Typing Speed and Law School

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BenJ
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Typing Speed and Law School

Postby BenJ » Sun May 23, 2010 10:34 pm

This came up in the "How hard is it to do well in law school?" thread, and I thought I'd ask about it here. It sounds like a ridiculous question, but it could be important.

How important in law school is the ability to type quickly, and how fast do you think one has to be able to type to be able to produce top-quality exam responses?

I ask this mainly because I never learned how to type properly as a kid and have relied on peck-typing my entire life. (I'm only 22, so I'm just an anomaly who fell through the cracks of learning how to type, not someone who grew up without computers.) I've gotten really good at it, to the point of reaching around 40-50 wpm, but I can't improve past that.

I've recently begun trying to learn how to touch-type properly. It is (literally as well as figuratively) painful, and I'm only managing 20 wpm on very simple typing practices right now. Do you think it would be worth my while to take a serious typing course over the summer (or else just invest a lot of my time to practicing) in order to be able to touch-type at speeds of 60-70 wpm by the fall (which would be my goal, although I'm not sure I could manage it), or is my current speed and style fast enough to compete with everyone else?

There are, of course, other advantages to learning how to touch-type. I'm not really interested in those reasons as they don't come close to outweighing the sheer time investment involved in learning to touch-type at this point.

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eandy
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby eandy » Sun May 23, 2010 10:37 pm

If you are worried about it, you should be able to learn to touch type in about a month. All you need is some typing software. Take a piece of cardboard and bend it over so that it covers the keyboard(you can't see the keys, but your hands have room underneath the cardboard to type. We used that a keyboarding(typing) course I took in high school. It's painful, you really want to see your hands, but you will learn much faster if you can't.

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jayn3
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby jayn3 » Sun May 23, 2010 10:38 pm

i think way faster than i type. i can't speak intelligently [yet] about the specific needs of law school or classes, but i imagine solid typing skills will come in handy.....if nowhere else, in legal writing classes and the write-on competition.

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General Tso
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby General Tso » Sun May 23, 2010 11:15 pm

I was one of those who posted in the other thread about the importance of typing well. I'd try this site for practice, and yes you definitely want to learn to type properly.

http://www.popcap.com/games/free/typershark

I think it's more important at some schools than at others. Most T1 students will be typing their exams. At lower T2s/T3s/T4s, you will probably see a lot more handwritten exams. Even if you are going to one of these places you will probably do better with a typed exam. You get more words in and you don't have to worry about sloppy handwriting. It is challenging to write quickly and legibly over a four hour period.

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thesealocust
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby thesealocust » Sun May 23, 2010 11:16 pm

nm
Last edited by thesealocust on Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby Thomas Jefferson » Sun May 23, 2010 11:21 pm

Can anyone recommend good software to do this? Also, I type close to 60 WPM but not the proper way. I just sorta picked up my own typing method using computers over the past ~15 years. It's not pecking (I can touch type without looking at the keyboard), but it's not the most efficient way either. Any thoughts on if I should learn to do it "right" or if I'll be fine doing what I've been doing?

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Grizz
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby Grizz » Sun May 23, 2010 11:50 pm

Thomas Jefferson wrote:Can anyone recommend good software to do this? Also, I type close to 60 WPM but not the proper way. I just sorta picked up my own typing method using computers over the past ~15 years. It's not pecking (I can touch type without looking at the keyboard), but it's not the most efficient way either. Any thoughts on if I should learn to do it "right" or if I'll be fine doing what I've been doing?


Same. My touch typing is decent, and I do about 50-55 words per minute. I barely use my pinkies though.

BobSacamano
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby BobSacamano » Mon May 24, 2010 12:32 am

General Tso wrote:I think it's more important at some schools than at others. Most T1 students will be typing their exams. At lower T2s/T3s/T4s, you will probably see a lot more handwritten exams.

???

Unless I'm missing a joke or something, I honestly haven't a clue why you think there would be a difference between tiers. At my T2 not a single person wrote their exam by hand. Why would you think there would be more?

