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Author Topic: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations  (Read 2239 times)

ntiger

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Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« on: April 08, 2009, 12:57:58 PM »
I've read a few posts talking about some things upcoming law students can do over the summer to be more prepared for the rigorous first year.  Anyone want to share their plans for summer, or if there are any 2L's or 3L's that can offer some advice on the best way to spend this down time?

I've heard 1000 days to the Bar is a great book to read.  I've also been advised by a dean of admissions to read the paper from a national source to become more aware of current events. 

I personally am taking the summer off from my job, catching up on reading, and volunteering as a court advocate for a non profit.  Anybody else want to share?

nealric

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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2009, 02:40:53 PM »
Just chill out.

Nothing you will do can make much of a difference. If you want to skim some stuff to see what's ahead, that can always be nice, but it's certainly not necessary.
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just Trev

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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 02:45:56 PM »
nealric... how did you finish 1st semester?

i'm not being sarcastic or anything, just trying to gauge the effectiveness of this advice.

thanks

nealric

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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 02:48:11 PM »
I did well my first year, I will leave it as that.

I actually read my entire civpro casebook over the summer before law school. It was pointless (I did well in civpro, but that had nothing to do with it).
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mbw

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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009, 03:39:46 PM »
I did well my first year, I will leave it as that.

I actually read my entire civpro casebook over the summer before law school. It was pointless (I did well in civpro, but that had nothing to do with it).

Did you read anything else to put your CivPro casebook into context?  E&Es, hornbooks or even the FRCP?  If you had, do you feel that it would have in fact made a difference?

I understand many people say, "relax, do nothing" and I'm sure that for those who are, well, naturally brilliant, that may be a fine course of action.  But, seriously, how can learning the basics of BLL hurt the non-brilliant?  I've got the E&Es, a few standard casebooks, e.g. Prossser, the LEEWS CDs, a bunch of "how to" books, and some old Nutshells and In a Flash (from my spouse's law school days.)  Two months into what I would consider some pretty leisurely study, I feel pretty comfortable that I'm setting down a fairly solid foundation for next year. 

I think people need to be honest with themselves about what works best for them - if they can actually figure that out.  It's not a one-size-fits-all proposition.  I'm certainly willing to come back this time next year and eat crow if I'm not where I think I should be after all my prep. If there are people out there who actively prepared before their 1L year and they believe it totally screwed them, it would be helpful to hear that as well.  But after 18 months on this site and TLS, I don't think I've seen one such case.
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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2009, 05:04:13 PM »
There's no "natural brilliance" in Law School.  All "natural brilliance" means is that you spot issues and analyze them quickly, but the overwhelming majority of students should be able to do this, provided sufficient time and good study habits.

People hear a great policy comment and think you're brilliant, but that's because they're stuck in undergraduate mode.  Well, you're not.  The law doesn't require brilliance.  No, it requires something related, but different -- studied, comprehensive competence.

Instead of trying to catch fish, learn how to fish.  Read Getting to Maybe and think about legal reasoning.  Stay as absolutely meta in any prep as you can.

Matthies

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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009, 05:11:35 PM »
I've heard 1000 days to the Bar is a great book to read. 

I thought this was a really good book, espically if your not going to a T14 and will have a bunch of closed book exams first year. The time managment part alone is worth the cost of the book. Other than general what to expect/how to study stuff I agree with the others don't bother. You will either get it quickly or you'll spend 12 hours a day getting it, but in the end everyone gets it at some point.
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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2009, 05:15:20 PM »
I've heard 1000 days to the Bar is a great book to read. 

I thought this was a really good book, espically if your not going to a T14 and will have a bunch of closed book exams first year. The time managment part alone is worth the cost of the book. Other than general what to expect/how to study stuff I agree with the others don't bother. You will either get it quickly or you'll spend 12 hours a day getting it, but in the end everyone gets it at some point.

I go to a T14, and I think that, even here, a large part of staying above median is memorization.  Knowing the doctrine cold = typing more/spotting more issues/analyzing in more depth = generally better grade.

The worst type of exam is the one that was clearly written while someone flipped through a long outline.

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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 05:21:44 PM »


Instead of trying to catch fish, learn how to fish.  Read Getting to Maybe and think about legal reasoning.  Stay as absolutely meta in any prep as you can.

GTM and Delaney's Learning Legal Reasoning were the first two books I read (well, after PLSII and LSC.)  I got bored with meta.   I'm hungry.
I'm in a lynch mob?  I had no idea.  This is really worrying; I really don't have time for another extra-curricular activity.

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Re: Upcoming 1L's - Summer Preperations
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2009, 05:32:18 PM »
I've heard 1000 days to the Bar is a great book to read. 

I thought this was a really good book, espically if your not going to a T14 and will have a bunch of closed book exams first year. The time managment part alone is worth the cost of the book. Other than general what to expect/how to study stuff I agree with the others don't bother. You will either get it quickly or you'll spend 12 hours a day getting it, but in the end everyone gets it at some point.

I go to a T14, and I think that, even here, a large part of staying above median is memorization.  Knowing the doctrine cold = typing more/spotting more issues/analyzing in more depth = generally better grade.

The worst type of exam is the one that was clearly written while someone flipped through a long outline.

Meh, I don’t agree closed book in class exams tend to be typing contests that don't show if you can really apply the law. He who types most gets most points for issues. I type really slowly so I never did great on those. I’m much better if I have time to think about my answers, edit them then think some more. I’m also straights A for every paper course I took, I’m just a much better writer (if I have time to edit) then I am a memorizer.

I also think heavy memorization makes for good law students but bad lawyers. Over the years I have worked with people who where great at spoting off the BLL, but could not reason themselves out of a box. Others I met could know nothing about the law yet get up to speed to talk intelligently about it in a few hours.

The difference? The memorizers taught themselves the law by copying (i.e. reading all the “best” practice exam answers, memorizing flash cards, using others outlines) but never really taught themselves how to “think” through an issue. The others start with the issue then learn the law they need to solve it. If we had something to do memorizers were always ones who always wanted an “example” to copy from, example brief, example memo, example client letter before they could start, the law thinkers just started with the issue and worked back to the law.

I think being a good law student and lawyer falls someplace in between the two extremes; shoot from the hip and memorize and regurgitate. 1L tends to make you think everything is memorize and regurgitate but once you get past the doctrinal classes, and espically went you start clerking, its less about what you can memorize and more about how you can apply it.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.