Any other 1L's not Outlining?

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kapital98
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby kapital98 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:19 pm

chimp wrote:Outlining should be used more to synthesize and learn the relevant material.


This is why I outline throughout the semester and continually update it. It provides an excellent way to test my knowledge and see what I need to improve on. During the test there won't be enough to time to reference your notes or outline. It's more of a back up than anything else.

It's the process that's key. Depending on your learning styles you could avoid doing an outline. Suprisingly, LEEWS specifically discourages making your own outline. Wentworth Miller recommends you study commercial outlines. If you can do it, more power to you. I feel much safer investing the time into making an outline (on top of practicing exams.)

Note: I have three exams. Only one allows an outline -- and that's a maximum 1 page front/back outline. I made a "macro" outline (~15-20 pages) for each class with all of the course material. Then I made a ~5 page outline with all of the key material to memorize. Any time I don't understand the small outline I go back to the "macro" outline to reference the idea. If I don't understand my "macro" outline I reference an outline from a previous semester.

My view may be different than people who get to have a formal 20-80 page outline in front of them during the exam.

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:09 am

The reason I'm kind of skeptical of outlining is that I keep finding myself copying and pasting sections my notes (after shortening them some). How is that possibly more beneficial than simply studying someone else's outline.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:48 am

I agree with kapital98's post above that whether or not to outline depends mostly on one's learning style.

Nevertheless, outlining forces students to review the course material which may differ substantially from commercial outlines. Commercial outlines for most first year courses are designed to cover material in year-long courses. Many law schools no longer teach year-long courses in property, torts, civil procedure and/or contracts, yet professors vary in their approach. Some try to cover the entire year's worth of material in less depth, while others teach about half the course in depth over the semester. Additionally, some first year profs cover material not traditionally covered in commercial outlines. Making one's own outline may, therefore, be more effective, and efficient, by targeting the material actually covered & expected to be on the exam rather than the shotgun approach offered by commercial outlines. (The opposite is true for bar exams.)

The best approach, in my opinion, is to use commercial outlines, class notes & the text/casebook table of contents & sub-headings when making an outline. This method, however, is very time consuming.

thegrayman
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby thegrayman » Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:58 pm

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:The reason I'm kind of skeptical of outlining is that I keep finding myself copying and pasting sections my notes (after shortening them some). How is that possibly more beneficial than simply studying someone else's outline.


I've heard that for outlining you should be typing your outlines instead of copying/pasting, even if what you are typing into your outline is verbatim what you already have in your notes (disclaimer - I'm a clueless 1L, take w/ grain of salt)

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Antrim
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Antrim » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:01 pm

All the old outlines I have are 50x better than any outline I could ever make, so I'm studying those. All I've done is add some of my professor's stressed points in my class notes to where they should go in the outlines.

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shepdawg
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby shepdawg » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:15 pm

I had mixed results with outlining. Booked half of the classes I outlined for, and got an A- for the other half. The one class I didn't outline for I got an A-.

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Extension_Cord
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Extension_Cord » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:21 pm

The reason outlining is helpful is because it forces you to spend alot of time learning what you think is benefitial. If you spend a lot of time studying what other peoples outlines think is benefitial and its a good outline then your good.

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kapital98
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby kapital98 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:33 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I agree with kapital98's post above that whether or not to outline depends mostly on one's learning style.

Nevertheless, outlining forces students to review the course material which may differ substantially from commercial outlines. Commercial outlines for most first year courses are designed to cover material in year-long courses. Many law schools no longer teach year-long courses in property, torts, civil procedure and/or contracts, yet professors vary in their approach. Some try to cover the entire year's worth of material in less depth, while others teach about half the course in depth over the semester. Additionally, some first year profs cover material not traditionally covered in commercial outlines. Making one's own outline may, therefore, be more effective, and efficient, by targeting the material actually covered & expected to be on the exam rather than the shotgun approach offered by commercial outlines. (The opposite is true for bar exams.)

The best approach, in my opinion, is to use commercial outlines, class notes & the text/casebook table of contents & sub-headings when making an outline. This method, however, is very time consuming.


