Is it too early to freak out?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
Kimberly
Posts: 120
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:45 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Kimberly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:44 am

r6_philly wrote:
Kimberly wrote:You don't happen to have publication rec's do you? I would be very open to "Econ for Idiots" etc. I do have some policy experience but not theoretical concepts. Is there any utility in learning general info for contracts, torts, civ pro, etc? Would there be 0L type resources for this sort of thing?


People are going to feel different about this, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. If you want to ease into law school subjects, start with civ pro. You can read an intro to procedures book (I didn't I happen to know a bit about the legal process). All the casebooks don't really ease you into the legal process, so if you have trouble even figuring out what's going on during the first 3 weeks - once you get behind it's really hard to catch up and get ahead. You can read E&E and hornbooks for the other subjects, but I don't find it necessary. Contracts is a bit dense if you don't really have any business experience, but properties and torts I find manageable because the principles are more or less common sense and based on established value systems (save for the econ arguments, which really depends on which professor you get).

As for econ, macro and micro. There are always econ/efficiency arguments on either side of opinions, so getting a good grasp on econ principles would be beneficial. I'd just go to a campus book sale or something and try to pick up cheap intro econ textbooks. My UG econ textbooks were great, I even reused them for my grad econ class.


Thanks, R6. I appreciate it!

Apple Tree
Posts: 419
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:19 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Apple Tree » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:45 am

The practice exams are mid-terms my professor posted for us to do at this point. I'm saving the old exams until later. But I feel like I should be doing more practice questions where I learn issue spotting and stuff like that.

User avatar
Lasers
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:46 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Lasers » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:52 am

Apple Tree wrote:The practice exams are mid-terms my professor posted for us to do at this point. I'm saving the old exams until later. But I feel like I should be doing more practice questions where I learn issue spotting and stuff like that.

yeah this is how i feel, too.

i don't have enough practice with issue spotting.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby JCougar » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:58 am

chimp wrote:Taking practice exams so early is a huge waste of time.


This.

Plus, taking practice exams at any time without getting any feedback is a huge waste of time. You can compare your answer to model answers all you want, but one professor's model answer is another professor's B-.

Close to 50% of your grade is going to be based on whatever minutiae your professor finds most valuable.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby JCougar » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:08 am

Lasers wrote:
Apple Tree wrote:The practice exams are mid-terms my professor posted for us to do at this point. I'm saving the old exams until later. But I feel like I should be doing more practice questions where I learn issue spotting and stuff like that.

yeah this is how i feel, too.

i don't have enough practice with issue spotting.


Issue spotting doesn't take practice. It's basically common sense. If you know the doctrine, the issues will pop out at you. All issue spotting is is finding analogies between the facts of the hypo and the facts of the cases you read in class. If you did well on the LSAT, you already are good at spotting analogies.

Once you outline and synthesize what you've learned, you will automatically spot issues. One tip is to try to use ALL the facts. If a professor puts a fact in a hypo, they probably put it there for a reason (although it depends on your professor...some of them will include inane facts to throw you off. but you should at least give each fact consideration...the more you use, the better).

User avatar
Lasers
Posts: 1576
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:46 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Lasers » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:14 am

JCougar wrote:
Lasers wrote:
Apple Tree wrote:The practice exams are mid-terms my professor posted for us to do at this point. I'm saving the old exams until later. But I feel like I should be doing more practice questions where I learn issue spotting and stuff like that.

yeah this is how i feel, too.

i don't have enough practice with issue spotting.


Issue spotting doesn't take practice. It's basically common sense. If you know the doctrine, the issues will pop out at you. All issue spotting is is finding analogies between the facts of the hypo and the facts of the cases you read in class. If you did well on the LSAT, you already are good at spotting analogies.

Once you outline and synthesize what you've learned, you will automatically spot issues. One tip is to try to use ALL the facts. If a professor puts a fact in a hypo, they probably put it there for a reason (although it depends on your professor...some of them will include inane facts to throw you off. but you should at least give each fact consideration...the more you use, the better).

thanks. seems like sound advice.

User avatar
ilovesf
Posts: 11746
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby ilovesf » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:17 am

:shock: I felt like I was doing fine until I read this thread! I have one outline totally up to date, and I haven't started the other two. One of them I'm going to start next week because I have an ungraded midterm for that class next week, so I was saving it to do then. I've been casually doing some E&Es, but that's it. I had a different ungraded midterm last week and studied pretty hard for it, so I'm all caught up and feeling pretty good about that subject. Otherwise, ehhh... My classes have been organized a bit different from what it seems like others have been doing. In Civpro we haven't done jurisdiction yet, and in property we did a bunch of IP stuff and haven't touched tenancy or anything yet. I looked at some practice exams but we haven't covered almost any of those issues yet so there is no point in looking at them.

