Orion311 wrote:How important are class notes for 1L exams? Is it possible to succeed just by knowing rules/issues from assigned cases, and/or looking at outlines or supplements? It's embarrassing, but I never learned to take notes and have always struggled to pay attention to oral lectures, but did alright in undergrad because I had very reading/textbook based courses. I've tried to start note-taking here, but now I'm realizing I just have word documents with a few random transcribed quotes from my profs which are essentially useless.
You might be at a small disadvantage if you're dealing with a visiting prof or someone who hasn't taught a particular class before, because you won't be able to get an outline for that particular prof, and profs do vary somewhat in what they want you to know. For anything else, you'll probably be able to be okay with an outline from a prior year, as long as you've done the reading, tried to pay attention in class (especially when a prof says that something is important), etc.
Orion311 wrote:Also - as far as exam studying goes, is the recommended method generally to be re-reading briefs/highlighted cases in conjunction with class notes and sticking the important stuff in an outline?
The single most important thing, if possible, is to get ahold of old exams and exam answers from this class taught by this professor. If you can figure out what they like to test, and what they like to see in their answers, you'll be able to figure out what to study. Profs do vary, so for some, in-depth knowledge of the cases really matters, and for some, you really need to read a supplement, and for some (a lot), you really need to know what they said in class about the cases (not what the cases actually said themselves).
But yeah, putting cases/black-letter law in outlines is generally the preferred approach, once you know how you're supposed to be thinking about it. (Either making your own or reading/editing someone else's.)