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Author Topic: Good site for law outlines  (Read 3814 times)

fcastle

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Good site for law outlines
« on: October 12, 2010, 04:39:27 AM »
thought i'd share a site I came across with some good law outlines:
http://coursecracker.com/4/3721/college/law/1/documents/index.html

Thane Messinger

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 04:32:57 PM »
thought i'd share a site I came across with some good law outlines:
http://coursecracker.com/4/3721/college/law/1/documents/index.html

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+".

marcus-aurelius

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 04:41:30 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?

Thane Messinger

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2010, 05:18:34 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?


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.  = :  )

Thane. 

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".

bigs5068

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2010, 09:04:34 PM »
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.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2010, 12:35:34 AM »
Bigs -

Thank you.  I agree that there is no perfect outline form, and that that is less important than the process of internalizing what's in the actual outline.  The outline symbolizes the structure and interrelationships among the many rules of law. 

There is, however, better and there is worse.  The law is structured, and so too should the outline be--not because of the outline, but because of your mind and the law therein.  There is usually no need for cases, but there is need for substance.  Keep that in mind, as your outline is being crafted, and it will all make sense.  That is the acid test; if it makes sense, you're on the right track.

See?  Fun!



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.

bradyllewis

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 12:05:24 AM »
Wow.  I love the coursecracker site.  I've somehow never managed to come across that on my own.  I just joined this forum today and it's already paid off.  Thanks for the share.

schizm

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 07:54:13 PM »
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.

But would you go to the Lakers game if they put a box over your head during the entire game and the box only had a small pin-hole to see through? For many people, this is how lawschool works. They don't tell you the answers up front. The cases are archaic and only have one or two minor points in them relevant to the final exam. Finally, it just takes too much time to vomit down everything the professor says and parse it later. It is so much easier to have the outline in front of you while the professor is talking and simply edit/modify it as you follow along. I don't see why there is any opposition to this. If I paid someone $20k for a year, I would expect them to teach me and not play hide the ball.
www.outlines4lawschool.com - Law School Outlines & FREE Bar Exam Outlines!

bigs5068

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2011, 01:54:54 AM »
If you want to be a lawyer you should be able to pay attention for an hour and fifteen minutes. If you go watch a trial there is quite a bit of dead time. You need to be aware of every objection etc. The opposing attorney is not going to softball in their questions and raise red flags of when they are asking an objectionable question. When discovery is going on they are going to play a little bit of hide the ball. If you can't pay attention to a positive law professor that wants you to succeed for an hour and fifteen minutes good luck when you get to the real world.

It is annoying that professors hide the ball sometimes, but many times they will throw in something if you pay attention for a whole hour and fifteen minutes that someone else might not get on the exam. Since law school is curved and your grades are important for employment and you are paying thousands of dollars why not pay attention for an hour and fifteen minutes. There might be some pointless notes you take if you pay full attention for hour and fifteen minutes, but you can edit after class. As I said above if you can't keep focused for an hour and fifteen minutes I really don't know what they will do in the real world.

MikePing

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Re: Good site for law outlines
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 12:55:02 PM »
Quote
But would you go to the Lakers game if they put a box over your head during the entire game and the box only had a small pin-hole to see through? For many people, this is how lawschool works. They don't tell you the answers up front. The cases are archaic and only have one or two minor points in them relevant to the final exam. Finally, it just takes too much time to vomit down everything the professor says and parse it later. It is so much easier to have the outline in front of you while the professor is talking and simply edit/modify it as you follow along. I don't see why there is any opposition to this. If I paid someone $20k for a year, I would expect them to teach me and not play hide the ball.

Two points:

First, you are not paying the law school to teach you the law.  You are paying to learn how to think like a lawyer.  Doing this requires you to learn the law by yourself, like you will have to do in practice.  Learning how to figure out the answer is the biggest skill you get from law school.  If you want to understand the purpose of the law school class, read this article on the Socratic Method.

Second, one of the benefits of the law school outline is the mastery that you get from organizing and distilling the class material. When you organize the material, you get a better understanding of the big picture. And, the distillation process forces you to understand the essence of each topic. Also, preparing your own outline helps you to identify your weaknesses and will ensure that your outline does not contain material that you don't understand. Furthermore, most law school outlines that you get are too long, contain questionable information, and include material that you wont understand.

Outlines prepared by other law students are useful when you treat them like another supplement. Read through them. There may be elements that you borrow for your own outline. But, no matter how perfect they seem, outlines prepared by other law students will not get you an A in your law school class.