jsgruber,Congratulations! I remember the feeling, I couldn't wait either. But, trust me, take your time and enjoy the spring and summer because in a year from now, you are going to be TIRED. I still love it, but I get really tired sometimes. I've also noticed that I haven't really picked up anything to read more involved than a newspaper since I started law school. I never have time during the semester and by the time the semester is over, I don't want to look at another book until the new semester begins. But, by that time, I'm ready to start school and I'm excited all over again. If you are looking for books on law school to keep you occupied and help you get ready, I've listed three that I liked alot and which had some techniques that I used that have worked really well for me. Above all, when you get there, just remember this: 1. Make your own outlines and keep them caught up whenever you see a shift in the subject matter (ex: Torts: when you switch from intentional torts to negligence)2. Book brief the first time through a case, type your briefs out again a few days later before class, review your briefs again on the day of class.Books that helped me1. "Law School Confidential" by Robert H. Miller2. "Law School Without Fear" by Helene Shapo and Marshall Shapo3. "How to Succeed in Law School" by Professor Gary A. Munneke (its a Barrons book)Good LuckIt is wonderful
Am I the only one who can't wait for the fall term?
jsgruberBook briefing is something you will read about in most of the introductory type law books that you are reading now. It is a process to brief the case while you are reading it. Some people use it exclusively and don't type out any briefs at all. I would say that unless you have a photographic memory, don't depend on it exclusively. This is just my opinion, you have to find what works for you. This just happens to have worked really well for me. Using this and doing my own outlines helped me so much that I could see my entire outline in my head and could recall almost all of the cases, etc once it came time for the finals. I don't know why, but it just worked.This will explain it book briefing for youWhen I get ready for this week's material, I start out by reading the cases and book briefing. To book brief, you read the case through and at the same time, identify the different parts of the case: Facts, Law, Reasoning, Holding (trial court below, appellate courts and final court hearing the case). I usually color code to separate the different sections: I use blue for the facts, green for the law, red for the reasoning, and black for the holdings. I don't underline everyting, just what is pertinent. I also write notes out to the side in the margin to summarize concepts into smaller sentences and something that I can use to understand that section of the case quickly. When you get done, you will see the case separated into the different colors which helps when you are looking for something quickly. You will have notes out to the side where you have summarized things that are easily accessible later.A few days later, I actually type my brief. I do this by using the major headings: Facts, Law, Reasoning, Holding. I put down the important information in each area (summary in your own words, sometimes word for word if it is case law or a statute). I try to limit it to one page so that I can use it in class, but I also have the case book briefed so that I can refer to it in class if I get called on.On the day of class, I go back and read through by typed brief and through my case which has been book briefed. This way, I have been through the material three times before I get to class. It sounds like a lot of work but it is a good idea (at least for me) for two reasons. 1) If you get called on, you definitely know the material. Even if you are struggling with that particular case, it makes it easier to try to understand it and in class, you can at least find the sections the professor is talkng about. 2)When you are studying for finals, you will find that you know the material better than if you had just book briefed or just typed your brief. It sinks in better and you will remember your cases when you are doing the test. It helps you get extra points on the test by relating the test facts to soemthing you have worked with in the past.I found that doing this in conjunction with doing my own outlines made it much easier. Everything became manageable which is important when you are dealing with a semester full of material in all of your classes. It is workable. Good Luck and HAVE FUN!!!