Note-taking while you read.

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How do you take notes while you read.

Multi-color book briefing.
5
11%
Written briefing and highlighting.
12
26%
Written briefing.
11
24%
Highlighting.
13
28%
I'll do that in November.
5
11%
 
Total votes: 46

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Note-taking while you read.

Postby ahduth » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:13 pm

I take... no notes, and don't highlight stuff. I'm considering starting because like Civ Pro just "clicked" with Burnham, but for both Criminal and Contracts the cases are irrelevant for the exam, so I'm sorting out how I want to approach them.

Pretty sure I'm the only person in my section who's being this idiotic about it however. What's the preferred approach?

random5483
Posts: 684
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Note-taking while you read.

Postby random5483 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:03 pm

I take extensive notes while reading in some classes and take no notes prior to class in others. It really depends on the professor. Some professors cover the rules and it works best to take notes in class. Other professors discuss topics and don't really cover the rules and it works better to take notes from the book. It also varies based on the casebook since some casebooks are easier to take notes from than others. Just as a clarification, taking notes is not briefing cases.

I don't brief cases (I did for a few months last year as a 1L). I read most of the assigned cases and highlight any key points from the cases. In most classes I place rule statements from cases in my outline but not much more. In Civil Procedure last year I had some case facts in my outline in the first semester. But first semester civ pro (personal/subject matter jxd) was very case heavy.

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: Note-taking while you read.

Postby zomginternets » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:10 am

I highlighted rules with one color and important analytical sections with another color. I typed up the rules, and sometimes also summarized the analytical sections, in one column on a Word document, next to the class notes for that day in the opposite column. I found the typing up of notes to save a lot of time when it came to outlining. I briefed for 2-3 weeks and stopped, and never read the briefs again after that.

Are you sure about the cases being irrelevant to the exam for those classes? Granted the supplements will tell you 90% of what you need to know, but I think it's a good idea to highlight/note take from the cases too. In my experience, profs love to present hypos that are analogous to cases, particularly for MC.

1L is just really too important not to pull out all stops. If there's even that 10% chance of doing better on an exam having read the cases, I would put in the effort to do so.

User avatar
ahduth
Posts: 2468
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Note-taking while you read.

Postby ahduth » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:53 am

zomginternets wrote:Are you sure about the cases being irrelevant to the exam for those classes? Granted the supplements will tell you 90% of what you need to know, but I think it's a good idea to highlight/note take from the cases too. In my experience, profs love to present hypos that are analogous to cases, particularly for MC.


I should wheel that statement back quite a bit (almost entirely). More generally I meant to say that Crim and Contracts aren't as strictly case-dependent as Civ Pro is. That being said, there are plenty of precedent-setting cases, and being able to reference them is obviously key. Right now I'm more focused on understanding the overall framework they're setting up. But I will bring the cases back in, once I have a clearer picture of where they fit. Civ Pro you can basically start doing that as soon as you can read a case and identify the holding without flinching.

I haven't touched a supplement, I'm not sure what they're all about. Some of the people in my section bought something that had outlines and briefs supposedly keyed to our books, and said they were just flat out wrong. Like they hadn't even correctly identified basic holdings in the cases. So I'm a little disturbed by that. I suppose a supplement option could have been in the poll, are they mostly useful for posing questions while you study or are people actually using them in conjunction with a note-taking function?

User avatar
YourCaptain
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: Note-taking while you read.

Postby YourCaptain » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:02 am

My personal strategy used during 1L -

Read assigned readings, ignoring "Problems" and other silly rhetorical questions that populate the Notes section after cases. I still read the Notes, but I seldom take notice of anything in there unless it alerts me to a Minority exception or otherwise. In other words, if it's not something that lends itself to being put in an outline it won't get a second look.

I go through with a pencil; I would circle words and phrases that were evidently important and underline other reasoning or facts that were pertinent. I would commonly write little notes and questions in the margins - the questions would rarely be addressed of course, but doing so kept me actively engaged in the material.

I then typed up my notes/reading into a quasi-brief; only the most skeletal facts section as I could get away with, but I'd very clearly write out the rule, then I included a section on reasoning/personal notes. Facts are only good for understanding the logic behind the rule and providing a framework that you can reach back to if you need to recall the foundation for particular BLL.

