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Messages - lawgirl

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I'll answer it in chunks since this board likes to time out. **Where do you learn to do outlines*** I don't know what other schools do, but ours had a one day Intro to Law School session where they gave us a bunch of information and part of that was how to outline. Your school may do the same. Sometimes you can find tips on outlining in the law school prep books that are out there (Law School Confidential, Law School Without Fear, etc.). I don't remember which books actually show you how to do it.

In general, the first thing to use is your syllabus. A lot of teachers will assign readings based on a skeleton outline of the course (ex: Week 1: Intentional Torts: Battery. Week 2: Intentional Torts: Assault.....Week 5: Negligence: The Element of Duty, etc.). You can use this as a main structure and then go to your table of contents in the book to see the structure of the course as a whole: Main Topics and Subtopics.


You can find commercial outlines at any of the on-line book sellers that handle law school casebooks. You can also find them at your law school bookstore or sometimes a bookstore that is close to a university. Check around, the pricing for most of the new ones will be pretty much the same, but you can sometimes find used ones at your law school bookstore for 1/2 the price of used. If you check carefully through their stock, you can find used ones that have not been marked up or marked very little.

I am sure that there are students out there that can study effectively without outlines, but I highly recommend them.

In law school, you are working with a large amount of information. Your grade in each course depends on a grade that you receive on one test at the end of the semester. In order to organize the large amount of information into something that you can study from for the exam, most people need an outline. It not only organizes information in a basic way, but it enables you to see the structure of the topic and see the how the information breaks down into groups.

You could spend the entire semester learning all of the information as a group, but after a few weeks, it will start to look like a garbled mess. It will look like case after case of holdings and rules with no structure and no meaningful way to put it into something you can work with. If you outline, you can structure a particular course into (for example) four topics (that have subtopics, etc.). If you can see the course in four topics, it is much easier to understand each topic individually and then apply it to the whole.

For example, in Torts 2, we studied Strict Liability, Products Liability, Misrepresentation, Defamamation, etc. If I had just used class notes and not put them into a structure, they would have blended together and I would not have been able to recall them for the test. Outlining enables you to see the forest for the trees (a good saying for law school). If you are stuck in the trees (the glob of cases, rules, etc.), you will never see the topic as a whole and understand how things work together on a larger level.

Also, you can use any software program in order to do your outlines. Nothing special is needed. I would just recommend doing your own outlines (look at commercial ones for guidance if you need it). If you do it on you own, you will see the big picture easier, and you will have put time and energy into it, which helps to learn it. In general, I recommend outlining whenever you make a major turn in the specific course (ex: in Torts, when you change from Intentional Torts to Negligence).

Just my thoughts, but it has worked for me and I have received all A's.

If they were only a couple of years old, I would say go ahead. But 8-10? I wouldn't use them. You can find used commercial outlines at your school bookstore for half the price of new and they are usually only a semester old. If you are trying to save money, I would try that instead. Just a thought.

Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Cooley Blog
« on: June 07, 2004, 12:34:57 PM »

If you need any information about Cooley or help with anything, let me know. I was a 1L at Cooley.

General Board / Re: LSAT format question
« on: May 04, 2004, 10:40:15 PM »
I took it a few years ago and you couldn't use scratch paper until the essay portion. To do the games, use the space provided in the booklet and practice in that area. That is the only area you can use during the actual test. It could have changed, but I figure it will probably be the same.

Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Attending Cooley
« on: April 28, 2004, 10:47:32 PM »
If you go to Cooley's website (homepage), you can see the specifics. Basically, Cooley is suing because the ABA has withheld approval of Cooley's satellite campus programs. It is more involved than that, but that is the gist of it.

Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Attending Cooley
« on: April 28, 2004, 11:49:30 AM »

Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Attending Cooley
« on: April 28, 2004, 11:26:22 AM »

Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Attending Cooley
« on: April 27, 2004, 08:18:23 PM »
I attended Cooley. Ask away! I'll try to give you what ever information I can.

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