Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

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whattodo2008
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby whattodo2008 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:34 pm

I read "A Civil Action." Thoroughly enjoyed it. Also reading "Learning Legal Reasoning" by Delaney. Just occasional reading. If I'm not in the mood, then I won't do it. I understand the arguments not to prep, but I don't see how casual reading will hurt. I read just to get the gist. I have GTM. Kind of skimmed it, don't put too much emphasis on the examples because I don't know the laws. Just reading more to see the reasoning aspect.

Did any of you do LEEWS? and if so, I'm guessing you did this after you got to school right? Hope this post is not frustrating to too many of you guys who have done exceptionally well during your first year. Thanks.

BobSacamano
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby BobSacamano » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:35 pm

c0rpusdelicti wrote:Your argument doesn't wash. First off, none of you are the legal equivalent of "master saxophonists" - at best, you could be considered students at some institute of saxophone instruction. The individual who decides to do 0L prep reading hasn't bought a sax to incompetently and arrogantly toot it about. He or she has done the equivalent of buying the "Saxophone for Dummies" book and is attempting to become familiar with the peculiarities of saxophone tooting before he or she begins their program of face-to-face, intensive instruction in the field.

Is there a danger of "mis-prepping" (misunderstanding the actual consequences of legal rules and how said consequences are formed by the context in which those rules are applied, developing a sense of a rule that doesn't mesh with your professors, etc.)? Definitely. That's why I think it's wise to prep with a sense of perspective, if you're going to prep at all. Know that you're going to have to reconcile the concepts of the law that you have in your head with the way your professor instructs the class, with what his or her favorite policy considerations are, etc. But I don't think that becoming familiar with the basics of legal concepts and elements of black letter law would be truly detrimental to someone's success. And, seriously, if you worry that spending three months doing relatively non-intensive legal reading is going to "burn you out", I would posit that you're going to have serious trouble in law school.

Also, what's this bullshit about it being bad to "get a leg up"? I'm sorry, but I'm not going to law school for anyone but myself. It is my goal to be as successful as I can be and I will do everything feasible to reach that goal. If you have a problem with that.....well, fuck you, buddy.

Alright, there's no need for this to get all contentious.

First of all, you're screwing up the analogy. He's not saying that we're legal masters. Rather, we're 1L exam-taking masters. We're all current students who have taken, and in some cases dominated, their exams. This is better advice than you'll get from some Law School Confidential-esque "Welcome to law school" book. In fact, besides a panel of students at your school who have done well on their exams, we're probably going to be the best source of advice available to you. I don't say that because I'm cocky, I say that because... well, we're not getting anything out of this. This is all for your benefit.

I personally think you vastly understate the dangers of misprepping. You can ignore me if you like, it's not going to bother me one bit, I'm just telling you what I've experienced. It's pretty much worthless to learn Torts, because you will not be taking a Torts exam in December of 2010. You will be taking Professor X's Torts exam. I've had classes that have VASTLY differed from the E&E or commercial outline. For example, the E&E for Property isn't even remotely close to my Property class. A specific example of this is the method for determining whether something violates the Rule Against Perpetuities - it is totally and completely different from what we do, and my professor does not accept analysis that differs from the one he has taught. However, it seems that you understand this and think that you can separate your prepping from your classwork. I think you underestimate just how much material you will be covering. It can be dizzying and confusing, and I really think you will make matters worse. It's your call though.

My next point is that you will probably forget anything substantive you learned in your prep work. I don't say this because I doubt your memory, but because, as I said before, there is a lot of stuff to learn. I don't even remember stuff we covered a week ago, let alone four or five months ago.

Lastly... as to your last paragraph, I have no idea who is saying that trying to get a leg up is "bad" in this sense that you seem to be interpreting the word. Detrimental and pointless, yes. Will it make you a bad person? No one is making that argument. Stop fighting with yourself.

Good luck. Ignore us if you like, just realize that there's a reason that 1L's, even ones who once advocated prepping, almost unanimously laugh at the idea of substantively prepping. There's nothing at all wrong with being excited about law school. I was too. But don't kid yourself into thinking that you're going to beat the rush to straight A's. I second A Civil Action for a good taste of lawyering.

