Effective Use of Supplements

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iceskater1620
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Effective Use of Supplements

Postby iceskater1620 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:20 pm

Over the course of the past semester, I felt that I didn't use my supplements as effectively as possible. What do you all think is the most effective way to use them? Do you read them every night? Do you read them sporadically when you don't understand a particular concept? Or do you read them once a week? I feel like I need a better plan for how to integrate supplement readings into my coursework.

P.S. Any suggestions for civ pro, torts, and con law? I've purchased the E&E's already but are there any other good ones you'd suggest?

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zeth006
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby zeth006 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:28 pm

iceskater1620 wrote:Over the course of the past semester, I felt that I didn't use my supplements as effectively as possible. What do you all think is the most effective way to use them? Do you read them every night? Do you read them sporadically when you don't understand a particular concept? Or do you read them once a week? I feel like I need a better plan for how to integrate supplement readings into my coursework.


Interested in this too.

Miniver
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby Miniver » Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:34 pm

I can't help but read this and think how bizarre it would be if someone asked the same things in the context of vitamin supplements. They're supplements. They supplement a need that isn't being fulfilled by your primary source of nutrition... or information.

If you are doing the reading and understanding the material taught in class, then the chances are high that you are getting what you're supposed to be getting out of law school in preparation for your exam and you don't need to use any supplements. There may be variables (e.g., your professor is an idiot or jerk who doesn't teach you certain things, yet those things are tested on your exam anyway), but for the most part, I wouldn't bother with supplements unless you aren't understanding something.

I only pulled them off the library shelves twice during law school, both times for Civil Procedure.

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zeth006
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby zeth006 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:11 pm

Miniver wrote:I can't help but read this and think how bizarre it would be if someone asked the same things in the context of vitamin supplements. They're supplements. They supplement a need that isn't being fulfilled by your primary source of nutrition... or information.

If you are doing the reading and understanding the material taught in class, then the chances are high that you are getting what you're supposed to be getting out of law school in preparation for your exam and you don't need to use any supplements. There may be variables (e.g., your professor is an idiot or jerk who doesn't teach you certain things, yet those things are tested on your exam anyway), but for the most part, I wouldn't bother with supplements unless you aren't understanding something.

I only pulled them off the library shelves twice during law school, both times for Civil Procedure.


I would assume it varies. Some people on TLS use mostly supplements after somehow finding the time to read all the cases. For me, none of my profs for this semester have more than 1-2 past exams posted and one of my profs by some descriptions falls into the category you mentioned above.

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traehekat
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby traehekat » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:39 pm

Depends on the supplement. I feel E&Es are pretty helpful to use throughout the semester, going over each topic as you hit it in a course. Same probably for hornbooks, although I didn't use those as much. Others like Emmanuel, Gilbert, etc. were more useful for me when I was creating my own outline.

Basically, my thought is that as you go through the semester, you want to focus on UNDERSTANDING the material, and I feel E&Es do a good job of this with problems, and hornbooks give you probably a deeper understanding. When you start to outline, you want to focus on BLACK LETTER LAW, and commercial outlines are obviously going to be better for this. Ideally you probably do this as the semester goes along (get the black letter law down, outline it, then work on understanding it), but I did it kind of backwards and it seemed to work fine.

abudaba
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby abudaba » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:40 pm

In my limited experience it depends on the teaching style of the professor. If the professor lays out the law clearly in more of a lecture style then I rarely found myself going to supplements. If the class was more centered around socratic and the professor hides the ball when it comes to the BLL then supplements were important to make sure I was following along and getting the concepts straight.

I.e. in Torts our professor was very clear and never moved forward without clearly stating the BLL. I hardly ever used my supplement except for just before the final to brush up in areas I felt rusty.

In contracts the professor would just ask questions without ever really clearly giving the law. The class would progress based on however the previous question was answered. I relied on supplements almost exclusively for this class to learn the law.

