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Author Topic: Congrats Sands on Law Review...  (Read 10358 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #40 on: July 07, 2005, 11:01:41 PM »
Test taking is a skill, its not necessarily a reflection on the amount of law that you know.

AMEN!!!!!!  So true.  It took me 3 finals to figure that out.  And girl what you talkin about buttin in?  You shoulda been said somethin by now!  2L!  ;D

What did you use to prep? I'm contemplating getting the LEEWS series before starting this fall. I know that you've posted on the benefits of the program before. Is that what you used to prep over the summer or did you save it midterms/finals season?

I'm sorry Sands. I have to disagree with you below. I prepped last summer and it helped out big time this year. I did very well.

Awww man, Jdohno, look what you done started.  Just as soon as we had calmed all the pre-laws down about prepping before law school, here you come and rile them back up again.  lol 

I have to majorly disagree with you on the value of the Case law.  Any knucklehead at Barnes & Noble can pick up an E&E and read it, but that doesn't mean they know the law.  IF they were able to follow it, (I said IF), then they would know the legal concepts, true, but without the Case law they would have no context to put it in.  Its the context of the Case law that allows you to see how the legal concepts are applied to the facts in different scenario's, which is of course what the exam is all about.  Its the ability to be able to cite to relevant case law authority for a judge that distinguishes us from the kid in barnes & noble reading the E&E.

Now I'll give it to you on a class like Contracts.  The case law for Contracts is garbage.   You might as well not even buy a case book.  (pre-laws, close your ears for a minute)  For Contracts it was literally me, my Contracts E&E, and the final exam.  But perhaps I'm not the best person to talk to about Contracts b/c I'm a bit jaded.  Our prof. had us reading, on average, about 10 full length cases per class.  That much case law just ain't necessary, damnit. Oh great, yet another case on Promissory Estoppel.  Promissory Estoppel for the 28th time.  And in case you missed it last time Promissory Estoppel one mo' gain. ok ok ok, I got it already. Son of a b!tch.

Sorry - flashback.

At any rate, Jdohno, I do believe you have done very well, but I think you are the exception to the rule as opposed to the rule (which also lets me know that you must be a friggin genius).  Prepping before law school starts is GENERALLY A BAD IDEA (pre-laws, you can take your hands off your ears now).
Did you hear that?  Bad idea. I'll tell you why.  As I was saying before, the main reason why prepping before law school is a bad idea (I think we did a Top 10 list on another thread on this topic before) is b/c you don't know your professor yet.  What do I mean by that?  For example, my Property professor, who is cited in the Property E&E as an authority, focussed heavily on Landlornd/Tenant, but did not care much about the Rule Against Perpetuities b/c its all done by Trusts nowadays anyway.  Another Property professor at my school spent about 2 straight weeks on the Rule Against Perpetuities for his class but barely touched on Landlord/Tenant.  If its July and I'm sitting there, as a pre-law, looking at this Property E&E, and I come to the Rule Against Perpetuities section, first of all, I'm like "what the hell is a perpetuity?" Second of all, I'm more than likely going to spend a good deal of time trying to learn it like every other section in the book.  And third, when I get to class and finally get my sylabus for the year I'm now upset because my prof. isn't even covering the Rule Against Perpetuities.  In fact, if I had read the Case book, which in July I don't have, I would have seen that the Rule Against Perpetuities is actually outdated and only used by a handful of states today.  And this is just one example.

Contracts (uhg) is even worse.  There are literally entire sections of Contracts that your professor will more than likely omit.  Contracts is so huge, you can literally take subtopics of Contracts and make entire classes out of them, like Sales and the UCC.  But enough about that. The point is, pre-laws, you are your own person & you're ultimately going to do what you do.  Most law students will tell you, on the topic of prepping before law school, don't worry about it.  Not that I'm telling you to be lazy.  By no means.  If it really helped I would be telling you to jump on it right now.  I actually tried it myself.  I read planet law school and followed the advice there.  At most, it is good to be FAMILIAR with the basic legal concepts before law school.  I would feel comfortable telling you to pick up the Torts E&E and read it, because torts is probably the least complex class you will have during 1L.  You can get familiar with the idea of Causation, the idea of Constructive Notice, etc.  But a class like Civ Pro or Property, I wouldn't spend too much time trying to cram those things into your head during the summer before 1L.  You may end up having to UN-learn what you thought you knew when your professor gets a hold of you.

Bottom line: It all boils down to your professor.  Your exam will be what he or she wants to see.  Because you have no possible way of knowing that before August, it is counter-productive to engage in intensive law school preparation before classes start.



