Commercial Outlines for a 0L

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UnderTheLaw
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Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby UnderTheLaw » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:18 am

Would it do me any good to buy Emanuel Law Outlines for each of my 1st year courses and read through the material?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:20 am

Before school starts? No. It's not worth doing any pre-LS reading, but in particular, outlines are unlikely to make any sense if you're not taking the course at the same time.

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UnderTheLaw
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby UnderTheLaw » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:52 am

Thanks Nony

jphiggo
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby jphiggo » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:59 am

I'd suggest buying a copy of Getting To Maybe and skimming it (you'll want to re-read it towards the end of your first semester). Outside of that, just enjoy your free time!

I did not do any 0L prep, and I doubt it would have helped. You are going to basically teach yourself through synthesis and rote memorization everything you need for the exam in the few days before the exam. So, reading something you won't understand now isn't going to help.

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AreJay711
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby AreJay711 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:07 pm

Yeah, the only thing worth working on is your typing speed. It's not that typing fast is necessary to get good grades, but it is necessary for the top grades. I was getting 5k words down an exam while the people booking classes were knocking out 10k. Getting to Maybe is a good overview.

midwestlawl
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby midwestlawl » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:21 pm

7sage law school prep course does advice 0L's to look at outlines and memorize claims and defenses and other elements of black letter law BEFORE starting law school. They recommend using commercial outlines or the barbri conviser mini review.

Not sure if 7sage's advice is good/bad/somewhere in the middle.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:36 pm

Bad.

JPell
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby JPell » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:56 am

My 0L prep consisted of beach days and bar-hopping. I recommend doing something similar.

I enjoyed the time off, skipped pre-law prep, and still did well. Just be ready to go by day 1 of law school because you won't get a break.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby MarkfromWI » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:32 am

midwestlawl wrote:7sage law school prep course does advice 0L's to look at outlines and memorize claims and defenses and other elements of black letter law BEFORE starting law school. They recommend using commercial outlines or the barbri conviser mini review.

Not sure if 7sage's advice is good/bad/somewhere in the middle.


That's bad advice. Different professors tend to emphasize different things, teach things slightly different, etc. My torts professor, for instance, was ADAMANT that IIED wasn't a real thing, and mentioning it on an exam was the only thing he docked points for. Even simple negligence, which I'm pretty sure everyone will agree on the four basic elements, can be taught somewhat differently (e.g. some professors want the analysis to start with injury, because without injury there can't be a negligence cause of action. Other professors want to start the analysis with duty, or just don't give a shit where you start so long as you hit all 4).

All that is to say that memorizing canned shit beforehand is only going lead to confusion, unlearning/relearning, and wasting the last "free time" a person is likely to have for several years. Not worth it. Read some of the law school success threads here on TLS. I've never read "Getting to Maybe," but given the respect it receives on this forum it's probably worth taking a look at. Otherwise, relax and enjoy yourself while you still can.

midwestlawl
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby midwestlawl » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:54 am

MarkfromWI wrote:
midwestlawl wrote:7sage law school prep course does advice 0L's to look at outlines and memorize claims and defenses and other elements of black letter law BEFORE starting law school. They recommend using commercial outlines or the barbri conviser mini review.

Not sure if 7sage's advice is good/bad/somewhere in the middle.


That's bad advice. Different professors tend to emphasize different things, teach things slightly different, etc. My torts professor, for instance, was ADAMANT that IIED wasn't a real thing, and mentioning it on an exam was the only thing he docked points for. Even simple negligence, which I'm pretty sure everyone will agree on the four basic elements, can be taught somewhat differently (e.g. some professors want the analysis to start with injury, because without injury there can't be a negligence cause of action. Other professors want to start the analysis with duty, or just don't give a shit where you start so long as you hit all 4).

All that is to say that memorizing canned shit beforehand is only going lead to confusion, unlearning/relearning, and wasting the last "free time" a person is likely to have for several years. Not worth it. Read some of the law school success threads here on TLS. I've never read "Getting to Maybe," but given the respect it receives on this forum it's probably worth taking a look at. Otherwise, relax and enjoy yourself while you still can.



I've been watching some of the 7sage law school prep videos and (sorry if this is something that everyone already knows), but their premise is that they focus strictly on getting A's on law school exams, that is the entire purpose of their course. Everything that does not directly contribute to getting A's should be tossed aside.

Some of the tips they give are:

-reading black letter law/memorizing it before starting law school.
-not case brief at all and to just look at canned briefs, and all the time that other students spend case briefing is time "you" should be spending working on issue spotting and taking practice exams.
-They also do point out that every professor is going to have different expectations and "getting inside your professor's head" is another key aspect to all of this.
- not wasting time doing any extra curriculars except law review.

They claim this is a successful strategy for separating yourself from the pack and acing exams. Would people on here argue this is a pretty bad strategy?

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:02 am

midwestlawl wrote:Some of the tips they give are:

-reading black letter law/memorizing it before starting law school.
-not case brief at all and to just look at canned briefs, and all the time that other students spend case briefing is time "you" should be spending working on issue spotting and taking practice exams.
-They also do point out that every professor is going to have different expectations and "getting inside your professor's head" is another key aspect to all of this.
- not wasting time doing any extra curriculars except law review.

They claim this is a successful strategy for separating yourself from the pack and acing exams. Would people on here argue this is a pretty bad strategy?

1L here. Disagree with the first and last one. First, you do not know what black letter law your professor will teach you. Sure, there will likely be a lot of overlap, but each professor can view and teach certain elements differently. These small differences make a big difference. Memorizing the wrong thing/applying it differently can confuse you or lose you points. As for the last one, if you want to work in a niche kind of law, volunteering and being part of an organization can show future employers that you have interest in that field.

