Monday, April 18, 2011

Law School Outlines or Flowcharts?

It's that time of year when many of us law students are creating outlines, forming study groups, and answering practice exam questions. Oh yes, if you're preparing for the June 2011 LSAT, don't think you're off the hook once you get in.

I just wanted to share a quick and free online tool that I've found helpful while creating flowcharts for doctrinal classes. I made the two examples below for corporations using gliffy.com. Unfortunately, to save more than five original documents, you'd have to get a premium membership. I work around this by "printing" to PDF and then starting a new flowchart on the same workspace; rinse and repeat.


The work in progress. I'm not sure I have a good reason for the shapes I use, but there are so many to choose from I feel bad only using rectangles!
I'm not a full-fledged visual learner, but I've found it incredibly helpful to get all the associated ideas linked up in a question and answer flowchart rather than a typical word document hierarchy outline. (If those are for you, the HLS Student Government has brand new, freely accessible outline bank that may or may not be helpful if you're studying or want to see what the hubbub is about.)

The best part about the flowcharts is that I can "print" them into Microsoft OneNote and then link them to my existing class notes. Good times; well, as good as can be considering the circumstances, anyway.

Do not take this as any advice concerning corporate law; as a 1L, no court would find it reasonable to rely on my flowcharts.