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Author Topic: My take on the first year of law school  (Read 31246 times)

Muhammad Ali

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #140 on: June 27, 2008, 11:00:23 PM »
Question: Why is doing the assigned reading just not enough to excel in law school?  Is it that reading the supplemental readings helps you to get a better grasp of the concepts in question by applying the rules to different fact patterns (cases)?  Can I please have a more specific answer to this?

I know that to excel, one needs to perform these outside of the classroom type of readings.  But I'd like to hear others' thoughts on exactly why these supplements helped and in what manner.  Thanks in advance.
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pikey

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #141 on: June 27, 2008, 11:46:04 PM »
Question: Why is doing the assigned reading just not enough to excel in law school?  Is it that reading the supplemental readings helps you to get a better grasp of the concepts in question by applying the rules to different fact patterns (cases)?  Can I please have a more specific answer to this?

I know that to excel, one needs to perform these outside of the classroom type of readings.  But I'd like to hear others' thoughts on exactly why these supplements helped and in what manner.  Thanks in advance.

Supplements can be useful in two ways, learning the law as you go along (black letter law, usually) and preparing for exams (though to a certain extent the entire semester is preparing for exams).  Commercial outlines like Gilberts are helpful for figuring out the black letter law.  I didn't use them that often because I usually figured it out through other sources (reading, class, tutor, etc), but would occasionally use them as a reference if I didn't understand something that we were covering in class.  Treatises like Chemerinsky (conlaw) or Abrahams (torts) are larger books that provide a general overview over the subject.  I found them to be extremely helpful in understanding the larger picture and how everything fits together.  I tried to read them continuously throughout the semester, though not necessarily in the same order that I was covering subjects in class. 

For exam prep I used E&E's and Crunchtimes. E&E's explain a topic, then ask questions  that made you think about the nuances of the topic.  The torts E&E also had sample exam questions and exam advice.  I'd start these about a month before exams.  I found them helpful for reinforcing and reviewing what I had learned throughout the semester.   As you can probably tell from the title, the Crunchtimes were solely for exam prep.    They'd have a condensed bll outline, exam tips and practice short answer and essay questions.  I'd usually use them about two weeks before the exam.  You should also be doing practice exams during the semester, which helps to develop your exam writing skills.

I don't think you HAVE to use supplements to do well, but I think it makes it easier.  I certainly didn't use all of the above types for every class, but I did use at least one.  You just have to find what works for you (I know, easier said than done).
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sinkfloridasink

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #142 on: June 28, 2008, 01:01:41 AM »
Also, I'm convinced that Dashrashi is a witch.   :P

My mind has wandered down a similar path more than once. Although I'm also convinced that if I met her in real life, I'd probably fall in love immediately.
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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #143 on: June 28, 2008, 01:09:07 AM »
Also, I'm convinced that Dashrashi is a witch.   :P

My mind has wandered down a similar path more than once. Although I'm also convinced that if I met her in real life, I'd probably fall in love immediately.

self-destructive tendencies? You DO have what it takes to be a lawyer.

Susan B. Anthony

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #144 on: June 28, 2008, 01:41:40 AM »
Question: Why is doing the assigned reading just not enough to excel in law school?  Is it that reading the supplemental readings helps you to get a better grasp of the concepts in question by applying the rules to different fact patterns (cases)?  Can I please have a more specific answer to this?

I know that to excel, one needs to perform these outside of the classroom type of readings.  But I'd like to hear others' thoughts on exactly why these supplements helped and in what manner.  Thanks in advance.

Much of the assigned reading for your first year classes will be cases. These cases will be used to explain bits and pieces of the law. There are some people who can put that stuff together and see the big picture without a problem, but most people (a) take a little while to figure out that's what's going on with the cases they're reading and (b) need a little help putting it all together (which is a skill you will hopefully develop, if you aren't one of those fortunate/brilliant people who already have it, as law school progresses).

StevePirates

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #145 on: June 28, 2008, 02:16:52 AM »
Question: Why is doing the assigned reading just not enough to excel in law school?  Is it that reading the supplemental readings helps you to get a better grasp of the concepts in question by applying the rules to different fact patterns (cases)?  Can I please have a more specific answer to this?

I know that to excel, one needs to perform these outside of the classroom type of readings.  But I'd like to hear others' thoughts on exactly why these supplements helped and in what manner.  Thanks in advance.

My take on it is that you need to do supplemental reading because everyone else is.

Law school is not you against the test.  The test is not the enemy, the test is the weapon.  It's you against your class.  You want to know what they know.  You want to have the same background knowledge they do.  And then you want to take it to the next level.  (a.k.a. learn how to write to your professor better than the rest of your class.)


sinkfloridasink

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #146 on: June 28, 2008, 04:04:21 AM »
Also, I'm convinced that Dashrashi is a witch.   :P

My mind has wandered down a similar path more than once. Although I'm also convinced that if I met her in real life, I'd probably fall in love immediately.

self-destructive tendencies? You DO have what it takes to be a lawyer.

Validation is always nice, whatever the source.
Tulane c/o 2011

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #147 on: June 28, 2008, 04:07:16 AM »

Also also, TX dude is feminine hygiene product^2. Sorry. I'm 70% certain all his law school "friends" hate him, and 90% certain the majority do. He will deny this. This is because he is in denial. Also because they only talk about what a git he is when he's not around. Obvi. 

I'm so happy you said this. Anyone who claims their success is due to their 'natural innate ability' is a feminine hygiene product.

StudentUVA

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #148 on: June 28, 2008, 10:01:23 AM »
After skimming some of the older replies, I have to disagree with the Texas poster. I don't think that there is nothing you can do to be a top student. That's just vanity speaking. The difference between a B+ and an A- and between an A- and an A comes down to hair-splitting in a lot of cases. Everyone in your class will be pretty smart, especially the people that are in the top 50%, and those are the people you really compete with for that top spot in your class. So everyone will have good answers, but your job is to figure out how to write (even slightly) better answers.

So i dont think a person that gets the A is necessarily smarter than someone who gets a B+. Moreover, exam taking is a skill. You can definitely improve, and many have suggested ways to do that. Some seem to rely on casebooks and professors, i relied on other materials. But the bottom line is that you need to figure out how to write good exam answers, and that's what a lot of 1Ls miss. It's not enought to understand the material- it's not enough to know all the cases. What you need is to be able to write a good response to a hypo and spot all the issues.


dischord

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #149 on: June 28, 2008, 12:13:28 PM »

Also also, TX dude is feminine hygiene product^2. Sorry. I'm 70% certain all his law school "friends" hate him, and 90% certain the majority do. He will deny this. This is because he is in denial. Also because they only talk about what a git he is when he's not around. Obvi. 

I'm so happy you said this. Anyone who claims their success is due to their 'natural innate ability' is a feminine hygiene product.

Well, now, this is just stupid.

How else should one explain, for example, why he consistently performs better than people who are working much harder?  I mean, some people are born with perfect pitch and others are born tone deaf.  This doesn't mean that the tone deaf person will never play piano any more than the person with perfect pitch will inevitably end up at Juilliard, but that's certainly more likely than the opposite scenario.  At some point you simply run out of other explanations for why one person is better at something than another given the respective amounts of effort they put in, and I think it's kind of disingenuous for someone to be all "Aww, shucks, I just spent a bunch of time in the library" when it's clear that that wasn't the determining factor in his performance relative to his peers.

Not that Texas wasn't being kind of an arrogant male private part about it . . . and his view was a bit extreme ("YOU ARE DOOMED TO FAILURE BWAHAHA!!").  But to embrace the opposite extreme isn't right, either.
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