I strongly agree with this approach. If my professor didn't cover it in class I don't have it in my outline. Old outlines (including commercial outlines) are a way to make sure you're on the right track. Including irrelevant material is a waste of precious time.

I only use a commercial outline for Civil Procedure. For the rest of my classes I use student outlines from the professor's previous classes.

TooOld4This
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:47 pm

Law students, especially 1Ls tend to get some sort of comfort from either doing whatever others are doing and/or "more" than what others are doing.

Know the way you learn and adapt your study style to that, not what others are doing. You need to learn a massive amount of information and be able to apply it to facts under time pressure. You do not need to hand in practice essays, margin notes, outlines, etc.

When I was in law school, I rarely outlined from scratch, and how I outlined would depend on the class. I remember torts was a bare bones outline of probably less than 200 words. But I took tons of practice exams. Another class had an 8 hour final, so I actually outlined that one, with a lot of policy put in with the relevant cases (prof was big on policy). For my 24 hour exams, I didn't outline at all. I just made sure I was very familiar with my materials. For other exams, I would start with a previous year's outline and edit it down to something usable. I never left an exam thinking "damn, I should have outlined." I did have one exam were I really wished I had not made a detailed outline -- I got caught in the trees and lost sight of the forest (which was why I generally avoided outlining, it doesn't suit my learning style).

TLDR -- figure out how you process information and do things that help that process. It may be different for different subjects or different exam types. If you were smart enough to get into law school, then you probably learned how you learn somewhere along the way.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:56 pm

I was number 1 in my class first semester my 1L year, and I directly attribute it to making my own outlines from scratch for every class. I referenced other outlines, but I wrote my own. The process of making the outline IS studying. You will remeber what you wrote better than what you read.

Hey, do whatever you want, but outlining works. It takes the floating cloud of ideas your head is now filled with and places them into order and context. The Eureaka moments you feel when outlining - oh, NOW I see why we covered that section later in the course - gets you points on exams.

"The best approach, in my opinion, is to use commercial outlines, class notes & the text/casebook table of contents & sub-headings when making an outline. This method, however, is very time consuming."


I agree with that. Suck it up, don't do anything except outline and, once done, some practice exams / questions. Ignore your family and friends, and spend as many productive minutes outlining as you can. The stakes are amazingly high considering how well you have to do to land a six figure job, so why question the study method that works time and time again?

adonai
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby adonai » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:18 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:I was number 1 in my class first semester my 1L year, and I directly attribute it to making my own outlines from scratch for every class. I referenced other outlines, but I wrote my own. The process of making the outline IS studying. You will remeber what you wrote better than what you read.

Hey, do whatever you want, but outlining works. It takes the floating cloud of ideas your head is now filled with and places them into order and context. The Eureaka moments you feel when outlining - oh, NOW I see why we covered that section later in the course - gets you points on exams.

"The best approach, in my opinion, is to use commercial outlines, class notes & the text/casebook table of contents & sub-headings when making an outline. This method, however, is very time consuming."


I agree with that. Suck it up, don't do anything except outline and, once done, some practice exams / questions. Ignore your family and friends, and spend as many productive minutes outlining as you can. The stakes are amazingly high considering how well you have to do to land a six figure job, so why question the study method that works time and time again?

lol@bolded. But this is all really true. I think even something as little as retyping someone else's outline will do more than just reading.

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Doritos
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Doritos » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:36 pm

Just make sure you do practice exams.

God help the 1Ls who don't do practice exams. God. Help. Them.

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johansantana21
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby johansantana21 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:28 pm

Fuck it, I'm doing practice exams and just memorizing BLL from old outlines for the professors.

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FeelTheHeat
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby FeelTheHeat » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:29 pm

Doritos wrote:Just make sure you do practice exams.

God help the 1Ls who don't do practice exams. God. Help. Them.


Yeah, I've pretty much said fuck any outlines and am solely practicing whatever format the final is in (2 MC, 2 regular)

goodolgil
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby goodolgil » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:30 pm

I mostly outlined (from scratch) because I couldn't bear the thought of not doing well as a result of not doing the thing everyone else does. Did well first semester, so I kept to the same process second semester.

