Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

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4gttngBrandonMarshal
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Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby 4gttngBrandonMarshal » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:12 am

I've got a class (torts) that I'm really having trouble outling b/c of how the class is taught (was given several outlines by the professor which total up to 120+ pages of material - just for unintentional torts). I'm thinking that instead of trying to outline the course that I'm just going to take hella practicte tests and focus on applying law to fact (I learn by doing).

Does anyone else have any ideas on how to study so that I can really learn black letter law cold? Practice test questions will help me with applying law to fact but I would really like to find another way to learn the BLL by heart without just constantly memorizing outlines (or making one).

Any ideas are welcome. The more creative, the better.

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ph14
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby ph14 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:24 am

Image

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Jordan77
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Jordan77 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:24 am

If you're a guy, you could try writing the BLL on post-it notes and then sticking them above your toilet... everytime you pee you can learn and review the elements of the various torts or whatever subject. I did this for the bar exam and it helped a ton with secured transaction and commercial paper BLL. People don't realize how much time they spend peeing until you actually put it to good use. Just a thought.

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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:33 am

First of all, unintentional torts is most of any torts class. Second, most of those outlines have got to be minute details of the assigned cases which are unimportant. You need to know the four elements of torts, and the extra stuff for each. (E.g. general duty, duty to trespassers, negligence per se, etc.) It's really not that much stuff.

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downing
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby downing » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:37 am

Jordan77 wrote:If you're a guy, you could try writing the BLL on post-it notes and then sticking them above your toilet... everytime you pee you can learn and review the elements of the various torts or whatever subject. I did this for the bar exam and it helped a ton with secured transaction and commercial paper BLL. People don't realize how much time they spend peeing until you actually put it to good use. Just a thought.


Did you REALLY do this...? Because this actually sounds like a VERY good idea.

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Jordan77
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Jordan77 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:46 am

downing wrote:
Jordan77 wrote:If you're a guy, you could try writing the BLL on post-it notes and then sticking them above your toilet... everytime you pee you can learn and review the elements of the various torts or whatever subject. I did this for the bar exam and it helped a ton with secured transaction and commercial paper BLL. People don't realize how much time they spend peeing until you actually put it to good use. Just a thought.


Did you REALLY do this...? Because this actually sounds like a VERY good idea.


Haha, I actually did it for the bar exam, not law school, but I wish I had thought of it while I was in law school... I was like a walking encyclopedia on BLL. Some of the best memorization I had was in the bathroom ;).

morris248
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby morris248 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:48 am

You absolutely need an outline. And then you need to memorize the basics so that you can quickly reproduce them in shorthand, a checklist. In the final it is essential to have a checklist so that you don't leave something out. If you are looking for practice tests try

http://law.widener.edu/lawlibrary/services/examarchive.aspx

the main thing on a torts exam is to first set out the conflict pairs

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:51 am

morris248 wrote:the main thing on a torts exam is to first set out the conflict pairs

I have literally no idea what this means.

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downing
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby downing » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:03 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
morris248 wrote:the main thing on a torts exam is to first set out the conflict pairs

I have literally no idea what this means.

Same here. Care to elaborate? "Conflict pairs" is an important sounding term.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:07 pm

downing wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:
morris248 wrote:the main thing on a torts exam is to first set out the conflict pairs

I have literally no idea what this means.

Same here. Care to elaborate? "Conflict pairs" is an important sounding term.

I'm a 2L. Did fine in torts. If you don't know what this means, it may be best to ignore it.

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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Voltaire » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:34 pm

downing wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:
morris248 wrote:the main thing on a torts exam is to first set out the conflict pairs

I have literally no idea what this means.

Same here. Care to elaborate? "Conflict pairs" is an important sounding term.

If A is in a car wreck and injures B and C. Your pairs are A v. B and A v. C and maybe B v. C depending on other facts and maybe all of them v. the city or manufacturer of the stop light (I haven't had torts so I won't go there).

