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Author Topic: Study Time for L1 Classes  (Read 1943 times)

Caveman Lawyer

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Study Time for L1 Classes
« on: June 30, 2006, 04:07:41 AM »
I'm starting at Temple in Fall of '06 (it was also my ugrad school) and am deff looking forward to my return to North Broad.

But I was wondering which classes required the most investment in both reading and prep (for instance is Torts more time consuming then Contracts)? If so is there anything I can do for the last few months of summer to get a leg up on the more time consuming L1 classes?
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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2006, 08:44:59 AM »
No, there's not really much you can do.  How time consuming a course is will depend a lot more on the professor than the materials.  My torts class was not very time consuming because the professor went very slow, never covering more than one case per class.  He spent two weeks on one 10 page case.  My crim professor went very slow as well.  My property professor on the other hand covered 30 pages of reading per class, three times a week.  Another torts professor gave assignments that averaged between 30-40 pages 5 times a week.

If you really really want something to do, go find cases online and read them.  Read a couple every day.  Just to get an idea of how they are laid out, how to work through them.  Ask yourself questions afterwards like whether you understand what actually happened (the facts), what the court actually decided (the holding), and why the court did it (some of the reasoning).  You can only come to law school with these types of general skills.  If you do any more specific work, you'll likely have to unlearn it before you understand your professor.

My advice on study schedules is to hold off.  For the first two weeks, work as hard as you need to in order to get everything done.  Keep a journal, diary, or timesheet of how long you are working on each class.  Then after a couple weeks, generate a study schedule based on what you've learned about each class and how well you can get through the material.

Typhoon Longwang

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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2006, 02:21:32 PM »
Tine management is a big key to law school success.

Seconded, be sure to keep good track of all your forks.

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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2006, 01:22:25 PM »
Here's one solution: don't try to do all the reading.  No seriously, you could get As never reading a single case, unless you have one of those profs who expects a case brief on the final (which I hear happens at some schools).  If you have the typical fruitcake hypothetical exam, case reading won't help much anyway and if you don't have the right perspective on case reading i.e. that they present hypos to be varied and exercised.

bruin

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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2006, 09:37:14 PM »
Here's one solution: don't try to do all the reading.  No seriously, you could get As never reading a single case, unless you have one of those profs who expects a case brief on the final (which I here happens at some schools).  If you have the typical fruitcake hypothetical exam, case reading won't help much anyway and if you don't have the right perspective on case reading i.e. that they present hypos to be varied and exercised.

This is actually good advice. One important thing is to know well the cases that your professor thinks are important; those cases, you really should read. You still need to know what the other cases are about; if you can't/won't read these, use class notes + a hornbook...
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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2006, 10:14:06 PM »
Thanks Bruin.  Excuse my typos and poor grammar. 


I should note that I love case reading now.  It took me until this summer to really understand the value in actually reading cases.  I view a line of cases as a series of examples and explinations (law students will puke at the pun). Once I'm sufficiently familier with a particular area I tend to effectively digest the average case in 5-10 minutes.  I mentioned this elsewhere but it bears repeating:  I think the best way to read a case is by first skipping the facts, focusing on the rules the court lays down to get a grip on them, reading and analyzing the way the court applies the facts it finds particularily determinative and the method(s) by which it reasons.  In that process you'll easily (most of the time) identify the "issue(s)" and the "holding(s)."  You should then go back the facts which are usually set out first and read with an eye toward evaluating the outcome, thinking about how you might apply the law differently AND how the prior learning of law you've done bears on the fact pattern (if it does), and varying the facts to see if and how the result would vary.

Also, your law school exams will probably be typewritten which turns them into a bloodfest typing competition.  Sucked for me because I type a clumsy, error filled 43 WPM.  Exam scores were strongly correlated to the number of pages people produced in my class.  It is simple to understand why: you're not penalized for being off base some of the time so the fast typist simply addresses every minutely possible issue knowing the odds favor them being correct often enough to score well.  This is what I call the "If its A, then this would apply, but if its B, then this.  On the other hand, if its C then X, Y or Z would be the case. ect" approach to exams.  You just cover it all; relevancy be damned.  The other advantage is of course evident when a prof tries to compensate by imposing a page limit.  If you type fast you have more effective time to think through your answer and edit carefully.

[I believe my grades were effected by this.]  For example, in civ pro the A+'s went to the two students who produced better than 28 pages in a 3 hour exam.  I typed as fast as I could during that exam and barely squeezed out 11 pages. 

The lesson you ask?  TAKE A TYPING COURSE AND GET FAST NOW.

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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2006, 12:08:00 AM »
  I view a line of cases as a series of examples and explinations (law students will puke at the pun). 

 :P :P :P
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The Name's Dali

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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2006, 04:11:41 PM »

[I believe my grades were effected by this.]  For example, in civ pro the A+'s went to the two students who produced better than 28 pages in a 3 hour exam.  I typed as fast as I could during that exam and barely squeezed out 11 pages. 

The lesson you ask?  TAKE A TYPING COURSE AND GET FAST NOW.

How is it possible to type 28 pg's in 3 hours?  That's insane!

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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2006, 04:37:10 PM »
It is insane.  I know.  At 100 WPM of straight typing it would take about 70 minutes (because 500 words is about 2 pages).

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Re: Study Time for L1 Classes
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2006, 04:42:51 PM »
Well unless you're a student you have no idea how many issues there are to address in a given civ pro exam.  Our exam was absolutely dense.