Course concepts "coming together" at the end of the semester

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Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:26 am

Course concepts "coming together" at the end of the semester

Postby waterbug » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:12 pm

I keep reading or hearing that the course concepts all kinda brew throughout the semester and then kinda "magically" come together at the end of the semester. I've heard this in the context of law school orientation, conversations with actual lawyers, benefits of doing your own outline "threads", etc.

The closest non-abstract description of this process I have heard used the example of torts. My lawyer friend said it's relatively straight-forward to learn the elements of battery and the other torts. But, what you really need to understand is how to combine that information with damages, self defenses, etc. You have to think more broadly about how to achieve a client's objective by combining legal concepts rather than knowing a bunch of independent legal concepts.

It seems like law school is a race to get to this deeper conceptual understanding combined with good exam issue spotting and analysis.

Based on that:
1. In your view, is this what is meant by the course coming together? Is that what happened for you?

I guess I don't understand how a well written outline from someone in your class wouldn't capture this such that you could read the outline early in the course and spend more time on application.

2. Any tips on how to do this most efficiently? Can it happen more progressively throughout semester?

Outlining seems to be the way most people recommend. But wouldn't getting an older outline and intensely studying it kind of do the same thing and more quickly? Or is this something that is not really captured directly in the outline? Just not sure if this "coming together" is something written down and explicit or implied (a mindset maybe).

E&E's also seem like another way people go to get an overview of the law but I don't know if these "bring it all together" or not. My school doesn't release what classes we're in until just before we start so I haven't read much substantive stuff.

Hypos seem like a good way to learn how the different legal concepts interact.

Flow charts would seem like they force you to understand how concepts interact. Once again, though, would just intensely studying an existing flow chart be most efficient?

I've read a lot of threads that say an hour of study at the end of the semester is worth 6 at the start. It almost makes it sound like this process is going to take a certain amount of time and there's not much you can do to speed it up (e.g. pregnancy).


Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:59 pm

Re: Course concepts "coming together" at the end of the semester

Postby LgllyBlnde » Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:39 pm

I'm not sure how helpful this response will be, but thought I'd throw it out there. In all honesty, I don't know anything about what's going on in class until I start studying for finals at the end of the semester. Plenty of my classmates study their notes after each class or at the end of each week in hopes of aiding in everything coming together. I have found that to be a waste of time, but everyone is different.

As far as outlining goes, I always make my own outlines, but I have been able to get my hands on past outlines which I use to supplement my own.

Sorry, I probably should have added that I'm not stupid, I get good grades. But it really just depends on your personal study habits

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