Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP  (Read 9592 times)

Slumdog Lovebutton

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3082
    • View Profile
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2009, 02:26:23 PM »
Oops... here:

"Once you know your first semester classes, consider buying supplements for those classes and reading the first parts of the supplements (to get the basic idea of the law down), or as many relevant parts as you can (discernible once you get your syllabus and know which chapters your class will go over)."

What were some of those "few things" in your case?

Supplementals?  What's the context?

Good, I'm glad this was helpful.  There are definitely a few things that I did not think about AT ALL when I was a 0L, but have contributed hugely to my quality of life this year.  Fortunately, they worked out for the best for me this year, but I could have easily been more miserable if these factors had come out another way.

Ahh.  I think the supplements that the OP was referring to are things like the "Examples and Explanations" series or a commercial outline.  There are lots of books that provide a generalized summary of your first year classes.

The few things I didn't even think about, but have turned out fortuitously and made my 1L life much better are:

1. Pass-fail legal writing.  If this is an option at any of the schools you are considering, you should weigh it strongly.  I think most law schools require a legal writing class, in which you produce an appellate brief, professional memos, learn bluebooking (the overly formalistic method of legal citations).  Legal writing is usually taught in a small group.  Some schools grade legal writing, and some grade it on a curve, and some grade it on a curve within the 10-person section.  Legal writing, because it is a course focused more on practical skill-development, is a lot less stress if it's ungraded, since the writing assignments are very work-intensive and it's nice to at least feel as though you won't put in a ton of work only to get a bad grade at the end because some kid went WAY overboard on his research.  It gives you more time to spend on your substantive classes, and it's not a significant disadvantage to you in the job search to have a pass/fail writing course.  The fact that I don't feel the need to spend weeks agonizing over my products has really, really helped my psychological well-being and that of my classmates.

2. No two-part courses.  The first-year curriculum at CLS features new courses each semester (except legal writing).  In other words, we don't have Torts I first semester and Torts II second semester.  This works out great for me, because I think I'd feel really bored and demoralized if I returned from winter break to sit in the SAME SUBJECT I was just tested on a few weeks before.  It's nice that we can start fresh.

I think there is one or two things that I'm forgetting, actually.  If I think of them, I will post them here.

(EDIT, just remembered another one)

3. Public Interest Loan Repayment Programs (LRAP).  This may seem obvious, but I entered law school pretty certain I'd go straight to a big law firm and earn enough bank to pay off all my loans within a few years.  I didn't consider public interest to be an option, so I didn't factor LRAPs into my decision.  An LRAP is basically a system where your law school takes over the payment of all your law school loans if you work in public interest positions.  They make the payments to your lenders, and replace your multiple payments with one loan that you owe to the law school.  After a certain period of time, your loans are entirely forgiven and you can go on your merry way.

At this point, I'm no longer sure I want to go into a big firm.  I'm considering public interest as a possible option.  The only reason I feel free to do that is because CLS's LRAP is so strong that I could live a perfectly comfortable life while working as a public defender in D.C., for example.  It's a truly fantastic feeling to know that I don't NEED to go to a law firm if I don't want to.

Things to consider about your school's program include: types of qualifying employment, maximum qualifying salary, and number of years before complete repayment.
* Columbia Law, Class of 2011 *

LSN

win200

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • "What do you mean, you people?"
    • View Profile
    • LSN
    • Email
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2009, 02:43:37 PM »
That's precisely the kind of advice I've been hoping to get. There's no earthly way a 0L could anticipate those types of decisions.

My Achilles' heel in law school is without a doubt going to be my pretty profound lack of study skills. I went to a perfectly decent regional private school that despite being replete with terrific professors wasn't, shall we say, intellectually high powered. I got used to being the smartest guy in the room, so to speak, and coasted with pretty minimal effort. I've got no illusions about being able to replicate this in law school. I'm not worried about my intelligence being adequate, but I am worried - especially as I'm reaching for schools like Cornell, NUSL, GULC - about being plopped down in a class of people who not only have smarts comparable to mine, but are used to exercising and honing them in an academic setting.

win200

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • "What do you mean, you people?"
    • View Profile
    • LSN
    • Email
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2009, 03:23:06 PM »
I'd love to read them.

