Briefing Method? Help please?

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Favre4Prez
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Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Favre4Prez » Mon May 28, 2012 11:54 am

0L here. Sorry in advance if I sound like a gunnerish goober. So from what I understand, at the school I am attending in the fall, they teach you how to brief cases in a certain fashion before classes start. Their method involves actually writing out a bunch of sections. But my friend who went to a different law school said he never wrote anything to brief cases and that instead, he just highlighted the pertinent parts each in a different color. And this method worked for the Socratic part of his class. And I looked through all of his old books he gave me, and sure enough, in each case, paragraphs and excerpts were each highlighted in different colors. If from what I understand, all of this is condensed into outlines, what method do you guys recommend?

sparty99
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby sparty99 » Mon May 28, 2012 12:14 pm

Briefing is a waste of time. The only time I would consider briefing a case is when I know I will be asked about it....Otherwise, I never briefed. The "canned briefs" are always available online. You might brief it is a really important case as well that you talked about all semester or spent an entire class talking about; But this is only for the final examination. Some professors might ask you to write a dissenting opinion or ask about a specific case, so if you have that info for the test, you are golden. Otherwise, don't brief;

Having 5 different highlighters can also be meaningless as well. When you high-light, you still have to re-read the sentence. Highlights + quick notes in the margin is more effective.

tomwatts
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 28, 2012 12:59 pm

People do this in a lot of different ways. I meticulously took notes on the cases and never touched the pages of the book with a pen, pencil, or highlighter. I did this because it helped me follow the steps in the court's reasoning, because I liked having summaries for quick reference rather than just important sentences, and because I thought that it helped me outline faster later.

Other people primarily highlighted with a few notes in the margins. I don't really get what they were doing, but they did it and it appeared to work for them.

And, as noted above, some people didn't really read the cases at all. This seems absolutely crazy to me. You just aren't going to get the kind of understanding of the case from a canned brief that you'll get from reading the actual opinion. But apparently some people do this to great success.

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Favre4Prez
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Favre4Prez » Mon May 28, 2012 1:23 pm

sparty99 wrote:Briefing is a waste of time. The only time I would consider briefing a case is when I know I will be asked about it....Otherwise, I never briefed. The "canned briefs" are always available online. You might brief it is a really important case as well that you talked about all semester or spent an entire class talking about; But this is only for the final examination. Some professors might ask you to write a dissenting opinion or ask about a specific case, so if you have that info for the test, you are golden. Otherwise, don't brief;

Having 5 different highlighters can also be meaningless as well. When you high-light, you still have to re-read the sentence. Highlights + quick notes in the margin is more effective.


What exactly are canned briefs? Thanks.

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barestin
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby barestin » Mon May 28, 2012 1:32 pm

Favre4Prez wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Briefing is a waste of time. The only time I would consider briefing a case is when I know I will be asked about it....Otherwise, I never briefed. The "canned briefs" are always available online. You might brief it is a really important case as well that you talked about all semester or spent an entire class talking about; But this is only for the final examination. Some professors might ask you to write a dissenting opinion or ask about a specific case, so if you have that info for the test, you are golden. Otherwise, don't brief;

Having 5 different highlighters can also be meaningless as well. When you high-light, you still have to re-read the sentence. Highlights + quick notes in the margin is more effective.


What exactly are canned briefs? Thanks.


Just type the name of the case assigned on google with the word brief after it (e.g. Hamer v. Sidway brief) and some links to canned briefs should pop up that summarize all the important parts of the case. This website is really good too because it has the links available for most of the cases you will be studying your 1L year: --LinkRemoved--

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Favre4Prez
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Favre4Prez » Mon May 28, 2012 7:16 pm

barestin wrote:
Favre4Prez wrote:
sparty99 wrote:Briefing is a waste of time. The only time I would consider briefing a case is when I know I will be asked about it....Otherwise, I never briefed. The "canned briefs" are always available online. You might brief it is a really important case as well that you talked about all semester or spent an entire class talking about; But this is only for the final examination. Some professors might ask you to write a dissenting opinion or ask about a specific case, so if you have that info for the test, you are golden. Otherwise, don't brief;

Having 5 different highlighters can also be meaningless as well. When you high-light, you still have to re-read the sentence. Highlights + quick notes in the margin is more effective.


What exactly are canned briefs? Thanks.


