Skip to main content

One of the best ways to learn and remember something is to connect it to something that you already know. Once you have made that connection, it becomes easier to use the new information, because you are connecting it to something that you already understand. Making these connections is called transfer. You can transfer vertically (i.e. from one topic in criminal law to another, or from Contracts 1 to Contracts 2), or you can transfer horizontally from course to course (i.e. from contracts to criminal law).

During law school, it will be helpful to build frameworks for what you learn, so that you can fit new concepts into those frameworks. This will not only enhance your understanding of the doctrine, but also your ability to apply what you learn to new factual scenarios and new doctrinal areas. To be most effective, these frameworks should not only incorporate knowledge and skills from a single class, but across classes.

This lesson seeks to introduce you to the concept of transfer (taking a concept from one place and using it in another place) so that you can begin to incorporate it into your legal studies.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Explain the importance of transfer of knowledge and skills across law school classes.
2. Identify concrete steps that will aid in their own ability to transfer their knowledge and academic/lawyering skills across legal doctrines.
3. Transfer a concept or skill from one law school course to another.

Lesson Completion Time
20 minutes


  • Allie Robbins

    Professor Robbins teaches primarily in the areas of academic skills and bar exam support. Her scholarship focuses on the areas of workers’ rights in global supply chains, legal education, and the bar exam. She is also the editor and writer of Passing the Bar (, a blog about studying for the bar exam.

    Associate Professor of Law
    City University of New York Law School
Lesson ID

The Open Legal Education Project is a CALI initiative to bring resource to public legal education.