Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - 4DClaw

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 92
11
LEEWS is good. But the guy makes it WAY more complicated than it needs to be, and the CD is about twice as long as it needs to be. I highly recommend Delaney's book on exam-taking. It lays out the method you need for a basic law-school exam, and it also gives good pointers if you have profs who like policy arguments (about half of my 1L profs were like that).

12
General Board / Re: Best ConLaw supplement?
« on: July 17, 2007, 07:39:37 PM »
Yes. The book in the Amazon link below is the one that you should get. The E&E was moderately helpful, but it all depends on what your prof's exams are like (It was a very good review of legislative/executive power).

I'm going to be taking ConLaw this semester and will probably want to invest in a solid commercial outline to supplement the text.  I have heard of Chemerinsky, who I understand is one of the best ConLaw scholars out there.  Doing a search of his publications, I noticed he has published quite a few books on the topic.    However, I found that his ConLaw Principles and Policies book seems to garner the best review.  http://www.amazon.com/Constitutional-Law-Principles-Policies-Introduction/dp/073555787X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-8307750-6814229?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184680587&sr=1-1

Is this the consensus - is this the book to get?

Thanks for your help.

Cheers!

13
I did, in fact, read your post. In response to my post, you wrote, "I don't understand where you people find the time to read the assigned cases, outline, take practice tests AND read supplements."


My initial point was that if it comes down to reading supplements OR reading assigned cases, I'd go with the supplements. Again, this is what worked for me, and it might not have been right for you. When I say supplements, I don't mean flashcards or commercial outlines; I mean hornbooks such as Chemerinsky. They go into as much depth as you'll ever need, and they do it much more efficiently than the casebooks. And thanks for your concern, but I found time for a life as well.

PLS2 is an incredibly scary book, but his advice is on-target, unfortunately. Too many of my classmates went into class thinking they'd learn everything they need from the casebook and class lectures. They largely were seriously disappointed when grades were released. You need supplements. You need to begin outlining at the beginning of the semester. You need to do every hypo you can find. The one part of his advice that I would tweak (and this is just my preference), is that Delaney's exam book is 1,000 times better than LEEWS. I know, it doesn't have CDs or a bunch of handouts, but I found the method to work much better for my classes.

I disagree. I got A's and only glanced a supplements while outlining. The classes where I used no supplements at all I got B+'s. It all about what YOU need to learn. I don't understand where you people find the time to read the assigned cases, outline, take practice tests AND read supplements. Sorry I like having a life.

Well then if you read my post that I meant people that do BOTH assigned reading and then read the entire supplement. Those are the people I don't understand.

14
My initial point was that if it comes down to reading supplements OR reading assigned cases, I'd go with the supplements. Again, this is what worked for me, and it might not have been right for you. When I say supplements, I don't mean flashcards or commercial outlines; I mean hornbooks such as Chemerinsky. They go into as much depth as you'll ever need, and they do it much more efficiently than the casebooks. And thanks for your concern, but I found time for a life as well.

PLS2 is an incredibly scary book, but his advice is on-target, unfortunately. Too many of my classmates went into class thinking they'd learn everything they need from the casebook and class lectures. They largely were seriously disappointed when grades were released. You need supplements. You need to begin outlining at the beginning of the semester. You need to do every hypo you can find. The one part of his advice that I would tweak (and this is just my preference), is that Delaney's exam book is 1,000 times better than LEEWS. I know, it doesn't have CDs or a bunch of handouts, but I found the method to work much better for my classes.

I disagree. I got A's and only glanced a supplements while outlining. The classes where I used no supplements at all I got B+'s. It all about what YOU need to learn. I don't understand where you people find the time to read the assigned cases, outline, take practice tests AND read supplements. Sorry I like having a life.

15
One thing to keep in mind, particularly for classes such as Property and ConLaw, is that there may be circuit splits/different legal theories. So there may be a few different versions of black letter law - a majority approach, minority approach, etc. That's when it helps to do a little policy analysis - say which approach you think is the fairest, and why. Of course, that only works if your prof wants those kinds of policy arguments, which is why it's so important to do practice exams and read feedback memos.

Do a lot of people really go into law school expecting it to be like college and just having to memorize laws and cases? I knew for a while that it wasn't going to be like this, so maybe that is why this book isn't really scaring me as much?  Also, don't the "Examples and Explanations" books and Flashcards actually straight up state the black letter laws in each case?

16
Interesting that you say there is "no one way to do law school" and then you proceed to instruct the OP how to study and read for classes. I was stating what worked very well for me - and what didn't work very well for my classmates.
I disagree with most of this post, but particularly the contention that the cases lay out the BLL clearly. Maybe we weren't reading the same casebooks. But many of my cases involved black-letter rules that are no longer the law. I understand the value in building your reading comprehension skills. But really, law school isn't the place to begin doing that. Yes, there is some value in reading every single case, but when you're in law school you have to think about the end game, which is doing as well as possible on exams. If reading the cases gets you there, then do that. If reading only supplements and hornbooks gets you there, then do that.
Also, outlining every week forced me to continue thinking about the material. And when it came time for exam studying, I was able to spend the time applying the law to practice exams rather than re-hashing my notes into an outline.
Bottom line: I think we do agree that there isn't one method of success in law school. But I do worry when people automatically try to foreclose the use of supplements and other non-classroom methods, because sometimes they can be the best method.

You need to take each and every piece of advice that you read or receive with a grain of salt.  There is no one way to do law school.  There is nothing that you absolutely "need" because what I need to do to get As may not necessarily be what you need to do to get As.

