Law School Discussion

Strategy or recipe for disaster?


Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« on: November 07, 2008, 05:45:04 PM »
I had this great idea that I was not gonna brief any cases, & do minimal amount of work (e.g. read/skim), try to network, and get this: Have a life (two days off every week, you know basic human rights)

Now, I took serious notes.

I'm outlining, and its heaps of work.
It appears impossible to catch-up as I'm outlinining.

Anyone else ever do this and end-up Ok?
Is it ok to rely on my class notes alone, w/out hornbooks or my textbook?

Thanks. MG

p.s. at least I am very motivated, as there is much work to do, and little time to do it.


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Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2008, 05:53:35 PM »
I find my casebriefs helpful for outlining... I think you did yourself a disservice by just skimming your casebook.


Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2008, 06:20:28 PM »
well I did brief, but in class.

I would get the facts, the rule, and apply the rule to the facts and get the holding, but as you can probably tell, there is some gaps that need filling.


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Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2008, 06:34:01 PM »
It varies by person, I'm sure there are people who have done well with just class, just like there are people who have done well just with the books.

But since you're asking for personal experience, I always got 75% of what I needed from the case book, and about 25% from class.

And a gratuitous comment - IMO, your strategy seems like a poor excuse for just not doing work.  It's possible to more than skim your casebooks, network, and still have a life.


Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2008, 07:08:19 PM »
Your right Jacy, I was kind of lazy.

But I did not skim always, only 20% or so of my reading.
20% I read very analytic reading.
And I would say 60% just regular reading. 

But I never briefed outside of class.

Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2008, 09:18:48 PM »
I don't think briefing cases is what is necessarily going to help you get everything you need to learn.  Of course, it's an integral step, but I've been focusing more on the rules and applying the rules (and noticing exceptions, limits, etc.).

What I've been doing is "mesh" of things.  I always do the readings and take notes in the margins (no briefing, per se).  I have hornbooks for most of my classes (although, I only use two or so now).  But most importantly, I've been focusing on the rule book (if the class has one).  Restatement for Torts, UCC and Restatement for Contracts, FRCP for Civ. Pro., and Property is a bunch of rules (albeit not put in a nice book, but you can find them). 

If I were you, I'd probably go the hornbook route; they organize the material fairly well, and as long as you're the type who isn't going to get confused when they read one thing in a book and hear something else in class, this could be a useful strategy.  It helps put things in context; it helps with "aha" moments.

I think if you go at it hardcore, within two weeks your outlines should be up-to-date.

Good luck.

Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2008, 02:43:49 PM »
I use casenotes and supplements.  I think skimming your casebook is fine as long as you supplement.  I doubt any contracts professor wants you to know the facts from Batsakis, but they do want you to know that "the court will not inquire into the adequacy of consideration", etc....  At this point I wouldn't spend any time reading the case book, just get casenotes and call it a day.  IMO classes are a waste of time and if I wasn't required to go I wouldn't.

oh yeah incase you were not aware casenotes is keyed to your casebook and briefs all of the cases...

Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2008, 04:16:02 PM »
I use the casenotes where they are available for the book. They're really use slaving away over the goddamn textbook when you can get the essential facts from the  casenotes. Then, I will go back to the casebook and underline/highlight the essential parts of the actual opinion for easy reference in class. Reading the casenotes brief and then the casebook makes it so easy, as you already know what you're looking for and can usually just cut to the chase.

Briefing every case in detail blows...most people figure this out early in the semester.

For outlining I don't even bother to put most case names in there. If you're one of those people with an associative memory, where hearing one name can spur your recollection of the basic facts and the rule, then go for it.

If it's one of those familiar cases with an easy to recall name and facts, like Batsakis, I'll throw it in as an example of the rule. If it's something fruity like General Western Supply Partners Ltd., Inc. v. Acme Amalgamated Cucumber Packing Corp., then @#!* it. I'm not putting that in there.

Some people really get a kick out of repeating all the minutiae and wording of opinions and restatement provisions verbatim in their outline. This defeats the whole purpose, for me, because if you're just essentially putting what you took down as notes or highlighted in the casebook as your outline text, you're not really putting it in your own words and "learning it by re-doing it." But some people can just commit Restatement language-style passages to memory and use them. Good for them, I guess.