Do you guys take reading notes?

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Do you take notes down from your reading assignments?

Yes: I either brief cases or take notes on the reading
44
56%
No: Notes before class are a waste of time
34
44%
 
Total votes: 78

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Lasers
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Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby Lasers » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:17 am

it has come to my attention that almost everyone around me takes notes from the readings. whether it's briefs, or notes on the notes in the casebooks, i see everyone with a ton of notes in class.

i literally don't take any notes at all. instead, i rely only on the teacher to mention what is important. i take down what they say, and if i find that they mentioned a note in the book or something i wasn't immediately familiar with, then i'll mark it down so i remember to look it up later.

are reading notes a complete waste of time, or am i doing it wrong? its probably dependent on your teacher? i've probably gotten away with this since all of my teachers (i think) say if material is not mentioned or discussed in class, it probably won't be on the test.

LSATNightmares
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby LSATNightmares » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:01 am

There should be a middle category of "it depends on the class." I take notes for about half of my classes where there is frequent cold calling (especially with my scary Con Law professor). Where the professors are pretty easy going, I don't take notes but I outline every week starting very early. My best class last semester (A+) was in Torts where I never briefed or took notes.

Geist13
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby Geist13 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:46 am

I don't remember anything I read, so I take pretty comprehensive notes. It helps me. Maybe it doesn't help you. Are you pleased with your grades?

imchuckbass58
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 9:57 am

Lasers wrote:i literally don't take any notes at all. instead, i rely only on the teacher to mention what is important. i take down what they say, and if i find that they mentioned a note in the book or something i wasn't immediately familiar with, then i'll mark it down so i remember to look it up later.


I'm virtually the reverse. I take extensive notes on the reading, then listen in class to see if the professor says something different or interesting, in which case I'll modify my reading notes. Otherwise, I don't really take notes in class.

I find it useful because it means class is essentially reinforcing what you already read and took notes on. But I feel it's a matter of personal preference - if your way works for you, stick with it.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby Bildungsroman » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:20 am

I take tons of reading notes. I have a shit memory and writing down a lot helps me remember it, plus it makes me feel more prepared for cold calls. I also don't take a lot of class notes, mostly just marking when my reading notes are wrong or when the professor says something that contradicts the reading.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby nygrrrl » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:25 am

For me it kind of depends on the class... but for the most part? Yes. I tend to book brief cases and take general notes as I read. I then consolidate those notes with my class notes as I start to build my outlines/go over the week's work. Like Bils, I've found this allows me to take far fewer class notes (I just add onto things I've already written) and it makes me feel very prepared for class.

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kalvano
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby kalvano » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:33 am

This would involve reading for class, yes? Then no, I don't take reading notes.

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alicrimson
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby alicrimson » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:48 am

I like to take reading notes and then listen in class to see if I understood what was going on in the case when I was taking reading notes. I don't brief cases outside of this silly multi-color book briefing method. My reading notes consist of BLL, different approaches, tests, language that I think would sound nice/convey thoughts well on a test, and case holdings. I learn best though by writing or typing things out because I have to actively think about it. Otherwise, I tend to forget.Thanks to the lovely one note thread, I've started putting my class and reading notes side by side which is also helpful. With all of these notes and supplement outlines, I could probably make my own outlines for class, but I know I still won't. Such is life.

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drmguy
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby drmguy » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:59 am

The correct answer is it depends on the person. I don't want 0Ls to look at the thread and conclude they should do what is popular.

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snowpeach06
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby snowpeach06 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:11 am

I tend to write down a few sentences per case or anything that seems super super important, but, I don't take very extensive notes. And in class I don't necessarily take that many notes either and just rely on an E&E come exam time. Clearly that isn't going to work now that I'm a 2L though and have less-traditional classes. I am fucked.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:06 pm

I would take notes in the margins of my casebooks, but that was about it. Of course, I started with writing full case briefs, but moved to book briefing once I realized what was important and what was fluff.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:44 pm

First semester 1L year I briefed everything. Second semester I took some basic notes in a less rigid format. First semester 2L year I just took notes in the margins. My grades have been almost exactly the same every semester. So there's that.

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3|ink
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby 3|ink » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:29 pm

Yes because I can't remember any of the fucking cases by the time I get to class.

