Law School Discussion

Summer Prep

Summer Prep
« on: June 07, 2008, 07:19:02 AM »
Just from doing research on various websites and books I know there are 2 schools of thought on prepping before your 1L year ;
1. To go full steam ahead and prep
2. "Dont waste your time....enjoy your summer , its the last free time youll enjoy in a while ".

I made up my mind that I am going to prep for school and have been doing so for about a the very least it cant hurt to get a jump on things . If anyone else out there is working ahead , what books are you using ? Is there anything you found particularly useful or not useful ?

Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 09:23:02 AM »
Pauly, I have decided that prepping this summer could only be helpful as well. I am trying to get an overview of the basics of legal writing and I bought a used Glannon guide to Civil Pro. This is all I've looked at so far. I'm curious what another 0L is doing so far. Are you going to do LEEWS?

Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 10:17:08 AM »
Yes it absolutely can hurt you.  'The law,' for purposes of 1L, is what your professor says it is.  S/he isn't interested in your own self-taught legal insights, cases and so on.  I think you could do well to pick up something about general law school/life preparation, but don't try to learn the substantive law in advance.

Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 10:19:30 AM »
What ive been doing so far is just going through some E & E books on the first year subjects . They dont offer the Leews course until the middle of the semester in most places for some odd reason . I will def be doing leews...I think im going to just cough up the $150 or whatever it is and get the cds

Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 04:23:53 PM »
I understand that the law is "what the professor says it is" but I don't think having a general understanding of some aspects of the subject would be detrimental. It might not be all that helpful either but one can't help but feel the need to do some kind of preparation.

Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 04:41:20 PM »
Be careful here and tread lightly.  Don't go into law school thinking that you will be ahead of other students.  You won't be.  The worst thing you can do is start reading now.  You won't have any idea what the prof's are talking about anyway and the worst thing you can do is stand up and start talking like you have an idea of what's going on.  You don't.  You wont.  What's the harm?  The prof could think you have a know-it-all attitude.  Worse yet, your fellow students will likely identify you as the class gunner and ostracise you. 
I totally understand the excitement of going to law school picking away at you.  Most of us, if not all of us, got that same feeling.  But trust us - this is the last time in your life that you will be free to screw around and not care.  ENJOY your summer.  You will spend plenty of time learning when the semester starts.
You may think that the prep you do will give you a general understanding of concepts and thus give you a leg up, but as any law student will tell you it is far easier to learn new material than to undo material you learned incorrectly.
The best thing you can do for yourself now is relax and enjoy your last summer.  Read a fiction book.  Watch a lot of movies.  Space out to tv.  play xbox.  Go drinking.  Get laid.  Take a road trip.  See some live music.  Take in a comedy show.  Why?  Because once you start law school, most of these activities will become rare and you will regret not enjoying your last summer immensely.
I know it sounds like an exaggeration, but I haven't read a book for fun since I started law school.  I've seen 2 movies in the theaters - once because my gf made me take a break while studying for finals and once to celebrate finishing finals.  You won't have time or energy to chase tail or start a relationship.  You won't have time to take in concerts or watch a lot of tv.  Law school is an all encompassing time suck like you have never experienced before.  Law school is boot camp for lawyers.
Don't waste your time.  I know plenty of students who did exactly what you proposed and when asked at the end of the semester what they would have done differently, each one said "I would have enjoyed my summer before law school more instead of prepping materials that I had to relearn properly anyway."
Ultimately, you might not believe me (or anyone else who will tell you the same thing) and do what you want anyway.  You will regret it.  This isn't like reading ahead for a biology class.  Law school is immersive and will require you learn to think differently more than anything else.
Don't bother trying to learn civ pro, K, property, torts, civ pro, etc.  You're likely to make mistakes, miss nuance, and cheat yourself out of a summer for no good reason.
What do you hope to accomplish?  You are going to be swamped with work anyway and I guarantee you will have to relearn everything you think you understand.  Your classmates will come to resent you as a mr. know-it-all and your professors will think you have an attitude problem.


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Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 07:03:29 PM »
I have been reading a book recommended by my school, which is okay: Law School Without Fear (by the Shapos (first names escape me now).  It can be boring and VERY basic sometimes, but it has helped to calm my nerves and I think I will actually use some of the advice.  Also, I read Law School Confidential and it has some good suggestions for studying, briefing, etc.

I tried to do some CALI lessons online, but there's really no point, since I have no idea what they are talking about yet!!! But, as far as actual substantive reading on subjects, I tend to think others, like jeffislouie, have the right idea.  It seems counterproductive.

BUT- I got an AP Prep book on economics and it is good stuff.  It is kind of blah, but for a philosophy major, like me, it helps put a different spin on things.  Also, I hear that economics is a good foundation to have for Torts, and that since economic issues underlie a lot of policy, it helps to be fresh with it.

Just a note- I spend a lot of time at the pool swimming, because much of the advice I've gotten suggests starting an exercise regime if you do not already have one!!!  :)

Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2008, 07:20:08 AM »
Jeff ,

Im not trying to be "that guy " in class . I was never the hand raising type and def not a know it all in High School or College , so I cant imagine that changing in law school . Im just trying to come in ahead of the game and maybe save myself a little bit of time while in school by prepping before it .

What year are you in school ? Did you prep before you went and did you find it didnt help you at all ?


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Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2008, 07:38:18 AM »
I'm reading Delaney's How To Do Well On Law School Exams... I'm really enjoying it. I'm glad I'm familiarizing myself with how I will be tested. Plus, it helps you figure out what kind of learner you are and how to identify and improve your strengths and weaknesses. I felt like a total loser writing down "My weaknesses as a learner are..." Lol. But I really think it helped me figure out how I would approach studying in law school.


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Re: Summer Prep
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 08:18:18 AM »
I'm near the top of my class, never prepped.

If you want to do something to prepare, get Kimm Walton's "Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams."  It seems on this site that everyone says, "Oh, networking's easy.  I can do that."  But then when OCI doesn't pan out, they have no idea what to do.  It's NEVER too early to come up with a strategy to search for jobs, and it's never too early to network.

If you want to prep, at least do something that might do you an iota of good (and reading E&Es really isn't going to give you any advantage whatsoever, IMO).