Outlining

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vanwinkle
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Re: Outlining

Postby vanwinkle » Mon May 10, 2010 5:33 pm

kalvano wrote:No, I mean that wouldn't it be simpler and more logical to organize as you go instead of waiting until the last minute?

Lemme go cut+paste a description of what law school is like, from my personal journal (not on TLS):

vanwinkle wrote:You decide you want to be a homebuilder, so you go to homebuilding school. You expect them to teach you home construction and give you home blueprints and show you how to follow them. Instead, on the first week they mention all the rooms you'll study. Then you study the history of kitchen design. Then you spend a few more weeks discussing bedrooms, and a couple days on bathrooms. Then they spend some time on living rooms, and as you're getting close to the end, they kind of speed through the roof, foundation, basement, and attic.

Finally, in those last few days, you stop, and you start dwelling on how the size and appearance of the kitchen will affect what you want to do with the living rooms, and where you'll put the bathrooms, and you go, "Wait a minute, I'm starting to get this. I know how a house fits together, I know why it should be laid out the way it is, I understand the principles of house design." And then they go, "That's great. Now grab a hammer and build one. You have three hours."

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General Tso
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Re: Outlining

Postby General Tso » Mon May 10, 2010 5:40 pm

kalvano wrote:
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:Unless your professor actually asks you an open ended question (like "Analyze the development of commerce clause interpretation from Gibbons to Raich"), law school exams are anything but. They are problems, and they have a solution. Looking at it from another direction is the second step to failure.



So like what, analayze a case and draw conclusions?

I don't know, that's why I ask.


my conlaw essay was commerce clause/10th A/substantive due process + a few tidbits on executive authority and appointments

basics were that Congress wanted to create a new department of curriculum that would enforce uniform curriculum on all public schools in the country. Part of it was to ban sex ed and religious ed and to enforce a uniform dress code. the new dept also wanted to do a Dole type incentives program, but the threat was "either enforce these new reg's or we will wipe out ALL of your federal highway, health care, and education funding. That was too much --> amounts to commandeering the state to execute federal regulations.

there were some substantive due process issues as well with some students who weren't happy about the religious stuff. But that was a weak claim and they were all high school seniors so their claim was probably moot.

They are going to give you some wacky made up fact pattern like this and ask you to apply the case law to it. They aren't going to test you on your knowledge of "what happened in McCulloch?" or "who authored the Constitution?" They are going to get you to apply the kinds of tests and analyses that you read about in the cases.

hithere
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Re: Outlining

Postby hithere » Mon May 10, 2010 5:47 pm

rbgrocio wrote:
TTH wrote:What exactly should be in one's outline?


Also... your professor opinion. If you write the way he talks, he will like you final better.


Also, a table of contents so that you can find stuff quickly

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kalvano
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Re: Outlining

Postby kalvano » Mon May 10, 2010 5:47 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
kalvano wrote:No, I mean that wouldn't it be simpler and more logical to organize as you go instead of waiting until the last minute?

Lemme go cut+paste a description of what law school is like, from my personal journal (not on TLS):

vanwinkle wrote:You decide you want to be a homebuilder, so you go to homebuilding school. You expect them to teach you home construction and give you home blueprints and show you how to follow them. Instead, on the first week they mention all the rooms you'll study. Then you study the history of kitchen design. Then you spend a few more weeks discussing bedrooms, and a couple days on bathrooms. Then they spend some time on living rooms, and as you're getting close to the end, they kind of speed through the roof, foundation, basement, and attic.

Finally, in those last few days, you stop, and you start dwelling on how the size and appearance of the kitchen will affect what you want to do with the living rooms, and where you'll put the bathrooms, and you go, "Wait a minute, I'm starting to get this. I know how a house fits together, I know why it should be laid out the way it is, I understand the principles of house design." And then they go, "That's great. Now grab a hammer and build one. You have three hours."




So it's like going to Shakespeare class drunk. Check.