Finally, at night, go through hornbooks and/or E&Es to see how a professor might further extrapolate the relevant section of law.

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: Note-taking while you read.

Postby zomginternets » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:16 pm

ahduth wrote:I should wheel that statement back quite a bit (almost entirely). More generally I meant to say that Crim and Contracts aren't as strictly case-dependent as Civ Pro is. That being said, there are plenty of precedent-setting cases, and being able to reference them is obviously key. Right now I'm more focused on understanding the overall framework they're setting up. But I will bring the cases back in, once I have a clearer picture of where they fit. Civ Pro you can basically start doing that as soon as you can read a case and identify the holding without flinching.


I agree that Civ Pro (personal jdx in particular) is difficult to reduce to mechanical rules. That said, I would still give the supplement a once over, just to make sure it jives with what you understand. If not, ask the prof about the difference.

ahduth wrote:I haven't touched a supplement, I'm not sure what they're all about. Some of the people in my section bought something that had outlines and briefs supposedly keyed to our books, and said they were just flat out wrong. Like they hadn't even correctly identified basic holdings in the cases. So I'm a little disturbed by that. I suppose a supplement option could have been in the poll, are they mostly useful for posing questions while you study or are people actually using them in conjunction with a note-taking function?


I don't know what your friends got.. possibly commercial outlines? Supplements don't have case briefs/outlines in them. I wouldn't use commercial outlines (or anyone else's outline, for that matter).

Supplements are basically what you wish you were assigned to read for courses instead of cases. They lay out the Black Letter Law clearly, and clearly set out the nuances and caveats for rules. I highly recommend reading them in addition to your cases. Make sure to use the supplements that your instructor suggests (ask him/her if one is not suggested on the syllabus)--there are some differences between supplements, and your prof might prefer one over another. The ones I used were:

1. Crim--Joshua Dressler, Understanding Criminal Law. Was very useful, save for one or two crimes whose elements seemed to differ a bit from what was taught in class (theft crimes come to mind).
2. Contracts--Examples and Explanations of Contracts. Probably the most useful supplement I used.
3. Torts--Dan Dobbs, The Law of Torts. Big ass hornbook, I thought it went a bit too in detail for just a 1L course.
4. Civ Pro--Examples and Explanations of Civil Procedure. By far the least useful supplement out of the ones I used--it was useful for one or two things, but don't rely on it teaching you what you need to know.

Supplements are good for both helping you understand law/rules that you don't understand, and ensuring that you properly understand law/rules that you think you understand.

tl;dr: buy supplements and read them thoroughly.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Note-taking while you read.

Postby kalvano » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:32 pm

ahduth wrote:
zomginternets wrote:Are you sure about the cases being irrelevant to the exam for those classes? Granted the supplements will tell you 90% of what you need to know, but I think it's a good idea to highlight/note take from the cases too. In my experience, profs love to present hypos that are analogous to cases, particularly for MC.


I should wheel that statement back quite a bit (almost entirely). More generally I meant to say that Crim and Contracts aren't as strictly case-dependent as Civ Pro is. That being said, there are plenty of precedent-setting cases, and being able to reference them is obviously key. Right now I'm more focused on understanding the overall framework they're setting up. But I will bring the cases back in, once I have a clearer picture of where they fit. Civ Pro you can basically start doing that as soon as you can read a case and identify the holding without flinching.

I haven't touched a supplement, I'm not sure what they're all about. Some of the people in my section bought something that had outlines and briefs supposedly keyed to our books, and said they were just flat out wrong. Like they hadn't even correctly identified basic holdings in the cases. So I'm a little disturbed by that. I suppose a supplement option could have been in the poll, are they mostly useful for posing questions while you study or are people actually using them in conjunction with a note-taking function?



First off, re-think the thing about Crim not being case-driven. Particularly at the fundamentals stage, it's very case-driven as the the cases fill out the statutes.

Second, buy the Glannon E&E for Civ Pro. It goes over everything, with all the major cases, and really fleshes it out well.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Note-taking while you read.

Postby keg411 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:03 pm

Do whatever works for you. There is no specific way how to take notes/highlight/brief/whatever.




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