1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

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Lady McDuff
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1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Lady McDuff » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:09 pm

Need a strategy. I have 3 exams to outline for (property, civil procedure, and constitutional law). Accepting suggestions. Thanks!

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Shammis
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Shammis » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:26 pm

I don't know how long you've been around here, but that's not a big deal at all. Do you not have access to any 2L or 3L's outlines? No Outline bank? No E and E? No Keyed Supplements.

You have plenty of time.

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Bronck
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Bronck » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:47 pm

Shammis wrote:I don't know how long you've been around here, but that's not a big deal at all. Do you not have access to any 2L or 3L's outlines? No Outline bank? No E and E? No Keyed Supplements.

You have plenty of time.


+1. Even if you don't have access to old outlines, that's more than enough time to create them. If you're dedicated, you could create one in 2-3 days for each class.

Lady McDuff
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Lady McDuff » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:55 pm

Bronck wrote:
Shammis wrote:I don't know how long you've been around here, but that's not a big deal at all. Do you not have access to any 2L or 3L's outlines? No Outline bank? No E and E? No Keyed Supplements.

You have plenty of time.


+1. Even if you don't have access to old outlines, that's more than enough time to create them. If you're dedicated, you could create one in 2-3 days for each class.

That's a relief. Thanks to both posters. I've been keeping up with reading and taking notes, but some people have been "psyching me out" by talking about how they've been making outlines all semester.

For civpro and property, I guess I'll just go about it by going through each case, writing the issue, listing the arguments on both sides, and saying why the court held for one side or the other. Though it might be different for conlaw. I have no clue what my exam is gonna look like for that class.

spets
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby spets » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:12 pm

Lady McDuff wrote:
Bronck wrote:
Shammis wrote:I don't know how long you've been around here, but that's not a big deal at all. Do you not have access to any 2L or 3L's outlines? No Outline bank? No E and E? No Keyed Supplements.

You have plenty of time.


+1. Even if you don't have access to old outlines, that's more than enough time to create them. If you're dedicated, you could create one in 2-3 days for each class.

That's a relief. Thanks to both posters. I've been keeping up with reading and taking notes, but some people have been "psyching me out" by talking about how they've been making outlines all semester.

For civpro and property, I guess I'll just go about it by going through each case, writing the issue, listing the arguments on both sides, and saying why the court held for one side or the other. Though it might be different for conlaw. I have no clue what my exam is gonna look like for that class.


Or you could just write the rule.

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Mick Haller
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Mick Haller » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:15 pm

If you took good notes during class, make an outline from those. Then supplement it as needed after reviewing supplements and old outlines prepared by others.

You can do this in 2-3 days

Myself
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Myself » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:37 pm

Shammis wrote:I don't know how long you've been around here, but that's not a big deal at all. Do you not have access to any 2L or 3L's outlines? No Outline bank? No E and E? No Keyed Supplements.

You have plenty of time.


Agreed.

Use other people's as templates then edit it with your own notes and ideas.

As for strategy, it depends what works best for you. I personally like to just knock out one outline at a time and trudge through, and then move on to the next. Some people like to jump through three at a time. It's up to you. You just gotta do it.

TheGreatFish
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby TheGreatFish » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:05 am

Just look up an outline on google.

Seriously.

waxecstatic
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby waxecstatic » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:23 pm

Another reason why your freak out is unfounded is that it all comes down to an exam. Some people outline everything, and they become so detached from the process that they realize they've spent the past x amount of days just copying from a book or notes, and haven't absorbed a single thing. Other people don't make an outline and are fine. In any case, your grade is not going to depend on your outline, but what you were able to apply from what you learned.

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ndirish2010
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby ndirish2010 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:28 pm

I didn't start outlining either semester 1L year until 3 days before finals. Worked fine for me. I think people are crazy when they start outlining in October/March.

Pokemon
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Pokemon » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:38 pm

You should drop out.... No way will you be able to outline everything in one month. Cut your losses now.

blong4133
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby blong4133 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:07 pm

I didn't start outlining until 2 weeks before finals last semester. Made deans list and received the same grade as the people who ultimately booked two classes (my school doesn't give out co-book awards).

If you start hitting it hard now or the next week or two, you'll be perfectly fine.

I haven't started outlining yet either...but I'm also in my last semester and don't really have any classes that require much work (besides my trial ad class and moot court). After my competition this weekend I'll start hitting the books for finals.

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alicrimson
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby alicrimson » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:02 am

Here's a wacky idea, I don't outline. At all. I mean, I indirectly do as I read, but I sort of use other's and add in from my class notes where there are wholes. I spend most of my time reviewing the outlines, doing practice questions, and supplementing. I did it all last year and am continuing well into 2L.

I think the need to outline varies from person to person though and you need to do what makes you most comfortable.

texanwahoo
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby texanwahoo » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:03 am

Lady McDuff wrote:Need a strategy. I have 3 exams to outline for (property, civil procedure, and constitutional law). Accepting suggestions. Thanks!


