importance of typing speed in law school?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
Fiction
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:00 pm

importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby Fiction » Mon May 31, 2010 4:52 pm

edit
Last edited by Fiction on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8441
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 31, 2010 4:58 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dood
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:59 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby dood » Mon May 31, 2010 5:07 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8441
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 31, 2010 5:11 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fiction
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby Fiction » Mon May 31, 2010 5:28 pm

edit
Last edited by Fiction on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8441
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 31, 2010 5:32 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
dbt
Posts: 617
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:46 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby dbt » Mon May 31, 2010 5:34 pm

dood wrote:In my opinion, typing speed is the single most important factor to getting a good grade on a law exam. Direct correlation between number of words and final exam grade, based on my friends and study group, as well as others on this forum. Though not necessary for a good grade, it is very, very helpful. If I could do it all over again, I would have spent my 0L summer learning how to type correctly and at 100+ wpm, instead of reading LSC, Getting to Maybe, and all the E&Es. The subject matter is not that hard, it basically comes down to who can regurgitate IRAC using as many facts as possible to strengthen the A section...most people can spot the issues, but inadequately analyze the issues because they run out of time.


I generally agree with this (especially for exams which are more issue-spotters like Torts). Of course some exams have word limits, and others give so much time that being able to type faster isn't that big of a deal.

But I definitely know some really smart kids who didn't do as well as their intelligence would indicate, likely because they were typing maybe half as many words as I was on practice exams.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8441
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby thesealocust » Mon May 31, 2010 5:38 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby 98234872348 » Mon May 31, 2010 5:43 pm

Typing speed is important both for in-class note taking and exam taking, I would have definitely taken lessons before 1L if I could do it over again, and I have the intent of taking one at some point.

I don't think that quick typing speed is either necessary or sufficient to success in law school, but it's certainly a good asset, both for law school and in your subsequent career.

solidsnake
Posts: 531
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 2:08 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby solidsnake » Mon May 31, 2010 6:14 pm

As long as you can clear about 1600 words an hour (keep in mind this includes reading, outlining, thinking, typing); you should be fine for a standard 4 credit course. This is assuming that your prof evenly allocates points to time. Conversely, if a prof gives you only an hour on a three hour exam to complete a question worth 50%, then you will need to be able to clear about 2000 words per hour (again, including reading, outlining, thinking, typing). Anecdotally, I've booked a few 1L classes now writing only ~5000 in 3.5 hours, where the class average was ~7500wpm. In a typical 4 credit survey course there is a limited amount of law being tested and your arguments on both sides should be as strong and concise as possible. I also don't write introductory (windup) paragraphs. I cite to a lot of authority and rarely write out rule statements, unless the prof explicitly requests them. HTH

eth3n
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:36 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby eth3n » Mon May 31, 2010 9:20 pm

If it is a racehorse exam (i.e. torts where there are an impossible number of potential issues to analyze all completely) I think it is undeniable typing speed is a potential benefit. While I wouldn't suggest practicing your typing should take precedence over everything else, I think it is crazy to suggest that there isn't a benefit to increasing typing speed in preperation of some types of law exams (clearly not those with word limits).

GZL
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:33 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby GZL » Mon May 31, 2010 9:38 pm

As silly as it sounds, I've found typing speed to be more important than I would have hoped. I'm a terribly slow typist, and am making a concentrated effort to change that. I did very well on all of my finals except for one... because of my sh*tty typing, I started structuring my finals answers as "IAC," embedding the rule in the analysis instead of making a separate rule statement for each issue--just trying to save whatever time I possibly could by not having to type out so much. That irked one of my professors, apparently, and it was reflected in the grade he gave me.

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon May 31, 2010 9:40 pm

Typing speed is determinative for 22.357121415% of your final grade in any given class.

User avatar
jchoggan
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 1:26 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby jchoggan » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:55 pm

If you're 2-finger typing, it will definitely hurt you in law school and as a lawyer. I've had multiple professors tell me the reason they gave a poor grade to me or other students was because we 'didn't type enough.' Also, it would suck to type slowly as a lawyer considering the short suspenses you'll have periodically. The same holds true if you're a slow reader (like myself)... when the time you have to complete a certain task/test is finite, efficiency is crucial, and the main tasks as a law student or lawyer are to read/research and write.

If you have time, I'd download one of the free speed-typing courses online and work on it maybe an hour a night. Every little bit helps. Good luck.

LoyolaLaw2012
Posts: 146
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:11 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby LoyolaLaw2012 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:05 pm

dood wrote:In my opinion, typing speed is the single most important factor to getting a good grade on a law exam. Direct correlation between number of words and final exam grade, based on my friends and study group, as well as others on this forum. Though not necessary for a good grade, it is very, very helpful. If I could do it all over again, I would have spent my 0L summer learning how to type correctly and at 100+ wpm, instead of reading LSC, Getting to Maybe, and all the E&Es. The subject matter is not that hard, it basically comes down to who can regurgitate IRAC using as many facts as possible to strengthen the A section...most people can spot the issues, but inadequately analyze the issues because they run out of time.