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rayiner
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Re: Outlining

Postby rayiner » Mon May 10, 2010 6:21 pm

kalvano wrote:
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
kalvano wrote:Wait, exams are basically open-ended questions that use whatever the class has covered throughout the semester, right?

Wrong.



So then what are they?


Your typical issue spotter is something like an LSAT logic game embedded in an RC passage.

Consider a simple property rule (this is what is called "black letter law"):
A and B may jointly own a property under the legal construction of "joint tenancy" or "tenancy in common". The two have different legal characteristics, among them being that joint tenancies have a right of survivorship. Ie: if one person dies, the other automatically absorbs his interest in the property - it does not get passed onto his heirs via his will.

Next consider a simple fact pattern:
John leaves his farm to his two sons Bob and Joe. He doesn't like lawyers, so he writes is own will which says "I leave my farm to my two sons to hold together. Bob continues to live on the farm house while Joe works as an investment banker in NYC and embezzles a lot of money. Joe's clients bring suit and the judge awards millions in damages, but Joe is broke after betting on a lot of toxic mortgages and has no assets besides the farm. Instead of declaring bankruptcy he decides to kill himself. Joe's creditors find out about the farm and try to get Joe's interest sold to satisfy the judgement. What can Bob do?

A response might be something like:
The first thing the court will do is attempt to construe the will. It is unclear whether the will passes the farm to Bob and Joe as tenants in common or as joint tenants. If the farm was passed as a tenancy in common, Joe's creditors might be able to attach Joe's interest in the farm and sell it to satisfy the judgement. If the farm was passed as a joint tenancy, Joe's interest will be extinguished at his death and complete ownership will pass to Bob, leaving nothing for the creditors to attach.

Of course a real exam will usually be 2-3 questions, and each question will be a narrative of 1-2 pages in the basic style of the fact pattern above. That's where the 6000+ word responses for a 2 question 3 hour exam come from - professors can construct hypos such that pretty much every sentence introduces an issue like the one described above, the rules tested in the facts can interact with each other giving rise to second-order issues, and ambiguities in the facts can lead you down fairly long alternative chains of possibilities. Eg: there are other characteristics that differ between tenancy in common and joint tenancy (eg: ability to sell one's interest, what happens when one party wants a judicial separation of the property interests, etc) so you might have to apply a bunch of other rules considering the two alternative ways the property could've been passed along.

hithere
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Re: Outlining

Postby hithere » Mon May 10, 2010 6:38 pm

Not all law school exams are issue spotter--keep in mind there are multiple choice exams with definitive answers. Other questions may not be based on a random fact pattern that your professor drew up. For example, you might be explicitly asked to analyze and discuss the policy behind a law. Your best bet is to know the law cold heading into the exam, which is a requirement to do well no matter the type of question you get on your law exam.

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General Tso
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Re: Outlining

Postby General Tso » Mon May 10, 2010 6:40 pm

rayiner wrote: That's where the 6000+ word responses for a 2 question 3 hour exam come from .


how f'ed am i? my 4 hour torts answer was only 5,500 :cry:

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rayiner
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Re: Outlining

Postby rayiner » Mon May 10, 2010 6:41 pm

hithere wrote:Not all law school exams are issue spotter--keep in mind there are multiple choice exams with definitive answers. Other questions may not be based on a random fact pattern that your professor drew up. For example, you might be explicitly asked to analyze and discuss the policy behind a law. Your best bet is to know the law cold heading into the exam, which is a requirement to do well no matter the type of question you get on your law exam.


Even the multiple choice exams I've taken are kind of issue-spotty. Eg: my Civ Pro exam has 50% MC, but didn't directly ask you anything about the law. It gave you a little mini fact-pattern for every 2-3 questions.

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rayiner
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Re: Outlining

Postby rayiner » Mon May 10, 2010 6:43 pm

General Tso wrote:
rayiner wrote: That's where the 6000+ word responses for a 2 question 3 hour exam come from .


how f'ed am i? my 4 hour torts answer was only 5,500 :cry:


You can write an A+ torts exam in that length. My friend got the same grades I did and her exams were all about 25% shorter than mine. She's just an extremely efficient writer.