User avatar
AVBucks4239
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:37 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:25 am

JCougar wrote:Issue spotting doesn't take practice. It's basically common sense. If you know the doctrine, the issues will pop out at you. All issue spotting is is finding analogies between the facts of the hypo and the facts of the cases you read in class. If you did well on the LSAT, you already are good at spotting analogies.

Once you outline and synthesize what you've learned, you will automatically spot issues. One tip is to try to use ALL the facts. If a professor puts a fact in a hypo, they probably put it there for a reason (although it depends on your professor...some of them will include inane facts to throw you off. but you should at least give each fact consideration...the more you use, the better).

I realized this after taking an in-class practice property midterm. It was mainly landlord-tenant, and literally every issue jumped off the page. If you knew the doctrine well, spotting the issue was not a problem at all. I really don't think I did very well with my analysis (haven't got the grades back), so I have a question...

How thoroughly should you approach the CALI and E&E hypotheticals? Should I be approaching them like an exam to help my analysis skills? For instance, for the assault hypos in the E&E, should I be walking through the elements, arguing both sides, and throwing in policy arguments for each of them? It seems like that would be time consuming, but would help my analysis a lot. Is there a balance you'd recommend? Thanks.
Last edited by AVBucks4239 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
TatteredDignity
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 am

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:26 am

JCougar wrote:
chimp wrote:Taking practice exams so early is a huge waste of time.


This.

Plus, taking practice exams at any time without getting any feedback is a huge waste of time. You can compare your answer to model answers all you want, but one professor's model answer is another professor's B-.

Close to 50 100% of your grade is going to be based on whatever minutiae analysis your professor finds most valuable.


I was wondering when you were gonna crash this thread with your "exams are arbitrary" rants.

User avatar
TatteredDignity
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 am

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:29 am

AVBucks4239 wrote:I guess I have a question for everybody, though. How thoroughly should you approach the CALI and E&E hypotheticals? Should I be approaching them like an exam to help my analysis skills? For instance, for the assault hypos in the E&E, should I be walking through the elements, arguing both sides, and throwing in policy arguments for each of them? It seems like that would be time consuming, but would help my analysis a lot. Is there a balance you'd recommend? Thanks.


Although my torts prof talks about policy in class a lot, she has told me in office hours that she doesn't want to see it on the exam. So I'd see how your professor feels about it before you waste time formulating args based on it.

lawschoolproblems86
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:57 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby lawschoolproblems86 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:12 am

I pretty much freak out on a bi-daily basis. I find it motivates me to push myself, though. I see so many people in my class who are just so chill about everything, and talk about how they go out together like 4 nights of the week. I have no idea how people are able to maintain the same social life they had pre-law school. I sometimes don't even have time to breathe. :shock:

User avatar
JusticeHarlan
Posts: 1434
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 2:56 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:45 am

r6_philly wrote:
chimp wrote:Taking practice exams so early is a huge waste of time.


Not if the guy has already learned all the BLL in the course.

I am no where near though, so it would be a huge waste of my time. :mrgreen:

Eh. You can learn the BLL through the E&E or getting ahead in casebook reading, but if you haven't covered it in class, you don't know it the way you're prof wants you to, which means you haven't really learned it.

JCougar wrote:Issue spotting doesn't take practice. It's basically common sense. If you know the doctrine, the issues will pop out at you. All issue spotting is is finding analogies between the facts of the hypo and the facts of the cases you read in class. If you did well on the LSAT, you already are good at spotting analogies.

Once you outline and synthesize what you've learned, you will automatically spot issues. One tip is to try to use ALL the facts. If a professor puts a fact in a hypo, they probably put it there for a reason (although it depends on your professor...some of them will include inane facts to throw you off. but you should at least give each fact consideration...the more you use, the better).

This is good advice. If you know your stuff, the exam isn't about finding the issues, it's arguing them fully each way. And one way to do that is to go over everything that's written and figure out which side of which issue it's supposed to go to (for exams that are at least decently written).

User avatar
jessuf
Posts: 12525
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:27 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby jessuf » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:26 am

i was freaking out until i took my midterms (and hadn't made any outlines yet) and did pretty awesome on them. you will probably do a lot better than you expect. don't let your stress get the best of you.

User avatar
174
Posts: 183
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:03 am

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby 174 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:23 am

These two rounds of exams will determine the trajectory of your entire legal career. Other people in your class know this and have been preparing from day one. It isn't too early to freak out.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:06 am

JusticeHarlan wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
chimp wrote:Taking practice exams so early is a huge waste of time.


