December 20, 2006
Exam Outlines
Posted by Gordon Smith

Steve Bainbridge has discovered OutlineDepot, where students are selling outlines for his course. Welcome to the club!

Steve is worried about copyright. Such a market perspective!

Here at Wisconsin, the Student Bar Association uses the law school server to post outlines for free! (Some of the outlines are a bit dated. When I look at the outlines for Business Organizations, for example, none of us who are teaching this year has an outline on the site, and we have been teaching that course here for at least four years!)

The more interesting issue to me is why students want these outlines. Notice the SBA disclaimer:

SBA MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS AS TO THE QUALITY OF THE OUTLINES ON THIS BANK. WE RECOMMEND YOU USE THEM AS A GUIDE FOR DEVELOPING YOUR OWN OUTLINES, RATHER THAN RELYING SOLELY UPON THEM.

Using unvetted outlines from past semesters as a guide seems like a horrible idea, unless you are desperate or apathetic. Perhaps the SBA would consider a new preface to the site:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

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