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Author Topic: Pre-school study plan  (Read 6524 times)

grahamers

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2004, 10:39:31 AM »
GA: Once again, the only problem I have with people telling me not to study is that there does not seem to be a control group and a group that actually did the studying. If someone who had studied before they entered law school told me I shouldn't study, I would take this advice much more heavily than someone who had not studied.

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GA_Kristi

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2004, 10:45:40 AM »
I guess I have a similar issue with studying before law school.  Not one person (other than that book) has told me that its a good idea to study before starting school.  I've never met a student who told me they studied up the summer before school and just did phenomenal and were more prepared, etc.  However, I have read numerous posts on here and other boards where current students say that its pointless to study before school starts and that people who do burn out fast that first semester.  I'll have to go back and look for some of the threads I've read on this and other boards and see more of their argument.

Regardless, I simply wouldn't have the time to do this kind of studying.  I'm working FT (and then some!) right now and will only have a month between the end of my job and classes starting to move cross country and get set up, so studying that much material is out of the question.

I understand you wanting to study though, because originally that was my plan.  I like being over-prepared for things, helps me feel confident and relax.  However, after reading tons of comments from those who said NOT to study before classes, and absolutely no one advocating studying beforehand, its hard for me to justify taking this route.

I wish you the best of luck though.  Be sure and let us know during and after first semester how it worked out for you!
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious." - Vince Lombardi

jgruber

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2004, 10:48:00 AM »
Let's look at it this way.  You're going to LS and before you go, you decide to teach yourself the law, and maybe enlist other people who are teaching themselves the law to help you.

Hmmmmmmmm.


GA_Kristi

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2004, 10:53:47 AM »
All this sounds great in theory, believe me, I had this theory. 

Then I started talking to students and every single one of them said not to try and learn the law beforehand.  Now I can't even remember all the arguments, but it comes up and over and over again. 

I pointed a couple of current student friends of mine to this thread, so hopefully they'll come chime in and illuminate the subject for us.
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious." - Vince Lombardi

Findedeux

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2004, 10:53:48 AM »
I am not teaching myself the law. If that were the case I would shoot myself now and get it over with. I am learning from professors/lawyers who have created primers specifically to help beginners and pre-law persons to learn the basics of the law. I am not kidding myself on that issue. I know that in my preparations I am merely skimming the surface both in detail and complexity. I will still be confused two and half months from now. But I may be less confused and more confident than if I had done nothing.

GA_Kristi

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2004, 11:00:23 AM »
I just agree to disagree at this point.

I read tons of pre-law school type books and some had overviews of each first year subject.  I guess you're just doing this on a grander scale by reading the primers.  I have skimmed some outlines and overviews of the first year subjects, but I have made the decision not to read cases or study actual rules of law until law school.  I would rather learn it directly from my professor the first time so that I get the law in whatever capacity he would like me to understand it in.  Just seems like wasted effort to learn things one way just to have the teacher tell you he sees it differently.

I suppose if you're looking at only concrete laws then its no big deal.  Once you get into hypotheticals and different spins on the cases though, I would think that's better left to learn in the classroom the way your teacher wants you to learn it.

I've done a good deal of preparation for law school, so I totally understand where you're coming from.  Guess I just don't agree with the method that the book you're going by suggests, that's all.

Like I said, please keep us all informed of how this works out for you, I'd be interested to see.
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious." - Vince Lombardi

Lavia

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2004, 11:00:29 AM »
Mostly I'm studying books that teach HOW TO STUDY THE LAW. Not what the law is, but how to study law while in law school. How to brief, how to outline, how to study for exams.

One of my books says that the other books, and the professors, fail in this regard. They teach you the law. They don't teach you how to study the law. You can fail if you don't get how to retain the information, or how best  to synthesize it, etc.

So I'll be doing practice briefs, practice outlines, etc., not with the intent of learning the law (since that will come naturally), but with the intent of learning how to learn the law.

(okay, I repeated myself a few times!)

Lavia

jgruber

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2004, 11:08:06 AM »
Oh.  Well that makes sense.  That's not the PLS approach, which just doesn't make sense to me.

Mostly I'm studying books that teach HOW TO STUDY THE LAW. Not what the law is, but how to study law while in law school. How to brief, how to outline, how to study for exams.

One of my books says that the other books, and the professors, fail in this regard. They teach you the law. They don't teach you how to study the law. You can fail if you don't get how to retain the information, or how best  to synthesize it, etc.

So I'll be doing practice briefs, practice outlines, etc., not with the intent of learning the law (since that will come naturally), but with the intent of learning how to learn the law.

(okay, I repeated myself a few times!)

Lavia

GA_Kristi

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2004, 11:19:58 AM »
Mostly I'm studying books that teach HOW TO STUDY THE LAW. Not what the law is, but how to study law while in law school. How to brief, how to outline, how to study for exams.

One of my books says that the other books, and the professors, fail in this regard. They teach you the law. They don't teach you how to study the law. You can fail if you don't get how to retain the information, or how best  to synthesize it, etc.

So I'll be doing practice briefs, practice outlines, etc., not with the intent of learning the law (since that will come naturally), but with the intent of learning how to learn the law.

(okay, I repeated myself a few times!)

Lavia

Now this sounds similar to Law School Confidential and How to Ace Your First Year of Law School and many others I've read.  This is basically the method I'm using as well.

I have had two students swear by the book "Getting to Maybe," so I'll read it as well.  They both said their exam grades came up quite a bit after reading this book, so I'm all for that!  :)
"I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious." - Vince Lombardi

canuck

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Re: Pre-school study plan
« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2004, 11:22:59 AM »
I'm reading PLS II and I have to say that there is one point that goes missing here:  in law school, with the grading curve, only 10-15% of your entire class will get those coveted A's.  What that translates into is 90% of the rest of your classmates falling into the B-average or less.

I'm cautioning everyone here that I don't intend to scare anyone or make them feel inadequate in their preparation.  But the author of PLS II did strike a chord with me.  I've talked to many a law school student (some in school now and some that just recently graduated). and I can tell you one thing that is constant:  they do not know how to predict their grades before they come out.  In fact many complain it is completely arbitrary.

What does this mean?  After taking exams, some felt they had aced it and ended up with a B or even a C.  Others thought they bombed it and ended up with an A.  And all of these students studied religously.  PLS II's main focus is to make a student more successful on law school exams. 

Yes, PLS II's author Atticus Falcon, may be long-winded and rant a lot (like I'm doing right now) but from the opinions I've gathered from law students, he's bang on.  Law profs don't teach the Black Letter Law then test it when it comes to exams.  That leaves students with the ability to conduct legal reasoning without the sound fundamentals of knowing what law/rule/principle should be applied in certain situations.

That being said, in every school environment I've been in, hard work and deligience will get many people a long way.  But most social environments (including the workforce) is a game and knowing the rules of the game and how to play it are always advantageous.  Let's not kid ourselves - Law School is a game - and we should be prepared to play it.

As for those who don't feel that grades are indicative of their worth as a lawyer - all the more power to you since you choose not to play the game.  But whatever it may be, Public Interest jobs, BigLaw, Clerkships - you'll need the grades.  So the point being missed I think by the board is that those grades are scare and competitive to get.

Standing down from the pulpit now, I'm not saying the PLS II approach will guarantee law school success.  It may in fact burn some out.  But if we're going into law school, the rest of our legal careers will be a continous learning journey and studying now shouldn't seem like such a chore if this is what we WANT to do.  If reading these books or learning about the law in some way better prepared me for school, I feel that is the advantage over most law school students - and that's really what we're trying for isn't it?
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