Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Outlines?!?  (Read 1668 times)

operatke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
    • Email
Outlines?!?
« on: November 26, 2004, 01:41:04 PM »
Ok, I know this may be looking a little far ahead, but I would love to know anything there is to know about outlines.  I have seen many people post how they are having such a hard time getting outlines done and was wondering if this was something taught or if this was something you had to figure out on your own.  I will be starting at Baylor in the spring, but anyone who has info please let me know.

Thanks, and yes, a little apprehension on my part sparked this question!  ???


DOWNY

  • Guest
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2004, 02:49:13 PM »
They're outlines of the course that you continually refine as you learn the material. You file them down so to speak and in doing so the material is easily remembered. They are critical in law school because organizing the large amount of material efficiently is essential. No matter how much you study if you do not have your notes effectively organized you will be at a disadvantage. There's nothing tricky about them, they're just outlines of the material you covered in each course. You can buy commercial ones but DOWNY highly, highly discourages this. The benefit of the outline is the process in making it.

DOWNY

TLFKARG

  • Guest
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2004, 04:57:12 PM »
They're outlines of the course that you continually refine as you learn the material. You file them down so to speak and in doing so the material is easily remembered. They are critical in law school because organizing the large amount of material efficiently is essential. No matter how much you study if you do not have your notes effectively organized you will be at a disadvantage. There's nothing tricky about them, they're just outlines of the material you covered in each course. You can buy commercial ones but DOWNY highly, highly discourages this. The benefit of the outline is the process in making it.

DOWNY
DOWNY, baby, are you ill?  You're being helpful.   ;) :P


To the OP:  DOWNY is quite cirrect.  The process of making the outline is more critical than the final product, because if you create your outline correctly and study it dilligently during the reading period, you will probably not have to use it much during the actual exam.  It's more of a security blanket in case you get extremely nervous and draw a blank on a particular question.

There are a number of approaches to making an outline.  Some, in order to stretch out the burden of the process and make it more manageable, outline what they have learned in each of their classes weekly.  Most of the upperclassmen and professors I have spoken with do not recommend this approach, and recommend that you wait until at least the middle of the semester to begin outlining.  At that point, you will have a better idea of how inidividual concepts fit into the larger framework of the class, so your outline will be easier to organize.

operatke

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2004, 05:03:37 PM »
Thanks to the both of you...one other question.  I have read from many posters that a commercial outline is useful in getting an idea for the outline but not to completely copy...do either of you find this to be the case, or should I rely solely on myself?

TLFKARG

  • Guest
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2004, 05:15:59 PM »
Thanks to the both of you...one other question.  I have read from many posters that a commercial outline is useful in getting an idea for the outline but not to completely copy...do either of you find this to be the case, or should I rely solely on myself?

Commercial outlines are definitely useful, but they should not be used as a crutch.  Ideally, your outline should incorporate a number of sources: your casebook, class notes, reading notes, case briefs, commercial outlines, and possibly the hand-me-down outlines of students who previously took the class.

I would caution you to stay away from outlines for the same casebook but not for the same professor.  Each professor teaches the class differently, and one may be a policy freak while another could have a fetish for straight black letter law.  These nuances are going to impact the things you will include in your outline.  Therefore, taking an outline from a policy-heavy class when your professor likes strict black letter law could be counterproductive.

UMHBmom

  • Guest
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2004, 06:24:18 PM »
My personal plan at this point is to use StoreLaw. The program already has built-in commercial outlines keyed to various texts, and I plan on adding my own notes to the outline already there. I think that having a "skeleton" will help me in the beginning, since I also have not a clue as to how to get started. I know that I MUST have some order in my material or I get frustrated.

casino

  • Guest
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2004, 06:30:41 PM »
this is fascinating stuff, really.

question to ruskie and DOWNY: how the hell do you make an outline?  i have heard that you build on it as the class goes on; do you keep your outlines in hard copy form or write them on the computer?  honestly, i am totally ignorant on the subject of outlines, but have always been fascinated with organization. 

casino

JD_MSA

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2004, 06:34:03 PM »
My personal plan at this point is to use StoreLaw. The program already has built-in commercial outlines keyed to various texts, and I plan on adding my own notes to the outline already there. I think that having a "skeleton" will help me in the beginning, since I also have not a clue as to how to get started. I know that I MUST have some order in my material or I get frustrated.

Just so you know, the "outlines" that you can download from StoreLaw are just the casebook's table of contents in electronic form.  There is no substantive material in them. 

UMHBmom

  • Guest
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2004, 06:40:46 PM »
My personal plan at this point is to use StoreLaw. The program already has built-in commercial outlines keyed to various texts, and I plan on adding my own notes to the outline already there. I think that having a "skeleton" will help me in the beginning, since I also have not a clue as to how to get started. I know that I MUST have some order in my material or I get frustrated.

Just so you know, the "outlines" that you can download from StoreLaw are just the casebook's table of contents in electronic form.  There is no substantive material in them. 

Even better. Just having the headings will at least let me write my own outline but keep it in some logical order. I don't have to worry about superfluous material there junking up my thuoght processes.

This must be a normal part of the pre-law jitters. I am obsessed with "How to <blank> in law school" books and still can't really find any real ANSWERS to questions like: how do you make an outline? How do you read and brief a case? What is the point of going to class if nothing you do matters there in the first place? I don't think the authors are meanies, I think the answer must just be as individual as we are, and we have to figure it out on our own.

Bubbazzz

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 226
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlines?!?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2004, 06:45:21 PM »
whatever u do in law school, do not wait until thanksgiving break to start your outlines. Take it from someone who is there right now, and seriously scared.