Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

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kalvano
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby kalvano » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:37 pm

Speed reading isn't as important as retention. It's very helpful to be able to remember cases and such.

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:40 pm

well-hello-there wrote:I have the same question as OP. One person told me that learning to speed read would be helpful in law school. I downloaded a speed reading software program and have seen dramatic improvements in my speed.
amonynous_ivdinidual wrote:do not read anything in preparation for law school with the hope that the reading will ultimately aid you in getting better grades. waste of time. read if you want to. if not, just relax. you'll get the hang of it.

This is a joke right?

QFlulz.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby well-hello-there » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:45 pm

amonynous_ivdinidual wrote:if you think it's a joke, you're a 0L. i will say it again- learn the material the way YOUR PROFESSOR TEACHES IT. that is how you get good grades. BLL is part of it. but your understanding of the BLL will be woefully limited prior to law school. reading big heavy books will not get you better prepared for it. in all honesty. just relax. speed reading? i guess maybe that's helpful, but once you get the hang of reading cases you won't find yourself agonizing over every last word. 90 pct of decisions you read will be dross. 10 pct will be important.

I am a 0L AND I have heard your advice from at least one other person before. It's just that it seems so counter-intuitive. I'm not wondering whether I need to sit down and read a constitutional law textbook cover to cover. I just think that reading basic materials that cover a typical class outline in order to get a sense of direction as to where the class will go, can only help rather than hurt.

I know that retention tends to suffer while speed reading but I found that learning to speed read has helped my normal reading speed. Before I ever did any speed reading, I was reading at about 250 wpm. I can now speed read at about 850 wpm but I have noticed that my normal reading speed has improved by at least 100 wpm.

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:46 pm

^ where will you be going to ls?

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ahduth
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby ahduth » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:47 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
amonynous_ivdinidual wrote:if you think it's a joke, you're a 0L. i will say it again- learn the material the way YOUR PROFESSOR TEACHES IT. that is how you get good grades. BLL is part of it. but your understanding of the BLL will be woefully limited prior to law school. reading big heavy books will not get you better prepared for it. in all honesty. just relax. speed reading? i guess maybe that's helpful, but once you get the hang of reading cases you won't find yourself agonizing over every last word. 90 pct of decisions you read will be dross. 10 pct will be important.

I am a 0L AND I have heard your advice from at least one other person before. It's just that it seems so counter-intuitive. I'm not wondering whether I need to sit down and read a constitutional law textbook cover to cover. I just think that reading basic materials that cover a typical class outline in order to get a sense of direction as to where the class will go, can only help rather than hurt.

I know that retention tends to suffer while speed reading but I found that learning to speed read has helped my normal reading speed. Before I ever did any speed reading, I was reading at about 250 wpm. I can now speed read at about 850 wpm but I have noticed that my normal reading speed has improved by at least 100 wpm.


I read that really slowly and am rather unclear on what it has to do with preparing for law school.

Can I get the Clif Notes?

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby Kilpatrick » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:50 pm

kalvano wrote:
2Serious4Numbers wrote:I just bought "one L" by Scott Turow.. Plan on reading it over the break and have only heard good things, although it's not along the same lines of the economist



That book made me want to hunt him down and punch him in his whiny face.


Haha completely agree

kasparov
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby kasparov » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:52 pm

:twisted:
Last edited by kasparov on Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby well-hello-there » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:55 pm

thecilent wrote:^ where will you be going to ls?

T10-T15

amonynous_ivdinidual
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby amonynous_ivdinidual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:56 pm

well-hello-there:
I'm not trying to be a jerk, really my advice to you should come as great news. You don't have to do anything now to be successful next fall. I promise. It isn't that it will help or hurt. It will "nothing" your chances of doing better. Feel free to take my opinion for what it is (free, anonymous advice). If you won't feel good about law school unless you speed read Anna Karenina, then I would encourage you to do that. But you won't read your first case quickly regardless. And if you do, as others have said, you won't retain the important stuff. You'll learn by doing, along with everyone else. There really isn't an "edge" to be gotten right now.

