Legal Reading and Success in Law School: The Reading Strategies of Law Students With Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2010

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 1475033

29 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2009 Last revised: 13 Dec 2012

Leah M. Christensen

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Date Written: September 28, 2009

Abstract

The new reality in legal education is that a certain percentage of our students will come to us with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or with another learning disability, either disclosed or undisclosed. Yet there has been little empirical research on how law students with learning disabilities read and understand the law. This study examines how three law students with ADD read a judicial opinion. The results suggest a relationship between successful law school performance and the use of problematizing and rhetorical reading strategies, and between less successful law school performance and the use of default reading strategies. Further, the results suggest that law students with ADD can be successful and productive members of any law school community. Simply because a law student learns differently does not mean that the student cannot learn effectively. Finally, becoming an effective legal reader may be one of the most important ways law students with ADD can enhance their law school success.

Keywords: legal education, legal reading, attention deficit disorder, ADD, disability law, learning disabilities, disabled students, different learning methods, rhetorical reading strategies

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Christensen, Leah M., Legal Reading and Success in Law School: The Reading Strategies of Law Students With Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) (September 28, 2009). The Scholar: St. Mary's Law Review on Minority Issues, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2010; Thomas Jefferson School of Law Research Paper No. 1475033. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1475033

Leah M. Christensen (Contact Author)

Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )

1155 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4264 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tjsl.edu/faculty-l-christensen

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