Preparing for Class
- Use a "road map" for your reading assignments.
- Before you read the assignment, look at the chapter headings and table of contents in the case book to get a sense of where this topic fits in the overall course.
- Skim study aids covering the topic prior to reading your assignment.
- READ assigned cases.
- Read carefully and critically. Read your assignment twice: once without taking notes or briefing; then brief or take notes during the second reading.
- Don't skim.
- Don't read while tired or distracted.
- Use a law dictionary as you read through your assignment.
- Stop when you come to words you don't understand and look them up – write definition in margin of book if it's helpful.
- Brief cases.
- Briefly state essential facts.
- State judgment or decision in trial court.
- State issue(s) raised on appeal.
- State the disposition on appeal and the rule of the case.
- Rationale – why did the court arrive at that holding.
Don't book Brief during your first year of law school!