Law School Discussion

Summer before first year

Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2009, 05:24:37 PM »
I agree that your priority this summer should be rest and relaxation, BUT, I was in the same situation last summer and was worried that if I did nothing all summer it would be hard to adjust to the hard work in the fall.

What I did was gather about 30-40 edited cases (probably what you read in about a week and a half in law school) and spent a couple weeks reading them, and trying to identify the issue, rule, application, and conclusion.  Then, I checked them against online case briefs (anywhere will work, 4lawschool.com has a lot).  It was a very good plan.  The first cases you read are so confusing and take a long time to go through because everything is so foreign.  The first few weeks of law school those who are unprepared are struggling and spending hours reading.  I felt like I got past that initial shock in the summer, and could hit the ground running in the fall.

Also, I think it would be helpful to just learn basic terms for each course – by and large, everything is the same (i.e. contracts – offer, acceptance, consideration, conditions, remedies – that’s all you need to know).  At the beginning of law school, it is so difficult to wrap your mind around the concepts because its difficult to tell where it fits in.  maybe spending a little time in the summer trying to see the forest from the trees would be beneficial.

Finally, and this might sound odd, but I would set a workout routine and get in shape for the year.  Even if it’s like an hour 3 times a week, or a half hour 4 times a week, it would be really beneficial to get into a routine and stick through it all through law school.  Much of law school is sitting in a chair reading, and spending that time to stay in shape helps you keep focus and blow off some steam.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought you might like these suggestions.  Good luck and have fun this summer!

Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2009, 05:37:32 PM »
I agree that your priority this summer should be rest and relaxation, BUT, I was in the same situation last summer and was worried that if I did nothing all summer it would be hard to adjust to the hard work in the fall.

What I did was gather about 30-40 edited cases (probably what you read in about a week and a half in law school) and spent a couple weeks reading them, and trying to identify the issue, rule, application, and conclusion.  Then, I checked them against online case briefs (anywhere will work, 4lawschool.com has a lot).  It was a very good plan.  The first cases you read are so confusing and take a long time to go through because everything is so foreign.  The first few weeks of law school those who are unprepared are struggling and spending hours reading.  I felt like I got past that initial shock in the summer, and could hit the ground running in the fall.

Also, I think it would be helpful to just learn basic terms for each course – by and large, everything is the same (i.e. contracts – offer, acceptance, consideration, conditions, remedies – that’s all you need to know).  At the beginning of law school, it is so difficult to wrap your mind around the concepts because its difficult to tell where it fits in.  maybe spending a little time in the summer trying to see the forest from the trees would be beneficial.

Finally, and this might sound odd, but I would set a workout routine and get in shape for the year.  Even if it’s like an hour 3 times a week, or a half hour 4 times a week, it would be really beneficial to get into a routine and stick through it all through law school.  Much of law school is sitting in a chair reading, and spending that time to stay in shape helps you keep focus and blow off some steam.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought you might like these suggestions.  Good luck and have fun this summer!

Thank you for the awesome suggestions! I actually did start a workout routine two weeks ago. I walk 3 miles a day and do hatha yoga most mornings. It's not intense, but I already feel healthier and need less sleep.

I think I'll take your advice about reading some cases before school starts. Seems like a good idea to start to learn to read them before I get there.

Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2009, 06:46:49 PM »
"I think I'll take your advice about reading some cases before school starts. Seems like a good idea to start to learn to read them before I get there"

No, it's a horrible idea.  You won't know the context and you won't even know if these are the right cases to read.  You don't want to be a gunner who brags that she read all the cases before she even got there.  It's a great way to not make friends, and you really don't want that. 

Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2009, 06:54:23 PM »
"I think I'll take your advice about reading some cases before school starts. Seems like a good idea to start to learn to read them before I get there"

No, it's a horrible idea.  You won't know the context and you won't even know if these are the right cases to read.  You don't want to be a gunner who brags that she read all the cases before she even got there.  It's a great way to not make friends, and you really don't want that. 

I wouldn't "brag" that I read over the summer. What I was thinking is if I read some cases, and cases, I would at least get a taste of how they're written and maybe start to understand the verbiage. Why is that such a horrible idea?

Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2009, 07:10:04 PM »
I don't think there's any harm in it, but I also don't think there's much to gain either. If you want to read legal stuff, read something more stimulating than cases, you'll get more case-reading practice than you could ever want in law school. Read some great jurisprudence, philosophy or economic literature. It'll be much more fun and probably more useful in law school (depending on your under graduate background). If you are a philosophy major read some basic economic stuff, torts will suddenly make more sense. If you are an econ major, read some philosophy, then you'll be able to understand what your classmates are rambling on about:) Better yet, go climb a mountain, race motorcycles or do something fun that you might not have time for during LS. ;D




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Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2009, 07:45:11 PM »
Don't read cases!  Also, someone suggested 'volunteering' at a law firm?!  Holy sh*t, are you out of your mind?  I can't think of a worse way to spend your summer.  It won't help you in school, it won't get you a better job down the road, and it will drive you mad.

Considering I am knee-deep in outlines and casebooks, the thought of wasting your summer before law school reading cases or preparing for the curriculum is almost insulting.

Please, for the sake of all of us miserable law students, go to the beach, play sports, go out with your friends, read books for fun, waste time.  When you're in this position next year, outlining civpro and considering jumping off the Sears Tower, you will be able to look back fondly on a simpler time.

hah.

good luck and congrats on acceptance.


Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2009, 08:13:18 PM »
Don't read cases!  Also, someone suggested 'volunteering' at a law firm?!  Holy sh*t, are you out of your mind?  I can't think of a worse way to spend your summer.  It won't help you in school, it won't get you a better job down the road, and it will drive you mad.

Considering I am knee-deep in outlines and casebooks, the thought of wasting your summer before law school reading cases or preparing for the curriculum is almost insulting.

Please, for the sake of all of us miserable law students, go to the beach, play sports, go out with your friends, read books for fun, waste time.  When you're in this position next year, outlining civpro and considering jumping off the Sears Tower, you will be able to look back fondly on a simpler time.

hah.

good luck and congrats on acceptance.



thanks ;)

Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2009, 08:24:19 PM »
Cases you read in law school are heavily edited, condensed, and contain notes that are invaluable when you first start to read them so you won't be getting a taste of anything useful by just reading random cases.  If you were to read Bush v. Gore, that's about 80 pages long, but only 20 in the casebook (in mine, at least).  It's sure to burn you out.

Why are you so anxious to start law school before you start law school?  I haven't read a non-school book since August; I read half a book over spring break and that's it.  I never get to just go shopping or talk on the phone for hours or take a last-minute weekend trip.  I look back and marvel at how I got to watch TV every night w/o reading at the same time, how my weekends could be fun, how my day ended at 5.  Trust me, you'll miss these days when they're gone.

Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2009, 04:45:46 AM »
Why are you so anxious to start law school before you start law school?

I just really, really like to read. I'm in the middle of "Consciousness Explained" by Dennett right now. Not light reading, but it's what I enjoy.

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Re: Summer before first year
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2009, 04:56:18 AM »
M1ss, just so you know you're not alone, I'm also reading law before 1L, and mostly because I like it.  I did pick up some casebooks already (well known ones, like Prosser on Torts) so as to get the abbreviated versions. 

I too am a non-trad, and have just spent four years fulfilling my "adventure" dream, and so the idea that I need any more "fun" time before school is plain silly - I'm just ready to get going, and I figure if I learn law that isn't covered by my profs, it still will be covered by the bar, so no loss.

Do what works for you.