Outline Advice

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llachans
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Outline Advice

Postby llachans » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:24 am

I think my outlines last semester focused too much on cases. Generally how do you guys set up your outlines? Specifically, how much do you put about cases in your outline?

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gaud
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby gaud » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:26 am

I just put the rule of law from the cases. That way I can just run through them all while answering exam q's

llachans
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby llachans » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:29 am

gaud wrote:I just put the rule of law from the cases. That way I can just run through them all while answering exam q's


I organized mine as

General Topic
Rule
Case
IRAC of case + main argument each side makes
Anything really specific or an exception that only applies to cases very much like this case.

Is this way too much?

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gaud
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby gaud » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:29 am

I would think it depends on your professor, but that sounds like a lot.

llachans
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby llachans » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:32 am

gaud wrote:I would think it depends on your professor, but that sounds like a lot.


I agree. I think I tried to cram too many details, and not enough general principles, in my head last semester. Do you personally just do the main rule and then the case as a bullet point underneath?

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gaud
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby gaud » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:37 am

llachans wrote: Do you personally just do the main rule and then the case as a bullet point underneath?


I section by topic than do bullet points for all of the related cases and their rules of law.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:44 am

I agree that's too much detail - you definitely don't need IRAC for each case (again, unless your prof makes clear they're going to want that for some reason). Really you just need the rule of the case. I might put a brief description (like "hairy hand case") if I wasn't going to remember the facts by the name of the case (and by remember the facts, I only mean enough to jog your memory - you don't need the facts, really, except possibly to be able to spot parallels on the exam ("oh, these facts are like the hairy hand case").

(I might argue that con law is different and more case-heavy though. But generally, you don't need details about the cases - you need to understand the law and just slot cases in here and there for quick reference. They're not important in themselves, only as the illustrate the law.)

llachans
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby llachans » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:47 am

Thank you! You've both been very helpful!

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gdane
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby gdane » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:30 pm

Topic- Takings
Rule(s)- Penn central test/Loretto Test/Lucas Test/Nolan Dolan test, etc etc
Cases you read in class- Quick fact summary and how the rule was applied to those facts.


Pay attention to how the rule was used in the cases you read. How was the rule used in this one case? In the other? Why was there a different result in this case?

On exams you mainly use cases to bolster support for whatever argument you're making either by analogizing or by distinguishing a case from your fact pattern.

z0rk
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Re: Outline Advice

Postby z0rk » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:41 pm

Using my contracts outline as an example (got an A in the class):

Subject Header: Section A Parol Evidence
A.1. - Discussion of general principles (with infra cites to relevant cases below)
A.2. - Common Law (reprint of relevant Restatement Sections)
A.3. - UCC (reprint or cite to relevant UCC articles, infra cites to relevant cases below)
A.4. - Cases - I wrote not more than three sentences summarizing the case facts and a RULE or RULES that apply.

I repeated the above method for all general topics covered in contracts (note I actually started with offer, then acceptance, moving through the logical progression of how a contract is formed.) I also inserted infra or supra cites if there were cases under a different section that seemed applicable. It was an 86 page outline (a little overdone, but it works for me). I put the professors syllabus at the back end and made sure to note where each case discussed in the outline. I also took note of key terms, as well as key things my professor would regularly discuss and used those terms to create an index. For example. my contracts professor was very into employment issues in contract law, so I made sure to have "at-will", "employment", etc. in my index. This was EXTREMELY helpful because our exam had an employee handbook amendment question, and I was quickly able to locate the cases and use them in my analysis.

An important thing to note is that having a well crafted outline is only a portion of what you should be doing to achieve success. You have to practice, practice, practice with exams. You also need to be sure you are giving good analysis of the issues within your answer. If you have not yet read getting to maybe I would highly suggest picking it up! A must read for law school success.




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