EDIT:  After going back and looking at jdohno's post again, I have to seriously agree on one point - Read Plant Law School.  I overlooked that in my last post.  Although I don't agree with everything the author says, if you read the entire book cover to cover you will be miles ahead of your classmates.  Planet Law School did have me coming into Law School with my head on straight and tight.  When that first LRW assignment came crashing down and my classmates started to scatter, I was chill.  Not b/c I was smarter than them, but because I was expecting it. Planet Law School, if nothing else, will get your mind right to enter law school.
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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #41 on: July 07, 2005, 11:20:01 PM »
Sands, was your Law Review an automatic grade-on, write-on or combo? If it had a write-on component how did you go about doing it?

shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit...

Girl, that's a story and a half!!!  real quick, my school's Law Review is a combo of both grades and write-on.  I'll have to give you the story later cuz I gotta run.

I'm so proud of you dude...who would have thought back in 04 you'd be sitting on law review with those tight grades??? You need to really laugh now looking back at your engineer days!


Yeah I know!  Who woulda thought?

I know I always had my sights set on law review from day 1, b/c that's all you hear when you walk in the door "who's on law review, who's on law review?"  The cats on law review walk around like the mafia.  Got their own body guards and sh!t...parking spots with the names on 'em...walk thru the lines at the cafeteria without payin...lol

OK minor embelishment but you feel me.

But to be honest, after I saw law school bring the fire on my a$$ that first semester I honestly did not think that was in my sights anymore.  At that point, I was just trying to make it thru.  Things have a funny way of working themselves out.
"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."
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jacquet

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #42 on: July 07, 2005, 11:24:50 PM »
I think I'm a little late on giving the congrats, but Congratulations on the Law Review, Sands.  And thanks for all the helpful info you've been given.

jdohno

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2005, 12:22:53 AM »
We will just have to agree to disagree. I prepped with a bunch of people and we all did well this year. So I'm not an exception. What I have found is that most people don't like to talk about what helped them do well first year. It's the competitive thing.

I have to majorly disagree with you on the value of the Case law.  Any knucklehead at Barnes & Noble can pick up an E&E and read it, but that doesn't mean they know the law.  IF they were able to follow it, (I said IF), then they would know the legal concepts, true, but without the Case law they would have no context to put it in.  Its the context of the Case law that allows you to see how the legal concepts are applied to the facts in different scenario's, which is of course what the exam is all about.  Its the ability to be able to cite to relevant case law authority for a judge that distinguishes us from the kid in barnes & noble reading the E&E.

I don't know if agree with you there. But after reading the E&Es and then reading the casebook, everything seem clearer. I didn't have to reread the cases over and over again to understand the law. And I didn't have to spend four hours reading a case. But I agree with you reading the cases puts things in a context. But what you are describing above is what you do with hypos which is apply the law to fact patterns. When you prep over the summer, you're not memorizing the law but you are learning the basics which is applying the law to fact patterns and variations so you can see where the law applies and doesn't apply.

At any rate, Jdohno, I do believe you have done very well, but I think you are the exception to the rule as opposed to the rule (which also lets me know that you must be a friggin genius).
Prepping before law school starts is GENERALLY A BAD IDEA (pre-laws, you can take your hands off your ears now).
Did you hear that?  Bad idea. I'll tell you why.  As I was saying before, the main reason why prepping before law school is a bad idea (I think we did a Top 10 list on another thread on this topic before) is b/c you don't know your professor yet.

I disagree. There are some basic areas that your professors will go over. Besides you aren't memorizing the law when you prep, you're just getting your first intro to it. I didn't have all the confusion when I started law school. Because I was confused when I read the stuff when I prepped in the summer. When I read the stuff again in school, I was more keyed to my professor's nuances because I understood it on a basic level. Even if people don't prep, I always advise people to not start law school cold. It takes most people several weeks to over a month to get into law school and that is wasted time. From the start, I wanted to transfer from my current school and get on law review. I wanted to do Georgetown's early decision which requires great first semester grades. I didn't want to be another confused person. And I wanted two great semesters not have one be a learning experience and then adjust for second semester. I just knew to get to where I wanted to go that I had to do well all year. So despite all the advice to relax, I prepped last summer which was just the start to everything I did this year. It depends on the person and their goals.
 
