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Developing Healthy Study Habits for Law School Success

Updated: Feb 21

Many of our LSAT students continue with us through law school, and we are dedicated to supporting them in developing healthy study habits and learning how to best prepare for the rigors of law school exams.


One of the major areas of focus in our sessions is clarifying the difference between notetaking and studying for law school exams. Let's take a look at the key differences:



Notetaking involves the process of writing down important information from lectures, textbooks, or other sources in a concise and organized manner. It is a method of recording information for future reference and review.


Studying, on the other hand, involves the process of actively engaging with the material to understand and retain the information. This may include reviewing notes, practicing problems, discussing concepts with others, and applying the information to different scenarios.


In essence, notetaking is the act of capturing information, while studying is the act of actively working with and internalizing that information. Both are essential components of the learning process.


We understand that notetaking is an essential part of the learning process, but it is not the same as studying for exams. To truly crush it in law school, you need a clear path forward to improve your exam and written assignment performances. This involves adjusting your study and work schedule to accommodate more study time, and having some non-negotiables about what it takes to properly study and engage with professors to get the highest grades in the class.


We work closely with our students to evaluate their previous exam performances, gather feedback from professors, and reevaluate their notetaking and studying approaches. By doing so, we can develop a tailored plan to help them improve.


For example, one of our students had been primarily focusing on notetaking by reading cases, making briefs, and outlining their notes in Word. However, they lacked sufficient practice exams, memorization techniques, and synthesis of their notes into a comprehensive study guide. With our guidance, they adjusted their approach for this semester to incorporate more efficient studying strategies.


Their new approach includes synthesizing their notes into a larger outline every week, practicing exams and completed examples at home, and using flashcards and flowcharts for memorization. We also emphasized the importance of fully internalizing their outline, as simply relying on it as an index during exams is not efficient.


To recap, here's a list of efforts that constitute notetaking, compared with the efforts that truly constitute studying for law school exams:


Efforts that constitute notetaking:


1. Reading cases and making briefs

2. Outlining notes in Word

3. Creating comprehensive study guides

4. Summarizing key points in lectures or readings

5. Organizing and color-coding notes for easy reference


Efforts that constitute studying:


1. Practicing exams and completed examples

2. Memorization techniques (flashcards, flowcharts, repetition, etc.)

3. Synthesizing notes into larger, more comprehensive outlines

4. Engaging with professors for feedback and clarification

5. Developing non-negotiable study routines and schedules



If you're ready to take your law school journey to the next level, Ginsburg Advanced Tutoring is here to support you every step of the way. Our experienced tutors are dedicated to helping you develop the study habits and skills needed to succeed in law school. Reach out to us today by completing our registration form and take the first step towards achieving your academic goals.

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