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General Tso
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Re: Outlining

Postby General Tso » Mon May 10, 2010 6:44 pm

rayiner wrote:
General Tso wrote:
rayiner wrote: That's where the 6000+ word responses for a 2 question 3 hour exam come from .


how f'ed am i? my 4 hour torts answer was only 5,500 :cry:


You can write an A+ torts exam in that length. My friend got the same grades I did and her exams were all about 25% shorter than mine. She's just an extremely efficient writer.


well I am only at a run of the mill T1...I am not sure the bar is quite as high as where you are

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Bosque
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Re: Outlining

Postby Bosque » Mon May 10, 2010 9:27 pm

hithere wrote:Not all law school exams are issue spotter--keep in mind there are multiple choice exams with definitive answers. Other questions may not be based on a random fact pattern that your professor drew up. For example, you might be explicitly asked to analyze and discuss the policy behind a law. Your best bet is to know the law cold heading into the exam, which is a requirement to do well no matter the type of question you get on your law exam.


Maybe, but the majority of all exams are issue spotters. If you don't know how to do them, you are going to fail.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Outlining

Postby Mr. Matlock » Mon May 10, 2010 9:55 pm

rayiner wrote:Your typical issue spotter is something like an LSAT logic game embedded in an RC passage.

Consider a simple property rule (this is what is called "black letter law"):
A and B may jointly own a property under the legal construction of "joint tenancy" or "tenancy in common". The two have different legal characteristics, among them being that joint tenancies have a right of survivorship. Ie: if one person dies, the other automatically absorbs his interest in the property - it does not get passed onto his heirs via his will.

Next consider a simple fact pattern:
John leaves his farm to his two sons Bob and Joe. He doesn't like lawyers, so he writes is own will which says "I leave my farm to my two sons to hold together. Bob continues to live on the farm house while Joe works as an investment banker in NYC and embezzles a lot of money. Joe's clients bring suit and the judge awards millions in damages, but Joe is broke after betting on a lot of toxic mortgages and has no assets besides the farm. Instead of declaring bankruptcy he decides to kill himself. Joe's creditors find out about the farm and try to get Joe's interest sold to satisfy the judgement. What can Bob do?

A response might be something like:
The first thing the court will do is attempt to construe the will. It is unclear whether the will passes the farm to Bob and Joe as tenants in common or as joint tenants. If the farm was passed as a tenancy in common, Joe's creditors might be able to attach Joe's interest in the farm and sell it to satisfy the judgement. If the farm was passed as a joint tenancy, Joe's interest will be extinguished at his death and complete ownership will pass to Bob, leaving nothing for the creditors to attach.

Of course a real exam will usually be 2-3 questions, and each question will be a narrative of 1-2 pages in the basic style of the fact pattern above. That's where the 6000+ word responses for a 2 question 3 hour exam come from - professors can construct hypos such that pretty much every sentence introduces an issue like the one described above, the rules tested in the facts can interact with each other giving rise to second-order issues, and ambiguities in the facts can lead you down fairly long alternative chains of possibilities. Eg: there are other characteristics that differ between tenancy in common and joint tenancy (eg: ability to sell one's interest, what happens when one party wants a judicial separation of the property interests, etc) so you might have to apply a bunch of other rules considering the two alternative ways the property could've been passed along.

I knew I should have stayed out of here. "Matlock", I say to myself, "don't go in there. It will depress you and you'll realize you have no fucking business tackling a pile of shit as complicated as this. You will be doomed..... DOOMED!" But like a FUCKING IDIOT, I clicked in.

FML :evil:

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General Tso
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Re: Outlining

Postby General Tso » Mon May 10, 2010 10:22 pm

when is Kim Jong coming back man....I keep thinking you are PK

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Outlining

Postby Mr. Matlock » Mon May 10, 2010 10:23 pm

General Tso wrote:when is Kim Jong coming back man....I keep thinking you are PK

You're right... I got to get back to my roots.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Outlining

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon May 10, 2010 10:52 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:
General Tso wrote:when is Kim Jong coming back man....I keep thinking you are PK

You're right... I got to get back to my roots.