I'm ecstatic at the possibility that I might get into a T14 school - and also terrified of it. Seattle U is much less intimidating. But I hate the thought of acquiescing to intimidation.

If I can find it, I'll post my crazy friend's thoughts about 1L at a T14.

Slumdog Lovebutton

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3082
    • View Profile
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2009, 03:25:34 PM »
I'd love to read them.

I'm ecstatic at the possibility that I might get into a T14 school - and also terrified of it. Seattle U is much less intimidating. But I hate the thought of acquiescing to intimidation.

If I can find it, I'll post my crazy friend's thoughts about 1L at a T14.

Don't be intimidated.  You are much smarter than you think.
* Columbia Law, Class of 2011 *

LSN

win200

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
  • "What do you mean, you people?"
    • View Profile
    • LSN
    • Email
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2009, 04:21:49 PM »
Thanks - truly.

I'm just trying to be cognizant of the fact that a T14 school would be a much, much more rigorous environment than I've experienced. I'd accept the challenge gladly, though.

I'd love to read them.

I'm ecstatic at the possibility that I might get into a T14 school - and also terrified of it. Seattle U is much less intimidating. But I hate the thought of acquiescing to intimidation.

If I can find it, I'll post my crazy friend's thoughts about 1L at a T14.

Don't be intimidated.  You are much smarter than you think.

treefity350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 290
    • View Profile
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2009, 04:35:50 PM »
Do nothing. Chill out. Drink some beers. Have a good time. Law school will begin in due time, and there will be plenty of work to be had at that point. And as for the job search, remember that if you start using NALP to compile employers now you'll have to pay for your mail merge lists whereas they'll be free once school starts.
Remember when I was at the picnic - the company picnic - and I hit the ball over the fence? You guys didn't think I'd catch it too but I did. I'm fast as s**t - 17 stolen bases in '72, 18 in '91.

no634

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
    • No 634
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2009, 02:56:19 PM »
I think Barron’s “How to Succeed in Law School.” was helpful. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/How-to-Succeed-in-Law-School/Gary-Munneke/e/9780764139796/

I recommend saving "Getting to Maybe" until halfway through your first semester.

Also, read "One L" by Turow and see the movie "The Paper chase." I think they are fun, and show you what not to do.

Finally, read some law student blogs! That's the best way to see what actual students are experiencing.

nailemlaw

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 9
  • http://www.nailemlaw.com
    • View Profile
    • Nail Em Law Exam & Course Support
    • Email
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2009, 09:56:34 PM »
Congrats Win and good luck...if you get into a T14 school definitely go there.  The little law school secret is that many tops schools are far less rigorous than many lower tiered schools that have much tougher curves. 

In terms of prepping for law school; not everyone needs or wants to get an early jump on understanding their courses.  Some people can take the summer off before school, drink a lot of beer and do just fine.  However, if you're interested in getting a jump start and being able to walk into law school with a solid foundation to build on instead of wandering through the forest for the first month...then check us out at Nail Em'. 

http://www.nailemlaw.com/

no634

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 173
    • View Profile
    • No 634
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2009, 03:53:09 AM »
Hello,

I am new to this board, and am beginning law school at a T14 school in the fall.  I have read so many conflicting opinions on what (or often what not) to read and study during the months leading up to the first day of classes.

Specifically, I have seen opinions ranging from following the Planet Law School course to a T, all the way down to "don't read anything at all" before starting law school.

Can someone either point me to a thread discussing this, or share their opinion?  Thanks so much. 


And good god, do not pay for one of those "intro to law school classes". It's called Orientation. Every law school has it, and that's all you need.

The only purpose of those prep classes is to make you feel better. Pay the $4,000 to yourself, calm down, and breathe. Save the fretting for finals.

tortfeasor77

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: PREPPING FOR 1L -- HELP
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2009, 11:44:32 AM »
I'd disagree with that - our orientation program was about the lamest thing on earth and didn't prepare me squat for law school.  We basically watched "A Civil Action" and discussed it...