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Author Topic: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!  (Read 1485 times)

FalconJimmy

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Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« on: July 10, 2011, 03:49:33 PM »
Only a month to go before orientation.  Any other prospective 1Ls out there who are a little surprised at how fast the semester has crept up on us? 

Cher1300

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 05:44:55 PM »
Yes, very surprised.  I thought I'd be relaxing more before school but there's so much to do before I start.  My list is getting smaller though, and I plan on taking a nap every Sunday until then.  Best of luck to all the future 1L's. 

FalconJimmy

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 10:14:55 PM »
I'll tell ya what.  The fastest way to make time fly is to have a big to-do list that needs to be done by a certain date.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 04:00:37 AM »
I'll tell ya what.  The fastest way to make time fly is to have a big to-do list that needs to be done by a certain date.


Here are a few sources, with opposing perspectives of how important preparation is:  Law School Undercover and, if I might, my own, GGG.  There's also Planet Law School, which is an outlier on the "Prepare" side.  (An outlier on the opposite side is Slacker's Guide to Law School.)

Read any two of those (even any two on either extreme) for a good take on what to be doing.  These are precious weeks slipping by.

Thane.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 02:14:42 PM »
I thought Planet Law School did a good job on this, especially their list of recommended resources.

At this point, I have read your book Planet Law School (though I had to skim vast tracts of it), gone through 1.5 E&Es and finished LEEWS.

I honestly can not imagine starting 1L without this preparation.  Granted, I won't know until December when the 1L grades come out, but I already feel like I'm way, way, way ahead of anybody who shows up on day one expecting to learn everything they need to know in order to get a good grade.

So much I didn't know, even after all these years of trying to investigate.  If I'd gone into this cold, I'd have been in trouble from day one.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this, but the preparation I've done can't possibly hurt me even if it was 100% wrong.  If law school is totally different, I can pick that up by attending class.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 02:27:06 PM »
I thought Planet Law School did a good job on this, especially their list of recommended resources.

At this point, I have read your book Planet Law School (though I had to skim vast tracts of it), gone through 1.5 E&Es and finished LEEWS.

I honestly can not imagine starting 1L without this preparation.  Granted, I won't know until December when the 1L grades come out, but I already feel like I'm way, way, way ahead of anybody who shows up on day one expecting to learn everything they need to know in order to get a good grade.

So much I didn't know, even after all these years of trying to investigate.  If I'd gone into this cold, I'd have been in trouble from day one.

Of course, I could be totally wrong about this, but the preparation I've done can't possibly hurt me even if it was 100% wrong.  If law school is totally different, I can pick that up by attending class.

Falcon -

Your attitude is quite right, and you'll find the common "wisdom" of don't-prepare to be a serious hurdle for many. 

A few points:  The time in preparation isn't the same as the time in law school.  It is entirely possible to learn law well in nine months.  (Although few do.)  And it's possible to feel lost having prepared.  The point of preparation is not to "know" the law, but rather to prepare for the process of learning.

Thus, be careful in getting too far in depth with materials.  What you're looking for is a framework.

Also, while December grades can be important to a tiny percentage of law students or for just a limited number of course, for many those grades are dangerous.  They should be seen as a pleasant (!) prelude, a chance to flex your new legal muscles.  Whether you do well or not-so-well in December, do not put more emphasis there than you should--which for most classes, is very little.  Keep the Spring in mind . . . a marathon, not a sprint.

Thane.

blue54

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 06:22:06 PM »
Eh, we had to read this book called "Bridging the Gap" about bridging the gap between undergrad and law school. I read like 20 pages of it (out of maybe 200) and then tossed it in my closet for the rest of the summer. The best advice I can give all of you future 1Ls right now is to relax, relax, relax. You are going to be crapped on for the next 3+ years, so enjoy the sunshine and lack of any responsibility while you can. I am sure some books are more helpful than others, but what really helps the most is to get into contact with 2Ls from the school you are going to, and get their outlines for the professors you will have. That by far will help you the most of anything. Since you will be taking the same classes with most likely the same professors they had, that is your best resource to start with. Don't worry about asking them, as many will be more than happy to give up their outlines for a poor struggling 1L who is trying to figure out how the heck to apply UCC 2-207 to a battle of the forms problem.  Also, some schools have student bar association website where people upload outlines as well. Outlines will be your best resource for studying for the exam. You take all of your notes you have for a class and condense them into 50 pages. If you can find someone who has already done this, then you will be well ahead of everyone else and you will know what to expect at each class.  Furthermore, invest in Emanuel's or Gilbert's (just don't let your professors catch you). Emanuel's for Contracts saved my butt countless times. You can get them on amazon.com for pretty cheap. Don't bother with hornbooks as they are just more hassle than they are worth.

