Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Have you started outlining?

Every semester law students ask themselves: when should I start outlining?  Or rather: just how long can I put off outlining?  

Your average law student will tell you they started outlining in October or November and that they struggled to finish and comprehend their outlines before Final Exams.  This is because outlining should be an on-going process.  The moment an issue or cause of action is completed in class, you should be able to outline it.  This means THE TIME TO START OUTLINING IS NOW!  

1L example:

Torts: By now you should have completed your class time for battery.  You know the rule statement for battery and the elements of battery.  That means you should be able to start your outline.

Property: Property usually starts with Finder's Rights.  If you've completed this concept, you should be able to outline.

Civil Procedure: You should be wrapping up Subject Matter Jurisdiction and possibly Supplemental Jurisdiction.  That means you know the cases you need to know for the exam, the elements of both types of SMJ (Federal Question and Diversity), and can outline.

2L example:

ConLaw: By now you should have completed Judicial Review and possible Justiciability.  Outline those concepts!

CrimPro: While you haven't finished the 4th Amendment readings yet, you probably have completed what "reasonable expectation of privacy" means.  You can starting outlining this concept.

Evidence: By now your class should have completed Logical and Legal Relevance--this means you can outline both concepts!

Give outlining a try, and if you have questions come in to our office hours or email ASP with questions and your outline attached and we'll take a look at it for you!  Once you've got an issue outlined you can then start taking practice exams (more on this later).

Good luck!

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