Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - paintboy

Pages: [1]
I did most prep solo, but that isn't necessarily a recomendation, just how it worked out for me as the year evolved. For whatever variety of reasons, I didn't enmesh with any group that would have had value as a study group... in hindsight I think I should have tried harder to socialize and develop more of a in-school support network ...not to say that it would have taken as formal a form as a "study group" even, but there would be greater potential for ad hoc discussion and support at least.

As for outlining in particular, I did it as I went along rather than compiling it later on. I imagine my outlines were more rambling than those of the edit-and-refine folks, but then again I'm an audio learner, and my note taking is... well, not my strongest area... :-\

I used the Outliner program from Storelaw, which helped keep my notes from becoming overly free-range. Outliner also had outline templates based on the 1L casebooks available, which provided headings and subheadings preformatted, and that saved me a lot of work (once again, the data entry side of note taking being a weakness for me) The templates also had built in cases pre-entered, with 2 of the 4 casebooks even having citations pre-entered. Each case's section had tabs for my brief, in-class notes, outside source notes, and even could provide an online brief from either lexis or westlaw (if the citation is entered)... which can help a little on those jammed up and less than prepared occasions. But, as seems to be a recuring theme, results may vary.

Also, I found commercial outlines pretty helpful for establishing understanding as the year progressed... helping to simplify/distill concepts as well as confirm (or correct) that a concept was what I thought it was. Also, some classes seemed like better fits for commercial study aids. Property in particular has some rather formula-driven subjects (future interests, estates in land, etc)

However, I found the commercial outlines to be less helpful for end of semmester exam prep (though not totally without value). At that stage I think the commercial outlines can give a false sense of clairity that can crumble when faced with an exam's muddy fact pattern... better to be prepared for the mud.

I suppose everyone has to find their groove.... whatever combination of anal and zen that works for them, the trick is finding the right mix sooner than having a thick skin doesn't hurt. 



I'm an incoming 2L, but I didn't have any of the profs you will be other than Prof. Shmedemann, who is the lead prof for WRAP in all sections. With WRAP, the adjunct will teach your smallish dozen or so student homeroom, and there is where almost all of the work involved with WRAP happens. The full section WRAP class lead by Prof Shmedemann tends to be mostly lecture, and frankly, somewhat remedial.

Prof. Steenson substituted a couple of class meetings for my torts prof (who had a familly emergency) and he seemed quite good.

MJF does provide opportunities for those interested in volunteering, but like so many things, the opportunity is mostly what you make of it.

Now as for briefing, what you've got looks like a good start. It is important to remember why you are briefing the cases you read. It mostly comes down to 2 main reasons, to be prepared for class discussion in the nearterm, and to use to distill rules/theories of law (that can be applied to other facts) out of for your outline and/or exams. While avoiding embarassment can be a great motivator, and while it is important to know what you and everyone else is talking about in class, in the end, it's the exams that count. This means your style of briefing will need to adjust as you go so that you can make sure that you're putting in everything you need and leaving out what may confuse you or just waste time. Some profs are more Socratic than others, and they tend to ask more gotcha type questions... like who the judge was, or a procedural tidbit that doesnt really effect the result... while others are mostly interested in the underlying legal reasoning. The facts are important, but mostly as a template that the reasoning is applied to, and as compared/contrasted with other (frequently hypothetical) fact patterns. I suppose what I am saying is that casebriefs are just tools, and you will probably need to adjust your style as you learn, and even from subject to subject. Eventually most folks stop doing anything resembling a formal case brief, but that requires a lot of practice in case reading and learning what to note, and what is clutter.

WMCL rising 2L here...
The Mitchell Library has a bunch of resources and lists, including the following list of sources with briefing advice...

While I think it is a good idea to get familliar with briefing before classes start and develop a system ahead of time, be aware that you will most likely need to adjust and adapt once you are in the day-to-day. Over time, parsing the signal vs noise becomes more second nature. A few profs are gotcha types who might quiz you on the semi-obscura to check for slacking and/or to keep the class on its toes, but I believe the vast majority of the faculty at wmcl tend to be concerned with the core parts of a case that made it worthy of inclusion in a casebook to begin with. If you happen to have one of the gotcha types, you'll learn that soon enough, and can adjust accordingly. As you go, revisit your previous briefs, and ask yourself if they...
(A)were helpfull at the time (in-class discussion of that case/theory)
(B) likely to be helpfull at the end of the semester (or whenever tested)

function trumps form

William Mitchell / Re: First Post
« on: June 05, 2006, 10:44:30 PM »
The schedule as it was listed on the section pref. form did not list the profs, but from the "current students" section of the WM website, I looked at the Fall 2006 Course & Room Schedule
( )
, it does list the classes, sections and profs. Of course I don't know for sure this is written in stone, but the times check out, and it seemed like a little info was better than none. I surfed their bios on the WM website & I also checked them out on (or something to that effect) , but I don't put much stock in the reviews, they seem rather flippant and perhaps a bit too vindictive to be helpful (the likelyhood that only squeekywheels and bellyachers are motivated enough to do reviews)
In any case, here's who is listed with which classes...

sec 1
Civ Pro - Murphy
Contracts - Schmedemann
Property - Krishnan
Torts - Steenson

sec 2
Civ Pro - Janus
Contracts - Heidenreich
Property - Bedosky
Torts - VerPloeg

sec 3
Civ Pro - Moy
Contracts - Hogg
Property - Roberts
Torts - Knapp

the WRAP class has the same profs listed for all sections, Schmedemann/Konar-Steenburg

the part time sections are listed on the link too.


William Mitchell / Re: First Post
« on: June 02, 2006, 08:32:40 PM »
hiya jvan

In order of pref, I put down 2,1,3, mainly based on schedule times, but with a little research on profs. too, but it mostly feels like a shot in the dark.

I'm not doing the SEP, although I'm having regrets/2nd thoughts about that. But being as this might be the last low-preasure Summer in the near future, I'll try to savior the time   to the best of my abilities 8)

William Mitchell / Re: First Post
« on: May 27, 2006, 11:32:23 AM »
WMCL 1L to be (Fall'06) here, wondering if there are any other Mitchelleers out here?

Interested in any scuttlebut on the profs or any other aspect of being a student@WM.

Pages: [1]