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Author Topic: My take on the first year of law school  (Read 31317 times)

JeNeSaisLaw

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2008, 07:33:21 PM »
Sounds like a lot of great advice. It's similar to my general plan going in, as it's how I approached philosophy in undergrad, so I'm happy to see somebody having success.

One of my worries is all this talk of books. Is this something that 1Ls figure out really quickly? I just see all those titles and automatically go into a daze.

If my plan is to get an overview of the case (take some basic notes), read the case (more basic notes), and then outline what I need to take away from the case, which books are the best for this?
LSN
Vanderbilt Class of 2011

vap

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2008, 07:38:43 PM »
My $0.02:

I think the most important thing re: exams is to know how your professor wants the exam structured.  Many profs love the "X would say this, Y would say that, and X would respond this, etc." method, but others hate it.  I had one prof who said he thought it was childish writing and specifically told us not to do it. 

Talk with your profs and students who did well in the class.  Ask 2Ls and 3Ls to see their exam answers from previous years.

Remember that law school professors are unique individuals.  What works in Contracts I (at my school, common law K) might not work in Contracts II (at my school, sale of goods and UCC art. 2).  For example, my K1 prof was a "point maximizer" who gave points for spotting issues that were relatively tangential.  My K2 prof used a grading key, so he only awarded points to issues he thought were most important.  For K1, the best strategy was to spot as many issues as possible, spreading the analysis thinner.  For K2, the best strategy was to identify the key issues and analyze the issues with significant depth.  To exemplify this difference, in K1, the prof might say "A paid B $1000 to dig a ditch," and the student got points for saying that there was an agreement with consideration (i.e. a contract).  In K2, the prof might say "A paid B $1000 for a ditch-digging machine," and the student got NO points for saying there was a sale of goods.

K1 was my worst law school grade, but K2 was my best.  It had nothing to do with how much I knew the material and everything to do with how I answered the exams.

brianwithani

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2008, 09:31:07 PM »
Thank you very much for this thread.  Straight forward, no BS, this works.  Do you want to sell those tapes by any chance?
"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is a habit."  Socrates

vap

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2008, 10:19:47 PM »
Law school seems so silly, vap.

It is.

As UVA 2L said, taking practice exams is a necessity.

However, while I think pre-study might be useful, I certainly don't think it's necessary.  "Learning" the law is the really easy part.  You read a case, take out what's important, then talk about the important stuff in class.  Simple as that.  The "difficult" part is the exam.  Nothing else.  I preferred not to use supplements on a regular basis.  Although, I checked the library for "Understanding Criminal Law" when I was making my outline because my crim prof got off topic quite a bit.  I also used Glannon's E&E for Civ Pro when we were covering the Erie Doctrine because, well, it's confusing. lol.

Resident CLS Troll

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2008, 10:27:33 PM »
Very nice.  Obviously we were disappointed to have lost you to UVA, but I'm glad that decision worked out for you.  Any idea what market you're shooting for next summer?

Thanks man, I was definitely having second thoughts until I started doing well. CLS was really tough to say no to.
About markets- I have no idea. I'm thinking maybe CA? I need to make up my mind pretty soon though... Are you shooting for NY?

I'm actually a rising 3L, so I have a pretty good idea of where I'll be.  I was going to pitch my firm, but it's neither CA or NY.

AJ

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2008, 10:33:47 PM »
At the risk of getting blasted by many...I have to ask, what are these outlines everyone is referring to? I mean I understand the need to outline, etc, but everyone is referring to 'Acme company outlines', etc. How do you know which commercial outlines to purchase  ???

And how do you know what, if any, supplemental materials to buy??

vap

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2008, 10:35:34 PM »
So let me get this straight:

We pay thousands of dollars in order to learn a few rules and how to apply them.  Then we take a test which seeks to see whether we can find legal issues which relate to a major concept and then apply a few rules to those issues.  (i.e., did X commit assault when he shook his fist at Y?)  Then some guy who knows a bunch of rules since he (or she) learned them thirty years earlier tells us whether he agrees with how we've spotted these rules and regurgitated their application?

 ???

Man, that is so vapid.  If the public found out about lawyers, they wouldn't hold them in such esteem. 

Who says the public holds lawyers in esteem?

You can learn any subject by reading a book.  The most useful things in law school are often treated as the least important: legal research, writing, clinicals, externships, internships, etc.  = Practical skills.  You'll re-learn all your 1L courses with BarBri, from what I'm told.

vap

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2008, 10:37:54 PM »
At the risk of getting blasted by many...I have to ask, what are these outlines everyone is referring to? I mean I understand the need to outline, etc, but everyone is referring to 'Acme company outlines', etc. How do you know which commercial outlines to purchase  ???

None, in my opinion.  I found previous students' outlines and making my own to be most helpful.

And how do you know what, if any, supplemental materials to buy??

Unless you are doing the pre-study as UVA 2L suggests, I'd wait until you can check out your school's library.  My school had plenty of supplements on reserve.

slightlybehind

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2008, 10:47:54 PM »
bump

brianwithani

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2008, 11:13:41 PM »
That Peter Griffin Avatar is friggin' schweet.  Made me laugh out loud...
"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is a habit."  Socrates