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Why Outlines are Imperative to Your Success During Law School and Bar Review

Why Outlines are Imperative to Your Success During Law School and Bar Review

The use of substantive outlines is one of the most essential skills for law school students to develop in their quest for success during law school.  Unfortunately, outlines are frequently misunderstood and underutilized throughout law school.  Most law school students will never see a substantive outline until they are in CA Bar or FYLSE Baby Bar review courses.  I never appreciated the purpose and importance of outlines during law school until teaching legal writing to first-year law students, which is why I am passionate about promoting the purpose and importance of outlines in law school as well as preparing for the CA Bar and Baby Bar exams. 

Law School Outlines Provide the Basis for Learning the Substantive Law 

Throughout law school, law professors opine about preparing outlines, but no more so than when you first begin law school.  The standard advice is to create your substantive outline for each course as you brief your cases.  The problem with this advice is that law school is so different for most students that they have no idea what the outline is supposed to contain, let alone the purpose for the outline.  Your course substantive outline is comprised of all the issues for the subject as well as their rules.  Law professors promote progressively creating these outlines as you learn each subject - locating the rules through your case briefing and lectures.  

I was enlightened to the importance of using supplements for law school outlines when teaching legal writing to first-year law students using Fleming’s substantive outlines for Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts.  The outlines included all the testable issues, the rules for each issue, rule splits, and “pro tips.”  

Using the outlines afforded my students the ability to view the entire outline for the subject, which is invaluable because it provides a roadmap for the entire course.  Due to having the entire outline, I counselled them to start learning the subjects and rules on their break to prepare for the second semester of their yearlong courses.  

Implementing the use of Fleming’s outlines significantly increased their knowledge of the subject - which was reflected in the improved quality of their legal writing. 

You Will Improve Your Legal Writing by Using Law School Outlines

It is important to not only have comprehensive law school outlines for the first year but for each Bar-tested subject. They are imperative to your success because most grades are based on midterms and finals.  If you want an advantage over your classmates when it comes to legal writing, I recommend Fleming’s Sailing Through Law School series with the Exam Solution®. It’s an amazing resource for each Bar-tested subject.  They are reasonably priced, which is often a primary concern for students.  They contain substantive outlines for each subject so you can immediately commence studying your rules.  

There is also a recorded lecture by Prof. Fleming which is generally four hours.  Listening to the lecture at the beginning of the course can assist students with general knowledge of the subject, increasing their comprehension of the issues in a way that’s immediately applicable to their legal writing.  Professor Fleming has an amazing ability to break down even the most difficult subjects and make them understandable.  He also makes the lectures entertaining - definitely a bonus. 

Professor Fleming presents two practice exams to demonstrate how to use the outline and rules to prepare for your exams.  You will learn how to interpret the calls of the question, spot and organize the issues, and write a superior answer.  He also provides the exam study tips, strategies, and methods you need to succeed.  

As an additional bonus, you are given a third practice essay exam to write and submit to Fleming’s attorneys for evaluation and grading. The feedback serves as a study guide and the personal, individualized feedback will show you how to enhance your exam skills. 

You will also receive a sample answer with your detailed, audio feedback via Dropbox from Fleming’s attorney readers.  In my opinion, you will be in a superior position when studying for the CA Bar and Baby Bar if you use Fleming’s Sailing Through Law School series with the Exam Solution® throughout law school. 

Substantive Outlines are Vital to Studying for the California and FYLSE Baby Bar Exams

If you are currently studying for the CA Bar or Baby Bar and did not use substantive outlines during law school, it is not too late for you to be successful on the exams.  Fleming’s offers a number of different California Bar Exam Review courses to prepare graduates for all three formats tested on the CA Bar exam. These include substantive outlines for each subject, exam questions with methods and strategies to pass the MBEs, and performance exams.  

Fleming’s also offers several review courses for the Baby Bar that prepare you for the essay exams and MBEs.  Click on the link for California Bar Exam Review courses and Baby Bar Review courses on Fleming’s website for detailed information regarding the selection of courses as well as their competitive pricing. 



It is invaluable to understand the importance of using outlines to learn the law as well as apply it to your legal writing to be successful in law school.  The use of Fleming’s substantive outlines will put you a step ahead of the competition.  Using Fleming’s outlines during law school will provide you with a proper foundation when you study for the CA Bar and Baby Bar exams - though I still highly recommended taking a Fleming’s Bar review course due to the difficulty of the exams.

If you did not use substantive outlines in law school, Fleming’s offers a variety of CA Bar and Baby Bar review courses, which contain substantive outlines to assist with your preparation for the exams.  Embracing the use of substantive outlines is essential to your success during law school and preparing for the CA Bar and Baby Bar exams.


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