It's from LEEWS.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:36 pm

Voltaire wrote:
downing wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:
morris248 wrote:the main thing on a torts exam is to first set out the conflict pairs

I have literally no idea what this means.

Same here. Care to elaborate? "Conflict pairs" is an important sounding term.

If A is in a car wreck and injures B and C. Your pairs are A v. B and A v. C and maybe B v. C depending on other facts and maybe all of them v. the city or manufacturer of the stop light (I haven't had torts so I won't go there).

It's from LEEWS.

You haven't taken Torts and are giving advice on "the main thing on a torts exam"???

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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Voltaire » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:39 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:You haven't taken Torts and are giving advice on "the main thing on a torts exam"???

Did you finish reading the post? You guys didn't know what conflict pairs are, and it's a concept from LEEWS which I have done.

I'm not sure that simple hypo is going to screw anyone up too much. It's pretty much plagiarized from Wentworth Miller anyway.

Edit: Ok, I get where you're going with all that. I wasn't the guy who said "the main thing on a torts exam."

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:44 pm

Voltaire wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:You haven't taken Torts and are giving advice on "the main thing on a torts exam"???

Did you finish reading the post? You guys didn't know what conflict pairs are, and it's a concept from LEEWS which I have done.

I'm not sure that simple hypo is going to screw anyone up too much. It's pretty much plagiarized from Wentworth Miller anyway.

Edit: Ok, I get where you're going with all that. I wasn't the guy who said "the main thing on a torts exam."

My point is that you are really in no place to be saying what's important in a class you haven't taken.

Voltaire
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Voltaire » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:50 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
Voltaire wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:You haven't taken Torts and are giving advice on "the main thing on a torts exam"???

Did you finish reading the post? You guys didn't know what conflict pairs are, and it's a concept from LEEWS which I have done.

I'm not sure that simple hypo is going to screw anyone up too much. It's pretty much plagiarized from Wentworth Miller anyway.

Edit: Ok, I get where you're going with all that. I wasn't the guy who said "the main thing on a torts exam."

My point is that you are really in no place to be saying what's important in a class you haven't taken.

I wasn't saying what was important. I was explaining what a conflict pair was.

hurldes
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby hurldes » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:00 pm

I'm with Voltaire on this one. He just answered a question. Regardless of whether he's taken Torts yet or not, he's right.

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nealric
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:02 pm

Next time you study, sit outside on a cold night in a T-shirt. That should do it.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:20 pm

Voltaire wrote:I wasn't saying what was important. I was explaining what a conflict pair was.

Woops, thought you were the one who made the post about that being the main thing on a Torts exam.

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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby dreakol » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:11 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
Voltaire wrote:I wasn't saying what was important. I was explaining what a conflict pair was.

Woops, thought you were the one who made the post about that being the main thing on a Torts exam.



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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby target » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:18 pm

Jordan77 wrote:If you're a guy, you could try writing the BLL on post-it notes and then sticking them above your toilet... everytime you pee you can learn and review the elements of the various torts or whatever subject. I did this for the bar exam and it helped a ton with secured transaction and commercial paper BLL. People don't realize how much time they spend peeing until you actually put it to good use. Just a thought.


you are intense. it's called RESTroom for a reason.

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Jordan77
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby Jordan77 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:26 pm

target wrote:
Jordan77 wrote:If you're a guy, you could try writing the BLL on post-it notes and then sticking them above your toilet... everytime you pee you can learn and review the elements of the various torts or whatever subject. I did this for the bar exam and it helped a ton with secured transaction and commercial paper BLL. People don't realize how much time they spend peeing until you actually put it to good use. Just a thought.


you are intense. it's called RESTroom for a reason.



Have you taken the bar yet? There is no resting... sadly.

