acdisagod wrote:Some students say they get by in civ pro by reading the E&E and doing virtully nothing else. Why wouldn't a 0L gain from reading the same E&E?
I've read the criticisms of 0L prep and they make sense. A lot of it would be wasted time because your professor won't cover all topics mentioned. However, I heard the curriculum for civ pro is pretty standardized. Would reading the E&E thus be helpful for a 0L?
I understand why it would be a waste for classes that are less standardized (i.e. the property example given earlier in this thread).
1) The curriculum is not as standardized as it sounds. As someone mentioned as an extreme example, you might end up in a Civ Pro class that teaches that state's rules of civil procedure instead of the federal rules! Even to a lesser extent than that, something important for 0Ls to understand is that you never, ever cover all
the material on a subject in a real class. Your professor will choose which parts to focus on and focus there.
You might think this means reading the whole book is harmless, but it's not. If your professor never brings up supplemental jurisdiction at all (for example) during your class, but you read about it in the E&E and still remember what it is, and start writing about supplemental jurisdiction on the exam, you will not get any points for doing so
. You'll be wasting valuable time on a topic you learned about but that the professor doesn't care about and isn't testing on. They won't give you credit for analysis of a part of Civ Pro not covered in class any more than they'd give you credit for doing Torts analysis in Civ Pro.
For a more subtle example, your professor may not spend any more time on diversity jurisdiction than the two-state requirement and the $75,000+ part. You could end up having read all the stuff about domiciles in the E&E, and think it might apply on the final, and your prof will look at it and go "I didn't talk about domiciles in class and I didn't ask anything about domiciles here" and not give you points.
As a result it's a lot better to just wait and see what your professor focuses on, and then use the supplements to reinforce those parts of the subject you actually studied
2) Your professor will have a particular bias. This isn't meant in any offensive way, it's just human nature, every person presents things in their own unique way. You need to learn the material first from your professor so that you understand his unique perspective and have that underpinning, and then
keep that perspective in mind when using supplements like E&Es to reinforce your knowledge of the subject. If you learn the material from the E&E first, you run the risk of picking up the E&E author's bias more. This can cost you points because you end up presenting things in a way that might impress the E&E author but wouldn't impress your professor.
I don't mean political bias here. I mean that your professor may emphasize the first part of a two-part test and the E&E author may emphasize the second part more and not do much detail on the first part at all. If the prof asks something that involves that two-part test, and you learned about it from the E&E first, that may make you more inclined to focus on the second part even though the prof gave you all this extra stuff on the first part that he probably wants to see you talk about.
E&Es reinforce, they don't replace. They reinforce a lot better if you already know what it is you're supposed to be learning first.