« on: August 26, 2005, 12:46:16 PM »
Hi, Nate. Statutory classes do seem to be more difficult in terms of notetaking...afterall, what you are doing is memorizing a bunch of rules. Civil Procedure was my favorite, by the way (in addition to Contracts).
In terms of notetaking for civil procedure, first find out what your professor wants. Some professors don't care if you memorize the rule word for word or even the number, but want you to know the substance of the rule and how it is applied. Other professors want you to quote the rule word for word (my prop I prof was like this). This will help you in terms of notes. For example, if your professor is more interested in your understanding the substance of the rule and its application, then you would take notes accordingly. In this case you might not spend time actually copying the rule into your casebriefs (though you should for your outline) but would spend time taking notes on what the rule means substantively, how it fits in with the other rules, etc. (Don't be afraid to consult supplements --- just be sure that the information from the supplement and from your professor are consistent)
Civil procedure does take some getting used to. I had a really great professor who would give short lectures on each subject before we dived right in. We started with jurisdiction, and he explained briefly what jurisdiction means, why we care about it, etc. Then we went on personal jurisdiction in detail, then subject matter in detail and so on. But we had the luxury of actually having *some* understanding of what was going on.
I suggest that you check out Understanding Civil Procedure. Try to see if your library has it so that you don't have to purchase it. It's a great book for background information.
I'm also a part-time student! Good luck in your first year!