I understand studying in law school is much different from undergraduate. Am I understanding correctly that the proper way to prepare for an exam is to know the Black Letter law and use hypothetitcals in order to give a fact pattern a lawyer-like analysis?
Quote from: marcus-aurelius on September 17, 2010, 12:04:01 PMI understand studying in law school is much different from undergraduate. Am I understanding correctly that the proper way to prepare for an exam is to know the Black Letter law and use hypothetitcals in order to give a fact pattern a lawyer-like analysis?To follow Hamilton's advice, check out Wentworth Miller's LEEWS program. He will help reverse the above sentence, so that a lawyer-like analysis IS the application of black letter law. (i.e., one doesn't "use" hypotheticals; one breathes them.)What "study" is not is rote reading of casebooks, hornbooks, flashcards, notes. etc. As a consequence, the habits that sufficed for 16 years will no longer. No more mass note-taking, no color-coding, no gunning, no nonsense. It's not about "studying," but about learning. And the learning is not about "stuff" (i.e., black letter law) but rather that plus knowing what to do with it. As you mention, analysis. Case analysis--which involves a methodical, point-by-point breakdown of the legal aspects of each fact pattern. To get good at that, take LEEWS . . . and (sorry to be blunt or brusque) re-think how you've studied for the past xx years.Yours brusquely,Thane.
Thane,I have began to think about the way I study. As I work my way through the Aspen Tort primer, I have been taking few notes except for notecards of the elements of each tort. I have then been working my way through the examples and the explanations to understand how each element is met/not met by the fact patter presented. Is this on the correct path I should be following?
* * *And this is where Thane and I diverge, at least to some extent. I am a big fan of commercial outlines. Not as a memorization tool (although they are good for that too), but as a tool for learning/divining the general principles behind the specifics. My approach to classes was to buy a commercial outline and read the whole thing - study it - before the first class. This created a framework within which the classroom discussions made a whole lot more sense. I would then check back with the outline between classes as well. Are homemade outlines "better?" Perhaps - but (IMO) they are also too late. I'm a very boring guy. I flip to the last page to see if the butler did it. I read the spoiler reviews before seeing a movie. And I like to have the entire detailed course outline in hand BEFORE the course begins. I hate surprises. I didn't use outlines as after-the-fact study aids, but as in-class madlibs. This means I need the outline on the first day of class, not on the last.Everyone is different - you have to find what works for you. But I am quite confident that Thane is very right on one specific point: Note-taking in class is a complete and utter waste of time./random ramble