 What do I mean by that?  For example, my Property professor, who is cited in the Property E&E as an authority, focussed heavily on Landlornd/Tenant, but did not care much about the Rule Against Perpetuities b/c its all done by Trusts nowadays anyway.  Another Property professor at my school spent about 2 straight weeks on the Rule Against Perpetuities for his class but barely touched on Landlord/Tenant.  If its July and I'm sitting there, as a pre-law, looking at this Property E&E, and I come to the Rule Against Perpetuities section, first of all, I'm like "what the hell is a perpetuity?" Second of all, I'm more than likely going to spend a good deal of time trying to learn it like every other section in the book.  And third, when I get to class and finally get my sylabus for the year I'm now upset because my prof. isn't even covering the Rule Against Perpetuities.  In fact, if I had read the Case book, which in July I don't have, I would have seen that the Rule Against Perpetuities is actually outdated and only used by a handful of states today.  And this is just one example.

So? There isn't enough time for the professors to go over everything first year. You still have to know the stuff for the Bar Exam. It's not a waste if your professor doesn't go over it. You need to know it anyway. I spent a lot of time on EFI over the summer. And my professor spent a month on it so I was grateful for the early exposure to it. The other section only spent two weeks on it. Even if I was in that section I still would have felt somewhat comfortable with EFI. I rather know a little bit of everything than know a lot about a few things.

Also we ran out of time first semester in contracts and my professor didn't get to the Statute of Frauds. But I knew it from prepping. On the exam there was a question that on the surface was a basic contract question. However after you went through all the analysis, the contract was the type that fell under the statute but it didn't comply with it. Which changed the whole conclusion, etc. To the professor's credit, you could still have answered the question and not mentioned the statute but it was important to do so. I already posted on the other board my contracts professor's reaction to my exam answer. So knowing the Statute of Frauds from prepping helped me. I know a few people who had professors put things on exams that weren't covered in class or in the readings. After prepping, I wasn't as surprised.
 

Contracts (uhg) is even worse.  There are literally entire sections of Contracts that your professor will more than likely omit.  Contracts is so huge, you can literally take subtopics of Contracts and make entire classes out of them, like Sales and the UCC.  But enough about that.

But there are areas of contracts that every first year goes over offer and acceptance, consideration, statutue of frauds. You're not reading the whole E&Es over the summer. You read the sections most likely to be covered in your first year classes. At my school, the majority of my prepping was on the ball.

You may end up having to UN-learn what you thought you knew when your professor gets a hold of you.

That's a common misperception. You're not memorizing the subject when you prepped. It's your first time reading the stuff. It's actually easier to learn your professors' nuances after you understand the subject. And some professors are awful. I found out through prepping that I liked Property but my professor almost killed the class for me. She was a new professor and didn't really seem to know what she was doing. So I basically taught myself Property. I think the professor knew that she was losing the class so she did a surprise on the exam. But because I had prepped over the summer, I was familar with the topic and I didn't feel as ambushed as my classmates.

Bottom line: It all boils down to your professor.  Your exam will be what he or she wants to see.  Because you have no possible way of knowing that before August, it is counter-productive to engage in intensive law school preparation before classes start.

Again I have to disagree in part. You're right that the professors want to see certain things on the exam. But there are areas of the law in every subject that you will go over in school. Those are the areas that you prep in. And prepping was hardly intensive. It's hard and you struggle in the beginning but you get better as it winds down. But I was grateful to struggle with the new terms, language and hypos before I started law school. I wanted to hit the ground running in school because I wanted to transfer to a top 15 school. I was so tired of people telling me that blacks don't do well in law school. I wanted to do well and not be a stat.


EDIT:  After going back and looking at jdohno's post again, I have to seriously agree on one point - Read Plant Law School.  I overlooked that in my last post.  Although I don't agree with everything the author says, if you read the entire book cover to cover you will be miles ahead of your classmates.  Planet Law School did have me coming into Law School with my head on straight and tight.  When that first LRW assignment came crashing down and my classmates started to scatter, I was chill.  Not b/c I was smarter than them, but because I was expecting it. Planet Law School, if nothing else, will get your mind right to enter law school.

Well we agree on something. Also you have to remember, Sands, that people who have business, science or engineering backgrounds tend to do well first year because they are used to doing methodical thinking. That nitpicking that is the backbone of good lawyerlike analysis. It's getting a little late for anyone to start prepping any way. But to the 0Ls on the board--do something this summer. Don't start law school cold. But if you do relax over the summer, try to get into a routine as quickly as possible when school begins. But again congratulations Sands. You didn't answer my question. Did you use a book to help you with your law review submission?
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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2005, 12:27:49 AM »
Jacquet, not a problem.  Thanks for the shout.

