Technology in law school: How to make it help, not hurt your studies
The past few years, technology and social networks have changed the way we communicate. As a law student, you likely have one device – whether it’s an iPhone, Android, iPad, or Kindle – that you use daily. Add in social networks such as YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest – which are constantly pumping out content – and your productivity can be thrown out the window.
Did you know more than 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared each week on Facebook, and users have an average of 120 friends? With so much content available at your fingertips, it’s easy to hurt your grades and study schedule by spending too much time online.
These distracting sites can also improve your productivity, but only if you’re diligent about spending your time efficiently and effectively. Here are some tips for using social media and technology to your advantage when studying for law school exams and the bar exam:
Create a Facebook group with your classmates
According to the AdaptiBar survey of 900 students, only 23 percent of students participated in study groups. Law school study groups are often hard to organize because everyone has different schedules. Also, some study groups are inefficient if students are spending too much time on topics they already understand, but creating a study group on Facebook solves these issues. With Facebook, you can post questions and have them answered quickly. You can also use it as often or seldom as you’d like, instead of being locked into a specific time to meet.
Use YouTube or Spotify to find the ultimate study playlist
Whether you’re studying in Starbucks or your school’s law library, you probably need music to distract you from the noise. Instead of using YouTube to look up goofy videos, find a playlist that will help you focus. Some students prefer classical music, or others simply listen to white noise to drown out the distractions. A particular type of playlist that speaks to your individual study style will help put you in the study mindset and help create a routine.
Find relevant blogs to learn study survival tips
With blogs and sites like Tumblr rapidly gaining popularity, it’s easy to find yourself scrolling through 30 pages of GIFs on your favorite blog. But avoid the desire to use blogs to procrastinate, and instead find a blog with law school tips, study tricks, and other useful information to help you succeed. Transitioning into law school can be difficult for some students, but many others have gone through similar struggles. Find a great blog to guide you through the next three years.
Use your device to study on-the-go
If you use flashcards or a mobile site like AdaptiBar to study for the bar exam, make your smart phone or device your best friend. According to our survey, the number of students studying on a smart phone jumped seven percent from 2011 to 2012. The best part about the explosion of iPhones and other devices is the ability to study on-the-go. If you’re waiting in line at a store, do a few flashcards while you wait. Are you ten minutes early to class? Instead of browsing Pinterest or catching up on Twitter, quiz yourself on a bar exam topic.
Nobody’s saying law school is easy, but if you integrate these ideas into your study plan, you’ll escape the social media and technology waiting to distract you. Instead of using technology as a scapegoat, use it as a tool to leverage for successful study habits.
What do you think? Has technology helped or hurt you during law school? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below, or tweet us @AdaptiBar!
About the Author: Tarek Fadel, Founder & CEO of AdaptiGroup LLC, is a graduate of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. In 1995, Tarek Fadel founded Chicago Technology Consultants, Ltd. (CTC), a company which specialized in technology for the legal and medical fields. Tarek realized in law school that he could apply his technical expertise to creating a better way to prepare for the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) – and a better experience for the bar exam taker. He developed the strategy and software with the goal of creating an MBE prep program that “cut to the chase” by diagnosing the test taker’s weaknesses and emphasizing those areas. In 2005, Tarek tested out his company’s product, AdaptiBar, using it to prepare for the exam he had postponed and passed the first time. To date, thousands of law students in over 45+ countries use AdaptiBar to prepare for the MBE. AdaptiGroup LLC also provides diagnostic and assessment testing services to law schools who wish to aid their students in bar preparation prior to graduation.
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