There are two words you will hear over and over again when you begin law school: “outlines,” and “finals.” These words strike fear into every first semester 1Ls’ hearts. At least, they did for my class. From the moment school started, I felt like I was behind on outlining. It took me until my second time taking the bar to truly understand what outlining is, and why it is so helpful.
Before I get into why it’s important to prepare for finals early, let me give a brief overview of outlining.
In school, you are given a lot of cases to read. You’ll find that it’s easiest to remember them if you break them up into case files. Outlining is the art of organizing all that law and facts into smaller nuggets that are easy to remember and regurgitate on the exam if they relate to a particular issue. Everyone will find a different way to outline that works for them. Some of my classmates could only outline with notecards, others had to type them out. My style depended on the class, the final, and the professor, and usually changed multiple times per class before I figured out what worked best for me in that moment.
So, now that you know what outlining is, let’s jump into the two biggest reasons why you should prepare for finals early.