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Author Topic: Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls  (Read 2088 times)

jrw

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Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls
« on: June 30, 2010, 03:00:09 PM »
If any incoming first year students have questions about anything (class, studying, preparing, exams, Harrisburg area) post them here and I will do my best to answer them myself or get you in touch with someone who can.

ceglenn

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Re: Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2010, 01:13:14 AM »
Hello,
It is very nice of you to volunteer to answer questions for anxious incoming 1Ls.

I am starting law school this year at Widener (Harrisburg).  I am coming in from the TAP program, so I have a slight idea of what law school will be like, but I am having money concerns.  I drained every financial resource I had just to make it through the TAP program, and I made it, but now I am really worried about getting my loan money in time to buy books for this semester.  I do not want to fall behind on reading in the first week!!  Do you have an idea of about when the school issues money for the term?

jrw

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Re: Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 09:48:49 AM »
Hello,
It is very nice of you to volunteer to answer questions for anxious incoming 1Ls.

I am starting law school this year at Widener (Harrisburg).  I am coming in from the TAP program, so I have a slight idea of what law school will be like, but I am having money concerns.  I drained every financial resource I had just to make it through the TAP program, and I made it, but now I am really worried about getting my loan money in time to buy books for this semester.  I do not want to fall behind on reading in the first week!!  Do you have an idea of about when the school issues money for the term?

As I recall from last year, the school disbursed loan proceeds around the beginning of orientation week.  A lot of students are in the same situation as you are so do not worry. 

Remember not to buy your books in the school bookstore.  Some of the books are as much as half the price online, and new.  lawbooksforless.com is a decent site and has Widener's booklist available. 

Congratulations on admission and good luck during your first semester.

harlemsushi

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Re: Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 11:42:25 AM »
jrw,

I'm attending Widener Delaware Campus and I was wondering what the best method for taking notes is if you're not using a laptop.  In undergrad I used folders, looseleafs, and spirial notebooks depending on the class.  But are the classes handout heavy, note-taking heavy, or what.  I've spoken to many lawyers all of whom give me vague answers and I was just hoping an actual Widener student could give me some note taking pointers on Torts, Civ Pro, Property, and Legal Methods.

Thanks in advance.

harlemsushi

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Re: Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 11:06:59 AM »
jrw,

Another question is what are some of the cases we look at in Civ Pro, Torts, and Property?

Thanks again.

jrw

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Re: Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 02:20:04 PM »
jrw,

I'm attending Widener Delaware Campus and I was wondering what the best method for taking notes is if you're not using a laptop.  In undergrad I used folders, looseleafs, and spirial notebooks depending on the class.  But are the classes handout heavy, note-taking heavy, or what.  I've spoken to many lawyers all of whom give me vague answers and I was just hoping an actual Widener student could give me some note taking pointers on Torts, Civ Pro, Property, and Legal Methods.

Thanks in advance.

harlemsushi,

My first semester I predominately used notepads (legal pads) to take notes.  Sometime before class I would brief the assigned cases in a notepad for a particular class.  During class, I would write in the margins or on the back of the actual brief.  I tried to resist the urge to write down everything the professor said, but I can tell you that for the first few weeks when you don't know what you should be writing down, it does help to get everything you can on paper.  But the real task of class time is to follow the process that the professor is leading you through.  Don't tune out in an effort to record verbatim.  You'll need to engage your thought process actively.

After we would cover a section or topic area I would then rip out the briefs and notes from the notepad and put it into a folder for organization.  Remember that you should also be preparing your outline regularly.  Don't be one of those students who waits until classes are over and the reading period has begun to start putting your notes into an outline.  I'd do it weekly or after you have covered a section.

The second semester I started taking notes on a laptop to help streamline the outline process.  It was a lot easier to cut and paste notes from briefs into an outline document than type in the information from looseleaf paper.  However if you are outlining weekly, it shouldn't really be an issue.

Some classes/or professors may be hand out heavy.  My Legal Methods professor required us to have a 2" binder at the beginning of the semester.  Trust me, it was completely filled by December.  Most of your other law classes probably will only have a few handouts.

But honestly, do whatever you feel comfortable doing.  If you have a set system that works from undergrad, try it.  Just make sure you are listening to the professor and are prepared for class.  Copy down the professors' "nuggets" of wisdom.  You may not understand everything they say at the time but remember that they are writing your exam.  Like it or not, the more you sound like them, the better you will probably end up doing come exam time.  But don't be afraid to throw in your own opinion here and there.

jrw

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Re: Q and A for Incoming Harrisburg 1Ls
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 02:37:17 PM »
jrw,

Another question is what are some of the cases we look at in Civ Pro, Torts, and Property?

Thanks again.

Without looking, I can only recall a few.  Unless it's a class like con law or something case names really aren't something you need to throw around or remember.  Just the concepts are important.

For Civ Pro:
United Mine Workers v. Gibbs
Asahi
Erie
World-Wide Volkswagon

For Torts:
Summers v. Tice
Palsgraf

For Property:
Kelo v. New London
Penn Central
Ghen v. Rich

I can't remember any more right now, but if you are really want to get into some reading do an internet search for common 1L cases.  Most schools use a handful of the same casebooks so you will most likely find plenty of cases that you will cover.  If you know what books you are using for class, check out their table of contents.  Don't put too much time into it though.  Enjoy the last few weeks before the semester starts.  Let me know if you have anymore questions.

(By the way, every case I listed above was probably covered in Spring semester with the exception of Ghen v. Rich which was probably one of the first property cases I read.)