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Author Topic: Outlining - when and how to do it?  (Read 1443 times)

Jhuen_the_bird

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Outlining - when and how to do it?
« on: September 01, 2007, 12:05:33 PM »
Hey everyone ... so, of course, I hear multiple conflicting things about outlining.

I have been told by some 2L's, 3L's and graduates to start outlining ASAP (like in the next week or two), but then from others that I should wait (like my school is advising us) to wait until October (we're even having a meeting with our section leaders to "teach us how to do it"), because then if you wait it's more like review for the exams.

So, I'm just wondering what the pros and cons are of both options and what other people's experiences have been.

Also, I'm not quite sure I know HOW to outline ... I mean, in some classes, it just seems like we're reading cases and then talking about them and I can *kind of see* generall ideas (better in some classes than others) and I guess that's what we're going for.  I have some outlines from 3L's, but I don't just want to copy or even mimic them (just use them as references).  I guess I see general concepts for, say, Torts (liability for negligence has been our major concept thus far) and personal jurisdiction in Civ Pro, for instance.

Speaking of ... I just want to give a shout out for Glannon's Civ Pro E&E which has made all that jumbled and confusing personal jurisdiction stuff seem SO much easier!

Thanks for any opinions in advance!

jacy85

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2007, 12:18:48 PM »
I would recommend waiting until October to begin outlining; you really wont' have covered enough your first semester to understand how the big picture fits together, nor even what belongs in the big picture.

Outlining is not done to gain understanding of the general concepts, really.  It's more to understand how the details come together to form a body of law (e.g. how the concepts of offer, acceptance, consideration, promissory estoppel, breach, etc. form one body of law - contracts, and how to apply that body of law to a fact pattern and determine whether a contract exists, what the terms of that contract are, and whether that contract has been breached, and how much damage that breach has caused).  Until you cover one or two sections of a class, you won't really see how this stuff fits together.

As for how to do it, everyone does it a bit differently.  You should look through the outlines you've received from 2 and 3Ls to see how they've done it, what sort of information they included, how they organized it, etc.  I'm sure your section leaders will go over much of the same.

Once you've gone through this once, you can start outlining whenever you want in the following semesters.  As a 3L, I still prefer to wait until early October to start, but some people decide to start after the first week of class.  It's one of those "whatever works for you" things.

McLovin

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2007, 12:34:56 PM »
Try www.ilrg.com and scroll down to the section entitled "Law School Outlines".  Chances are they'll have an outline for your casebook.  Perhaps this can give you some guidance.

Suzieq830

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2007, 08:35:16 AM »
to me outlining was a way to study for the final- the ACT of doing it was how i studied, and of course having one document at the end to review was awesome as well.  I started in end of Oct and that worked well for me. i ended up acdtually outlining my outline b/c it was way too long and  the act of doing that was a fabulous way of going through my outline.  i even forgot to bring the finished document at the end to the final but it was more the doing it that mattered then the finished product.

mf22076

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2007, 09:07:37 AM »
Glannon is actually my Civ Pro professor and he is great!  I also have his E & E on Torts and he is writing one on property.  Too bad I won't get it on time. 

Jhuen_the_bird

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2007, 12:14:45 PM »
Glannon is actually my Civ Pro professor and he is great!  I also have his E & E on Torts and he is writing one on property.  Too bad I won't get it on time. 

That's pretty awesome!

ANBUDOM

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2007, 02:36:07 PM »
Glannon is actually my Civ Pro professor and he is great!  I also have his E & E on Torts and he is writing one on property.  Too bad I won't get it on time. 

My first semester civpro professor was so horrendous that I wanted to get a refund on a portion of my tuition and give it to Glannon. 
testing testing 1 2 3

broken

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2007, 04:23:02 PM »
I started this weekend just so that I could make sense of the totall clusterf**ck that is my reading/class notes.

For now, I'm just sitting down and doing "mini-outlines", that I weave into my "real" outline later on in the semester. I don't really know if this is the right way to do it or not, but spending a couple hours with my notes/books/supplements pulling out all the important stuff has helped a lot.

I don't even know if I'll do this the whole semester--the first few weeks of 1L are all about figuring this stuff out, right?

Oh, and I second the shout out to the Torts E&E.

mf22076

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2007, 07:50:52 PM »
Yeah, he is really great and the class is pretty clear... except for when you can aggregate claims to meet the minimum requirement for amount in controversy for diversity.  But I will get that later.  Now my Torts and Prop. professors are really, really, vague....like socratic method on valium...

middlelanguage

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Re: Outlining - when and how to do it?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2007, 09:01:58 PM »
I always tried to sit down after EVERY CLASS and go through my notes and put them into outline form. In fact, I still do this. I find it to be extremely helpful because you can continually edit your outline as you go--say you mis-write something one day and the professor corrects it the next. This technique also gives you a time-saving advantage over other students. While they are busy finishing their first outline, you have time to go through your "draft" outline and correct it. These corrections will help you understand the law better as well.