By Mr Jonathan Tan, Lecturer, Faculty of Law
This article is to showcase a number of good techniques to remember the many authorities in law as a preliminary part to master the law well in both academic learning and industrial application.
Is it difficult to fathom law? The answer would be “yes” if a person does not master the necessary skills to read law.
Such skills as critical thinking, evaluation, application and advocacy, to name a few, are prerequisites to mastering the law well. But of all these skills, the basic skill is the ability of a person to remember the legal principles and authorities whenever they are relevant and applicable to a given situation.
There are a number of tips to memorise cases and statutes, depending on each individual’s subjective suitability and effectiveness. Some include:
- Remembering acronyms/abbreviations
- Highlighting important points (colours help in cognitive study)
- Constant repetitive memorisation
- Memorisation by associating materials with objects/items in the surroundings. (e.g. wet surface on the floor/ground, identify that as ‘negligent misrepresentation’; windows, identify them as ‘invitation to treat’; wind from fan/air-cond, identify that as ‘offer’ so that when you breathe it in, it is ‘acceptance’, et cetera)
- Make notes that are easily mentally digestible for you
- Memorisation by listening to music/songs
- Memorisation by simultaneously engaging in another activity
- Draw mind-maps
- Group mind-maps
- Group note drafting
- Group study
There are many cognitive types of memorisation that you can explore. Use the ones that are suitable for you, because everyone learns in different ways and at different paces and needs different concentration accordingly.