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RVP11
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby RVP11 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:03 pm

whattodo2008 wrote:I read "A Civil Action." Thoroughly enjoyed it. Also reading "Learning Legal Reasoning" by Delaney. Just occasional reading. If I'm not in the mood, then I won't do it. I understand the arguments not to prep, but I don't see how casual reading will hurt. I read just to get the gist. I have GTM. Kind of skimmed it, don't put too much emphasis on the examples because I don't know the laws. Just reading more to see the reasoning aspect.


This is the right attitude, and similar to how I spent part of the 6 months before law school.

rando
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby rando » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:05 pm

so the consensus seems to be; no prep for torts but E&E's for everything else? What about the bluebook?

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RVP11
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby RVP11 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:07 pm

rando wrote:so the consensus seems to be; no prep for torts but E&E's for everything else? What about the bluebook?


Joking, right?

BobSacamano
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby BobSacamano » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:09 pm

Wait what, no. The Bluebook is the last thing you should be wasting time on. I studied one night for the Bluebook exam and got a 99. No prep at all is what I'm advocating.

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RVP11
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby RVP11 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:10 pm

ITP: I list things that are more useful than substantive 0L prep.

1. Reading A Civil Action
2. Watching any classic law movie
3. Reading a dictionary from A to Z
4. Lying on a beach
5. Reading the Bluebook cover to cover
6. Reading a book on legal reasoning

rando
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby rando » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:14 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
rando wrote:so the consensus seems to be; no prep for torts but E&E's for everything else? What about the bluebook?


Joking, right?


And i thought it would take at least 3 min to get called out on that. damn.

Seriously though. Pulled the bluebook ex. from a previous thread on here. With that, this ridiculous thread, and the 0L transfer thread. WTF is up with people?

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Aeroplane
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby Aeroplane » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:15 pm

IMO the best thing you can do as a 0L is update your resume, decide where you want to apply to for summer and draft a generic cover letter (or 2-3 if you plan to apply to different kinds of jobs). I procrastinated until December and it was annoying to have to do all that stuff right before exams, including during study period. It would've taken me just a couple hours to send out all my applications if I'd updated my resume & written letters in the summer which I totally could've.

rando
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby rando » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:15 pm

BobSacamano wrote:Wait what, no.



And i love how I can picture the wheels turning...

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TTT-LS
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:11 am

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:30 am

So lets say that my head isn't as thick as I thought it was, and I decided to forgo summer prepping. What then, for those of us who wish to fulfill a "law review or death" motto, would you recommend for getting ahead starting on day 1 of class. Maybe talk to professors about relevant supplements and then reading 2+ hours a day on top of everything else in September? For those wanting to allocate more time to studying than their peers to get ahead, where is the smartest place to do so?
Last edited by Mickey Quicknumbers on Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A'nold
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby A'nold » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:39 am

adh07d wrote:So lets say that my head isn't as thick as I thought it was, and I decided to forgo summer prepping. What then, for those of us who wish to fulfill a "law review or death" motto would you recommend for getting ahead starting on day 1 of class. Maybe talk to professors about relevant supplements and then reading 2+ hours a day on top of everything else in September? For those wanting to allocate more time to studying than their peers to get ahead, where is the smartest place to do so?



IMO- there is no such thing as getting ahead. Just be smarter/a better exam writer than your classmates and you will be good to go. Exams are SHOCKINGLY simplistic and probably more than half that you put on your outline you will never use. It's all about the analysis. I don't know how many times we can say this without it sinking in. It's like 90% + of 1L's have to have the idea of "outlearning or outmemorizing" other students in the UG way completely wrenched from their souls during 1L first semester finals to get this concept.

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:43 am

So you're saying the only thing you can really do to get yourself to the top is taking practice exams? A'nold I know you're a 1L and i'm a lowly 0L but I just have a hard time believing that . . . which I guess fits neatly into your last sentence.

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Muckduck
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby Muckduck » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:55 am

Tag

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A'nold
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby A'nold » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:56 am

adh07d wrote:So you're saying the only thing you can really do to get yourself to the top is taking practice exams? A'nold I know you're a 1L and i'm a lowly 0L but I just have a hard time believing that . . . which I guess fits neatly into your last sentence.


