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Student At law cant focus

Student At law cant focus2014-11-04T17:59:31+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Student At law cant focus

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    Post count: 1

    Hoping you guys can offer some insight.

    Basically, I have never been diagnosed  with ADD although i have had 2 psychologists do tests on  me through school including college. These where the ones with blocks and visual aids.

    This was due to me achieving low marks in school.  I have never been on task, i seem to procrastinate immensely, and worry about every little thing. Every distraction bothers me, the sound of a clock, the click of pen it gets me totally of task !  When being taught material in lectures I seem to totally drift off, the profs words go in ear and out the other no matter how hard i try.

    Most recently after years of tutoring and countless hours of homework i manged to get into law school in the UK.  This is the most important time of my life right know and I am  still caught in this issue of relentless procrastination and becoming off task.


    Students in the library are nice and focused, they can do there work with ease. on the other hand I cant keep my head down for more then 15 minutes without looking on my phone, listening  to the clock analyzing  the wall etc.

    To be frank, i am  kinda scared to go see a Doc, i honestly don’t want them to think I am drug shopping or looking to abuse drugs cause im totally not ! I think I legitimately need something to help with focus.

    Please help guys.


    Post count: 5

    I just got my law license the US within the past year, and I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my second year of law school.

    I found that I was not ever able to overcome my tendency to zone out during class, nor my tendency to procrastinate. I don’t recommend either of these things in law school, but I am evidence that you can be successful in law school even while that stuff is going on.

    Once I started medication, it was far easier to stay at least somewhat connected during class. If you are in a position to get medical help, it’s a good start..

    Even more importantly, I found ways to get information into my head even though I couldn’t strictly concentrate through a lecture. I don’t know what it is like in the UK, but in my school, it was possible to purchase outlines written by previous student who had the same professor for the same class. When I had read through the outline in advance, I found that more points from the lecture could filter into my consciousness. I think that’s because I pre-built a mental framework for the information, so I had some structure on which I could hang the pieces of information that I was able to catch.

    Good luck to you.


    Post count: 1096

    Hi @jonesmike921 – I tried to reply before but the system wouldn’t accept my post so here goes again.

    I don’t know anything about law school but I do work in a UK university so there should be some similarities? The first BIG thing is for me to comment on what Zandra suggested. I am sure Zandra just meant that you could get an idea of what is expected by looking at previous students’ work, but under no circumstances take that a step further and copy any of it.

    In fact do NOT buy or otherwise obtain work from other students or from the Web or buy stuff from companies that sell essays etc. and then pass it off as your own. As I said, I don’t know anything about your law school, but all universities in the UK use software that detects plagiarism – i.e. whether the work is in your own words or whether it has been copied.

    Where I work, all student work is submitted through the detection software and it HAS picked up copied essays from one year to the next and it DOES pick up material from the web and from other sources. Even if work is not submitted through the software, it can be scanned into it if your lecturers are suspicious. Sometimes stuff slips through, but I do know students that have been thrown out of university for copying material and passing it off as their own.  I have even had to sit in on ‘hearings’ – run like a court – to decide if the student is guilty or not. I went to support one of my tutees but what can you do when the evidence is there? If you get caught and kicked out then how do you start again in another university/law school? Sadly there is no defense for it that the University finds acceptable.

    Sorry…….I know that was a rant, but I have seen the heartache that results from being caught. Since it’s now a formalized process lecturers/professors no longer have the freedom to just rap a student’s knuckles and then say no more; we can’t hide misdemeanors anymore if we think they were just done out of desperation or because a student needed help.

    So………back to your original post…… sorry for the digression. I am sure that you wouldn’t do that anyway, but allow me my moment of hyperfocus rant. 🙂

    Please don’t be scared of going to your GP – s/he won’t think you are just after drugs.  You could fill in one of the on-line ADHD tests as a starting point for discussion. However, my experience of UK doctors and ADHD has not been positive so you need to demand to be referred to a psychiatrist with expertise in ADHD. That’s important, otherwise they will just tell you that you have stress – which you might have, but better to be diagnosed by an expert. Your description sounds pretty classic for ADHD.

    That could take a while to sort out so in addition, see if your law school has any student support facilities. If it is a decent size, or if it is attached to a University there should be a study support unit and also counselors. The study support people should have plenty of experience of dealing with students with ADHD and they will be able to guide you. They should be able to arrange for you to have extra time to do coursework assignments and extra time in exams. Usually they want proof of the problem so ask them how you can get assessed. The counselor will probably be clueless about ADHD but if you get an appointment to discuss your issues they may be able to help and if nothing else it’s formally recognized that you need help. You should also discuss this with your tutor. The reason this is important is that if things go wrong there should be systems in place to help you.

    I appreciate that you may not want your tutors to know, but really they would rather know than not. Students often think their tutors will judge them – this isn’t the case – we always try to help the students in any way we can. Look around at your tutors – do you think any of THEM are ‘normal’ – or maybe I just work in a particularly decent place where we’re all bat crazy anyway – but give it a go.

    An immediate thing you can do is to check out the videos here. Also, have a look at ADD Crusher’s videos on YouTube. There is one about refocusing – i.e. asking yourself if what you are doing now is what you are meant to be doing and rating the importance of any distractions….are they important or are the BS?

    Zandra’s suggestion of having a framework is excellent. Even if you get medication, you still need those kinds of structures in place. One last point, Zandra made it through law school, I made it through to where I am (skin of teeth and with a few diversions, but even so….), so you can too. There are others on the forum who are ‘in law’ and there used to be a thread for them. Believe in yourself. OK you might have to take 10 hours to do something that it takes others an hour to do, but accept that is how it is if you want that law degree.

    Also, you are clearly very bright – getting into law school is very competitive so you DO have a good future ahead of you.

    Ah yes…. The distractions. I bought myself a really good set of headphones (noise cancelling – they were worth the money) and I listen to a white noise CD whilst I work – the one I have is of natural noises, like running water, rain, waves, bird song etc. I found the track that blocks out everyone else and which doesn’t bother me and I just run it on repeat. I downloaded it from iTunes. That blocks out the jerks with the clicking pens and all the other infuriating noises.

    Good luck.

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