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Law School Study Tip: Know Your Learning Style

Which student would have a learning advantage, a blind one or a deaf one?

It's not a trick question. A blind person might have an advantage over a deaf person learning music, and a deaf person might have an advantage over a blind person learning to paint, right?

So by using their dominant senses, students might have an advantage over those who do not. That's one way to explain the advantage of learning styles, and knowing yours can help you in law school.

Sight, Sound, Touch

Learning styles are based upon individual preferences. Some people learn better from visuals, like pictures and images. Others prefer sound and music, or verbal learning through words and writing. Physical cues -- using the body, hands or sense of touch -- works for others.

Generally, people learn better one way or in a combination of styles. Ideally, we use all our faculties to learn but we may use one learning style more dominantly.

Kerriann Stout, a law professor and bar exam coach, said she struggled in law school until she discovered her learning style. Then she found out about learning styles and it changed everything.

"I learned that I am primarily a visual learner and that almost everything I was doing to prepare for class was completely wrong for my learning style," she wrote for Above the Law.

Whole Brain Learning

Instead of relying solely on her notes, Stout made flowcharts to help her visualize concepts. For example, she charted out the elements of negligence.

She said Vark-learn.com helped her discover her learning style. Other sites offer similar self-tests online for free.

It is an evolving science, so it's worth a few minutes to research what works for you. Some ideas are pass√©, like the left-brain and right-brain myth.

Last time anybody checked, it pretty much takes a whole brain to really learn well.

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