Sketchnoting for Law School Students

How might law school students use sketchnoting?

That’s a question that came up during a recent live-streamed Q & A, and in the video above and post below I’ll share a few suggestions.


With any ongoing sketchnoting process, I encourage you to seek out a sustainable pace.

Here’s what it might look like for law school students to weave sketchnoting into their reading and reviewing process (starting at the top and moving clockwise):

The tools I use to live stream my sketchnotes to YouTube.

With the assumption that law school involves lots of reading, the first step is deciding how to take notes from those readings.

I’m a fan of starting with highlights, and then pulling out from those highlights the most important ideas onto index cards.

Those index card notes would be a portable study tool (reviewing them in different locations is good for your brain), but on top of that they could be the building blocks for preparing essays or presentations.

Once you enter that stage of creation rather than just consumption, you can pull together the most relevant cards from different sources and look for an overarching structure (maybe a diagram, maybe a visual metaphor) that allows you to place those cards within a helpful framework.

By snapping a photo of that overarching framework with all the index cards in place, you can then store away those very same index cards for use on a future project.

This type of sketchnoting process leans on frequent but manageable chunking in the early stages of the learning process (index card notes), then combining those chunks in flexible ways by adding them to a diagram or a visual metaphor that lives on a table or whiteboard.

Does that process sound helpful to you? If so, give it a try!

To build out more of your sketchnoting skills, check out our course An Introduction to Visual Note-Taking:

In that course you’ll learn how to add helpful sketches to those index card notes and see all sorts of diagrams and metaphors you might use when combining them.