Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

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Mr. Momo
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Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby Mr. Momo » Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:27 am

I've spent hours browsing through the forums here on TLS and on reddit on the best ways to study. It seems that the consensus is that there is no consensus as note taking is such a personal thing. However, it also did seem that a majority of people on the forums also agree that briefing cases is not an effective use of time.

I want to study smart. So my question is, if I do not brief, how should I best spend my time? Are supplements an absolute necessity if I do not brief and how do they fit into the equation (and are they necessary for every single class)? Or is something like mini-briefs helpful?

Any guidance would be great. I want to be at least semi-ready with some kind of idea of how I would tackle my work load once classes start. And if someone can actually comment on their routine step by step of how to approach their daily readings, that would be superb.

cavalier1138
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Re: Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:09 am

Mr. Momo wrote:I've spent hours browsing through the forums here on TLS and on reddit on the best ways to study. It seems that the consensus is that there is no consensus as note taking is such a personal thing. However, it also did seem that a majority of people on the forums also agree that briefing cases is not an effective use of time.

I want to study smart. So my question is, if I do not brief, how should I best spend my time? Are supplements an absolute necessity if I do not brief and how do they fit into the equation (and are they necessary for every single class)? Or is something like mini-briefs helpful?

Any guidance would be great. I want to be at least semi-ready with some kind of idea of how I would tackle my work load once classes start. And if someone can actually comment on their routine step by step of how to approach their daily readings, that would be superb.


Actually, most people recommend briefing cases until you have a sense of whether it works for you. I would say the same thing about supplements, but in reverse. Hold off on using supplements unless you find that you are still confused about the black letter law after going to class.

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SilvermanBarPrep
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Re: Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:34 pm

Work with a supplement in conjunction to your casebook for any given class. Whenever you read a case try to figure out how the case plays into some larger topic on your syllabus. After you've struggled with the case and thought about how it plays into the larger topic check the supplement which will boil down the cases that you've read into the essential elements that you were supposed to take from each case.

Always be thinking about putting all these puzzle pieces (the cases) together to understand concepts. Having this kind of "big-picture" knowledge will take you far on an essay exam.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

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JDAdvisingLLC
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Re: Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby JDAdvisingLLC » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:02 pm

We recommend learning how to brief cases, but its not something that you should regularly do after the first week or so of law school. We highly recommend getting your hands on a supplement that is keyed to your casebook and reading the applicable cases (in the supplement) before skimming the assigned reading in your case book. That way you are understanding why the case was assigned, and haven't lost too much time struggling through your assigned reading. You can then focus on taking notes in class without having to sift through long notes that contain case briefs, on top of notes from class in order to create an outline. By using this approach you will be efficient and yet prepared for class.

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thesealocust
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Re: Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby thesealocust » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:44 am

You'll see a lot of negative comments about briefing thrown around on TLS, but it's important to put that in context: it's not that briefing is a complete waste of time. It's that some schools/professors/students take it to ridiculous extremes with an overemphasis on facts, procedural posture, etc.

A short brief to remind you of the facts of the case and the rule of decision can be very useful. You don't need a crazy full page multicolored monstrosity.

Supplements are never necessary, but if you find a good one that lines up with the material as presented by your professor, it can help put each case into context as part of a cohesive legal doctrine. Take a look at a few, particularly after you've finished a unit in a class and can use the supplement to orient yourself with a brid's eye view. If it doesn't seem helpful, trust your instincts!

As for time allocation generally, you'll be busier later in the semester. That can be maddening, but a lot of classes start slow or even do general policy or background/historical cases up front, so there isn't much to sink your teeth into.

RaceJudicata
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Re: Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby RaceJudicata » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:44 pm

Thesealocust is pretty much spot on. Don't create work early in semester for sake of "work." Short briefs, focused on the actual holding is what is important. Only need enough facts to trigger your memory of the case.

1L isn't as big of a time commitment as people make out to be (until finals, of course).

I'd also consider reading a canned case brief before you read a given case - this helped me hone in on the important stuff when reading the actual case.

patrick248
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Re: Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby patrick248 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:24 am

I disagree about supplements. ALWAYS get Examples and Explanations. You can get one that is a year or two old for half price and that will do fine. Supplements are essential for studying for exams. Your outline is what you need to spend your time on. Include a short brief in your outline of the most important cases.

cavalier1138
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Re: Advice on studying and best ways to spend my time?

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:43 am

patrick248 wrote:Supplements are essential for studying for exams for me.


Fixed.




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