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Author Topic: What literature do you recommend?  (Read 1892 times)

BlackDuck

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What literature do you recommend?
« on: May 04, 2011, 10:54:48 PM »
Talk to my prelaw advisor, told her that I wanted to improve my writing. She said that one of the most effective ways to improve writing is through reading allot. As a result, I am now on the mission to read books daily. What books do you recommend?

“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”

FalconJimmy

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 10:16:52 AM »
If you want to improve your writing for the purposes of Law School, you should check out the following:

LEEWS

http://www.leews.com/


Getting to Maybe

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Maybe-Excel-School-Exams/dp/0890897603



Her advice, in my opinion, seems more appropriate to being a better writer in the fine arts sense.

BlackDuck

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 03:46:43 PM »
Legal writing is unlike anything else in the world, and reading literature will only get you farther from where you want to be. If you really want to get a sense of what it is to write like a lawyer--clearly and succinctly--go to your local courthouse and talk to one of the judges. Ask who the judge considers to be one of the best writers; there shouldn't be many. Also ask how the judge feels that lawyer's writing could improve and keep that in mind. While you're there, get as much information as you can about the real practice of law, which will likely destroy any ideas your pre-law advisor gave you about being a lawyer. Once you've gotten what you need from the judge, go to the clerk's office and request the file for one of the lawyer's cases and read everything in it. This will do two things for you: first, it will give you an idea of what good legal writing is and how it's structured; second, it will give you an idea of what lawyers really do. If you can get through that file and maintain an interest in doing that for the rest of your life, go to law school. If you only get a few pages through the complaint (the first document) before wanting to gouge your eyes out, it's time to rethink law school.

If you're just interested in how to write law school exams, FalconJimmy's advice is best.

Thanks for this advice. I am wondering if the judge will have time to talk to a undergrad student?
“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”

BlackDuck

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 08:00:47 PM »
What if I wanted to read more to increase my reading ability and vocabulary for the LSAT. Then what would you recommend? Any good novels? 
“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”

Thane Messinger

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 12:08:29 AM »
What if I wanted to read more to increase my reading ability and vocabulary for the LSAT. Then what would you recommend? Any good novels?

Not novels (or not just novels), but periodicals.  And not just any periodicals.  The Atlantic Monthly, The Financial Times, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal.  (Note that two of the five are English.)

If, by the way, you find those interesting, that's a very good sign.  = :  )

FalconJimmy

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2011, 09:04:24 AM »
Talk to my prelaw advisor, told her that I wanted to improve my writing. She said that one of the most effective ways to improve writing is through reading allot. As a result, I am now on the mission to read books daily. What books do you recommend?

Dude, seriously, it's all I can do right now not to tell you to stop doing this.

You got bad gouge from your prelaw advisor.  This is a rabbit trail that will get you nowhere.

You have 2 main missions right now:

1.  Getting into the best law school you can.
2.  Getting the best grades you can in that school.

If you do that, you'll get the best law job available.

Wasting your time on anything that doesn't contribute to #1 or 2 is a waste of time. 

Not saying that you should never waste your time, but don't waste it on things you don't want to do, in the belief that doing so will help you in your pursuit of a JD, when that's just not true.

Forget doing a bunch of reading of this, that or the other.  Focus on getting the best GPA you can get if you're in school.

Then, prepare for the LSAT.  Take some prep classes, or if you can't afford that, buy the powerscore books or some other prep books and work them so you can get the best possible score on your LSAT.

That's it.  Anything else you do won't matter one whit as far as what you should be focusing on right now.

When you aren't working on #1 and 2, relax, enjoy your time, spend it with friends, catch up with family, recharge your batteries.  Once you start law school, you won't have time for much of that anymore.

BlackDuck

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 11:44:34 AM »
Talk to my prelaw advisor, told her that I wanted to improve my writing. She said that one of the most effective ways to improve writing is through reading allot. As a result, I am now on the mission to read books daily. What books do you recommend?

Dude, seriously, it's all I can do right now not to tell you to stop doing this.

