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Author Topic: How to prepare for Law School?  (Read 4638 times)

Patricia Allen

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How to prepare for Law School?
« on: July 08, 2003, 11:02:43 AM »

Any ideas and recommendations on what one should do to prepare for First Year?  I am going to New York Law.  Thanks! I have this month off and would like to start reading.  I have no money for BarBri.
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Andrew

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2003, 06:19:00 PM »
There's nothing in particular that you need to do before law school, but if you've got some time to kill, I would try to familiarize yourself with law school itself.  Check out the pre-law book section for some useful stuff.  Actually I can't recommend enough the "Official Lawyers Handbook".  You'll learn something about law school and lawyers while being entertained.

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2003, 03:31:35 PM »
Patricia,
Keep in mind the situation you are currently in.  Law school makes the assumption that you do not know a thing about the law and they like it that way.  But if you want to have an edge over others (and that's what law school tries to enstil unfortunately) then get a laptop (handy but expensive) and try out a Law Preview course if you can't afford BarBri, also just some old fashioned studying of basic "black-letter law" would do. Research Torts (Criminal Procedure) Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law (Con Law) and Property Liability and that is most of your 1L cirriculum.  Hope this helps although late in the game.
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dtonsing

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2004, 06:19:50 AM »
The best way to prepare for law school differs -- as you might expect -- from person to person.  In general, I suggest:
...If you have time for significant reading before you show up for your school's orientation, consider books that familiarize you with areas of the law, but which are also "good reads." For example, "Simple Justice," an excellent classic about Brown v. Board of Education.  Another example is "Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters," a collection of sincere letters from women attorneys of color describing their experiences as lawyers.  "Gideon's Trumpet" is another excellent choice.  "Why Lawsuits are Good for America" explains the tort system very well.  "A Civil Action" is also suggested by many.  Send me an email if you would like other suggestions.
...I also recommend reading one or two authoritative books about what law school is all about, and how to go about studying in a way that will be most efficient for you.  Because law school is much more like the practice of law than it is like college, many students are unprepared for the challenges they face -- even though they bring to school the native talent, intelligence, aptitude and passion.  Several books can help you in this way.  Of course, I recommend the book I recently published, "1000 Days to the Bar -- But the Practice of Law Begins Now."  In recent years, "Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School" has been required reading for entering students at my law school.  Recently I read the new "Dummies" book about law school; despite its title, the book contains some excellent advice.
Be cautious about books that stress "survival" in law school, or that promote cutting corners ... after nearly 20 years of litigation experience, I can attest that the lawyers who cut corners are often not the most successful in their field.  I encourage students to study "smart" and efficiently, striving for their "personal best" in law school ... that assumes their objectives include a rich, deep comprehension of law; achieving grades reflective of their capability and long study hours; and first time bar passage. 
I'm happy to answer your questions -- send me an e-mail.
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Dante Hicks

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2004, 09:01:31 AM »
Use the approach taught in the book Planet Law School II (aka PLS II) by Atticus Falcon.  This book will tell you everything you need to know and what materials to use so that you can prep before entering law school.

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dnw2007

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2004, 12:03:45 PM »
Has anyone read One L?  If so, what do you think?

Dante Hicks

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2004, 12:17:45 PM »
One L was an interesting read.  Seems a tad outdated now but maybe much hasn't changed at HLS since the book was written.
One day it was so cold in Chicago that the lawyers had their hands in their own pockets.

jgruber

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2004, 01:49:45 PM »
Tell yourself at least 50 lawyer jokes a day to develop a thick skin.   :D

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2004, 08:01:39 PM »
I personally found "Slaying the law School Dragon" to be an especially useful book for the situation you describe.
Ref: jgruber- Ha! I like that. One of my favorites:
" The pilot announces, 'Ladies and Gentleman, I regret to announce that we are having problems with our #1 and #2 engines and will be forced to make an emergency landing. Please follow the stewardess's instructions, and prepare for landing.' A few minutes later the stewardess comes into the pilot's cabin. The pilot asks, 'How are they doing? All tucked in?'. The stewardess replies, "Yeah, everybody except one lawyer going down the aisle handing out business cards?'" Yuk!
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jgruber

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Re: How to prepare for Law School?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2004, 02:49:33 PM »
Has anyone read One L?  If so, what do you think?

I just finished reading One L, yesterday. Harvard comes off badly in the book.  Petty students and profs. Irrelevant curriculum and tests.  Extreme competitiveness.  Keep in mind the guy wrote the book right after his first year.  I think that would account for much of the negativity.  Also keep in mind he went to Harvard 27 years ago.