i The Frugal Law Student | 2007 | January

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Free Case Briefs

Written by Brett McKay

During the middle of last semester, I stopped briefing cases. It was taking too much time away from doing practice exams and the such. I still read the cases and make a few notes in the margins, but I have not done a full length brief in months.

Instead, I go to Lexis Nexis and use their Case Brief service. Just type in the case number and select brief, and Lexis brings up a nice little case summary. Some summaries are better than others, but overall I’ve been happy with them. I’ve had no problems answering my professors’ questions using them.

Westlaw also has a case brief option, but I don’t like them as much. All they do is give you the West head notes as the brief. Sometimes there can be 20 or 30 head notes to sort through to find the issue that you need for class.

Another option is using 4 Law School’s case brief bank. These are briefs done by other students, so quality does vary. However, you can find some good ones. Briefs done by a guy named Bram have been useful in class.

Top Law Student also has a page with links to several free outlines. Many of these outlines incorporate case briefs. This is another great free resource.

What do you all do about case briefing?

More and More Teenagers are Starting Businesses

Written by Brett McKay

Here’s another great New York Times Article on teenagers starting their own business. It seems like millennials are interested in making money doing things they enjoy. The internet has driven this collective interest in making money. This desire to make money has manifested itself in the people millennials choose as role models. Instead of looking to athletes or politicians as role models, many millennials look to business people like Bill Gate or Steve Jobs to fill this role.

I think it’s great that young people are learning so much about money at such an early age. I wish I had the financial savvy that many of the teenagers covered in the article have when I was their age. I blew most of my income from high school jobs on Taco Bell, CDs, and movies. I can only imagine if I invested that… dang.

Lesson learned: Teach kids about the value of money

Massive Resource List for Online Learning

Written by Mrs. FLS

Lifehacker had post on this nifty site, Massive Resource List for All Autodidacts. It’s just a page with different lists of stuff you can lean on the Internet. They have a list for free podcasts of different university lectures. You can learn about economics and U.S foreign policy from a real professor. There’s also a list of places where you can learn a foreign language for free. I also like how they’ve included a list of free useful software for students.

How this can help law students
One thing I’ve learned in law school is that the study of law often touches on other subjects. If a student really wants to understand the law, it’s often useful to be familiar with these subjects. For example, in Constitutional law, history plays a huge role in the development of the law. Background in American history can be extremely useful in understanding Con law. Another example is contracts and property. I wish I would have taken an economics class or two while I was an undergrad. General knowledge about the subject would have come in handy.

Check it out today.

The American Medical Scam

Written by Mrs. FLS

Here’s a great New York Times article about a cardiologist who focuses on preventive medicine. The article points out how he’s a shinning example preventive medicine’s one problem in America: there’s no money in it. The economic incentive in American medicine is to treat, not prevent. Tests, medicines, and operations are how most doctors make their money.

Don’t buy into the system. Start preventing health problems before they become a problem. My wife posted on this subject last month here.

Festival of Frugality is Up at the Simple Dollar!

Written by Brett McKay

This week, the Simple Dollar is hosting the Festival of Frugality. Trent put a lot of work into this write up. He read every single submission and picked out one sentence that best captured the idea of the post. The festival turned out great. Thanks to Trent for including my 20/20 submission. Here are some of my favorites:

Go check it out!

Do you believe in money(or law school) magic?

Written by Brett McKay


The New York Times has an article about studies showing how our brains are wired for magical thinking. Even highly skeptical people cling to private rituals that they think somehow will help determine the outcome of an event in their life. Even when one knows that it’s not rational to believe that wearing a certain shirt or carrying a certain penny will change the outcome of our life, we still do it because it brings a bit of confidence.

So, do you believe in money magic? Some people do, like Steven Palvina. Here’s a page with spells to attract money. Prosperity gospel leaders like Joel Olsten teach their followers that if they pray for wealth, God will bless them with it. Has money magic brought you prosperity?

I don’t really have any money magic rituals that I do. However, I am pretty superstitious when it comes to law school. I have a set routine that I do everyday. If I break it, I feel like I’m going to jinx myself.