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rganizing. Many Methods, One Goal. Reasons to Organize. For Exams Speed in writing exams Thoroughness in answers To learn material Organizing provides: context for information grouping to remember better by association To learn analysis process. Organizing Materials.

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many methods one goal

rganizing

Many Methods, One Goal

reasons to organize
Reasons to Organize
  • For Exams
    • Speed in writing exams
    • Thoroughness in answers
      • To learn material
        • Organizing provides:
          • context for information
          • grouping to remember better by association
      • To learn analysis process
organizing materials
Organizing Materials
  • Aids Learning both Content and Analysis
    • By grouping related information
      • for increasing memory by association
      • for helping see the relationships and patterns within a group of related materials
    • By ordering the information into a meaningful sequence for analysis
    • By providing contextual recall
  • Helps on exams
      • Increases speed of retrieval for information
      • Increases speed of scanning for relevant issues
organizing
Organizing
  • Learning styles influence the best methods of organizing for each person
    • Note what has worked for you in other courses.
    • Try out different ways of organizing to see what works for you.
  • The “outline” format is not necessarily the best way to organize all of your materials. Explore different organizing formats.
  • For law study, organizing structures are best when they reflect the analysis process.
  • Set up the structure of your “organizing tool” to be similar to the way you remember material. This increases your speed of recall – and thus speed of planning and writingexam answers.
preliminary questions
Preliminary Questions
  • Goals: What do I want to do or accomplish?
    • Organizing to conceptualize material
    • Creating a tool to guide problem solving
  • What format is easiest for me to follow?
  • Would it be more efficient to use an “outline” created by someone who knows more than I?
  • How can I tell if my “organizing method” will help me accomplish my goals?
organizing to conceptualize
Organizing to Conceptualize
  • Main Topics
    • What are the main topics in the course?
      • What distinguishes each topic?
      • How are the topics like and different?
      • How will you identify issues that fall in topic area?
    • How do the main topics relate to each other
      • Can they occur together?
      • Are any topics mutually exclusive?
      • Is there an order among topics such that one or some should be analyzed before others?
  • This layer of organizing identifies the large areas of a course. Usually there are no more than 5-9 of these. Scan a problem for relevant main topics.
subtopics
Subtopics
  • Make a list of all legal principles, rules, questions, public policy issues, and terms.
  • Group these using each main topic as a category.
  • Within each category sort these and include case examples to help remember the applications and arguments.
  • Put in an order that reflects what you need to analyze a new set of facts.
creating a tool to guide problem solving
Creating a Tool to Guide Problem Solving
  • Remember, the goal is analysis!
  • Does your tool include:
    • Questions to ask of facts or to test legal principles?
    • Legal tests and rules?
    • Arguments and counter arguments?
    • Case examples?
    • Public policy arguments?
    • Other terms or criteria used by professor or important in class discussion?
practical questions for creating a flow chart or decision tree
Practical Questions for Creating a Flow Chart or Decision Tree
  • What is a flowchart or decision tree?
  • Why would I create one?
  • Is it a substitute for an outline?
  • What if I don’t learn visually?
  • What software can I use?
slide10

Creating a Flowchartin 3 easy steps

Brainstorm

Organize

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

Go with

the analysis

slide11

ContractsSample - “Brainstorm” Sheet

List rules/key words/phrasesPromissory EstoppelOfferContractAcceptanceConsiderationCommunication - knowledge of offer VoidVoidable Certainty of termsCommitment/promiseTermination

Brainstorm

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

11

slide12

ContractsSample organization of rules/key words/phrases

I. Requirements for contractA. Offer1. Commitment/promise2. Certainty of Terms 3. Communication 4.TerminationB. ConsiderationC. AcceptanceD. Promissory EstoppelII. Is contract valid? A. Void B. Voidable

Organize

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

12

slide13

ContractsSample Flowchart 1

Go with

the analysis

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

13

slide14

ContractsSample - “Brainstorm” Sheet

List rules/key words/phrasesPromissory EstoppelOfferContractAcceptanceConsiderationCommunication - knowledge of offer VoidVoidable Certainty of termsCommitment/promiseTermination

Brainstorm

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

14

slide15

ContractsSample organization of rules/key words/phrases

I. Requirements for contractA. Offer1. Commitment/promise2. Certainty of Terms 3. Communication 4.TerminationB. ConsiderationC. AcceptanceD. Promissory EstoppelII. Is contract valid? A. Void B. Voidable

Organize

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

15

slide16

ContractsSample Flowchart 1

Go with

the analysis

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

16

slide17

Torts - Sample Flowchart 1

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

17

slide18

Torts - Sample Flowchart 2

Has someone been negligent?Must have 4 things: 1) Duty 2) Breach 3) Cause and 4) DamagesDid someone owe a duty of care to another? - Was there a duty?Look for: 1) an act or an omission (failure to act) 2) general standard - that of a reasonable person - applies to all - children, people with disabilities, etc. 3) what was the scope of duty? a) ordinary situations - foreseeability of reasonable person of injury to another b) special situations i) affirmative duty to act, i.e. duty to control 3rd persons (parent-child), duty to protect 3rd persons (jailer, innkeeper, etc.) ii) duties imposed by statute, i.e. good Samaritan laws iii) special duties for owners and operators of automobiles iv) special duties for vendors and lessors of land v) special duties for owners and occupiers of land 1) to persons outside of land - not to create unreasonable risk of harm 2) to persons coming on land - look to see who person is - different rules for adult trespassers, children, frequent intruders, licensees, and inviteesIf there is a duty - was there a breach? - in light of duty owed - did D act reasonably?Was the breach the cause of P’s injuries?Look at: 1) Actual cause - “but for” test 2) Proximate cause - look at foreseeability of what occurred and how it occurredDid plaintiff incur damages?Can defendant raise any defenses? 1) Was plaintiff contributory negligent? 2) Did plaintiff assume the risk?

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

18

slide19

ContractsSample Analytic Outline

Step 1 - Is there an offer? Look to see if all of the following elements exist:1. Commitment/promise2. Certainty of Terms 3. Communication* make sure the offer has not been terminated!Step 2 - Is there consideration?Step 3 - Has the offer been accepted? 1. If yes - then we have a contract 2. If no then try to enforce using promissory estoppelStep 4 - Make sure the contract is valid Look to see if it is 1. Automatically Void and/or 2. Voidable by one of the parties

Go with

the analysis

Caution: This is an example to illustrate an organizing process NOT a tool for learning content.

You must use your professor’s terms and definitions, not generic ones.

Created by Ruta Stropus, DePaul Law School

19