the highlighter method is for people who want a system and who like pretty colors. you highlight the holding in one color, and the rule in another, and so forth. i think its a waste of time. once you have read a few weeks worth of cases for four classes and attended the corresponding lectures you should know what to look for in the cases and what to ignore. its one of those things that you learn by feel, and once i knew what to look for i could do 20 pages of reading in a half hour and be ready for class.
buuuut, you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.
My .02, having read Law School Confidential
I did the rainbow highlighter thing and I liked it, but that's because I would read the case, highlight in the different colors, and write my brief from what I highlighted. It was just easier for me that way because I could go straight to the highlighted crap in the appropriate color and pull what I needed from the case. I definitely didn't highlight everything, but I did brief most of the cases I read... towards the end of the semester I just started writing the rules down instead because I got tired of briefing and my professors weren't going to call on me. Also, I do think the highlighter system is helpful in class because my briefs didn't help me at all. My briefs were more a way for me to read and understand the case than a tool for class participation. I looked far more at the book when I got called on for specific details, and that's when the highlighting was nice too.
As far as the outlining tip goes, I think the daily outlining thing is very good advice in theory, but I think it is nearly impossible to do, especially first semester. Yes, it would be awesome to keep up a daily outline, but first semester you don't even really know what to outline until halfway through the semester. You can TRY to outline earlier, but at the end of the semester you will end up going back and changing crap around because what you thought was important at first isn't, or your outline is way too long and has a lot of extra junk in it... so I really don't think it's a plausible idea. It's also just a female dog in terms of time. Reading and being prepared for class is much more urgent on a day-to-day basis than outlining. With that said, I am not joking when I said I outlined during every school break (fall break, Thanksgiving, most of spring break) and I am damn glad I did. A lot of people thought I was crazy for doing things like reading ahead and spending my breaks outlining while I watched TV, but my hard work really paid off. I do think that outlining throughout the semester is a good idea because you won't be frantically outlining in the days before a final... I could just study my outlines instead, and I had a much more relaxed exam period than most. But outlining every day is just not easy.
I didn't do LEEWS and I turned out just fine. I will say that I think professors respond to good writing skills, organization, and spelling on the exams. I mean, obviously a well-written piece of crap isn't going to get you an A, but I really worked on organizing my thoughts very clearly and writing well, instead of just typing unconnected bits of thoughts as they came into my head. I didn't spend much time outlining my answer or anything like that (I generally just started typing and organized as I went along) and I tried to hit as much information as possible.