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OingoBoingo

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Zone... if I were going to Boalt I would adopt your stategy too... However, at my TT I'm ready to be swarmed by competition...

Yeah, everyone's told me the same thing: "dude, just enjoy the summer and relax, you'll need it..."

I'm going through the prep program from that book Planet Law School though.

I don't go to a top school, and I strongly advise you to spend the summer doing something fun.

I know it seems reasonable to want to know some law going in, but the truth is that by the time you actually need to know everything (the end of semester when exams roll around), almost everyone (the people that didn't just slack and party, and even some that did) know the same stuff.  There is more than ample time in the semester to learn everything you need to know by exam time.  You don't get extra points for knowing anything first!

So have a fun summer, relax, law school will be here before you know it.  If you must do something this summer, do LEEWS, some people think that it is really helpful.

And perhaps the competition thing is blown out of proportion on these boards.  Unless the school that I go to is completely atypical, the competition is nowhere near as bad as you likely think it will be - most of the people will be pretty chill and most everyone will try to help out as much as they can.  Stay away from the dicks, and you will be fine.

Co-signed. I'm glad I spent last summer relaxing. It definently helps during those rough times in 1L year to think of the summer memories gone by. 1L is tough enough already. Don't make it more so.

Oingo
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nyu4ever

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A lot of people are saying to relax over the summer. This is probably good advice. However IF you must do something, having just finished off my first year, here's some reading that will make your first semester easier:

Examples and Explanations -
Torts - Chapter 4 (the reasonable person) - This is probably one of the most imprtant concepts you will learn in LS! It will show up all over the place. Chapter 10 (The elusive element of duty) - Read this one 2-3 times. Chapter 7 (Cause in fact AKA actual cause). Chapter 9 (proximate cause)- Read this on at least 3 times - I'm not kidding about this - just wait till you have to read Palsgraf - I hate Cardozo's writing style.

Examples and Explanations
Contracts - Read chapters 1-9. If you can stomach any farther, read through chapter 12, ending on the Parol Evidence Rule.

E&E Property - Read chapter 1-8. (this is not actually that much reading, unlike contracts.) Then read chapter 9 twice and chapter 10 3 times. These chapters cover estates and future interests, and this will probably me some of the more confusing stuff you'll encounter your 1st semester, mainly because of all the terminology involved.

E&E Civ Pro - Read all the stuff on personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, and venue. Also read the chapters on notice, and supplimental jurisdiction. You'll need a copy of the federal rules of civ pro for this.

Make sure you work through all the examples at the end of each chapter. THE READING WILL BE USELESS UNLESS YOU WORK THROUGH THE HYPOS. Working through the hypos is how you'll learn the rules of law from each chapter.

That covers my recomended reading. If you do all of it you'll have a huge head start for the semester, which will make life easier. When you start off, you'll probably find learning the law just from the textbooks to be difficult. If you always read a supliment before you read the text assignment, you'll find reading cases and notes from the texts to be considerably easier. By the time you reach your second semester, you'll probably need to use the supliments less, cuase you get good at picking up the stuff from the texts. It does take time and practice however.


This is just crazy...such a waste of your time.  You guys talk about getting a leg up on the competition, but by the time finals roll around (which is 100% of your grade), everyone will have learned the same stuff, so your headstart was a complete waste.  What you know on day 1 is meaningless.  What you know on the final is all that matters.

quem vem la-sou eu

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A lot of people are saying to relax over the summer. This is probably good advice. However IF you must do something, having just finished off my first year, here's some reading that will make your first semester easier:

Examples and Explanations -
Torts - Chapter 4 (the reasonable person) - This is probably one of the most imprtant concepts you will learn in LS! It will show up all over the place. Chapter 10 (The elusive element of duty) - Read this one 2-3 times. Chapter 7 (Cause in fact AKA actual cause). Chapter 9 (proximate cause)- Read this on at least 3 times - I'm not kidding about this - just wait till you have to read Palsgraf - I hate Cardozo's writing style.

Examples and Explanations
Contracts - Read chapters 1-9. If you can stomach any farther, read through chapter 12, ending on the Parol Evidence Rule.

E&E Property - Read chapter 1-8. (this is not actually that much reading, unlike contracts.) Then read chapter 9 twice and chapter 10 3 times. These chapters cover estates and future interests, and this will probably me some of the more confusing stuff you'll encounter your 1st semester, mainly because of all the terminology involved.

E&E Civ Pro - Read all the stuff on personal jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, and venue. Also read the chapters on notice, and supplimental jurisdiction. You'll need a copy of the federal rules of civ pro for this.

Make sure you work through all the examples at the end of each chapter. THE READING WILL BE USELESS UNLESS YOU WORK THROUGH THE HYPOS. Working through the hypos is how you'll learn the rules of law from each chapter.

That covers my recomended reading. If you do all of it you'll have a huge head start for the semester, which will make life easier. When you start off, you'll probably find learning the law just from the textbooks to be difficult. If you always read a supliment before you read the text assignment, you'll find reading cases and notes from the texts to be considerably easier. By the time you reach your second semester, you'll probably need to use the supliments less, cuase you get good at picking up the stuff from the texts. It does take time and practice however.