Direct correlation between number of words and final exam grades? Hmmm. The highest grades are given to the students submitting a short, concise exam.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:07 pm

dbt wrote:
dood wrote:In my opinion, typing speed is the single most important factor to getting a good grade on a law exam. Direct correlation between number of words and final exam grade, based on my friends and study group, as well as others on this forum. Though not necessary for a good grade, it is very, very helpful. If I could do it all over again, I would have spent my 0L summer learning how to type correctly and at 100+ wpm, instead of reading LSC, Getting to Maybe, and all the E&Es. The subject matter is not that hard, it basically comes down to who can regurgitate IRAC using as many facts as possible to strengthen the A section...most people can spot the issues, but inadequately analyze the issues because they run out of time.


I generally agree with this (especially for exams which are more issue-spotters like Torts). Of course some exams have word limits, and others give so much time that being able to type faster isn't that big of a deal.

But I definitely know some really smart kids who didn't do as well as their intelligence would indicate, likely because they were typing maybe half as many words as I was on practice exams.


How do you know what their intelligence is in the first place?

User avatar
dbt
Posts: 617
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:46 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby dbt » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:10 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
dbt wrote:
dood wrote:In my opinion, typing speed is the single most important factor to getting a good grade on a law exam. Direct correlation between number of words and final exam grade, based on my friends and study group, as well as others on this forum. Though not necessary for a good grade, it is very, very helpful. If I could do it all over again, I would have spent my 0L summer learning how to type correctly and at 100+ wpm, instead of reading LSC, Getting to Maybe, and all the E&Es. The subject matter is not that hard, it basically comes down to who can regurgitate IRAC using as many facts as possible to strengthen the A section...most people can spot the issues, but inadequately analyze the issues because they run out of time.


I generally agree with this (especially for exams which are more issue-spotters like Torts). Of course some exams have word limits, and others give so much time that being able to type faster isn't that big of a deal.

But I definitely know some really smart kids who didn't do as well as their intelligence would indicate, likely because they were typing maybe half as many words as I was on practice exams.


How do you know what their intelligence is in the first place?


To the extent that one can "know" someone else's intelligence, through conversation with them and their comments/questions in class. I am aware of kids that didn't do as well as I did, even though I think they blow me out of the water when it came to class discussion and comprehension of the material.

And not that it's conclusive, but model exam answers for non-word limited exams were always on the high end (e.g., average # of words for Torts exam might be 5,500-6,000, and the model answer was 7,500).

LoriBelle
Posts: 106
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby LoriBelle » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:38 pm

I type about 100 wpm if I'm typing my own thoughts, and I'm in the top 10% of my class. I have no idea whether I typically type more on an exam than my peers do, but I would suspect so. I have no idea if one thing has anything to do with the other. I think it's more likely that the nerdier of us are faster typists, and also that faster typists have better in-class notetaking abilities that result in higher-quality later review and study.

As I noted above, fast typing is not just an asset in an exam situation. In-class notetaking also requires a certain amount of speed. Although I didn't have to type as fast for some of my professors, some of them talked in circles. For those professors, I found myself transcribing sentences simply to untangle what in the world they were trying to say. The average person speaks at probably 130-200wpm I'd say, slower in the South, and if your professor is the type to test what he lectured on, I think being able to get down the way they see the law in something vaguely resembling their own words is the key to making good grades. Then again, some people do just fine taking handwritten notes in all their classes.

Is fast typing an asset in law school? Absolutely. Is it a necessary or sufficient condition for success? Not a chance.

User avatar
Cavalier
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:13 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby Cavalier » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:01 pm

Being able to type a lot of words on an exam is very important, but this doesn't necessarily involve typing speed. I think if you know how to type at a normal pace with all ten fingers, as opposed to just using two, you will be fine. Even if you manage to write 2400 words per hour, which is a very good pace on an exam, that's still only 40 WPM, which most people are certainly capable of.

The real key is to develop your exam-taking ability so that you can constantly type out applications of law to fact, without having to stop to find issues, think about the issues, plan your answer, look through your outline, or anything of that sort. To get to this point, you need to learn the law well enough so that you never have to look sift through a massive outline trying to find the rule, and you need to practice taking exams. Also, you should create a checklist of issues to refer to during the exam, so that when you are stuck on a question, you only have one page to scan for potential issues, and not an entire outline.

Typing a lot of words is neither sufficient nor necessary for good grades. Plenty of model student answers are normal length, or even rather short. However, typing a lot of words is one tactic to getting good grades. Your primary goal is to separate yourself from the median, and being able to provide your professor with more applications of law to fact than your peers are capable of providing is a reliable way to distinguish yourself.

User avatar
thesealocust
Posts: 8441
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:11 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
OperaSoprano
Posts: 4410
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 1:54 am

Re: importance of typing speed in law school?

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:44 pm

Amused by the goings on ITT. I got my highest grade in a class that was 1/4 multiple choice. We had three hours. I spent maybe 20 minutes on the multiple choice, because my typing speed is, well, slow. I do always have more to say than I have time to write, so I have to plan for that. Anyway, I had two hours and 40 minutes to read, plan, and type. I came in around 2,500 words. I tried to do what Cavalier recommended ITT, to know the law inside and out, because I knew time would be an issue. Other people with similar grades on that exam wrote twice what I did, some of them more. I have never broken 4,000 words on a three hour exam, and it's frustrating on some levels because I always leave wishing for more time! It's forced me to be concise, however, and I want to offer words of comfort to those others who worry that less is not more. My modest typing skills were sufficient.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Fantasyfreak294, weneedahealer and 6 guests