Just type the name of the case assigned on google with the word brief after it (e.g. Hamer v. Sidway brief) and some links to canned briefs should pop up that summarize all the important parts of the case. This website is really good too because it has the links available for most of the cases you will be studying your 1L year: --LinkRemoved--


Dang, thanks a ton barestin.

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Favre4Prez
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Favre4Prez » Mon May 28, 2012 7:17 pm

sparty99 wrote:Briefing is a waste of time. The only time I would consider briefing a case is when I know I will be asked about it....Otherwise, I never briefed. The "canned briefs" are always available online. You might brief it is a really important case as well that you talked about all semester or spent an entire class talking about; But this is only for the final examination. Some professors might ask you to write a dissenting opinion or ask about a specific case, so if you have that info for the test, you are golden. Otherwise, don't brief;

Having 5 different highlighters can also be meaningless as well. When you high-light, you still have to re-read the sentence. Highlights + quick notes in the margin is more effective.


Wait, how did you know you would be asked about a particular case in advance?

jarofsoup
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby jarofsoup » Mon May 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Favre4Prez wrote:0L here. Sorry in advance if I sound like a gunnerish goober. So from what I understand, at the school I am attending in the fall, they teach you how to brief cases in a certain fashion before classes start. Their method involves actually writing out a bunch of sections. But my friend who went to a different law school said he never wrote anything to brief cases and that instead, he just highlighted the pertinent parts each in a different color. And this method worked for the Socratic part of his class. And I looked through all of his old books he gave me, and sure enough, in each case, paragraphs and excerpts were each highlighted in different colors. If from what I understand, all of this is condensed into outlines, what method do you guys recommend?



Start out doing both. Then you will find something out. Book brief and write them out.

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Favre4Prez
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Favre4Prez » Mon May 28, 2012 9:33 pm

jarofsoup wrote:
Favre4Prez wrote:0L here. Sorry in advance if I sound like a gunnerish goober. So from what I understand, at the school I am attending in the fall, they teach you how to brief cases in a certain fashion before classes start. Their method involves actually writing out a bunch of sections. But my friend who went to a different law school said he never wrote anything to brief cases and that instead, he just highlighted the pertinent parts each in a different color. And this method worked for the Socratic part of his class. And I looked through all of his old books he gave me, and sure enough, in each case, paragraphs and excerpts were each highlighted in different colors. If from what I understand, all of this is condensed into outlines, what method do you guys recommend?



Start out doing both. Then you will find something out. Book brief and write them out.


...What will I find out?

jarofsoup
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby jarofsoup » Mon May 28, 2012 11:05 pm

Favre4Prez wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:
Favre4Prez wrote:0L here. Sorry in advance if I sound like a gunnerish goober. So from what I understand, at the school I am attending in the fall, they teach you how to brief cases in a certain fashion before classes start. Their method involves actually writing out a bunch of sections. But my friend who went to a different law school said he never wrote anything to brief cases and that instead, he just highlighted the pertinent parts each in a different color. And this method worked for the Socratic part of his class. And I looked through all of his old books he gave me, and sure enough, in each case, paragraphs and excerpts were each highlighted in different colors. If from what I understand, all of this is condensed into outlines, what method do you guys recommend?



Start out doing both. Then you will find something out. Book brief and write them out.


...What will I find out?


What works for you. The first semester I briefed nearly everything and highlighted in the book. The second I only book briefed and took some notes of the rules of the case.

My brief method is Procedural History, Facts, Issues, Holding, Rule, Outline. I omit reasoning because it takes to long and outline is what I believe from the case should go into my outline. Usually repetition helps me.

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Favre4Prez
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Favre4Prez » Mon May 28, 2012 11:35 pm

jarofsoup wrote:
Favre4Prez wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:
Favre4Prez wrote:0L here. Sorry in advance if I sound like a gunnerish goober. So from what I understand, at the school I am attending in the fall, they teach you how to brief cases in a certain fashion before classes start. Their method involves actually writing out a bunch of sections. But my friend who went to a different law school said he never wrote anything to brief cases and that instead, he just highlighted the pertinent parts each in a different color. And this method worked for the Socratic part of his class. And I looked through all of his old books he gave me, and sure enough, in each case, paragraphs and excerpts were each highlighted in different colors. If from what I understand, all of this is condensed into outlines, what method do you guys recommend?