Sands, was your Law Review an automatic grade-on, write-on or combo? If it had a write-on component how did you go about doing it?


OK Scurvy & Jdohno, I am finally getting around to answering this question.  Jdohno, I think you're right, it seems to be a modern trend for Law Reviews to use the combo approach.  I was reading an article somewhere addressing this topic, and it was saying that over the decades, schools started noticing that high grades alone do not necessarily mean that the student possesses a mastery of legal research and writing, thus the writing competition component.  Harvard law school, which literally invented Law Review, used to just require high grades to make it on, but now they've changed their policy to include high grades AND a mandatory write-on competition in order to make it onto their law review.

Scurvy, as I said earlier, my school uses the same new approach.  You have to have high grades AND you have to compete in the write on competition.  The students with the highest combination of these two factors get on.  At my school 203 students tried out, and of those 203 students, 32 were selected.  I now have the official count, of the 32 students who made it, 5 of us are black and 3 are latino.  Not bad considering past numbers.

Jdohno, no I didn't have any "how to" manuals.  I just approached it very systematically (probably the engineer in me coming out).  At our school you have 7 days to do it.  They give you a recent slip opinion from the Supreme Court that hasn't been published yet, and 600 pages of materials to read thru that include other supreme court cases, some appellate cases, some state cases, some law review articles on the topic, some other secondary cr@p, and a bunch of little hidden things, some designed to be helpful, some designed to intentionally throw you off, which during a 7 day write-on competition can make the difference between law review and no law review if you get sidetracked.

For 7 days straight I ate, drank and slept write-on competition.  I made a schedule of exactly where I should be at in the process each day.  I've talked to some of the other people who made it, and their schedules vary from mine, but we all have one thing in common.  For those 7 days we shut out all outside activities.  And everybody I've talked to so far who made it told me that during those last 2 or 3 days it was non-stop, all-nighters, no sleep, myself included.  Those were my first all-nighters in law school.  I have a feeling, with the amount of work law review requires, they will not be my last.

So basically it was just all about buckling down for however long your school's competition lasts.  I know over at Cardozo theirs is 3 days. Each school will vary.  It sounds obvious but you have to be dedicated and disciplined.  Its easy to say now, but when you're staring at 600 pages of legal cases and secondary sources, it can be a bit much.  A lot of cats said "f*ck it" after about the first day. Others stuck with it, but started late because they wanted to relax after finals for a few days. They didn't make it.  Others started right away but dipped out around midnight each night.  They didn't make it eiher.  By midnight, the rest of us who did make it were usually just catching our second wind.

Its crazy, but in the end you get out of it what you put into it. 

And mind you, this is the just the writing component. Good grades in law school is a whole other story...
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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2005, 12:40:11 AM »


But there are areas of contracts that every first year goes over offer and acceptance, consideration, statutue of frauds. You're not reading the whole E&Es over the summer. You read the sections most likely to be covered in your first year classes. At my school, the majority of my prepping was on the ball.



Wow, that was a mouth full!  I will save everybody some time and just say that I agree to disagree with you on the prepping issue.  I selected this quote only to say that this is my point though, you say you only read the sections most likely to be covered.  Your average pre-law does not know what those are. 

I gathered from your earlier posts that what you read during your summer was, fortunately, what you saw during your school year, thus your advocacy for prepping. 

BTW, what school are you coming from and where are you transferring to?
"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."
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jdohno

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #46 on: July 08, 2005, 12:40:57 AM »
I'm sorry. I don't want to make you relive the nightmare. But what about your citing? Did you do your Bluebook cites before you got into the cases? Did you dedicate a day to just doing cites and making sure they were correct? My friends have told me to set up a schedule similar to what you did but I'm concerned about the cites. We didn't use the Bluebook at my former school. So I'm little worried. Thanks.



Jdohno, no I didn't have any "how to" manuals.  I just approached it very systematically (probably the engineer in me coming out).  At our school you have 7 days to do it.  They give you a recent slip opinion from the Supreme Court that hasn't been published yet, and 600 pages of materials to read thru that include other supreme court cases, some appellate cases, some state cases, some law review articles on the topic, some other secondary cr@p, and a bunch of little hidden things, some designed to be helpful, some designed to intentionally throw you off, which during a 7 day write-on competition can make the difference between law review and no law review if you get sidetracked.

