MVB99 wrote:Before 1L, I read the “LEEWS” primer and “Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold” by Thane Messinger. Some of the advice in the books seemed crazy at the time, but I followed them both and ended up in the top 10% of the class after first year. Also, I think I spent a lot less time studying than most. Here is a basic summary:
1.Before classes begin, buy a commercial outline for each class (I recommend Emanuel). You will use these as sort of a textbook for the class.
2.When preparing for class, first read the syllabus and see what subject matter the professor will be going over that day. Quickly skim through the assigned pages in your casebook and jot down some of the main headings. Locate this subject matter in your commercial outline and read it thoroughly.
3.Use the commercial outline to prepare an outline for the material you will be going over in the next class. Outlines should be started the first week of class and much of your study time should be spent working on and refining it.
4.After preparing your outline, quickly read/scan the assigned cases. Do not worry much about the facts but see why the case was put in the book and make sure that relevant piece of law is in your outline. If your professor uses the Socratic Method and you are worried about getting called on, summarize each case in 2-4 sentences in your notes. However, if you do the work above, you should be able to handle anything the professor throws at you.
5.During class, do NOT take any notes. Especially do not write down other students comments or tangents the professor might go off on in answering other students questions. Your time in class should be spent listening to the professor and perfecting your outline.
6.After your have gone over a full unit in class (such as negligence), get your hands on every old exam/hypos you can find and practice writing essays using the LEEWS method. (I also recommend the Explanation and Examples Series and CALI Lessons)
7.At the end of the semester, while other students are stressing out over making their outlines, you will have a refined 20-30 page outline filled with everything you need for the exam. During the two weeks before finals, make an “attack outline” where you narrow your 20-30 page outline down to 2-3 pages of main points of law. Whether the exam is closed or open book, memorize the attack outline completely to either trigger your memory if the exam is closed book or to know where to look if the exam is open book.
Um . . . I highly recommend not following the advice given in the quoted post:
1) The Commercial outline, if you choose to use it, should act only as a SUPPLEMENT
2) You're not taking "Tort's"; you're taking Professor X's Torts - hence, the supplement can, and should, only be a SUPPLEMENT
3) Outlining before class is a waste of time - until you know what the professor wants and focuses on, you're wasting your time and energy
4) You absolutely should be taking notes in class - I hate to tell y'all this, but what you think is important doesn't matter - all that matters is what the professor thinks is important.
5) Don't think about outlining until the class is at least half-way finished - used outlining to organize, analyze, and synthesize your class
6) Your outline should be based primarily on your class notes