Reading Prior to School

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firebreathingliberal
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Reading Prior to School

Postby firebreathingliberal » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:05 pm

I know this topic is covered at length on what to read, but there is mixed opinion on the actual utility of reading books like "Getting to Maybe" and "1L of an Experience". So is it really worth it to read this stuff or are the benefit negligible? Would I be better off just reading for pleasure and skipping the neurotic preparation so I can be the fastest gunner in my class?

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:11 pm

firebreathingliberal wrote:I know this topic is covered at length on what to read, but there is mixed opinion on the actual utility of reading books like "Getting to Maybe" and "1L of an Experience". So is it really worth it to read this stuff or are the benefit negligible? Would I be better off just reading for pleasure and skipping the neurotic preparation so I can be the fastest gunner in my class?

That depends on your personality. If you want to read something about law school, I'd recommend One L by Scot Turrow. It's a novel and it's fun to read. If I could go back, I wouldn't have read GTM.

DON'T READ SUPPLEMENTS.

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bees
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby bees » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:16 pm

You answered your own question, but then went ahead and asked it anyway. Some people on here swear by GTM (though I think everyone who read it before LS also says to read it again some time before finals), some say it is a waste of time. There is no correct answer, it helps some people and it is worthless for others, no one can tell you which of those people you are. I plan on reading GTM and doing LEEWS, but I don't expect them to give me any great advantage over those who those who watch 16 and Pregnant instead.

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firebreathingliberal
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby firebreathingliberal » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:32 pm

bees wrote:You answered your own question, but then went ahead and asked it anyway. Some people on here swear by GTM (though I think everyone who read it before LS also says to read it again some time before finals), some say it is a waste of time. There is no correct answer, it helps some people and it is worthless for others, no one can tell you which of those people you are. I plan on reading GTM and doing LEEWS, but I don't expect them to give me any great advantage over those who those who watch 16 and Pregnant instead.


I know I implied what I think about the whole thing: stressing out about preparing for law school will only really help to stress you out prior to a very stressful experience. I just wanted to see if students out there genuinely found it helpful to read this material ahead of time.

I do like the idea about typing though. I might just do that.

rando
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby rando » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:33 pm

bees wrote: Watch 16 and Pregnant instead.


Family law. Good advice

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bees
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby bees » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:44 pm

firebreathingliberal wrote:
bees wrote:You answered your own question, but then went ahead and asked it anyway. Some people on here swear by GTM (though I think everyone who read it before LS also says to read it again some time before finals), some say it is a waste of time. There is no correct answer, it helps some people and it is worthless for others, no one can tell you which of those people you are. I plan on reading GTM and doing LEEWS, but I don't expect them to give me any great advantage over those who those who watch 16 and Pregnant instead.


I know I implied what I think about the whole thing: stressing out about preparing for law school will only really help to stress you out prior to a very stressful experience. I just wanted to see if students out there genuinely found it helpful to read this material ahead of time.

I do like the idea about typing though. I might just do that.


You make a good point about stress, but that's actually not what I was talking about. I was simply remarking that you acknowledged a mix of opinions on here but asked for a definitive answer anyways. :)

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firebreathingliberal
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby firebreathingliberal » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:49 am

bees wrote:
firebreathingliberal wrote:
bees wrote:You answered your own question, but then went ahead and asked it anyway. Some people on here swear by GTM (though I think everyone who read it before LS also says to read it again some time before finals), some say it is a waste of time. There is no correct answer, it helps some people and it is worthless for others, no one can tell you which of those people you are. I plan on reading GTM and doing LEEWS, but I don't expect them to give me any great advantage over those who those who watch 16 and Pregnant instead.


I know I implied what I think about the whole thing: stressing out about preparing for law school will only really help to stress you out prior to a very stressful experience. I just wanted to see if students out there genuinely found it helpful to read this material ahead of time.

I do like the idea about typing though. I might just do that.


You make a good point about stress, but that's actually not what I was talking about. I was simply remarking that you acknowledged a mix of opinions on here but asked for a definitive answer anyways. :)


Haha yeah well... I was at least hoping for some anecdotes about how reading did/didn't help

engineer
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby engineer » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:51 am

Do not read anything remotely related to case law (e.g. supplements, hornbooks, treatises, etc.). If I could do it over again, I would've read books on legal writing (Academic Legal Writing, Writing to Win, and basically any textbook on the topic of legal writing). Legal writing has its own distinct style, and it's really not something you can "learn" in a semester. Moreover, it isn't something that you need a professor to teach you, and most of it really is common sense. Don't try to understand any of the case law in briefs or memos; instead, grasp the writing style. Efficiency and clarity are key.

rando
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby rando » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:28 am

engineer wrote:Do not read anything remotely related to case law (e.g. supplements, hornbooks, treatises, etc.). If I could do it over again, I would've read books on legal writing (Academic Legal Writing, Writing to Win, and basically any textbook on the topic of legal writing). Legal writing has its own distinct style, and it's really not something you can "learn" in a semester. Moreover, it isn't something that you need a professor to teach you, and most of it really is common sense. Don't try to understand any of the case law in briefs or memos; instead, grasp the writing style. Efficiency and clarity are key.


