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Good site for law outlines

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thought i'd share a site I came across with some good law outlines:

Thane Messinger:

--- Quote from: fcastle on October 12, 2010, 02:39:27 AM ---thought i'd share a site I came across with some good law outlines:

--- End quote ---

fcastle & All -

Interesting and useful in getting started in outlining and in cross-checking the finer points of one's own outlines. 

But, here's the danger:  for first year, it is important (nay, imperative) to do one's own outline.  In fact, it's important to do TWO . . . that's two outlines for each course, done by you and only you.  Sharing is important in the law, but not in first-year outlining. 

There is no short-circuit to the "A" here.  Or even to the "B+".


I am curious as to why two outlines?  Are you talking about a full comprehensive outline and then a condensed outline for studying purposes?

Thane Messinger:

--- Quote from: marcus-aurelius on October 12, 2010, 02:41:30 PM ---Thane,

I am curious as to why two outlines?  Are you talking about a full comprehensive outline and then a condensed outline for studying purposes?

--- End quote ---

M.A. & All -

Indeed so.  The first outline, which should be started before law school (and certainly by now) is the "master" outline, to master the material.  This outline should be 30-50 pages, and should be worked and re-worked continuously.  (Without deletions it would be something like the useless 700-page outline in The Paper Chase.)  The second outline is the "summary" outline, which should be 1-2 pages--essentially a trigger tool for your mind.  [Even that's not quite right.  Most should be one page.  A few might be 1.5 pages.  No more.] 

Both outlines could be burned before taking the exam, with absolutely no effect on your performance.  Why?  Because the outline is the expression of what's in your mind, not vice versa.  (You'll want to keep at least an electronic copy for the bar exam, however.  = :  )


PS:  The master outline especially is not to "study."  To be useful, the learning that takes place must be active.  Merely reading an outline is almost worse than useless.  Instead, the rules expressed in the outline are used in real, live work.  How?  In law school, this is the hypo.  This is why case briefs are so regularly misused in law school.  They're important, but not to "learn" the law; rather, they're to play with the law you've already learned.  Playing with the law is how to go from a "C" or "B" to an "A".

You are so right Thane. I am always surprised when people go to these websites or buy supplements etc respecting results from doing that alone. This one guy said he never reads the cases, but just read supplements and looked at the commercial outlines etc. Needless to say he did not survive the first year. Not only are these commercial outlines not written by your specific professor who will add their own spin to the law, but as Thane said you need to struggle through the material in your own head to make sense of the law. These supplements and outlines can be helpful, but the most important thing  to do is read the cases and have a basic understanding of the concepts prior to class. Then show up and pay extremely close attention when you are in class. Considering most students are paying somewhere around $200 for each hour and fifteen minute session you owe it to yourself to show up, stay off the internet, and try to stay alert to comprehend the material. If I spent $200 on Laker tickets I would (a) show up, (b) not look at my facebook the whole time, (c) try to enjoy watching the game - so you should try to enjoy law school since nobody is forcing you to be there.

On a sidenote I was talking to my friend about "outlines", because now I hear all the first years stressing out about them. I think the term outline is dangerous, because students spend so much time e making the outline look nice i.e. roman numerals, chapters, specific page numbers and down the line.  However, the appearance of the outline is irrelevant there is no right way to make one. I remember the first week of law school asking my peer mentor what my outline was supposed to look like because I thought there was some formula. He had no real answer, because there is no right or wrong way to do it. However, the whole first semester I was stressing out thinking I had not done my "outline" correctly. I now realize how dumb that was, because the truth is a well written outline could be some unorganized pos if it helped you struggle through the material and understand it you will be successful on the exams. If you have the most beautifully organized outline with the chapters, page numbers of cases, and words of the elements perfectly organized with roman numerals etc, but have no understanding of the concepts you learned over the semester it probably won't go so well.


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