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Author Topic: What books to read to understand these subject?  (Read 1037 times)

pharma_guy

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What books to read to understand these subject?
« on: April 07, 2010, 10:44:41 PM »
I am not a law school student yet. I wanted to ask, what books should I read to have an understanding of the following (typical) law school courses:

1. Contracts.
2. Torts.
3. Criminal Law.
4. Civil Procedure.
5. Legal Research and Writing.



bigs5068

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 11:30:35 PM »
It is best to just wait until you start, there is really no way to prepare for specific law school classes.

Your school will send you a book a month or so before orientation, but that is about it.  I got 3 different ones because I put 3 deposits down, which was a genius waste of money. However, of the three that I got I would say bridging the gap between college and law school was the most insightful and helpful.    
 

pharma_guy

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 11:36:27 PM »
I am not in law school. I have not even applied to one. I want to understand what the field of law is by learning about these subjects, so thats why I ask.

So what books should I read to understand these courses/subjects:

1. Contracts.
2. Torts.
3. Criminal Law.
4. Civil Procedure.
5. Legal Research and Writing.

mnewboldc

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2010, 05:37:31 PM »
OP is basically me from two years ago. I tell you now what others told me: don't start studying now. It's just a waste of your time.

If anything just take one of those courses on how to take law school exams. I should have done that.
Cornell 2011

chi2009

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 03:13:32 PM »
I agree about waiting for specific classes.  I thought some books were more helpful than others based in part on what a particular prof was interested in.  However, I found Getting to Maybe to be helpful in preparing for law school exams.  I don't think it was essential, but it helped me get in the right frame of mind and know what to focus on.  For me, doing practice exams throughout the semester was key.

Thane Messinger

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010, 05:51:07 PM »
OP is basically me from two years ago. I tell you now what others told me: don't start studying now. It's just a waste of your time.

If anything just take one of those courses on how to take law school exams. I should have done that.

Sorry, I'll have to disagree with all.  It is possible and wise to prepare.  Now is the time.  If you don't, you will start WAY behind the curve, especially if you fall victim to the (bad) habits of nearly all other law students.  How to prepare?  Planet Law School has an extreme approach.  Not wrong, and those who follow it are likely to do very well.  My own appoach (via Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting The Gold) is a bit more moderate.  In short, it is essential to being thinking about the framework of the major subjects, so that when you do get to class, what is said in class will make sense.  (An acid test for current students appalled at this note:  looking back on your first week of law school, did you know *exactly* what was being said, and why?  If not, that's why so many students are so miserable for so long.)  Again, what I'm talking about is a framework--NOT the details.  That's where law students trip themselves up.

As to specific references to address your question, again PLS is a good place to start. 

I hope this helps,

Thane.

Thane Messinger

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2010, 04:33:56 AM »
I realize I had forgotten to post a link that most might have seen but that would be quite helpful to those who have not:

http://www.lsac.org/pdfs/Resources-for-the-Prelaw-Candidate.pdf

Now is the time to think about these things.  Not panic, not "over"-prepare, but put yourself into a position where first year will be engaging and even fun, not a nightmare.  (But don't ask me.  Read some of the other threads and realize that these are written by those who are just like you.  They too thought it couldn't happen to them.  It happens to nearly all law students.)  Prepare.  The right way.

Thane.

fllaw

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2010, 10:17:39 AM »
Thane,

As a follow-up to our discussion on the Non-Trad forum I have taken the time to read your book and other posts. I felt the PLS approach a bit too much for now. But I did follow your advice and setup my initial outlines in Microsoft OneNote. I also went through John Delaney's Learning Legal Reasoning. This is an excellent primer on what learning the law is all about.

I think your approach provides a good balance between walking in cold, and doing massive substantive study as recommended by Mr. Falcon. I cannot understand those who say do nothing, have a fun summer and get drunk a lot. For me, reading the major concepts about civil procedure, for example, means when the prof starts talking about personal jurisdiction, I will know about International Shoe and the minimum contacts test. Sure, I won't know all the rules, but it will know the highlights so as not to feel totally lost.

One of the arguments against doing prep, especially on the TLS board, is "you won't know what to study" or "your prof will teach you what you need to know they way you need to know it." This is pure bull. For example, in Civ Pro, there are rules you need to know and major cases about the rules. Unless you are going to law school in Mongolia, the same rules apply, at the federal level, in every state and every law school and every bar exam is going to require you know them.

Thane, once again, thanks for your sage advice. I recommend your book, GGG, to everyone I know who is thinking about law school or starting in the fall. In fact, based on other threads on this forum, there are many 1Ls who need your advice even after finishing their first semester!

I am going to do LEEWS in July and then go through the CDs again in October.

Regards,

Thane Messinger

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Re: What books to read to understand these subject?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2010, 06:24:47 PM »
Thane,

As a follow-up to our discussion on the Non-Trad forum I have taken the time to read your book and other posts. I felt the PLS approach a bit too much for now. But I did follow your advice and setup my initial outlines in Microsoft OneNote. I also went through John Delaney's Learning Legal Reasoning. This is an excellent primer on what learning the law is all about.

I think your approach provides a good balance between walking in cold, and doing massive substantive study as recommended by Mr. Falcon. I cannot understand those who say do nothing, have a fun summer and get drunk a lot. For me, reading the major concepts about civil procedure, for example, means when the prof starts talking about personal jurisdiction, I will know about International Shoe and the minimum contacts test. Sure, I won't know all the rules, but it will know the highlights so as not to feel totally lost.

One of the arguments against doing prep, especially on the TLS board, is "you won't know what to study" or "your prof will teach you what you need to know they way you need to know it." This is pure bull. For example, in Civ Pro, there are rules you need to know and major cases about the rules. Unless you are going to law school in Mongolia, the same rules apply, at the federal level, in every state and every law school and every bar exam is going to require you know them.

Thane, once again, thanks for your sage advice. I recommend your book, GGG, to everyone I know who is thinking about law school or starting in the fall. In fact, based on other threads on this forum, there are many 1Ls who need your advice even after finishing their first semester!

I am going to do LEEWS in July and then go through the CDs again in October.

Regards,

Many thanks, fllaw.  I especially appreciate your voice to counter some of the misguided (and, ahem, self-interested) advice to "do nothing," as it is crucial to start off right in law school and to maintain a steady, deliberate, precise pace while avoiding the awful habits that infect most law students out of ignorance and fear.  You're on the right path, and you'll work less hard to get better grades.  International Shoe will be a breeze.  = :   )

Best of luck, and again, thank you,

Thane.