Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

Which class are you least looking forward to?

K's
 12 (11.1%)
Property
 24 (22.2%)
Torts
 12 (11.1%)
Crim
 11 (10.2%)
Con Law
 15 (13.9%)
Legal Writing
 34 (31.5%)

Total Members Voted: 105

Author Topic: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL  (Read 28767 times)

cui bono?

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #310 on: August 16, 2008, 11:51:57 AM »
Hope this little, short contribution helps:

1. LEEWS helps! The presentation was long but good. You actually get your first framework for thinking like a lawyer here. I think this program is very good and I highly recommemnd it.

4. You are not a mudda-phucin' court reporter! Your job is NOT to transcribe EVERY muddaphucin' word that comes through the professor's mouth.

da truf right there.

I got down everything the first semester and did kinda crappy.  I had over 80 pages of notes...for each class!  No way can you get all that in an outline and into your head.  99.9% of it wasn't useful.  I don't like saying this to incoming 1Ls but most of class is not useful because either you already know it or it's just the opinion of one of your fellow students.  Class should be used as review.  Stay off the internet!   

LEEWS (Legal Essay Exam Writing System; www.leews.com Def helps w/ anxiety but the approach does not work on all types of exams!  But it's nice to have something.  Best thing to do is buy the CDs and then you get a discount on the live program.  I've met Wentworth Miller, the creator of LEEWS -  cool dude (but his voice is hilariously much different than you'd think it was by looking at him)  willing to answer any other questions you may have; even if it has nothing to do w/ LEEWS.  The program's kinda pricey but I think he could get away with charging a lot more.  It goes into briefing & introduces an effective way of thinking about the cases the cuts down on the amount of writing (briefing).  And you may want to look into becoming a LEEWS rep.   

My major beef w/ all of these law school prep books or programs is that you kinda need a lil bit of law school under your belt to get the most effective use out of them.       


Something I'd like to add -  supplements are just that-  additional reading.  Not to be done in lieu of reading the cases or the actual language from the court.  And you don't need 5 different supplements for one class for each class.  By and large each supplement has the same information; just organized a little differently.  So don't get caught up in what I like to call the "1L supplement war" (lol don't look for that term elsewhere it's just my observation).  Every time one 1L sees another 1L with a supplement that they don't have they run to the store and buy the exact same supplement-  never mind that they already have 5 at home.  Additionally, supplements take a variety of forms and you need to know yourself to pick which form is best for you.  Some books are in outline form while others are in paragraph form.  Some supplements are what is called "canned briefs". Some supplements (Aspen Publisher's law in a flash flash cards) are pre-made flash cards.  Some supplements are in audio form.  I can't remember if it was Barbri or PMBR or both but there's a video supplement.  Finally, you don't need to get a supplement in order to succeed.  Some contain some bad law and some contain "surface" law-  just doesn't get deep enough.  And you def don't need to buy a whole bunch- some are in the library and there are plenty of upperclassmen you can bum off of.                 
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

cui bono?

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #311 on: August 16, 2008, 03:16:12 PM »

Do not read TOO FAR ahead, as the amount of reading you are about to be doing will bury that information into the deep recesses of your brain.  You want to keep your reading fresh - no more than 2 or 3 days ahead of where the professor is in class.  I had a friend who tired to be a super law student and read all of the assigned cases for the semester in the first month of school, which she did.  However, when she was called on for class throughout the semester, she couldn't remember a damn thing from what she had read - there is just entirely too much information being processed during the semester for a 1L to remember something he or she read over a month ago.  Later, she shared that she got bumped DOWN from a B- to a C+ by the professor for her inability to participate in class when called on.  Don't be like her.  Keep the reading fresh.  1L is a marathon, not a sprint.[/color] 



I agree with everything you said except for this.  It places too much emphasis on what goes on in the classroom as opposed to the exam.  Sure what happened to your friend does happen but not enough to merit the cause for concern.  I think you can read cases in advance (although not during the first few weeks when most people are in a law-school-is-overwhelming fog) and if you do the appropriate thinking about the case (advocated in LEEWS) and briefing you could always review that the night before class.

