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Author Topic: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''  (Read 4284 times)

Slumdog Lovebutton

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2009, 12:19:44 PM »
Oh, yeah, now that I remember, they do recommend nights going later into the evening...But I thought that was quite a bit of hyperbole, especially since I'm a fast reader.  I'm sure that's the case at some points, but not the norm.  Eventually, you simply run out of helpful things to do.

It takes a while to get the hang of how to read a case quickly.  Also, your first semester, you're more likely to read every page and to brief cases than you are any other time in law school.  These things all factor into your time, regardless of how fast you usually read.
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dashrashi

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2009, 01:31:59 PM »
When I started school, 10 pp of a casebook was like 25-50 pp of a general humanities book in college (like, back when you had to read one book a week). Not quite as bad as Absalom, Absalom (10 pp of that in the same time as it took to read 100 pp of And The Band Played On, no *&^%), but legal reading takes f-ing forever. That said, I do think LSC overstates the case. But maybe I'm just not living up to my potential. Always a possibility.
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goaliechica

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2009, 01:36:18 PM »
When I started school, 10 pp of a casebook was like 25-50 pp of a general humanities book in college (like, back when you had to read one book a week). Not quite as bad as Absalom, Absalom (10 pp of that in the same time as it took to read 100 pp of And The Band Played On, no *&^%), but legal reading takes f-ing forever. That said, I do think LSC overstates the case. But maybe I'm just not living up to my potential. Always a possibility.

Troilus and Criseyde (the Chaucer version) for me, man. 10 pages an hour was really cruising.

Sorry. I'll stop with the thread derail.
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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2009, 01:48:13 PM »
Anything in Middle English or any non-Shakespeare Ren Drama, with the exception of Marlowe (who's awesome).  I believe it took me approximately thirty hours to read Ben Jonson's "Volpone" and I still had no idea what was going on.

Reading Faulkner is a skill, IMO.  Some people are naturally good at sort of skimming his nonsense, or keeping up with the long sentences.  I actually liked The Sound and the Fury after the first of four parts.  Pretty much everyone else hated it.

Also, As I Lay Dying FTW.  My mother is a fish and all that.

Legal writing doesn't take forever as long as you're into it.  I love reading Property cases, with the notable exception of Mount Laurel v. NAACP.  Now, Contracts reading -- that takes forever.

goaliechica

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2009, 01:54:00 PM »
Anything in Middle English or any non-Shakespeare Ren Drama, with the exception of Marlowe (who's awesome).  I believe it took me approximately thirty hours to read Ben Jonson's "Volpone" and I still had no idea what was going on.

Reading Faulkner is a skill, IMO.  Some people are naturally good at sort of skimming his nonsense, or keeping up with the long sentences.  I actually liked The Sound and the Fury after the first of four parts.  Pretty much everyone else hated it.

Also, As I Lay Dying FTW.  My mother is a fish and all that.

Yay for books! And the brain power to read difficult books. My book club is reading Borges right now, and I love it, but my poor law-school-addled brain is not entirely up to wrapping my mind around his trippy conceptual stuff, just right at the moment. It's all full of hearsay exceptions, unfortunately.

Sorry OP. I did not read Law School Confidential, but 8 hours outside of class per day sounds completely absurd to me. Getting to Maybe was helpful, but you don't really have to read the whole thing.
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tortfeasor77

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2009, 02:23:07 PM »
Take all of the above answers with a grain of salt. "Getting to Maybe", "Planet Law School" & "Law School Confidential" are the proverbial law prep readers that everyone pours over before that first year. Unfortunately those are only limited opinions on how to study and prepare. What you'll find out in school is that everyone has a different method and what works for some might not work for you. There is some sage advice above though, get an early start on what type of summer employment you want to be doing after your first year because you can bet your fellow classmates are.

I tutored throughout law school and always found that each person's ability to retain information was unique. I put together a method that worked for a lot of folks in trying to understand the "forest for the trees" before diving into the abyss of the nuanced case law. It seemed to work pretty well and helped the students I tutored do well on exams. It's because we focused heavily on understanding and taking exams.  I'm still tutoring and have been requested to put together a short and simple course with a basic understanding of the first year.  I'm looking for a couple of volunteers who are interested in a free overview of first year courses and getting to talk to one on one with someone who's been through it, in exchange for your opinions and feedback. If you are, shoot me an email and we can talk more. - aceitlaw@gmail.com

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #26 on: February 22, 2009, 02:30:38 PM »
This idea may not be the greatest, but I wish I read legal scholarship last summer.  I spent my first quarter bored, waiting for the rule, and not realizing the possibilities of right to exclude in terms of hold-outs, or settled expectations.  Or the idea that a home is an undiversified investment and we want to allow, perhaps, some derivative markets to allocate these risks.  Or combating information asymmetries with a bumper sticker that allows people to access driving records.

This is the wonky stuff of legal academia, and it's what impresses your professors.  Yes, you must be as lawyerly as possible in categorizing, say, whether consent is essential or collateral, but you also must realize the passion that these people bring to thinking about inalienability and up-stream markets, and what type of rule we must craft around it.  Realize that rules -- whether in the common law, legislative, or regulatory context -- is a way of ensuring a sort of optimal behavior and efficiency for the parties.  And then spend a lot of time thinking about what type of rules and arguments impress judges and legal thinkers.

Reading academic works, provided you have a decent background (I suggest starting with the recent mortgage crisis, or widely-known Crim issues like the death penalty), will really give you an appreciation of why we have law in the first place.  Learn to ask: why does this rule exist?  Why is the court ruling this way?  Why is this argument persuasive?  What are they trying to effect?

See the forest first, then the trees.  I tried the opposite.  I think that, once I started reading legal scholarship, all of this clicked.  Suddenly, my professors weren't simply hiding the ball, or bullshitting me; they were egging us on to think of alternatives, to really understand the rule in myriad contexts, and to see how to argue.

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #27 on: February 22, 2009, 02:34:22 PM »
Dash: 
  I've read several cases, some of them being the ones that are generally assigned to 1Ls, and I didn't seem to have trouble with it.  While it did take a bit longer to read, I looked up some commentary on it and I feel that I got the important parts...

Freely:
  Your first paragraph didn't make sense with regards to the rest of the post.  What exactly are you trying to say?

While on the subject of older English literary works: Chaucer in the original Old English has to take the cake, IMHO.
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dashrashi

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2009, 03:42:28 PM »
I'm not saying it's hard, in and of itself, although some are (e.g. Pennoyer is not a picnic); I am saying it takes much longer to read 10 pages of a case or casebook notes than it does 10 pages of a book on World War I memorials and monuments. Which I know, because it takes me approximately 45 minutes to read the former, and about 7-10 minutes to read the latter. The language and structure of legal reading, in my experience, is denser and more tangled, and takes more time to parse.
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Saw dashrashi's LSN site. Since she seems to use profanity, one could say that HYP does not necessarily mean class or refinement.

goaliechica

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Re: ''Getting to Maybe'' or Law School Confidential''
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2009, 03:44:26 PM »
While on the subject of older English literary works: Chaucer in the original Old English has to take the cake, IMHO.

I'm sayin'!

(See also Spenser, The Faerie Queen)

But, you know, in a good way.

But yes, reading cases does take longer than reading other types of things, in my experience. Part of it, too, is that there are often many different things you are supposed to take away from a case (the rule, the reasoning, what types of arguments were made, etc.), while you can pretty much gather what, say a 60-page law review article is saying in 10-20 minutes.
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