Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

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law777
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Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby law777 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:47 am

Can anyone speak to this?

If you generally knew what the readings were about, but mostly just relied on old outlines (good ones), could you do well grade-wise? Does anyone have experience with this at any T14s?

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johansantana21
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby johansantana21 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:10 am

Yes you can.

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dabomb75
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby dabomb75 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:46 am

2 of my classes I would have got B-'s in if I didn't know the cases back and forth

the other 2 classes I didn't read a single case after the first month of school.

Did well.

TL;DR: depends on the professor

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TTH
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby TTH » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:50 am

law777 wrote:Can anyone speak to this?

If you generally knew what the readings were about, but mostly just relied on old outlines (good ones), could you do well grade-wise? Does anyone have experience with this at any T14s?


Image

Reading cases is probably valuable somewhat in that it helps you to spot issues. The best outline in the world won't help you if you don't spot the issue in the first place. Profs are lazy and will recycle fact patterns from cases, so it's helpful, but certainly not to the extent that you should dedicatedly read every case.

sillyboots
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby sillyboots » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:55 am

In line with another poster above, it all comes down to your professor. A lot of professor just use the facts of cases in a mostly casual and general way to demonstrate points they want to make, with the points being far more important than the cases. For a professor like that, reading the facts in online case briefs should be enough and you'll never need to crack the casebook.

Like the above poster, though, for at least two of my classes the teachers were insane about the cases, the nuances of each and every fact and the court's analysis (often jumping on it and criticizing it). Not only were you less likely to get nearly as much out of class if you didn't carefully read the cases, but it was obvious come test time that all questions were based on nuanced factual structures lifted from the cases, and having the ability to drop the case name and mimic the analysis done in class was the ticket to an A.

In the end, it's something you can figure out in the first couple of weeks of class usually. Try just reading the facts of the case, or as they are portrayed in online case briefs, and go to class. If you find yourself having a hard time following class discussion, you're better off reading. If you find it's no problem, then you're probably okay.

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gdane
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby gdane » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:03 pm

Dont be lazy. Old outlines are overrated especially since people almost never go back and fix/update/tailor it to what they saw on an exam. You dont have to read a whole 20 page case in your casebook, but focus on the court's reasoning. How they got to their holding.

morris248
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby morris248 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 7:45 pm

You need to make your own outline based on the class syllabus and then compare it to old outlines. In my opinion you
absolutely need to do your own outline and tailor it to your professor.

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johansantana21
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby johansantana21 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:01 pm

Old outlines are the best.

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Detrox
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby Detrox » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:33 pm

ITT: People describe their own studying strategy and assume it applies universally.

Do whatever works for you. Some can do less than others and get better grades, others need to do far more to simply stay afloat. People are different, as are schools, professors, tests, and snowflakes, except for the last one.

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Indifferent
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby Indifferent » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:37 pm

gdane wrote:Dont be lazy. Old outlines are overrated especially since people almost never go back and fix/update/tailor it to what they saw on an exam. You dont have to read a whole 20 page case in your casebook, but focus on the court's reasoning. How they got to their holding.

Wait, you're in law school now?

OP: people do it and do well

People do it and do poorly.

People read comprehensively and outline and do well.

People read comprehensively and outline and do poorly.

Find what works for you.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:34 pm

Yes, you can do well by not trying hard. That is a great plan. Just go to law school, skim the readings, only review other student's work product, and you will be top of your class.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Why would you do this intentionally? Sure, someone, sometime, somewhere, pulled it off, but surely someone, sometime, somewhere failed miserably, and had no one else to blame but him or her self. I'm not sure why I say this, but I believe more people do poorly after under-preparing than do well.

If you are entering law school thinking - how can I succeed without trying very hard - I'm not sure you have the right mentality.

I am a strong advocate for trying hard, because you only have one shot at law school success, don't dick around.

And the people who say they did it, just skimmed and didn't try hard because they are super smart? I bet they also have a girlfriend in Arizona - you wouldn't know her - but she's a model, and she's coming to visit soon, but they just lost the picture of her, but she is totally hot, she's not on facebook.

