I am > 40 years old and have been heavily involved in IT for my adult life. 20-25 years ago I successfully studied 2 years of Information Technology at a polytechnic (I've always been good with computers). I have subsequently enjoyed a moderately successful career as a systems administrator.

I am fairly certain I have a mental deficiency with respect of memorizing lots of facts - although in my current profession I have been largely able to compensate for this by having strong working models based on fundamental principles, and - of course - ready access to the Internet to help me over memory related hurdles.

I have a solid understanding (for a lay person) of the basis of law and a fairly analytical mind, and would like to study law part time in New Zealand or Australia - either online or in Auckland.

Is attaining a law degree "down under" with my impediment for recalling facts realistic, or does my difficulty recalling the names and minutia of case law by rote preclude me from completing a degree which would allow me to pass the bar?

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    Have you seen a doctor or mental health professional about this? Of course, they might be able to suggest therapies that would help - but more to the point for this question, having a formal diagnosis could make you eligible for various forms of accommodation. Jun 9, 2018 at 16:29
  • @nateeldredge That is a sensible idea which I may follow up on. That said, I do not believe I would receive a formal diagnosis of mental deficiency, nor have my own feeble attempts from time to time doing mental exercises helped. I am aware that not everyone is university material - but I am not sure how reliant Law degrees are on recall of facts. Jun 10, 2018 at 2:16

1 Answer 1


How well do you remember films?

I had a similar problem, though not as bad as you describe. I found it helpful to think of each seminal case as an old black-and-white movie with a dramatic scene as judge's read their verdicts. I forget dates, but I remember the meanings and that proved much more important.

Side note: A law degree is (typically) a very field-specific endeavor. If you have a good reason to pursue it, then I wish you the best. But, just in case you've never heard this before: unless you plan to practice law somewhere, law school probably doesn't make good sense.

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