Law School Discussion

outline madness


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outline madness
« on: November 24, 2001, 10:26:45 AM »
What is the obsession with outlilnes?  I see the value in doing them as far as reviewing goes, but I don't understand why everyone is so concerned with the actual outlines.  I mean, they're pretty much worthless during the test when you have the time pressure.  Just my $0.02.


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Re: outline madness
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2001, 09:48:23 AM »
not worthless!  actually they are going to be essential because when you are stuck trying to think of issues you can just look and see what issues you have to choose from

Re: outline madness
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2001, 06:55:43 AM »
I agree completely.  Plus, just doing the outlines is a good way to review all the material and to draw it all together.  Outlines are definitly worth the time.


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Re: outline madness
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2004, 01:11:40 PM »
I use inlines, instead.   8)
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Re: outline madness
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2004, 02:37:33 PM »
Outlines are not about just doing them or using them on the test. I have never been allowed to take one into an exam.  I don't expect to be allowed to in the future.  I am still a big believer in a well constructed outline.

The purpose of doing an outline is to organize a mountain of information.  The process of doing a proper outline will help you clarify the information in your head and learn it as you create the outline.

When I Outline a course well, I do well in the course.  If I don't, I struggle with retention of the vast amount of information in a typical law school course.

You have nothing to lose by outlining your courses.  You may argue that it is time wasted but it is time you need to spend with the material anyway.  Just reading the cases is not enough for most students.  Outline your first semester and see how you do.  If it doesn't help don't do it again. 


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Re: outline madness
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2004, 08:28:53 PM »
I refer to "outlines" as "Course Summaries."  They are the abbreviated texts on the course written by the student as taught by the professor -- they are unique to each student, to each class, as taught by each professor.  When you write a book about a subject, believe me, you KNOW the subject -- inside and out. 
The process of creating a course summary is part of the active learning process essential to becoming fluent in the language of the law. 

To learn all about the why and how of "outlining," visit the FAQ page of my website (
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Roger Williams University School of Law
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Recent Publication: "1000 Days to the Bar -- But the Practice of Law Begins Now" (Wm. S. Hein & Co., Inc., 2003)