information. You can also come up with a color code for highlighting related ideas throughout your notes. Then, when you’re taking the exam, your brain will connect key ideas with different colors, making it easier for you to recall related ideas and concepts.

Talk about It

It’s been said that the best way to prepare for a speech is to write it out, read it aloud five times and then talk about it with another person. The same can be said for improving your ability to recall important information for an exam. After you’ve read, written, typed and colored, talk about the key concepts—in layman’s terms—with another person. It will force you to put the ideas into easy-to-understand language, which always helps recall.

About the Author

Sumita Dalal is the Founder and CEO of FindMyLawTutor, the largest and most trusted website and online portal that connects law students with law tutors for success in law school. Whether preparing for the LSAT, are currently a law student or are studying for the bar exam, FindMyLawTutor makes finding a law tutor fast and easy.

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