Honestly, don't burden yourself right now with thoughts of law school. You will have plenty of time to do that in law school, and every summer for the next 3 years. For me, orientation was the most useless thing about law school. They tried (and succeeded) in scaring me into believing that I was doomed to fail. I ended up with a 3.6 my first semester.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have skipped orientation, as it was not helpful. You have done undergrad, you know how classes are. This is going to be more work, but you've come this far, and you're up to it. Reading a book about law school right now may end up scaring you even more.

So, go to orientation, meet some new friends, Facebook or otherwise, and then remember these tips:
1. Get outlines (but make sure the students you get them from got good grades haha)
2. Look at commercial outlines (in the words of my Corporations professor: the person who has these is a step ahead of everyone else. Why the heck wouldn't you do the same thing?)
3. Keep up on your reading from day one, because it is a tremendous amount, and it will take longer your first semester, as you won't know the language yet
4. Relax for the next few weeks. Have some drinks. You know nothing of the rule against perpetuities right now. What I would give to be you.

Also, I have one more piece of advice: watch your favorite legal dramas/movies and enjoy them while you still can, because after law school, they are pretty much ruined when you consistently find glaring legal plot-holes (I'm looking at you, Law and Order SVU).

bigs5068

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 06:02:35 PM »
Yea I think people vary on whether or not to prepare and I don't think it could hurt, but in reality I think the most important thing any 1L can do is learn to type fast. One of the most difficult things about 1st year exams are the time pressure you are under. If you can type 100wpm you will be able analyze more issues and that will put you ahead of the curve.

E-Case Briefs has some good Multiple Choice Questions and outlines. I also think Cali Lessons are very helpful.


FalconJimmy

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 06:09:47 PM »
Yea I think people vary on whether or not to prepare and I don't think it could hurt, but in reality I think the most important thing any 1L can do is learn to type fast. One of the most difficult things about 1st year exams are the time pressure you are under. If you can type 100wpm you will be able analyze more issues and that will put you ahead of the curve.

E-Case Briefs has some good Multiple Choice Questions and outlines. I also think Cali Lessons are very helpful.

I can hit 90 wpm or so.  Other than that, I just need to make sure I buy a dishwasher, new laptop and laser printer.

Thane Messinger

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Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 03:11:09 AM »
3. Keep up on your reading from day one, because it is a tremendous amount, and it will take longer your first semester, as you won't know the language yet


You won't know the language because you will not have prepared. 

To anyone who's been around even two semesters, the language becomes child's play.  The $640,000 question:  Will it become child's play in time for exams?

I don't mean to be disrespectful, and I am quite mindful of the steady (and sometime vitriolic) "advice" not to prepare, but I feel it my duty to point out to unsuspecting 0Ls that there is a reason so many law students are so distraught.  Success or failure seems to bear little correlation to how much "study" one has done.  Neither does it bear much correlation to those who seem to talk so constantly in class.  It cannot be brains.  It must be something else.

The answer is not to "study" . . . not in law school [!] and not before.  The answer is to begin thinking like a lawyer. 

There is much good advice in all perspectives, and each must accept or reject elements on their lonesome.  But don't take the easy path just because it's easier.  It doesn't get better in law school.

The acid test:  Law school should be fun.  At a minimum, it should be engaging.  You should be blown away at how lucky you are--your job is to think.  Every day should be high volume--even and perhaps especially the days you get called on.  If not, stop and ask why.

The summer is not best spent in "pre-burnout" mode.  That's the point.  Law school should not be about burning out.  For the best students, it's actually less work than it is for the vast middle. 

--
Odd Man Out.