Why Do I Need Outlines?
Outlines are study aids for law school classes. When you create an outline you want to ensure they are concise and direct summaries of the legal principals and issue from your classes. Outlines are a great ways for a student to compose what s/he has learned throughout the semester and put the legal issues and theories s/he studied into her/his own words. Most law school exams are also open book; therefore, outlines are a great reference for final exams. It is much easier to refer to an outline that is only a few pages long versus a casebook that will be hunders of pages or class notes which are likely dozens of pages and hastily typed. A legal outline is a concise and organized summary of an entire legal class or subject. Creating an outline throughout the semester is just as important for success in law school as briefing cases in your casebook.
Where Can I Get Outlines?
The first place to "get" an outline is from yourself. It is always best to create an outline for each of your classes throughout the semester and then organize and pefect your outline at the end of the semester before finals. It will be difficult to keep up with an outline throughout the semester but you will be ahead of the game and in a better position if you create your outline throughout the semester. Otherwise, you will find yourself rushing to create an outline during study days rather than actually studying. If you want to succeed in law school, you must do your best to create an outline throughout the semester.
If you cannot keep up with creating outlines yourself or are looking to supplement your own outlines, you can try to find other outlines for your classes. The first place to look is student groups at your law school. Many student groups in law schools have outline banks that only their members are granted access to--typically these banks are accessible online through Lexis or Westlaw. You will be able to find outlines organized by class and professor. Using these groups and being able to get recent outlines specifically from your school and your professor is the best place to start.
The next step is to try running a search of your professor, the class name, and/or casebook name. You may get lucky and find outlines that students have uploaded. It's not always likely, but for a popular course or at a big law school, it's worth a shot.
If you cannot find outlines through student groups or through searching the internet, there are online databases of legal outlines such as OutlineDepot.com, IHateLawSchool.com, Internet Legal Research Group, Rominger Legal, and LegallyNoted.com.
Online Databases for Law School Outlines
Outline Depot is an online database which has law school outlines that are organized by school, class, professor, and casebook. Unless you go to an obscure law school, you will be guaranteed to find outlines for all of your first year classes that are specifically for your professor and casebook. You should also be able to find outlines for your classes during 2nd and 3rd year as well. You need 1 credit per outline you wish to download. Credits are gained by either uploading outlines or purchasing credits. The rate for credits is: 1 credit for $9.99, 2 credits for $17.99, 3 credits for $25.99, and 4 credits for $32.99.
I Hate Law School has a collection of over 400 law school outlines in their exclusive Member's Area. You receive unlimited access to I Hate Law School's outlines for $25 per year. I Hate Law School also offers select first year and upper level course outlines for free.
Internet Legal Research Group
Internet Legal Research Group has an archive of over 100 free law school outlines. Internet Legal Research Group also pay students $15 for each outline they submit so in addition to getting free outlines to study, you can sell your outlines for some extra cash.
Rominger Legal provides links to several online databases with law school outlines.
Legally Noted is an online database for law school students that has class notes, outlines, and strategies for law school classes.
Studying for Finals With Outlines
If you have created an outline for each of your classes throughout the semester and then obtained outlines from either student groups or online databases, you have great resources to study from. If you have not finished your outlines, when study days come, the first thing you should do is ensure that you have a complete and comprehensive outline for each of your classes. Thereafter, you should review and study from your outline. Make sure that you understand all of the legal principals within your outlines and that your outlines cover all of the legal principals from your classes. With a comprehensive outline you will be armed for all of your law school finals. Good luck!