Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: mason123 on June 16, 2008, 10:50:31 PM

Title: Question to law students
Post by: mason123 on June 16, 2008, 10:50:31 PM
Hey there folks:

I'm going off to law school in August, and I would like to hear any suggestions you may have as to the academic preparation one must/should undertake to have a more comfortable/successful transition into law school. As you all have already realized, the rigors and demands of law school is quite high and I would really like to ease myself into that sort of environment.

I was curious as to whether it is possible to familiarize oneself with certain topics that would undoubtedly be analyzed during the first year, or even the first semester. Maybe there are specific books I can read; cases, statutes, legislation I can glance over?

Thoughts? Comments?

Thank you!
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: StevePirates on June 16, 2008, 11:03:51 PM
Enjoy your last taste of freedom man.

If you insist on prepping (which isn't an entirely awful idea) I would recommend the following reads:

Getting To Maybe
Writing a Legal Memo - by Bronstein.
Glannon Guide to Civil Procedure (just to familiarize yourself, not to study hardcore).

Also, any of the Law School Survival Guide type things could be useful.  Good luck!
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: mason123 on June 16, 2008, 11:25:57 PM
Thanks Steve.

I'm currently reading,
The Insider's Guide to Your First Year of Law School: A Student to Student Handbook from a Law School Survivor
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: jacy85 on June 17, 2008, 04:21:29 AM
Read what you're reading already, and perhaps add on Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams on there (by Kimm Walton) for a jump on how to go about the job search and networking (and when it comes to networking, its never too early to begin).

And other than doing LEEWS if you're interested in that sort of thing, don't do anything.

I suggest reading whatever kind of books you're interested in outside school while sitting by the pool or on the beach, because once school starts, you likely won't have any time to do any pleasure reading (and if you do have time, you may very well not want to pick up a book).
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: mason123 on June 17, 2008, 09:41:46 AM
Glannon Guide to Civil Procedure (just to familiarize yourself, not to study hardcore).

This seems like an interesting book because I hear civil procedure can be quite difficult to grasp. Is there any sense in buying this book and starting some low level studies within this particular subject... with this book?
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: nealric on June 17, 2008, 09:25:16 PM
If you must, I would buy a few hornbooks (examples and explanations were my favorite)

My advice is to just enjoy your summer. Nothing you can do is going to help much.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: jacy85 on June 18, 2008, 04:05:53 AM
Just to correct some terminology...

E&Es aren't hornbooks.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: tobias on June 18, 2008, 04:48:51 AM
If you like to read for pleasure, then do a lot of it. I found after starting law school, at the end of the week I could barely pick up the newspaper let alone a real book. It will keep your mind in intellectual mode (well, depending on what you're reading), which can't hurt, and you won't be stressing out about law school during what is likely your last "real" summer break.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: mason123 on June 18, 2008, 05:02:16 AM
"Nothing you can do is going to help much."

So my doom is unavoidable? I should just welcome it with open arms? :)
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: 1Lchica on June 18, 2008, 05:58:54 AM
One thing that I thought was helpful was just to Google law school test-taking strategies and read up about what everyone thinks. That and being very aware of the rigors of the first year. Nothing I actually read prior to starting helped -- I just found my own "way" to do things, despite trying to listen to every piece of advice I could.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: pikey on June 18, 2008, 06:04:41 AM
One thing that I thought was helpful was just to Google law school test-taking strategies and read up about what everyone thinks. That and being very aware of the rigors of the first year. Nothing I actually read prior to starting helped -- I just found my own "way" to do things, despite trying to listen to every piece of advice I could.

titcr.  I had tons of advice from upperclassmen, but at some point it just becomes noise.  You just have to find what works for you.  I have a friend who read all sorts of law prep books, had tons of supplements, did tons of practice tests, etc and she did pretty badly first semester.  I didn't read anything before school, didn't study half as much as she did, only had a few supplements and was happy with my performance.  I found what worked for me and went with it.  I did even better second semester, building on what I'd learned about law school and myself.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: 1Lchica on June 18, 2008, 06:25:56 AM
I think we had similar situations our first year, pikey.

I feel like also that I was just so terrified my first semester that my full potential wasn't there. There's a line you have to find that's between being overconfident and being scared to death.

Have confidence in yourself and your abilities, but don't act like you're smarter than everyone else.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: pikey on June 18, 2008, 06:39:04 AM
Hi Chica!  How was your first year?  What are you up to this summer?

During first semester, I wasn't terrified, I wasn't overconfident, I was just kinda lazy.  I didn't do what I didn't need to do, but I also didn't do as much of what I should have done.  Second semester I was all about working smart, not hard.  I complete cut out the stuff that didn't provide much benefit for me (briefing, outlining, etc) and focused on using the correct supplements, focusing on my reading more than class discussion, and early exam preparation.

It really is all about what works for you.  That's the easy and difficult thing about law school, because there's no "one size fits all" approach.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: nealric on June 18, 2008, 08:10:20 AM
Quote
"Nothing you can do is going to help much."

So my doom is unavoidable? I should just welcome it with open arms?

Yep. It's the end of your world as you know it. But you should feel fine :D
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: 1Lchica on June 18, 2008, 08:17:12 AM
Quote
"Nothing you can do is going to help much."

So my doom is unavoidable? I should just welcome it with open arms?

Yep. It's the end of your world as you know it. But you should feel fine :D

LOL
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: no634 on June 26, 2008, 01:15:16 PM
I read "Getting to Maybe", One L by Scott Turow, and Barron's How To Suceed in Law School.

