Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

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stocksly33
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Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby stocksly33 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:11 am

my outlining is taking a lot of time and i want to make sure i'm working smart...

my outline consists of a few things i imagine are musts:
- rules
- my wording of rules
- important commentary and notes
- policy

here's the stuff i'm unsure about
- all the minor nuances (restatements copy/paste from westlaw, supplement commentary, 1-sentence case summaries and examples)
- i also put anything i think might come up on the test. i put it in and don't look at it, so i can look at it later. i'd forget if i didn't put it in there. but this takes a lot of time i feel i could be spending learning the law and doing hypos and exam prep. should i sacrifice hypos and learning the law for now (hoping i'll get to it later) so i that i can have all the minor things that might come up on the exam?

brief context: my outline is my tool for learning and i'm planning on it being my go to when its time to study for exams. i type fast, computer savvy, and i learn well off computers

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traehekat
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby traehekat » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:47 am

If by minor nuances you mean minor nuances in the law itself, then you definitely want to include it, as that is what probably separates A- from B+, etc. Also I make a HUGE note of when the professor indicates the law is unclear, because that leads to an opportunity to discuss a fork in the law and grab some more points.

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kswiss
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby kswiss » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:55 pm

Most of my professors make a big deal about pointing out ambiguity.

I see people furiously taking notes when we're discussing the facts of cases and BLL, and then we'll get to the end of the lecture and the prof will take 5 minutes discussing the unsettled/ambiguous issues. I'm sitting there furiously writing down stuff so that if it comes up on the exam I'll have a good grasp on the different sides, and most of the other people sit back, like its the debriefing at the end of class. Sometimes I feel dumb: what if the professor really is debriefing us. But at the same time, it would seem crazy for the prof to only test the well settled parts of the law and not the ones that she makes a point to identify as unsettled or ambiguous.

BTW I've been outlining a lot like you, but only once we've finished a major section of the course. I tried doing it weekly, but I just ended up re-writing it at the end of the section anyway when I could put all of the earlier stuff in perspective.

I put three stars by all of the ambiguous stuff in the outline. That way I can keep looking at those issues when I'm editing/going over my outline so that I'm ready for them on an exam.

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traehekat
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby traehekat » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:43 am

^^ ditto. every time there is an ambiguity or some kind of split in the courts, i flag it. anything that looks like it would lead to diverging points of discussion on an exam. i think this is one of the big benefits to reading GTM early - you are kinda trained to look for this kinda stuff, if you aren't already so inclined.

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stocksly33
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby stocksly33 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:53 am

kswiss wrote: I see people furiously taking notes when we're discussing the facts of cases and BLL, and then we'll get to the end of the lecture and the prof will take 5 minutes discussing the unsettled/ambiguous issues. I'm sitting there furiously writing down stuff so that if it comes up on the exam I'll have a good grasp on the different sides, and most of the other people sit back, like its the debriefing at the end of class. Sometimes I feel dumb: what if the professor really is debriefing us. But at the same time, it would seem crazy for the prof to only test the well settled parts of the law and not the ones that she makes a point to identify as unsettled or ambiguous.


Yeah, I'm in the same boat... It's not ambiguity for my profs. But whatever it is they do emphasize (nuance, minority rules, and schools of thought mostly), I take notes like a banshee on. People that sit around me stare at me funny.

like when my prof gets into what he thinks the judge was thinking... i hear "jackpot" and most of the class kicks back.

I guess I'm thinking that like 1/30 of those minor issues will come up on the exam. so what choice do i have... i've gotta get them all down in my outline or I won't remember them in December. those extra 3-5 points might be gamechangers. or it might make my essay have that little extra stuff to catch his eye.

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kalvano
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby kalvano » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:54 am

Damn right. I couldn't care less about the facts of the case.

I want to know the rule and get hypos to see if I can apply it. I love it when they start changing facts around.

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zeth006
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby zeth006 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:47 am

kswiss wrote:Most of my professors make a big deal about pointing out ambiguity.

I see people furiously taking notes when we're discussing the facts of cases and BLL, and then we'll get to the end of the lecture and the prof will take 5 minutes discussing the unsettled/ambiguous issues. I'm sitting there furiously writing down stuff so that if it comes up on the exam I'll have a good grasp on the different sides, and most of the other people sit back, like its the debriefing at the end of class. Sometimes I feel dumb: what if the professor really is debriefing us. But at the same time, it would seem crazy for the prof to only test the well settled parts of the law and not the ones that she makes a point to identify as unsettled or ambiguous.

BTW I've been outlining a lot like you, but only once we've finished a major section of the course. I tried doing it weekly, but I just ended up re-writing it at the end of the section anyway when I could put all of the earlier stuff in perspective.

I put three stars by all of the ambiguous stuff in the outline. That way I can keep looking at those issues when I'm editing/going over my outline so that I'm ready for them on an exam.


:shock:

Read GTM a couple months back, totally forgot about the forks in the road. I've definitely been jotting down far fewer facts, but I haven't been taking note of any ambiguities. Crim law's obvious in terms of the debate over felony murder, the suitability of one sentencing over another, etc. Civ Pro--still getting the hang of it.

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Bustang
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby Bustang » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:05 am

I like to include "steps" or "tests" for each rule whenever possible. In torts/civ pro I don't have too many(I just list the elements of the BLL and apply it, then raise defenses or counterarguments), but in contracts I'd say most of my outline are step by step processes to see if the K falls within the SOF, whether or not there is consideration, if the offer was actually an offer (communicated to other party, definite etc) etc.

I need to address ambiguity more, however. Thanks for the tips guys.

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goosey
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby goosey » Thu Sep 30, 2010 1:04 pm

every time i read another thread on here, I panic a little more.

In civ pro, I sometimes note the dissent if an interesting argument is made by a judge and especially by the professor himself, but I dont feel like my professors discuss ambiguities all that much. In my crim practice thus far my forks usually have to do with interpretation of a word in the statute. Same with my memo for legal writing. I havent worked on any practice hypos for torts yet because we havent gotten through causation and I feel like I need to get through that atleast before starting intentional torts hypos. But aside from that, I never exploit ambiguities in the law. Where are such ambiguities found?

My civ pro professor teaches in terms of "tests" [diversity test=diversity of citizenship = amount in controversy, etc.] so I place the "rules" in my outline in a like manner because it makes sense. Are you guys putting your fed rules into your outlines? Should we be memorizing them? I plan on making a chart sometime in mid october of the rules and tend to just bracket the usc section or fed rule next to the topic "Ie. "Arising Under Question [1331]" I dont really include details of the rule aside from the major stuff. Are you guys including outlines of the rules themselves?

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kswiss
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby kswiss » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:41 pm

I'm under the impression that most Civ Pro test Q's are about applying easy rules to ambiguous situations.

So for PJ, it won't be cut and dry whether a D has the requisite min contacts. It won't be clear whether the cause of action arose from the contacts or are just significantly related to them. Or for general jurisdiction whether a company's activities within a forum are such that general PJ is justified.

So rather than being a rule type analysis, you would have to analyze the facts and discuss how the borderline facts implicate the rules in question. Most people (or all) will know that for specific PJ, you use the min contacts standard from Intl Shoe. But the grades will be differentiated by who better applies that standard to facts that don't clearly point to a yes or no answer.

Sorry I'm fixated on PJ because thats the only unit we've gone all the way through in civpro.

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Bustang
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Re: Would someone mind critiquing my outling strategy?

Postby Bustang » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:46 pm

You can study my unit with your PJ because you have that awesome tar :wink:




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