RSN wrote:When I was a 1L all the "you know what's best for you so do that" advice about outlining kind of freaked me out, since I had no idea if what I was doing was even remotely helpful. I decided to make up a sort of format and go with it, and then take a bunch of practice tests to see how it was working, and it turns out it was going pretty well. So my version of this advice is to say that you won't really know what's "best" for you or not, since you've never done this before, so just try to start organizing the rules and policy points from the cases you've read in a coherent way that makes sense, maybe taking a look at some old outlines to get a general idea of what they look like, and then get to practice exams.
Also, something that's mentioned often here but not enough is that if you haven't seen a law school exam before, it's really helpful to look at some model answers to figure out how you're supposed to write the thing, because no one actually teaches you that in school. It will freak you out a little because generally model answers by definition are people who did really well, but professors are by and large looking for a certain structure in exam answers, and just organizing your responses in the typical format will help you when they're grading even if you miss some issues.
One other point -- don't relax too much over Thanksgiving. Take the day itself for family and turkey and whatever, but you should be going hard every other day on your outlines, particularly if you haven't done much until then. Many people will slack off over the break, so those who keep working can get ahead of the curve, literally and figuratively.
I am actually taking this bolded point to heart. Unfortunately, the memo for legal research has kept my outlining pushed back until Thursday (most likely). So I plan on finishing all of my readings for the remaining classes by then and outlining by Friday or Saturday. In a perfect world, I finish everything up by Friday after thanksgiving and spend the remaining week doing practice exams, and studying.