Law School Discussion

case sucks

Re: case sucks
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2006, 09:01:49 PM »
You'll know if you mixed up the holding with the rationale when the prof tells you that you did. Its just part of the learning process.

Only brief until you have become comfortable in identifying the things that your prof wants you to know. After that, its is just a colossal waste of time.


Re: case sucks
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2006, 11:06:02 AM »
I made detailed briefs for the first week of classes. After that, I realized that all the professors that say they require briefs and all the upperclass students that say you should do them for at least first semester/month/til you get the hang of it were wrong (at least for me).

Briefs are purely to save face in class as far as I'm concerned. If you have a decent memory, you can simply highlight key facts, the rules, etc in your casebook and use those as your starting point to jog your memory of the case when you get called on.

If you are concerned about having briefs at the end of the semester for exams, don't be. When exam time comes, all you really need are the rules and any key reasoning your prof emphasized. Reading through briefs is usually overkill and you don't really have the time anyway.

I just kept a running list of the cases I read in each class with the rule and any reasoning the prof emphasized (usually no more than a few lines per case). Then as finals approached I took this list and used it to make an outline -- supplemented with a commercial outline and a reputable upperclass outline from the year before. By keeping track of everything covered in class, I didn't miss anything from class that the commercial outline or upperclass outline didn't cover, and I didn't include anything in my outline that we didn't cover in class that was covered in last year's upperclass outline or the commercial outline.

I know classmates that wasted a ton of time briefing cases first semester and even some all year. They never seemed to have enough time in the day. I didn't feel nearly as stressed because I wasn't wasting a half hour per case putting together a brief that recited exactly what was in the casebook and would be said by the prof (or socratic-ed out by the prof) again the next day.

Summary: Briefs are overrated. Don't feel pressured to do them if they're taking up a ton of time just because you think that's what you should be doing.

Re: case sucks
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2006, 06:38:40 AM »
The thing about flogging your way through breifing cases, especially in the beginning, is to get you to the point of being able to pick out the relevant material from a large block of crap. The process of briefing helps you understand what the case stands for. That process gets much easier as you go along and you are able to effiiently pull out the relevant material much more quickly.

I would always do a 'brief' in my notes, whether that was a full long drawn out thing, or just a few sentances outlining the main facts and points of law. Or sometimes I would pull the brief from Lexis. EIther way, I have something in my notes. Then in class, I put in or highlight stuff the prof emphacizes (I often bold it or change the text color) and then come outline time, I can quikly pull out what was important about that case.


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Re: case sucks
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2006, 07:20:23 AM »
I would think that briefing would make putting the outline together a lot easier, especially if you type the briefs onto the computer.  At least I hope it does, cause that's my plan.

Re: case sucks
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2006, 09:08:27 AM »
The people who try to write proper briefs for the entire semester and then make an outline of it spend a whole lot of time creating 150 page manifestos and have no time left for understanding the concepts.  Then when they get mediocre grades back they feel suicidal because they think- Oh god, I didn't DO enough- I have to do more!

So don't make a plan now and refuse to be deterred.  The goal is not looking good in class- it's doing well on the exams.  Brief for a few weeks or as long as it takes you to know how to read a case.  Then just book brief.  Take all the time you now have and start investigating the exam.  Get the old exams on file and try to take them.  Ask yourself- what will I need to know to answer this question?  That will be good outline material.

When your prof identifies an important concept- like Battle of the Forms in Contracts- get a study guide or some hypos and work them with your study group.  Instead of briefing cases you'll be actively learning and integrating important concepts. 

Find some upper classman who have had each of your profs- they will be able to tell you how they prepared and what result they achieved.  Follow the advice of the successful ones who studied in a manner that is comfortable for you.   

Some people make it on briefing and outlining.  Personally, it would have made me hate law school - and I never did it.  It's not the only way to study and for many people it is absolutely the wrong way.

Re: case sucks
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2006, 10:30:42 AM »
Briefing cases is NOT a good way to prepare an outline. An outline is a breakdown of the relevant concepts, not the relevant CASES


Re: case sucks
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2006, 07:30:05 PM »
i think it's important to keep your briefs short, concise and precise. check out the briefs on