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Author Topic: books before starting law school  (Read 3188 times)

sjab

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books before starting law school
« on: December 28, 2005, 01:10:53 AM »
Just wondering if any of you current law students have advice on books to read before starting law school.  Are the books about how to survive the first year realistic, helpful or worth reading?  If so, which ones?  Thanks!

jimmyjohn

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2005, 01:30:04 AM »
In my opinion, there's nothing worth spending your money on. That doesn't mean that you won't or shouldn't if you're really tempted to do so.  Those books are more for entertainment than for any actual help or "secrets."  There really aren't any hidden gems in any of the pre-law books that are somehow going to set you apart from the competition.  If you spend enough time on LSD you'll learn more than enough to go into law school without many surprises.  Sure, there will be the shock of actually being in law school, but you won't be caught off guard by the system and how it works.  The books may reinforce that but they probably won't teach you anything new or really helpful.

lipper

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2005, 03:15:57 AM »
1L by Scott Turow. A bit dramatic, but a good read.
check the footnotes ya'll

Highway

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2005, 09:14:25 AM »
Honestly, I found that reading the E&E's for classes helped. I read Torts and Contracts over last summer. I don't necessarily recommend the PLS approach, which seems to suggest spending 8 hours a day reading garbage for weeks at a time before school, but just reading a chapter or two of a subject at night before going to bed, or whenever you get a chance during the day. You don't need to take notes, do an outline, or highlight anything - just read it.

When I was reading cases, or sitting in class, I would find that I could recognize certain concepts. Although I didn't remember all that I had read about those concepts, just knowing that I had seen them before and had a base understanding helped. I could then go back to the E&E and re-read the chapter on that subject to pull more info out of my cases or notes. In fact, a lot of the cases that the E&E's would discuss as examples were ones that we read for class, so I could gain some perspective on those specific cases from the E&E, as well.

I'm an evening student, so I only had Torts, Contracts and legal writing this past semester. I doubt you would have time to read the E&E for all subjects as a day student (they average 600-700 pages or so each).

I do stress that you shouldn't try and outline them or take notes while reading. Just read. You may not cover some of the material in your class. Alternately, you may cover material that is not in the E&E, as well.

gmon72

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2005, 10:03:08 AM »
I second checking out E & E series (not trying to be a salesman but i have a couple for sale on half.com) seller name musicmanicny

I also took Torts and Contracts this semester.  You do need to be in the classes to get the feel for how everything fits in, but the E & E series is pretty good.  I also think ABCs of teh UCC from the ABA is a very easy, quick read and helps undertstand the UCC.

You can also check out CALI.  www.cali.org and order their CD.  I believe you must be a current student to access the stuff for free.

Bottom line is you won't have time to do the extra stuff once school starts.  E & E series is written in easy to read language. 

slacker

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2005, 11:24:09 PM »
Read for fun -- you'll be subjected to enough manditory reading in due time, and for the next 3 years.

tag

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2005, 10:12:48 PM »
Read for fun -- you'll be subjected to enough manditory reading in due time, and for the next 3 years.

Agreed ... I would recommend whatever gets you excited about studying law. Gideon's Trumpet and Buffalo Creek Disaster did it for me.

I would not personally recommend a prep book ... but that's just my opinion.

gmon72

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2005, 08:58:23 AM »
buffalo creek and a civil action are recommended readings for my civ pro class.  those wouldnt be a bad place to start either.

lincolnsgrandson

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2005, 09:24:43 AM »
I also recommend A Civil Action and Gideon's Trumpet, and if you can commit the time, Simple Justice by Richard Kluger.  All these books are on the Recommending Summer Reading lists for entering 1Ls.  If your law school doesn't print one, you can look at another school's.
I read these books, and a few others, before entering law school in 2003.  Reading them will NOT get you better grades than other students.  They will get you interested in law and establish some context.  They are great books that I would recommend to anybody. 

For preparation, Law School Confidential is a good start.  You should not follow Miller's technique to the letter, but at least read it to get an idea of what you're in for.   Despite what you read here on this discussion board, many of your classmates will be clueless.

lawschoolmama

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Re: books before starting law school
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2005, 04:37:23 PM »
Save the money, and go get a massage the week of orientation.  I read about 6 books, and other than One L, which only managed to scare the *&^% out of me, they were useless.  If you want to read anything, trashy novels are a good bet.