spleenworship wrote:But this would contradict the maxim that your outline should be short as all hell to avoid spending time flipping pages when you should be typing, yes?
I typically took 4 things into my exams*:
1) a short (3-5 page) summary of every topic. Basically a memory job (For Contracts, we were specifically told to cite cases, so I also created a cheat sheet listing every case and the key point/issue, organized by topic, which was about 3 pages)
2) an outline (20-25 pages) that included details
3) briefs for all my cases
4) The textbook and extra applicable items (e.g. UCC)
As an example, the summary would have 1 line under MPC:
Mens Rea: Purposefully, Knowingly, Recklessly, Negligently
The outline would have a separate line for each of these, followed by a brief description
I'd then have 1 or 2 case briefs for each of these, which are no longer than a page, giving a brief example of each.
The summary is basically an issue spotter checklist, telling me what kind of things to consider. In the above example, I know I need to spend some time discussing the mental state of the defendant. If, for some reason, I couldn't remember the difference between mental states, I'd then look to my outline for a brief description.
In all likelihood, part of the exam question may resemble a case you worked on. An example from a past exam is that the question involved a drag race in a stolen car resulting in a head-on collision. Well, not being entirely sure whether the other drag racer would have accomplice liability for the innocent accident victim, I'd look up a case we discussed in class about drag racing, discussing whether a drag racer is liable if his opponent gets killed. Looking over the reasoning on the brief, I'd then have a ready-made argument to slot into my answer.
For my open book exams, I scanned my checklist for each question, and made a list of all the different issues. Typically, I could answer each one without referencing my outline, but every so often I needed to give it a quick peek.
For Crim, I did not look at my case briefs at all, but I did look something up in my textbook once.
For Contracts, because we needed to cite cases, I used both the checklist and my case list cheat sheet. I barely used my outline (once?) but several times I double-checked to make sure that the case I was referencing matched up in the way I thought it did, or I wasn't sure exactly how it fit in, so I looked it up to make sure I got it right.
A big tip I have for exam time is to tab all your material. For example in my outline, stack of case briefs, and textbooks, I had a yellow tab sticking out for Rape, a green tab for Homicide, a pink tab for Aiding & Abetting, etc. That way, you're not flipping like crazy trying to find the right page, but can home in on it in 2 seconds flat