How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
Gamecubesupreme
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:54 pm

How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:48 pm

And by that, I mean learning to brief cases.

Do you really not have to do that on the final exam?

It just seems to me as an oddity that law schools would spend an entire semester teaching students how to brief cases, and yet end up not testing them on that learned skill at all.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:51 pm

Briefing isn't a skill that matters one bit. What matters is what you learn from the case and how you use that knowledge on the exam. There are ways to do that without going through the full briefing method, which is often panned because of how time-consuming it is relative to the value of the knowledge extracted. Briefing might work for some people as a way to learn the law better, but you're tested on the law, not how you brief it.

User avatar
joobacca
Posts: 282
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:49 am

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby joobacca » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:17 pm

Look at the model answers for exams. They don't (unless it's a con law exam or some other constitution heavy course) require "knowing the cases" like doing the briefs would suggest. Hornbooks (I think understanding series is the shit) just lay out the law very clearly. They tell you the underlying policies that allow you figure shit out and argue both sides too. That's just my experience.

User avatar
dood
Posts: 1639
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:59 am

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby dood » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:23 pm

...
Last edited by dood on Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Lucidity
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:42 pm

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby Lucidity » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:35 pm

You will never on a law exam be asked to brief a case and be graded on how well you brief said case. Thats just silly. All briefing is, is a method from which one might extract the relevant information from often dense and hard to understand cases. It CAN be effective, but is usually never the most time efficient. Time is a prized commodity in law school, and extra time can be invested in other worthwhile ventures, such as networking or taking practice tests. Less time wasted briefing = more time for more rewarding activities.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby underdawg » Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:49 pm

i'm a 3L btw. i always thought cases were vastly underrated. if you're trying to cram last minute, then sure ignore the cases and learn the "black letter law." if you want to do well though, you have to actually understand the law, and cases are actually good for that. if there are several cases in the book about one subject, they will cover just about every policy angle. and they are obviously examples of doctrine being applied to the facts of a case. just what you'll have to do on exams--they're almost like sample exam q's and a's really. i honestly do not understand the "ignore cases" mantra.

full on briefing is pretty useless though. like the procedural posture. that almost never matters. they might contain 20 facts and only 2 have anything to do with the holding of the case. and i also never make a list of case holdings in my outline or anything like that. just in outlines, i'll put examples of things from cases.

at the same time i know people that do very well, while briefing. it's not like it'll hurt you unless you lose the forest for the trees or some crap. it just takes FOREVER and is inefficient

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby 98234872348 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:03 pm

underdawg wrote:i'm a 3L btw. i always thought cases were vastly underrated. if you're trying to cram last minute, then sure ignore the cases and learn the "black letter law." if you want to do well though, you have to actually understand the law, and cases are actually good for that. if there are several cases in the book about one subject, they will cover just about every policy angle. and they are obviously examples of doctrine being applied to the facts of a case. just what you'll have to do on exams--they're almost like sample exam q's and a's really. i honestly do not understand the "ignore cases" mantra.

full on briefing is pretty useless though. like the procedural posture. that almost never matters. they might contain 20 facts and only 2 have anything to do with the holding of the case. and i also never make a list of case holdings in my outline or anything like that. just in outlines, i'll put examples of things from cases.

at the same time i know people that do very well, while briefing. it's not like it'll hurt you unless you lose the forest for the trees or some crap. it just takes FOREVER and is inefficient

I tend to agree with this. Cases are important in that they teach you how judges apply the black letter law to different scenarios. They also show you the underlying policy implications of applying the law in a certain manner and guide you through the process of making a reasoned analysis when you have general legal canons that don't neatly apply to your case.

I wouldn't recommend comprehensively briefing cases; I typically write down the facts, sometimes the issue, the BLL and sometimes crucial facts that helped the court arrive at its decision. However, there is no reason to write page long briefs and copy down word for word a comprehensive procedural posture (unless, of course, it's a civ pro case, in which case it might be relevant).

User avatar
Talon
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:07 pm

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby Talon » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:03 pm

I certainly recommend reading the cases and putting the essential elements of the cases into an outline. However, briefing cases is pointless unless you want to excel at cold calls (which is also pointless). After reading a case, you should aim to understand how it fits into the larger body of law, and any particular facts on which the outcome depends. You don't need to make a brief to get this understanding.

User avatar
zeth006
Posts: 1167
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 2:54 am

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby zeth006 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:05 pm

Sounds about right. I'm on the route of reading/mini-briefing everything, and later going back and super-skimming the cases during the weekend to see how the rules work together. 3-day weekend. Hoo-hah.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: How come almost every TLS Guide tells 1L to ignore cases?

Postby underdawg » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:07 pm

i dunno if this is what you're doing, but i really only think it's worth it to go back after you are done with a unit--like personal jurisdiction or proximate cause or fair use




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests