Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

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Sogui
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Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Sogui » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:04 am

I had made up a whole organization system in OneNote and I was really happy with it.

Now laptops are banned in 2 out of 3 of my classes. The only other organization system I've had before was "write anything interesting the professor says in a notebook, rinse and repeat until the exam".

Now law school is a different beast. Chances are you need to bring notes TO class for that day's material. You will also have to compile notes from multiple authorities, etc...

So I'm wondering, even if the class bans laptops, how many of you have/are attempting to still use your laptop as your "notebook" and how many of you simply use some binder organization.

I can't make up my mind since I've never been that organized yet it is something that law school requires. I have a scanner/printer next to my computer so there is a case for typing everything, and simply scanning my class notes or typing anything important in after class. Or there is a case for just writing everything and printing out anything else and putting it in one big colorful binder.

Thoughts on what seems more practical?

lurker999
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby lurker999 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:13 am

My property prof made us hand right the notes the first week. I just took notes on reading into One Note (print them if you can about looking good for class), and then took notes on paper. Then after class I typed them into one note while it was still fresh in my memory. So I could decipher my shit handwriting.

You shouldn't be taking too many notes anyway, you could probably type them up in 5 minutes easy.

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Sogui
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Sogui » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:20 am

lurker999 wrote:My property prof made us hand right the notes the first week. I just took notes on reading into One Note (print them if you can about looking good for class), and then took notes on paper. Then after class I typed them into one note while it was still fresh in my memory. So I could decipher my shit handwriting.

You shouldn't be taking too many notes anyway, you could probably type them up in 5 minutes easy.


True, I have the same problem with handwriting. I left my good pen at home today so I wrote with a cheap promotional pen and when I finished my notes looked like scribbles with a kindergartner. Also true that I could probably transcribe 2 hours of notes in about 5 minutes.

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kswiss
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby kswiss » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:37 am

One of my professors doesn't allow laptops. At first I thought it was going to be horrible, since I haven't handwritten notes since high school. It turns out to be not bad...

If I have any reading notes, I take them on my laptop like I normally would. I can also copy lexis case summaries into these notes, and print them before class.

In class, I have these reading notes/case summaries/additional notes on cases, and I pull out my notebook. I take notes either in the notebook or on my printed notes depending on what is appropriate. If the prof wants us to get something different from the case, it is really easy to cross it out, edit, etc. I have the added benefit of knowing exactly what is a class note and what is my own. After class, I date my notebook pages to be sure I know when I wrote them.

Once a week (or after a section, or whatever), I take my own notes and the class notes and hybridize them into a document. When I start to do a test outline, I'll take it from the hybridized one.

I HATE handwriting notes, but this system has proved useful enough that I started doing an electronic version of it in my other classes.

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20160810
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby 20160810 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:40 am

You respond by getting a pen and a notebook and quitting your whining. Did none of you guys go to college before everyone took laptops to class?

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bk1
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby bk1 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:20 am

It's inconvenient and crappy but it is the professor's prerogative. Suck it up and deal with it. Have you seriously never taken hand-written notes before?

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Sogui
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Sogui » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:47 am

TLS loves to turn constructive posts into "stop whining", seriously that's a mentality I expect from a far less mature age-set.

I could've made this post "Wahh, banning laptops is SOOO dumb, now I'm going to fail law school!" but I tried to put a constructive post up and was greeted with some of the same childish responses.

I specifically mentioned in my post, and my perhaps I'm just a naive 1L, but law school classes seem to have an entirely different set of organizational requirements. People at my school prep much harder than I've ever seen before and it's intimidating. Having a good organizational system can be a source of confidence and extremely helpful if managed properly.

Undergrad handwritten notes were fine because typically the game was "go to class, write down stuff on the lecture's powerpoint templates, read readings, regurgitate on test". Now there's lectures, TA sections, case books, secondary books, rules books, supplemental books, old exams, outlines, etc... you can see where a discussion of a hybrid electronic/paper organizational system might be appropriate.

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20160810
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby 20160810 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:54 am

Sogui wrote:TLS loves to turn constructive posts into "stop whining", seriously that's a mentality I expect from a far less mature age-set.

I could've made this post "Wahh, banning laptops is SOOO dumb, now I'm going to fail law school!" but I tried to put a constructive post up and was greeted with some of the same childish responses.

I specifically mentioned in my post, and my perhaps I'm just a naive 1L, but law school classes seem to have an entirely different set of organizational requirements. People at my school prep much harder than I've ever seen before and it's intimidating. Having a good organizational system can be a source of confidence and extremely helpful if managed properly.

Undergrad handwritten notes were fine because typically the game was "go to class, write down stuff on the lecture's powerpoint templates, read readings, regurgitate on test". Now there's lectures, TA sections, case books, secondary books, rules books, supplemental books, old exams, outlines, etc... you can see where a discussion of a hybrid electronic/paper organizational system might be appropriate.

I'll try and be a bit less brusque. I was just sick of the threads on this topic, but you've put far more effort and thought into your posting than others, so I'll try and return the favor.

Seriously, taking notes by hand is not a disadvantage. It may even be GREAT for you if you're the sort of guy who TLSes/Facebooks/Gchats in class. I've never been a fan of taking voluminious court reporter style notes. Laptops encourage people to transcribe, not analyze, which is the opposite of what you ought to be doing. In a typical 1-hour class, you should be walking out with 1 to (at most) 3 pages of hand-written notes. If you've got much more than that, you're probably not just getting the essentials. Write less, think more.

One thing you can try is getting an old outline for the class, if you can find one, and taking it with you to class to guide your note taking. But seriously, the number one thing I can tell you, is just relax. Law school is intimidating at first, but if you do all the reading and go to all the classes and take notes, you really will be fine for the first half of the semester.

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TTH
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby TTH » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:19 am

Bring a desktop.

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kalvano
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby kalvano » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:28 am

Taking notes in law school isn't really any different than taking notes in undergrad.

Listen to what they say and pick out what's important.

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thalassocrat
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby thalassocrat » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:43 am

TTH wrote:Bring a desktop.


:lol:

OP, I'm actually taking this as a blessing in disguise. I know I'm the sort to TLS/facebook/Oregon Trail during class, so this'll help me focus/hone my doodling abilities more. Right now I'm planning on just handwriting my reading and class notes like I did in undergrad, then at the end of every week I'll type them up in a more organized format that will lend itself to outlining later.

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homestyle28
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby homestyle28 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:50 am

Furiously text your notes to yourself on your phone...that'll learn 'em.

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seespotrun
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby seespotrun » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:51 am

Take notes when you read for class. Print said notes out and bring them to class. Mark them up in pen. Transfer your class notes after class/before you read for that class the next time.

Obviously, opinions will differ on what I'm about to say, but, IMO, if you are overwhelmed with taking notes in class (such that you can't keep up with class discussion), then you're doing it wrong. And by "doing it wrong," I mean that you're taking too many notes probably because your class preparation is lacking, or because you're failing to realize that most information is unnecessary besides the rule/application/reasoning.

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Borhas
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Borhas » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:20 am

Sogui wrote:TLS loves to turn constructive posts into "stop whining", seriously that's a mentality I expect from a far less mature age-set.

I could've made this post "Wahh, banning laptops is SOOO dumb, now I'm going to fail law school!" but I tried to put a constructive post up and was greeted with some of the same childish responses.

I specifically mentioned in my post, and my perhaps I'm just a naive 1L, but law school classes seem to have an entirely different set of organizational requirements. People at my school prep much harder than I've ever seen before and it's intimidating. Having a good organizational system can be a source of confidence and extremely helpful if managed properly.

Undergrad handwritten notes were fine because typically the game was "go to class, write down stuff on the lecture's powerpoint templates, read readings, regurgitate on test". Now there's lectures, TA sections, case books, secondary books, rules books, supplemental books, old exams, outlines, etc... you can see where a discussion of a hybrid electronic/paper organizational system might be appropriate.


I tend to believe that all this visible "prep" you see, like colorful tags sticking out of text books, 5 different highlightin colors, big binders with printed outlines (in September) is all just a manifestation of OCD people being nervous and having nothing better to do.

All I really think you (well, we) need to do is to stay up to date, figure out the underlying principles of the course and how they lead to the creation of legal rules, in what situations do those rules apply, in what situations do they not apply, and what the policy cost and benefits of those rules are... and also to put distinguishing marks next to the things that the prof seems to be really into.

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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby RickyMack » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:10 pm


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20160810
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby 20160810 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:51 pm

TTH wrote:Bring a desktop.

I loled IRL.

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Sogui
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Sogui » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:01 pm

I'm still debating the "type notes in advance" and then marking it up in class, it will probably save me some writing in class, and it will encourage me to have a more proactive approach to preparing for class.

There's still an appeal for me to just read, don't brief (I'd like to hear more on briefing for class/not briefing for class), and just write down important stuff in class. During the weekend instead of intensely working on the next week's work, I will simply read and compile the last week's notes (as someone said) into a more outline friendly format (damned if I know what that is yet).

One method is more time consuming outside of class and may involve a lot of useless unnecessary work (depending on how useful having briefed your own cases is), the other takes an almost cynical attitude towards classes that results in little physical preparation and only a couple pages of typed notes at the end of a week, while focusing on learning and memorizing the rules, starting on early on an outline, looking at past exams, reading supplemental material, etc...


That is the way I've seen the debate framed and it's still a tough one. I've had a 2L here tell me he read and briefed 6+ hours a day and landed straight on the median without a single A. I've had another who was on the law review tell me that class prep doesn't equal exam prep and that intense reading and briefing will not help on exams.

Or I could just suck it up, work my ass off for class, and spend whatever remaining time I have trying to study what I think will be useful for exams.

Baylan
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Baylan » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:08 pm

Sogui wrote:I'm still debating the "type notes in advance" and then marking it up in class, it will probably save me some writing in class, and it will encourage me to have a more proactive approach to preparing for class.

There's still an appeal for me to just read, don't brief (I'd like to hear more on briefing for class/not briefing for class), and just write down important stuff in class. During the weekend instead of intensely working on the next week's work, I will simply read and compile the last week's notes (as someone said) into a more outline friendly format (damned if I know what that is yet).

One method is more time consuming outside of class and may involve a lot of useless unnecessary work (depending on how useful having briefed your own cases is), the other takes an almost cynical attitude towards classes that results in little physical preparation and only a couple pages of typed notes at the end of a week, while focusing on learning and memorizing the rules, starting on early on an outline, looking at past exams, reading supplemental material, etc...


That is the way I've seen the debate framed and it's still a tough one. I've had a 2L here tell me he read and briefed 6+ hours a day and landed straight on the median without a single A. I've had another who was on the law review tell me that class prep doesn't equal exam prep and that intense reading and briefing will not help on exams.

Or I could just suck it up, work my ass off for class, and spend whatever remaining time I have trying to study what I think will be useful for exams.


What I've been doing for my laptop-banned class is similar to what others have done. For major cases I print out a lexis/westlaw casebrief, split it so that its half white space/half case, and then take notes on that. Have my notebook out for any notes nonapplicable to any of the major cases. I haven't been doing this for squib cases. It seems pretty effective so far, though I haven't really transferred my material from my in-class notes back into OneNote yet.

I am more attentive in that class than others, but not enough so that I feel like i can justify losing the organization advantage I gain from OneNote (I have HORRENDOUS handwriting/hand note taking skills).... So I still bring my laptop to class.

vickers711
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby vickers711 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:29 pm

Record lecture, take a few notes in class, review recording if you feel you missed something.

dakatz
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby dakatz » Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:33 pm

Pen & paper, bud. Shouldn't be that big a deal. You can organize the notes after class and put them into the comp. In fact, going through your notes and finding a good way to synthesize them is a great way to actively review stuff.

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Sogui
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Sogui » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:04 pm

Baylan wrote:
Sogui wrote:I'm still debating the "type notes in advance" and then marking it up in class, it will probably save me some writing in class, and it will encourage me to have a more proactive approach to preparing for class.

There's still an appeal for me to just read, don't brief (I'd like to hear more on briefing for class/not briefing for class), and just write down important stuff in class. During the weekend instead of intensely working on the next week's work, I will simply read and compile the last week's notes (as someone said) into a more outline friendly format (damned if I know what that is yet).

One method is more time consuming outside of class and may involve a lot of useless unnecessary work (depending on how useful having briefed your own cases is), the other takes an almost cynical attitude towards classes that results in little physical preparation and only a couple pages of typed notes at the end of a week, while focusing on learning and memorizing the rules, starting on early on an outline, looking at past exams, reading supplemental material, etc...


