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Messages - dft

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Current Law Students / Re: What supplament to use..? Study Habits...
« on: March 25, 2006, 11:32:50 PM »
OK, OK... valid point. There is some degree of luck, and it is definitely possible that studying too much could actually have deleterious effects.

The luck aspect of it must explain why my first-semester grades only put me in the top 35% (even though we don't have official grades or rankings yet), as opposed to the top 10%.   ;)

A "natural born genius of the law"?  I see you've been reading Planet Law School.  I'm not a natural born genius of the law.  If this were the case, I would be in the top 5 percent of my class and not just in the top third.

My point was only that a lot of success in law school is based upon sheer LUCK. Unfortunately, not many law students want to face this truism, since they want to believe that hard work always pays off, which any reasonble person would (or at least should) know that it doesn't.  Or they want to believe that they will do well because they are smart, even though everyone in law school is smart. 

In other words:  Refrain from needlessly worrying about the fact that you will most likely not be extended a golden invitation to be on Law Review (what a tragedy, from this blow I may never recover).  It could be that your performance will improve, as did mine, when you relax and not take law school as seriously as the professors (the real natural born geniuses of the law) tell you that you should.

Transferring / Re: Is it worth it?
« on: March 25, 2006, 11:27:57 PM »
Becoming a law prof. is not likely in your future.  Really, without going to a Top 10 or so school, and really, HYS, you have no chance at being a law professor.  Sure, maybe after some years of experience if you become an expert in your field it might be possible, but its still unlikely.  There is no way that a bottom T1 or T2 will get you there.

I don't know if anyone has said this because I haven't read the whole thread, but this is false. There are plenty of professors who went to T3 and T4 schools. They generally teach at the law school that they attended, however.

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Prep Courses
« on: March 25, 2006, 08:11:20 PM »
Buy used versions of the E&E's for Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Torts. Get them for as cheap as you can; you're not using them for decorative purposes. It doesn't matter if it's not the latest edition either. You're just using them to get an overview.

If you want to spend money on more recent versions, then by all means do it. But paying less than $50 for used, old versions of those books and working through them is going to be much more beneficial (albeit much more time consuming, but still well worth it) than paying $1,000 for that course.

Read the chapters and work the hypos at the end of each chapter.

Current Law Students / Re: summer job
« on: March 25, 2006, 06:22:01 PM »
Giraffe -- There's a Lexis workshop on "Cost Effective Research" that I just took last week over spring break. It only took an hour and I got 2000 points for it!

There must be a workshop like that on Westlaw as well. You can do them live at your law school or on your computer at home on your own.

I wasn't nervous until I attended a Westlaw luncheon yesterday. The rep was explaining that a search in one database costs $93 as opposed to your local state database search at the price of $63. I knew that Westlaw wasn't cheap, but $93?? They explained that many firms pay a flat rate but each year they re-negotiate based on the usage for the prior year. So how much you would have racked up in fees will matter at the end of the year.

I'm terrified that my firm will see that I would've racked up thousands in fees and therefore not offer me a permanent position  :-\

Current Law Students / Re: What supplament to use..? Study Habits...
« on: March 25, 2006, 06:19:10 PM »
I agree, she must be what they refer as a "natural born genius of the law." Praise is due!

I think how well you do on exams is just a crapshoot.  I never practice with hypos, and only study, at most, a week before exams.  The result?  Dean's List and a CALI award in a class for which I studied less than 2 days.  So, to make a blanket statement that one must practice with hypos for at least 2 weeks prior to exams in order to do well is just exercising faulty logic. 

I believe that you are, for the most part, an extreme exception to the rule.

Delaney has formats to write exams that to me make up most of the practical help the book gives.

I didn't find Delaney's formats helpful. I thought that LEEWS was better for the actual exam writing itself. The only thing I found helpful about Delaney's was the general advice that I mentioned in my post above. I've spoken with others who feel that Delaney's was completely useless in comparison to LEEWS. I wouldn't go so far to say that it was completely useless, but I don't think it was that great.