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Lasers
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby Lasers » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:05 am

know the cases. you don't really need to read them, though. know the rule and the basic facts and listen to what the professor says about the cases in class. this allows you to apply them on the test. case citing on an exam is rarely necessary but it will almost always help you.

with that said, old outlines for me have been terrifically useful. i really don't see why making your outline differs at all; you end up with the same understanding either way but with old outlines you save so much more time. i've done both and have experienced similar success, though old outlines saved me more time and allowed me to do what really matters prior to exams: practice tests.

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gdane
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby gdane » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:10 pm

I am a huge advocate of making your own outlines. I personally get a great grasp of the material because I outline it. I've spent this whole week outlining and now I feel mad comfortable with my classes. The same thing happened last semester. I felt like crap in property unti I sat down and outlined the course. I did well in that class.

For me, outlining forces me to revisit the material and because I like to make brief outlines, I often don't put anything in it until I completely understand the material and can condense it in short no bullshit way. I use class notes, supplements, and my case briefs together and it has worked great.

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JoeFish
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby JoeFish » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:31 pm

gdane wrote:I personally get a great grasp of the material because I outline it.


I take this a step farther. My class attendance is... <meh>... and I don't do too much reading during the semester (varies class by class; last semester in Torts, i would've been pwned had I not done all of it, this semester in Civ Pro I haven't touched the casebook). But about a week before the exam, I'll take a day and read every single case, and then the next day I'll write a 40-or-so page essay, which is basically an outline with each point expanded out into a complete sentence or paragraph. And after that I've got it down cold. I'll do a bunch of practice tests that week, re-reading my notes-essay-thing each day, and work in lots of E&E and CALI stuffs in the two or three days before the exam.

Small sample size (3 classes so far) but it's worked pretty well.

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arvcondor
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby arvcondor » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:08 pm

JoeFish wrote:
gdane wrote:I personally get a great grasp of the material because I outline it.


I take this a step farther. My class attendance is... <meh>... and I don't do too much reading during the semester (varies class by class; last semester in Torts, i would've been pwned had I not done all of it, this semester in Civ Pro I haven't touched the casebook). But about a week before the exam, I'll take a day and read every single case, and then the next day I'll write a 40-or-so page essay, which is basically an outline with each point expanded out into a complete sentence or paragraph. And after that I've got it down cold. I'll do a bunch of practice tests that week, re-reading my notes-essay-thing each day, and work in lots of E&E and CALI stuffs in the two or three days before the exam.

Small sample size (3 classes so far) but it's worked pretty well.

This is the most bizarre study method I've ever seen. But seriously, to each his own.

OP: Don't forget that student outlines are really just a product of one student working through the material, not necessarily a point of reference or anyone else (although they are certainly helpful). Don't over rely on them.

TheFactor
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby TheFactor » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:56 pm

JoeFish wrote:
gdane wrote:I personally get a great grasp of the material because I outline it.


I take this a step farther. My class attendance is... <meh>... and I don't do too much reading during the semester (varies class by class; last semester in Torts, i would've been pwned had I not done all of it, this semester in Civ Pro I haven't touched the casebook). But about a week before the exam, I'll take a day and read every single case, and then the next day I'll write a 40-or-so page essay, which is basically an outline with each point expanded out into a complete sentence or paragraph. And after that I've got it down cold. I'll do a bunch of practice tests that week, re-reading my notes-essay-thing each day, and work in lots of E&E and CALI stuffs in the two or three days before the exam.

Small sample size (3 classes so far) but it's worked pretty well.

you weird dude

Seminole_305
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby Seminole_305 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:53 pm

Depends on the Professor. The only change I have made this semester is more practicing and less reading. I used old outlines and did well.

hurldes
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby hurldes » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:44 pm

JoeFish wrote:about a week before the exam, I'll take a day and read every single case, and then the next day I'll write a 40-or-so page essay, which is basically an outline with each point expanded out into a complete sentence or paragraph. And after that I've got it down cold.


You're saying that you complete a full semester's worth of work in 2 days?

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JoeFish
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby JoeFish » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:14 pm

hurldes wrote:You're saying that you complete a full semester's worth of work in 2 days?


