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How to Pay Attention in an Online Law School Class 

Now that many law schools are moving to having online classes due to the coronavirus pandemic, many students find it challenging to pay attention. With the distractions of social media, anxiety about the coronavirus, and the difficulty of trying to find a new routine, it is no wonder it is difficult to pay attention in online law school classes. Here, we tell you a few tips to set yourself up for success.

How to Pay Attention in an Online Law School Class

how to pay attention in an online law school class

1. Set up your own personal classroom.

Instead of using a living room table or kitchen table as your desk, plan a quiet area to study where you will be less distracted. Having a personal classroom space is a critical first step to setting yourself up for success. You should also make sure you have whatever you need before class starts – your casebook, a notepad, pen, and any beverages. This way, you will not need to get up during class.

2. Eliminate distractions.

Avoid your phone. Turn off social media. Make sure you do not have a TV or radio on in the background. The biggest hurdle to paying attention in an online law school class is being distracted.  One effective strategy is to list your top three distractions then take proactive steps to eliminate them prior to class.

3. Consider handwriting your notes.

It is helpful to handwrite your law school notes when trying to pay attention in online law school lectures. This way, you can focus on using your screen to wholly pay attention to lecture and don’t have to worry about flipping back and forth between notes and class. If you choose to type your class notes, consider using a second monitor (as discussed below) so you can keep the lecturer on one screen and class notes on another.

4. Participate in class.

Make it a goal to participate in your online law school class discussion – whether it is answering a question out loud or in a discussion forum. If you make it your goal to participate at least once per class, you will naturally be engaged.

5. Get the right tools to set yourself up for success.

There are a few things that will make your life easier when trying to pay attention in an online law school class. For example:

  • Make sure you have a high-speed internet connection.
  • Consider using headphones to listen to the lecturer (particularly if you are studying around others).
  • Get a second monitor if you are typing your class notes so you can keep the lecturer on one screen and the professor on the other.
  • Consider using a bookstand for your casebook so you can easily follow along in class.

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