Law School Discussion

Reading in Law School

Reading in Law School
« on: February 18, 2009, 08:05:11 AM »
Perhaps this is not the correct forum to post such a question but I figured I’d give it a try.  I am a junior getting ready to apply to law schools this fall.  I’ve read tons of material on law school and am currently taking an Intro to Law class.  In this class we brief and discuss cases, a similar format used in law school.  However, these are very watered down cases.  The professor, an attorney, told us that cases in law school can be upwards to 40 pages.  So, for those already in law school, can you expound on this?  How many cases, on average do law students tackle a week and at what average length of case.  Just a roundabout answer would do.  It’s not like it’ll make a difference but I would like to know what sort of punishment is coming up.   

Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2009, 08:12:16 AM »
It's not uncommon to have between 40-100 pages of reading per class session.  After 1L year though you learn that reading it all isn't necessary, but prepare for long hours in the library as a 1L. 

Matthies

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Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2009, 08:18:04 AM »
On average my 1L classes had 20-30 pages of reading a night per class, but those may be 3 to 10 cases depending on editing and other junk thrown in there like policy papers. Its a lot of reading, and if you brief every case can take alot of time, but 40 pages was uncoom, maybe a few times a sesmter we would have some big 50 pagers, but most were around 25 or so per class. Your slow at first, but as you get the hang of reading and what to look for you speed up. Like Dudeman said after 1L you know what important and what's not so you can skim faster, but the number of pages per night seemed to go up in my 2/3L classes, but I was much faster at know what was important and what was BS.

Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2009, 08:22:56 AM »
Seems very challenging but yet reasonable.  I’m learning at a very fundamental level that improvement does come the more you brief cases.  I’ll plan on finding a cozy section of the law library to erect a mailbox.  Thanks…

Matthies

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Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2009, 08:29:22 AM »
Seems very challenging but yet reasonable.  I’m learning at a very fundamental level that improvement does come the more you brief cases.  I’ll plan on finding a cozy section of the law library to erect a mailbox.  Thanks…

I stopped writing out my briefs sometime during 1L. But even as I’m about to graduate I still brief just about every case I read, but I do “book briefing.” I use a 4 color pen (one of those that has 4 pens in one) and underline key stuff as I write. Red for procedure (court, lower courts ruling ect.), Green for important facts, Black for the rules/holding, and Blue for the court’s reasoning as to the primary legal issue we are reading it for. Then I make some notes in the margins as I go along like “3 elements of false imprisonment.” Just don’t lose your book, or your doomed! I always put my name, phone number, and e-mail in the front cover of my book with “reward if found.” Have fun with your class.

nealric

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Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2009, 10:20:35 AM »
I never got into the whole briefing thing (not even 1L year). I just read the cases close enough to understand the key holdings/reasoning.

Generally, I spend about 1hr per hour of class time reading for class. It's really not that bad at all. It's the writing that gets you, not the reading (at least for me).

Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2009, 10:24:58 AM »
Seems very challenging but yet reasonable.  I’m learning at a very fundamental level that improvement does come the more you brief cases.  I’ll plan on finding a cozy section of the law library to erect a mailbox.  Thanks…

I stopped writing out my briefs sometime during 1L. But even as I’m about to graduate I still brief just about every case I read, but I do “book briefing.” I use a 4 color pen (one of those that has 4 pens in one) and underline key stuff as I write. Red for procedure (court, lower courts ruling ect.), Green for important facts, Black for the rules/holding, and Blue for the court’s reasoning as to the primary legal issue we are reading it for. Then I make some notes in the margins as I go along like “3 elements of false imprisonment.” Just don’t lose your book, or your doomed! I always put my name, phone number, and e-mail in the front cover of my book with “reward if found.” Have fun with your class.

Ha, ha…and what reward do you offer.  The colored pen method seems a very good idea.  Thanks for the info… 

Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 10:27:17 AM »
I never got into the whole briefing thing (not even 1L year). I just read the cases close enough to understand the key holdings/reasoning.

Generally, I spend about 1hr per hour of class time reading for class. It's really not that bad at all. It's the writing that gets you, not the reading (at least for me).
Hey if that’s what works for you

Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 10:34:44 AM »
Dude, as a junior, seriously, go enjoy your life.  You are 2 years from entering law school.  Focus on the LSAT right now and go from there.

Re: Reading in Law School
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 10:59:58 AM »
Maybe it is because I go to a Tier 3 law school, but I don't have as much reading as everybody else that has posted here.  For 2 of my classes, I have about 50 pages per week (25 per class).  For my other three, I have about 25 per week (10-15 per class).  So, thats about 175 pages a week (probably ~ 30 cases).  Each Sunday through Wednesday, if I have the time and patience to read and brief as I want to and should, I spend about 5 hours each day.  This does not happen much.  Usually, it's more like 3 1/2 to 4.  Which, when only being in class 3-4 hours a day, is definitely manageable......until you make time for outlining, memorizing, and Legal Research and Writing assignments.  It's tough, but doable.