Assignments before first day of 1L

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SlimShadyMcCoy
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Assignments before first day of 1L

Postby SlimShadyMcCoy » Fri Aug 17, 2012 6:21 pm

I have reading assignments in all of my first semester classes. Most of the reading is case law, but some of it isn't. I've been out of school for several years now and I'm rusty when it comes to studying, so I need some tips. I read four chapters of my book for Legal Research and Writing, and while I was reading, I took bullet point notes in OneNote, sort of like an outline for a case law class. I figured it would be a good thing to have so that I could review it before class in case I get called on. Does anyone out there study like this? Am I wasting my time?

Also, Law School Confidential says to study like this: 1) read the case and take notes in the margin while highlighting, 2) go to class and discuss the material you read, and 3) go home and outline what you just discussed using your margin notes and highlighted material as a guide. Does anyone out there do it this way?

Thanks.

Gorki
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Re: Assignments before first day of 1L

Postby Gorki » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:03 pm

SlimShadyMcCoy wrote:I figured it would be a good thing to have so that I could review it before class in case I get called on. Does anyone out there study like this? Am I wasting my time?

Also, Law School Confidential says to study like this: 1) read the case and take notes in the margin while highlighting, 2) go to class and discuss the material you read, and 3) go home and outline what you just discussed using your margin notes and highlighted material as a guide. Does anyone out there do it this way?

Thanks.


Note taking: This approach is okay for the first month up to the time before finals. First semester for me was really figuring out how I learned, and how to get over the intimidation of cold calls, and BS 'what color was the Ds fence?' Qs. I never did the reading for my LRW class after week 2. My book was filled with commonsense that was published to make cash off of nervous 1Ls imo. I would also recommend focusing on brevity when taking notes on cases. You need to come to terms with the fact that most likely each case stands for 1-2 rules, and maybe some policy arguments. The cold-call BS will not be tested on the final.

Study strategy: After 3) I would personally try some E&E problems, or if you do not have an E&E try to place what you learned in that class in the bigger picture of what you are learning in that unit.

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tstyler98
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Re: Assignments before first day of 1L

Postby tstyler98 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:12 am

SlimShadyMcCoy wrote:I have reading assignments in all of my first semester classes. Most of the reading is case law, but some of it isn't. I've been out of school for several years now and I'm rusty when it comes to studying, so I need some tips. I read four chapters of my book for Legal Research and Writing, and while I was reading, I took bullet point notes in OneNote, sort of like an outline for a case law class. I figured it would be a good thing to have so that I could review it before class in case I get called on. Does anyone out there study like this? Am I wasting my time?

Also, Law School Confidential says to study like this: 1) read the case and take notes in the margin while highlighting, 2) go to class and discuss the material you read, and 3) go home and outline what you just discussed using your margin notes and highlighted material as a guide. Does anyone out there do it this way?

Thanks.


This probably is okay for your substantive classes, but probably not as good for Legal Writing (depending of course on your professor). In my class, we didn't specifically talk about the reading, but the reading discussed how to do the things we would be learning to do in class. So, some notes are good to help you with how to write a particular thing, but it probably won't help in the traditional cold call way. We usually spent most of our time doing practical things, like actually writing things or learning how to analyze a case element-by-element in order to write-something. But your professor could be different.

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SlimShadyMcCoy
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Re: Assignments before first day of 1L

Postby SlimShadyMcCoy » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:51 pm

Thanks, tstyler98.

One more Q, and sorry if this sounds dumb. When I read a 'case' for any class, am I reading the 'opinion'? For instance, are all of the cases I read in my crim law book considered opinions? Are the two words basically interchangeable?

snyphil2
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Re: Assignments before first day of 1L

Postby snyphil2 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:51 pm

SlimShadyMcCoy wrote:Thanks, tstyler98.

One more Q, and sorry if this sounds dumb. When I read a 'case' for any class, am I reading the 'opinion'? For instance, are all of the cases I read in my crim law book considered opinions? Are the two words basically interchangeable?


astute question I've never actually heard asked or answered. judges issue opinions that resolve disputes between the parties. as you'll learn in civil procedure, there can be multiple opinions issued in a single case about different issues. opinions are published and distributed when the judges decide the opinions are worth doing that with. basically, what you're reading in law school are documents written by judges in response to motions filed by both parties arguing for a particular outcome. for example, a defendant might move (file a motion) early in a case to have the case dismissed, or removed from court. the plaintiff would file a motion saying why his case should STAY in court. the judge would then issue an opinion deciding that the case should be allowed to continue in court or should be dismissed. subsequent to that opinion, if the case remains before the court, the judge will make further rulings (and issue further opinions) based on what the parties file, but all you're reading is his opinion on that particular topic, since your professor (and the judges who decide what should be published) determined his discussion of that particular topic (dismissal) is worth reading and should have a binding effect on later cases.




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