Best of luck.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby Kilpatrick » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:57 pm

Do NOT do 0L prep other than reading GTM, maybe doing LEEWS. Trying to learn the law is actually going to hurt you. Your professor will teach you what they want you to know about the subject. Sometimes this means skipping big portions of the textbook that other professors and books may think is important.

For example in property we skipped the entire chapter on land transactions. When I was studying for the exam with E&E they had TONS of questions about the subject that I skipped because our prof didn't teach it. It would have sucked if I had actually spent the summer learning all that material. And it would probably negatively affect my grade. There's plenty to memorize without worrying about stuff you will never be taught.

Also there is absolutely no need to speed read. It takes like 5 minutes to read and outline an exam question. And you need to read it carefully. Even if you could cut that in half, you are not going to do anything significant in those extra 2 minutes and you will probably miss something important.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby well-hello-there » Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:59 pm

kasparov wrote:So this is how gunning starts.

Wait until you see how it ends.

whateva! I just aspire to be in the top 50%. I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to pull that off unless I get a head start.

dakatz
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby dakatz » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:01 pm

I remember being in your situation last year, OP. I said the same things you are saying almost word for word. I just couldn't understand how it wouldn't help to do some 0L prep. I mean, reading over some outlines, learning the lingo, etc, thats gotta help, right? Wrong. I refused to listen to everyone, and I went and did as much 0L prep as I could. Absolutely worthless. And now I can say that from experience. And no, its not because I did it "wrong". It is because it is a pointless endeavor. I am not a bitter law student who didn't prep, wished he had, and then tells others not to as a way of vindicating myself and justifying my decision. I did exactly what you think would be so smart to do because I to thought it would be so smart.

It is essentially a lose-lose situation for you. Your professors will only cover a fraction of what you see in outlines, etc. And on top of that, his approach may be completely different than the typical approaches. For example, my contracts professor rejects almost every line I suggest to him from commercial outlines. He disagrees with the holdings/approaches of many cases we read. My attempts to prepare (using the very best contracts supplements and outlines suggested on this site) did absolutely no good.

Take this hypothetical. I show you 100 pictures, and then ask you to remember a specific 10 or so. It will be very hard to speak coherently about those 10. You might very well recall seeing them, but you won't remember the details of it because you head is filled with all the rest of the information you didn't actually need. This is why reading those outlines is pointless. If you don't know what to key in on (based on what your prof. will actually teach), your mind will be clouded with things you don't need, and you most certainly won't recall the details of the important things. So now think of the opposite scenario. I give you a list of 100 pictures, but I tell you only look at a specific 10. This allows you to ignore the stuff you don't need, and actually learn about the stuff you do need.

And there is one more reason why this is lose lose. You think you are getting a leg up but you are not. Sure, you might know what "consideration" means on the first day. Whoopee. But come exam time, the playing field has evened itself out and no prep you did beforehand will have any effect on your actual grade. Thus, while you can impress your classmates (who will likely just make fun of you for wasting time doing something which the majority of people realizes is pointless), there is no utility to the endeavor. Just weigh the costs and benefits of the whole thing. You put something in because you want to take something out of it (i.e. a better grade). So if no better grade can come from substantive 0L prep, then why waste time putting anything into it?

Now that isn't to say that there is nothing you can do before 0L to prepare yourself. Anything that familiarizes you with law school exam-taking is great. Read Getting to Maybe, or listen to the LEEWS audio. Practice your typing and organization skills. Hell, go shape up your cover letter, resume etc. All of these things will bear down on you in law school and create a perfect storm of distractions. Having THAT type of stuff prepped is what gets people ahead. That is where the true utility is. Don't run yourself blindly into a wall doing something that gets you nowhere.
Last edited by dakatz on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:03 pm

well-hello-there wrote:
kasparov wrote:So this is how gunning starts.

Wait until you see how it ends.

whateva! I just aspire to be in the top 50%. I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to pull that off unless I get a head start.

Head start how? I used to think the same thing (I'm an 0L too), but I think I know better now.