That is the way I've seen the debate framed and it's still a tough one. I've had a 2L here tell me he read and briefed 6+ hours a day and landed straight on the median without a single A. I've had another who was on the law review tell me that class prep doesn't equal exam prep and that intense reading and briefing will not help on exams.

Or I could just suck it up, work my ass off for class, and spend whatever remaining time I have trying to study what I think will be useful for exams.


What I've been doing for my laptop-banned class is similar to what others have done. For major cases I print out a lexis/westlaw casebrief, split it so that its half white space/half case, and then take notes on that. Have my notebook out for any notes nonapplicable to any of the major cases. I haven't been doing this for squib cases. It seems pretty effective so far, though I haven't really transferred my material from my in-class notes back into OneNote yet.

I am more attentive in that class than others, but not enough so that I feel like i can justify losing the organization advantage I gain from OneNote (I have HORRENDOUS handwriting/hand note taking skills).... So I still bring my laptop to class.


I have considered using the "Headnotes" from these tools to help me understand the key issues in the case. But, forgive my ignorance here, but what exactly are the Headnotes? Are they holdings? Rules of law?

Baylan
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Baylan » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:11 pm

Sogui wrote:
Baylan wrote:
Sogui wrote:I'm still debating the "type notes in advance" and then marking it up in class, it will probably save me some writing in class, and it will encourage me to have a more proactive approach to preparing for class.

There's still an appeal for me to just read, don't brief (I'd like to hear more on briefing for class/not briefing for class), and just write down important stuff in class. During the weekend instead of intensely working on the next week's work, I will simply read and compile the last week's notes (as someone said) into a more outline friendly format (damned if I know what that is yet).

One method is more time consuming outside of class and may involve a lot of useless unnecessary work (depending on how useful having briefed your own cases is), the other takes an almost cynical attitude towards classes that results in little physical preparation and only a couple pages of typed notes at the end of a week, while focusing on learning and memorizing the rules, starting on early on an outline, looking at past exams, reading supplemental material, etc...


That is the way I've seen the debate framed and it's still a tough one. I've had a 2L here tell me he read and briefed 6+ hours a day and landed straight on the median without a single A. I've had another who was on the law review tell me that class prep doesn't equal exam prep and that intense reading and briefing will not help on exams.

Or I could just suck it up, work my ass off for class, and spend whatever remaining time I have trying to study what I think will be useful for exams.


What I've been doing for my laptop-banned class is similar to what others have done. For major cases I print out a lexis/westlaw casebrief, split it so that its half white space/half case, and then take notes on that. Have my notebook out for any notes nonapplicable to any of the major cases. I haven't been doing this for squib cases. It seems pretty effective so far, though I haven't really transferred my material from my in-class notes back into OneNote yet.

I am more attentive in that class than others, but not enough so that I feel like i can justify losing the organization advantage I gain from OneNote (I have HORRENDOUS handwriting/hand note taking skills).... So I still bring my laptop to class.


I have considered using the "Headnotes" from these tools to help me understand the key issues in the case. But, forgive my ignorance here, but what exactly are the Headnotes? Are they holdings? Rules of law?


Headnotes are the rulings on the particular points of law that are being resolved in this particular case. They aren't very useful if you're called on to recite the facts of the case. I typically just steal the overall summary from lexis (I like their briefs better, but West's searching better), and write up a short 2-3 sentence summary of what *I* think about the law, and then supplement with notes from class.

Edit: As it relates to Westlaw headnotes, anyway, not sure about Lexis, but I presume the same.

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sundance95
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby sundance95 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:24 pm

How to respond?

--ImageRemoved--
Image

Baylan
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Baylan » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:37 pm

sundance95 wrote:How to respond?

--ImageRemoved--
Image


After seeing this post, I am rethinking my approach.

Clearly, TITCR

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Duralex
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Re: Laptops are banned, how do you respond?

Postby Duralex » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:10 pm

You could also try either the Cross Pen CrossPad, which will give you a digital image of your notes (probably not going to OCR well) or the whole proprietary-grid-paper Livescribe thing.

Me, I'd probably learn shorthand and start bringing a steno pad and a green visor just to get the point across. (WTF were the visors for, anyway? Extra stenographer dickslang points?)




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