Law School Discussion

Are pre-1L prep courses worthwhile?

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Are pre-1L prep courses worthwhile?
« on: January 05, 2006, 11:39:20 AM »
I know that this has been discussed in previous threads, but I was wondering if any of the current LSD posters have any thoughts on the utility/value of pre-1L prep. courses like Law Preview or Bar/Bri. One law student I talked to indicated an observed correlation between the top performers in his class during the first semester and those who participated in these courses, but others seems to view them as a waste of money. Is it worth the time and cost?

Ego

Re: Are pre-1L prep courses worthwhile?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2006, 11:57:51 AM »
I've heard from the plurality of law students that it is a waste.  However, I can imagine that someone who has been out of school for some time (I don't know if the 3+ years you've been out is long enough) could justify a course since it will get them back into a classroom setting. 

I would suggest that those who are at the top of the class would be there anyway.  If they studied and cared enough to take a pre1L course, they are ready and willing to work hard to get themselves into the top of the class. 

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Re: Are pre-1L prep courses worthwhile?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2006, 06:40:49 PM »
If you think it will help you and you're willing to pay the cost, I would do it.  Most people though think they're a waste, and personally I would tend to agree.  If you really want to do something before law school and your school offers a summer start program, taking a real class or two, which are actually graded, I would take that instead.

pistolpete23

Re: Are pre-1L prep courses worthwhile?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2006, 02:05:21 AM »

i'm left wondering what these classes consist of. are they material based or more concerned with study tips (i.e. outlining and briefing cases)? if they do in fact fit this criteria, i could understand taking one. if they are just focused on time management and without any substance, why even bother?

very interested,

pistol pete

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Re: Are pre-1L prep courses worthwhile?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2006, 09:27:14 AM »
Even without substance, they have some limited value.  For people who have been out of school for a while, it can be helpful for them to get used to the classroom experience again.  Bar/Bri's website for their course says that they teach the study skills/time management stuff, but they also teach "legal concepts and terminology" from first year courses.  That is probably superficial enough to be essentially worthless.  You could get much of the same stuff by leafing through a Gilbert's.

The reason that there isn't a good correlation between attendance at these or summer start classes is that the people who go to them are a mix of talent and ability, and a mix of what they will do after the course.  Some people will slack off, thinking that they got a simplistic overview and that will be enough.