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Author Topic: Case Briefs and Helpful Outlines  (Read 1781 times)

csteger

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Case Briefs and Helpful Outlines
« on: April 26, 2011, 03:00:19 PM »
As I am finishing out my the end of my first year in law school, I have decided that I would like to post some resources for others to have, that I wish I would have known about before starting law school. First, make sure to do all your briefs, but just in case you cannot understand a topic, there are some great websites out there that I use to help in my studying, and to check my case briefs. Some of these sites are :

http://www.lawstudent.tv/law-outlines/
www.1lcasebriefs.com
http://wishiwouldhaveknown.blogspot.com/2006/07/casebriefs-outlines-old-exams.html

Also, most of the law schools that have active SBA webpages also have a great deal of free content. Hope this helps anyone looking for resources when starting law school

mynjb26

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Re: Case Briefs and Helpful Outlines
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 09:11:28 PM »
Thanks!!!
...

Thane Messinger

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Re: Case Briefs and Helpful Outlines
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 11:49:37 PM »
As I am finishing out my the end of my first year in law school, I have decided that I would like to post some resources for others to have, that I wish I would have known about before starting law school. First, make sure to do all your briefs, but just in case you cannot understand a topic, there are some great websites out there that I use to help in my studying, and to check my case briefs.

Just a word of caution:  the point of case briefing is not to do the brief.  [!]  It is, instead, to understand how a single point of law fits within a broader context of that area of law.  So, be careful.  Some students all but kill themselves trying to do briefs, never realizing the real goal of briefing.  Many of these realize that spending 40 hours a week briefing (which is what is needed to do them the way they're often shown) is unsustainable, so they give up.  This leads to the worst of both worlds. 

Know that there are alternatives to "case briefing," and that real lawyers do not brief cases in the way shown in law school.  And, ahem, lawyers do need to understand cases.  So, be careful.

Thane.

michellejs23

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Re: Case Briefs and Helpful Outlines
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 12:43:15 PM »
I don't know if you already made a decision, but I would highly recommend Law School Bootcamp. I did it last summer before I started 1L and it was definitely very helpful. When everyone else just had a blank stare those first few weeks I actually knew what was going on, and it shows in my grades! If you want more info, Bootcamp is run by a company called Stratus Prep. 

Duncanjp

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Re: Case Briefs and Helpful Outlines
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2011, 02:45:37 PM »
Just a word of caution:  the point of case briefing is not to do the brief.  [!]  It is, instead, to understand how a single point of law fits within a broader context of that area of law.  So, be careful.  Some students all but kill themselves trying to do briefs, never realizing the real goal of briefing.  Many of these realize that spending 40 hours a week briefing (which is what is needed to do them the way they're often shown) is unsustainable, so they give up.  This leads to the worst of both worlds. 

I would second that. There's a line of demarcation that can be crossed from productive to pointless reading. Some students advocate blowing off the cases entirely as useless time-wasters. I don't. But formally briefing each case is definitely too time-consuming to be productive. Still, I see value in reading the cases and doing at least some of your own briefs. Cases show how the law is applied and doing your own briefs teaches you how to apply the law in IRAC format. I try to do at least one or two formal briefs a week, and the rest of the time I book brief. Seasoned law students might get by without even reading every case word for word. That said, there were people in my first year courses who never read any of the cases, and it really showed up in their grades. They had memorized the black letter law as well as anybody, but hadn't learned how to apply it to the facts. After you've read 200-300 cases, you start developing a certain intuition for how to apply the BLL. And since your analysis is where all the money is, not just recitation of the rules, there is certainly value in studying how judges have applied the law from the casebook.