So I stopped briefing cases

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WHJTMG178
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby WHJTMG178 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:29 pm

3L here. Manually briefing is not a good use of your time. Especially if there are old outlines or online case briefs are available.[/quote]


Seconded. Stopped briefing after about two weeks. Got old outlines and pasted online case briefs into a word doc in case I was called on. Spend your time reviewing and updating old outlines, taking practice exams, and doing E&E's.
Last edited by WHJTMG178 on Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Zippatic
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby Zippatic » Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:39 pm

1l2016 wrote:So yeah, I stopped briefing cases and I'd love to hear some input from 2Ls and 3Ls who didn't brief.


I'm a 3L and I brief every case.

Ignore what everyone else says THEY do. Do what works for you. If you can get away without briefing the case, then go ahead. If however, you find yourself struggling to find basic facts when called on, go back to briefing/multi-color highlighting.

odoylerulez
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby odoylerulez » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:01 pm

Zippatic wrote:
1l2016 wrote:So yeah, I stopped briefing cases and I'd love to hear some input from 2Ls and 3Ls who didn't brief.


I'm a 3L and I brief every case.

Ignore what everyone else says THEY do. Do what works for you. If you can get away without briefing the case, then go ahead. If however, you find yourself struggling to find basic facts when called on, go back to briefing/multi-color highlighting.


I agree with your assessment that everyone should do what works best for them, but justifying briefing on the basis of reciting minutiae when called upon is not a compelling reason to brief - unless you have the odd professor that actually factors your cold calls into your final grade.

Cold calls just don't matter. There's a reason the best students tend to sound mediocre at best and more often plain incoherent when called on. The final exam score you get is what matters, and is the only thing that happens inside the classroom that will help you land a job in this tough legal market.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:21 pm

odoylerulez wrote:
Zippatic wrote:
1l2016 wrote:So yeah, I stopped briefing cases and I'd love to hear some input from 2Ls and 3Ls who didn't brief.


I'm a 3L and I brief every case.

Ignore what everyone else says THEY do. Do what works for you. If you can get away without briefing the case, then go ahead. If however, you find yourself struggling to find basic facts when called on, go back to briefing/multi-color highlighting.


I agree with your assessment that everyone should do what works best for them, but justifying briefing on the basis of reciting minutiae when called upon is not a compelling reason to brief - unless you have the odd professor that actually factors your cold calls into your final grade.

Cold calls just don't matter. There's a reason the best students tend to sound mediocre at best and more often plain incoherent when called on. The final exam score you get is what matters, and is the only thing that happens inside the classroom that will help you land a job in this tough legal market.


I agree that you shouldn't worry about what you sound like when cold-called, but there's a fine line between "minutiae" and remembering sufficient facts to make the argument that a given case (and thus its rule) is distinguishable. Succeeding on the finals depends upon being able to say something like "Plaintiffs can also argue that case X does not apply because fact Y was present in case X but it is not found here..." If you're not recalling enough facts from the cases to make these arguments you might be in trouble.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:40 pm

odoylerulez wrote:There's a reason the best students tend to sound mediocre at best and more often plain incoherent when called on.

People say this kind of thing a lot, but plenty of the top people in my class always knew what they were talking about and made really good points when called on. (NOT saying you should prioritize being prepared for cold-calls over exam prep, and people can sound completely incoherent in class and do brilliantly, I just think the above was a little much.)

Myself
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Postby Myself » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:43 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

odoylerulez
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby odoylerulez » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:44 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:
odoylerulez wrote:
Zippatic wrote:
1l2016 wrote:So yeah, I stopped briefing cases and I'd love to hear some input from 2Ls and 3Ls who didn't brief.


I'm a 3L and I brief every case.

Ignore what everyone else says THEY do. Do what works for you. If you can get away without briefing the case, then go ahead. If however, you find yourself struggling to find basic facts when called on, go back to briefing/multi-color highlighting.


