My advice as a 2L, again noting I'm working for a non-profit organization (CALI) that is working on a new site that is designed to help pre-laws (www.learnthelaw.org
), is to give prepping a try only if you're a really serious student who is extremely motivated to excel in law school and has the self-discipline to actually follow through with prepping.
If you're afraid you'll get burned out, don't do it. Law school can be intense so if you're worried about burn-out that's certainly understandable. If you're 1) at a school where gpa/class rank is not important, 2) in a position in life where gpa/rank wouldn't matter to you, or 3) looking to enter a field where you don't have to worry gpa/rank to get the job you want then don't do it. Prepping is certainly not for everyone.
Looking back at 1L, I see it this way:
1) The law is the law even though professors may present it different ways. Negligence is negligence. The rule against perpetuities is the rule against perpetuities. These fundamentals don't (or at least shouldn't) change based on who is teaching.
Sometimes you end up learning rules you couldn't grasp in class through your supplementary materials anyway.
2) Study time is limited in law school. If you can learn basic principles and rules of law beforehand then you are ahead of the game.
3) Based on my knowledge, a very small percentage of law school students prep. That's fine, but why not take advantage of that? That is to say, why not jump ahead of almost everyone else if you get the chance? I'm not trying to scare anyone into prepping, but the truth is law school, even if friendly on the surface, is competitive. It is competitive because usually a mandatory curve translates into being graded, not on what you know, period, but on what you know relative to your classmates. Any fair/ethical advantage prepping may give you over your classmates may be worth a shot.