When I read the case the night before, it wasn't always enough time to process the information or look it up in other sources if I was confused.  Then if I got called on, the confusion would come out.  But regardless the focus should be the exam, not classroom dynamics.
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Eugene Young

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #312 on: August 16, 2008, 11:37:13 PM »
Hope this little, short contribution helps:

1. LEEWS helps! The presentation was long but good. You actually get your first framework for thinking like a lawyer here. I think this program is very good and I highly recommemnd it.

2. Sit up front, in the zone. I'm not sayin' you have to sit in the front row but don't go past the third 'cause nickels like me are greedy and theoretically don't want anything to get past their row. lol...

3. Leave that muddaphucin' laptop at home 'cause I promise you even the best of the best spend too much time on the phuccin' internet during class. You've got to master sitting through and processing boring azz chit. Get used to it, it's the life we chose.

4. You are not a mudda-phucin' court reporter! Your job is NOT to transcribe EVERY muddaphucin' word that comes through the professor's mouth. If that's what you wanted to do you should have gone to court reporting school or whatever the phuc they call it. lol. Seriously, you will be better off preparing your azz off, sitting at the professor's feet, listening with with all your heart, and throwing yourself into the fire by participating. Take that rule of law and start applying it, wielding it for your client, in class.

5. Don't complain. Your a phuccin' new-boodie who knows chit about the law, so shut the phuc up and stop complaing about the professors, this, that, or whatever. You get on my muddaphuccin nerves!!!

6. That big azz red PMBR book is muddaphucin gold! The rule of law, the context of that rule, serious azz multiple choice questions to test that rule, and bangin' azz explainations that are somewhat a template for exams answers!!! What else could you ask for? I got that here and it works! Sands put me up on that. Good lookin' out dawg!

With all that said, I'm super happy to see more black folks enter their 1st year 'cause we need you here! And from my 1st year experience, we add and contribute soo much that in no time you'll be enveloped with an appreciation that's pretty enjoyable.

Take care of business! And remember, THE WORLD IS YOURS!!!

lol.

There were cats doing this at ORIENTATION!! I was like, "word?" ???

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #313 on: August 19, 2008, 04:40:12 PM »

Do not read TOO FAR ahead, as the amount of reading you are about to be doing will bury that information into the deep recesses of your brain.  You want to keep your reading fresh - no more than 2 or 3 days ahead of where the professor is in class.  I had a friend who tired to be a super law student and read all of the assigned cases for the semester in the first month of school, which she did.  However, when she was called on for class throughout the semester, she couldn't remember a damn thing from what she had read - there is just entirely too much information being processed during the semester for a 1L to remember something he or she read over a month ago.  Later, she shared that she got bumped DOWN from a B- to a C+ by the professor for her inability to participate in class when called on.  Don't be like her.  Keep the reading fresh.  1L is a marathon, not a sprint.[/color] 



I agree with everything you said except for this.  It places too much emphasis on what goes on in the classroom as opposed to the exam.  Sure what happened to your friend does happen but not enough to merit the cause for concern.  I think you can read cases in advance (although not during the first few weeks when most people are in a law-school-is-overwhelming fog) and if you do the appropriate thinking about the case (advocated in LEEWS) and briefing you could always review that the night before class.

When I read the case the night before, it wasn't always enough time to process the information or look it up in other sources if I was confused.  Then if I got called on, the confusion would come out.  But regardless the focus should be the exam, not classroom dynamics.


Ehhhh....can you focus solely on the exam to the exclusion of class participation?  As a 2L or 3L sure.  I made A's in classes where the exam day was the ONLY day that I ever showed my face in the class.  But that was 2L and 3L.  Mainly 3L.

As a 1L not a good idea.  In fact, the only reason I was able to not focus on class as a 2L and 3L is because I learned the basics during 1L - and the basics include READING for class, GOING to class, and PARTICIPATING in class in order to build your knowledge for the exam.

