Law School Discussion

Pre-Law School Reading List.

bass

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Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2006, 01:06:38 PM »
If you're into theory and have lots of time on your hands, William Fisher's new "The Canon of American Legal Thought" has a collection of the 20 most important law review articles of all time with introductory comments for each.  Not useful exactly, but relevant.

936 pages.  Hm.

Well, I said "a lot of time."  To save time, read the following chapters: Holmes, Cohen, Coase, Calabresi and Melamed, and Dworkin.

HippieLawChick

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Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2006, 02:41:45 PM »
I think it depends on whether you have any knowledge about legal processes or theory beforehand.  If you worked as a paralegal or took a lot of Poli Sci law-related courses, I wouldn't do much.  However, if you were a science major and have never heard of a summary judgment motion before, feel free to take some of the above suggestions as time permits. 

Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2006, 02:52:17 PM »
I think it depends on whether you have any knowledge about legal processes or theory beforehand.  If you worked as a paralegal or took a lot of Poli Sci law-related courses, I wouldn't do much.  However, if you were a science major and have never heard of a summary judgment motion before, feel free to take some of the above suggestions as time permits. 

I had no legal experience before coming in and I don't think it made any difference. People who worked as paralegals or doing legal work before may have a slight edge in legal writing, but we don't get any grades until the final so it doesn't really matter how well you do for the rest of the semester as long as you keep improving.

Goodfella

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Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2006, 02:33:46 PM »
I think it depends on whether you have any knowledge about legal processes or theory beforehand.  If you worked as a paralegal or took a lot of Poli Sci law-related courses, I wouldn't do much.  However, if you were a science major and have never heard of a summary judgment motion before, feel free to take some of the above suggestions as time permits. 

I had no legal experience before coming in and I don't think it made any difference. People who worked as paralegals or doing legal work before may have a slight edge in legal writing, but we don't get any grades until the final so it doesn't really matter how well you do for the rest of the semester as long as you keep improving.

Experience can help at the margins. People with economics and finance backgrounds don't have to spend as much time trying to understand that type of stuff in the cases we're reading, but it comes down to how much time you spend figuring stuff out and not how well you do (I think, I mean, I haven't gotten a damn grade yet).

Lily Jaye

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Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2006, 04:26:23 PM »
I think it depends on whether you have any knowledge about legal processes or theory beforehand.  If you worked as a paralegal or took a lot of Poli Sci law-related courses, I wouldn't do much.  However, if you were a science major and have never heard of a summary judgment motion before, feel free to take some of the above suggestions as time permits. 

I had no legal experience before coming in and I don't think it made any difference. People who worked as paralegals or doing legal work before may have a slight edge in legal writing, but we don't get any grades until the final so it doesn't really matter how well you do for the rest of the semester as long as you keep improving.

Experience can help at the margins. People with economics and finance backgrounds don't have to spend as much time trying to understand that type of stuff in the cases we're reading, but it comes down to how much time you spend figuring stuff out and not how well you do (I think, I mean, I haven't gotten a damn grade yet).

Yup.  I get the impression that experience helps once you start your internships.

nukelaw

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Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2006, 04:50:26 PM »
You could always read Tucker Max's "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" for a perspective of the Duke Law School experience.  ;D

Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2006, 06:07:29 PM »

But seriously, they're going to tell you everything you need to know.

I hear people say this a lot, but I don't think it's true.  Your profs and the casebook will teach what you need to know FOR CLASS, but that doesn't necessarily translate into what you need to know to do well on exams (or the bar, down the road). 

Law school expects you to teach yourself A LOT.  Casebooks suggest rules and the law, but really, the supplements are what spell it out for you--and the profs all tell you not to use them. 

Some casebooks are better than others in this regard.  My property book is the best, because it summarizes the rules and then gives illustrative cases.    But other casebooks are far less explanatory--my Civ Pro, for instance--so most people use Glannon.

Right now I'm going through old tests and it's clear that my class notes aren't going to get it done for test-taking.  The E&Es are sooo helpful, so why not read them while you have the time?  The worst that can happen is you read some stuff your prof doesn't cover.  Big deal.  I read all about intentional torts, but they're not covered in my class.  But you know where they will show up?  The bar!  So I'm not sitting around lamenting that I know the difference between assault and battery, even though I don't need to for my torts exam...

I don't think reading the E&Es beforehand will interfere with your learning legal reasoning, the purported reason for the Case Method.  But it does help you put the cases in context early on, while most of your classmates won't have the broad overview until the end of the class.

I read a few sections in the E&Es before I started, and I'm glad I did... but I wish I'd done more.  Very few people read substantive stuff before starting, but I haven't seen anyone who has express regrets about it. 

Lily Jaye

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Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2006, 06:13:02 PM »

But seriously, they're going to tell you everything you need to know.

I hear people say this a lot, but I don't think it's true.  Your profs and the casebook will teach what you need to know FOR CLASS, but that doesn't necessarily translate into what you need to know to do well on exams (or the bar, down the road). 

Law school expects you to teach yourself A LOT.  Casebooks suggest rules and the law, but really, the supplements are what spell it out for you--and the profs all tell you not to use them. 

Some casebooks are better than others in this regard.  My property book is the best, because it summarizes the rules and then gives illustrative cases.    But other casebooks are far less explanatory--my Civ Pro, for instance--so most people use Glannon.

Right now I'm going through old test and it's clear that my class notes aren't going to get it done for test-taking.  The E&Es are sooo helpful, so why not read them while you have the time?  The worst that can happen is you read some stuff your prof doesn't cover.  Big deal.  I read all about intentional torts, but they're not covered in my class.  But you know where they will show up?  The bar!  So I'm not sitting around lamenting that I know the difference between assault and battery, even though I don't need to for my torts exam...

I don't think reading the E&Es beforehand will interfere with your learning legal reasoning, the purported reason for the Case Method.  But it does help you put the cases in context early on, while most of your classmates won't have the broad overview until the end of the class.

I read a few sections in the E&Es before I started, and I'm glad I did... but I wish I'd done more.  Very few people read substantive stuff before starting, but I haven't seen anyone who has express regrets about it. 


Cosigned.

Paikea

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Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2006, 11:42:03 PM »
My advice would be to read up on law school test taking - specifically IRAC'ing.  Probably one the most important things you can learn to do come test time is know how to IRAC/TREAC etc., effectively.  You will learn how to do this in your research and writing class, but for many, it takes a while to grasp.  For the most part, it is those students who can write a polished IRAC analysis on their final exam that are going to do the best.

Re: Pre-Law School Reading List.
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2006, 06:27:48 AM »
My advice would be to read up on law school test taking - specifically IRAC'ing.  Probably one the most important things you can learn to do come test time is know how to IRAC/TREAC etc., effectively.  You will learn how to do this in your research and writing class, but for many, it takes a while to grasp.  For the most part, it is those students who can write a polished IRAC analysis on their final exam that are going to do the best.

If the prof wants an IRAC-style answer, which not all the profs do. I did one practice question using IRAC only to find out there was no way I could get in the word limit using that method because it was just an IR question. The key to exams is being flexible and a)listening to what the professor tells you and b)seeing what the question itself is really asking for.