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7 Steps to Building Strong Law School Outlines

Originally posted on Law School Success:

Image courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of pakorn/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday I talked about what an outline actually is and addressed some of the general questions law students frequently ask about outlining. Today, I want to explore the outlining process—in other words, how you can get started in creating your own outlines. It can be hard to take the first step in outlining because first-year law students don’t always know where to start. Today, I’m going to walk you through that process.

1. Make Conscious Choices About Organization.

One of the keys to a good outline is organization. Organize your outline around legal concepts, not cases. This can be difficult to do at first. In order to be prepared for class, you focus on cases. That is why your class preparation includes the creation of case briefs. Once you start thinking about preparing for exams, though, you need to flip your preparation upside down—start with legal…

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Before the ass crack of dawn

Got up before the ass crack of dawn to roll out of bed and put my gym clothes on. Got down to the gym for cycle class thinking I must be one of few crazy people awake at the time to work out.
WRONG

The gym had several people already running, lifting weights, etc. By the time I was done sweating my balls off – I was awake. But kudos to all the normal people who wake up at 5am to workout and then get to their day jobs. Shiiiiiit.
For a minute I forgot what it was like to have things to do. I remember now.
Motivation reacquired.

Some inspirational quotes for your Saturday night :)

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“Why did you come to law school?”

It’s a question I’ve heard a million times. Scattered in between jokes about how bad the economy is and comments about how rough it is for a minority or a woman or both… It’s always a generic question I face.

I’ll tell you the truth – it took me a long time to figure out a truthful answer. Sure, I had something generic I would pop out with. I think it was something like “I wanted to make a difference” or something. I honestly don’t remember what I used to say because I didn’t know, myself.

I remember before I started classes as a 1L, I heard a joke about how there are three kinds of law students.
1) they always knew they were going to be a lawyer.
2) they did really well on the LSAT
3) they had no idea what the fuck else to do with their life.

I think for a good deal of senior year and 1L, I was #3. And that was with a year off in between. With a bachelors in psychology and minors in more criminal justice related fields, the only thing law related I did was join PAD. It wasn’t very beneficial either. But still I pushed ahead with thoughts of being a criminal lawyer in my mind.

Today? I have a much better sense of why I’m here. The circumstances that got me to this point, though seemingly random, actually all make sense now. Everything happens for a reason. But it doesn’t erase the months of stress and conflict that arose from that simple and generic question.
What no one tells you is that it is the underlying item that translates into everything else.

In an environment where you technically constantly have to prove yourself, in my eyes, “why did you come to law school” translates into “why are you here and why do you want to be here?”
If you’ll notice – It’s the very thing that employers ask all the time.
It also translates into “why do you deserve to be here and have this opportunity?”
That translates into papers and essays you turn in for scholarship money. You are consistently trying to prove yourself in law school, and it can take a toll on your motivation or dreams.

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In law school, nothing is ever downright blunt. Unless you’re like me and don’t feel it’s right to hide secrets behind words. Nobody gets ahead that way. It’s not helping anyone to hide daggers behind thinly veiled sentences.

So today, I do have a better idea of why I’m here and what I’m doing. But it still never surprises me to be asked incredulously – why did you come to law school?

Now, I can say many things. And when I do, it’s with a grin. ;)

Take note, 1Ls

I woke up at 7:30… And have been going nonstop. It’s almost midnight, I just got home. I still have to shower and crawl into bed.
Welcome to law school. But even more so. Welcome to 2L. 😂

Don’t be scared of your professors

somethinginlawschool:

I’ve always had a problem with speaking to professors and it’s definitely been a disservice to myself. One of my goals is to start talking to them more.

Originally posted on Lawyer in the Making:

At the beginning of my 1L year, I was terrified of my professors. Were they going to judge me? Was I asking a stupid question? Am I bothering them? Let me answer all of those right now: no, no, and no. First off, professors are NOT going to judge you. I guarantee whatever comes out of your mouth is not the stupidest thing a law student has ever said to them; trust me. In law school, the old “no such thing as a stupid question” still holds true. Now, there is a difference between asking questions in class and after class or during office hours but for the most part, there are no stupid question. Especially 1L year. Professors also don’t get bothered by students asking questions. You’re engaging in the material; you’re keeping up on the class and that’s a good thing.

Professors are not people you need to…

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The Ultimate Night Owl

I studied until 12:30am, ignoring my alarm when it went off – reminding me to take my butt to bed. Silly alarm. Won’t you ever learn? You cannot send me to my pillows nor can you rouse me from them until I am ready. lol

As is my custom, I showered again and took extra time to massage my scalp with shampoo and conditioner. Heads up: Suave Professionals is affordable AND smells amazing without overdoing it.
And as I lay here, browsing Facebook, checking twitter (I lost a follower after tweeting about needing caffeine. Whoever unfollowed me? You ain’t about that #lawschool life lol). I refresh my email wondering if someone will message me because they are thinking about me as much as I am thinking about them. I go through Instagram.

Why does my brain work best past midnight? Doesn’t it realize that I need to be up at 5:30am for cycle class at 6?
Who else is up this late, I wonder as I look out the window from my bed. From the 16th floor, I see clouds and occasionally the moon. During the day, laying on my bed with the window open feels like laying in a meadow. Puts you to sleep just as fast too lol
But my brain is awake for all the reasons a law student and a 2L would be awake.
Am I working hard enough? What do I do about my grades if they aren’t where I want them to be? I want to contact this mentor but they’re ignoring me (which might just be my problem and no one else’s).
Because the ultimate question in any law students mind is…”am I good enough?”

I’m just fed up enough to say it. There is no validation in this field, at least not from people. Your validation comes from titles and invitations and money. It’s a bit like medieval times actually.

Anyways. I’m rambling. Maybe my body is finally producing dopamine. That is the chemical that puts you to sleep right?
Of course there is the obvious answer…
Maybe I shouldn’t have had that cup of coffee at 10:30pm. Lol
Goodnight xox

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