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Messages - lkny

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Thoughts from a 0L
« on: July 20, 2006, 11:00:48 AM »
OK so yesterday was the last day. Just waiting for my grade now.

I used LEEWS. I would highly recommend it even before starting school. Though it mostly focuses on exams, there is advice in there that helps during the school year (ie. class participation doesn't count no matter what the professor says). At this stage you don't need to do the exercises. Just listen to it. Then, come exam time, go through the exercises. It's 8 CD's and a book with exercises that take hours so it'll take quite a bit of time.

I don't have my grade yet so I don't know how I did but LEEWS did help me pick out things that I normally would not have. Few law school students fail or do very poorly. Everyone will do well but few will do well enough to get A's. To get an A you have to go above and beyond what is expected. I was so happy when I was able to pick up on something that I doubt more than a handful, if any, other students did during the exam.

Another piece of advice I got was that the exam is not a memo. It doesn't have to be formal. The professor just wants to see if you were able to pick out issues and develop them. So I didn't waste time restating facts or even writing out entire case names. You don't get any points for restating the given or being verbose.

What I learned about memo writing was that you shouldn't try to do it at the last minute. Do it as soon as you can then reread it over and over again until the due date. You pick up errors and better ways to state things that way. By the time it's due, it's very refined.

Oh and even if you have that laptop, you may still need a legal dictionary... for exams. Probably not absolutely necessary, but it'd be nice to have just in case.

About OneNote. I made a slight modification as the course progressed. I had a new page of notes for each lesson, not for each day. A lot of times a lesson will span multiple days or sometimes, the prof will go off on a tangent and you have nothing to take down for that day.

And finally, look for books on Amazon before you go to the school bookstore. It may be cheaper.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Thoughts from a 0L
« on: June 22, 2006, 08:14:59 AM »
With a laptop, if you type fast, you can get into the issue of taking down too much stuff. You don't necessarily want to record everything verbatim. It's more important to get the issues and the rules. If you're handwriting, it's possibly more likely that you'll pick up the skill of capturing "the important stuff" because you're more limited in what you can record vs. the extraneous stuff that you pick up when typing.
That's the concern that the professor had. But I don't take down everything and I've seen people using pen and paper who do.
You won't be typing most of the class. When you do it'll usually be short sentences so it doesn't matter if you can type 80 wpm or write 40 wpm. Then you have to click the flag icon to mark it if necessary. If you make a mistake, it takes longer to fix. If you're marking up briefs, you have to scroll down to the section. I don't want to make it sound like it's a big deal though. It's not. There just isn't much of a difference. Typing is neater and more organized. Plus like I said before, with internet connection you can look stuff up and don't need a legal dictionary at all (though you'll rarely need it during class anyway).

I don't have any games installed (uninstalled all the games that come with Windows). Even when I'm studying I try to go somewhere without an internet connection.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Thoughts from a 0L
« on: June 21, 2006, 06:47:54 PM »
One of the professors actually advised AGAINST using laptops for note-taking. It really isn't necessary and there are a few disadvantages; weight, it can break or get stolen, it takes up a lot of valuable desk space in class (you have to keep your casebook on your lap), weight, it's slower than writing by hand, and weight.
I went to the first class without a laptop and then started going with a laptop. What a difference in the strain on my shoulders!

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Thoughts from a 0L
« on: June 21, 2006, 10:41:15 AM »
Is OneNote really that much better than Word?
You can use Word but OneNote is just more convenient. The layout is such that you can reference past notes quickly. It automatically saves when you close it. The ability to flag notes is great too.

Great post. Did you do any prep work before you started?
I just read LS Confidential. I can't say that it helped. I always wondered what 1L's were talking about when they said that you shouldn't bother preparing during the summer before you start. The truth is that everything worth knowing will be taught and you don't gain anything by knowing it before everyone else (and as I've said before it can actually hurt you). If you want to sound like you know what you're talking about I guess you can go over a few basics like the heirarchy of courts and common terms like "reversed", "affirmed", "the court said", "the court held", "the plaintiff/defendent claimed", "statute"... Try not to use other technical terms before the professor uses them. Otherwise you'll stand a good chance of misusing them.

Excellent comments. As for the notetaking - I was able to look at a former 1Ls Onenote notes. In his Torts folder he had 3 sections: Reading Assignments, Class notes and Exam prep. How did you decide on two sections? Was it something suggested?
I broke it up according to what I thought was logical. I guess the "reading assignments" would include briefs. That makes sense. Maybe I'll do the same. There was one assignment I had which wasn't a brief and I didn't know where to put it.
I don't know what would go in an "exam prep" section. Outlines? I'm not at that stage of the game yet so I can't comment on that.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Thoughts from a 0L
« on: June 21, 2006, 08:24:33 AM »
Not a bad summary, I think. (Although I do feel sorry that you're spending the summer sitting in a classroom prior to law school.)

