Life as an on-campus student can give rise to monstrosities such as being awake before midday and more importantly, attending lectures packed full of substantive information and multiple yawns. The age-old debate in law school seems to be whether attending lectures in person trumps the practice of being pant-less at home while listening to lecture podcasts online. Sure, the irresistible notion of studying sans pants has a hefty gravitational pull, but that dreaded journey to campus shouldn’t be discounted entirely; your individual learning style will help to determine whether podcasts or in-person classes are your best bet for learning lecture content.
Hello person who insists on using venn diagrams, pie graphs and mind maps to illustrate their point! You’re a visual learner and unless ideas take a physical form in front of your eyes you fail to understand their merit.
Fortunately for you, most law faculties provide PowerPoint slides to accompany lectures. Visual learners benefit greatly from physically attending lectures but can also undertake the lecture at home with maximum preparation. This means: attending tutorials, printing lecture slides and assaulting said lecture slides with highlighters and diagrams. If you lack concentration, perhaps forcing yourself into the lecture hall with a coffee in hand is the way to go, otherwise a plethora of distractions* await you at home.
*Episodes of Suits.
Hello human being who converts case summaries into limericks, raps or ballads. You’re an auditory learner and can often be found reciting provisions prior to exams. The most effective way for you to learn is to read aloud, transform theories into your own words and repeat, repeat, repeat. For you learning from online podcasts is a no brainer - the sound is always there for you to manipulate to your preferred speed or volume and if needed you can pull these sounds from the web and create your own trap remix of Contracts Week 7.
Auditory learners suffer the same affliction as all learners and particularly, law students - distractions. Overcoming these distractions is easy when you have the prowess of an auditory learner: turn the volume up, close your eyes (if you’re capable of staying awake through Property Law, am I right?) and give yourself regular intervals to pause the lecture and scribe what you’ve just heard. Otherwise, smile through the pain of being confined to your desk chair and write! Replaying the lecture will be beneficial around exam time.
Hello human that can only focus when you’re out in the fresh air, feet to the pavement and being a downright do-er. You’re a kinesthetic or a tactile learner. The best learning environment for you is to be one with nature: preload your podcasts, print your slides and take deep breaths.
If focus isn’t your strong point, setting short-term study goals is the way for do-ers like you, eg. drink that coffee, sit for thirty minutes, set a physical task for ten minutes and get back into it. Think of lectures as an obstacle course, if you’re going to force yourself to sit in a dusty office space for two hours straight there is no way that you’re going to take in the information that will be so definitive to your final exams. Rewarding baby steps ain’t no crime and there’s no point in stressing about your learning techniques – we’re all different.