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Author Topic: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books  (Read 1402 times)

dkast

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Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« on: August 09, 2005, 08:05:01 PM »
I'm conteplating not buying the casesbooks for my class and either purchasing
the cd with some fellow students or just photocopying the cases we will be
assigned from the library.

Has anyone gone this route if so can you offer an opinion if this worked for you?
 
Being that these books will only be used for our classes
and will not do us much or any good when we become
attorneys i think its wise to just buy the cd and print
out the edited cases that we are assigned.  Plus it will
be so much easier to reference in class.

rapunzel

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Re: Anyone here not buying Case Books
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 09:45:29 PM »
The cases in your book are edited to focus specifically on the subject of the day, if you will.  The advantage to the edited version, it's shorter, and you have a lot to read.  The disadvantage is that because it is edited you can miss out on the structure.  Actual elements might be ommitted.  The procedural posture will be confusing at best. 
I was actually just thinking about this today at work.  I often use the headnotes to get right to the part of the case I want.  But I read the the lead cases all the way through.  And I think it would be less confusing in the end.  I understand the things like the standard for summary judgement so much better now reading them in context and applying them to the facts.  In fact, I really didn't "get" the point of lawyering until I was reading whole cases for legal research and writing.  In the end, you need to know how to read the cases, because that is what you will do as a lawyer.  But you also need to know when to skim or buy the High Court Case Briefs (ConLaw- even reading the casebook all the way through is likely to kill you.  But I did still the unedited case for lead decisions).
Other issue, there are small case summaries and notes in the text book.  If your prof uses theses, and questions from these, you need to at least have a friend from whom you can photo copy.
But honestly, you can always buy a copy later if it is clear you need them.  It is a ton of money.  Most of which you will never get back.  So if you want to, I say go for it.  Especially if you will have westlaw access from the get go.

dkast

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Re: Anyone here not buying Case Books
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2005, 09:57:51 PM »
Hi rapunzell:

Thank you for the input.

Your absolutely right in your assertion  that we should read the entire case via lexis nexus or west as that is what we will be doing when we become attorneys at least with a few of our assigned cases to get a better idea of how "real world" attorneys operate.

My concern is more based on the practicality of having this huge case book.  Sure it looks pretty and lawyer like but i could care less about that..all i care about is the information contained in it and applying legal analysis to those cases.  They will do us no good when we become attorneys.

I'd rather purchase the Black Letter Law outlines.

I'm plan on checking the syllabus and taking it from there.  I will buy the cd, i dont plan on lugging the huge case book to class every day.
day.

What law school are you in btw?


Krisace

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Re: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2005, 01:39:08 AM »
Hi, I don't want to sound blunt here but just go buy the casebooks for every class.  Here's why: Books for all three years of lawschool aren't going to cost you any more than $3K.  Not having casebooks will hurt you big time.  They simplify; economize our time and will be so worth your time that I would be stunned if anyone who didn't even own casebooks finished in the top 25% of their class, let alone the top 10%.

If you finish high, you'll get a big paying job.  Likely $25K more than the middle of the pack students depending on what part of the country you are in.  That makes the $3K you spent well worth it.  Everything rides on your first year.  Good luck.

dkast

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Re: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2005, 02:06:28 AM »
Krisace:


You seem to be missing the point here i just stated that i wasn not going to buy the case books.  Not that I wasnt going to refer or use them i.e., photocopy the cases and appropiate suppliments assigned or buy the cd.

I think black letter law outlines will be a highly more valuable book to purchase in order to end up top 10% your class.


If you want to lug around a big case book in which 70% of the cases arent even going to be assigned be my guest.  I think people are drawn to the gold lettering and the psuedo Bender's Form esq hardcovers.


lincolnsgrandson

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Re: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2005, 07:13:10 AM »
I tried it first during the second semester of my second year - not buying the eight pound mammoth of the crim pro book. 
I did most of case reading with Lexis Nexis, with the added advantage of Shephard's, and supplemented studying with treatises at the library, Emanuel's, another student's outstanding outline, and my classnotes.  When I needed to use the actual casebook as a reference, I just read it in the library (I had to go to another law school's library, but it was closer to my house anyway).
It worked - I got an A. 

If you study and prepare very well, you can make it work.  If I had used that method first year for Torts, I think that I would have done much better. 

rapunzel

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Re: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2005, 08:30:21 AM »
I think lincolnsgrandson has outlined a reasonable strategy.  People are really afraid to trust themselves to figure out what they need to do to learn this stuff.  Most will obey all of the general advice about briefing and formal outlining.  This will work for a few, and disapoint many.

Honestly, I stopped reading my giant Torts book in the second semester, 1L.  Suddenly torts lost all of its mystery.  I studied almost exclusively from the flashcards.  How much I actually use any casebook depends largely on the class.  And I graded onto the LR, so it has worked well for me.

Oh, and since they have already outted me on the thread for my school, I go to Duquesne.

dkast

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Re: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2005, 04:05:01 PM »
Lincoln and Rapunzel thanks:

This is what I consider must haves for 1L.

Primers
Black Letter Law Outlines
ABC's of the UCC
Restatements of contracts torts
Law Dictionary

Advaced students please let me know if I am missing anything.


Cosmoline

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Re: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2005, 06:03:09 PM »
I would advise against it until you have a clear idea of how the prof. in question approaches class time.  In a pure lecture environment, your idea should be fine.  However, in more socratic classes the questions may well direct you to particular pages in the book--a book you won't have.  I can see some serious problems arising.  I can also see the professors getting irritated if you stray into elements of the case nobody else has read.  Is it realistic to read only the edited versions?  No.  But frankly the unedited versions of major cases can run well beyond fifty pages of close space text, most of which you really don't need to waste your time on.  I'd suggest just playing the game. 

dkast

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Re: Anyone here NOT buying Case Books
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2005, 07:25:47 PM »
Cosmoline:

Yes again i was contemplating either attemtping to find them on cd or just copying the assigned cases.  I was not considering not even looking at the case books.  Just not purchasing them.  Through some research however it seems there are no cds and I dont know if i want to waste time copying the cases in the library.

Though carrying the case book to class everyday is a pain.  I'll figure it out.