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Author Topic: How important is case briefing?  (Read 4934 times)

slacker

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2007, 08:53:27 AM »
BLL: the accepted legal rules, often from common law.

A couple examples:
A K requires offer, acceptance consideration.
Burglary is the breaking into a dwelling place of another at night with the intent to commit a felony within.

(Then there's modifications, rules that relate to component rules, modern trends, statutory changes, etc., etc.)

tuesday

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2007, 11:24:00 AM »
tag

challandler

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2007, 07:23:04 PM »
This will probably make me sound dumb, but can someone please define black letter law? It's a phrase that's thrown around a lot on LSD, and while I have a vague idea of what it means, I'd like to be sure that I'm interpreting all these responses as they're intended.

Depending on the school and the professor, BLL can be either very important, or fairly insignificant.

Louder Than Bombs

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2007, 03:54:35 AM »
This will probably make me sound dumb, but can someone please define black letter law? It's a phrase that's thrown around a lot on LSD, and while I have a vague idea of what it means, I'd like to be sure that I'm interpreting all these responses as they're intended.

Depending on the school and the professor, BLL can be either very important, or fairly insignificant.

black-letter law is *always* important, as long as it's a lecture class. the final exam *will* be an issue-spotter fact pattern, and the student will need to know the bll cold to do well. even when a prof does throw in a policy wonk q on the exam, it's almost always worth a very small % of the grade, and is not very difficult if you know the bll.

challandler

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2007, 06:23:34 PM »
This will probably make me sound dumb, but can someone please define black letter law? It's a phrase that's thrown around a lot on LSD, and while I have a vague idea of what it means, I'd like to be sure that I'm interpreting all these responses as they're intended.

Depending on the school and the professor, BLL can be either very important, or fairly insignificant.

black-letter law is *always* important, as long as it's a lecture class. the final exam *will* be an issue-spotter fact pattern, and the student will need to know the bll cold to do well. even when a prof does throw in a policy wonk q on the exam, it's almost always worth a very small % of the grade, and is not very difficult if you know the bll.

That's simply not true.

slacker

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2007, 01:33:22 AM »
This will probably make me sound dumb, but can someone please define black letter law? It's a phrase that's thrown around a lot on LSD, and while I have a vague idea of what it means, I'd like to be sure that I'm interpreting all these responses as they're intended.

Depending on the school and the professor, BLL can be either very important, or fairly insignificant.

black-letter law is *always* important, as long as it's a lecture class. the final exam *will* be an issue-spotter fact pattern, and the student will need to know the bll cold to do well. even when a prof does throw in a policy wonk q on the exam, it's almost always worth a very small % of the grade, and is not very difficult if you know the bll.

That's simply not true.

The presumption that an exam with be X format is far more fact-specific than a truism in all cases.

challandler

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2007, 08:55:21 AM »
This will probably make me sound dumb, but can someone please define black letter law? It's a phrase that's thrown around a lot on LSD, and while I have a vague idea of what it means, I'd like to be sure that I'm interpreting all these responses as they're intended.

Depending on the school and the professor, BLL can be either very important, or fairly insignificant.

black-letter law is *always* important, as long as it's a lecture class. the final exam *will* be an issue-spotter fact pattern, and the student will need to know the bll cold to do well. even when a prof does throw in a policy wonk q on the exam, it's almost always worth a very small % of the grade, and is not very difficult if you know the bll.

That's simply not true.

The presumption that an exam with be X format is far more fact-specific than a truism in all cases.

Just to clarify my earlier response:

1. Yes, black letter law is important.  However, everyone knows the black letter law cold.  Most of the professors that I have had don't give a *&^% about your knowing the black letter law, they want to know that you can think beyond that.  Most of the students I know who are BLL students (that is, those who memorize all of the law and apply it mechanically) tend to do very poorly.  I honestly believe that many of my professors will gve your more points for getting the law wrong but arguing the theory persuasively than for getting the law right without further discussion.

2. No, the final exam is not always an issue-spotter fact pattern.  The professors who do give out issue spotters tend to include only a few obvious issues and award points based on your ability to make coherent, interesting, and novel points about the issues, rather than merely identfy them and run through the elements methodically.  I have had exams (in lecture classes) where the issue-spotter portion of the exam is less than 1/3 of the total score. 

3. Again, I disagree.  First, policy/theory/etc should appear in the answer to almost any question, regardless of type.  Second, when I have had pure policy questions, their point value has tended to be significant (usually either 1/3 or 1/4 of the exam grade), and the anwers are neither easy nor deducible from the BLL.  One professor has gone so far as to ask us to critique the law itself (i.e., explaining why the BLL on this subject stupid and what would be a better way of doing things). 

Mind you, these are all my experiences.  They may not hold true for others.  That is why I stand by my original statement that the relative importance of the black letter law varies with the school and the professor.

And to pre-empt the eventual question: I am doing very well at Michigan, so my approach seems to be working.  Moreover, I plan to eventually teach law, so I have spent plenty of time with my professors discussing exam creation, exam writing, and exam grading. 

Suzieq830

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2007, 09:43:24 AM »
i briefed almost every case (exceptions were the last cuople weeks of class when i was so busy outlining every night i jus thad time to read the thing. i did it b/c:

a. when i read things my mind may wander, i like to type it to organize my thoughts.

b.  i would have the brief in front of me at the beg of all my classes so i would take notes WITHIN the brief but in a different color font, so i knew what my class notes were so i had the notes in class organized from where in the case we were talking about certain things (most of class notes were in the "rationale" part or at the bottom after the brief) this made it VERY VERY easy to outline b/c everything was in one place and i had the facts of the case all written down when i needed them. this may sound weird to you but it worked well for me (its whatever works best for you!)

that said come finals i felt i had wasted alot of time. but it wasnt really "wasted" b/c i felt it had helpe dme considerably and my attention to detail may have helped me sound good in class/ do well on exams.  i liked to not miss anything.  also i agree with vapid unicorn. anyone can memorize BLL. its ANALYSIS that matters. i spent almost NO time on my exams reciting a bunch of mindless stuff straight from my outline. i went straight to analysis (of course i stated the law when necessary)   

leostrauss

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #48 on: June 22, 2007, 11:18:53 AM »
So, now I'm confused about the importance of BLL. I've heard everything from:

1. It is important. The profs hide that from you to make sure you get all caught up in theory and then hammer you on BLL during finals. It's a trick. They don't teach you BLL but want you to know it.

2. It's important, but duh . . . it's just a starting point. You should pick it up, but the real nitty gritty is analysis.

3. It hardly matters. Profs don't care.

What's the deal? Will I be able to get a firmer answer on this before Aug. 27th? Thanks
…no bloody or unbloody change of society can eradicate the evil in man: as long as there will be men, there will be malice, envy and hatred, and hence there cannot be a society which does not have to employ coercive restraint.

– Leo Strauss, The City and Man, page 5

leostrauss

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Re: How important is case briefing?
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2007, 11:24:11 AM »
I guess I'm gonna start learning it now. That way, I'll have it memorized before I get there anyway. I've heard of people doing this, and I've even read a bunch of books that go through many of the details on torts, civ pro etc. I just hadn't committed a great deal of time to it before. If I have it all memorized though, then no matter which of these contradictory lines is correct, I'll be in position to do well.
…no bloody or unbloody change of society can eradicate the evil in man: as long as there will be men, there will be malice, envy and hatred, and hence there cannot be a society which does not have to employ coercive restraint.

– Leo Strauss, The City and Man, page 5