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Author Topic: briefing in technicolor? hmm...  (Read 2359 times)

mouse in a maze

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briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« on: August 20, 2006, 05:41:30 PM »
i'm apologizing in advance because i know this has been rehashed over and over, but i have a specific question about the rainbow-colored highlighting method of briefing suggested by "law school confidential" (LSC).

i'm a 1L starting my first week of class this week, and in briefing, they recommemd writing out the citation, facts, procedural history, issue, rule of law, holding, court order, and reasoning all separately. in LSC, he recommends different colors for each of these categories: facts, critical legal reasoning, holding/court/judge/procedural posture, important precedents cited and their holdings, and important dissenting remarks.

can anyone answer where all the categories my law school recommends fits into the law school confidential format? does "critical legal reasoning" include issue, rule of law, and reasoning? would it make sense to lump all of those together, because it seems like it would be really important to distinguish those things from each other?

i know people will say "do what works for you", but i figure if the LSC method is tried and true, there must be something to it. to me the LSC categories seem too vague. is there something i'm missing?

thanks!

starter

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2006, 06:36:29 PM »
What you're missing is relying LSC as a "tried and true" method.  It is not.  It is a method to sell books and scare you into thinking that you must do things that way or else you'll fail.  You're supposed to be confused at first.  If everything came naturally there would be no point in going to law school; everyone could go ahead and become a lawyer after they got a 4 year degree.  You'll figure it out eventually, but you will feel lost the first few weeks, rainbow highlighting or not.

Anyway, why stress so much about having the perfect brief?  It's largely a waste of time to brief cases and even if you do choose to brief them your professor isn't going to collect them and give you a check minus if isn't done correctly.  What your school gave you and what LSC recommends are almost the same thing.  Facts, procedural history, reasoning, issue, and holding. That's all you need if you must brief.

blawg

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2006, 06:37:09 PM »
most of the people that i know who rainbow briefed finished towards the bottom of the class. hth.
the tried and true method is writing them out...not rainbow briefing.

mouse in a maze

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2006, 10:30:07 PM »
i know i don't have to write the perfect brief, and that rainbow book-briefing isn't right for everyone. i'm looking for the method of briefing that is the most efficient and will help me understand the cases and rules the best as a 1L (the point of briefing, right?). i figured that highlighting is quicker and more efficient than actually typing out parts of the case, and color-coding it makes sense.

so i know some people don't like the rainbow briefing thing, but my question was, given i want to try it, what LSC meant by those categories (see the original post) and whether or not i should follow them. someone suggested doing facts, procedural history, reasoning, issue, and holding instead. thoughts?

thanks!

blawg

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2006, 10:54:41 PM »
I am sorry, but i just can't condone this type of behavior. when you open up your book and it looks like a ridiculous rainbow in class, you will be embarrased and hate me for any encouragement i gave you in this regard. write a note in your book next to what you think is the issue, the holding, etc. rainbow briefing is horrible. seriously, i don't know one student in the top 10% in our class that did that. all the kids that started doing that last year were like, "i read this awesome book that suggests using this highlighting system. . ." Don't buy into it.

Keep your briefs short and to the point. they will probably start off long with many sections, like procedural posture, facts, issue, holding, discussion, etc. at the end of the year, you will have two short sections - fact summary, which will include relevant procedural info and the rule...that's all you need.

don't spin your wheels...you will lose. law school is about discipline..nothing more and nothing less. there are no gimmicks, just hard work. stick to the cases and don't believe the hype.

what case are you briefing now?

bayarealawschool

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2006, 01:36:26 AM »
tag

bella112

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2006, 04:36:15 PM »
I've been in school for about a week now, and my limited experience is showing me that rainbow briefing by itself isn't a good idea- what I've started doing is rainbow briefing and then typing little mini-briefs up on my computer for reference later. Otherwise, all the cases will become a blur by the time finals come around. Its not a bad idea to force you to read more carefully, I just think it is overvalued as a study method when not used with other things. As for people who think its embarassing to have a technicolor book in class, almost my whole class uses the multiple highlighter method to some degree.