I got an A- in both

In short, like others have said, supplements are mainly helpful for brushing up on parts of the law that are unclear. And how much is unclear will largely vary by class/professor. There is no universal "right" way to implement supplements and they can be hugely beneficial in some cases imo but may have diminishing returns at some point

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traehekat
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby traehekat » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:45 pm

abudaba wrote:In my limited experience it depends on the teaching style of the professor. If the professor lays out the law clearly in more of a lecture style then I rarely found myself going to supplements. If the class was more centered around socratic and the professor hides the ball when it comes to the BLL then supplements were important to make sure I was following along and getting the concepts straight.

I.e. in Torts our professor was very clear and never moved forward without clearly stating the BLL. I hardly ever used my supplement except for just before the final to brush up in areas I felt rusty.

In contracts the professor would just ask questions without ever really clearly giving the law. The class would progress based on however the previous question was answered. I relied on supplements almost exclusively for this class to learn the law.

I got an A- in both

In short, like others have said, supplements are mainly helpful for brushing up on parts of the law that are unclear. And how much is unclear will largely vary by class/professor. There is no universal "right" way to implement supplements and they can be hugely beneficial in some cases imo but may have diminishing returns at some point


This is a good point I didn't mention. It will definitely depend on your professor. For Torts, I didn't touch a commercial outline, just the E&E and Glannon Guide for MC questions. Our professor did a great job of clearly stating the BLL, as did the casebook notes. Contracts it was more difficult to exactly get down what the BLL was, and I actually would wonder to myself as I was studying what students without supplements were doing. Seemed like it would be near impossible to do well without a commercial outline (as it turns out, the exam was so ridiculous that any studying at all was probably useless).

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Paichka
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby Paichka » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:57 pm

I do the assigned reading for class, and then I read the relevant sections in my supplement of choice. Admittedly, this is really only possible because my professors keep the reading relatively light -- we're averaging about 20 pages per class at the moment. I have four classes, so that keeps my reading at about 80 pages a day -- my property professor 1L would assign 80 pages of reading per class, which made it almost impossible to read the supplements in conjunction. I usually caught up on supplement reading on the weekends for his class.

I read fewer supplements last semester (evidence, crim pro, military justice) until the end of the semester when I was studying, and I wasn't as comfortable with that approach...I didn't feel like I had as solid of a grasp on the concepts as I would have liked. So this semester I'm going to keep up with the supplement reading along with my reading for class. That's the plan as of Week 2 of the semester. We'll see how long it lasts. :)

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uzpakalis
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby uzpakalis » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:03 pm

I skimmed the cases and read the corresponding sections of the supplements throughout the semester. I then read the supplements again for finals prep/refresher.

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LAWYER2
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby LAWYER2 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:38 pm

uzpakalis wrote:I skimmed the cases and read the corresponding sections of the supplements throughout the semester. I then read the supplements again for finals prep/refresher.



Would you suggest just reading the case briefs, then focusing on the corresponding supplemental reading, or a little more in depth than a brief?

mediadude88
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby mediadude88 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:30 am

E&E's are good isolated practice.
Last edited by mediadude88 on Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

random5483
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Re: Effective Use of Supplements

Postby random5483 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:04 am

I know a lot of people skimmed cases, but I read my cases and tried to understand the arguments behind the cases. Using similar arguments or bringing up policy arguments is really the difference between a median and above median grade (from my limited 1L experience and what I noticed on model answers).

Like some of the above posters I used supplements when the professer did not provide the BLL. When professors gave out their versions of the BLL I stuck to them over supplements. I also used supplements like E&E and PMBR to work on practice multiple choice and short essay questions (only started this about a month before finals).


In some classes, supplements are a god send. In other classes, using supplements can be a bad either. If you professor states the BLL, always use his/her version of the BLL on your exams and not whatever is stated in a supplement. If your professor does not provide the BLL, then rely on the casebook and supplements to figure out what the BLL is.




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