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Author Topic: Suggested reading prior to law school?  (Read 1925 times)

M112

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Suggested reading prior to law school?
« on: June 07, 2010, 08:55:32 PM »
I would appreciate a suggested reading list for practical application in law school.  In other words, I am not so much interested in reading any novel type books about a lawyer or anything of the sort but instead what I can practically use for law school in the fall. 

As an example, I recently picked up an E&E on Civil Procedure and have an understanding, admittedly rudimentary, but still a base level understanding of issues regarding personal jurisdiction, venue etc.  So much so that I was able to carry on an intelligent conversation regarding the topic with a legal professional regarding the topic and other related subjects.

In sum, any reading materials suggestions that would be beneficial for practical application for law school would be greatly appreciated.

TheCause

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 11:50:04 PM »
What is your goal?  Getting a head start?  I'm not sure there is a good way to do that.

The Civ Pro E&E is one of the best law supplements out there, and most of the other E&E's aren't as good. 

I personally think you should avoid reading law related stuff for a few months leading up to law school, but whatever.  You could always go buy your text books and read the first few chapters of each of them.  Then at least you wouldn't have to do it during the first week of school.

My advice would be to go get 24 or LOST or House, M.D. on DVD and watch them straight through.... you'll spend plenty of time reading this fall.


the white rabbit

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2010, 05:36:35 AM »
I think that "Getting to Maybe" is a standard suggestion for pre-law school reading material.  It doesn't deal with substantive law, but talks about what law school exams are like.  I thought it was useful, though others may disagree.

Also, you may want to try just looking at case law from a textbook.  While this will not be anywhere near as good as a supplement in terms of just learning what the law is, I've found that one of the most difficult things to do is to learn how to read case law quickly and efficiently.  Since that's one of the main things you'll be doing in law school, might not hurt to get a bit of a head start.

Good luck.  :)

(Also useful in my opinion: Chirelstein on Contracts, Chemerinsky for Constitutional Law.)
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

Thane Messinger

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2010, 02:36:03 AM »
I would appreciate a suggested reading list for practical application in law school.  In other words, I am not so much interested in reading any novel type books about a lawyer or anything of the sort but instead what I can practically use for law school in the fall. 

As an example, I recently picked up an E&E on Civil Procedure and have an understanding, admittedly rudimentary, but still a base level understanding of issues regarding personal jurisdiction, venue etc.  So much so that I was able to carry on an intelligent conversation regarding the topic with a legal professional regarding the topic and other related subjects.

In sum, any reading materials suggestions that would be beneficial for practical application for law school would be greatly appreciated.

Parts of Planet Law School and--this will be a bit self-serving, but . . . read also the "Getting Good" part of my book, Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold.

If you think me crazy for my other posts, then read the very funny Slacker's Guide to Law School, which will convey some of the most important insights, even for the Type A'ers among us.

There's also a list from LSAC that might be helpful:
http://www.lsac.org/pdfs/Resources-for-the-Prelaw-Candidate.pdf
 
You're quite right to focus on the practical elements.  Novels are for high school and retirement.   = :   )

Thane.

USC313

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 07:27:53 PM »
My advice is to read nothing before you begin law school since after you begin you'll see that most of your advance "preparation" was essentially useless. That being said, if you insist on getting some sort of pseudo-headstart then read the E&E on Torts. You'll be taking that course in the fall semester, it's by the same author of the Civ Pro E&E (Glannon) and is considered to be nearly as good. Also, disregard the previous poster.


EarlCat

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2010, 11:49:33 PM »
The CivPro E&E is gold, as is Chemerinsky's con law book.  I also enjoyed Getting to Maybe, but I've been really hit or miss on issue-spotters, so I can't say it's made my lawschool career.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 04:56:55 AM »
My advice is to read nothing before you begin law school since after you begin you'll see that most of your advance "preparation" was essentially useless. That being said, if you insist on getting some sort of pseudo-headstart then read the E&E on Torts. You'll be taking that course in the fall semester, it's by the same author of the Civ Pro E&E (Glannon) and is considered to be nearly as good. Also, disregard the previous poster.

While it's self-serving to write, the real problem is not "prepare versus What-Me-Worry?" but rather how one goes about thinking about law school.  If one prepares in the same way as in all prior classes, you're right: not only will it be a waste of time but it will probably be counterproductive. 

The key, as discussed in the long threads in this board, is to build the framework into which learning during the semester will go.  It's not getting a head start as much as it is getting ready to start off right.  More than that, if done right it will make law school fun.

So, if this counts as a legitimate counterpoint, I disagree.  = :   )

Thane.

Advocate

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 10:17:27 AM »
I suggest the Dummies Guide to Law School or something like that. Yes, I'm serious.  It will give you a sense of law school lore, such as: "the curve," whether to try out for law review or moot court, how many hours you should study per day, whether you should form a study group, briefing cases, the Socratic Method, etc.  http://www.amazon.com/Law-School-Dummies-Rebecca-Greene/dp/0764525484

I also suggest a book entitled "Mastering the Law School Exam" by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus -- because law school ultimately judges you on your ability to efficiently and effectively write down whatever your professors want to read on your (3-4 hour) exams. http://west.thomson.com/productdetail/136988/40397559/productdetail.aspx

Thane Messinger

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Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2010, 04:00:12 PM »
I suggest the Dummies Guide to Law School or something like that. Yes, I'm serious.  It will give you a sense of law school lore, such as: "the curve," whether to try out for law review or moot court, how many hours you should study per day, whether you should form a study group, briefing cases, the Socratic Method, etc.

I also suggest a book entitled "Mastering the Law School Exam" by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus -- because law school ultimately judges you on your ability to efficiently and effectively write down whatever your professors want to read on your (3-4 hour) exams.


There can be two groups for whom guides are helpful:

First are those who have no prior knowledge of the law.  Those, for example, whose families include no father, mother, aunts or uncles, or anyone else with a lawyer, and who didn't have a top-notch prelaw advisor who gave a real picture of law school and useful advice for success therein. 

This group should read (or at least scan) a wide sampling of books about law school.  Your library has most.  I state that, because I wrote such a book I am biased; I wouldn't have taken the time to write it if I felt all those books out there did the right job.  But, as to this first group, these books will all give the general flavor of law school: stress, classes, curve, etc.

Second are those who intend to do very well.  Sure, this includes most of us, but there's a very real difference in law school, and that is that there IS a curve, and just about everyone in your law school class, will, by the very nature of our admissions process, be just as smart as you.  Therefore, it is crucial to go (far) beyone the picture painted for the first group above.  Again I'm self-interested, but I will state that I was floored at what I considered to be abysmally bad advice, in ways that are crucial to performing very well, meaning to score at or near the top of one's law school class, thus qualifying for a big law job.  (Not necessarily that that is your goal, but it's darned nice to have that option.) 

So, in addition to reading widely, be circumspect about what you read from any of these books.  Ask whether that advice applies to you, and whether your own preconceptions fit within that advice.  Most especially, challenge those preconceptions:  You will read many times that "law school is different."  If that is true (and it is), how should your preconceptions change?

Thane.