If more than a month has passed since the start of classes, my answer is easy: Start today.
Many of them are shocked:
“But isn’t outlining just to review for finals? How can I possibly do it now?”
Outline Early So You Have Time for Other Things Later
Sure, outlining is a way to prepare for finals.
However, it is also a great way to consistently review the material to make sure you understand how it fits together as the class progresses. You can catch any areas of confusion early on, before they become major problems.
And once your outline is finished, you’re better prepared to start practicing your writing — another critical piece of preparing for finals.
Use Your Weekly Review Time Productively
Many students review for classes once a week.
Why just review when you could be working on your outline?
Think about it. If you work on your outlines all semester, they’ll be finished (or nearly finished) when it’s time for reading days and finals.
Imagine how much free time you would have to practice APPLYING the law. Tons of time, right?
Do you think your time just before exams is better spent practicing or outlining? I think the answer is clear.
If you wait to outline during the reading period, you’ve waited too long.
By that point, you need to be working on applying the law, practicing your writing skills, and memorizing anything you need for the exam. It’s too late to be struggling to understand the law, which is what your outline helps you do.
Can outlining early help you get better law school grades? Absolutely.
Just remember: Outline early, outline often!
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Want more outlining tips? Check out the next two parts of this series:
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