Updating Your Outlines
We ’ve seen all types of legal outlines. From the ten-page outline to the (gulp) 100-page outline, these valuable summaries come in all lengths and forms. They are valuable tools for helping students understand the substantive law. It is likely that outlines are the most important study tool law students will use throughout their time in law school. It’s important for students to keep outlines updated for reasons related to their academic and professional careers.
At exam time, students need relevant information in the proper format to study efficiently and effectively. There are various tools and techniques that a law student may use to update an outline. Flowcharts and capsule summaries of major points of law and critical issues are two such tools. Flowcharts are especially useful for students who are good visual learners. A flow chart can walk a student through a series of questions step-by-step that may be utilized to analyze exam questions.
Making capsule summaries is an excellent way of updating an outline. Capsule summaries help students quickly review key concepts at any time throughout the semester, not just before the exam. Hopefully, as students’ knowledge of the law increases, it also evolves. Over time, students understand core legal concepts more clearly and are better able to see the applicability of these concepts, including the ultimate result.
Students can summarize this understanding in the capsule summaries on their outline. As students better understand legal concepts and update their outlines accordingly, their summaries should become more condensed until certain mere individual words trigger the recollection and understanding of entire legal concepts.
Updating outlines will even allow students to continue to use them in their legal practice after they graduate. The California Desert Trial Academy (CDTA) helps students assimilate to the practice of law better than most traditional law schools. We’re on the cutting edge of modern, progressive 21st Century legal education. The CDTA has implemented new, innovative ways of teaching students how to be attorney-advocates. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.