Law School Discussion

Primers and Commercial Outlines

Primers and Commercial Outlines
« on: July 04, 2006, 09:16:56 PM »
I'm reading Planet Law School II and it recommends that I buy and read a Primer for each class (to learn "Black Letter Law") and commercial outlines (to help me outline and better understand the assigned cases). Does anyone know anything about these? What exactly is a commerical outline? Can I buy the Primers and commercial outlines before knowing which cases my professor will assign?


Re: Primers and Commercial Outlines
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2006, 11:02:10 AM »
yes you can buy these before knowing what the prof will assign. Your classes will be in very basic areas- contracts, torts... Study guides come in each of these subjects. They won't cover exactly what is in your class but they give you the general idea.

A commercial outline is essentially an outline of the black letter law you will need to learn in the class. I find them uniformily unhelpful- mostly because I do not learn well from outlines. Other prose study guides I do use, mostly Examples and Explanations series.

Yeah knowing some black letter law going in can't hurt, but I really would suggest that you just use this summer to relax, especially if you are not working. Law school will take up a ton of your time and thoughts once you are there and you will be absolutely wasting your summers if you don't have legal jobs during them. Therefore, you may want to use this time to relax and prepare yourself mentally and physically for law school. By preparing yourself mentally, I don't mean try to get a head start on your classes, but rather clear your mind, enjoy your summer, and be ready to hit the ground running your first day.


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Re: Primers and Commercial Outlines
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2006, 07:00:33 AM »
I really like the Examples and Explanations series. The Contracts book by Blum is very good. The Civil Procedure book by Glannon is indispensable.

There is a debate about whether or not to read these books before school starts. Some students believe reading them early can hurt you because you may learn the material in a different way than how your professor teaches it.  Personally, I don't believe it hurts to read them during the summer before law school. However, I wouldn't try to memorize them or make outlines from them over the summer. Success in class really will depend on getting inside your particular professor's head, but reading one or two of the books over the summer for the concepts can be helpful.

Re: Primers and Commercial Outlines
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2006, 08:15:07 AM »
I liked the Glannon Guide to Civ Pro more than the E&E. More practical stuff; fewer hypotheticals. The Contracts didn't help much because of the way my K prof taught the class; guides, thankfully, weren't needed. Torts helped (again, because of the way prof. taught class...torts needed lots of help.)