Briefing Cases?

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phonepro
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Briefing Cases?

Postby phonepro » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:29 pm

Does anyone here actually read and brief every case? Or do most follow the "collected TLS wisdom" way of studying (LOL).

I read and briefed every case last semester and didn't really use supplements until the last 3 weeks before finals. I got a 3.5 GPA.

I now have started to change the way I study. I read supplements and skim the casebook. I felt like last semester, I didn't get the big picture till the very end.

A lot of people have told me "if it aint broke dont fix it." I did well, but want to do even better and am hoping the change of study habit will be beneficial.

Advice? Anyone else making the switch?
Last edited by phonepro on Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:36 pm

I feel like there are classes where its smart to brief (Con Law, Civ Pro I) and classes where its pointless (Pretty much everything else). I would have died in Civ pro I without the briefing cause all our prof cares about is the cases and nothing else, we also have the same prof for Con law this semester. Other professors barely focus on the cases. Basically if you need them for the final, brief them. If they wont be on the final, dont.

td6624
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby td6624 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:40 pm

I haven't briefed at all this semester. I stopped about 2/3 of the way through last semester. But I do read every case.

Don't treat this as advice though. I may have failed miserably.

rejectmaster
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby rejectmaster » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:07 pm

i think (as barbell said) it depends on what your professor wants
my civ pro professor didn't really seem to care what authorities we used in our answers (the model answers provided were all over the place; rule based, or case based, both, or neither if what the student said was actually right and applied law it didn't seem to matter if the case or rule number was mentioned).

that said i never briefed in any class and grades still haven't been posted. i read most of them, though. the cases that got hammered on a lot in class got some extra attention. different strokes, though. i felt like the lesson to learn from each case could be summed up in a sentence or two but many others thought it was important to write more down. whatever works.

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chup
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby chup » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:16 pm

rejectmaster wrote:different strokes, though.

keg411
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby keg411 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:44 pm

I brief cases, but I like it for the organization factor. Basically, go with whatever works for you.

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Bronte
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby Bronte » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:46 pm

chup wrote:
rejectmaster wrote:different strokes, though.


Very true. However, I think there's a strong argument that briefing every case, for most people, will result in overemphasizing the cases and overpreparing for cold calls, which I believe is one of the most widespread mistakes.

random5483
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby random5483 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:50 pm

I briefed every case (notes on casebook + written brief) till around late October/early November. Since then I have basically just book briefed. Exception was Civ Pro where my professor has a habit of giving points for people tieing cases into his fact patterns (I kept briefing those). This semester, I am going 100% book brief in all my classes.


Do what works for you.

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chup
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby chup » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:05 pm

Bronte wrote:
chup wrote:
rejectmaster wrote:different strokes, though.


Very true. However, I think there's a strong argument that briefing every case, for most people, will result in overemphasizing the cases and overpreparing for cold calls, which I believe is one of the most widespread mistakes.

This is true. There's also the old cliché that law school is a marathon, not a spring. Personally, I think a lot of the things that law students do to prepare just create a ton of extra work and aren't worth the cost-benefit analysis but seem like the right thing for many because law school tends to attract hyper-type-A students. Of course briefing will help prepare for the exam, but so will reading the book 10 times over. Unfortunately, you have a limited amount of time/energy to work with, so the question is really: is this the best way to prepare, and is it worth the costs? For me, the answer to both of those is a resounding no.

Geist13
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby Geist13 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:20 pm

I generally "brief" (well not for torts), if by brief we mean putting effort in to accurately boiling down aspects of the case to one sentence (facts, issue, rule, relevant policy). Usually no more than the length of a paragraph. I find forcing myself to really think about what is being said and boiling it down to a single statement which is both concise and accurate forces me to think about the case.

If by by brief we mean typing a page of facts, f that shit.

jkay
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby jkay » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:37 pm

Last semester, a girl in my section not only briefed the living shit out of every case in every class, she also used "Brief It" on Lexis for every case cited in those cases. LULZ. No wait - double LULZ.

dougroberts
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby dougroberts » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:41 pm

jkay wrote:Last semester, a girl in my section not only briefed the living shit out of every case in every class, she also used "Brief It" on Lexis for every case cited in those cases. LULZ. No wait - double LULZ.


How well did she do, do you think, with this overboard strategy?

jkay
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby jkay » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:34 pm

No idea, but she is definitely smart. I think she might have given up on this after Thanksgiving.