I think you'll do great. You seem like a smart guy/girl and obviously have a lot of ambition. Those aware of the curve and strive to beat it by actually researching how to do well and not just assuming ls is an extension of UG, from what I see, usually crush the curve.

My thoughts:
It's not really about taking practice exams either. Basically, you have to learn how to (quoting LEEWS as an example) "nitpick facts" to such a degree to not only avoid sounding conclusory, but in such a way that impresses a professor. Professors don't seem to be impressed by random facts that you pick up from extra reading, reading the notes sections, getting further in the course than is recommended, etc. There is a good reason for this: professors have to grade on a curve and compare students to one another to do so. If you write about anything they did not emphasize in class, you will get no points for it. In fact, it just wastes precious time that could have been used to better analyze a hypo.

LEEWS is 90% fluff and little substance. About 10% of the program is absolute GOLD. When he talks about the torts hypo, he even talks about the Snow White thing. I would never go that far, BUT it does show you how much it matters that you dissect every little detail in the hypo and apply law to it in a correct way.

People say this over and over again and I had a hard time believing it at first too, but I would say at least 70% of the class will "know the law" as well as each other. I actually think I was probably in the middle of the pack or even lower in my "knowledge of the law" and in one class I really didn't know that much at all, yet I am first in my section. All you ever hear professors say is how you should not be conclusory. You need to go further and dissect facts until you bleed from your eyes. Most of what you say you will think is unnecessary or obvious but this is where you separate yourself from your classmates.
Pay EXTRA SPECIAL attention in class and really become familiar with how your professor thinks and what they like to hear. Tailor make everything to each professor.

rando
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby rando » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:16 am

A'nold wrote:
adh07d wrote:So you're saying the only thing you can really do to get yourself to the top is taking practice exams? A'nold I know you're a 1L and i'm a lowly 0L but I just have a hard time believing that . . . which I guess fits neatly into your last sentence.


I think you'll do great. You seem like a smart guy/girl and obviously have a lot of ambition. Those aware of the curve and strive to beat it by actually researching how to do well and not just assuming ls is an extension of UG, from what I see, usually crush the curve.

My thoughts:
It's not really about taking practice exams either. Basically, you have to learn how to (quoting LEEWS as an example) "nitpick facts" to such a degree to not only avoid sounding conclusory, but in such a way that impresses a professor. Professors don't seem to be impressed by random facts that you pick up from extra reading, reading the notes sections, getting further in the course than is recommended, etc. There is a good reason for this: professors have to grade on a curve and compare students to one another to do so. If you write about anything they did not emphasize in class, you will get no points for it. In fact, it just wastes precious time that could have been used to better analyze a hypo.

LEEWS is 90% fluff and little substance. About 10% of the program is absolute GOLD. When he talks about the torts hypo, he even talks about the Snow White thing. I would never go that far, BUT it does show you how much it matters that you dissect every little detail in the hypo and apply law to it in a correct way.

People say this over and over again and I had a hard time believing it at first too, but I would say at least 70% of the class will "know the law" as well as each other. I actually think I was probably in the middle of the pack or even lower in my "knowledge of the law" and in one class I really didn't know that much at all, yet I am first in my section. All you ever hear professors say is how you should not be conclusory. You need to go further and dissect facts until you bleed from your eyes. Most of what you say you will think is unnecessary or obvious but this is where you separate yourself from your classmates.
Pay EXTRA SPECIAL attention in class and really become familiar with how your professor thinks and what they like to hear. Tailor make everything to each professor.


This has been absolutely beaten to death, but that being said A'nold is right on some things and on others there are just different ways to succeed. First, the fact that you are this concerned at this point and looking for a leg up just shows how much you are going to put into your work and is a pretty good indicator you will do well.
That being said, I would argue the #1 thing that separates people come exam time is those who took multiple practice tests vs. those who did not. Many people don't keep up with their outlining until the end of the semester and then get to that point and spend all their time up to the exam creating their outline or "studying" the material. Most that do really well have their outlines down by the time classes are over and spend the rest of the time up to finals getting to know the material cold and taking practice exams.
70% of people knowing the material as well as others is just not correct. Everyone will know the general concepts, but knowing things cold and knowing the details is really where people separate themselves. In some vein, there is a difference between knowing the material and "understanding" the material which is the difference between an A and a B. I think A'nold is actually downplaying how well he knew the material. I did the same thing. Before and after almost every exam I have taken I was under the assumption everyone knew the material as well as, if not better than I did. This become absolutely untrue after talking about exams and seeing grades/talking to professors.

