NewHere wrote:Another vote in favor of reading cases. I'm not arguing it's impossible to get good grades without reading cases, but if you do read them during the semester, it will help enormously come exam time. In your outline, you can summarize them in one or two sentences, and since you've read them, those sentences will conjure up the entire story in your mind. Having read cases means that once the exam is there, you'll read the hypo and automatically think "Oh, this aspect is like THIS case!" and "That element is exactly like THAT case!" etc. and you'll be able to incorporate the cases in your analysis.
There are other ways of writing a good analysis, and if you can do it by reading hornbooks, then more power to you. But reading cases does give you background and depth.
I completely agree! Reading the cases before class and then hearing what the professor focuses on in class can really help you anticipate the types of issues that will come up on the exam.
Also, the best way to become a better writer is by reading. Sometimes students will have the same raw score on an essay exam, but one will get the higher grade because of the structure and quality of his or her writing. I think reading the cases really helped me figure out how to analyze issues and helped me maximize my time on the exam by taking a systematic approach to writing it. Some classes, like Con Law and Civ Pro, can have a very messy analysis. I think reading the cases in those courses really helped me.