Can confirm that the 2nd and 3rd one work for me, but keep in mind that these "strategies" are not one size fit all. I like using canned briefs and then vigorously adding class notes to them. I highlight portions that we talk about in depth in class and delete the superfluous (and sometimes dead wrong) stuff.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:11 am

I think memorizing black letter law before law school starts is a terrible idea, but mostly because it wouldn't have made any sense to me before taking the courses in the various subjects (some of you may pick up things more quickly than I do). I mean, I suppose I could have memorized "negligence = duty, breach, causation, injury" before law school, but it wouldn't have helped me because I wouldn't have known what those mean or how to apply them to a given set of facts, and it doesn't take very long to memorize that once school has started anyway. But I also think it's unnecessary - you can learn this stuff during a semester without any problems.

I think it's useful to brief cases for the first couple of weeks - not for exams per se, but just to learn to read a case and be able to quickly identify its different components. After that I never briefed (though I scribbled in my books a lot). But I don't think most people keep up briefing after a few weeks, if they ever brief at all. (I never used canned briefs but I'd rather just read the case; some people find them helpful.)

As for extracurriculars - depends how you define that. If it just means law school clubs, no, those aren't especially helpful. If it means other activities like moot court/mock trial/internships, I think they're worth doing, depending on your interests.

The idea that the only thing that matters is the exam is a good one, especially as a reminder to keep your focus on the bigger picture and not on, say, performing well when called on in class. It's a shift from undergrad for most people, where how you did incrementally throughout the semester actually mattered. I just disagree that memorizing BLL before starting law school will really help you ace the exam.

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MarkfromWI
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby MarkfromWI » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:26 am

midwestlawl wrote:I've been watching some of the 7sage law school prep videos and (sorry if this is something that everyone already knows), but their premise is that they focus strictly on getting A's on law school exams, that is the entire purpose of their course. Everything that does not directly contribute to getting A's should be tossed aside.

Some of the tips they give are:

-reading black letter law/memorizing it before starting law school.
-not case brief at all and to just look at canned briefs, and all the time that other students spend case briefing is time "you" should be spending working on issue spotting and taking practice exams.
-They also do point out that every professor is going to have different expectations and "getting inside your professor's head" is another key aspect to all of this.
- not wasting time doing any extra curriculars except law review.

They claim this is a successful strategy for separating yourself from the pack and acing exams. Would people on here argue this is a pretty bad strategy?


I haven't watched any of the 7sage videos, so I can't say one way or the other. But, based on how you've summarized them, I would agree whole heartedly with 3 and 4, but not so much with 1 and 2.

I've already said why I don't believe memorizing black letter law is all that helpful before law school starts- more likely than not you're going to have to unlearn or relearn it in a slightly different way, so you might as well just wait and learn it the right way once. Also, how much good does "memorizing injury, duty, breach, and causation do" if you have no understanding of proximate cause or the reasonably prudent person standard? I would imagine that the average 0L doesn't know enough to realize they're not getting the whole picture and won't know to dig deeper, so to speak. Not all 0L's mind you- of course there are going to be some people who super study before hand and kill it. But I've seen enough people succeed who didn't do that pre-LS work to believe that the precious last few months before law school are better spent in other ways.

As for canned briefs, I'm somewhat against those to a point. If you go to casebriefs.com and click on a substantive course, be it torts, property, contracts, etc. you'll notice that on the left side they'll have "[Y course name] keyed to [textbook author 1], [Y course name keyed to author 2], etc. If you have a commercial outline that isn't keyed to your specific casebook, you're probably in for a world of hurt. It isn't until you really learn how to get the true, one-to-two sentence essence of a case that you can figure out if all of the canned briefs/outlines match all of the cases your prof assigns for what they find important.

I'd be lying if I said I never used canned outlines or commercial briefs; I certainly did. But again, I was able to spot the pitfalls that they have and had the ability to know when a commercial outline was on point for my specific class and when it wasn't. If you never brief cases for yourself, you're definitely running a risk.

Aside from the risk that your commercial brief doesn't line up with your casebook/professor, I may have drank the Kool-Aide but I'm also a believer in the value of briefing cases as a 1L. I briefed cases religiously as a 1L, and while it may have led to a lot of wasted time, especially early on, I personally gained a ton in the fact/issue spotting skills because of it. Yes, I did spend more time in the library than most people I know, but it worked for me. I did get a lot quicker as time progressed though. I probably cut down the time I spent on reading assignments by 3/4ths or more. I definitely believe that the same skill development that allowed me to complete assignments faster also contributed to my improved ability to spot issues and apply relevant law. I will admit though that as a 2L I have not briefed a single case, nor do I plan on starting again.

As a necessary disclaimer, nobody is the same. Briefing cases as the primary and using canned briefs as a supplemental tool worked for me, but that doesn't mean it's best for everyone. I'm sure there will be several people who post on here after me that say they're top of their class and haven't briefed a case in their life. Well, good for them. I just think that there's a lot to be gained from the way I did it. Afford whatever weight to my sleep-deprived, overworked rant that you see fit.

ETA: To clarify my comment about extracurriculars: They're a bad idea during 1L. Any of the groups/activities that are worth-while (LR, Moot Court, Mock Trial) didn't have tryouts until the end of 1L year, and then didn't start in earnest until the fall. Those are fine. I was more aiming my categorical ban towards things like becoming the 1L SBA rep or something inane like that.

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sublime
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby sublime » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:04 am

..

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Commercial Outlines for a 0L

Postby ManoftheHour » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:40 pm

sublime wrote:Canned briefs are a godsend if you can find the right ones. I am particularly a fan of invisipress, and then to a lesser extent mike shecket.

Invisipress makes me sound like a genius on cold calls. It's my go to canned brief. Casebriefs is my last resort.




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