Start out doing both. Then you will find something out. Book brief and write them out.


...What will I find out?


What works for you. The first semester I briefed nearly everything and highlighted in the book. The second I only book briefed and took some notes of the rules of the case.

My brief method is Procedural History, Facts, Issues, Holding, Rule, Outline. I omit reasoning because it takes to long and outline is what I believe from the case should go into my outline. Usually repetition helps me.


What sort of information usually goes into the Outline section of your briefs/your outline? Thanks.

chitown2626
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby chitown2626 » Tue May 29, 2012 1:28 am

dont brief. \Thread

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Tue May 29, 2012 1:34 am

IMO briefing every case is a huge time kill and will overwhelm you with unnecessary information.

Read the case, highlight some of it, make some notes in the margin and then go to class and engage in the discussion involving the case and take some notes.

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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby tedalbany » Tue May 29, 2012 2:07 am

Briefing is a huge waste of time. I'd only recommend it if your professor cold calls and participation counts in a big way, but even then a very short brief (I didn't even do that for my cold call classes though). You just need to know the law (which you can get more easily from supplements and/or lecture) and how it's applied, which you can get from reading the cases once and listening in lecture.

jarofsoup
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby jarofsoup » Tue May 29, 2012 10:36 am

chitown2626 wrote:dont brief. \Thread



This is true, but it is helpful the first couple weeks of school and we all need to develop our own methods. Yet, you have to be careful if you have a professor who is ultra case orientated then you should note some facts from the case because it is much easier to do it as you go then before the exam. Outline was just stuff like hardline or black letter law or major policy themes.

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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby barestin » Tue May 29, 2012 11:18 pm

What sort of information usually goes into the Outline section of your briefs/your outline? Thanks.[/quote]

Your outline should basically be formatted in the following way: 1) Heading, 2) Subheadings, 3) Underneath the subheadings list the rules and lay out any examples or hypos the professor mentions in class, 4) A very short case brief where all you put is 1-2 sentences of the facts to jog your memory of the case followed by how the court applied the rules you already have listed above to make the ruling. Each brief should only comprise 3-4 lines in your outline.

In short, cases are glorified hypotheticals. They aren't really important for most classes and their is absolutely NO reason to brief them yourselves. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel here. Smart law students already briefed the cases and the majority of them are available online. Even better, get great outlines from people that took your classes that already incorporated their briefs into them and just use those to follow along in class (chances are all the parts the professor cares about are already in the outlines of people who did well). I would recommend getting a long and short outline for the same class and then combining them together to make your own (think 30-40 pages per class at the max). This process worked for me because in a way I was making my own outline, but the heavy lifting was already done.

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Relientkate
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Relientkate » Tue May 29, 2012 11:35 pm

Personally, I did better in classes where I actually briefed the cases, in addition to feeling more prepared for finals. However, I can see how it could be considered a time-suck. To each his own. Be veeeery careful about the online briefs though... use them, but just with caution. Sometimes they have extra material that's not in your casebook, and if you start reciting facts/law that your professor didn't assign, sometimes it's like the shark smelling blood in the water.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed May 30, 2012 12:45 am

Dumb thread. Shut up and enjoy your summer.

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Flips88
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Flips88 » Wed May 30, 2012 12:46 am

sparty99 wrote:Briefing is a waste of time.

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Favre4Prez
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby Favre4Prez » Wed May 30, 2012 4:03 pm

barestin wrote:What sort of information usually goes into the Outline section of your briefs/your outline? Thanks.


Your outline should basically be formatted in the following way: 1) Heading, 2) Subheadings, 3) Underneath the subheadings list the rules and lay out any examples or hypos the professor mentions in class, 4) A very short case brief where all you put is 1-2 sentences of the facts to jog your memory of the case followed by how the court applied the rules you already have listed above to make the ruling. Each brief should only comprise 3-4 lines in your outline.

In short, cases are glorified hypotheticals. They aren't really important for most classes and their is absolutely NO reason to brief them yourselves. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel here. Smart law students already briefed the cases and the majority of them are available online. Even better, get great outlines from people that took your classes that already incorporated their briefs into them and just use those to follow along in class (chances are all the parts the professor cares about are already in the outlines of people who did well). I would recommend getting a long and short outline for the same class and then combining them together to make your own (think 30-40 pages per class at the max). This process worked for me because in a way I was making my own outline, but the heavy lifting was already done.[/quote]

What are some example headings/sub-headings? And how do you organize . Also, does each sub-heading deal with a different case, or can there be multiple cases under one heading? Another thing: if there is so much hate towards briefing cases, then why does the school I am attending systematically instruct its incoming students to do so? Thanks for all the responses so far everybody.

