Outlining Help

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chicagolaw2013
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Outlining Help

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:49 pm

Hi folks...back from a long hiatus since the summer.

Ok, this might be the dumbest question ever (prepared for the backlash), but HOW do you create law school outlines?

I can honestly say that I haven't created an outline (well, anything of substance in outline form) in my life. I'm trying to start my outlines, but I am basically retyping all my notes into them. That seems extremely futile, and seems like it would entirely defeat the purpose of creating an outline, since, ya know, I really could just read my notes.

Am I the only person who really doesn't get this? I'm having a panic attack because I really just don't even know where to begin.

Advice?

dakatz
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby dakatz » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:58 pm

I think a lot of us are in the same boat. Here is what I have been putting into mine so far:

In any given section of the class, I put:
1. Key points from the section. Any really important concepts, rules, or points go first sort of like a chceklist of the things I absolutely need to know. These points typically come straight from a synthesis of class notes.
2. Professor comments: My prof. often disagrees with the logic or approach used by the court. So I put notes on how he would decide certain things, and it sheds light on the approach he wants us to use. For example, in K's, our prof never wants us to think of anything as black letter law. He always tries to stress a common-sense approach to every contract issue. So I make sure to get in my prof's approach so I can learn how to imitate it
3. Since all my professors made it clear that they want us to reference cases, I put very short summaries of the cases, typically with the relevant rule of law I can draw from them
4. Supplement notes: Sometimes a supplement has a line or insight that really clarifies a concept for me. If I run it by the professor and he/she seems to agree with it, I don't hesitate to put it in
5. Forks: As GTM mentions, the best exam performers are the ones who can flesh out the issues/rules and show the different ways you can go with them. So I try and preempt this by indicating where there is chance to break an argument 2 or more ways.

This is pretty much what I have in it so far. If anyone has other suggestions, I'm very happy to hear them.

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kalvano
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby kalvano » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:07 pm

PM me if you would like me to send a sample outline that I have.

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beach_terror
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby beach_terror » Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:45 pm

Assault
Intent to create apprehension of imminent battery coupled with the apparent present ability to effectuate it
• Elements
o 1) Intentionally
o 2) Placing the victim in reasonable apprehension of
o 3) Imminent harmful or offensive contact to their person
 Purpose here is to protect one form of mental tranquility, to be free from apprehension of unwanted contact

the rest of the assault section explains the elements and cites cases as necessary:

• Element (1)
o Defendant must act with the purpose to cause apprehension of a contact or with substantial certainty it will result

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:37 pm

This is all super helpful. Thanks so much. :)

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JazzOne
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby JazzOne » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:42 pm

I used the syllabus as the backbone of the my outline. Then I inserted each case into the relevant section. I used the Westlaw case briefs to insert a brief synopsis of the case. Then I tried to distill the case into one general proposition that I think the case stands for. I have the case briefs in a different sections from the general propositions, by they match each other by number. So I end up with one long list of rules that my cases supply. I also end up with a separate section for fact summaries in case I need to make any specific comparisons. The last thing I do is index all the statutory or Restatement provisions. I don't type them into my notes. I know some people do that, but I just make an outline that indexes all the relevant statutes and restatement sections so I know how to find the exact language when I need it. My outline only contains the section #, page #, and name of each section so I can scan them, find the one that applies, and then look it up quickly.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:46 pm

JazzOne wrote:I used the syllabus as the backbone of the my outline. Then I inserted each case into the relevant section. I used the Westlaw case briefs to insert a brief synopsis of the case. Then I tried to distill the case into one general proposition that I think the case stands for. I have the case briefs in a different sections from the general propositions, by they match each other by number. So I end up with one long list of rules that my cases supply. I also end up with a separate section for fact summaries in case I need to make any specific comparisons. The last thing I do is index all the statutory or Restatement provisions. I don't type them into my notes. I know some people do that, but I just make an outline that indexes all the relevant statutes and restatement sections so I know how to find the exact language when I need it. My outline only contains the section #, page #, and name of each section so I can scan them, find the one that applies, and then look it up quickly.


