Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

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Aeroplane
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Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:10 pm

People who generally don't/didn't use hornbooks 1L year...did you use one for Con Law? Is there anything about Con Law that makes it particularly necessary?

I'm not looking to have a referendum on hornbooks generally. I know some people have had great results w/them, but I'm not a fan. I'm asking about Con Law specifically because it seems like there's an unusually high degree of consensus that a hornbook is necessary in this particular class. I really want to hear from other people who also generally avoid hornbooks on whether or not they made an exception for Con Law and if yes, then why.

TYIA.

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Cavalier
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby Cavalier » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:25 pm

I'm not a fan of hornbooks either. Last semester I only relied on a hornbook for one class - crim - because my professor wrote it, and it explained the concepts better than he did in class. This semester I will be forced to use a con law hornbook since I am not getting a great grasp of the subject matter just from reading the cases and going to class. I bought Chemerinksy's because I heard it was good.

BobSacamano
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby BobSacamano » Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:23 pm

I just bought Chereminsky's Con Law hornbook/treatise/whatever you want to call it. I was skeptical, but it's quite good. It doesn't do EVERYTHING I need, but it's certainly good for a more-than-general overview.

dslslave
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby dslslave » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:55 pm

I have the Chemerinsky too, and bought it after reading the great reviews. The thing is, the damn book is so thick that I have been hesitant to even open the thing. Con Law hasnt gotten *too* hard that I've needed supplements beyond outlines, but I hope to be using it soon.

BTW do you guys use these supplements in conjunction with your reading? Or do you just review every few weeks using the supplement? I cant fathom adding another book to read weekly for school!

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:04 pm

There's no class that a supplement is worse for than Con Law. Sure, the hornbook might help you *learn* it better due to lack of teaching. But there's no guarantee that that has anything to do with what you're actually going to be asked on the exam.

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NewHere
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby NewHere » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:27 pm

Must you use one? Of course not.

Take ConLaw, see if you understand the material without a hornbook. Then if you feel like you don't, consider buying a hornbook. It's not as if you have to decide on the first day of class and you're doomed if you make the wrong decision, is it?

twistedwrister
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby twistedwrister » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:40 pm

I didn't use a hornbook for Con Law and still did really well. Like you, I tend not to rely on hornbooks/supplements. I don't think a hornbook is any more necessary for Con Law than it is for any other class. However, as a caveat, my prof covered a relatively limited number of topics in great depth, so just reading all the assigned cases gave me a pretty good understanding of the nuances in the doctrine. If your prof covers a wide range of topics relatively superficially, a hornbook might help.

Snooker
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby Snooker » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:26 pm

Hornbooks tend to improve student performance somewhat, i.e. a group of students that splits their time between hornbooks and casebooks as opposed to relying entirely on reading / re-reading the casebook will slightly outperform the casebook group as a whole. The effect is not as major as the TLS unique perspective article would have you believe.

The chemerinsky hornbook seems quite good. Last semester, I neglected to read an entire section of our casebook (any readings at all). Oops! So 4 days before the exam I read the 2-page chemerinsky summary of the 6 or so cases discussing that issue. That issue actually came up on the exam, and I got the maximum points for that question. (most students - those who read the cases - did very poorly on it)

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:56 am

Snooker wrote:Hornbooks tend to improve student performance somewhat, i.e. a group of students that splits their time between hornbooks and casebooks as opposed to relying entirely on reading / re-reading the casebook will slightly outperform the casebook group as a whole. The effect is not as major as the TLS unique perspective article would have you believe.

Is there any authority on point? It seems intuitive but without a citation you're just speculating.

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RVP11
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby RVP11 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:19 pm

mikeytwoshoes wrote:
Snooker wrote:Hornbooks tend to improve student performance somewhat, i.e. a group of students that splits their time between hornbooks and casebooks as opposed to relying entirely on reading / re-reading the casebook will slightly outperform the casebook group as a whole. The effect is not as major as the TLS unique perspective article would have you believe.

Is there any authority on point? It seems intuitive but without a citation you're just speculating.


Snooker's forte is dressing up speculation as if there's authority behind it.

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dood
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby dood » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:54 pm

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Last edited by dood on Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lordbaby
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Re: Don't like hornbooks. Must I use one for Con Law?

Postby lordbaby » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:38 am

You need one only if you have 0 understanding to a subject. I feel that outlines are sufficient.




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