Virginia Bar Exam Blog
Saturday, June 10, 2006
  Tip of the Week

Using an outline is always key in studying law, and studying for the bar exam is no exception. If your bar review course provides a short outline for every subject on your bar exam--one or at most two pages long--that is the outline to learn. Start from a barebones outline and sparingly add other rules.

Make sure that you can state and explain every rule on your outline. Practice applying that basic law to fact patterns. Learn to recite the outline to yourself from memory. When you outline your practice essays, use the rules from your short outline.

Resist the temptation to use outlining to waste time. There are many activities that feel like hard work, and they are hard work, but that do not teach you enough law to be worth spending time on in your short bar-preparation period. Do not make new long outlines, do not copy out old outlines by hand or in the computer, and do not outline page upon page of class notes.Here is a sample barebones outline for Contracts. This is your starting point. Just write one or two rules for each term on this outline, and you are on your way.

I. Formation of contract
A. Mutual assent
B. Consideration
C. Substitutes for consideration: detrimental reliance; statutory substitutes.
D. Defenses to formationE. Third-party beneficiaries. Assignment and delegation.
II. Statute of frauds
III. Parol evidence rule
IV. Conditions
V. Remedies
VI. Other defenses
VII. Discharge of duties

Good Luck!
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May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 /

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