For starters, do you know which of your profs expect you to know specific case names and histories? (the answer is usually no for Property and Civ Pro, and yes for Con Law) Open book/note or closed? As already stated, you'll absolutely HAVE to know how to apply the law to be successful on any final, but having an outline present to which you can refer (and which you've hopefully mostly memorized prior to the exam) can help substantially. For classes where you don't need to know individual case histories, focus entirely on the legal principles involved, the exceptions to those principles, and the exceptions to the exceptions. (In some cases, there will also be exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions.)

I will say that these three classes in particular are not ones where The Bullsh*t Method of Essay Construction will work. Property and Civ Pro have extremely specific doctrines that you'll need to know pat. Con Law is a wholly different beast; I think my advisor in that class said it best - "Memorize EVERYTHING." (And be able to apply that knowledge.) By "everything" I mean each major (and preferably minor) case name, the holding, the rationale behind the holding, the contemporaneous history surrounding the holding, which justices wrote the majority opinions and dissents, which dissents are unusually noteworthy (Harlan in Plessy, Scalia in Lawrence, etc.), which justices' opinions are unusually important (brownie points if you can develop a cogent argument on the overall views of a somewhat lesser-known justice - Blackmun, for instance, or even Harlan I), and, finally, a solid knowledge of the major cases currently before the Court and already heard that don't yet have written opinions: Voting Rights Act, Fisher, DOMA/Prop 8 ... and the likely outcome of each given the current composition of the court and oral arguments in each case. Finally, it should go without saying that you should know each of the EPIC FAIL decisions in the Court's history (Dred Scott, Plessy, etc.) and the cases that corrected these wrongs. Yes, Con Law is considered a back-breaker for damn good reason.

Btw my school has an "unofficial" bank of anonymous professor/class reviews and particularly excellent outlines (ones which resulted in final grades no lower than A-). You might do some digging to see if yours does as well. I've yet to write an outline in any class where someone had previously uploaded one, since courses rarely change much from year to year (Con Law excepted - I did my own outline for it).

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hoos89
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby hoos89 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:58 am

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Last edited by hoos89 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mephistopheles
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby mephistopheles » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:01 pm

hoos89 wrote:
alicrimson wrote:Here's a wacky idea, I don't outline. At all. I mean, I indirectly do as I read, but I sort of use other's and add in from my class notes where there are wholes. I spend most of my time reviewing the outlines, doing practice questions, and supplementing. I did it all last year and am continuing well into 2L.

I think the need to outline varies from person to person though and you need to do what makes you most comfortable.


So it sounds like you do outline...

Also if doing an outline for a course takes you more than about 12 hours of work you're doing something wrong. They don't need to be, nor should they be (imo) 100 pages long.



i like my 100 page outlines just fine.

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dextermorgan
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:07 pm

Lady McDuff wrote:
Bronck wrote:
Shammis wrote:I don't know how long you've been around here, but that's not a big deal at all. Do you not have access to any 2L or 3L's outlines? No Outline bank? No E and E? No Keyed Supplements.

You have plenty of time.


+1. Even if you don't have access to old outlines, that's more than enough time to create them. If you're dedicated, you could create one in 2-3 days for each class.

That's a relief. Thanks to both posters. I've been keeping up with reading and taking notes, but some people have been "psyching me out" by talking about how they've been making outlines all semester.

For civpro and property, I guess I'll just go about it by going through each case, writing the issue, listing the arguments on both sides, and saying why the court held for one side or the other. Though it might be different for conlaw. I have no clue what my exam is gonna look like for that class.

You're in your second semester. Stop getting "psyched out."

Also:
TheGreatFish wrote:Just look up an outline on google.

Seriously.

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mephistopheles
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby mephistopheles » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:08 pm

dextermorgan wrote:You're in your second semester. Stop getting "psyched out."



(guy at median)

Lady McDuff
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby Lady McDuff » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:10 pm

texanwahoo wrote:
Lady McDuff wrote:Need a strategy. I have 3 exams to outline for (property, civil procedure, and constitutional law). Accepting suggestions. Thanks!


For starters, do you know which of your profs expect you to know specific case names and histories? (the answer is usually no for Property and Civ Pro, and yes for Con Law) Open book/note or closed? As already stated, you'll absolutely HAVE to know how to apply the law to be successful on any final, but having an outline present to which you can refer (and which you've hopefully mostly memorized prior to the exam) can help substantially. For classes where you don't need to know individual case histories, focus entirely on the legal principles involved, the exceptions to those principles, and the exceptions to the exceptions. (In some cases, there will also be exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions.)