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Lasers
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby Lasers » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:56 pm

i see a lot of you guys take reading notes.

doesn't that slow you guys down a ton?

the reason i take notes in class is because i'm lazy. i figure what the teacher says is what is valued/will be on the test.

if you take reading notes beforehand and highlight/add what your teacher said, you'll definitely have everything down as well. my problem with that method though is that you probably took down a lot of extra notes you didn't have to, and that's a waste of energy and time. like i said before, i'm lazy.

the only benefit i can see is that if you get cold called, you'll definitely look better. i've been cold called and sometimes it goes ok, and sometimes it's brutal. half the time it seems like i didn't even do the readings. i have thick skin though. i prefer people underestimating me based on my lack of class preparation rather than thinking i'm near the top of the class.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby Bildungsroman » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:00 pm

Lasers wrote:i see a lot of you guys take reading notes.

doesn't that slow you guys down a ton?

the reason i take notes in class is because i'm lazy. i figure what the teacher says is what is valued/will be on the test.

if you take reading notes beforehand and highlight/add what your teacher said, you'll definitely have everything down as well. my problem with that method though is that you probably took down a lot of extra notes you didn't have to, and that's a waste of energy and time. like i said before, i'm lazy.

the only benefit i can see is that if you get cold called, you'll definitely look better. i've been cold called and sometimes it goes ok, and sometimes it's brutal. half the time it seems like i didn't even do the readings. i have thick skin though. and i prefer people underestimating me based on my lack of class preparation then thinking i'm near the top of the class.

Taking reading notes doesn't slow me down, because organizing my thoughts on a case, what's significant about it, what the issues are, how it fits with the rest of the caselaw, etc. is something I should be doing anyway, so I'm just typing while I'm doing that thinking. Plus, I value being good on-call since I want to build good relationships at this school. But again, different methods work for different people.

And I'm easily one of the 5 or 10 laziest people at my school.

sophie316
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby sophie316 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:28 pm

Nope, I can't even imagine having the discipline to do so. If I need case briefs for my outline I just buy the books of canned briefs at the end of the semester. Way less work.

LawMan20
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby LawMan20 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:30 pm

sophie316 wrote:Nope, I can't even imagine having the discipline to do so. If I need case briefs for my outline I just buy the books of canned briefs at the end of the semester. Way less work.


Those things blow. They are frequently off point and they sometimes completely miss important points.

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crossarmant
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby crossarmant » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:15 pm

I don't brief the case, but I write out a simple synopsis of the case. I then make a section of "Rules" where I bullet point each rule gleaned from that case and the notes following it. When going back and outlining, it seems like my reading notes are about 10x more useful than my class notes.

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kalvano
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby kalvano » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:05 pm

How do you all not have outlines for the class from previous students that outline all the cases?

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johansantana21
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby johansantana21 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:06 pm

kalvano wrote:How do you all not have outlines for the class from previous students that outline all the cases?


Socially isolated?

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kalvano
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby kalvano » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:10 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
kalvano wrote:How do you all not have outlines for the class from previous students that outline all the cases?


Socially isolated?


Still...there has to be someone to ask. Shit, go up to random law review student that seems nice. Or did you have mentors 1L? Or does your school have an online student-run outline bank?

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Xifeng
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby Xifeng » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:17 pm

I take a lot of reading notes otherwise I find myself skimming. And I make my own outlines so I find that it's really helpful for that. My general goal is once I'm done with the reading, I won't need to reopen the casebook while outlining/studying for the exam.

I also take a decent amount of in-class notes, but that's decreased this semester a bit. Mostly stuff the professors seems to love/is different than my reading notes.

& bils, i'm sure there are more than 5-10 people in our class who take 0 reading notes :D

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:22 pm

crossarmant wrote:I don't brief the case, but I write out a simple synopsis of the case. I then make a section of "Rules" where I bullet point each rule gleaned from that case and the notes following it. When going back and outlining, it seems like my reading notes are about 10x more useful than my class notes.

This. I write down maybe a two sentence summary of the facts, then write all the rules and policies. During lecture I revise the rules to my professor's wording. Come outline time, I'm pretty much copying all of that into my outline.

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TJISMYHERO
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby TJISMYHERO » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:28 pm

I pretty much start my outlines day one. My "reading notes" are the guts of my outline that I build before each class based on supplement reading, comparing with old law review outlines, and the casebook. I then edit and expound on my outline during class based on what the professor says. By the end of each class period I have my outline complete and up to date. These outlines do, of course, tend to become very long, so about 2/3 of the way through the semester I make an "attack outilne," which basically tries to edit or eliminate all the material that is either (1) superfluous (in that I don't think it will be on the exam), (2) redundant, or (3) poorly organized. Tends to work out pretty well.
Last edited by TJISMYHERO on Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vamedic03
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Re: Do you guys take reading notes?

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:48 pm

I only take class notes:

3L - only occasionally highlight in my books
2L - 2L fall was the last time I wrote in the margin of a book
1L - stopped briefing or taking any notes on the reading after the 2d month of 1st semester




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