An outline is a tool that organizes and summarizes a semester’s worth of material from both what you’ve learned in class and from your reading. Research has shown that outlining is effective because it’s forcing you to review and master material that you need to know to be successful on your final exams. If you’re just starting out or want to make sure you’re on the right track, below are some questions you might ask:
Everyone in law school seems to appreciate the importance of having a great outline. A great outline condenses a semester’s worth of material into a reasonable length and organizes the information in a way that will help you spot issues and analyze fact patterns. What some students don’t appreciate, however, is the importance of making their own great outline. With all the other demands on your time, it can be tempting to forgo the outlining process and buy a commercial outline or borrow an outline from another student. But you must resist this temptation! To motivate you to devote some time during the remainder of the semester to outlining, here are ten reasons why you should make your own outline: [Read more…] about 10 Reasons Why You Should Make Your Own Outline
Every law student knows that a course outline is an absolute necessity in law school. But not every law student knows how to make a course outline that will actually help them prepare for final exams. Try following these four simple steps to create a useful course outline.
The best time to start outlining your law school courses is when your law professors completes discussion in class of the first topic listed on the syllabus. Usually, this occurs sometime between the third and fourth week of law school.
What if the class syllabus does not contain topics, only page numbers for reading? In that case, look at the detailed table of contents in your casebook. When your professor has finished covering a topic listed in your casebook, it is time to start outlining.
Why not just wait until the end of your course or the second half of the course to start outlining? Three reasons. [Read more…] about When is the Best Time to Start Outlining Your Law School Courses?
October was the month of treats and frights. On the treat side, you can enjoy changing leaves and an ever-expanding number of pumpkin-flavored items like pumpkin beer, cookies, and hummus. On the scary side, there are haunted houses and the appearance of [too early] Christmas decorations to keep you on edge. For One Ls, the fright is real . . . October brought the dreaded question – “How are your outlines coming along?” [Read more…] about Tackling Outlining Mid-Semester
Working with students this semester, I’ve noticed a pattern: strong outlines but weak practice exam answers. An exam answer may miss an issue, fail to state the applicable rule, or state a rule incorrectly, perhaps by missing elements or exceptions. I review the student’s outline and find the rule in all its complete, precisely phrased glory. What’s going on? Why is there so often a disconnect between the outline and the exam answer? After all, the purpose of the outline is to help you study for exams and, ultimately, to answer questions effectively. Here are some tips for using your outline to prepare for exams – even if you haven’t finished your outlines yet. [Read more…] about How to Move From Outline to Exam Answer