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Can You be a Lazy and Successful Law Student?

— February 15, 2019

Lazy but successful law student? By following these helpful study tips, you’ll be able to preserve some free time while perusing property law.

Laziness isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about law students. A law school is an extremely competitive environment, and to become a skilled legal professional, you should study long and hard hours. Sounds like a bad environment for lazy individuals, and it is.

However, laziness isn’t impossible in law school if you’re well organized and focus on being efficient.

To give yourself the best chance of practicing your laziness and getting good grades, you’ll have to apply a number of techniques that can make you more efficient in studying. Time management skills reign supreme here because they define how much time you spend on studying and resting.

Let’s review these techniques.

Manage Your Distractions Effectively

As a student, you know it very well that distractions during studying can be one of the most difficult things to resist. If you fail to do that, you can face a sleepless night of studying or working more than you should have.

Procrastination is a really bad idea for all students, so try to avoid it at all cost even you consider yourself a very lazy person. For example, turn off your smartphone to avoid getting distracted by messages, calls, and notifications, or block social media and other websites in your browser with a tool like Cold Turkey. You’ll thank yourself for that later when you have more free time for yourself.

 Search for Keywords to make Your Research Faster

Legal research is a complex assignment to have to do, so it can take you hours to complete. To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your research, you can look for the main keywords in texts, articles, and books. For example, if you need to find information about a specific concept, law, case, or person, open an electronic version of a source and use the Ctrl+F function to find information much faster.

Then, read the sections where the results were found to see if the information works for you. Since all electronic sources permit a quick search, you can quickly look through many sources and save a lot of time.

Read Efficiently

It’s not uncommon for a law student to be assigned between 300 and 400 pages of reading per week, which can make reading and analyzing pretty much everything you do. After reading for a couple of days, you’ll start wondering whether there is a better way to get information without spending all your free time with a book.

Young man sitting on black leather sofa with laptop; image by Imgix, via
Young man sitting on black leather sofa with laptop; image by Imgix, via

Typically, a lot of reading materials assigned to you are cases because they offer you specific benefit. To make sure that you understand a case well and minimize the time needed for reading, you can apply the following strategies.

  • Search for summary and analysis online on websites such as FindLaw Caselaw
  • Read a case once slowly and highlight important content to avoid reading it multiple times
  • If you’re a visual learner, find a video describing the case online and take notes.

Don’t use Unreliable Information Sources

Using information from an unreliable information source like websites can undermine the quality of your work and even result in revisions and additional work. To prevent that, always research information using sources provided by the school or scholarly, peer-reviewed works and other credible sources.

Information written by a person without a background in law is considered to be unreliable, which means that you should avoid using information from most websites (Wikipedia included!). On the other hand, books, peer-reviewed articles, government publications, regulations, case law, legislation, treaties and other laws are considered credible sources.

 Don’t Print Full Case Reports

Chances are you’ll never need full texts, so try to include the most relevant information instead. This will also help you to study quicker.

 Find New Places to Study

Many people say that learning in settings like a coffee shop helps them to concentrate better and finish their tasks quicker. If you feel that the same could be said about you, try learning in your local coffee shop; it’ll help you avoid being distracted by fellow students.

There are even online tools that recreate ambient sounds of cafés and coffee shops to help you boost your productivity and creativity:

  • Coffinity. A peer-reviewed tool that recreates a coffee shop background noise
  • Noisli. Coffee shop sound for working and studying.
  • Rainy Cafe. Ambient white noise generator (café and rain sounds).

Law school is a competitive environment that requires you to do your best to survive and thrive. If you consider yourself a lazy person, you can certainly make up some time for that using the tips described above. Moreover, remember that you can’t focus and work for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so laziness will be your best friend that will remind you about the importance of rest.

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