I agree with your assessment that everyone should do what works best for them, but justifying briefing on the basis of reciting minutiae when called upon is not a compelling reason to brief - unless you have the odd professor that actually factors your cold calls into your final grade.

Cold calls just don't matter. There's a reason the best students tend to sound mediocre at best and more often plain incoherent when called on. The final exam score you get is what matters, and is the only thing that happens inside the classroom that will help you land a job in this tough legal market.


I agree that you shouldn't worry about what you sound like when cold-called, but there's a fine line between "minutiae" and remembering sufficient facts to make the argument that a given case (and thus its rule) is distinguishable. Succeeding on the finals depends upon being able to say something like "Plaintiffs can also argue that case X does not apply because fact Y was present in case X but it is not found here..." If you're not recalling enough facts from the cases to make these arguments you might be in trouble.


Agreed, but you don't need to brief to distinguish cases. In fact, I think that's counterproductive, because if you get too absorbed into each individual case, it may become more difficult to see trends and patterns emerging across cases and over time.

It's a lot easier to just highlight distinguishable facts in the book, or make a note in the margin, and move on. Unfortunately for law students everywhere, there are many professors that like to ask questions about things that just don't matter when it comes to your exam.

odoylerulez
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby odoylerulez » Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:48 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
odoylerulez wrote:There's a reason the best students tend to sound mediocre at best and more often plain incoherent when called on.

People say this kind of thing a lot, but plenty of the top people in my class always knew what they were talking about and made really good points when called on. (NOT saying you should prioritize being prepared for cold-calls over exam prep, and people can sound completely incoherent in class and do brilliantly, I just think the above was a little much.)


Holds true at my school, with only one exception - the guy that's #2 in my class sounds like a savant in class and kills it on the finals too. I studied with the guy quite a bit first semester. Quite possibly the smartest man I've ever met.

Aside from that, you'd think that some of the top students here never read anything if you judge them just by their answers in class - then they show up to the final and consistently crank out grades in the A- to A+ range. That's because they understand how the game works.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby Scotusnerd » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:14 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:People say this kind of thing a lot, but plenty of the top people in my class always knew what they were talking about and made really good points when called on. (NOT saying you should prioritize being prepared for cold-calls over exam prep, and people can sound completely incoherent in class and do brilliantly, I just think the above was a little much.)



This is credited at my school. I know the people on the dean's list etc. and they're generally the ones who know their shit when they get cold called. Not saying other's don't know their stuff, though. I wouldn't rely on it as a solid way of determining who's a challenge in your class.

KidStuddi
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby KidStuddi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:24 pm

OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:I agree that you shouldn't worry about what you sound like when cold-called, but there's a fine line between "minutiae" and remembering sufficient facts to make the argument that a given case (and thus its rule) is distinguishable. Succeeding on the finals depends upon being able to say something like "Plaintiffs can also argue that case X does not apply because fact Y was present in case X but it is not found here..." If you're not recalling enough facts from the cases to make these arguments you might be in trouble.


I've never made the bolded argument on an exam and, as of fall semester 3L year, I'm hovering on the historical line between summa and magna cum. Hell, the only time I've ever cited cases even by name was as shorthand for referencing the principles the stand for -- I've never gone into the actual facts of real case on a law school exam.

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AlanShore
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby AlanShore » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:35 pm

KidStuddi wrote:
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:I agree that you shouldn't worry about what you sound like when cold-called, but there's a fine line between "minutiae" and remembering sufficient facts to make the argument that a given case (and thus its rule) is distinguishable. Succeeding on the finals depends upon being able to say something like "Plaintiffs can also argue that case X does not apply because fact Y was present in case X but it is not found here..." If you're not recalling enough facts from the cases to make these arguments you might be in trouble.


I've never made the bolded argument on an exam and, as of fall semester 3L year, I'm hovering on the historical line between summa and magna cum. Hell, the only time I've ever cited cases even by name was as shorthand for referencing the principles the stand for -- I've never gone into the actual facts of real case on a law school exam.

oh.

is it not super important to distinguish cases or show how the hypo is similar to cases (and therefore the court is likely to come out one way or the other)? i thought it was important to do this! otherwise, how do you structure your exam? just bll and applying it to the facts?