No real idea how useful it was.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:41 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:I was number 1 in my class first semester my 1L year, and I directly attribute it to making my own outlines from scratch for every class. I referenced other outlines, but I wrote my own. The process of making the outline IS studying. You will remeber what you wrote better than what you read.

Hey, do whatever you want, but outlining works. It takes the floating cloud of ideas your head is now filled with and places them into order and context. The Eureaka moments you feel when outlining - oh, NOW I see why we covered that section later in the course - gets you points on exams.

"The best approach, in my opinion, is to use commercial outlines, class notes & the text/casebook table of contents & sub-headings when making an outline. This method, however, is very time consuming."


I agree with that. Suck it up, don't do anything except outline and, once done, some practice exams / questions. Ignore your family and friends, and spend as many productive minutes outlining as you can. The stakes are amazingly high considering how well you have to do to land a six figure job, so why question the study method that works time and time again?


NO and No. I have a lot of trouble remembering things that I "outlined". I remember things that I (1) drilled into my head by reading over and over again and memorizing and (2) answering questions and writing essays on. The reason you remember things after outlining them from scratch, and why you did well, is for the exact reason that someone else mentioned earlier--it fits your learning style. Outlining is NOT the right approach for all, or even most students. If you didn't learn/ excel in your prior academic endeavors via outlining then you should consider whether it's really a good idea for you.


About the only universally sound studying advice is the following
Doritos wrote:Just make sure you do practice exams.

God help the 1Ls who don't do practice exams. God. Help. Them.


For me the following is by far the best approach. And it makes sense in my case, this is basically the same way I did well in college etc.

johansantana21 wrote:Fuck it, I'm doing practice exams and just memorizing BLL from old outlines for the professors.

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Gettingstarted1928
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:48 pm

goodolgil wrote:I mostly outlined (from scratch) because I couldn't bear the thought of not doing well as a result of not doing the thing everyone else does. Did well first semester, so I kept to the same process second semester.

No real idea how useful it was.


This is kind of how I feel.

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romothesavior
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:17 am

I am in the pro-outlining camp, and I've made an outline for every class (even closed book ones). I don't think the are necessarily "essential" for doing well in law school since everyone learns differently, but I at least recommend doing it your first semester and seeing how you like it.

A few of my thoughts on outlining, for what they're worth:

-The process is way more important than the final result. I find that I outline in order to learn the actual material. Outlining is a means to an end (learning), not an end in and of itself. What good is having a great outline if you don't know anything? You probably won't even reference it much on the exam (or you should hope not).
-I outline very slowly and methodically. I think this really helps me to understand how each section is interrelated with the other sections.
-For most classes, the outline should be principle-based, not case-based. If your outline is just a big list of all your case briefs, you're not really synthesizing anything.
-Do NOT just copy and paste your notes and then rearrange/trim down your outline. This is just absolutely stupid IMO, and its probably the biggest reason many people find outlining to be a waste of time. I think the best strategy is to have multiple sources open (your notes, the book, an old outline, supplements) and synthesize the material from all of these in making your own outline. Each source will contain information that another does not. Your notes are not complete, and if you're just copying and pasting them into another doc, you might as well not even make an outline.
-Quality over quantity, in my opinion. Brevity is key. Having long paragraphs rather than concise statements of the rules sort of defeats the purpose of outlining.

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romothesavior
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:23 am

BruceWayne wrote:NO and No. I have a lot of trouble remembering things that I "outlined". I remember things that I (1) drilled into my head by reading over and over again and memorizing and (2) answering questions and writing essays on. The reason you remember things after outlining them from scratch, and why you did well, is for the exact reason that someone else mentioned earlier--it fits your learning style. Outlining is NOT the right approach for all, or even most students. If you didn't learn/ excel in your prior academic endeavors via outlining then you should consider whether it's really a good idea for you.

Why is every post you ever write passed on as gospel truth?

Good for you, you learn by reading and you don't need outlines. Outlining is not the right approach for all. But the majority of law students say they help, and I know they helped me tremendously. And I never outlined in my previous academic endeavors, but what the hell does that have to do with anything? I was a philosophy major for Christ's sake, and it was undergrad. The fuck was I supposed to outline? I was too busy drinking beers and fratting out. I'd write a paper the night before and get my A. Seriously, that's irrelevant. Even those who had regular exams in undergrad (sciencey people, business, etc.) may not have done outlines in the past, but benefit from them now. Law school exams are a different beast.

