Where to begin

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thomas7669
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Where to begin

Postby thomas7669 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:06 pm

I realized I dont know where to begin. I read my assigned reading for my first class(contracts) and while I get the basic idea of the cases and background to contract law, I dont understand what I should be doing to prepare for the exam. I received an outline from a student who received an A, just to get an idea of what I should be doing when preparing my own outlines.

It is very hard for me to figure out how this person chose what to put in their outline based on what I read in the casebook. I dont understand how they got from what they read to what they put on the outline. Also should I be taking notes on the cases? My plan was to take notes on/outline the black letter law and then use the cases as supporting examples in the outline to demonstrate the application of the law. The problem is, I dont understand how to get to the black letter law in the first place.

In sum I am lost.

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Icculus
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Re: Where to begin

Postby Icculus » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 pm

thomas7669 wrote:I realized I dont know where to begin. I read my assigned reading for my first class(contracts) and while I get the basic idea of the cases and background to contract law, I dont understand what I should be doing to prepare for the exam. I received an outline from a student who received an A, just to get an idea of what I should be doing when preparing my own outlines.

It is very hard for me to figure out how this person chose what to put in their outline based on what I read in the casebook. I dont understand how they got from what they read to what they put on the outline. Also should I be taking notes on the cases? My plan was to take notes on/outline the black letter law and then use the cases as supporting examples in the outline to demonstrate the application of the law. The problem is, I dont understand how to get to the black letter law in the first place.

In sum I am lost.


The outline was most likely made towards the end of the semester. You don't know enough yet to be looking at an outline. Give it at least a few weeks.

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fatduck
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Re: Where to begin

Postby fatduck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:19 pm

try googling the case names

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northwood
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Re: Where to begin

Postby northwood » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:20 pm

its very normal to be totally confused, especially the first week of fall semster. keep up with the reading, and take notes, and see the professor if you are totally lost. and dont listen to everyone else freak out- itll just make it even worse.

if you are totally lost, casebriefs.com is a nice website

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EvilClinton
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Re: Where to begin

Postby EvilClinton » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:22 pm

Trying to outline the first day is like trying to describe an opera after hearing the first note.

Give it time. You will start to see what is important after a couple weeks.

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fatduck
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Re: Where to begin

Postby fatduck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:22 pm

EvilClinton wrote:Trying to outline the first day is like trying to describe an opera after hearing the first note.

Give it time. You will start to see what is important after a couple weeks two weeks before the exam.

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EvilClinton
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Re: Where to begin

Postby EvilClinton » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:25 pm

fatduck wrote:
EvilClinton wrote:Trying to outline the first day is like trying to describe an opera after hearing the first note.

Give it time. You will start to see what is important after a couple weeks two weeks before the exam.


LOL, this is true in most cases. But if you wait that long to start outlining/reviewing you are screwed.

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fatduck
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Re: Where to begin

Postby fatduck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:48 pm

EvilClinton wrote:
fatduck wrote:
EvilClinton wrote:Trying to outline the first day is like trying to describe an opera after hearing the first note.

Give it time. You will start to see what is important after a couple weeks two weeks before the exam.


LOL, this is true in most cases. But if you wait that long to start outlining/reviewing you are screwed.

i didn't start outlining until the exam period started. making the outline was a pretty good study process for me.

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Icculus
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Re: Where to begin

Postby Icculus » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:50 pm

fatduck wrote:
EvilClinton wrote:
fatduck wrote:
EvilClinton wrote:Trying to outline the first day is like trying to describe an opera after hearing the first note.

Give it time. You will start to see what is important after a couple weeks two weeks before the exam.


LOL, this is true in most cases. But if you wait that long to start outlining/reviewing you are screwed.

i didn't start outlining until the exam period started. making the outline was a pretty good study process for me.


+1

thomas7669
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Re: Where to begin

Postby thomas7669 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:13 pm

OK, so if you guys dont outline until later on, what do you do at the start and middle of the semester besides read the cases?

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fatduck
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Re: Where to begin

Postby fatduck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:13 pm

thomas7669 wrote:OK, so if you guys dont outline until later on, what do you do at the start and middle of the semester besides read the cases?

netflix, mostly

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Where to begin

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:28 pm

EvilClinton wrote:
fatduck wrote:
EvilClinton wrote:Trying to outline the first day is like trying to describe an opera after hearing the first note.

Give it time. You will start to see what is important after a couple weeks two weeks before the exam.


LOL, this is true in most cases. But if you wait that long to start outlining/reviewing you are screwed.


Eh, I did not begin making my first semester 1L outlines until after Thanksgiving break was fully over. I aced everything, was number one in my class. If I have one piece of advice, it is to not be afraid to ignore other people's advice and do what you think is best for you. Not every piece of advice will work for you.

That said - where to begin? As a total rookie, brief your cases. Summarize the facts, try to I.D. the "issue," see if you see where the "rule" is. Then, listen to your professor during lecture - did you catch the key facts? Did you see the issue (or all issues)? Did you properly I.D. the "rule(s)?" Yes? Great, make a note of it. No? Great, make a note of it. Soon, you'll begin to learn what the professor is looking for. You'll learn what you're overlooking. Eventually, you'll begin to see that you're accurately predicting what the professor is going to want to talk about. Then, you can begin book briefing - just write "facts" next to the facts, "issue" next to the issue in your book, etc. You won't need to write it all out.

Now, how does that become an outline? Look at your textbook - it is structured. Look at the table of contents - it is an outline. Each case is chosen to highlight some nuance of a given topic. For example, take the elements of a contract. You'll have a section on "offer and acceptance." The cases will be different examples of what is or is not a proper offer, and the various ways an offer can be accepted.

So your outline will end up with the general rule - contract formation requires proper offer and acceptance - with little blurbs on the cases you covered providing examples of the rule in action, as well as exceptions, variations, etc.

Don't focus solely on blackletter law while ignoring the facts. The facts dictate what rule needs to be applied. Saying a contract requires proper offer and acceptance is black letter - but what the hell does that look like? You will do poorly come exam time if you cannot see a set of facts and have the light come on - "ah ha! I see where this is going, this is a problem with offer and acceptance. Looks like the offeror tried to revoke, but was he successful?" Now you've I.D.'d the issue and will remember the rule because you WROTE IT YOURSELF in your outline. Which you will, because you wrote all your own outlines from scratch, using other outlines only for reference. And you did it all recently, because you didn't outline until just before the exam.

HAVE FUN!




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