Weekly Academic Success Tip - New Study Techniques

There is always a buzz around the law school when a new semester begins.  Students are enthusiastic about starting new courses, and some students have decided new study strategies are in order.  Here is some information that will help you to be successful in implementing any new strategies:

  • Research shows that it takes 21 days to implement a new habit fully.  Do not expect overnight success with new study techniques.  It will take several weeks before the new technique “feels part of you” and is more natural. 
  • Do not expect to change “everything” at once.  If you expect yourself to lose 20 pounds, quit smoking, cut out all caffeine, cut out all sugar, call your parents every Sunday, learn Spanish, find true love, write the great American novel, get straight “A’s” instead of “C’s” …  Well, you get the picture.  You need to make realistic changes in several areas rather than try for the impossible and set yourself up for defeat.
  • Be very reasoned in your selection of new study techniques.  Ask the following questions:

Is the new study technique compatible with my learning preferences?

Is the new study technique part of “law school mythology” or does it make sense for me?

Is the new study technique compatible with necessary areas of improvement that my professors have mentioned during evaluations of my exams?

If the new study technique is touted by other students who use it, do I know if they are “A” or “B” students so that I know it has a record of success?

Does the new study technique help me learn material throughout the entire semester rather than in the last few weeks?

Does the new study technique boost memory or work against memory?

Will the new study technique work for all courses or is it more specific to a certain subject matter?

Does the new study technique help me to be more efficient and effective in my studying?

Is the new study technique tied to learning or just to avoiding doing the work myself?

Do I know someone who uses the new study technique so that I can discuss the pros and cons before I invest the time?

What do I see as the pluses and pitfalls of implementing this new study technique?

  • Very structured time management helps to curb procrastination.  Working on curbing procrastination helps you have better time management.  It is a “hand in glove” relationship.  If you need help with these two aspects, work individually with Ms. Kimberly Ballard.
  • If you are unsure about a new study technique even after evaluating it, consider whether it has enough positive potential that you want to try it out for one week to decide whether to implement it permanently.