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Where can I find law school outlines?

 The best way to prepare for law school final exams is to learn the law, then figure out how to apply it.

We are huge proponents of the idea that the best law school outlines you can acquire are the ones you write yourself. Outlining will help you internalize, organize, and become familiar with the concepts in a way that simply looking at someone else’s outline will not.

With that said, it is sometimes useful to have a law school outline that someone else wrote. In particular, an outline from someone who had your same professor can help if:

  • You are struggling to organize some topics or see how they fit together.
  • Something caused you to miss class during the semester and have gaps in your class notes.
  • You are worried about being called on—very detailed outlines frequently have professor’s questions and the answers to those questions in the outline.

where can i find law school outlines

Where can I find law school outlines?

There are a few sources that prove pretty fruitful:

(1) Friends

First, ask to see if any of your friends have outlines. If you belong to a student group, ask the 2Ls and 3Ls for their outlines—they frequently share their outlines with their law school classmates, particularly if you are a 1L who isn’t competing with them. If you don’t belong to a student group, ask your friends that belong to student groups if they have access to any outlines. 

(2) Law school outline bank 

Some law schools have outlines in an outline bank. (Not all do, but it is worth checking.)

(3) Outline depot

Outline depot has many outlines. All the outlines are uploaded by students. You are able to search for outlines by professor. Some of the outlines are high quality and some aren’t, but you can preview them prior to purchasing. They are not very expensive and you can even trade an outline you have for an outline on the website. 

Should I use commercial outlines?

In general, no! The key is to get an outline from someone who took the same class with the same professor you have.

Commercial outlines are too broad to paint a picture of what your professor really cares about. And, outlines from other professors will not cover what your professor cares about. Commercial outlines can be helpful if you are trying to understand the general principles of law, but we do not recommend you rely on them.

Do I need to have law school outlines from 2Ls and 3Ls to succeed?

No. In fact, some students say that having outlines can be detrimental to doing well in law school. Indeed, the negative effect of having an outline from someone else is sometimes it is tempting to not make your own. Further, sometimes you rely on someone else’s organization rather than doing the heavy lifting and organizing your outline yourself. You can rob yourself of the benefits that come from outlining if you rely too heavily on the law school outlines of others.

The takeaway from all of this is that outlines that others make can be great resources, but only if used correctly!

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