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How to study private law: logic and memory techniques.

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Many readers of the blog ask me for advice on the right method of study for jurisprudence, and in particular on how to study private law , one of the black beasts of the Italian university.

Even more specifically, Giacomo asks me how to use the technique of the loci and the palace of memory to study law, and gives me an example of a typical article of the code to memorize:

“ARTICLE 2206  c.c. 
Advertising of the public prosecutor’s office

The power of attorney with signature of the certified principal must be filed for registration with the competent company register office.

In the absence of registration, the representation is considered general and the limitations of it are not opposable to third parties, if it is not proved that they knew them at the time of the conclusion of the affair. 

So we will see how to use memory techniques to remember it, but in the meantime I introduce you to a guest who helped me to write this article on how to study private law.

Because, you see, in order to graduate in medicine, I have had to give the legal exam, but certainly this is not enough experience to know how to study private law, which is the cornerstone of the degree in jurisprudence.

So I asked a friendly lawyer, P. Jay, to help me.

P. Jay is the right person, because before becoming a lawyer he was on both sides of the barricade.

She was in fact a law student, taking four months to prepare private law, her first exam.

Then, after graduating a few years later with full marks and on time, she continued with a research doctorate and a series of research grants, which led her to teach and question young people, often only 5-6 years younger than she.

This has allowed her to develop a very solid idea of ​​how a good study method for jurisprudence should be done, and how to study private law, the “brick” exam par excellence.

I leave it to the word.

Studying private law is like studying the basics of a language

Whether you are a student of law, economics, or even high school, the first thing you need to focus on is that learning law means, first of all, learning a new language.

In fact, law is a universe of terms only apparently of common sense. In reality behind each term there are a series of concepts that are the domain of the jurist and which are unknown to the common language.

For example, when in law you hear about agents, prosecutors, representatives and principals you have to raise your ears.

In fact, you are sure, knowing also how much jurisprudence there is on the subject, of how close they are, but actually very different, each one of those words and situations.

While for the common person, who does not deal with law, each of those words has a vague, imprecise, and indistinct definition of the others.

Therefore, any law study you undertake:

  • First you must learn the meaning of the terms that must be used in every single circumstance;
  • Secondly, you must know that the law is very strict and that – at least in most cases – only one is the correct term to use.

For this reason private law is studied in the first year. And always for this reason, if you learn it well, all the follow-up to jurisprudence will be easier for you.

Exactly how, when you learn a language, it is easier to proceed if you have well constructed the initial core of vocabulary and grammatical structures.

How to study private law in 3 weeks?!? I do not think you agree

For this reason I always shake my head when I read about people who want to teach you how to study private law in 3 weeks.

Attention, not that it is impossible!

With a little luck and studying only the most important pieces and the “professor’s questions”, you can do it in less time.

But then you will drag with difficulty for the other 20 and pass university exams, without ever being able to solve the usual problems:

  • lack of adequate legal terminology
  • lack of basic logical structures
  • poor ability to link different legal concepts
  • total vacuums on this or that aspect of the law

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