You want to know how to get a head start? Get organized. Read the success threads, know what you have to do, be able to map out your time effciently, get tons of practice exams from day one, research your professor and how s/he grades, and make sure to get some good supplements right at the beginning.

These are the things I will be doing to get a "head start."

ETA: dakatz probs just said it better than I.

solidsnake
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby solidsnake » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:07 pm

as long as you have a decent grasp of econ and political philosophy you can pretty much participate in any class discussion as these are the two sources from which profs in all four quadrants of the left-right spectrum seem to draw most frequently. also, probably good to read to getting to maybe. other than that just chill. read the news (economist, wsj, ft, db, etc) because you want to be normal and informed, not to "prep for law school."
Last edited by solidsnake on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ahduth
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby ahduth » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:09 pm

thecilent wrote:
well-hello-there wrote:
kasparov wrote:So this is how gunning starts.

Wait until you see how it ends.

whateva! I just aspire to be in the top 50%. I'm smart enough to know that I'm not smart enough to pull that off unless I get a head start.

Head start how? I used to think the same thing (I'm an 0L too), but I think I know better now.

You want to know how to get a head start? Get organized. Read the success threads, know what you have to do, be able to map out your time effciently, get tons of practice exams from day one, research your professor and how s/he grades, and make sure to get some good supplements right at the beginning.

These are the things I will be doing to get a "head start."

ETA: dakatz probs just said it better than I.


No, theirs was seriously wordy. Yours is all chill and efficient.

I'm going to prep by working this goddamn consulting engagement and getting paid. Or I might quit and head down to Costa Rica for a few months and see if I can land a job as a bartender. Or I might quit and play some weird board games for awhile.

Anyone ever played Power Grid?

amonynous_ivdinidual
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby amonynous_ivdinidual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:10 pm

generally good stuff ^ but practice exams from day one? no no no, you're doing it wrong.

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:13 pm

amonynous_ivdinidual wrote:generally good stuff ^ but practice exams from day one? no no no, you're doing it wrong.

Not do them from day one - GET them from day one. So when it comes time to do them you don't have to search to find them.

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AreJay711
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:14 pm

Do you think there is any benefit to reading GTM over the holidays or should I read it closer to the semester. I'm a Michigan summer starter.

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megaTTTron
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby megaTTTron » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:15 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Do you think there is any benefit to reading GTM over the holidays or should I read it closer to the semester. I'm a Michigan summer starter.


I liked PLS + LEEWS better than GTM. PLS now, LEEWS right before you start. But I think I'm in the minority on TLS with this one. :mrgreen:

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:16 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Do you think there is any benefit to reading GTM over the holidays or should I read it closer to the semester. I'm a Michigan summer starter.

From what I've read on here: the best is to skim it right before school starts, then reread about halfway through semester. I wouldn't read it over the holidays; maybe in like May.

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:17 pm

megaTTTron wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:Do you think there is any benefit to reading GTM over the holidays or should I read it closer to the semester. I'm a Michigan summer starter.


I liked PLS + LEEWS better than GTM. PLS now, LEEWS right before you start. But I think I'm in the minority on TLS with this one. :mrgreen:

Ew. PLS is horrible. I really don't know how you could like it. I read half and threw it out - literally.

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well-hello-there
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby well-hello-there » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:20 pm

Okay, Y'all convinced me.

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:23 pm

well-hello-there wrote:Okay, Y'all convinced me.

Sabotage complete.

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ahduth
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby ahduth » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:24 pm

You guys are really going to read a bunch of crap before school? I was planning on just walking in there and sorting it. That's still my plan, but is there a list somewhere of what all these abbreviations are?

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thecilent
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Re: Recommended Reading in Preparation for Law School

Postby thecilent » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:30 pm

ahduth wrote:You guys are really going to read a bunch of crap before school? I was planning on just walking in there and sorting it. That's still my plan, but is there a list somewhere of what all these abbreviations are?


viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18478
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=26949

ETA: Those probs don't even help much. GTM = Getting to Maybe; PLS = Planet Law School; LEEWS = Idk even know law exam something writing system? lulz; what other abbreviations don't you know? WSJ = wall street journal mhmm




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