Ooh, I like the page number idea. I may use that to shorten up my outlines.

I can already tell that this Civ Pro one is going to be a beast if I put all the information I feel I need to into it. Better stock up on reams of paper at this rate...argh.

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JazzOne
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby JazzOne » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:50 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:I used the syllabus as the backbone of the my outline. Then I inserted each case into the relevant section. I used the Westlaw case briefs to insert a brief synopsis of the case. Then I tried to distill the case into one general proposition that I think the case stands for. I have the case briefs in a different sections from the general propositions, by they match each other by number. So I end up with one long list of rules that my cases supply. I also end up with a separate section for fact summaries in case I need to make any specific comparisons. The last thing I do is index all the statutory or Restatement provisions. I don't type them into my notes. I know some people do that, but I just make an outline that indexes all the relevant statutes and restatement sections so I know how to find the exact language when I need it. My outline only contains the section #, page #, and name of each section so I can scan them, find the one that applies, and then look it up quickly.


Ooh, I like the page number idea. I may use that to shorten up my outlines.

I can already tell that this Civ Pro one is going to be a beast if I put all the information I feel I need to into it. Better stock up on reams of paper at this rate...argh.

Civ pro is the final where my index of the rules provided the most help. I don't like retyping things into my notes when it's an open book test. I just need to know all the names of the relevant rules. That will tell me whether the rule applies or not. If it does, I can find the rule quickly (especially if you tab your book well).

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:52 pm

JazzOne wrote:Civ pro is the final where my index of the rules provided the most help. I don't like retyping things into my notes when it's an open book test. I just need to know all the names of the relevant rules. That will tell me whether the rule applies or not. If it does, I can find the rule quickly (especially if you tab your book well).


Open book...you lucky guy, you. :wink: Jealousssss.

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JazzOne
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby JazzOne » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:53 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:Civ pro is the final where my index of the rules provided the most help. I don't like retyping things into my notes when it's an open book test. I just need to know all the names of the relevant rules. That will tell me whether the rule applies or not. If it does, I can find the rule quickly (especially if you tab your book well).


Open book...you lucky guy, you. :wink: Jealousssss.

You can't use a copy of the Federal Rules? That sounds pretty dumb to me, but I'll defer to your professor's experience.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:58 pm

JazzOne wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:Civ pro is the final where my index of the rules provided the most help. I don't like retyping things into my notes when it's an open book test. I just need to know all the names of the relevant rules. That will tell me whether the rule applies or not. If it does, I can find the rule quickly (especially if you tab your book well).


Open book...you lucky guy, you. :wink: Jealousssss.

You can't use a copy of the Federal Rules? That sounds pretty dumb to me, but I'll defer to your professor's experience.


Ohhhhh you don't even want to KNOW about my professor. Trust me. Memorizing the (his) relevant rules in the FRCP is probably first on my Civ Pro exam "to do list". Welcome to my life.

EDIT: Unless he changes his mind this year. Everyone pray for my Civ Pro salvation?

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JazzOne
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby JazzOne » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:59 pm

chicagolaw2013 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
chicagolaw2013 wrote:
JazzOne wrote:Civ pro is the final where my index of the rules provided the most help. I don't like retyping things into my notes when it's an open book test. I just need to know all the names of the relevant rules. That will tell me whether the rule applies or not. If it does, I can find the rule quickly (especially if you tab your book well).


Open book...you lucky guy, you. :wink: Jealousssss.

You can't use a copy of the Federal Rules? That sounds pretty dumb to me, but I'll defer to your professor's experience.


Ohhhhh you don't even want to KNOW about my professor. Trust me. Memorizing the (his) relevant rules in the FRCP is probably first on my Civ Pro exam "to do list". Welcome to my life.

I had a crazy crim law professor last year who handed me my lowest grade in law school, so I totally understand the luck involved with 1L professors.

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zeth006
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby zeth006 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:10 pm

beach_terror wrote:Assault
Intent to create apprehension of imminent battery coupled with the apparent present ability to effectuate it
• Elements
o 1) Intentionally
o 2) Placing the victim in reasonable apprehension of
o 3) Imminent harmful or offensive contact to their person
 Purpose here is to protect one form of mental tranquility, to be free from apprehension of unwanted contact

the rest of the assault section explains the elements and cites cases as necessary:

• Element (1)
o Defendant must act with the purpose to cause apprehension of a contact or with substantial certainty it will result



Helpful. 1-2 sentences of purpose, though not necessary, IMO adds a nice touch.

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:22 pm

I organize my outline a little differently than some posters. I have a normal outline of headings and subheadings, but i put the commentary or detail in footnotes. This way I don't gum up the outline with extra shit. You need to memorize the structure of the outline not the detailed commentary. Putting the detail in the footnotes makes the outline more effective for this purpose. Last year some posters suggested doing something similar with a table. He had a table in each page that had basically two cells. I found this too mechanical. If you move an element to a different section of the outline, you have to move the corresponding detail as well. With footnotes, Word keeps things straight for you.

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zeth006
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby zeth006 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:57 pm

Hate to admit it. But my K outline and Crim outline, though both nice-looking from an outsider's view, are too derivative. I'm now realizing that both aren't very well optimized for practicing/memorizing. They're based off of outlines by previous kids who did well.


I may have to ditch both and start over from scratch. In some ways, I'm glad I never started on Civ Pro as that's the one class I'm just starting to "get." Perfect opportunity to review.

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beach_terror
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby beach_terror » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:06 pm

zeth006 wrote:Hate to admit it. But my K outline and Crim outline, though both nice-looking from an outsider's view, are too derivative. I'm now realizing that both aren't very well optimized for practicing/memorizing. They're based off of outlines by previous kids who did well.


I may have to ditch both and start over from scratch. In some ways, I'm glad I never started on Civ Pro as that's the one class I'm just starting to "get." Perfect opportunity to review.


+1. Not making a crim outline for "me" (I based it too heavily off of a few other outlines of others who did well) bit me on the ass for the midterm. I still did well, but had I organized it for my purposes, I would have wrecked the damn thing.

This weekend I spent ample time redoing my crim outline, definitely paid off.

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zeth006
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby zeth006 » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:42 am

beach_terror wrote:Assault
Intent to create apprehension of imminent battery coupled with the apparent present ability to effectuate it
• Elements
o 1) Intentionally
o 2) Placing the victim in reasonable apprehension of
o 3) Imminent harmful or offensive contact to their person
 Purpose here is to protect one form of mental tranquility, to be free from apprehension of unwanted contact

the rest of the assault section explains the elements and cites cases as necessary:

• Element (1)
o Defendant must act with the purpose to cause apprehension of a contact or with substantial certainty it will result



I have a question. How/where do you get the definition for each element of the offense, which in this case is assault? I've been reading Dressler's BLL and Understanding supplements and can't seem to find them. :? Getting close to exams and hoping to get this all outta the way soon!

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beach_terror
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby beach_terror » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:31 am

zeth006 wrote:
beach_terror wrote:Assault
Intent to create apprehension of imminent battery coupled with the apparent present ability to effectuate it
• Elements
o 1) Intentionally
o 2) Placing the victim in reasonable apprehension of
o 3) Imminent harmful or offensive contact to their person
 Purpose here is to protect one form of mental tranquility, to be free from apprehension of unwanted contact

the rest of the assault section explains the elements and cites cases as necessary:

• Element (1)
o Defendant must act with the purpose to cause apprehension of a contact or with substantial certainty it will result



I have a question. How/where do you get the definition for each element of the offense, which in this case is assault? I've been reading Dressler's BLL and Understanding supplements and can't seem to find them. :? Getting close to exams and hoping to get this all outta the way soon!


I feel like I got that from my class notes, but it's probably in Glannon's E&E too.

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kalvano
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Re: Outlining Help

Postby kalvano » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:14 pm

zeth006 wrote:I have a question. How/where do you get the definition for each element of the offense, which in this case is assault? I've been reading Dressler's BLL and Understanding supplements and can't seem to find them. :? Getting close to exams and hoping to get this all outta the way soon!



Restatement.




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