You goddamn twinkie banana

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matty
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Re: Outlining

Postby matty » Mon May 10, 2010 11:00 pm

I take notes on all reading assignments, then take notes again in class (By hand, I think this has actually made a big difference, but I can't say for sure). So basically double notes. Then about 3 days before an exam I'll pull an outline of the outline bank (assuming the teacher says we don't have to use our own materials), I go through it and augment it with my notes wherever necessary. LS exam studying in about 3 days. And since we usually have 3-4 days between exams, that's when I'll do my studying for each exam. Done and Done, and it worked (better than) fine first semester, hope it does again.

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rayiner
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Re: Outlining

Postby rayiner » Tue May 11, 2010 3:23 am

Mr. Matlock wrote:
rayiner wrote:Your typical issue spotter is something like an LSAT logic game embedded in an RC passage.

Consider a simple property rule (this is what is called "black letter law"):
A and B may jointly own a property under the legal construction of "joint tenancy" or "tenancy in common". The two have different legal characteristics, among them being that joint tenancies have a right of survivorship. Ie: if one person dies, the other automatically absorbs his interest in the property - it does not get passed onto his heirs via his will.

Next consider a simple fact pattern:
John leaves his farm to his two sons Bob and Joe. He doesn't like lawyers, so he writes is own will which says "I leave my farm to my two sons to hold together. Bob continues to live on the farm house while Joe works as an investment banker in NYC and embezzles a lot of money. Joe's clients bring suit and the judge awards millions in damages, but Joe is broke after betting on a lot of toxic mortgages and has no assets besides the farm. Instead of declaring bankruptcy he decides to kill himself. Joe's creditors find out about the farm and try to get Joe's interest sold to satisfy the judgement. What can Bob do?

A response might be something like:
The first thing the court will do is attempt to construe the will. It is unclear whether the will passes the farm to Bob and Joe as tenants in common or as joint tenants. If the farm was passed as a tenancy in common, Joe's creditors might be able to attach Joe's interest in the farm and sell it to satisfy the judgement. If the farm was passed as a joint tenancy, Joe's interest will be extinguished at his death and complete ownership will pass to Bob, leaving nothing for the creditors to attach.

Of course a real exam will usually be 2-3 questions, and each question will be a narrative of 1-2 pages in the basic style of the fact pattern above. That's where the 6000+ word responses for a 2 question 3 hour exam come from - professors can construct hypos such that pretty much every sentence introduces an issue like the one described above, the rules tested in the facts can interact with each other giving rise to second-order issues, and ambiguities in the facts can lead you down fairly long alternative chains of possibilities. Eg: there are other characteristics that differ between tenancy in common and joint tenancy (eg: ability to sell one's interest, what happens when one party wants a judicial separation of the property interests, etc) so you might have to apply a bunch of other rules considering the two alternative ways the property could've been passed along.

I knew I should have stayed out of here. "Matlock", I say to myself, "don't go in there. It will depress you and you'll realize you have no fucking business tackling a pile of shit as complicated as this. You will be doomed..... DOOMED!" But like a FUCKING IDIOT, I clicked in.

FML :evil:


I'm so confused.

stad2234
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Re: Outlining

Postby stad2234 » Tue May 11, 2010 3:36 am

So it seems like when it come to outlining the biggest issue is simply a lack of time to get EVERYTHING done. So, Im curious, what is the typical day for most of you? Are most of you pulling 18-20 hours days with no room for the gym/relaxing/tv, but instead just barely enough time to fit in class, eating, reading, and the occasional outline update?

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rayiner
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Re: Outlining

Postby rayiner » Tue May 11, 2010 12:44 pm

stad2234 wrote:So it seems like when it come to outlining the biggest issue is simply a lack of time to get EVERYTHING done. So, Im curious, what is the typical day for most of you? Are most of you pulling 18-20 hours days with no room for the gym/relaxing/tv, but instead just barely enough time to fit in class, eating, reading, and the occasional outline update?


