Ray Hayden

Ray Hayden

Ray Hayden's Book

Ray Hayden's Book

Cat(s) of the Month:

Bella and Linus

Bella and Linus

Ray's J.D. (Juris Doctor)

Commercial Outlines:

My own personal opinion of Commercial Outlines:

The commercial outline books pull out the important legal study material that you MUST know from the case books. They present them to you in a fashion that is better than digging it out of the case books.

A commercial outline allows you to study and learn what you need to KNOW for your exams and the bar exam. They will assist you in creating your own outline.

Why would you need to create your own outline? Because it has been said, many times, that the best way to actually learn something is if we are able to study it and to apply it. You are not going to be able to master this material unless you play around with it, creating your own outline is how that happens.

I actually did create my own outlines (of sorts). What I did was to identify the most important issues in each subject, then use the computer to type them up as a sort of definition checklist.

Typing them up is what assisted getting some of the law study material into my head. The more you can play around with that sort of thing, the more it sticks.

Initially, it is a time consuming task, and you will wonder if it is at all valuable or even worth it... as you continue to work the material, your speed and accuracy will improve - and it happens pretty quickly... so, in a very short time, you will see the beauty of it all.

You will know that it is worth it.

The real beauty comes when the time arises to create what I call your "One Sheet."

A One Sheet is a single side of one sheet of paper that contains all of the most vital information that could possibly appear on a law school exam or the bar exam.

You can begin to create your large course outline by using the table of contents of your case book. If you learn all those main points, or at least identify them, then use the commercial outline to study and LEARN those main points, you will be getting very close to being able to create the One Sheet.

Gilbert's Law Summaries:

I tend to consider that there are two primary law outlines you can get, Emanuel's and Gilbert's. I won't waste your time with discussion of Emanuel's, I will only use Gilbert's Law Summaries going forward because they are powerful tools in mastering what I need in order to pass exams.

They are the primary introduction to the subject matter and they are a key reference once I have gone through them and want to refresh myself, or look something up.

The most important thing is to keep things consistent. I don't have time to waste on trying to guess where the subject is going, Gilbert's gets the job done for me quickly and efficiently with enough information to allow me to "get it," without too much information as to waste my time.

They don't pay me for this endorsement, but if they tossed me some scratch, I'd let you know about it - and I'd also gladly accept it, a man's gotta eat!

Here are links for all of the Gilbert's I use: (A Note About Me) - I buy my books new, you do not need to, used copies, or one older edition is not likely to harm your education of the law. I did buy all of mine from
1L Courses:

Gilbert's Torts
Gilbert's Contracts
Gilbert's Criminal Law

2L Courses:

Gilbert"s Agency, Partnership and LLCs
Gilbert's Criminal Procedure
Gilbert's Real Property
Gilbert's Remedies

3L Courses:

Gilbert's Civil Procedure
Gilbert's Constitutional Law
Gilbert's Corporations
Gilbert's Evidence

4L Courses:

Gilbert's Administrative Law (This was an Elective Course for me.)
Gilbert's Community Property
Gilbert's Legal Ethics (This is Professional Responsibility)
Gilbert's Trusts
Gilbert's Wills
In Short:

The Commercial Outlines take the legal study material that you MUST KNOW for each subject, and put them in a much more condensed format. In my not so humble opinion, you could have the casebooks (like I do) for reference to the commercial outline and the Case Brief Books - which I will discuss on their own page.

The commercial outlines are one of the most powerful tools you will have in your arsenal.