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Br3v
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby Br3v » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:08 pm

Yeah I was under the impression that even if you didn't have to cite a case by name it was a plus.

As in:
satisfactory answer= "The Supreme Court has ruled that TLS is useful"
better answer = "In This Thread v. State the Supreme Court ruled that TLS is useful"

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Scotusnerd
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby Scotusnerd » Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:06 am

Br3v wrote:Yeah I was under the impression that even if you didn't have to cite a case by name it was a plus.

As in:
satisfactory answer= "The Supreme Court has ruled that TLS is useful"
better answer = "In This Thread v. State the Supreme Court ruled that TLS is useful"


I got an A in my Con Law class without citing a single case name.

Your mileage may vary depending on your professor, though. Ask early about things like that.

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stillwater
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby stillwater » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:30 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
Br3v wrote:Yeah I was under the impression that even if you didn't have to cite a case by name it was a plus.

As in:
satisfactory answer= "The Supreme Court has ruled that TLS is useful"
better answer = "In This Thread v. State the Supreme Court ruled that TLS is useful"


I got an A in my Con Law class without citing a single case name.

Your mileage may vary depending on your professor, though. Ask early about things like that.


This, like almost any class in law school, will be entirely professor specific. Some don't care, at all, whereas some live and die by your ability to spout case names.

As for briefing, it's not really necessary. Briefing requires you package tons of extraneous information and just crushes you time-wise. I was a big fan of marginal notes. The facts and other shit your professor quizzes you on are useless come exam time, usually there are one or two main points that can be distilled from each case. I don't really believe in "BLL" per se but the variations in these formulations are usually of key importance. Exams are about complex application of basic doctrine, not knowing the "procedural posture" of some shitty 19th century contracts case.

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OneMoreLawHopeful
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Re: So I stopped briefing cases

Postby OneMoreLawHopeful » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:42 pm

AlanShore wrote:
KidStuddi wrote:
OneMoreLawHopeful wrote:I agree that you shouldn't worry about what you sound like when cold-called, but there's a fine line between "minutiae" and remembering sufficient facts to make the argument that a given case (and thus its rule) is distinguishable. Succeeding on the finals depends upon being able to say something like "Plaintiffs can also argue that case X does not apply because fact Y was present in case X but it is not found here..." If you're not recalling enough facts from the cases to make these arguments you might be in trouble.


I've never made the bolded argument on an exam and, as of fall semester 3L year, I'm hovering on the historical line between summa and magna cum. Hell, the only time I've ever cited cases even by name was as shorthand for referencing the principles the stand for -- I've never gone into the actual facts of real case on a law school exam.

oh.

is it not super important to distinguish cases or show how the hypo is similar to cases (and therefore the court is likely to come out one way or the other)? i thought it was important to do this! otherwise, how do you structure your exam? just bll and applying it to the facts?


This really depends on the class.

On the one hand, it's not super important in a class like contracts, where most of the cases you read are just some random state court applying the common law; there's no real reason to cite to a case like that.

However, in other courses (Con law, Crim, Civ Pro) there are some cases, usually handed down by SCOTUS, that are the black letter law and are worth discussing by name, and potentially distinguishing. As an example, I would argue this applies to the discussions that implicate the Supreme Court's decisions on personal jurisdiction in Civ Pro, since that is a fact-heavy analysis.

I guess others haven't done this (it sounds like?) but I always have and it's totally worked for me so far. I think it's far easier to say "Fact X is missing, so defendant can argue this is more like Nicastro than Burger King..." than it would be to actually write out a treatise on why fact x even applies to personal jurisdiction in the first place. Obviously, some explanation is needed, but if you cite the case as shorthand for the argument, you can communicate your argument to the prof. in a fraction of the time. Maybe some profs don't like that? If they don't, I've never had one.




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