m27 wrote:Upperclassmen have advised me to draft rule pre-writes for all the major topics (PJ, SMJ, venue, transfer, Erie, etc.) and doing a ton of old exams/hypos to practice using them. Apparently, this works well for my professor in particular since those who simply made an outline always ran out of time and did poorly.
Do you think I should still put such information in "outline" format in addition to pre-writes? I feel like my time would be better spent practicing the application of those rules via practice exams or outlining the material on pleadings, joinder, etc.
Would anyone mind giving some examples of these "prewrites" or know of a good resource for them?
The rules are what your professor says they are. One way to "prewrite" rule statements that is also not a huge time burden is to take rule statements you write in your practice exams (from your IRAC) and tweak them to make sure you have everything and they're perfect. Pre-writing rule statements (so you can mindlessly and quickly copy them verbatim) is a huge timesaver on exams, but it does not replace outlining. In my experience, outlining is important because it helps you learn the material so you can compare cases and apply the facts on the exams to the rules.
Here are some examples of Torts rules statements I prewrote for my exam:
Battery: Under R2T 18, an actor is liable for battery if they intend to cause harmful or offensive contact and offensive contact directly or indirectly results. Moreover, Garratt establishes that an actor is liable for battery if he knew with substantial certainty that his actions would cause contact/indirect harm.
Trespass: Under R2T 158, trespass is the intentional entering of another person’s land, remaining on the land, or failing to remove a thing from the land. Actors are liable for any mistakes (R2T 164), but are not liable for any accidental or involuntary intrusions onto land (R2T 166). Under R2T 168, a conditional or restricted consent to enter land creates a privilege only to do so as the condition or restriction is complied with.
Consent: Per restatement 892, consent is willingness for conduct to occur which must be express, implied, or reasonable. If words are reasonably understood to be intended as consent, they constitute apparent consent.
IIED: Under R2T 46, IIED is (1) intentional or reckless (2) extreme and outrageous conduct that (3) causes severe emotional distress. The threshold for proving IIED is very high and it would need to cause the average person to exclaim “outrageous!” (Murratore). Murratore adds the additional element of the defendant’s subjective state of mind if that have shown express discontent. In addition, Pemberton says that “rough and tumble” plaintiffs are held to a higher standard for severe emotional distress.
Keep in my that every professor is different and wants different things. Some professors give points for rule statements, most don't. I type fast and so I was able to crank out these rule statements really fast and would sometimes leave parts I thought superfluous when retyping them off my exams. I found it helpful to know that my rule statements were correct going into an exam (based on how the class was taught) and that I could focus all my energy on issue-spotting and analysis. For the most part, I prewrote my rule statements the night before each exams and used rule statements from practice tests to make it go faster.