Notes after cases/ practice exams

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FattyMcFatFat
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Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:17 pm

Am I wasting my time reading the notes after the cases? If not, would it be a good idea to stop reading them and start focusing on practice exams during the time I'd otherwise spend reading them?

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king3780
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby king3780 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:34 pm

FattyMcFatFat wrote:Am I wasting my time reading the notes after the cases? If not, would it be a good idea to stop reading them and start focusing on practice exams during the time I'd otherwise spend reading them?


Depends on the class and professor. I've had multiple classes where the notes and note cases are incredibly important. For example, in Crim Pro if I only read the cases I'd be screwed b/c the casebook would give a case to show the rule and then have 3-6 cases in the notes which would show the nuances of how that rule has been applied. The nuances are essential to giving a quality exam answer. Also, some casebook authors will use a minority holding in the main case (for some reason that's totally unclear to me) and then drop the majority opinion into a note case. Trusts & Estates was another class where the book had tons of good info in the notes. Now the questions, that's another story. I suppose the questions in notes could help get you thinking about concepts, but without any answers it's pretty pointless.

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theavrock
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby theavrock » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:56 pm

I've just recently stopped reading them and marking them when the prof mentions them in class. Then I read them after class and add anything pertinent to the outline/notes.

Being a 1L I could be totally wrong but, my thought is if its going to be on the final it will get at least a cursory mention mention in class and I can zero in on it from there.

This also helps to identify areas that the prof thinks are pressure points for the law and in other words parts of the doctrine he thinks are unsettled and could go in interesting directions.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:02 am

king3780 wrote:
FattyMcFatFat wrote:Am I wasting my time reading the notes after the cases? If not, would it be a good idea to stop reading them and start focusing on practice exams during the time I'd otherwise spend reading them?


Depends on the class and professor. I've had multiple classes where the notes and note cases are incredibly important. For example, in Crim Pro if I only read the cases I'd be screwed b/c the casebook would give a case to show the rule and then have 3-6 cases in the notes which would show the nuances of how that rule has been applied. The nuances are essential to giving a quality exam answer. Also, some casebook authors will use a minority holding in the main case (for some reason that's totally unclear to me) and then drop the majority opinion into a note case. Trusts & Estates was another class where the book had tons of good info in the notes. Now the questions, that's another story. I suppose the questions in notes could help get you thinking about concepts, but without any answers it's pretty pointless.


So ditch the questions? I have a class or two (Contracts, especially), where I have an outline from last year that doesn't mention a single thing from the notes. Do you think it's safe to follow the old outline and ignore anything that isn't in it?
Last edited by FattyMcFatFat on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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NYC Law
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby NYC Law » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:02 am

I think I'd skip the cases before I skip the notes

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:04 am

NYC Law wrote:I think I'd skip the cases before I skip the notes


not sure if serious...

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NYC Law
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby NYC Law » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:36 am

FattyMcFatFat wrote:
NYC Law wrote:I think I'd skip the cases before I skip the notes


not sure if serious...


I am. At least for my casebooks the notes restate the important parts of the case (the holding), where the holding still applies (if anywhere), and the explains the nuances. The cases are really the 'supplement' to allow you to see the rule applied to better your understanding of the rule.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby FeelTheHeat » Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:56 am

NYC Law wrote:
FattyMcFatFat wrote:
NYC Law wrote:I think I'd skip the cases before I skip the notes


not sure if serious...


I am. At least for my casebooks the notes restate the important parts of the case (the holding), where the holding still applies (if anywhere), and the explains the nuances. The cases are really the 'supplement' to allow you to see the rule applied to better your understanding of the rule.


I noticed the same thing. As an above poster said, it seems to depend on the professor. My crim professor is huge on the notes and refers to them every class. My contracts professor mentions it once in a blue moon. Not too sure the difference it will make on the exam, but I definitely find them helpful in clarifying the section

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NYC Law
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby NYC Law » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:12 am

FeelTheHeat wrote:
NYC Law wrote:
FattyMcFatFat wrote:
NYC Law wrote:I think I'd skip the cases before I skip the notes


not sure if serious...


I am. At least for my casebooks the notes restate the important parts of the case (the holding), where the holding still applies (if anywhere), and the explains the nuances. The cases are really the 'supplement' to allow you to see the rule applied to better your understanding of the rule.


I noticed the same thing. As an above poster said, it seems to depend on the professor. My crim professor is huge on the notes and refers to them every class. My contracts professor mentions it once in a blue moon. Not too sure the difference it will make on the exam, but I definitely find them helpful in clarifying the section


One of the success in LS articles mentions going through the notes. They said it's a good way to pick up on things to throw into your analysis on an exam to separate yourself since almost everyone else will forget about them. But like you said, it is pretty professor dependent.

zomginternets
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby zomginternets » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:23 am

In >50% of my classes, rules/discussions in the notes have been tested on in the final exam.

kaiser
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby kaiser » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:42 am

I found the notes very important. The cases are often a loan floating data point. You think you have a grasp on it, but you don't actually understand the context. The note cases often provide some useful context to the case you just read by showing examples of some cases beyond the bounds of the doctrine along with some that are within bounds. This helps clarify the extent and implications of certain legal rules. If the case itself has the rule of the law, then the notes are the application of that rule in other contexts (which is THE most crucial thing for exams), so I always found reading the note cases pretty closely for this reason.

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5ky
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby 5ky » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:32 pm

Notes are very helpful, but you have to be careful, because you can get completely overwhelmed by them. Take guidance from your professor -- if assigned but never mentioned or touched upon, the likelihood of their importance is probably minimal.

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NYC Law
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby NYC Law » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:49 pm

5ky wrote:Notes are very helpful, but you have to be careful, because you can get completely overwhelmed by them. Take guidance from your professor -- if assigned but never mentioned or touched upon, the likelihood of their importance is probably minimal.


I'd be careful about that... My torts professor just today mentioned he does test on the notes and we are responsible for all the reading, even if he doesn't talk about it in class. Even somewhat obscure things like whether Tarasoff could apply to guidance counselors because the notes state it only applies to psychiatrists.

I'd explicitly ask your professor what will be tested, don't make any assumptions.

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5ky
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Re: Notes after cases/ practice exams

Postby 5ky » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:55 pm

NYC Law wrote:
5ky wrote:Notes are very helpful, but you have to be careful, because you can get completely overwhelmed by them. Take guidance from your professor -- if assigned but never mentioned or touched upon, the likelihood of their importance is probably minimal.


I'd be careful about that... My torts professor just today mentioned he does test on the notes and we are responsible for all the reading, even if he doesn't talk about it in class. Even somewhat obscure things like whether Tarasoff could apply to guidance counselors because the notes state it only applies to psychiatrists.

I'd explicitly ask your professor what will be tested, don't make any assumptions.


Okay, but he still told you that they were important. It's just a fact that some professors assign the notes but don't give two shits about them.

There's going to be a fork for probably every single fact in an exam hypo, and focusing a ton of attention to those briefly mentioned in the notes is a good way to show your inability to prioritize the important issues.




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