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ADHD Adults

Looking for Support & ADHD Hacks

I would love to hear what ADHD learning strategies you all have. I’m in my second year of law school. I find it incredibly difficult to sequence events and/or decide which detail is important to include in my writing.

I have always been impatient, but it’s wearing on me. It’s the one thing I can’t learn faster or do better. Time management is always getting me into trouble. I don’t want to lean so hard on the negatives of ADHD, but these are the things I need to cope with to be successful. I don’t want a “normal” brain, but I want to be able to articulate my thoughts eloquently without assuming away the pertinent details and leaving my audience confused.

If you can’t offer an ADHD “hack” on coping, then please share similar stories. It’s incredibly helpful to hear that I’m not alone in this struggle.

Thank you


Hi B!

I imagine law school is quite a heavy load for anyone, much less an inattentive and potentially chaotic mind. Kudos to you!

There are strategies to getting stuff done when you have ADHD ( Organization and time management are crucial, and possible despite ADHD (

There’s a great podcast on time-blindness packed full of helpful strategies too:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 07, 2014 at 1:30pm

Hi B,

I am now out of college, and working in instructional design, but still struggle as you do with organizing my thoughts when writing, etc.. One of the great positives of ADD (in my opinion) is that we are chock FULL of ideas. The trick is getting them sorted.

I am a list maker…post it notes, index cards, small notebooks. The great thing about post its or index cards is you can move them around. I use a white board at work so I can see them as I write. I put my main ideas on the cards in bold pen, and then I can add smaller similar thoughts on the card as i brainstorm. I will organize them on my board or on a big desk or table, and rearrange them as I quantify which ideas are the most important to my audience. The ideas that may not be appropriate at this time, or are not developed enough can be filed away for a future course, or writing. Ideas that do not belong at all, or those brilliant ideas that come through that have nothing to do with my current project go in a notebook I carry to keep random but good ideas to use later. Eventually I will sort those too. Always carry a notebook! (I like ones with tabs for topics to help me sort ideas later.)

I find I sort and re-arrange, read my lists again and again, crossing things out or moving them to other lists until I have pared down the current project to clear concise, absolutely relevant thoughts. I keep my final post its or cards up as I write the final drafts so I can see the organization clearly and I don’t get distracted and deviate from those strong, already qualified ideas.

For online ideas and distractions, I use Evernote and Pocket. I clip ideas, pictures, articles, instructions etc. that I know I will USE at some point to Evernote. I have set up virtual notebooks surrounding just about every topic that I have an invested interest in (ie. instructional design and the topics I teach, fashion help, cooking and so forth). I add tags to everything I clip—in a hurry toss them into a catch-all notebook to be sorted, or I put them into their proper notebook from the start. If its just an article I want to read, I use Pocket, another clipper with less organization where I can store reading material for later…great for waiting rooms. I also use the Watch Later feature on YouTube to store those videos I really need to see, but are not related to my current project.

In college I found working away from home (alone) was key. Denny’s at 1am was perfect - I couldn’t use getting up for coffee as an excuse for distraction. The place was generally quiet, and there’s pie. (I think the pie was the magic.)

I am still trying to teach this old dog some new tricks, and I am working on making positive organizational change in my life. I hope this is helpful for you, and that you find good lifelong solutions earlier than I did!


Posted by enthusiasm+++++ on Aug 07, 2014 at 4:59pm

Hey B -

Congrats for your persistence and grit!  I similarly found that law school valued skills that tend to be less-developed in our ADHD brains.  However, you may find that you have an aptitude for legal analysis (or identifying the reasons why a court’s prior decision should be applied or not). 

I highly recommend that you prevent yourself from “jumping ahead”, and that you instead follow a very methodical process for each case your review, each essay you write, each moot court that you participate in.  People with ADHD trip themselves up when we get bored, feel the need to make our impact in the world, or the other things our brains justify our leaping ahead into a more exciting existence. 

I did graduate and pass the bar, but ended up wandering away from the law for the reasons described above.  I wish I could go back and make a smarter transition into an area I am more passionate about, and I only mention it now to encourage you to recognize that your brain’s desire for excitement has the very real potential to minimize your hard work. 

My humble advice is to get some professional help in creating and religiously sticking to a methodical process for accomplishing your legal (and other complicated) tasks.

Posted by Louis Wellmeier on Aug 07, 2014 at 5:04pm

Great stuff Stephanie.  I will use some of those tips myself.  For are brilliant to write..” I want to be able to articulate my thoughts eloquently without assuming away the pertinent details and leaving my audience confused. ”  .  Another shock and affirmation I am not alone because others feel as I do. This would be a useful topic for Dr. Hallowell to address specifically.  I can’t get over how you put it and how frustrated I am by doing it..(.Assuming away the pertinent details and leaving my audience confused)...Thank you B

Posted by jetergirl on Aug 07, 2014 at 5:18pm

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