For 7 days straight I ate, drank and slept write-on competition.  I made a schedule of exactly where I should be at in the process each day.  I've talked to some of the other people who made it, and their schedules vary from mine, but we all have one thing in common.  For those 7 days we shut out all outside activities.  And everybody I've talked to so far who made it told me that during those last 2 or 3 days it was non-stop, all-nighters, no sleep, myself included.  Those were my first all-nighters in law school.  I have a feeling, with the amount of work law review requires, they will not be my last.

So basically it was just all about buckling down for however long your school's competition lasts.  I know over at Cardozo theirs is 3 days. Each school will vary.  It sounds obvious but you have to be dedicated and disciplined.  Its easy to say now, but when you're staring at 600 pages of legal cases and secondary sources, it can be a bit much.  A lot of cats said "f*ck it" after about the first day. Others stuck with it, but started late because they wanted to relax after finals for a few days. They didn't make it.  Others started right away but dipped out around midnight each night.  They didn't make it eiher.  By midnight, the rest of us who did make it were usually just catching our second wind.

Its crazy, but in the end you get out of it what you put into it. 

And mind you, this is the just the writing component. Good grades in law school is a whole other story...

smujd2007

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #47 on: July 08, 2005, 12:53:04 AM »
I disagree on the prepping issue for the most part.  And, if I was prepping, I would take maybe 2 weeks before classes started and listen to tapes. I don't think anything else out there is going to be as user friendly, especially not a book.  jdonno is right about what's on the bar exam.  I have started looking at questions for the mbe and looking over the format for the bar exam this summer, and roughly half of the bar consists of the first year topics--Contracts, Civ Pro, Torts, Property, Crim Law and Con Law (then add some evidence, which most people take in their second year).  So learn as much during your first year as you can, because this stuff is going to be on the bar exam.

I think I mentioned earlier, I would have to disagree on rigorous prepping or even rigorous activities the summer before 1L. I worked last summer, I had come to law school straight from undergrad . . .I think it was too much for me so that by the time my first round of finals came I was suffering from serious burnout. I was no joke in undergrad. I studied in undergrad about the same amount of time that I studied last year in law school, if not more. Even if your on your game and you know you want to do law review or transfer to another school, I think its much better to just hit the ground running than to take away precious moments of freedom before you get sucked into the law for the rest of your life. Seriously.

My two cents . . .more to follow, I'm sure.
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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2005, 12:55:05 AM »
I'm sorry. I don't want to make you relive the nightmare. But what about your citing? Did you do your Bluebook cites before you got into the cases? Did you dedicate a day to just doing cites and making sure they were correct? My friends have told me to set up a schedule similar to what you did but I'm concerned about the cites. We didn't use the Bluebook at my former school. So I'm little worried. Thanks.



Not a problem, happy to give you the leg up on law review.  What'd you use to cite, ALWD?  Our school is wierd like that. We use ALWD our first year, and then Blue Book years 2 and 3.  Don't ask me why.

Yes, bruh, even my citation was down to a science.  I methodically sat down and did ALL of the citations the first day. That cleared the rest of my time for reading and writing.  I think had it not been for me making a daily schedule, I would not have made it onto law review.  When your time is constrained like that, you have no room to be disorganized.  I would highly recommend making a schedule based on your strengths and weaknesses.  If you're a slow reader like me, factor a good % of your days for reading only, and then leave the rest for writing if you're a decent writer.  If you're a slow writer then vice versa.
"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."
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jdohno

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Re: Congrats Sands on Law Review...
« Reply #49 on: July 08, 2005, 12:55:29 AM »
Hey you started the long post first. I just responded.  :) No in the prepping schedules, they had the sections most likely to be covered first year. So I read most of the contracts and property E&Es and read the whole torts and civ pro ones. It didn't hurt me at all. I'm not going to name my school because I don't want to out myself. I don't like the school and I'm glad I'm leaving. The schools I have gotten into so far are Georgetown, Washington U, Emory and Vanderbilt. Decisions are starting to come in. I applied to most of the schools in the top 15 that have my program and a few top 20/30 schools. I'm waiting for Virginia or Chicago. So I don't know. I have my fingers crossed. But it looks like I will be going to Georgetown.


Wow, that was a mouth full!  I will save everybody some time and just say that I agree to disagree with you on the prepping issue.  I selected this quote only to say that this is my point though, you say you only read the sections most likely to be covered.  Your average pre-law does not know what those are. 

I gathered from your earlier posts that what you read during your summer was, fortunately, what you saw during your school year, thus your advocacy for prepping. 

BTW, what school are you coming from and where are you transferring to?