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I'm sure you are all aware of the website

But in particular the briefs by Sam Biers are phenomenal.  On point exactly what you need.  When I had orientation many professors and advisers warned against using such briefs and that those who did typically don't make it past the first semester.   They obviously have not had the chance to look over any briefs by Sam Biers. lol

I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but I heard all kinds of this crap from law professors:

"Don't use commercial outlines"
"don't use old outlines from previous years"
"Don't use commercial briefs"

And then professors started making rules that students couldn't us any outline they didn't prepare themselves either for class preparation or on the exam.

These tricks don't work for everyone, but they worked very well for me.  After 1L was over, I decided to take a new approach. I got an old outline (when it was allowed) I followed along in class and made notes on the outline.  I never had to read again.
The argument against my style is that I wasn't actually learning the law, and that I was just studying for a final and trying to get a diploma.  While that may be true, there is no evidence that briefing every case and making your own outline actually teaches you the law, and it's nearly ridiculous to think that doing that teaches you practical lawyering skills.  Law school is so ineffective at teaching actual law, that the massive majority of graduates (even highly ranked graduates) feel compelled to pay a bar-prep company. 

I learned to read and analyze cases during my first year, but I learned to do it quickly and effectively by actually writing motions and memoranda at work and for law review.  If a property law professor actually wanted you to learn the law, he would bring real-world property-related law suits in and have you write the pleadings and responses.

If you can get good grades using commercial supplements, then you will save a ton of time and that should be encouraged.  Instead, these ivy educated super genius professors think that no one in the world should approach law school differently than they did in their super law-geek past.

Yea, that's crap.  I used canned briefs, book briefed, and never really put together outlines in the traditional sense.  Key for me was studying off professors old exams and knowing what he looked for.  Finished cum laude and passed bar 1st time (with 4 weeks prep time working full time except for 1 week vacation).  So yes, don't buy-in to the whole idea that canned briefs are bad voodoo.

My process was to read and understand the brief, then quickly read/skim the case knowing what to look for.  Highlight the key points identified in the brief, highlight/add talking points to the canned brief I would use in class if called upon.  I ever asked (never was) by prof 'did you read the case?' could always answer in the affirmative.  This really sped up the process and cut through the crap so I could understand the material.

--- Quote from: jack24 on September 28, 2011, 01:02:52 PM ---I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but I heard all kinds of this crap from law professors:

"Don't use commercial outlines"
"don't use old outlines from previous years"
"Don't use commercial briefs"

--- End quote ---

Canned briefs and outlines do deprive you of some valuable experience. Law school is designed to make you a superb researcher... if you don't hone your skills of extracting only the necessary information from cases, you will not be prepared for your career or even writing assignments later in law school.

I always preach that you should make all of your study material yourself. You aren't in law school to learn the law, but to learn how to extract it, interpret it, and apply it.

I have found great sources of inspiration on that site, I'm so glad someone thought about creating it. Professors may have their reasons if they advice everyone not to use any briefs or outlines but until I know it's a good reason I will continue to read whatever I find useful and take notes for myself.


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