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Cupidity
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby Cupidity » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:38 pm

I brief every case for class, then condense it to a 1 line brief for my outline. It served me well.

random5483
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby random5483 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:44 pm

Cupidity wrote:I brief every case for class, then condense it to a 1 line brief for my outline. It served me well.



I think most of us who say we don't write out a brief still put the applicable rule of law into our outlines. Sometimes I link the rule with the case name, and at other times I do not. Additionally, I do write out any compelling policy/etc arguments in support of the rule in my outline (not often).

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Cupidity
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby Cupidity » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:50 pm

random5483 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:I brief every case for class, then condense it to a 1 line brief for my outline. It served me well.



I think most of us who say we don't write out a brief still put the applicable rule of law into our outlines. Sometimes I link the rule with the case name, and at other times I do not. Additionally, I do write out any compelling policy/etc arguments in support of the rule in my outline (not often).


I found the mini-briefs allowed me to easily cite cases during exams, especially those like K's where there are literally hundreds of cases (who the hell couldn't remember the civ pro cases, right?). I dropped as much precedent as possible on my exams and it paid off.

random5483
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby random5483 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:57 pm

Cupidity wrote:
random5483 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:I brief every case for class, then condense it to a 1 line brief for my outline. It served me well.



I think most of us who say we don't write out a brief still put the applicable rule of law into our outlines. Sometimes I link the rule with the case name, and at other times I do not. Additionally, I do write out any compelling policy/etc arguments in support of the rule in my outline (not often).


I found the mini-briefs allowed me to easily cite cases during exams, especially those like K's where there are literally hundreds of cases (who the hell couldn't remember the civ pro cases, right?). I dropped as much precedent as possible on my exams and it paid off.



I don't think I mentioned a single case in my contracts or crim exams, and I did well in both. I did mention a few cases in torts, and many cases for civ pro.

Check the model answers for your professors early in the semester. They will tell you whether the professor expects you to know case names. I put more case related information in my civ pro/torts outlines because the model answers used the cases (plus in Civ pro it would be hard to imagine not using the cases for 1st semester materials).

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uzpakalis
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby uzpakalis » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:11 pm

1) get an outline from a 2L that had your prof last year (and did well)
2) skim cases, get the briefs online
3) read supplements
4) pay attention in class
5) add to/review/memorize the outline
6) take practice tests
7) add to/review/memorize the outline
8) enjoy your A's!

Eco
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby Eco » Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:16 am

In my opinion briefing only helps for being called on in class.

I think the that when you outline especially, you can just go through the casebook page by page.

What is important is to READ the stuff so its not new, and make some notes on the book itself (e.g., highlight the holding and write "holding/rule" on the side).

You'll never re-read your briefs IMO and also re-reading briefs instead of going through a case if its a major one, you might miss something important that could have been in your outline (happened to me before).

bleedcubbieblue
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby bleedcubbieblue » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:41 am

Who cares what everyone else is doing? I did not brief a single case last semester and I ended up in the top 10%. Granted, my peers may think I'm an idiot because when I'm called on I don't always know the intricacies of the facts in a certain case, but you have to ask yourself...do you want to look good in class, or look good on the exam?

Do what works for you!

Racer 10 Seconds
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby Racer 10 Seconds » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:51 am

I think briefing makes sense for the first week or two of law school, until you get an idea of how the cases fit together. It helped give me some very basic skills. Delaney's Learning Legal Reasoning helped with that too, although I certainly don't think it is required.

After you figure out how to brief I think it loses its value. For most of the semester I came out of each case with this

X v. Y (Va. 2000) (Pg. 45)
Facts: (One sentence on relevant facts so I would remember the case)
Rule: (One sentence on the takeaway from that case, so I would know where to use it on an exam)

Very rarely, in Con Law, my Rule section stretched on for a few sentences. Any more prep than that and I think people are preparing for class, not the exam, which only makes sense if you care more about looking good in class than your grade.

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uwb09
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby uwb09 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:59 am

I take notes in the margins of the case book, that's about all the briefing I've done since mid-october

bleedcubbieblue
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Re: Briefing Cases?

Postby bleedcubbieblue » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:00 am

Racer 10 Seconds wrote:Any more prep than that and I think people are preparing for class, not the exam, which only makes sense if you care more about looking good in class than your grade.




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