As Saucony so eloquently stated, as a 1L you don't know jack sh!t.  Why?  Because you've never been to law school before.  Kinda goes without saying but you can't master law school without ever going to law school. 

If you read for class, go to class, and participate in class and, as you mention above, you are still confused about the topic of the day, chances are you just haven't seen the big picture yet, which mainly comes from outlining.  (and from doing those PMBR questions ya'll, man I'm tell you...if only I had that book as a 1L...)

There was rarely EVER a period during 1L that I can recall (at least not during first semester) where I prepared for class, went in there, and was so familiar with the subject matter that class was merely a "review."  Man, confusion is what 1L is all about.  Even when I thought I KNEW what was going on, I look back now and realize I had no friggin idea was I was talking about half the time.  I didn't even realize that Torts, Crim, Contracts and Property are all STATE law cases where the law that we were learning VARIED from state to state.  For some strange reason, I was under the mistaken impression that we were learning "THE" law on those subjects that applied everywhere.  :P  Shows you how far off the mark I was.

Of course you're always focusing on the exam, but not to the detriment of class participation. Not as a 1L at least.  Since law school only has 1 exam that determines your entire grade, the way I looked at it, you're basically studying every day for that final exam.

So all that to say, even as confused as I was (which was pretty confused most of the time) preparing for and going to class as a 1L helped a great deal to iron much of that confusion out.  I think most folks would agree.  Because of that experience 1st semester, by the time 2nd semester rolled around I was able to capitalize off of the whole classroom participation process and get bumps in my second semester classes. 

-which, by the way, if you attend a school that bumps, is worth it in and of itself to participate in class.  The bump up saved me more than once!





4. You are not a mudda-phucin' court reporter! Your job is NOT to transcribe EVERY muddaphucin' word that comes through the professor's mouth. If that's what you wanted to do you should have gone to court reporting school or whatever the phuc they call it. lol.

There were cats doing this at ORIENTATION!! I was like, "word?" ???



Can't co-sign on this one enough.

Law School teaches us how to locate very small and precise amounts of RELEVANT information that is hiding in a sea of IRRELEVANT information.  To that end, do yourself a favor and don't create such a big damn sea of irrelevant class notes!!!

I can't tell you how many friends I had who transcribed every useless rant and soapbox moment said by other classmates. Word to the wise, before you type into your notes something that another 1L said remember THOSE MOTHERF#@KERS DON'T KNOW JACK SH!T JUST LIKE YOU!!!!!!!!!  So why would you ever put them in your notes?



"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

cui bono?

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #314 on: August 19, 2008, 05:56:11 PM »
See I think that may just be the difference in schools.  Class participation was worth zippo, they just told us that it was worth something in the beginning so that we'd be prepared.  But that was my piece of you-know-what-school.



But what I'm saying is the the other side of the same coin-  I think that you cannot be all about the class participation to the detriment of your exam studies.  Granted I don't have the best opinion of law professors but I just don't think professors go out of their way to raise or lower your grade unless it's an extreme case. I just don't think it happens all that often.

I say this because I had a psuedo mentor (before I met Mr. MM  :)) that told me to focus on every minute detail of the facts of a case so that I'd be prepared for class.  Dumbass advice from a dumbass person. I mean if it was torts and one car hit the other in a case, I had to know that the car's make, color, and model [and for the 0Ls looking at this, that kinda stuff really doesnt matter, generally speaking, unless you're in evidence class and it's relevant to the case in some way].  This chick had me memorizing case names, district, year, etc the first semester.  Come to find out (not that it should matter because some of the best advice I received in law school were from people that didn't do so hot as opposed to those that did well that told me in order to succeed that I just have to "do it"-  direct quote) but this chick never got any grade above a C & never networked.  Never did much of anything and she's at the Public Defender's Office right now hating every single long day because she wanted Biglaw.         

Single best pieces of advice that I received:

"Edit other people's outlines to make it your own"

"Get crunk" (while studying because many 1Ls go into the exam petrified; you should use the exam as a tool or weapon- both sword and shield-  you shouldn't be nervous, you should be pissed that this is your only shot to prove yourself.  You study differently once you have that mindset.)