Not if the guy has already learned all the BLL in the course.

I am no where near though, so it would be a huge waste of my time. :mrgreen:

Eh. You can learn the BLL through the E&E or getting ahead in casebook reading, but if you haven't covered it in class, you don't know it the way you're prof wants you to, which means you haven't really learned it.



Oh come on, you could just read my statement as saying the guy really learned it.

dreakol
Posts: 572
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:56 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby dreakol » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:16 pm

174 wrote:These two rounds of exams will determine the trajectory of your entire legal career. Other people in your class know this and have been preparing from day one. It isn't too early to freak out.



this isn't entirely true.

I've met a lot of students in my class who still think that every student will graduate with a six figure job, think that all the 3L's are employed, and don't know about OCI.

I doubt they have been preparing as much as the grinders itt.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby JCougar » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:56 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
JCougar wrote:
chimp wrote:Taking practice exams so early is a huge waste of time.


This.

Plus, taking practice exams at any time without getting any feedback is a huge waste of time. You can compare your answer to model answers all you want, but one professor's model answer is another professor's B-.

Close to 50 100% of your grade is going to be based on whatever minutiae analysis your professor finds most valuable.


I was wondering when you were gonna crash this thread with your "exams are arbitrary" rants.


Wherever there be 1Ls with the notion that knowing the material like the back of your hand and applying it perfectly is enough to get above median, I'll be there. :wink:

Typing speed will probably correlate more with your overall GPA than any amount of studying or understanding you exhibit. It's not about who makes the best arguments...it's about who makes the most arguments. Volume over quality is the key. It took me a semester to learn this. Don't fail to make a barely plausible argument because you think it's a dumb thing that only a gunner would say. Those are points down the drain.

User avatar
quiver
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby quiver » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:13 pm

JCougar wrote:Typing speed will probably correlate more with your overall GPA than any amount of studying or understanding you exhibit.
If it's a correlation, it's a loose correlation. I only type 45-55 WPM and I did just fine.
JCougar wrote:t's not about who makes the best arguments...it's about who makes the most arguments. Volume over quality is the key.
Not sure I agree with this. There is obviously a certain amount of arguments you must include to get a certain grade, but the quality of the analysis will matter a great deal as well. I think the key is finding the balance.
JCougar wrote:Don't fail to make a barely plausible argument because you think it's a dumb thing that only a gunner would say. Those are points down the drain.
This is 100% true. If it's a dumb argument then say so, but you have to put it down.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby JCougar » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:06 am

quiver wrote:
JCougar wrote:t's not about who makes the best arguments...it's about who makes the most arguments. Volume over quality is the key.
Not sure I agree with this. There is obviously a certain amount of arguments you must include to get a certain grade, but the quality of the analysis will matter a great deal as well. I think the key is finding the balance.
JCougar wrote:Don't fail to make a barely plausible argument because you think it's a dumb thing that only a gunner would say. Those are points down the drain.
This is 100% true. If it's a dumb argument then say so, but you have to put it down.


What I meant was quality (as in including only the plausible, stronger arguments) is not enough. You have to include all arguments in the analysis. My first semester, I treated the weaker arguments as a waste of time...it was almost as if I was embarrassed to bring them up because I thought they were kind of stupid, and I was afraid of the professor thinking I was stupid enough to think they were good arguments or wasting his/her time by bringing them up. But for some reason, law professors like it when you bring these up anyways. I think it's like a subconscious hurdle I had to get over.

User avatar
alicrimson
Posts: 923
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby alicrimson » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:53 pm

JCougar wrote:
quiver wrote:
JCougar wrote:t's not about who makes the best arguments...it's about who makes the most arguments. Volume over quality is the key.
Not sure I agree with this. There is obviously a certain amount of arguments you must include to get a certain grade, but the quality of the analysis will matter a great deal as well. I think the key is finding the balance.
JCougar wrote:Don't fail to make a barely plausible argument because you think it's a dumb thing that only a gunner would say. Those are points down the drain.
This is 100% true. If it's a dumb argument then say so, but you have to put it down.


What I meant was quality (as in including only the plausible, stronger arguments) is not enough. You have to include all arguments in the analysis. My first semester, I treated the weaker arguments as a waste of time...it was almost as if I was embarrassed to bring them up because I thought they were kind of stupid, and I was afraid of the professor thinking I was stupid enough to think they were good arguments or wasting his/her time by bringing them up. But for some reason, law professors like it when you bring these up anyways. I think it's like a subconscious hurdle I had to get over.


