Do Millennial Law Students Learn Differently?

By George Khoury, Esq. on September 11, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Millennials have been called this and that, and told they are different in so many ways, but as time passes, it's becoming clearer and clearer that there's really very little difference between them and prior generations. Especially when it comes to learning.

Millennial law students may have been born into a world of technology, but are just as bad with technology as the generations that came before them. Most don't even know how to google properly.

All people, including Millennials, learn best through a combination of reading, seeing, hearing, and doing, but depending on the person, some methods are more effective than others. As such, when it comes to learning in law school, it shouldn't come as a surprise when the same learning styles that have worked in the past -- visual, auditory. and tactile -- are effective for this generation.

What's Your Learning Style?

Unfortunately, you cannot force your professors to teach to your particular learning style, and let's face it, most law profs would only pick on you more if you even asked. But, if there is a particular learning style that really works for you, it can be a good idea to focus your study time on learning through that method. For example, if you're an auditory learner, get permission to record your lectures and give them a second or third listen; read your outlines out loud into an audio recorder; basically, do what you can to focus on your best style of learning.

Even for students who learn best when a combination of learning styles are used (which applies to most students), usually one style will be more effective or dominant. If you don't know which style you prefer, there are several different online tests that you can take (but note that the accuracy of these tests will vary).

Computing is Like Walking ... Stay Seated During Class

One thing that clearly sets apart the Millennial generation of law students is the widespread acceptance of computers. Sure, laptops have littered campuses since the 1990s, but now, it's rare to find students who don't have a laptop open in class. But computers don't change how people learn, they just make accessing materials and taking notes easier (or more difficult thanks to how distracting laptops can be). Books can be downloaded in seconds, programs can turn words on the page into words in your headphones, and there are more info graphics, charts, and visual aids than ever before thanks to the technological revolution.

However, even the best multi-taskers, and those who can use a computer as easily as they can walk a straight line, should be wary of becoming distracted during class. After all, the Internet is the mother and father of all distractions. You're there to learn about the law, not to learn a lesson about how badly your professor can embarrass you because you weren't paying attention courtesy of your aunt's best friend's sister's husband's third nephew's latest cat video.

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