Any other 1L's not Outlining?

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Zar » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:11 am

It obviously varies from student to student. However, I'm a 3L in the top 1% of my T20, and I've outlined every class I've taken. I sit down with my notes, the casebook, and perhaps a couple of old outlines, and I try to synthesize everything into one comprehensive document. This outline will be between 35 and (at the upper limit) 70 pages. If I have time, I then boil that down to a shorter outline that tries to capture the overall structure of the class. Then, very shortly before the exam, I'll look at practice exams. During 1L I'd actually type out answers, but these days I just go through them spotting issues and looking for patterns, as I feel very confident in my exam-writing abilities at this point.

I used some supplements 1L year, but I haven't used any for a while now. I've never found that they contained any material that I was unable to glean from the casebook or lecture notes; their only possible advantage is presenting the information in a different way, which may be helpful for some. They also have the potential to mislead, though, by covering information not covered in class or by presenting it differently than your professor. Thus, I've found them relatively useless. My grades have obviously not suffered.

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby bceagles182 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:24 am

Outlined every class I took 1L and made LR. I would say that 99% of 1Ls should outline. If you are outlining during the reading periods though, then you are doing it wrong. And your final outline should very rarely exceed ~ 30 pages unless it's heavy statutory class. Figure out what's important.

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby jjlaw » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:56 am

One of the lessons I learned this semester is that outlining is 1/3 of the battle. I budgeted my time wisely and outlined throughout the semester, while still keeping up with memos and class reading. In fact, I had my outlines pretty much done by Thanksgiving. Throughout the semester I had time to go out with friends and my bf on the weekends and do little to no work, since I put in 12+ hour days during the weekday.

However, what I came to realize by December was that I should have supplemented my outlining with continuously working on practice problems, especially from the E&Es. I ended up doing a shitload of E&E problems the first two weeks of December, which made me feel like I was cramming. Anyway, moral of the story for myself is that sitting down and outlining takes discipline, but next semester I'm going to spend more time doing practice problems throughout the semester rather than at the end. I still had time to do practice exams, but I'd rather be able to take them at a more leisurely pace than I have been this semester.

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:21 pm

romothesavior wrote:Having long paragraphs rather than concise statements of the rules sort of defeats the purpose of outlining.

Based on many outlines I've seen. Delaney mentions doing narrative summaries of classes (which I don't understand, but whatever), but even then that's after you do a real outline.

What was awesome in torts was my professor telling everyone that they should make a master chart listing all the cases. Because, you know, she was a very detail-oriented, case-focused exam type professor or something. People spent untold hours making this case chart, which essentially seemed like a brief in table form. I even spent a little time on it, until I did not see the utility over making an outline. Lesson learned is that unless your professor is Joseph Glannon, be wary of their exam advice.

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:23 pm

romothesavior wrote:
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.

Dude his parents died you can't argue with him

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby johansantana21 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:18 pm

Wanted to update you guys and let you know that I only half outlined for 1 class and still ended up top 10% at a lower t14.

So I guess conventional TLS wisdom isn't always right.

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby alicrimson » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:22 pm

Also update. I didn't make one outline either and will likely be in the top 1-3 percent (based on 5 prior years and hoping this curve isn't an anomalies of all anomalies.) I did keep up with reading both supplements and the case books, did tons of PTs, had excellent outlines from upperclassmen, went to office hours fairly regularly, and took my own notes. I am not very smart (my LSAT gives that away quickly) and I thought I straight C'd pretty much every exam. There was lots of crying behind closed doors. I think different people learn differently and no method is superior to another, though outlining may be the way to go, as so many people can't be wrong. Plus, its in that 1L book and we all know that book is pretty much the end all be all of law school. Period. :roll:

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby A12345 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:32 pm

I didn't outline and I'm likely just outside of the top 5%. I did all of the assigned reading and did a lot of supplement reading. Also did as many practice tests I could get my hands on.

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby thesteelers » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:41 pm

johansantana21 wrote:Wanted to update you guys and let you know that I only half outlined for 1 class and still ended up top 10% at a lower t14.

So I guess conventional TLS wisdom isn't always right.

Congrats! I remember you were really worried you had failed one of your exams, so that's awesome. And it gives me hope that my feelings of failure will be proven wrong when I get my grades back.

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby bk1 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:09 pm

johansantana21 wrote:So I guess conventional TLS wisdom isn't always right.

Nobody ever said it was. The gist is that outlining seems to help a substantial portion of law students so people should generally err on the side of caution and outline (considering they've never taken a law school class before and can't know whether outlining will be useful or not to them).

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Re: Any other 1L's not Outlining?

Postby ilovesf » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:54 pm

Since everyone here is posting and said that they didn't outline and was top x%, I'll step in and say I did outline, and I'm top 5-6%. It just depends on you. If you got bad grades this semester and didn't outline, then maybe try doing it. If you outlined and got bad grades, maybe try spending that time focusing on something else. No big deal.

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