Thanks for clearing this up. I know at LEEWS my man, Miller, was talking about this and I was kind of unsure because, like you said, it feels like a waste of time. When you talk about these seemingly silly arguments, do you just dedicate a sentence or two? IE: It could be argued its x; however, to have x you need abc and the facts in the case at present are lmnop. The facts do not fit with the necessary abc because blahblahblah. As such, this is a weaker argument. Or what do you do? I greatly appreciate your input.

I haven't really hit freak out mode but I have completed 3/4 outlines and am currently working on polishing off a final round of E&Es. Taking a practice exam tomorrow though so that may cause the panic to set in. We shall see. Either way, I'm trying to do enough in November and through the end of October so there isn't a 14 hour daily slogfest the first two weeks of December.

User avatar
quiver
Posts: 864
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:46 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby quiver » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:01 pm

alicrimson wrote:
JCougar wrote:
quiver wrote:
JCougar wrote:t's not about who makes the best arguments...it's about who makes the most arguments. Volume over quality is the key.
Not sure I agree with this. There is obviously a certain amount of arguments you must include to get a certain grade, but the quality of the analysis will matter a great deal as well. I think the key is finding the balance.
JCougar wrote:Don't fail to make a barely plausible argument because you think it's a dumb thing that only a gunner would say. Those are points down the drain.
This is 100% true. If it's a dumb argument then say so, but you have to put it down.


What I meant was quality (as in including only the plausible, stronger arguments) is not enough. You have to include all arguments in the analysis. My first semester, I treated the weaker arguments as a waste of time...it was almost as if I was embarrassed to bring them up because I thought they were kind of stupid, and I was afraid of the professor thinking I was stupid enough to think they were good arguments or wasting his/her time by bringing them up. But for some reason, law professors like it when you bring these up anyways. I think it's like a subconscious hurdle I had to get over.


Thanks for clearing this up. I know at LEEWS my man, Miller, was talking about this and I was kind of unsure because, like you said, it feels like a waste of time. When you talk about these seemingly silly arguments, do you just dedicate a sentence or two? IE: It could be argued its x; however, to have x you need abc and the facts in the case at present are lmnop. The facts do not fit with the necessary abc because blahblahblah. As such, this is a weaker argument. Or what do you do? I greatly appreciate your input.

I haven't really hit freak out mode but I have completed 3/4 outlines and am currently working on polishing off a final round of E&Es. Taking a practice exam tomorrow though so that may cause the panic to set in. We shall see. Either way, I'm trying to do enough in November and through the end of October so there isn't a 14 hour daily slogfest the first two weeks of December.


Pretty much. You'll have to use your judgment but if you know the material and you know what your professor emphasized in class then you should be able to spot which issues are easily dismissed and which ones require in-depth analysis.

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby JCougar » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:31 pm

alicrimson wrote:Thanks for clearing this up. I know at LEEWS my man, Miller, was talking about this and I was kind of unsure because, like you said, it feels like a waste of time. When you talk about these seemingly silly arguments, do you just dedicate a sentence or two? IE: It could be argued its x; however, to have x you need abc and the facts in the case at present are lmnop. The facts do not fit with the necessary abc because blahblahblah. As such, this is a weaker argument. Or what do you do? I greatly appreciate your input.


This is why typing speed is such a great advantage. You don't really know (and even if you get to know your professor, you can't really predict) where the professor will draw the line regarding giving out "analysis" points, especially on one unique subject. One professor will consider superfluous what another considers attention to detail. You can never loose points for typing too much, but you also don't want to take away time from analyzing more important issues.

If you type really fast, you can overcome the uncertainty, and have your cake and eat it too. I'm barely able to produce 3,000 words on a 3-hour exam, so my grades are usually based solely on getting into the professor's head. As a result, despite knowing the material cold, my grades are scattered all over the place. But many of the top students (the ones that can consistently get good grades) can produce upwards of 7,000 or 8,000 words in the same time period.

As one very, very top student articulated: "you get 1 point for any word you write, such as 'aardvark,' or 'beehive,' you get 3 points for any word you write that is related to law, and you get 5 points for any word you write that is related to the actual problem." He said this tongue-in-cheek of course, but he liked to brag (not in a bad way) about stuff like reading the professor's research papers they wrote (even ones that had nothing to do with the class) and regurgitating their own ideas back to them on an exam, working their research ideas into the fact pattern somehow. And of course, the professors would write "Brilliant!" and award him many points. The bottom line is that you can't try to answer these problems fairly and objectively. You really have to try and kiss your professor's ass in your response. They all say they try not to let their egos be a part of it, but it's only natural that they give in to stuff like that. Some are better and more objective than others.