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General Tso
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby General Tso » Mon May 24, 2010 12:41 am

BobSacamano wrote:
General Tso wrote:I think it's more important at some schools than at others. Most T1 students will be typing their exams. At lower T2s/T3s/T4s, you will probably see a lot more handwritten exams.

???

Unless I'm missing a joke or something, I honestly haven't a clue why you think there would be a difference between tiers. At my T2 not a single person wrote their exam by hand. Why would you think there would be more?


Because my brother attended a T2 and nearly everyone handwrote their exams.

brocklanders12
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby brocklanders12 » Mon May 24, 2010 2:17 pm

General Tso wrote:
BobSacamano wrote:
General Tso wrote:I think it's more important at some schools than at others. Most T1 students will be typing their exams. At lower T2s/T3s/T4s, you will probably see a lot more handwritten exams.

???

Unless I'm missing a joke or something, I honestly haven't a clue why you think there would be a difference between tiers. At my T2 not a single person wrote their exam by hand. Why would you think there would be more?


Because my brother attended a T2 and nearly everyone handwrote their exams.


Add my local T2 as having all typed exams. So now it's 2 to 1. I'm guessing it depends on school and not tier.

steph404
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby steph404 » Mon May 24, 2010 2:35 pm

Taking notes in class is also a great way to pick up typing speed. Since your focus should be on content, and your notes will often be free form, it won't be perfect, but you'll be amazed at what the practice will do for you.

texas man
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby texas man » Mon May 24, 2010 3:01 pm

Thomas Jefferson wrote:Can anyone recommend good software to do this? Also, I type close to 60 WPM but not the proper way. I just sorta picked up my own typing method using computers over the past ~15 years. It's not pecking (I can touch type without looking at the keyboard), but it's not the most efficient way either. Any thoughts on if I should learn to do it "right" or if I'll be fine doing what I've been doing?


You'll probably be fine at 60 words per minute, but here's a decent typing tutor online:

http://www.typingweb.com/

for $5, you can do it without any ads and it will track your progress online including your trouble keys - it also makes custom exercises for your trouble keys. You can even get a certification if you want (I doubt you will). Similar software sells for about $40.

Hope that helps...

twopoodles
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby twopoodles » Mon May 24, 2010 6:26 pm

A typing class in high school was probably the most worthwhile time I spent as a teenager. I got software for at home, too (Typing Tutor, I think), and can now easily type 80-100 WPM. I feel like I can type almost as fast as I can think what to type. I would highly recommend you work on it. Fast typing is insanely helpful for lengthy writing assignments of any kind. I was an English major and wrote 15-30 page papers regularly in every class.

On an off-topic, but slightly related note, I was an exchange student in Romania and literally attracted crowds in the internet cafes because people were so fascinated when they discovered I was actually typing words that fast. :D

TexasDemocrat
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby TexasDemocrat » Mon May 24, 2010 10:04 pm

I'm not in law school yet so I can't tell you how much this will matter. However, if you really want to improve, take it from someone who currently types 93 wpm, and up to 103 wpm on a really good day. I went to a private school and they taught us to type by putting boxer shorts over our keyboards. It sounds odd, but it's a good way to keep you from looking down at the keyboard and increase your speed. If you want to buy software to help you practice, I like Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.

--ImageRemoved--

BenJ
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby BenJ » Tue May 25, 2010 9:55 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm now working on learning to touch type. I wrote this while touch-typing.

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TTH
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby TTH » Sun May 30, 2010 1:02 pm

TexasDemocrat wrote: If you want to buy software to help you practice, I like Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.


I've always wondered something: when Mavis Beacon dies, will they change the name of the title to "Mavis Beacon Taught Typing?"

RickyMack
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby RickyMack » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:34 am

TTH wrote:I've always wondered something: when Mavis Beacon dies, will they change the name of the title to "Mavis Beacon Taught Typing?"


I could have sworn she used to look like an old lady at first. Maybe she'll morph forms like aunt jemima.

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quishiclocus
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Re: Typing Speed and Law School

Postby quishiclocus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:10 pm

Mavis Beacon isn't a real person. And she's always looked basically the same, although I think the clothes have changed a bit over time.




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