Outlines—they create a stir around law campuses annually. But what is an outline? An outline is a synthesis of the cases, statutes, regulations, restatements, and any other sources of law you learned throughout the semester. A way to curate all the legal mumbo jumbo, if you will. Generally, an outline is compiled from information extracted from case briefs, class notes, commercial and other student outlines, and commercial supplements. Many students make multiple versions of an outline with varying amounts of detail to serve distinct roles in exam studying and taking. While outlining is not conducive to a one-size-fits-all approach, some universal principles can and should inform your craft. [Read more…] about The Dos and Don’ts of Law Student Outlines
I am a big advocate for making your own outline. Building an outline is a great way to review the course materials and synthesize what you have learned. If your exam is open book, having an outline on hand can help you quickly recall information and ensure you grab all the points. Finally, an outline created from scratch has a special, personal significance. You know it inside and out: you know what the abbreviations and symbols mean, where everything is located, and how to read the charts you created.
Here are my tips for making an outline that you can use effectively and efficiently during the exam. I will be focusing on formatting tips, but you can check out this podcast episode and this blog post for tips on what to include in the outline.
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?