During september, I was just getting a handle on everything and learning to be efficient, so I probably did pull 12 hour days. Once I got the hang of it, I just did the reading, which took about 10-15 hours per week, on top of 15 hours of classes, then maybe 10 hours of legal writing. Definitely not more than 40 hours total. Then in the second half of november until after finals I was doing consistent 12 hour days (wake up at 7, work from 9-12 with 1 hour breaks for lunch and dinner). And I mean 12 hours of actual work - periodic breaks to walk around, get water, whatever, but no gchat, no facebook, no surfing.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Outlining

Postby Mr. Matlock » Tue May 11, 2010 1:06 pm

Hell, maybe this question is its own thread, but at what point in your 1L experience did you and the majority of your classmates begin to "think like a lawyer"..... if ever???? Vanwinkle put up what appears to be a great analogy of this ability. I'm just wondering if there are a block of people who never get to that level of understanding and if there is an actual "the light turned on" moment.

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kalvano
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Re: Outlining

Postby kalvano » Tue May 11, 2010 3:53 pm

So if I am used to a job working 60-70 hours a week, will I have more or less free time in law school?

I'm a good reader and retain information very well, though I know reading cases is very different.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Outlining

Postby vanwinkle » Tue May 11, 2010 5:57 pm

kalvano wrote:So if I am used to a job working 60-70 hours a week, will I have more or less free time in law school?

This depends on how much time you choose to put in. You can put in less, or more. That's entirely up to you.

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kalvano
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Re: Outlining

Postby kalvano » Tue May 11, 2010 5:59 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
kalvano wrote:So if I am used to a job working 60-70 hours a week, will I have more or less free time in law school?

This depends on how much time you choose to put in. You can put in less, or more. That's entirely up to you.


Thanks for that very lawyer-like response.

stad2234
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Re: Outlining

Postby stad2234 » Tue May 11, 2010 6:27 pm

rayiner wrote:
stad2234 wrote:So it seems like when it come to outlining the biggest issue is simply a lack of time to get EVERYTHING done. So, Im curious, what is the typical day for most of you? Are most of you pulling 18-20 hours days with no room for the gym/relaxing/tv, but instead just barely enough time to fit in class, eating, reading, and the occasional outline update?


During september, I was just getting a handle on everything and learning to be efficient, so I probably did pull 12 hour days. Once I got the hang of it, I just did the reading, which took about 10-15 hours per week, on top of 15 hours of classes, then maybe 10 hours of legal writing. Definitely not more than 40 hours total. Then in the second half of november until after finals I was doing consistent 12 hour days (wake up at 7, work from 9-12 with 1 hour breaks for lunch and dinner). And I mean 12 hours of actual work - periodic breaks to walk around, get water, whatever, but no gchat, no facebook, no surfing.


so on those days that you were pulling such long hours how did you break through that mental barrier to continue studying? During undergrad I would study for about 3 days per exam but would eventually reach a point where I just couldnt study anymore. I imagine that in law school you have to push past this point and just keep going. Are you simply motivated by the fact that grades mean everything come your first job or is that there is just such an enormous amount of material that you never reach that "I think im ready for this exam" point?

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vanwinkle
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Re: Outlining

Postby vanwinkle » Tue May 11, 2010 6:31 pm

kalvano wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
kalvano wrote:So if I am used to a job working 60-70 hours a week, will I have more or less free time in law school?

This depends on how much time you choose to put in. You can put in less, or more. That's entirely up to you.

Thanks for that very lawyer-like response.

It's been said many, many times on this forum, but how well you do in law school and how many hours you put in has an extremely low correlation. For some people putting in more time will be necessary to do well, for others it won't help at all. Some people do well even while putting in only a small amount of time each week. So there's really no guide for how many hours you need to put in, it really does depend on you.




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