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Author Topic: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?  (Read 804 times)

IAmMultipleBooks

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Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« on: August 19, 2007, 09:41:34 PM »
I'm talking to a fellow soon-to-be 1L and he says that I am mistaken for believing I can get by without using large quantities of study aids.

He predicts that within two weeks of law school, I'll start using study aids.

Is this true? And if true, then what study aid do you recommend?

xferlawstudent

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2007, 09:55:17 PM »
1) Soon-to-be 1Ls don't know what they're talking about.  I wouldn't take any advice from him.

2) You certainly could pass and probably get good grades without a single study aid.  However, I would recommend a least using something to supplement your lecture/casebook.  Both schools I attended have E&Es available for checkout at the law library.  I think E&E is probably the best for 1L curriculum.

p0six

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2007, 09:58:57 PM »
I used exactly (1) recommend (not required) book, and it wasn't a supplement in the normal sense (E&E's, etc).  Otherwise, I used just what was required, and I did perfectly fine (top 5%).  I personally always thought commercial outlines to be confusing because then you have to figure out which parts to ignore.

wakaranai

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007, 10:20:57 PM »
It really depends on the class. The Crim E&E differed a bit from what we learned in our class so I think that one hurt me more than helped me. However, the Chemerinsky for Con Law was absolutely priceless because the edits in our casebook were atrocious and often cut out a lot of key material.

jacy85

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007, 10:21:25 PM »
I've used things for studying for exams, but I rarely used things to learn concepts and outline (which is what your fellow soon-to-be 1L was talking about).  The one exception was crim law, and the Dressler Understanding Crim Law book.  I used it heavily for that one class.  When it came time to study for exams, I used the E&Es, mainly for the examples, and Seigel's, which has sample essay questions and answers as well as MC questions.

If you're having trouble understanding a concept or a case, then use help where you can find it, whether it's in an E&E, a commercial outline, etc.  But I would say that 2 weeks into school, you won't absolutely need to be using a ton of study aids.  Don't let study aids become a distraction by using them just for the sake of using them.

LVP

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 09:27:13 AM »
I'm sure you can "get by" without study aids.  But do you want to "get by" or do you want to get As?

Some people could probably get As without study aids as well, so I'm not saying your friend is totally right.  Here's what I used:
1. Whatever the professor recommended.  For me, this was Farnsworth on Contracts, Dressler on Crim Law, Chemerinsky on Con Law, Blum's E&E for Contracts, and I think that's about it.
2. E&E.  For every subject.  Throughout the semester and before finals.
3. Crunch time.  For every subject.  Just before finals.

I don't recommend commercial outlines, commercial casebriefs, etc.  The bulk of the benefit of outlines and briefs comes with making them, not having them.
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ANBUDOM

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 09:41:30 AM »
1) Soon-to-be 1Ls don't know what they're talking about.  I wouldn't take any advice from him.

2) You certainly could pass and probably get good grades without a single study aid.  However, I would recommend a least using something to supplement your lecture/casebook.  Both schools I attended have E&Es available for checkout at the law library.  I think E&E is probably the best for 1L curriculum.

Do NOT take any advice from incoming 1L's.  If anything speak to a lot of 2L/3L's and get their advice.

Also, there are plenty of students that ace their exams without using any study aids.  I used a lot of study aids for every class only because I found that it saved me time and effort.  I would also strongly recommend Glannon's E&E for civil procedure.
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Dwigt

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2007, 02:05:34 PM »
Can you get by without study aids?  Without a doubt.  Generally, law schools don't want to fail out their students so if you diligently study the assigned materials and class notes, you will probably pass, which some are fine with.  Can you get A's without using study guides?  I suppose so, but that's less likely.  I'd bet the above poster in the top 5% who didn't use study guides is probably more the exception than the norm.  I used E&E and Emanuels for my courses and found it to be a valuable resource, even if they didn't correspond exactly with my professor's outline. 

The point is, they are a resource that can make it easier to learn difficult concepts.  If they can help, why would you want to increase the degree of difficulty by not using them?  You may think there's some nobility to just studying what the professor assigns, but IMO that's somewhat naive.  If you want to stay at the top of the class you should use whatever legitimate means are available to do so, and study guides can definitely help with that goal.  Law school is competitive enough; you don't need to make it even harder by turning down an available resource that others will definitely be using. 

kasper11

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Re: Can we get by on the class material and books assigned alone?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2007, 02:14:06 PM »
Don't buy anything now. See how your classes are going, see how your professors are and decide in a month or two if you need something to supplement your notes.

Each person is different and has a different method. No point in spending money on aids, and wasting time reading from them, until you know what is going to work for you.
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