One L is more of a horror story about law school. It was a good read in that "my year won't be as bad as THAT" kind of way.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: worldlyjd on June 26, 2008, 11:23:40 PM
I wouldn't bother "studying" before school starts.
Honestly, each prof wants you to learn their version of the subject matter, and will test you on want they want you to know.
If you read a study guide (e.g. Examples and Explanations), you might end up learning stuff you're not going to be tested on and not learning the sometimes random stuff the prof really wants you to know.

Just enjoy your summer, it might be your last real time off.
If you want you can read some of the what to expect your 1L year type books. But in the end I don't think those will help you in the classroom, maybe just give you a less stressful transition.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: oh noez on June 27, 2008, 06:18:35 PM
tag
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: PSUDSL08 on June 27, 2008, 08:06:58 PM
"Nothing you can do is going to help much."

So my doom is unavoidable? I should just welcome it with open arms? :)

I've posted on a million or so of these threads but you have it right. It's like being being pushed into the deep end of a swimming pool if you've never swam before. You'll kick, move your arms, and eventually figure out how to keep your head out of the water. By the time you have a semester or two under your belt, you'll be swimming laps.

You're better off drinking beers, reading for leisure, or doing whatever else you enjoy doing before starting law school. My big suggestion is that if you have to do anything, help yourself out by making a list of errands and getting them done before the grind starts (oil change, car inspection, doctors/dentist appointments, setting up your calendar, and the like). Not sure if you're into exercising or not, but if you aren't now's a great time to get into a routine. Aside from the physical benefit, the mental benefit is huge...helps keep you sane and energizes you to knock out a few more hours of work once you're done with your daily routine.

Before starting law school, I began reading one of those "guide to law school books" and got about 20 pages in and stopped reading cause it freaked me out. Now after looking back on the whole process, I think the author was over-dramatizing the "horrors" of law school a bit. I'm not sure what your personality is like, but if you're a bit high strung, I probably wouldn't read any of them. After finishing the whole process, I'd kinda like to read them now to see if their depictions are accurate.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: chydiva82 on June 27, 2008, 09:03:27 PM
"Nothing you can do is going to help much."

So my doom is unavoidable? I should just welcome it with open arms? :)

I've posted on a million or so of these threads but you have it right. It's like being being pushed into the deep end of a swimming pool if you've never swam before. You'll kick, move your arms, and eventually figure out how to keep your head out of the water. By the time you have a semester or two under your belt, you'll be swimming laps.

You're better off drinking beers, reading for leisure, or doing whatever else you enjoy doing before starting law school. My big suggestion is that if you have to do anything, help yourself out by making a list of errands and getting them done before the grind starts (oil change, car inspection, doctors/dentist appointments, setting up your calendar, and the like). Not sure if you're into exercising or not, but if you aren't now's a great time to get into a routine. Aside from the physical benefit, the mental benefit is huge...helps keep you sane and energizes you to knock out a few more hours of work once you're done with your daily routine.
Before starting law school, I began reading one of those "guide to law school books" and got about 20 pages in and stopped reading cause it freaked me out. Now after looking back on the whole process, I think the author was over-dramatizing the "horrors" of law school a bit. I'm not sure what your personality is like, but if you're a bit high strung, I probably wouldn't read any of them. After finishing the whole process, I'd kinda like to read them now to see if their depictions are accurate.

Completely agree with the bolded. Most especially, the part about starting an exercise routine if you do not already have one. I worked out 3 to 4 times a week. So towards the evening hours when folks were drowning themselves in coffee, red bull and green tea and popping Awake pills, I was energized from a good workout and could go for hours.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: StevePirates on June 28, 2008, 02:16:04 AM
On the other hand, I live on coffee in the morning and RockStar in the afternoon.
And a steady diet of Oreos and Doritos.

I've still lost ten lbs since law school started.
Stress might be bad for the heart, but it's great for the figure.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: lawnole23 on June 28, 2008, 01:10:01 PM
don't get sucked into the "this is easy" thought process.  and also you really at this point shouldn't just be reading and taking notes.  because this is your first year you should already be outlining and reading supplements because i can promise you the majority of people in your class are.  this summer you need to study your ass off and see how you do then you can adjust if you studied too much and so on.  since you're in the summer you don't have the work load you'll have when you have 15-17 hours of classes.  don't get into all i need to do is read mindset because the fall will hit you like a ton of bricks if you're used to just doing what is required.

think of it this way, you haven't actually taken a law school final yet so you really don't know what to expect so if i was you i would be busting my ass to prepare for it the whole summer.  you really don't want to get a C- because you were to busy outlining right before the final instead of actually understanding the material.  you don't want to look back and say my grade would have been a lot better if i just would have studied more.

as someone else said learning basics of the law isn't hard. it's a totally different ballgame though when you have one giant hypothetical that is different from anything you did in class and you have to apply all of that law together at one time and then be compared to everyone else.  just remember if you think crim law is easy chances are everyone in the class does at well and whomeever has better grammar or IRACs better will get the A.
Title: Re: Question to law students
Post by: blahblahLAW on June 30, 2008, 05:22:15 PM
On the other hand, I live on coffee in the morning and RockStar in the afternoon.
And a steady diet of Oreos and Doritos.

I've still lost ten lbs since law school started.
Stress might be bad for the heart, but it's great for the figure.

Amen to that --- I'm the smallest I've ever been!