This is just crazy...such a waste of your time.  You guys talk about getting a leg up on the competition, but by the time finals roll around (which is 100% of your grade), everyone will have learned the same stuff, so your headstart was a complete waste.  What you know on day 1 is meaningless.  What you know on the final is all that matters.

This claim will never be confirmed, because no one will ever see how they would have performed in 1L with different amounts of pre-study. If I had the time and desire to study that list, I would.

More

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OK, I will start the post with the advice I give everyone:  read Grisham, and some Tom Clancy, and Catch-22, maybe some Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, and basically anything you can just enjoy.

Out of the pre-law prep books, the only one I found remotely helpful was Law School Confidential.  Every copy of PLS should be pulled from the shelves and burnt, and 1Ls-to-be should have a stress-free bender around the bonfire.  That man should be imprisoned for the fearmongering he does.  And I read One L and I kind of liked it, so there's that :)  Just read it and know that law school is a very different place from Harvard in the '70s.

Anyway, if you have just too! much! time!, I was there, and I understand.  The night before 1L finals, I would lay on the couch and read LexisNexis's "Understanding [Subject]" books, which I found to be kind of a easy overview of the subjects.  Maybe those would be a helpful birds-eye view of a subject before getting started.  I read the one for Contracts and Property, and both were reasonably helpful -- maybe a 0L would like them as well. 

The "[Subject] in a Nutshell" series were a little more technical, so I would stay away from those.  I wouldn't bother with the in-depth supplements like Gilberts and E&E, do those when you're actually in class.  What you need now is something seriously superficial.

So I guess that's my caveat-ridden advice :)
BC '09
because no one does it like a Jesuit

Brito

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OK, I will start the post with the advice I give everyone:  read Grisham, and some Tom Clancy, and Catch-22, maybe some Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, and basically anything you can just enjoy.


Speaking of Chabon, I recommend Summerland as part of a pre-Deathly Hallows warm-up.

And Chabon is kinda hot.
Harvard 2010

SugarJ

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OK I'm not reading through this thread, so my advice may already have been suggested.

Just READ. It doesn't matter what, just read constantly. Learn to read more quickly, learn to skim, read really boring materials, read interesting things. Just readdddddd to prepare yourself for the sh*tloads of (sometimes boring) reading you'll be doing next year.  ;D
Cornell Class of 2011 (deferring for a year!)

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nyu4ever

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This claim will never be confirmed, because no one will ever see how they would have performed in 1L with different amounts of pre-study. If I had the time and desire to study that list, I would.

Will never be confirmed?  Huh?  Finish some law school classes, and you'll see it's just common sense.  You really think reading a few chapters of E&E in July is going to make much difference on your test in December or May?  Hey, go for it. 

No offense, but if you've never been to law school, how can you comment either way...?

quem vem la-sou eu

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You're right, I can't really comment authoritatively either way.

One thing I do know, though... Very intelligent communities of people have been known to reinforce false ideas repeatedly and vehemently, without even a clear reason for doing so.

And although all of you 1L's have been through a lot, I don't think many of you have had it both ways--went through 1L with and without pre-studying.

Again, you're right that I can't--and, I might add, didn't-- comment either way, except to say that anyone who says they're absolutely certain about this is probably a little overconfident. I work full++ time and I don't have the time to pre-study. But if I did have time, and I made a well-researched strategy for it, and I went hard out on it, I believe that there's a significant chance it would give me a slight advantage.

SChoir

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As for books to read before 1L years...all the best ones are offered here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290116310209

slacker

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You're right, I can't really comment authoritatively either way.

One thing I do know, though... Very intelligent communities of people have been known to reinforce false ideas repeatedly and vehemently, without even a clear reason for doing so.

And although all of you 1L's have been through a lot, I don't think many of you have had it both ways--went through 1L with and without pre-studying.

Again, you're right that I can't--and, I might add, didn't-- comment either way, except to say that anyone who says they're absolutely certain about this is probably a little overconfident. I work full++ time and I don't have the time to pre-study. But if I did have time, and I made a well-researched strategy for it, and I went hard out on it, I believe that there's a significant chance it would give me a slight advantage.

So, it's the great conspiracy of 1Ls that are acting against you, spreading vicious rumors that studying won't help. Although honestly, I'm not really sure what their gain would be. I mean, if studying helped and 0Ls told you not to study, that's one thing. Then you should be suspect that they're doing it for some advantage. With the 1Ls telling you not to study...what's their gain? I know this goes against everything you've been taught about law school, but it's remotely and distinctly possible that they're actually trying to convey useful advice.

As for spending the summer nose to the books for a perceived (but unprovable) slight advantage? Sounds like the opportunity cost would be far too high. And, despite those who don't believe this to be true, if you think you're learing stuff but you're not quite getting it, I think there would be a potential to harm, rather than hurt, your future efforts as a 1L when you have to "relearn" what you've taught yourself.