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Author Topic: Hiding the Ball - week one  (Read 1635 times)

Mirage1959

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Hiding the Ball - week one
« on: September 05, 2005, 09:25:58 AM »
I now totally understand all the posts about hiding the ball. My profs are downright Houdinis! They jump around from chapter to chapter, section to section and NEVER discuss law. We just talk about cases - particularly the issues that sutdents don't understand - and never get to the rule of law. If it wasn't for supplements I would be screwed. No prof will answer a question; "my job is to ask the questions, you answer them". During my Torts class, a student asked to clarify the rule of law in a particular case - he reacted as if she shot his dog.

This cat and mouse technique leads me to a question - how do the rules of law from cases mesh with your outline? Thus far, many cases (in my briefs and canned briefs) have rules of law that are not consistent with those in commercial outlines. I've already started making my outlines by looking at the casebook's table of contents and then plugging in rules from commercial outlines.

Any comments?





tacojohn

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2005, 09:39:25 AM »
The professors aren't teaching the law, they are teaching skills.  While the black letter law is important for the exam, you need to figure out this analysis for the class discussion.

Remember that how much the black letter law means varies by subject.  Torts and Con Law is not very rule-based, and have a lot more to do with policy goals.  Civ Pro, Contracts, and Property are much more based on the black letter law.

Be careful with the outlines.  I used Gilberts for my summer starter Crim Law class, and while I'll admit I had a professor with a reputation for being very theoretical, I found it virtually useless.

To sum up, the class discussion is not to learn the black letter law.  Reading a case and identifying the rule and how it develops is expected of you on your own.  The class discussion is to get to identify and make arguments.

eray01

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2005, 02:27:51 PM »
This reminds of an admonition our profs have given us repeatedly. If the information in the canned briefs and outlines desn't match what is in the casebook, the supplements could be wrong. Even if they aren't, they aren't what the professor is looking for. In either case you're screwed. My advice is if the casebook and the supps don't match I wouldn't rely on that supp.

It's interesting that you can look at a particular case and the issue and particularly the holding can vary depending on the supp. Our professor gave us an example of this, and noted that none of the Supplement versions were what he wanted.

istically

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2005, 05:36:02 PM »
Quote
I've already started making my outlines by looking at the casebook's table of contents and then plugging in rules from commercial outlines.

Good.

BigPimpinBU

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2005, 01:59:18 AM »
 Mirage, You've already started making your outlines? What are you thinking? You've been in law school for 2 weeks (at most). Anything you write down now will be more or less useless as a serious study tool in December, let alone next June. Moreover, outlining is a tool you use to (1) refresh your memory as the course winds down; and (2) conceive something of a "big picture" mentally by looking over all of your notes. What precisely in writing down your first week's worth of property notes will clue you in to the tension between individual aelf-determination and policies favoring alienability? Nothing. Wait a few months. Then do your outlines.


hope74usa

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2005, 07:14:22 AM »
My guess is that Mirage is thinking, "I'm going to do this the PLS way." Alternately, Mirage may be thinking, "I'm going to do this the way that works best for ME."

tacojohn

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2005, 10:43:42 AM »
The only suggestion I would make if you're going to outline this early is to make a second outline later.  This will force you to go through the outline again, find the things that maybe the professor eventually showed were worthless, and see how the whole course fits together.  Don't get rid of the original outline, just take both into the exam.  The second outline would be like a quick reference/table of contents.

nonamesleftforme

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2005, 02:54:10 PM »
The one thing that 2Ls and 3Ls have been telling me which actually makes sense to me is to start outlining as soon as you can.  Sure, my outlines are lean right now, but at least they're started.  As I get better and better and understanding of things, I can cull out the useless stuff.  Plus, I won't be ripping my hair out come Thanksgiving trying to make an outline and thinking "How the hell am I going to memorize this stuff in 2 weeks?"  Law school is tough as it is, if outlining makes it easier for you, then do it. 

eray01

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2005, 04:33:43 PM »
After the first couple of weeks I made a skeleton outline from the table of contents in the casebook. As we've been covering each thing I make the outline more complete and detailed. Thats's my strategy. I don't know if it's a good one or not because I haven't had to test it out on an exam yet. Everything is just a shot in the dark right now. I have a midterm in two of my courses in about a month, so I'll see if what I've been doing has been working for me. If it hasn't, I'll still have 6-8 weeks to change gears if necessary.

Jumboshrimps

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Re: Hiding the Ball - week one
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2005, 09:03:32 PM »
I've been outlining since week one (every friday). I've discovered that Emanuels (or probably any commercial outline) is the god of understanding Torts for me, while winging it is going to do me better in Contracts (there are only a handful of concepts in Contract law, with exceptions and exceptions to exceptions, etc), The table of contents is the way to go in my criminal law class, and my Property professor isn't likely to get to any material about property law this semester, if ever, so I'm breaking out Gilberts for that one.

Point is, There's more than one way to skin a worthless professor.