To prepare for law school I would highly recommend that you take a class on speed reading. Speed reading is one of the most beneficial courses I have ever taken during the time period that I prepared for law school. I highly recommend that you sign up for a speed reading course BEFORE entering law school. The time period after your applications and LSAT have been completed and you are waiting to hear from law schools would be a great time to do so, or the summer before law school.
As previously mentioned reading and writing are the activities that you will allocate the majority of your time in both law school and in the practice of law. As I am sure you have already learned, even the LSAT exam has sections on reading comprehension. Becoming proficient at reading fast will be an enormously beneficial talent when you start law school or begin practicing law. As with any skill practice = proficiency, so you should start now!
Speed reading is not an easy skill to acquire because it requires lots of practice to become proficient. At first when you are reading complicated texts it will be EXTREMLY difficult. However, if you remain persistent your skills will improve.
In my practice I often close very complicated credit facilities (ie loans to businesses from banks). The paperwork required for a 100 million dollar loan is vast with many different agreements, searches and other documents to review, negotiate and revise. Fortunately, I have become so proficient in speed reading that if under a time constraint I can review hundreds of pages of documents in an hour or two. This is a skill I use every day, and you will have a huge advantage over the other law school students if you can apply the strategies and techniques of speed reading.
One caveat with speed reading… being somewhat familiar with the FORMAT of what you are reading is helpful. For example, I have read numerous loan documents and/or other commercial transactions documents, so I can quickly identify elements in an agreement that look odd. If you as a non-lawyer attempted to read these same documents either via regular reading or speed reading, you would not be able to understand the material. But with something more familiar to you, such as using speed reading skills and strategies in college for your studies, you would find it beneficial, and once in law school you will thank me for directing your attention to speed reading.
Overall however, I can confidently say that speed reading is a phenomenal skill to have. The skills and strategies to become a proficient speed reader are beyond the scope of this web page, but if I had to summarize in one sentence something that would increase the speed of your reading TODAY it would be this:
READ EACH WORD WITH YOUR INDEX FINGER
Think of your finger as a workout partner… it pushes you to train harder and move faster. Your finger will move a lot faster compared to your eyes, so your eyes will be forced to keep up. But remember, the key here is to practice, practice, practice. If you fully commit yourself to practicing speed reading during the time you prepare for law school it is possible to actually retain more of what you are reading via speed reading techniques vs. the way you read now.
Even if you do not have the time to take a speed reading course during the time you prepare for law school, I would still advise that you practice reading with your index finger, because that alone will make you a much faster reader.
1) One of the best lawyer training skills is speed reading.
2) Sign up for a speed reading course during the time period which you prepare for law school; either right after your LSAT and applications are submitted or during the summer before law school.
3) Speed reading takes practice but will be highly beneficial skill to possess because lawyers spend vast amounts of time reading and analyzing different documents.
4) Start practicing now by reading each word with your index finger, it will automatically improve the speed of your reading, and will help you during the time you prepare for law school.
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