I will say that these three classes in particular are not ones where The Bullsh*t Method of Essay Construction will work. Property and Civ Pro have extremely specific doctrines that you'll need to know pat. Con Law is a wholly different beast; I think my advisor in that class said it best - "Memorize EVERYTHING." (And be able to apply that knowledge.) By "everything" I mean each major (and preferably minor) case name, the holding, the rationale behind the holding, the contemporaneous history surrounding the holding, which justices wrote the majority opinions and dissents, which dissents are unusually noteworthy (Harlan in Plessy, Scalia in Lawrence, etc.), which justices' opinions are unusually important (brownie points if you can develop a cogent argument on the overall views of a somewhat lesser-known justice - Blackmun, for instance, or even Harlan I), and, finally, a solid knowledge of the major cases currently before the Court and already heard that don't yet have written opinions: Voting Rights Act, Fisher, DOMA/Prop 8 ... and the likely outcome of each given the current composition of the court and oral arguments in each case. Finally, it should go without saying that you should know each of the EPIC FAIL decisions in the Court's history (Dred Scott, Plessy, etc.) and the cases that corrected these wrongs. Yes, Con Law is considered a back-breaker for damn good reason.

Btw my school has an "unofficial" bank of anonymous professor/class reviews and particularly excellent outlines (ones which resulted in final grades no lower than A-). You might do some digging to see if yours does as well. I've yet to write an outline in any class where someone had previously uploaded one, since courses rarely change much from year to year (Con Law excepted - I did my own outline for it).

Wow, thanks for the thoughtful reponse. Property is going to be closed book, which I think is insane because it's basically memorization of a hundred elements and remedies. But we don't have to know case names. So basically I think I'm just gonna write out every possible issue and the doctrine that relates, then write out the arguments for and against both the plaintiff and the defendant, and finally write out all the possible remedies for each issue...then just start memorizing. Good idea/bad idea? I'm weakest with estates and interests so I don't quite know how much time I should spend there as opposed to my stronger issues (landlord/tenant, warranty of habitability, real estate transactions).

CivPro is open book, but we are supposed to know case names. So basically I was planning on just taking the same approach as property and going issue by issue - e.g. "Issue - can the court exercise personal jurisdiction? Rule - a court can exercise PJ when...in this case the court will not be able to exercise PJ because of reason X...this is because case Y said you can exercise PJ when...but International Shoe said you need minimum contacts...this is what minimum contacts are [definition]...this is not similar enough to minimum contacts in Int'l Shoe because of reason Y...also purposeful availment from case W...had reason X been this then maybe we would have PJ, but it's not so no PJ..." Then basically do this for all other issues - motion for dismissal/summ judg, contempt, SMJ, erie doctrine (which we have not done yet), joinder of claims/parties, etc. One thing I'm worried about is that our prof frequently asks about how these cases relate to political and social issues, and what they mean WRT access to justice and the role of the judiciary. I don't know how I'd incorporate them into a straight up issue spotter...maybe in an essay separate from an issue spotter but I'm not sure if that will be on the exam.

Definitely worried about ConLaw. I have a feeling we'll be asked about Fisher and how Roberts (among others) will hold...w/ focus on which justices past and present would apply strict scrutiny/compelling interest/narrow tailoring...maybe a hypothetical on how you can hold for Fisher without overruling Grutter or something to that effect...I'm weakest with fundamental rights and roe v. wade...also not comfortable with privileges and immunities, Slaughterhouse meaning, and subsequent line of cases.

Thanks to all for the thoughtful comments!
Last edited by Lady McDuff on Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thelawdoctor
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby thelawdoctor » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:11 pm

This is why you should pick all paper seminar electives after 1L.

It can be a lot of writing (sometimes, sometimes not even that) but you can do it over time and not just freak out about 100% of your grade being on one exam.

2013applicant
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby 2013applicant » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:11 pm

Was hoping OP was Johnsmeyer.

thelawdoctor
Posts: 416
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby thelawdoctor » Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:12 pm

For 1L though just buy the student bar outlines and canned ones from the campus book store.

People bitch about them but they work, and are often better than handwritten ones anyways.

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hoos89
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby hoos89 » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:38 pm

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Last edited by hoos89 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BrownLine
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Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby BrownLine » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:23 am

I was sort of in this situation first semester so I made very abbreviated outlines on the advice of some law prep program. Lets just say I did fine. :)

ZyzzBrah
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:39 pm

Re: 1 month to exams and haven't started outlines - help!

Postby ZyzzBrah » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:14 pm

(1) as others have said a month is ample time, after I complete my outlines of the course I usually need about a week to really get to know it

(2) I have a general tip for you for this year and next. Does your school record classes? If so, watch them. Your notes will have everything the professor said, in their own words (which is impossible unless you are incredibly fast at typing). First year i did not do this and ended up right at the cut off for top 33%, first semester 2L I did do this and went to 15-20%. Don't say "oh i don't have enough time" because you do, its just very boring to do this.


For the next month do nothing but prepare, theres really only one thing that matters first year and thats GPA. So if your social life/sanity suffers too bad, this is more important




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