You got bad gouge from your prelaw advisor.  This is a rabbit trail that will get you nowhere.

You have 2 main missions right now:

1.  Getting into the best law school you can.
2.  Getting the best grades you can in that school.

If you do that, you'll get the best law job available.

Wasting your time on anything that doesn't contribute to #1 or 2 is a waste of time. 

Not saying that you should never waste your time, but don't waste it on things you don't want to do, in the belief that doing so will help you in your pursuit of a JD, when that's just not true.

Forget doing a bunch of reading of this, that or the other.  Focus on getting the best GPA you can get if you're in school.

Then, prepare for the LSAT.  Take some prep classes, or if you can't afford that, buy the powerscore books or some other prep books and work them so you can get the best possible score on your LSAT.

That's it.  Anything else you do won't matter one whit as far as what you should be focusing on right now.

When you aren't working on #1 and 2, relax, enjoy your time, spend it with friends, catch up with family, recharge your batteries.  Once you start law school, you won't have time for much of that anymore.
Wow! Thank for the advice. That what my pops keeps telling me. It is nice to hear it from someone else. Yet reading the WallStreet Journal does not sound like a bad idea.
“Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work.”

FalconJimmy

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 11:58:37 AM »

Wow! Thank for the advice. That what my pops keeps telling me. It is nice to hear it from someone else. Yet reading the WallStreet Journal does not sound like a bad idea.

It's not a bad idea.  I also love the Economist.  I had to subscribe for a class way back when. 

Just saying that if you read it because you WANT to, that's awesome.  If you read it believing it will impact your future as an attorney, the amount of effort involved, versus the amount of benefit you derive, makes this a bad idea.

Thane Messinger

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 03:58:48 PM »

Wow! Thank for the advice. That what my pops keeps telling me. It is nice to hear it from someone else. Yet reading the WallStreet Journal does not sound like a bad idea.

It's not a bad idea.  I also love the Economist.  I had to subscribe for a class way back when. 

Just saying that if you read it because you WANT to, that's awesome.  If you read it believing it will impact your future as an attorney, the amount of effort involved, versus the amount of benefit you derive, makes this a bad idea.


A slight modification of Falcon's take:  It will make you a better attorney, and, carefully used, it will make you a better law student.  Note the qualifier as to the latter:  this is one way most law students go wrong.  It's natural to think that "literature" (or grand thinking, etc.) will be rewarded.  The way most of us are taught to use it, no. 

The deeper point is that if you LIKE reading these, that is a very good sign . . . because it shows a mental fluidity and acuity and lots of other positive -ities.  More importantly, it shows that mental work is you.  Focused correctly, this is law, and focused even more, it is law school.

The opposite point is equally true:  if you try reading these for a month (every one, every day/week/month), and you're thinking "This is soooo boring!" . . . stop.  Ask what it is that bores you.  If it's learning, reading, thinking . . . stop again.

Chances are, however, that nearly everyone taking the LSAT will find it interesting, and will learn, and will improve--even if tangentially.

See?  We can too have fun.

= :  )

.Chuck

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Re: What literature do you recommend?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 05:38:08 PM »

To learn how to write better I suggest reading guides about basic grammar and writing.  You might find them helpful to refresh your memory about concepts you were supposed to be taught in grade school and high school. 

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

This link contains important information about keeping tenses correct:
http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/consistency.htm

Sentences like the ones below will not fly well in application materials or in written/essay exams. 

Quote
Thank for the advice. That what my pops keeps telling me. It is nice to hear it from someone else. Yet reading the WallStreet Journal does not sound like a bad idea.

&

Quote
Talk to my prelaw advisor, told her that I wanted to improve my writing. She said that one of the most effective ways to improve writing is through reading allot. As a result, I am now on the mission to read books daily. What books do you recommend?

Also, use the dictionary to expand your vocabulary.  When you encounter unfamiliar words you should look them up and also take note of their proper spelling. ('allot' means something much different than the phrase 'a lot')
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