As for the briefing, there's another issue with the edited cases -- cases are edited for different reasons. Sometimes, the edits are there to highlight a substantive issue. Sometimes, they're edited to highlight a procedural issue. If you "find" a brief online or somewhere, unless you know that it corresponds to your casebook, you don't know that what the brief covers is what your book covers.

I don't necessarily brief anymore, but it was helpful to start out; to try to pick out the rule, the procedural posture, etc., etc.
Yeah there's that too. There are usually multiple issues in a case. Using someone else's brief will not necessary help you in understanding the issue that your professor wants to focus on.

One more thing... Trying to learn material before starting school can actually hurt you. The professor will probably try to get to things in order. By getting ahead of the topic, it can mix you up. For example you can get ahead then read a case and think "Oh I read about this. The rule that needs to be applied is..." but the rule you are thinking about may not have been developed yet at the time of that case.

Incoming 1Ls / Thoughts from a 0L
« on: June 20, 2006, 09:40:51 PM »
I actually started already. I'm taking a "Legal Process" course at BLS. It's a 2 credit course for a letter grade. We just learn the basics. A little of everything. I've learn a great deal already though. I've learned a lot from this board, so I'd like to share some of what little I've learned so far.

Laptops and OneNote: It's not absolutely necessary for taking notes. You can take notes by hand. I guess using a laptop is slower but it's more useful when you want to look stuff up. If you have a laptop with internet connection, you don't even need to buy a legal dictionary. In OneNote, I have a folder for the class and 1 section for briefs and 1 section for class notes. Each brief and day of class gets its own page. I have flags for "important", "question", "remember for later", "definition", and "class notes." The last one is used for marking up my briefs with stuff I learn in class.

Carrying everything: It gets heavy. You have your laptop and charger, pen and highlighters, and book(s). Consider the weight of the laptop if you're buying one. Also be considerate and turn off the sounds in Windows. If you're buying a bag you may want to consider it's weight and comfort.

Annoying behavior in class: Some people make me wonder how they got into law school. There's the people who feel like they have to present their personal views about everything ("I feel like it's unfair that...", "I have to disagree..."). These people just take up valuable class time with the comments. The point of class is to learn, not to tell us what you feel. Then there's the people who take forever to ask a question ("Uhh... what if... uh... the guy... uh..."). Formulate your question in your head before you ask it. Also don't try to sound too smart but don't sound stupid. Inevitably in the beginning, people will misuse technical legal terms when they try to sound too smart (For example, you may want to learn the difference between "overrule" and "reverse."). But then there's the people who talk like a broken record ("You know how it is. You know. I feel like, you know, why, you know..."). And of course, put your phone on vibrate before class starts.

The workload: There's a lot of reading. It's not something you can do 30 minutes before class. You have to set aside some time even on weekends to do the reading.

Summer prep: There's not much you can do to get ahead in terms of material you can learn in advance. You don't get extra credit for knowing stuff before its assigned so there's really no point in trying to get ahead early. In fact the professor can get pissed if you start getting ahead of the lesson at hand. Also, you won't know what your professor will want to emphasis and that's what's really important. You can teach yourself to brief cases if you want. It'll make things a bit easier in the beginning if you already know how to do it. But it's not going to affect your grade one bit if you don't know how to brief before classes start. If you want to try, get a few cases (preferably abridged versions from a casebook) and use a method like the one outlined in Law School Confidential. Do NOT cheat by Googling briefs. You need to learn how to extract info from cases, not just the answer. Not to mention the fact that many briefs available online are crap.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Going to Brooklyn
« on: May 22, 2006, 09:05:40 PM »
184 Joralemon

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Dell Inspiron 710m
« on: May 19, 2006, 10:13:59 AM »
The 1.7GHz 1GB RAM 710m is $1000.
I wouldn't spend more than $1200 on a laptop.

512MB RAM is sufficient for today's needs but I would recommend 1GB for futureproofing.
1.7GHz is fine unless you're doing some major video editing, encoding, or postprocessing.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Dell Inspiron 710m
« on: May 19, 2006, 09:04:41 AM »
It's quiet and very lightweight. Great laptop. There is one big negative though. The keyboard is smaller than most laptop keyboards. Makes for a lot of typos.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Cities: Chicago vs. NYC
« on: May 17, 2006, 11:52:09 AM »
Once I was in NY and I was taken to a Hot Dog Place, it was called somehting like Frank's Papaja, they served hot dog with kraut and hat papaja juice. great place.
anybody know the name?
Gray's Papaya is the original. There are countless copycats.

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