This article will first examine why case reading and analysis is challenging to new law students. It will then introduce "schema" theory as it is understood in the field of cognitive psychology and explore how it applies to legal case analysis. Finally, this article will offer various suggestions about how we can enhance our students' analytical skills. By learning more about the science behind cognition and how it applies to our students, we can increase our students' understanding of the complex legal materials they read during their first year of law school.
Leah M. Christensen, The Psychology Behind Case Briefing: A Powerful Cognitive Schema, 29 Campbell L. Rev. 5 (2006).