A lot of students are in a search for the best supplements. However, the best supplements are often those living and breathing 2L's that you may have paid no attention to last semester. There were certain students who sought out these proverbial wells of information. These 1L opportunist mined 2L's for any nuggets of gold they could find. It is not the easiest of jobs. A lot of times a 2L takes a while to warm up and divulge information (remember they just got out of a reportedly traumatic first year of law school).
A GOOD 2L OUTLINE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR READING CASES BUT IF YOU READ THE RELATED SECTION OF THE OUTLINE BEFORE READING THE RELATED CASES YOU WILL UNDERSTAND THE CASE AND AREA OF LAW BETTER FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF HOW YOUR PROFESSOR APPROACHES THE PARTICULAR AREA OF LAW. THIS IS A HUGE ADVANTAGE AND TIME SAVER BECAUSE THE SOONER YOU UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL THE SOONER YOU CAN BEGIN PRACTICE EXAMS! (because they are so fun)
For the following reasons 1L's entering Spring semester would be wise to seek out several 2L's for outlines:
1) They have outlines which they slaved over. This means that they have already done much of the work. And while you will of course put your own time in even great minds say as keynotes at graduation commencement speaches that they "stood on the shoulders of giants". For 1Ls the 2L is the big brother or sister that hasbeen there and done that.
2) These outlines are a window into the mind of your professor, his or her expectations for class and the exam, how the professor views the cases, what arguments and policy arguments the professor emphasizes. Knowing this information will save you tons of time because EVEN THE BEST COMMERCIAL SUPPLEMENT IS ONLY SO HELPFUL BECAUSE IT WAS NOT WRITTEN BY YOUR PROFESSOR.
3) Using the outlines to your advantage you can safely and reliably get ahead of the class which is a huge deal since most students do not start writing practice exams because they are waiting on their professors to cover enough law for them to be able to answer questions.
4) THe outline will put your course in context for you so that you will better understand and grasp the bigger picture and how the various areas of law come together. This is the beginning of developing an exam approach.
Where do I find 2L's that will help me?
The best place to find a helpful 2L is in identity groups such as BLSA, APALSA and the like. There are identity groups for nearly everyone in law school. And do not presume that you have to asian or jewish to participate in the identity group or go to their meetings and eat Pizza. Feel free to befriend all friendly 2L's regardless of race, creed or color. In fact the more diversity the better because with multiple resources you can piece together all of the best minds and information to help you understand your course more efficiently.
Things you should know when looking at other people outlines:
Do not take one outline's word for it. the most trusted information should be consistent across the several outlines you gathered.
Different outlines are good for different things. Sometimes the way a person organized the outline or communicates the information or just the layout works better for you and the way you think....Other outlines are what I call information rich. This writer wrote down everything that happened but because it is in an outline it will be shorter for you to read and grasp the nuts and bolts of the info before reading the original source yourself (the case book).
Look for outlines that are broken up into sections and use or flag terminology that your professor uses.
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