It's also important to find out how points are awarded. Some professors have specific checklists that list every possible argument and counter-argument, and those are the only things you get points for. You either make them or you don't. I only had one professor that did this, and it was one of my best exams. But the majority of professors use the "tally mark" approach, where they simply give you a tally mark for everything you write that they think has value, and the person with the most tally marks at the end of the exam wins. And they don't have any standards for what gets a tally mark: it's a completely subjective judgement. These are the ones where superfluous analysis and ego-stroking is most likely to work, but as usual, it still depends on the professor.

User avatar
TatteredDignity
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 am

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby TatteredDignity » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:32 pm

JCougar wrote:And they don't have any standards for what gets a tally mark: it's a completely subjective judgement. These are the ones where superfluous analysis and ego-stroking is most likely to work, but as usual, it still depends on the professor.


Something about this doesn't seem to add up. If the grading system is such that the professor awards a certain number of points for each chunk of analysis based on how much she likes it, then it would make sense that the "ego-stroking" could earn an unfairly high number of points. But under a tally system, even if you make a brilliant point that no one else did because you happened to read your prof's law review article from 1983, aren't you still only getting one point for that?

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby JCougar » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:02 am

0LNewbie wrote:
JCougar wrote:And they don't have any standards for what gets a tally mark: it's a completely subjective judgement. These are the ones where superfluous analysis and ego-stroking is most likely to work, but as usual, it still depends on the professor.


Something about this doesn't seem to add up. If the grading system is such that the professor awards a certain number of points for each chunk of analysis based on how much she likes it, then it would make sense that the "ego-stroking" could earn an unfairly high number of points. But under a tally system, even if you make a brilliant point that no one else did because you happened to read your prof's law review article from 1983, aren't you still only getting one point for that?


Not all professors have a set number of points for each section, and many can award multiple points for one statement if they really like it. They're basically free to do whatever they want. The easiest way to rack up raw points is to simply make more statements, but the ego-stroking ones (i.e., arguments culled from a professor's outside research paper, those culled from a class handout that you only went over for 5 minutes that's largely irrelevant and not even in your casebook but it's a handout that your professor thinks is cool, etc.) can net you multiple points. My best exam (and it was a good one) was when I basically copied like 15 individual statements from a handout that had nothing to do with the casebook -- a 20-page handout distributed online that we only went over for 5 minutes. Half the people didn't even bring the handout into the exam. I didn't even outline the handout, but I did have stuff underlined. I basically copied everything I underlined from the handout directly onto my exam, and I probably got a point for each underlined phrase I copied. Make sure to copy it word-for-word, though. If you use your own phraseology, you're less likely to get a tally. I didn't even open the casebook for that class until there was 5 weeks left in the semester, since I got called on in the first week and knew I wouldn't get called on again. One person in a different class got like three points for using the phrase "that's why it's a good idea to hire a lawyer."

They then just enter the number of raw points (or tallies) into a computer and it generates the curve and that's that (at least they do at here where the grading system is more granular). Perhaps it's different with schools that have traditional grades. We had a visiting professor last spring that wasn't used to our grading system and basically just graded stuff holistically. But even then, the more you typed, the better you did.

My worst exam (and it was a bad one) was when the professor asked an open-ended policy question and I responded by talking about the few areas of law I thought were most relevant, and I tried to independently come to my own conclusions. It turned out that she graded the policy question like an issue spotter and the more areas of law you brought up, the more points you got. Basically every line from your outline you recopied was a point...spanning the entire course material. Since I narrowed my discussion to a few areas of law, I got a horrendous score on that question. My second worst exam was one where part of a question asked about a section of the casebook we hadn't covered in class and that wasn't on the syllabus. I had no outline and hadn't read that section (of course) and was confused and thought it was a mistake on the professor's part, and because I was pressed for time on other areas, I simply ignored that sub-part of the question and didn't say a single word about it. It turns out that a lot of people addressed that issue anyway (it was a take home exam so maybe they just looked at a commercial outline real quick) and I got creamed on my point total for that question. The competition was so intense that if you ignored one little sub-section of a question you dropped below median.

The purpose of your outline should not be so much to synthesize the law so that you understand it as it should be to pre-list point-getting statements for each subject area that you just copy down verbatim on the exam, with a few adjustments to make them applicable to the set of facts in the hypo. The trick to law is not to think. Courts have done all the thinking for you. List them down and copy them onto your exam an a way that appropriately applies to the facts. The more statements you make, the better.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests