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Author Topic: Reading/Briefing or Commercial Study Aids???  (Read 2813 times)

aryeal

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Re: Reading/Briefing or Commercial Study Aids???
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2005, 08:26:15 PM »
Again, thanks for the advice.  Would you mind giving us/me a rough idea of how you ended up placing in your class and what type of school you go to (T1, 2, 3, or 4)?

T3 although I should qualify that by saying it dumped in the Tier system because it built a new law school and went through a phase of lowering admission standards to pay for the freakin' building.  As a result, the bar passage rates sunk dismally.

I have no idea of my exact placement - didn't really want to go there LOL!  I'd say in the middle of the pack.

Actually I should qualify my opinion on study aids with it depends on the person.   I learn better by working with material on my own and teaching myself.  Some people do fine with more use of study aids.  I think the best approach is to try what feels right and see how the first batch of tests goes (assuming there are mini exams or mid-terms). 

Burning Sands

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Re: Reading/Briefing or Commercial Study Aids???
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2005, 04:24:27 PM »
Law School is a crash course in time management.  Especially 1L.  The advice so far on this thread has been excellent.  I can only add a few things that worked for me as far as briefing/reading cases v. commercial supplements.

A brief overview of the entire class is always helpful, and you can get that from looking through the supplements and getting familiar with legal terms/concepts up front.  However, case briefing is an Art that you NEED to learn how to do.  You don't have to do it for the entire year (in fact, you shouldn't because your time will be better spent on practicing exams at the end of the semester than reading cases) but it is something that you need to learn how to do. 

If I may borrow an analogy from cars (one of my favorite hobbies), learning to brief on your own is like learning to drive stick.  Its tough at first, and you're gonna mess it up, but you gotta learn the basics.  Learning from commercial supplements only would be like learning to drive automatic only - all the work is already done for you (automatically) and you get to where you're trying to go just fine, but the final exam is an F1 race course and F1's only come in stick.  The bronze, silver and gold medals go to those who are most familiar with how to drive using the basics.

Like I said before, you do not, and should not, continue to read & brief every single case for the remainder of the year once you get the basics down.  Only you will know when that time comes for you to switch over.  For some people they stop briefing by the end of the first month.  That's cool if you've mastered how to find the issue and the black letter law of a case in a month's time, but most 1L's are not quite there yet.  I'd say as a general rule, by about mid-semester you should be able to make the switch over to "automatic" without hurting your chances in "the race."  Because at that point, you need to spend less time reading and more time preparing your outline, using flashcards, meeting with study groups AND, most importantly, taking practice exams.

I was very cautious at first, because I felt like if I didn't brief every single little case then I was somehow cheating myself or taking the easy way out. Not true.  In fact, if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have briefed 1/2 the cases that I ended up briefing.

The one exception: Constitutional Law.  I found that in order to thoroughly analyze and understand a Con Law case, I had to first read the commercial brief to get a general understanding AND THEN read the pertinent parts of the actual case.  Con Law cases are crazy.  There's always 3 or 4 concurring opinions and 3 or 4 dissenting opinions and plurality opinions and majority opinions...and what will really piss you off is that each Supreme Court Justice feels the need to expand on their view for about 20-30 pages.  You can easily have a 165 page Con Law case.  It will be tempting to just read the commercial brief only, but if you do, you will miss the nuggets of info that will build into your arsenal of understanding come exam time.

I guess since we have to throw out credentials here for credibility's sake, I started off rocky like most 1L's but did end up doing very well at the end of my 1L and made Law Review.




P.S. - One last thing, read the section on how to write a law school exam in the back of the Torts E&E by Glannon. I never made less than a B+ on a law school exam after I read that. He breaks down the common mistakes that law students make (and that I made) when attempting to write a law school exam. It may sound crazy now, but knowing the law and writing a law school exam are two completely different things.
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lex19

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Re: Reading/Briefing or Commercial Study Aids???
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2005, 10:58:30 AM »
tag

dft

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Re: Reading/Briefing or Commercial Study Aids???
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2005, 02:20:14 PM »
Good advice.

Law School is a crash course in time management.  Especially 1L.  The advice so far on this thread has been excellent.  I can only add a few things that worked for me as far as briefing/reading cases v. commercial supplements.

A brief overview of the entire class is always helpful, and you can get that from looking through the supplements and getting familiar with legal terms/concepts up front.  However, case briefing is an Art that you NEED to learn how to do.  You don't have to do it for the entire year (in fact, you shouldn't because your time will be better spent on practicing exams at the end of the semester than reading cases) but it is something that you need to learn how to do. 

If I may borrow an analogy from cars (one of my favorite hobbies), learning to brief on your own is like learning to drive stick.  Its tough at first, and you're gonna mess it up, but you gotta learn the basics.  Learning from commercial supplements only would be like learning to drive automatic only - all the work is already done for you (automatically) and you get to where you're trying to go just fine, but the final exam is an F1 race course and F1's only come in stick.  The bronze, silver and gold medals go to those who are most familiar with how to drive using the basics.

Like I said before, you do not, and should not, continue to read & brief every single case for the remainder of the year once you get the basics down.  Only you will know when that time comes for you to switch over.  For some people they stop briefing by the end of the first month.  That's cool if you've mastered how to find the issue and the black letter law of a case in a month's time, but most 1L's are not quite there yet.  I'd say as a general rule, by about mid-semester you should be able to make the switch over to "automatic" without hurting your chances in "the race."  Because at that point, you need to spend less time reading and more time preparing your outline, using flashcards, meeting with study groups AND, most importantly, taking practice exams.

I was very cautious at first, because I felt like if I didn't brief every single little case then I was somehow cheating myself or taking the easy way out. Not true.  In fact, if I could do it all over again, I wouldn't have briefed 1/2 the cases that I ended up briefing.

The one exception: Constitutional Law.  I found that in order to thoroughly analyze and understand a Con Law case, I had to first read the commercial brief to get a general understanding AND THEN read the pertinent parts of the actual case.  Con Law cases are crazy.  There's always 3 or 4 concurring opinions and 3 or 4 dissenting opinions and plurality opinions and majority opinions...and what will really piss you off is that each Supreme Court Justice feels the need to expand on their view for about 20-30 pages.  You can easily have a 165 page Con Law case.  It will be tempting to just read the commercial brief only, but if you do, you will miss the nuggets of info that will build into your arsenal of understanding come exam time.

I guess since we have to throw out credentials here for credibility's sake, I started off rocky like most 1L's but did end up doing very well at the end of my 1L and made Law Review.




P.S. - One last thing, read the section on how to write a law school exam in the back of the Torts E&E by Glannon. I never made less than a B+ on a law school exam after I read that. He breaks down the common mistakes that law students make (and that I made) when attempting to write a law school exam. It may sound crazy now, but knowing the law and writing a law school exam are two completely different things.

CoxlessPair

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Re: Reading/Briefing or Commercial Study Aids???
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2005, 04:07:54 PM »
Just tagging, move along people
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tsilva25

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Re: Reading/Briefing or Commercial Study Aids???
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2005, 12:28:51 PM »
tag
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