1L Needs Note Taking/Outline Advice

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LoyalRebel
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:20 pm

1L Needs Note Taking/Outline Advice

Postby LoyalRebel » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:14 pm

I did a quick search, but didn't find anything that answered my specific question.

I'm a 1L on my second day of classes. There's all kinds of information going about as to making outlines and note taking and such. There's a fairly large amount of information in our reading so far, as well as in our lectures. However, the outlines I've seen so far are not very dense in terms of the information contained in them; that is to say, they are not very detailed.

From what I can gather, the first step doing well on an exam is taking thorough, relevant notes and making a good outline that encompasses everything you'll be asked to know for the exam in detail. Between the reading and the lectures, I feel like I have a fairly solid conceptual understanding of what's going on (so far), but I'm unsure of exactly what is important.

My questions are: do law exams typically focus on black letter law? Will we be asked to cite specific cases in them?

The cases I have read so far pretty much establish one basic rule of law. Is this all we'll be asked to know, along with a few relevant details of the case?

Also, do you guys take notes on your reading? What if I'm assigned reading in my casebook that offers additional notes on cases? Should these be included included in my notes, or just read until I understand them?

Sorry for the long post. Just a 1L trying to do things the right way the first time.

Thanks!

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Grizz
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Re: 1L Needs Note Taking/Outline Advice

Postby Grizz » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:42 pm

Exams will usually have a fact pattern or patterns. Then you apply the law you learned tothe facts.

Edit: the law comes from the cases.

LoyalRebel
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: 1L Needs Note Taking/Outline Advice

Postby LoyalRebel » Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:59 pm

Are you usually required to cite the relevant cases? For purposes of a law school exam, are all cases relevant despite being in different states? Are the details of the various cases usually relevant in the exam or just the rule of law?

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Heartford
Posts: 430
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:02 pm

Re: 1L Needs Note Taking/Outline Advice

Postby Heartford » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:47 am

LoyalRebel wrote:
Are you usually required to cite the relevant cases?


No, but it can often help to mention cases in your analysis of the exam question. No professors at my school require actual citation, and most will accept something as informal as "this is like that one case we read where the kid kicked another kid and his leg broke."

LoyalRebel wrote:For purposes of a law school exam, are all cases relevant despite being in different states?

Yes. Don't worry about whether any of the cases you read in class are "good law" outside of class. As long as your professor doesn't say a rule has changed (like Pennoyer or Dred Scott) then it's relevant and fair game for an exam.

LoyalRebel wrote:Are the details of the various cases usually relevant in the exam or just the rule of law?


Details are almost always irrelevant. You should be able to summarize the facts of any given case in one sentence, and those facts would really only be relevant for identification purposes.

Don't worry- all of this will become more obvious to you as time progresses. Nobody knows exactly what's going on during the first few weeks and you'll figure it out. Just go with the flow and this post will seem funny to you by the time winter break comes.




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