"To succeed in this field you can go either one[but should be both] of two tracks.  One track is through networking and the other is through grades, you never want to HAVE to take one track because the other has been derailed indefinitely."  Let's just say in listening to Ms. Dumbass the first semester, I had to transfer over to the networking track.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #315 on: August 19, 2008, 07:13:01 PM »

I say this because I had a psuedo mentor (before I met Mr. MM  :)) that told me to focus on every minute detail of the facts of a case so that I'd be prepared for class.  Dumbass advice from a dumbass person. I mean if it was torts and one car hit the other in a case, I had to know that the car's make, color, and model [and for the 0Ls looking at this, that kinda stuff really doesnt matter, generally speaking, unless you're in evidence class and it's relevant to the case in some way].  This chick had me memorizing case names, district, year, etc the first semester.  Come to find out (not that it should matter because some of the best advice I received in law school were from people that didn't do so hot as opposed to those that did well that told me in order to succeed that I just have to "do it"-  direct quote) but this chick never got any grade above a C & never networked.  Never did much of anything and she's at the Public Defender's Office right now hating every single long day because she wanted Biglaw.         




Basically @ bolded.  Who does that?  That person needs to be smacked.

Which brings up another good point - 1L's, you are going to receive so much advice it's hard to know how much of that advice is subjective, working only for that one crazy person who told it to you, vs. how much of that advice is objective, working universally for pretty much everybody.

In the end, do what works best for you and your study habits.  Granted, it's hard to know what that means until after you've taken that first round of exams and have received your grades back.  Until then you kinda just have to take everything in and weigh it accordingly.

I found it helpful to talk to both students who did well and students who did not-as-well to get a good idea of what works and what is a waste of my time.  For the bar exam, I found that most of the students in the classes ahead of me who passed couldn't exactly articulate how it is that they were able to pass, but 100% of the students who failed could tell you exactly how they came up 2 or 3 points shy.  Which made sense because people who are used to success often take their success for granted while people who have struggled along the way tend to know exactly what it takes in order to finally reach success.  Use both to your advantage.





"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

cui bono?

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #316 on: August 20, 2008, 03:59:40 PM »

Basically @ bolded.  Who does that?  That person needs to be smacked.


LOL, asked and answered... a dumbass does that! I've found that there are 2Ls and 3Ls out there that dole out advice to the poor 1Ls as a validation of their own (dumbass) decisions.  Then there are ppl that just love to hear themselves talk.  My particular dumbass wanted to have a string of mini-mes that she could mold-  solely for the purpose of getting them to join her organization. 


I say this because I had a psuedo mentor (before I met Mr. MM  :)) that told me to focus on every minute detail of the facts of a case so that I'd be prepared for class.  Dumbass advice from a dumbass person. I mean if it was torts and one car hit the other in a case, I had to know that the car's make, color, and model [and for the 0Ls looking at this, that kinda stuff really doesnt matter, generally speaking, unless you're in evidence class and it's relevant to the case in some way].  This chick had me memorizing case names, district, year, etc the first semester.  Come to find out (not that it should matter because some of the best advice I received in law school were from people that didn't do so hot as opposed to those that did well that told me in order to succeed that I just have to "do it"-  direct quote) but this chick never got any grade above a C & never networked.  Never did much of anything and she's at the Public Defender's Office right now hating every single long day because she wanted Biglaw.        




Which brings up another good point - 1L's, you are going to receive so much advice it's hard to know how much of that advice is subjective, working only for that one crazy person who told it to you, vs. how much of that advice is objective, working universally for pretty much everybody.


I found it helpful to talk to both students who did well and students who did not-as-well to get a good idea of what works and what is a waste of my time. 

Amen @ bolded!  Except I will say that I got more in-depth advice from those that did not do as well (minus Ms. Dumbass).  They REALLY wanted me to avoid the mistakes that they made and the grief/drama that ensued afterward. 

   
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality...  I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word - -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King