Also, are lectures hard to follow in class if you pay attention to the professor?

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tedalbany
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby tedalbany » Wed May 30, 2012 4:15 pm

Favre4Prez wrote:Also, are lectures hard to follow in class if you pay attention to the professor?


Depends entirely on the professor. I've had professors who are great teachers, make everything very clear, and are easy to follow and learn from, and I've had the 'academics' who aren't very good teachers - they tend to just ramble and interject their own philosophies about everything and make it very difficult to follow the material and lecture and discern what's important. You'll probably get some of each.

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barestin
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby barestin » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:45 pm

Favre4Prez wrote:
barestin wrote:What sort of information usually goes into the Outline section of your briefs/your outline? Thanks.


Your outline should basically be formatted in the following way: 1) Heading, 2) Subheadings, 3) Underneath the subheadings list the rules and lay out any examples or hypos the professor mentions in class, 4) A very short case brief where all you put is 1-2 sentences of the facts to jog your memory of the case followed by how the court applied the rules you already have listed above to make the ruling. Each brief should only comprise 3-4 lines in your outline.

In short, cases are glorified hypotheticals. They aren't really important for most classes and their is absolutely NO reason to brief them yourselves. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel here. Smart law students already briefed the cases and the majority of them are available online. Even better, get great outlines from people that took your classes that already incorporated their briefs into them and just use those to follow along in class (chances are all the parts the professor cares about are already in the outlines of people who did well). I would recommend getting a long and short outline for the same class and then combining them together to make your own (think 30-40 pages per class at the max). This process worked for me because in a way I was making my own outline, but the heavy lifting was already done.


What are some example headings/sub-headings? And how do you organize . Also, does each sub-heading deal with a different case, or can there be multiple cases under one heading? Another thing: if there is so much hate towards briefing cases, then why does the school I am attending systematically instruct its incoming students to do so? Thanks for all the responses so far everybody.

Also, are lectures hard to follow in class if you pay attention to the professor?[/quote]

The heading should be the main subject matter. For example in Contracts, a main heading would be "I. Consideration" and a couple subheadings would be: "Promise for Promise" and "Promise for Performance." Under the subheadings, define what they mean, any relevant rules, and any cases that incorporate those rules in them. PM me your e-mail address and I can send you one of my outlines if you want a better idea of how to organize.

In response to your second question, the school you are attending instructs incoming students to do so because they want you to jump through the entire obstacle course of law school to make it seem harder and more demanding than it really is. Trust me, what I am encouraging you to do here should not lighten your workload, but rather you should invest your time more efficiently towards studying outlines and preparing for exams (i.e. the shit that actually matters in law school) rather than focusing on reading/briefing cases, which is a huges waste of time and has no value when it comes down to actually taking exams.

Like the poster above me said, it all depends on the professor. Really though, office hours are much more helpful than lecture and if you have an outline script for each class, then there really is no reason to take notes in class or focus intensively during class. On the other hand, if you are one of the 2-3 people in every class that have a photographic memory and can literally sit and listen to a lecture for an hour and a half and retain all the information after class, then by all means pay attention.

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ilovesf
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby ilovesf » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:59 pm

I liked briefing at the beginning of law school because it helped me understand how to digest the material better. After a while, I would just write down the names of cases, one like about the facts, and maybe 2 important points from the case. The rest I'd copy and paste from online or a brief book.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Briefing Method? Help please?

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:08 am

This is one of those depends on your style things.

I had good memory for the cases, so I could make it through cold-call and lecture just based off of memory, even if I read the case on like Friday and I was cold-called on Wednesday. I also don't outline. Because of this, I also didn't bother to take down any notes on the reading or highlight it. Once in a long while I'd scribble something in the margins. It was fairly funny when the only exam question I had all year that asked specifically about a case asked about the one case I had written anything in the textbook about all semester, and one of the few margin notes I wrote l all year, and my note was basically been a direct answer to the question. :lol:

A fair amount of people really do benefit from briefing,though, and I can definitely see the value if you plan to outline.




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