While planning and researching a legal memo, fill out a whirlybird. (You're ready to begin once you know enough about the problem to have an idea or two.) Use unruled paper. Take your time. Fill as many major and minor branches as you can, and feel free to add more branches. Then, when the paper starts getting full--and only then--create a linear outline using bullets. Remember that you're working on the basic unit of organization: once you have that, you'll organize further according to issues and answers.
Do the same with a trial or appellate brief.
Do the same with a journal article or continuing-legal-education paper. For this one, you might need a large sheet of butcher paper.
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