If OP doesn't want to do outlines, that's his call. Everyone learns differently. But I agree with those who say to try the the first semester and see how they like it.

Sandro
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Sandro » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:18 am

Is outlining really much different from going over notes/writing out exam answers/repetition ? I'd say its all the same exercise, just different ways to do it.

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ph14
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby ph14 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:42 am

romothesavior wrote:I am in the pro-outlining camp, and I've made an outline for every class (even closed book ones). I don't think the are necessarily "essential" for doing well in law school since everyone learns differently, but I at least recommend doing it your first semester and seeing how you like it.

A few of my thoughts on outlining, for what they're worth:

-The process is way more important than the final result. I find that I outline in order to learn the actual material. Outlining is a means to an end (learning), not an end in and of itself. What good is having a great outline if you don't know anything? You probably won't even reference it much on the exam (or you should hope not).
-I outline very slowly and methodically. I think this really helps me to understand how each section is interrelated with the other sections.
-For most classes, the outline should be principle-based, not case-based. If your outline is just a big list of all your case briefs, you're not really synthesizing anything.
-Do NOT just copy and paste your notes and then rearrange/trim down your outline. This is just absolutely stupid IMO, and its probably the biggest reason many people find outlining to be a waste of time. I think the best strategy is to have multiple sources open (your notes, the book, an old outline, supplements) and synthesize the material from all of these in making your own outline. Each source will contain information that another does not. Your notes are not complete, and if you're just copying and pasting them into another doc, you might as well not even make an outline.
-Quality over quantity, in my opinion. Brevity is key. Having long paragraphs rather than concise statements of the rules sort of defeats the purpose of outlining.


Thoughts on practice exams Romo?

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romothesavior
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:46 pm

ph14 wrote:Thoughts on practice exams Romo?

Take them. Often. If there is one piece of law school studying advice that really is infallible, its to take practice exams.

Studying for exams has two basic steps. First, you need to learn the material inside and out. I do this through outlining and supplements, but everyone does this a little differently. The second part is applying the material. You do this through practice tests and practice problems (like in E&Es, Siegals, etc.) Practice tests, especially ones from your professor (the more recent the better), are the best way to do this. I'd be sure to set aside a couple of days close to the exam where you just do a bunch of practice problems/exams. Just like with the LSAT, this practice will show you what you need to work on.

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Black Face Law
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Black Face Law » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:56 pm

Extension_Cord wrote:The reason outlining is helpful is because it forces you to spend alot of time learning what you think is benefitial. If you spend a lot of time studying what other peoples outlines think is benefitial and its a good outline then your good.


beneficial.

I use a 2L's outline that is of quality and mark the shit out of it with additional notes, pornographic drawings, and briefly jot down semester specific hypothetical situations that come up.

I went on a date with a 1L and she said that her outline was 50 pages. She also was a vegetarian and swore by baba ganoooosh. Hussy. It was after that anecdotal evidence that I felt very comfortable with my marked up 15 page outline from a 2L who got an A in the class. And I thought that 15 pages was far too excessive if you know the material... I'm an 8-10 pager kind of guy... A couple of maxims here.... never trust a woman who pens a 50 page outline... and never trust a vegetarian.

And for the record... Baba Ganoooooosh is terrible terrorist tripe. Points accumulated for alliteration.

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Cupidity
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Cupidity » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:58 pm

I didn't outline. Top 10%

Don't worry.

memo2partner
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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby memo2partner » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:56 am

meh-outlining's kinda overrated. I think the best situation to outline is if you have an open book exam. The outline should be organized so that you can quickly find a case or statute to cite to on your exam and a quick black letter rule of law to regurgitate on the exam (again, the key for the outline is if you blank during the exam on what the case name was or how to coherently state a rule of law). If it's closed book, do whatever it takes to memorize the law and cases (if studying your notes helps you memorize, do that, or do whatever so that you know the law). A lot of times, the exam hypos resemble the facts of the cases you go over in class or other hypos you go over in class--pays to study your notes in my opinion.




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