Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

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rayiner
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:18 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:Another graduate here. Totally agree that outline length is a personal choice, and that there is no such thing as a universal ideal length. Longer is not better at some point, but where that point falls varies by class and by person.

My practice was to condense class notes into a long outline (generally about 40-55 pages, but varying somewhat from class to class), and then to condense that into a short outline of about 25 pages. That would then get crunched down into a 2 to 5 page attack outline/rules document that I would actually use during the exam (if at all).

This approach yielded tremendous success, but other strategies are good too. Just depends on your personal preference.


QFT.
Last edited by rayiner on Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:22 pm

jack duluoz wrote:i had a dean tell my section our outlines should be 50-60 pages. i was grateful for the poor advice he gave everyone because at least a portion of my class will spend thanksgiving-exams making those things.

i think the secret is to have a 15-25 pg outline that triggers 60 pages of information in your head.


The issue is getting that 60 pages of information in your head to begin with. Some people need to write that information down first to get it to commit, some people don't.

Outline length is largely a red herring. One thing you will learn when outlining is that you're more limited by how quickly you can go back over the material than by how voluminous of an outline you make while doing so. It'd take me about the same time to make a 30 page outline as a 60 page one --- the typing is definitely not the bottleneck.

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Unemployed
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby Unemployed » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:27 pm

You don't have to make your own outlines, as long as you inherit good outlines from upperclassmen and you spend enough time internalizing them. I took these 100+ page outlines, studied them intensely, then created my own 2-3 page flowchart versions. The strategy was fairly successful.

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nealric
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:29 pm

I like the idea of multiple outlines. I actually just got an awesome outline from a 3L that did very well and his outline has literal paragraphs built into it--everything was worded perfectly so it could literally be lifted wholesale out of there and put into exam answers.


Multi-tiered outlines can be a good idea. It's always a good idea to have a one page issue spotting checklist- just something to glance at to make sure you discussed everything.

But I would caution against lifting full paragraphs. You need to be analyzing the facts at hand- not random generic facts. It's rare that the precise wording is important. Not sure about your school, but my school straight-up prohibited pre-written answers anyways.

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rayiner
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby rayiner » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:32 pm

nealric wrote:
I like the idea of multiple outlines. I actually just got an awesome outline from a 3L that did very well and his outline has literal paragraphs built into it--everything was worded perfectly so it could literally be lifted wholesale out of there and put into exam answers.


Multi-tiered outlines can be a good idea. It's always a good idea to have a one page issue spotting checklist- just something to glance at to make sure you discussed everything.

But I would caution against lifting full paragraphs. You need to be analyzing the facts at hand- not random generic facts. It's rare that the precise wording is important. Not sure about your school, but my school straight-up prohibited pre-written answers anyways.


I agree. I think writing out practice exam answers carefully is useful for this reason. You can develop a stylized phrasing for each issue and on the exam just start typing it inserting the relevant facts from the fact pattern as you go. It's also a great help to have a good idea how you'll structure your analysis.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby D. H2Oman » Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:47 pm

Veyron wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Everyone is different. The longest outline I had was about 30 pages. Do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable with your level of preperation. Just remember that exams are time sensitive, so you won't have time to flip through all that nonsense.


That's why he recommends coming up with a 1 page outline of your outline.



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goosey
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby goosey » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:38 pm

rayiner wrote:
nealric wrote:
I like the idea of multiple outlines. I actually just got an awesome outline from a 3L that did very well and his outline has literal paragraphs built into it--everything was worded perfectly so it could literally be lifted wholesale out of there and put into exam answers.


Multi-tiered outlines can be a good idea. It's always a good idea to have a one page issue spotting checklist- just something to glance at to make sure you discussed everything.

But I would caution against lifting full paragraphs. You need to be analyzing the facts at hand- not random generic facts. It's rare that the precise wording is important. Not sure about your school, but my school straight-up prohibited pre-written answers anyways.


I agree. I think writing out practice exam answers carefully is useful for this reason. You can develop a stylized phrasing for each issue and on the exam just start typing it inserting the relevant facts from the fact pattern as you go. It's also a great help to have a good idea how you'll structure your analysis.


yeah i mean obviously it will need to be adjusted a little bit. But from what I have gathered (from leews) is that you need to first have the rule stated in coherent and precise words. so for ex...for intervening causes, i have this in my outline:
(b) Intervening Cause is an independent force that operates in producing social harm, but which only comes into play after the ∆s voluntary act has been committed or omission has occurred.
(i) The issue here is, at what point should ∆, who acts with the requisite mens rea and commits a voluntary act which is the cause-in-fact of the social harm, be relieved of criminal responsibility because of an intervening cause.