Case in point:

You need supplements.
I don't need any supplements.  Sure, the E&Es were useful, especially for CivPro, and they're a decent source of practice questions.  I also really like the Seigel essay question books with answers.  But I don't need any of that stuff and in many classes I found that purchasing outlines were a waste of money.

You need to begin outlining at the beginning of the semester.

I have never started outlining at the beginning of the semester, and I'm ranked near the top of my class.  The earliest I start is early October, after we have gone through at least 2 "sections" of the syllabus.  I also never make my own outlines from scratch if I have access to an old outline.  I end up completely rewriting the old outline, but the process works better for me and saves me a little time.  If you can't take the time/effort to rewrite an old outline line by line, however, you may be better off making your own.

You need to do every hypo you can find.

I do sign on with this. Doing practice exams and hypos helps me learn how to apply the law we learned in class in an organized way.  It also helps me learn the law.  Between rewriting and reading through my outlines, cutting my outlines down, and doing hypos, I know the law well enough to apply it quickly.  However people still disagree over whether practice exams and hypos shoudl be done under timed conditions or not.  I have never done one hypo under "timed" exam conditions.  Not a single one.  And I've been completely fine, and finished every single exam I've sat down to take.  Others swear by timed exams.

People also disagree fundamentally over whether its even necessary to do the reading assigned.  I read every page that's given to me, and I've never skipped an assignment.  I feel the cases assigned lay out the BLL law clearly, and provide a good example of how to apply the law to the facts of the case.  Some people refer to the case method as "hiding the ball" and they expect to be hand fed the rules.  Well, law school isn't about hand-feeding you anything.  It's about teaching you to be able to sit down, read a case in an area of law you've never looked into before, and be able to figure out the relevant facts and the rule of law all on your own.  When you're in practice, no one is going to hold your hand and tell you what the rule is all the time.  At first, picking out the rule can be difficult, and you maynot be able to figure out exactly what facts are relevant, etc.  But its a skill.  Sometimes I wonder if the people who female dog about "hiding the ball" are either too dumb to find it, too lazy to look for it, or just oblivious to the fact that they're *supposed* to find it themselves.

So anyways, the bottom line is this - people learn differently, they study differently, and different things work for them.  What worked for me maybe would not have worked for 4DClaw, and certainly would not have worked for Atticus Falcon.  You should keep an open mind about how to study.  The one suggestion I'd make is start off doing the reading, and you might want to wait until you finish one section of a course before outlining (assuming you want to start asap, and not wait until October).  For example, if you start talking about Offers in Contracts, wait until you finish the section on Offers.  Then try to get a decent outline from a 2L, and just look it over for how they outlined Offers, what they pulled out.  Then make your own, see how it comes out, etc.  Don't be afraid to borrow from other outlines, but just be aware of whether you're still doing your own work and thinking.

I'd suggest that its better to start out this way than start out not doing the reading and relying on supplements, etc.  Once you fall behind, it's near impossible to catch up.  And waiting until you have one full section to outline may help you learn to see the big picture as you go.  Otherwise you may find that the first half of your outline may completely miss the point, or be missing a larger organizational component.   Otherwise, keep an open mind, take suggestions and use them if you like them, and don't be afraid to adapt what you're doing as you go along.


17
PLS2 is an incredibly scary book, but his advice is on-target, unfortunately. Too many of my classmates went into class thinking they'd learn everything they need from the casebook and class lectures. They largely were seriously disappointed when grades were released. You need supplements. You need to begin outlining at the beginning of the semester. You need to do every hypo you can find. The one part of his advice that I would tweak (and this is just my preference), is that Delaney's exam book is 1,000 times better than LEEWS. I know, it doesn't have CDs or a bunch of handouts, but I found the method to work much better for my classes.

18
It all depends on the class. As I stated before, I don't think commercial outlines are substantive or detailed enough to really teach you the black letter law. They help for quick reference, but they're not enough. I agree with everyone about Chemerinsky for ConLaw- my prof was pretty bad, so that book taught me everything I needed to know. For contracts, there's a pretty slim paperback with a sailboat on the cover (sorry, I forgot the name). That was great. For all of your other classes, I highly recommed a hornbook written by your casebook author (many of them write hornbooks). Also, the Lexis "Understanding" series is quite good for some subjects, particularly Property.

First off, I'd like to thank all the 2Ls and others who have written here to help us future law students out. I clearly see the need to understand the Black Letter Law, and I am hell bent on making sure I know that inside and out for each course. What is the best book to get to help with learning the BLL, would it  be Gilbert? Or something else?

19
It all depends on what's on your final exam. Too many people lose sight of the end game - which is the exam. Your goal is to get an A on the final. If your prof's finals require a detailed analysis of the assigned cases, then obviously you should spend your time reading those cases. But if - as was the case in most of my 1L classes - your prof only tests on issue-spotting and applying/analyzing blackletter law, then you're better off learning the legal concepts and spending a lot of time on hypos and practice exams. It varies from person to person and there's no one "correct" way of doing anything in law school, but this approach worked very well for me.

Good luck trying to do legal research on your own in a few years if you don't read the cases in law school. Reading cases trains your mind to analyze the facts and determine what's relevant. You'll find a lot of what you do as a starting attorney is taking an issue the partner gives you to research and finding cases on point. Facts are very important for that. And the skill takes practice. You have plenty to time to read the cases! Why not do the reading assigned by the professor and recognize they might actually know a little something about how to teach law?



20
No reason to read cases before school starts. You don't know what your prof will assign in advance. The only thing I'd recommed reading before school starts is Learning Legal Reasoning by Delaney.

Do you think it is a good strategy to start reviewing cases before fall ? What are some of the classical first year cases that you remember going over?
- Eli

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 92