Law School Discussion

1L year: Tell all here

Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2006, 11:55:08 PM »
I'm almost embaressed to ask this, but can someone explain exactly what outlining is? Is it just a compilation of class notes/reading notes? LOL.

hahaha I had the SAME question, thanks for asking it first!

Towelie

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2006, 12:04:20 AM »
FWIW, and only slightly off topic, my brother gave me Turow's "One L" for Christmas today, and 100 pages into it, I'm already freaked out.  I understand why people tell you to not read this book before law school...

Yeah. I won't touch this book. At least until 1L is over.

sk

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2006, 12:37:16 AM »
I'm almost embaressed to ask this, but can someone explain exactly what outlining is? Is it just a compilation of class notes/reading notes? LOL.

No. Outlining is what you have to know for the exam (read: black letter law, at most schools) synthesized and organized in such a way to help you learn the material. For a semester long class, a good outline would be about 25-30 pages long. Then you could have summary of that which would be 2-3 pages. Also, you can make a 1 page checklist that you memorize and recreate in the exam room as soon as you are given the exam, your scratch paper/bluebook and told to begin.

Outlining the reading is mostly pointless because you typically aren't tested on cases. Class notes may or may not eventually go into your outline at some point, depending on your prof. For example, if your prof spends a good deal of class time giving his personal opinions on certain cases and Supreme Ct. justices arguments, that probably wouldn't go into the outline because it's not likely to be on your exam.

The materials I mentioned have chapters on outlining. Also, be sure to take a look at your T.A.s outlines(if you have them) or outlines by people who have done well who are a year or two ahead of you. It might help you figure out how to create your own outline.


Wait, I thought most LS exams are open book... In that case I just assumed that open book meant outlines were fair game. If so, why would there be a need for outlines of outlines? couldn't you just use the lengthier, more extensive outline during the test?

cultural_vacuum

Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2006, 12:57:15 AM »

Wait, I thought most LS exams are open book... In that case I just assumed that open book meant outlines were fair game. If so, why would there be a need for outlines of outlines? couldn't you just use the lengthier, more extensive outline during the test?

At my school, most exams are closed book. Your school/individual profs may or may not allow outlines on tests. In the end, it won't matter if you can use your outline, because the time limit of the exam will seriously hinder its usefulness.

Again, outlines are a way to help you learn/internalize the material. The summary outline just helps you get the material into your brain. In the event that your prof allowed you to use outlines on the exam, you would not have time to flip through a 25+ page outline due to the time constraints. So, the summary outline would be helpful there.

In a time pressured, three-four hour exam you won't have time to look many things up. You had better make sure most of the info is in your brain.

Another tactic for learning the material is to do practice exams with your outline early on, then try some without the outline and see how you do. The things you don't know are where you need to fill in the gaps in your knowledge. Playing with the timing: doing some untimed/then timed may be helpful too.

Lenny

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2006, 06:23:58 AM »
Definitely do continue reading Turow's 1L.  After its done, you can take solace in the fact that your experience will not be half as bad as he describes. 

For what its worth, I think you definitely have control over how well you do as compared to your classmates.  Sure, there are the exceptions to this rule - the slacker/idiot who gets an A and the uber-gunner who gets the C-.  But, by and large, those students who work hard and keep a sense of perspective about them are the ones that do the best.  That does not NECESSARILY mean outlining from the get-go or doing practice exams 2 weeks in.  It means doing whatever it takes to be comfortable and sleep at night.  If that means outlining or whatever, go for it.

Alamo

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2006, 08:05:26 AM »

Wait, I thought most LS exams are open book... In that case I just assumed that open book meant outlines were fair game. If so, why would there be a need for outlines of outlines? couldn't you just use the lengthier, more extensive outline during the test?

3 of my 4 exams were open-book, and I spent little/no time looking over the outline for 2 reasons.  First, I wanted to spend the time organizing and writing, and looking at my outlines disrupted my train of thought and focus.  Second, I felt like (largely through the process of outlining and reviewing practice exams) I knew the material pretty well.

cesco

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2006, 11:58:47 AM »
I am a 1L. Like most posters on this board, I am really enjoying law school.

As for the studying advice, I was one that didnt start outlining until late Oct/early Nov and that worked just fine for me.  I dont think I could have done it any earlier, at least not first semester.  You need a little time to settle in and figure out what you need to be learning, what are the important parts, and how all of the puzzle pieces fit together.  While outlining I looked back at some of my first case briefs and class notes and realized how ridiculous some of the points were.  Plus outlining a little later in the semester helps you review all the stuff you did earlier.  2 of my 3 tests were open book, but, like the poster below mentioned, I barely touched my notes/books because I knew the material so well by then because of the outlining process.


cesco

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2006, 12:10:39 PM »
Becuase everyone in law school is bright and motivated, you all have aquired the knowledge base needed to answer the question.  The difference in grades, then, is not based on knoweledge, but on things like typing speed, sentence construction, ability to spot common tricks, attitude, and health. 

I think this is spot on.  I had a midterm for one of my classes, and I left feeling like EVERYONE was going to wind up with a B (our curve) because it just seemed so straight forward.  Everyone seemed to know the information.  I was surprised when we got grades back to see that the professor gave a huge range of grades  - from As all the way to a few Ds.  I truly dont think it was a vast difference in knowledge levels, I think it was a difference in knowing how to spot the issues and write clear, concise answers.  Many students try to use the strategy of just putting everything they know down on paper rather than answering the question as the prof expects.

For people that are worried about exams and dont have midterms - I would try writing out a few answers to old questions and reviewing them with your professors.  EVery professor I had was more than willing to sit down with students and help them with their exam writing strategy.  Just having the confidence gained from a little feedback goes a long way...

Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2006, 03:38:20 PM »
Law school is a lot of fun as long as you don't put too much pressure on yourself.  I think a lot of people do a lot of work because it's their way of trying to take control over a situation which in reality they don't have control over i.e their grades.  Almost everyone will do the minimal amount of work that ins necessary to be prepared for the exam.  After that it's all just test taking skill, the luck of the draw, and whether you had a good day. The sooner you learn to relax your first semester the more enjoyable it will be, and probably the better you will do. After you graduate, and are working 70 hour weeks, you'll long for the relatively short hours of law school.

By the way,

Testaverde was undoubtedly a better quarterback than Chad.
I only wish he would have ended his career on that touchdown pass last year--a great way to go out.

Can you expand on that? Why don't people have control over their grades? I'd think how much (or little) one puts into something like 1L year would play a tremendous role in determining the outcome; I mean, the things you learn aren't "innate" by any means -- right?

I respectfully disagree about Vinny, but we'll save that conversation for another day.  ;)
Today's another day.  I'll assume you wrote this before Monday's game.  I will say this about Chad.  He definitely gets more than anyone else out of his talents. 
By the way the reason Kornheiser is such a great announcer is because during the game he said that he can throw harder than Pennington... something we were all thinking but no other announcer would say.


Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2006, 03:52:13 PM »
I think each person needs to figure out a study method that's best for him/her, but whoever you are, starting outlines a week or two into the semester is an awful idea. You have to know WTF you're doing and be able to see the big picture before you can make an outline that is going to be useful for studying. I made my outlines pretty short because I had all closed-book exams except one, and then added in what was missing when I looked at the E&Es and practice exams.