There are some great threads buried in here on exam prep and doing well 1L year. Hunt them down.

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A'nold
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby A'nold » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:24 am

rando wrote:
A'nold wrote:
adh07d wrote:So you're saying the only thing you can really do to get yourself to the top is taking practice exams? A'nold I know you're a 1L and i'm a lowly 0L but I just have a hard time believing that . . . which I guess fits neatly into your last sentence.


I think you'll do great. You seem like a smart guy/girl and obviously have a lot of ambition. Those aware of the curve and strive to beat it by actually researching how to do well and not just assuming ls is an extension of UG, from what I see, usually crush the curve.

My thoughts:
It's not really about taking practice exams either. Basically, you have to learn how to (quoting LEEWS as an example) "nitpick facts" to such a degree to not only avoid sounding conclusory, but in such a way that impresses a professor. Professors don't seem to be impressed by random facts that you pick up from extra reading, reading the notes sections, getting further in the course than is recommended, etc. There is a good reason for this: professors have to grade on a curve and compare students to one another to do so. If you write about anything they did not emphasize in class, you will get no points for it. In fact, it just wastes precious time that could have been used to better analyze a hypo.

LEEWS is 90% fluff and little substance. About 10% of the program is absolute GOLD. When he talks about the torts hypo, he even talks about the Snow White thing. I would never go that far, BUT it does show you how much it matters that you dissect every little detail in the hypo and apply law to it in a correct way.

People say this over and over again and I had a hard time believing it at first too, but I would say at least 70% of the class will "know the law" as well as each other. I actually think I was probably in the middle of the pack or even lower in my "knowledge of the law" and in one class I really didn't know that much at all, yet I am first in my section. All you ever hear professors say is how you should not be conclusory. You need to go further and dissect facts until you bleed from your eyes. Most of what you say you will think is unnecessary or obvious but this is where you separate yourself from your classmates.
Pay EXTRA SPECIAL attention in class and really become familiar with how your professor thinks and what they like to hear. Tailor make everything to each professor.


This has been absolutely beaten to death, but that being said A'nold is right on some things and on others there are just different ways to succeed. First, the fact that you are this concerned at this point and looking for a leg up just shows how much you are going to put into your work and is a pretty good indicator you will do well.
That being said, I would argue the #1 thing that separates people come exam time is those who took multiple practice tests vs. those who did not. Many people don't keep up with their outlining until the end of the semester and then get to that point and spend all their time up to the exam creating their outline or "studying" the material. Most that do really well have their outlines down by the time classes are over and spend the rest of the time up to finals getting to know the material cold and taking practice exams.
70% of people knowing the material as well as others is just not correct. Everyone will know the general concepts, but knowing things cold and knowing the details is really where people separate themselves. In some vein, there is a difference between knowing the material and "understanding" the material which is the difference between an A and a B. I think A'nold is actually downplaying how well he knew the material. I did the same thing. Before and after almost every exam I have taken I was under the assumption everyone knew the material as well as, if not better than I did. This become absolutely untrue after talking about exams and seeing grades/talking to professors.

There are some great threads buried in here on exam prep and doing well 1L year. Hunt them down.


Good point. I never really considered that I may just be underestimating how much I knew the material compared to others by the time of the test. Just like now in the semester, I felt that for most of the semester people understood crap and remembered more than me. Maybe I made up for that and surpassed my classmates when crunch time hit. I am a phenomenal crammer, so that very well could have been at least partially true.

270910
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby 270910 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:08 am

adh07d wrote:So you're saying the only thing you can really do to get yourself to the top is taking practice exams? A'nold I know you're a 1L and i'm a lowly 0L but I just have a hard time believing that . . . which I guess fits neatly into your last sentence.


It's more than just 'taking' practice exams. By and large, the people I know who did well took a lot of practice exams. I do, however, know people that took a lot and did poorly as well as people who only took a few and did great. The key isn't volume - the key is understanding what's going on. It will happen 'organically' to some extent, but you really need to engage with the material - go over answers with other students, compare with model answers, and make sure you figure out how to actually score points with your legal knowledge. Far too many people accumulate huge amounts of legal know-how but never refine the skill of applying that knowledge.