giraffe205

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2006, 05:42:17 PM »
First, be doubtful whenever someone tells you "all the ppl I know that did that are in the bottom 1/2 of the class." Unless their school publishes the names of individuals and their class rank, it's doubtful that they actually know how well they did. (You'll soon come to find out ppl lie about their grades a lot. More ppl will claim to have received A's than profs actually give out. Some ppl claim to have done better than they probably did, just as others are modest).

Second, there are ppl who also wrote out their briefs and are also in the bottom 1/2 of the class. I wouldn't count on any particular method to give you an absolute advantage in exams. Through preparation and good application is what gets ppl good grades.

Lastly, book briefing does have an advantage when it comes to being called on in class. It's easier to find the non-emphasized case cited by the court when you highlighted it in orange by flipping through the pages looking for orange rather than all of your notes and the case while the whole class waits for you to answer.

In the end, your grade is dependent on an exam, not how you prepared for a particular class. Taking notes in addition to book briefing is IMO the best method for class preparation and outline preparation. How you perform on an exam is dependent on your own capabilities.

blawg

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2006, 05:58:39 PM »
First, be doubtful whenever someone tells you "all the ppl I know that did that are in the bottom 1/2 of the class." Unless their school publishes the names of individuals and their class rank, it's doubtful that they actually know how well they did. (You'll soon come to find out ppl lie about their grades a lot. More ppl will claim to have received A's than profs actually give out. Some ppl claim to have done better than they probably did, just as others are modest).

Second, there are ppl who also wrote out their briefs and are also in the bottom 1/2 of the class. I wouldn't count on any particular method to give you an absolute advantage in exams. Through preparation and good application is what gets ppl good grades.

Lastly, book briefing does have an advantage when it comes to being called on in class. It's easier to find the non-emphasized case cited by the court when you highlighted it in orange by flipping through the pages looking for orange rather than all of your notes and the case while the whole class waits for you to answer.

In the end, your grade is dependent on an exam, not how you prepared for a particular class. Taking notes in addition to book briefing is IMO the best method for class preparation and outline preparation. How you perform on an exam is dependent on your own capabilities.

i agree with a lot of what you said. however, you can usually get a sense of what individuals did better and i have seen some GPAs and have a general idea about who did well and who didn't. it seems like the people that did well were just better prepared, which meant they usually wrote out their briefs.

sorry for any hyperbole, but i just hate to see 1Ls get wrapped up in trying 20 diff strategies with influences from all diff directions. my advice is that you will learn a lot by just briefing the cases. when you write them out, you are trying to put the rule of law into your own words. that process is really important. simply highlighting the rule in a book circumvents that process and imop detracts from the process. 2nd semester your briefs will be really condenses, but for now, keep writing them out...again, that's the best way to learn imop.


giraffe205

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Re: briefing in technicolor? hmm...
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2006, 08:07:02 PM »
I disagree that you can tell who's doing well and who isn't. There are ppl who say brilliant things in class and don't do well on exams. There are hermit crabs who do well. Grades are based off a single exam. Whether a person seemed unprepared a few classes in a row or well gathered has no bearing on their grade. There is always room for improvement before exams. Also, who shows you there GPA? Sure one may brag, but generally ppl don't go around showing to everyone their GPA, even if they are your closest friend in law school. Moreover, GPAs alone are insufficient to say where they stand in the class, especially if you are at a T14 since those schools all hand out Bs or better. Thus, GPAs are generally separated by only fractions of a point.

Anyway, putting things in your own words may help you memorize the rule of law, but that's not where you get points on the exam. You get points for proper application. Whether you state the rule using your own words or that of Learned Hand makes no difference to the prof since it's the same accross the board on all exams.