Well, not exactly, but closer to it than anyone else I know. I'd guess my real exam prep takes 3 or 4 days for each class. I do at least some of the reading, and have a good understanding of stuff from going to class at least 2/3 of the time. But, I mean, I pretty much do nothing but eat, sleep, and study from the day classes end until the last exam. I do get through all or almost all of the cases in the first day I really go into "exam crunch-time mode", and I write most of my outline/essay thingy the next day, but that'll spill over. It takes a long friggin' time. That's what I did for 2 of my 3 classes; for the third, it was more spread out.

The other thing I do that's not necessarily mainstream is when I note-take, I'm basically transcribing. If I type it, I can usually remember most or all of it. I basically filled 3 notebooks in Torts last semester, and had no problem on the exam choosing what was important and what was not (which is the common pitfall of the transcriber, I think).

Would not generally recommend my habits. They've been tweaked into this over a long time studying math and law and having a weird sleep schedule and being able to stay up for many, many hours in a row when I want to.

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drmguy
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby drmguy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:16 pm

Correct answer is depends on the professor.

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kalvano
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby kalvano » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:33 pm

JoeFish wrote:
gdane wrote:I personally get a great grasp of the material because I outline it.


I take this a step farther. My class attendance is... <meh>... and I don't do too much reading during the semester (varies class by class; last semester in Torts, i would've been pwned had I not done all of it, this semester in Civ Pro I haven't touched the casebook). But about a week before the exam, I'll take a day and read every single case, and then the next day I'll write a 40-or-so page essay, which is basically an outline with each point expanded out into a complete sentence or paragraph. And after that I've got it down cold. I'll do a bunch of practice tests that week, re-reading my notes-essay-thing each day, and work in lots of E&E and CALI stuffs in the two or three days before the exam.

Small sample size (3 classes so far) but it's worked pretty well.


My friend does this and has gotten excellent grades. It sucks at the end of the semester, but makes the early part a breeze.

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JAJAcinco
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby JAJAcinco » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:17 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Yes, you can do well by not trying hard. That is a great plan. Just go to law school, skim the readings, only review other student's work product, and you will be top of your class.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Why would you do this intentionally? Sure, someone, sometime, somewhere, pulled it off, but surely someone, sometime, somewhere failed miserably, and had no one else to blame but him or her self. I'm not sure why I say this, but I believe more people do poorly after under-preparing than do well.

If you are entering law school thinking - how can I succeed without trying very hard - I'm not sure you have the right mentality.

I am a strong advocate for trying hard, because you only have one shot at law school success, don't dick around.

And the people who say they did it, just skimmed and didn't try hard because they are super smart? I bet they also have a girlfriend in Arizona - you wouldn't know her - but she's a model, and she's coming to visit soon, but they just lost the picture of her, but she is totally hot, she's not on facebook.


HAHAHA and i'd bet you'd win that bet

Seriously tho, OP i don't think you'll find anyone saying you CANT get good grades by those methods...just that its not recommended. as a 0L, my impression is that your professor's opinion is pretty much the only one that matters when it comes to your grades

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Always Credited
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Re: Good Grades by Skimming Readings and Using Old Outlines

Postby Always Credited » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:12 am

JAJAcinco wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:Yes, you can do well by not trying hard. That is a great plan. Just go to law school, skim the readings, only review other student's work product, and you will be top of your class.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Why would you do this intentionally? Sure, someone, sometime, somewhere, pulled it off, but surely someone, sometime, somewhere failed miserably, and had no one else to blame but him or her self. I'm not sure why I say this, but I believe more people do poorly after under-preparing than do well.

If you are entering law school thinking - how can I succeed without trying very hard - I'm not sure you have the right mentality.

I am a strong advocate for trying hard, because you only have one shot at law school success, don't dick around.

And the people who say they did it, just skimmed and didn't try hard because they are super smart? I bet they also have a girlfriend in Arizona - you wouldn't know her - but she's a model, and she's coming to visit soon, but they just lost the picture of her, but she is totally hot, she's not on facebook.


HAHAHA and i'd bet you'd win that bet

Seriously tho, OP i don't think you'll find anyone saying you CANT get good grades by those methods...just that its not recommended. as a 0L, my impression is that your professor's opinion is pretty much the only one that matters when it comes to your grades


hence why said outlines would come from said professor.




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