Thursday, April 20, 2006

Finals' Rule #1

We are starting a new feature here at Law School Rules. Namely, Finals' Rules. What is acceptable and what isn't? The tendencies of finals behavior could fill a book, so for this week and next week, I am going to try to crank out at least four Finals rules, and some other special treats. Without further ado, Finals Rule #1

Outlines Are For Sharing, Not For Hoarding

Outlines are a funny thing, some people go through the entire semester outlining as they go along, others outline only at the end, and some just borrow outlines.

Personally, I take the middle road. I combine all my briefs and notes into a final outline. This method works best because I have the rule, the illustration, and it is surrounded by like situations. Some try to make outlines consisting only of Rules, which makes it hard for them to differentiate situations on the exam.

That is why I go with the examples. So what does this have to do with the rule? Most people who outline as the semester goes on, end up with only the rules, and no fact differentiation. These are the people who will most likely let you borrow their outline. The problem is that they do not realize that these outlines suck. If you have nothing better, than procure an outline from the person who has been taking notes in outline format all semester.

However, there is the percentage that outline at the end, say the last week of classes or immediately before the exam. In general, these are the outlines you want. They have been through the semester of classes, and have been able to see through the mounds of irrelevant bullshit while composing their outline. The problem is that the outline is probably not completed until a day or so before the exam. Since actually making the outline is 50% of the studying, the person who borrows this outline is at a severe disadvantage. You only have a day to read it, and must make do as best as possible.

That leaves the third option. The person who took the class last year that still has their outline. Outlines are really the only reason to make friends with those in a year higher than you. They know this, so are always wary of noobs coming up to talk to them. Therefor,e you have to charm them, get inside the circle, before they will give up their outline.

After all, anyone who is eager to let you borrow their outline, probably ended up with a D in the class, and he would love nothing better than to see you fail.

But the fact of the matter is, the person who borrows the outline will probably never do better than the person who composed the outline, unless through a twist of fate they got stuck at a fourth tier school when they should be in the top 100, at least. However, those situations are rare. Sure Law School is hyper competitive, or at least it should be, but feel free to give out your outline. If it is really that good, you will kick everyone else's ass on the exam anyway.

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