It is important to make sure that you are prepared for every class. Preparation is more than briefing cases. Before class even begins, you need to read the cases carefully, prepare case briefs, synthesize the material on the same topic, and then review your briefs and notes before class.
Why should you brief cases?
- Briefing cases will help you prepare for class discussion.
- Briefing cases helps develop much-needed analytical skills. Written briefs will force you to extract important aspects from an opinion. These same skills are directly applicable to the law school exam process.
- Reducing your understanding of a case to a written brief forces you to crystallize your understanding.
- Briefs are useful in reviewing a group of related cases without having to rely on your memory (which is fallible) or having to re-read the cases, which is time consuming.
- You can use your case briefs and class notes to prepare your course outlines.
- Improved analytical skill directly improves exam performance.
To practice reading and briefing cases:
Review this Case Reading Checklist.
Apply the case reading steps to the following case: Leichtman v. WLW Jacor Communications Inc.
Try to brief the case using this Case Brief Format.
Watch this presentation and check your work: CSI: Case-briefing Strategy Institute