+1

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kings84_wr
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby kings84_wr » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:47 pm

I dont know how Helpful GTM was, but I would actually recommend reading it around fall break or halfway. When I read it over the summer I was completely lost on some parts, but when I read it in October suddenly some of hte points where far clearer.

However, I think Leews should be done either before law school or very early in the semester.

I think the effectiveness of GTM and Leews really depends on the class material and even more importantly the way the prof writes the exam.

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firebreathingliberal
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby firebreathingliberal » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:57 pm

kings84_wr wrote:However, I think Leews should be done either before law school or very early in the semester.


Are you talking about just getting the book or actually taking the LEEWS course? The website says they don't think you can get the system from just the book, is that really the case or is that just an effort to get me to spend more $$$ with them?

engineer
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby engineer » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:22 pm

Personally, I thought the LEEWS system sucked. My profs hate the IRAC method because it's just not natural. When writing briefs and whatnot, they prefer a CRAC/CREAC/CREXAC method (Conclusion, Rule, (Explanation of the rule), Application, Conclusion). On exams, this may take a sentence or two more, but it appears that profs (at least at my school) like that more. They're grading ~80 exams just like mine, so you don't want to hide your conclusion from them. Make your point, use legal rules to support it, apply those legal rules to the facts, and then restate your point. "Spotting the issue," as it were, is a really puerile way to go about it, and it tends to result in median grades.

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wiseowl
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby wiseowl » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:32 pm

engineer wrote:Do not read anything remotely related to case law (e.g. supplements, hornbooks, treatises, etc.). If I could do it over again, I would've read books on legal writing (Academic Legal Writing, Writing to Win, and basically any textbook on the topic of legal writing). Legal writing has its own distinct style, and it's really not something you can "learn" in a semester. Moreover, it isn't something that you need a professor to teach you, and most of it really is common sense. Don't try to understand any of the case law in briefs or memos; instead, grasp the writing style. Efficiency and clarity are key.


This is good advice. I read One L for amusement and I read GTM.

I wish I had read more about legal writing/reasoning.

I strongly recommend "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges" by Justice Scalia and Brian Garner.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Your-Case- ... 0314184716

I learned more reading it than i did in legal writing. Unfortunately, I read it in March of 1L. :(

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AlasLavinia
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby AlasLavinia » Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:53 pm

betasteve wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I strongly recommend "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges" by Justice Scalia and Brian Garner.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Your-Case- ... 0314184716

I learned more reading it than i did in legal writing. Unfortunately, I read it in March of 1L. :(

+1 to all of this.

+1 again.

Adding:
GTM is only effective for classes where you have unlimited length essay format exams that focus on issue spotting. Otherwise, it will be no help to you.

LEEWS is really no substitute for learning the black letter law and practicing issue spotting (in other words "doing actual hard work"). I have had three professors stand up in front of the section and say not to use LEEWS, because the exams of LEEWS users are pathetically simplistic and easy to spot in the bluebook pile.

engineer
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby engineer » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:10 pm

wiseowl wrote:I strongly recommend "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges" by Justice Scalia and Brian Garner.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Your-Case- ... 0314184716

I learned more reading it than i did in legal writing. Unfortunately, I read it in March of 1L. :(


I'm overnighting it from amazon right now, and should have it read by the end of the week--just in time for my brief :)

Thanks.

BobSacamano
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby BobSacamano » Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:24 pm

GTM didn't really make any sense to me when I started reading it the summer before school started. I don't really think it'll be much use to you until at least halfway through the semester. It's not a long book so don't worry about adding it to your workload or anything.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:04 pm

.
Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:12 pm

I continue to recommend "Thinking Like A Lawyer" by Frederick Schauer. It's a great introduction to legal reasoning, which is something your profs aren't going to directly teach you and that you'll do well to expose yourself to on your own. However, trying to study substantive material (E&Es/hornbooks) is a total waste of time, and so is GTM probably since it requires a foundation in substantive law to really understand. GTM is better read after the semester has started and you've studied some actual law, if you're going to bother reading it at all.

rando
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby rando » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:25 pm

betasteve wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I strongly recommend "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges" by Justice Scalia and Brian Garner.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Your-Case- ... 0314184716

I learned more reading it than i did in legal writing. Unfortunately, I read it in March of 1L. :(

+1 to all of this.


Anything by Garner. The above is solid. And regardless of Scalia's views he is interesting.

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steve_nash
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Re: Reading Prior to School

Postby steve_nash » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:42 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
betasteve wrote:
wiseowl wrote:I strongly recommend "Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges" by Justice Scalia and Brian Garner.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Your-Case- ... 0314184716

I learned more reading it than i did in legal writing. Unfortunately, I read it in March of 1L. :(

+1 to all of this.

This may make some think the apocalypse has arrived, but I actually believe 0Ls might benefit from reading Scalia's book--if, that is, they're so neurotic that they simply MUST read something to stay sane.


Can I +1 on this? The Scalia book is pretty good and a quick read.

I also read GTM before school and looking back, I think it was a waste of time. But I think it'd be more useful for 0Ls to read it then, say, the Contracts E&E.




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