Learning Disabilities in Law School

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
WhyBother?
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:54 pm

Learning Disabilities in Law School

Postby WhyBother? » Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:55 pm

Are there any current students at a top school with learning disabilities on this forum? I managed to self-accommodate with some success during undergrad (although I am a high-LSAT splitter- I always had issues with long classes) but I am concerned about law school. I have issues with attentiveness and also a reading-based learning disability. I've mostly overcome my reading issues (I read constantly for pleasure and already completed a graduate degree where I had to read about a book per day) but reading still takes me a bit longer than it does other people. Also, I manage my ADD with medication, but I really only get a few "peak performance" hours each day- and I don't really have the option to pull all-nighters or work at strange hours- it's very important that I keep a disciplined schedule or I start having major memory issues. Some law students have said that discipline will be an advantage. That's how I tried to explain it to law school and I do believe that it's true. But I still am concerned that during exam time, when my peers will be kicking up their studying and working 12-14 hours/day, I will fall way behind. I've been accepted to several T14s so I think I am in for a rigorous curriculum.

If anyone doesn't feel comfortable posting here, I'd be grateful if you could PM me. It would be very encouraging to know that this is possible.

User avatar
studebaker07
Posts: 288
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:40 pm

Re: Learning Disabilities in Law School

Postby studebaker07 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:13 pm

Hey.

I don't have a learning disability (other than not being able to study 24/7 lol) but I do not think you should not worry so much about how you will do given your disability. The first semester of law school will require you to make changes to adapt there is no question about that. I had to make several changes to how I studied, how I read, etc.

With that being said, I think that it is unproductive to pull all-nighters consistently. I did fairly decent in my first semester and I did not pull a one-nighter during the entire semester. Here is the key:

1. Stay on top of the readings. I know you are concerned because you have a disability that affects your reading. Although I cannot speak specifically to that, I am a very slow reader but was able to stay on top of the reading we had each night (typically about 75-100 pages. I budgeted my time by reading whenever I had breaks (during lunch, after classes, on the weekends). I love to read though and making time for reading was never an issue. I think you should do the same thing. Just make a calender and commit to completing reading assignments on certain days. If you have a class on M/W/F, plan to have the readings for M/W done before the M class at least so that way you leave more time during the middle of the week for your W/Th/F classes.

2. Outline little by little as the semester goes on. I found outlining hard to do my first semester probably because I had a hard time figuring out how to do it. The truth is there really is no "best way" to outline. You just have to do what works for you. I would suggest, at least, starting an outline by the third or fourth week of classes and adding onto it as the semester goes along. This will save you time at the end and you can digest all of the concepts. Besides, you won't be absolutely drained during finals when you most need your mental energy to be at its max.

3. Use time efficiently. I am of the opinion that if you do a little bit every day by completing each reading assignment, book briefing, and outlining throughout the semester, you will use your time more efficiently. I don't have ADD but I think in general if someone works balls-to-the-wall 10+ hours a day on assignments, they are setting themselves up for burnout. Check out this book http://www.amazon.com/Law-School-Breakt ... =8-1-spell the author gives a lot of good tips about how you should use time efficiently.

I hope you find this advice helpful. Although I do not have a learning disability (at least none that I know of), I think this advice could really help you maximize your time even if you cannot devote 15 hours a day to studying (which I think is counterproductive anyways even if it is only around the end of the semester)

WhyBother?
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:54 pm

Re: Learning Disabilities in Law School

Postby WhyBother? » Tue Mar 02, 2010 3:54 pm

Thank you for such detailed advice. It's good to see that it's a positive thing to stick to a schedule. I guess my biggest fear was that I would have to be locked into mine, whereas my peers could be flexible, but it sounds like that may be a positive habit, after all.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: thisyearsgirl and 2 guests