In law school, unlike prior schools, you get no credit whatsoever* for just knowing the material. If you get a question about the Erie doctrine then write a fabulous historical and political essay tracing every detail of the development of the doctrine, then write "as a result, federal common law will apply" you will fail.

If you want to know the secret to complete and unmitigated domination of 1L, I suggest that it is figuring out - for yourself - why some exams get high scores and others get low scores. If you can answer that question consistently, and put in the time to learn the law, you will have an enormous leg up on the competition.

*I stand by the validity of this generalization, but it is of course a generalization and will be more or less applicable depending on the prof and test style.

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macattaq
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby macattaq » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:04 am

I think what Disco is saying is pretty much it as far as doing well on exams is concerned. From what I've figured, the (primary) difference between coming in at median and coming in above it hinges not so much on what a person knew, but how they explained it on the exam. I mean, for the most part, everyone is going to know the law coming into the exam. Not everyone is going to be able to do a thorough, cogent, and (perhaps most importantly) clear analysis of the fact pattern.

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RVP11
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby RVP11 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:12 am

If any 0L DOES get the Torts E&E, I recommend they read the chapter in the back of the book on common fundamental exam writing mistakes. I got more out of that short chapter than I did out of the entire 200+ pages of GTM.

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RVP11
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby RVP11 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:15 am

macattaq wrote:I think what Disco is saying is pretty much it as far as doing well on exams is concerned. From what I've figured, the (primary) difference between coming in at median and coming in above it hinges not so much on what a person knew, but how they explained it on the exam. I mean, for the most part, everyone is going to know the law coming into the exam. Not everyone is going to be able to do a thorough, cogent, and (perhaps most importantly) clear analysis of the fact pattern.


I disagree. I knew a ton of people in each class who did not know the BLL or didn't know it to the degree necessary to take an exam.

A lot of people don't know the law.

A lot of people have trouble spotting the issues.

A lot of people goof up the analysis and application.

If you can avoid all the pitfalls above, median or better likely awaits.

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FlanAl
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby FlanAl » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:20 pm

Applying this fall so have a year between UG and Law school. During this time I plan to grab whatever job I can. Unfortunately the chances of it being completely mindless are high. What would you recommend to stay sharp that could beneficial in law school?

Also how much hand holding is there in first semester of 1L? Where I study law is an undergraduate degree and I was able to take public international law. It was supposed to be a first year course but it was almost exclusively 2nd years and exchange students. I loved the class but got absolutely destroyed because I didn't write in a "legal style" or something along those lines. There was no guidance on what legal style was or how we were meant to write for the class. I just wonder because this was a first year class and there was no guidance on what was expected, just lecturing and discussion of the cases. Just think that some prepping would have been helpful in this case but have no idea what it is like stateside.

Thanks for the advice

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macattaq
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby macattaq » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:41 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
macattaq wrote:I think what Disco is saying is pretty much it as far as doing well on exams is concerned. From what I've figured, the (primary) difference between coming in at median and coming in above it hinges not so much on what a person knew, but how they explained it on the exam. I mean, for the most part, everyone is going to know the law coming into the exam. Not everyone is going to be able to do a thorough, cogent, and (perhaps most importantly) clear analysis of the fact pattern.


I disagree. I knew a ton of people in each class who did not know the BLL or didn't know it to the degree necessary to take an exam.

A lot of people don't know the law.

A lot of people have trouble spotting the issues.

A lot of people goof up the analysis and application.

If you can avoid all the pitfalls above, median or better likely awaits.


This is probably true, but note that I said for the most part. From the people I've talked to, almost everyone knew the law. I think that spotting the issues/flipping around the issues they have seen, and goofing up the analysis and application are much bigger concerns.

rando
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Re: Rank 0L prep - 1L courses most helpful to least helpful

Postby rando » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:46 pm

FlanAl wrote:Applying this fall so have a year between UG and Law school. During this time I plan to grab whatever job I can. Unfortunately the chances of it being completely mindless are high. What would you recommend to stay sharp that could beneficial in law school?



My experience - totally unneeded. Give yourself a year of mental break. Come to law school ready to devour the material.




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