Have you read/done LEEWS and practiced the strategies? If so, I can't imagine that you found Delaney's even close to as helpful as LEEWS.

I think Delaney's Learning Criminal Law by advocacy is also real good for learning how to deal with all exams, not only criminal law exams.  Bascially he writes a blurb explaining something in criminal law, then gives an example of an exam question on the subject, then gives a model answer, and sometimes model answers of what not to do.

Not to come off as hostile here, but I disagree regarding Delaney's Criminal Law book too. I read PLSII and bought pretty much all the books AF recommended. I found Delaney's Crim Law book to be one of the most worthless books I bought for 1L. I found the Crim Law E&E and Gilberts to be much better supplements for Crim Law.

I like Delaney. I think his best book out of all of them is "Learning Legal Reasoning." I would recommend this book for incoming 1L's. It's a very good introduction to case briefing. Even though I don't think case briefing is that important or that helpful in terms of learning the material, this books teaches you how to do it well. It also introduces you to the language used in cases, the way the legal system works, and it provides a brief introduction to jurisprudence, which I found to be very helpful.

I did/read LEEWS, read Delaney's, and read Getting to Maybe (GTM).

Delaney's book is called "How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams." It's decent, as is GTM I would say the two most helpful things that I got from his book were: (1) "tap into" your professor's "analytical frequency," and (2) GET YOUR PROFESSOR'S OLD EXAMS AND WRITE OUT RESPONSES (which is actually a way to accomplish number 1). So that was the basic advice that I took from the book. I didn't get much in terms of actual exam strategy. I got  my exam strategy from LEEWS.

As for GTM, it's good, but not great. I would say Delaney's book and GTM fall significantly below LEEWS on a rating scale in terms of helpfulness in developing your exam-writing ability. I'm not sure which one is better though -- probably Delaney. The most useful advice that I got from GTM was that "there is ambiguity in the law, there should necessarily be some ambiguity in exam questions and in your responses"; hence the title, "Getting to Maybe." They talk about "forks in the law" and "forks in the facts." This way of thinking about exam issues/responses is useful, I think. A fork is basically an issue. They are talking about forks as in forks in the road, where you can go two different ways. An exam response is like this because you can reach two different conclusions and both can be well-reasoned, good answers. They go on to talk about more complex forks ("proliferating forks," or whatever, and various other forks). I don't think this is really helpful. It's just confusing, and I really don't see how it could, on the whole, be beneficial to you on your exam.

While LEEWS is definitely worth your time, I'm not sure GTM and Delaney's are. LEEWS gives you a solid foundation of exam-writing skills. Be sure to adapt the LEEWS technique  in accordance with your preferences and (as I'm sure Delaney would agree with, since he hammers home this message constantly throughout the book) your professor's preferences.

I've also heard that the Law Preview exam-writing course is solid (THE ONE-DAY COURSE, NOT THE WEEK COURSE THAT COSTS LIKE $1000), but I'm not sure it's worth the $120+. My advice to incoming 1L's for exam-writing would be this: at a bare minimum, get the LEEWS manual/primer ($35). If you want to, also attend the live, one-day course/lecture (or Law Preview's live, one-day course). Skip Delaney and GTM, knowing that the basic message from Delaney's is "past exams" and "tap into your prof's frequencies" and the basic message from GTM is there is "ambiguity in the law" and "there should be in your exam answers."

Current Law Students / Re: What supplament to use..? Study Habits...
« on: March 24, 2006, 11:17:31 PM »
you mean supplEments.

i advise doing hypos/past exams. do them open book (at least at first). use a hornbook or commercial outline to assist you because you'll need it until you get a solid grasp of the material.

one word: hypos

Current Law Students / Re: Anybody use ROM Law?
« on: March 23, 2006, 10:56:08 PM »
i agree with katie. they save your ass in class. that's the point of them. not the class participation matters, but you don't look like a feminine hygiene product and they help to keep a good relationship with the prof.

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