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Law Students: Law School Survivor
Perils and Pitfalls of the Outline (Pt 1.5)
By Tyler Larsen
Ok, I figured it was time for another post. We are in the middle of finals hell, and there is a small lag time until my next one so I thought I could squeeze out some time to write something. Given that I have taken two finals already, I thought I could add some interim thoughts on outlines before grades come out and I find that I was completely wrong.
First and foremost: Other people's outlines. I still consider this a bad idea. After the finals I have taken, it was apparent that they were designed for what we did in out class. Even if you get an outline from someone who had the same professor, the information might have changed, he/she might have covered different information, or even focused on different areas of the same information. If you do decide to use someone else's outline, please review it closely and only use it as a guide. Always remember what the outline is for. You will not turn in your outline and you will not get any credit for it. Therefore, don't try to make it the universes best outline ever. Or from the "Paper Chase": don't make it "better than the book" and don't have dreams of getting it published. It is for you, written based on your learning style.
Next: Don't rely too heavily on the outline. Outlines are not the end all be all of studying. There are previous exams, group study sessions, and yes even the book. These are all tools. I can't say that I have seen an outline that is the best thing ever and would be the only thing I would study. Yes that even applies to mine. I found that doing my outline, then reading it a couple of times helped. Then I would do an exam full out as if it were real. My study group and I would exchange exams and give pointers on what we would have done differently, added, not mentioned etc. This really helped. (At least I think it did, and I will know when grades come out).
That is about all I can offer for now. I will try to make final advice with more specifics once grades are posted and I know how effective my studying actually was.
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