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gothamm
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby gothamm » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:52 pm

like in many other ways, arrow's method always wins:


Next, the best thing I think I did that made the biggest difference was put the black letter law from my outline into an “exam paragraph format.” Basically I put the black letter law into short simple sentences, along with any nuances, into paragraphs and practiced memorizing it by typing it out.

Basically I would have a heading and then the next paragraph would be the law as if I would type it on the exam when the issue came out. It would look something like:

Battery

Battery is an 1) intentional act 2) causing 3) harmful or offensive 4) contact (the rule).

Intent is purpose or desire. Intent can be transferred or established by substantial certainty (further defining the rule/nuance).

Causation can be direct or indirect.

Contact can be without physical contact of the skin. No awareness necessary.


Assault

… and so on


Note that this is EXACTLY what I wrote on the exams. I practiced writing these rules out before the exam, over and over again, so that on the exam, when an issue for battery came out, I wrote this first paragraph EXACTLY, then proceeded to analyze the issue. For example, on an exam I would then write something like this (note how I added analysis here):

Blueberry (B) v. Cherry (C)

Battery

Battery is an 1) intentional act 2) causing 3) harmful or offensive 4) contact.

Intent is purpose or desire. Intent can be transferred or established by substantial certainty. B had purpose to harm C because C punched B, C tickled him, and B stated that he “hated” C. In addition B targeted C’s face, which is a vulnerable but small spot on C’s body. Alternatively, B claims that he did not feel the tickle or even see C was around. He was telling a story and waving his arms crazily to describe the story. However this is a weak argument because waving your arms around and punching someone are two distinct motions. On balance, B had intent.

Causation can be direct or indirect. B caused C’s black eye because his fist came into contact with C’s eye. This is direct (but for) causation.

Contact can be without physical contact of the skin. No awareness necessary. Contact is established even though B was wearing a glove because skin on skin contact is not required. The surface of the glove physically touched the skin of C, which is sufficient.

Thus, B likely committed battery.


Assault

… and so on (I made this hypo up)


Loyola’s first year classes all require memorizing (because the tests were closed-book), so this was an ACTIVE method of memorizing the law by writing it out over and over again (a passive method would be simply just reading your own outline). I practiced writing out the law in my “Exam Prep/Hypo” document, and I would basically type the black letter law + nuances in every class about 10+ times until I had it memorized cold.

If you have a closed-book exam, I highly recommend doing this (as non-top law schools generally do have closed book tests anyways). It helps you memorize exactly what you will write on the exam, and gives you A TON of extra time on the exam. In fact, this was the difference between an A- on one of my midterms and an A+ on the final in the same class (my epiphany on how do all this came after the A-).

If I sent you a copy of my “exam prep” document for each class (see link below), you will see that I have the black letter down written down (in non-outline format) about 10+ times each. Each class had a black letter law in exam paragraph format of about 2000-3000 words, and while this took a bit of time to memorize, it was well worth it. Therefore, when exam came, and I had to state a rule, I could recite it instantly and clearly, as well as recognize any nuances of the law.

Everyone knows you have to know the black letter law cold. I think if you practice typing out the black letter law over and over again, you will have it down cold. I cannot think any way to know it "colder" than to be able to type it down instantly at your max typing speed. It is not enough to simply stare at your outline and read it. You need to actively think in order to know it well.

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daesonesb
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Re: Got a Good Way to Learn Black Letter Law Cold? Please Reply

Postby daesonesb » Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:34 pm

Everyone has different ways of learning black letter law. I read supplements, highlighted the important BLL, then reread all of my highlighted selections about twice, then folded that into an outline which was supplemented by 2-3 line summaries of all the cases and statutory provisions from class -- with emphasis on policy my teacher thought was important. I then memorized my outline while taking copious practice tests.

Point is, everyone is different. My memorization process is reading heavy. Other people need flash cards, or something visual like flow charts. No one way is better than another -- just pick what gets the law in your head.

Realize though that this isn't enough. You need to develop a strategy for taking the issue spotter more than anything else.




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