What's so wrong with briefing?

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seersucker
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What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby seersucker » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:40 pm

I'm a 1L right now and I've read all the success threads on TLS. They've been very helpful, but I don't really understand why everyone is so against case briefing. I have found the casebook much more helpful than supplements - I don't usually have a problem finding the BLL and the court's rationale explains policy arguments, factors to consider, forks in the law, etc. better than hornbooks do. It seems to me as though everything important in the hornbook is found and explained better in the casebook. Plus, the hornbook has a lot of extraneous information.

Anyway, so I don't type up the facts of the case or the procedural history, but I do type up the important points (policy arguments, forks, etc) from the court's rationale. This comes out to about half a page, single spaced for longer cases. I add to these notes from class discussion.

Every single thread I've ever read gives dire warnings against briefing, which freaks me out a little...and I just wondered if anyone would be willing to explain why you thought it was such a waste of time.

I'm at a T5, if that's relevant.

Thanks! (and sorry this was kind of long)

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MrKappus
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby MrKappus » Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:51 pm

Nothing's wrong w/ it. If you've the time, it's a helpful way to learn material. It might not be the most efficient way, however, which I think is the source of TLS's problem w/ it.

seersucker
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby seersucker » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:06 pm

What would be a more efficient way of getting this information down?

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GeePee
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby GeePee » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:13 pm

seersucker wrote:What would be a more efficient way of getting this information down?

I think the point is that procedural history/posture, detailed fact patterns, and some of the historical aspects of reasoning are generally not that important to the "point" of reading the case, so you're wasting your time (Although, sometimes there are critical aspects of these elements). If you have time, doing a close enough reading of a case to get all of this stuff is great. However, if you're trying to balance exam prep, continuing readings, and other necessary activities (1Ls start job advisement Nov. 1), schedules get crowded very quickly.

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:44 pm

I'm also a 1L. I stopped briefing after September. At the start, it helped me to understand what to be looking for in cases, but I feel like it's a huuuuge time suck once you can get the relevant information out of cases on your own/can incorporate that into your notes without doing proper "case briefs". I guess we'll see how my exam grades turn out. :lol:

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rayiner
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

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

I think there are two separate things.

1) Yes, the cases (+ class notes) have absolutely everything you need for the exam and nothing more. They're definitely my preferred way of learning.

2) No, you don't need to do half-page single spaced briefs to get everything you need out of cases. The reasoning in most cases is overwrought. You can usually fit what you need into a couple of sentences for facts, a couple of sentences for the rule, and maybe a sentence for a particularly dire policy point. I put these in my outline when I'm outlining.

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kalvano
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby kalvano » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm

If it works for you, it works for you.

I don't brief cases, I just make notes in the book. It seems like for most of my exams, I'm not going to be tested on whether or not I know the cases. Major cases I make some notes on in my notes, but it seems like a waste of time to try and memorize / spend a lot of time on putting cases in notes when the important thing is the rule from that case and applying it.

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MrKappus
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby MrKappus » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:26 pm

This is not to malign the "don't brief cases" crowd, b/c doing what works for you is the most important element of any 1L regimen. But I find that when I'm briefing cases (i.e., creating "half-page, singled spaced" summaries), I'm learning to navigate the twists and turns of (admittedly, sometimes) "overwrought" legal analysis. In doing so, I'm actually improving my legal analytical abilities, b/c I'm following a judge's thought process through to its (supposedly) logical conclusion. This was just my experience, however. I'd never advise briefing cases if you don't think it works for you.

seersucker
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby seersucker » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:21 pm

MrKappus, how did you end up doing, if you don't mind me asking? What you just said is pretty much exactly how I view briefing cases.

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capitalacq
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby capitalacq » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:47 am

no one wants you to recite facts from another case on a test. remember that when you take notes/briefs.

keg411
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby keg411 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:59 am

I still do it, but my briefs are pretty short (and the "facts" sections are about a sentence at most). I also like to have my notes from my readings in the computer so I can copy/paste both in class and as I'm making my outlines.

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goosey
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby goosey » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:50 am

I have partially stopped briefing as well. The only class I still brief exactly the same way I did in the beginning of the semester is torts because laptops are banned and all my notes are handwritten--for some reason, I find my notes to be better organized when I have a short brief in the margin of the page. I feel like it makes outlining MUCH easier. Crim...wow, the cases don't even matter-anyone else feel that way? I am learning crim from the understanding supplement and basically outline that at home before we go over it in class..I add minor notes in where needed, but for the most part I really feel like the cases are pointless and our discussions in class just help to encourage lawyerly thinking. I used to brief for civ pro up until a wk or two ago--then, I was short on time and could only manage to finish the reading and went to class and jst typed the facts quickly as he recited them and it worked perfectly fine, so I just stuck to that since. But the reason this works is I take notes in my book about the courts reasoning, etc.

I can understand why you find briefing helpful, and I think at the end of the day its about a) what works for you and b) what works for the class structure/professor. I couldn't get through torts without briefing--hes already called on me so its not even my fear of being called on. I just wouldn't possibly be able to take coherent notes in class without it due to the way he teaches.

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beach_terror
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby beach_terror » Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:37 pm

I don't really brief anymore, for torts I get briefs online if I'm afraid of being called on (we have to stand and brief and answer questions, the ordeal takes 20-30 minutes on average).

I just add a few lines about the cases overall focus in my reading outlines now:

• Case: People v Iniguez – Two Prong Test to Fear (lack of resistance)
o 1) Subjective component asks whether a victim genuinely entertained a fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury sufficient to induce her to submit to sexual intercourse against her will.
o 2) Objective component asks whether the victim’s fear was reasonable under the circumstances, or if unreasonable, whether the perpetrator knew of the victim’s subjective fear and took advantage of it.
o The particular means by which fear is imparted is not an element of rape.

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joobacca
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby joobacca » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:44 pm

MrKappus wrote:Nothing's wrong w/ it. If you've the time, it's a helpful way to learn material. It might not be the most efficient way, however, which I think is the source of TLS's problem w/ it.

i agree with mrkappus

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20160810
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby 20160810 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:43 pm

Nothing's wrong with writing something down, esp. in your outlines, to jog your memory about certain cases. Just don't waste your time writing voluminous summaries.

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gwuorbust
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby gwuorbust » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:03 pm

I have never briefed a case and never will. that said, what all of us 1Ls say doesn't mean much till after exams and grades come out.

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20160810
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Re: What's so wrong with briefing?

Postby 20160810 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:59 pm

gwuorbust wrote:I have never briefed a case and never will. that said, what all of us 1Ls say doesn't mean much till after exams and grades come out.

Unless you count adding a 1-3-sentence description of cases in my outlines (sometimes), I haven't either. It's really a matter of personal taste and what helps you remember.




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