I would then begin my analysis.

Is that horrible? [honestly asking, since I am clueless]

MVPson
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby MVPson » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:43 pm

Make a big outline, something like 50-60 pages. Condense big outline down to 1-4 pages. Pwn test because you condensed big outline down to 1-4 pages. Pretty easy.

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98234872348
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby 98234872348 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:50 pm

What the hell do you people have in your outlines that allows them to be so expansive? My outline for Con Law was ~ 40 pages and I thought that was absurd, but that's what the class called for. I typically shoot for ~20 pages and a 2-3 page attack outline.

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MrKappus
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby MrKappus » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:04 pm

goosey wrote:
rayiner wrote:
nealric wrote:
I like the idea of multiple outlines. I actually just got an awesome outline from a 3L that did very well and his outline has literal paragraphs built into it--everything was worded perfectly so it could literally be lifted wholesale out of there and put into exam answers.


Multi-tiered outlines can be a good idea. It's always a good idea to have a one page issue spotting checklist- just something to glance at to make sure you discussed everything.

But I would caution against lifting full paragraphs. You need to be analyzing the facts at hand- not random generic facts. It's rare that the precise wording is important. Not sure about your school, but my school straight-up prohibited pre-written answers anyways.


I agree. I think writing out practice exam answers carefully is useful for this reason. You can develop a stylized phrasing for each issue and on the exam just start typing it inserting the relevant facts from the fact pattern as you go. It's also a great help to have a good idea how you'll structure your analysis.


yeah i mean obviously it will need to be adjusted a little bit. But from what I have gathered (from leews) is that you need to first have the rule stated in coherent and precise words. so for ex...for intervening causes, i have this in my outline:
(b) Intervening Cause is an independent force that operates in producing social harm, but which only comes into play after the ∆s voluntary act has been committed or omission has occurred.
(i) The issue here is, at what point should ∆, who acts with the requisite mens rea and commits a voluntary act which is the cause-in-fact of the social harm, be relieved of criminal responsibility because of an intervening cause.

I would then begin my analysis.

Is that horrible? [honestly asking, since I am clueless]


It's not "horrible" at all. It's just not what gets you points. Applying law to facts gets you points. 90% of your class will spot the issue and copy the BLL/rule from their outlines.

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kalvano
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby kalvano » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:59 pm

Goosey, for an example, my Contracts prof said that, in analyzing his exam questions and determining why or why not something is a contract and correctly identifying the elements is a B / B+ answer. Thats probably what most people will do.

The A / A+ answer comes after that initial analysis, when you focus on why it could be a contract. So do the analysis, and then keep going.

"A is probably not in a contract with B based on the foregoing. However, if you read xxx phrasing as yyyy way, then they could possibly be in a contract because...".

It's that extra analysis and going beyond the obvious that he, and I would bet most, professors want.

dsl2011
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby dsl2011 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:09 pm

ITT: People whip out their [outlines] to see who's biggest, and those who don't stack up claim that size doesn't matter, but only how you use it.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby worldtraveler » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:12 pm

goosey wrote:I like the idea of multiple outlines. I actually just got an awesome outline from a 3L that did very well and his outline has literal paragraphs built into it--everything was worded perfectly so it could literally be lifted wholesale out of there and put into exam answers. That appeals to me because I take a long time wording and re-wording things. I think it will be a huge help to just be able to copy it word for word.

Granted, this only works for open book exams and if you have an indexed and tabbed outline. But for my open book exams I plan on having paragraphed outlines, a shorter outline, and a checklist. For my closed book exam [torts] I will probably just have a regular outline and practice on lots of tests to get the wording down beforehand. time is money


I hope you're not talking about using his outline on the exam.

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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby GeePee » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:15 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:
Veyron wrote:
Aqualibrium wrote:Everyone is different. The longest outline I had was about 30 pages. Do whatever you need to do to feel comfortable with your level of preperation. Just remember that exams are time sensitive, so you won't have time to flip through all that nonsense.


That's why he recommends coming up with a 1 page outline of your outline.



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ogurty
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby ogurty » Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:20 pm

If you truly believe that your outline needs to be 50 pages because someone told you so, or 20 pages because someone else told you so, just change the font. And stop talking about it, for God's sake. The only thing stupider than saying "your outlines need to be 90 pages" is saying "that's stupid, the all the highest grades have less than 20 page outlines."

I'm finally understanding why the upperclassmen get frustrated with 0Ls and 1Ls asking about which study methods lead to As. It varies.

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goosey
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby goosey » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:01 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
goosey wrote:I like the idea of multiple outlines. I actually just got an awesome outline from a 3L that did very well and his outline has literal paragraphs built into it--everything was worded perfectly so it could literally be lifted wholesale out of there and put into exam answers. That appeals to me because I take a long time wording and re-wording things. I think it will be a huge help to just be able to copy it word for word.

Granted, this only works for open book exams and if you have an indexed and tabbed outline. But for my open book exams I plan on having paragraphed outlines, a shorter outline, and a checklist. For my closed book exam [torts] I will probably just have a regular outline and practice on lots of tests to get the wording down beforehand. time is money


I hope you're not talking about using his outline on the exam.



no. 1, he had a different professor, and 2, I like making my own outlines--helps me learn. I am way too paranoid to risk thinking "damnit, I should have just made my own outlines" after grades come back. i'd much rather do more than less.


uci2013
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby uci2013 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:35 am

Gamecubesupreme wrote:He also told us we NEED to cite case names to go from a B to an A. And by that, he told us to emphasis on showing the profs we know the law they taught us instead of critically applying it.

Am I a terrible person if I trembled with happiness because I know there will be students gullible enough to believe him?


One of our profs said her outlines were always around 10 pages. The main thing is the outline is a tool for you - so whatever helps you learn and whatever works for you is what matters.

Regarding case names, we've had one professor say a case name is worth 1/2 a point versus just stating a rule without a case. I haven't seen his exams yet (new school makes getting old exams difficult), but I suspect it can at least make a difference btwn a B+/A- and since memorizing case names is something I have control over, I plan on putting in the effort to learn them.

Another professor says the case name isn't important.

So I guess regarding case names, it is professor dependent.

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zeth006
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby zeth006 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:16 am

Funny you should say that. My K outline is 33 pages so far. I'll probably have to trim it down as finals approach.

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bceagles182
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby bceagles182 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:33 am

Not sure if some of you OCDs have realized this yet... But I'm about 99% sure of one thing in law school:

The key is focusing on how to take exams NOT focusing on the actual law... the bottom line is that if you fail to learn the relevant black letter law then you aren't smart enough to be in law school.

savagecheater
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby savagecheater » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:27 am

Looking at the 'good' outlines I've received from upperclassmen and comparing them to my own, I'm realizing just how disorganized and unintuitive mine are due to relying on the casebook's own topical organization.

BRB COMPLETELY CHANGING STRUCTURE OF DENSE 15-PAGE DOCUMENT.

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robin600
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby robin600 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:33 pm

Honestly outlines to me are a memorization tool. Making them makes me memorize and recall the BLL. My outlines are about 7-8 pages right now, and I'm in the middle of the semester. After taking two midterms, I've felt like if I added anymore material to them they'd be pointless because, at least for me, when I draw on the big points, I recall smaller points that relate to them. And I find that if you have to look at your outline during an exam you're wasting a fuckton of time.

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Amy wineBerry
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby Amy wineBerry » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:37 am

mistergoft wrote:What the hell do you people have in your outlines that allows them to be so expansive? My outline for Con Law was ~ 40 pages and I thought that was absurd, but that's what the class called for. I typically shoot for ~20 pages and a 2-3 page attack outline.


Outlines and I aren't mixing well because I refuse to needlessly reinvent the wheel...but I have bomb ones from 2Ls. The most extensive is for Civ Pro. I have two, and one of them is like 40 pgs and the other is about 60. These outlines include key facts about cases and little nuances the professor makes. Great review for the class. The other class outlines are between 10 and 15 pages of the essential. Since I'm an active learner in class and I also study outside of class, I find them sufficient for my needs.

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Nicholasnickynic
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:02 am

Outline length is objective.

51+ Pages=C
50 page= A
49-40= C
39-30=D
29 or less =Fail

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jaudette
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Re: Our student advisor told us we should make 50 page outlines.

Postby jaudette » Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:08 am

jack duluoz wrote:i had a dean tell my section our outlines should be 50-60 pages. i was grateful for the poor advice he gave everyone because at least a portion of my class will spend thanksgiving-exams making those things.

i think the secret is to have a 15-25 pg outline that triggers 60 pages of information in your head.


+1

Also, your printed notes might end up being in the 60-120 page range. Good idea to tab these so if you really pull a blank you can piece something together.




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