Knowledge of law before LS?

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bostonlawchick
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Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby bostonlawchick » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:11 am

I was just curious about this and wanted to see what wisdom any current students on TLS may have.

Right now I'm taking a Business Law class. I've heard that law schools tend dislike learning the law before LS, but it's a graduation requirement for my accounting major. We've had a brief overview of jurisdiction, the constitution, and torts, and have gone over contracts with more depth. We learn the black letter law, different applications, and go over cases and hypothetical examples. Our midterm was a set of facts about a situation (focused on first amendment rights) that we then had to apply the law to (I also got the highest grade in the class yay go me). Our next exam will be the same way, only on either contracts or product liability. My prof is a lawyer who graduated from a T20 law school and he told me that the class, while much much much easier than law school, does kind of provide an intro into what I may see. My question to all of you is... how much will this help me in law school? Can I breathe a little easier knowing I have an inkling of what's to come? I know I can't expect much even with my good grades in the class because the caliber of students in my class is pretty laughable compared to a top law school. Any thoughts would be appreciated. :D

miamiman
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby miamiman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:21 am

Yep, breathe easier.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby D. H2Oman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:29 am

miamiman wrote:Yep, breathe easier.


Well, this is half right. Yes, you should breathe easier knowing that you know have a huge advantage over other incoming 0L's. However, be worried because it's such a big advantage that it completely crosses the line and gives you an unfair advantage. You'll definitely have to declare this on the C&F portion of your Bar application. I'm not going to say you'll be denied because of this, but it's a very realistic possibility.

miamiman
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby miamiman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:31 am

D. H2Oman wrote:
miamiman wrote:Yep, breathe easier.


Well, this is half right. Yes, you should breathe easier knowing that you know have a huge advantage over other incoming 0L's. However, be worried because it's such a big advantage that it completely crosses the line and gives you an unfair advantage. You'll definitely have to declare this on the C&F portion of your Bar application. I'm not going to say you'll be denied because of this, but it's a very realistic possibility.


162

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby bostonlawchick » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:02 am

okay... so I'm guessing not much help then. Back to praying and ritual sacrifice then...

miamiman
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby miamiman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:07 am

bostonlawchick wrote:okay... so I'm guessing not much help then. Back to praying and ritual sacrifice then...


Good call.

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T14_Scholly
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby T14_Scholly » Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:17 am

It's a good start, but you should focus on reading all the E&Es, as well as other TLS-recommended books, before starting law school in order to have a chance at success.

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Bosque
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby Bosque » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:48 am

T14_Scholly wrote:It's a good start, but you should focus on reading all the E&Es, as well as other TLS-recommended books, before starting law school in order to have a chance at success.


Oh yes, and you need to work for a judge this summer, Supreme Court if you can hack it. Unless you have some law work experience going into law school, you will be unemployable when you graduate.

And if you are not finished outlining by week 2, you are behind.

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby bostonlawchick » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:08 am

okay, I realize I sounded like a ridiculous uber gunner. I was just curious. I know it's not going to make me number one at Yale.... I just was wondering, since I had to take this class anyway, if exposure to this will make the first semester of law school less likely to induce a nervous breakdown or if anyone thinks that it may have been helpful for them.

270910
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:01 pm

It will be mostly useless. Law school is just different.

I can 'explain the law' of any of my major classes in about an hour, without missing many details. It's the slow learning from cases, memorization, and application to difficult and novel fact patterns spanning the entirety of the doctrine - while competition with dozens of other over eager law students - that winds up being the problem.

It's not like the class will hurt you, and for the first week you'll have a little better understanding than most of exactly what's going to happen for the rest of the semester, but it's hardly an advantage that will lead to necessarily more efficient learning or stronger performance.

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby bostonlawchick » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:13 pm

thanks, thats about what I figured :) I wasn't banking on it propelling me to the top 10%.

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Albatross
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby Albatross » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:16 pm

bostonlawchick wrote:Can I breathe a little easier knowing I have an inkling of what's to come? I know I can't expect much even with my good grades in the class because the caliber of students in my class is pretty laughable compared to a top law school. Any thoughts would be appreciated. :D


You answered this yourself.

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macattaq
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby macattaq » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:50 pm

disco_barred wrote:It will be mostly useless. Law school is just different.

I can 'explain the law' of any of my major classes in about an hour, without missing many details. It's the slow learning from cases, memorization, and application to difficult and novel fact patterns spanning the entirety of the doctrine - while competition with dozens of other over eager law students - that winds up being the problem.

It's not like the class will hurt you, and for the first week you'll have a little better understanding than most of exactly what's going to happen for the rest of the semester, but it's hardly an advantage that will lead to necessarily more efficient learning or stronger performance.


Well, then there's the question of the substantive law learned. The explanation from this particular professor is likely to be different from what she will get in LS classes. So there is likely to be some unlearning/relearning, which is a disadvantage. I think the main advantage she has going in is that she will have taken an exam which is more like a law school exam. This can ease some fears over the concept of test taking itself, although as you said, there's the competition aspect. There's also having to do it 4 or 5 times over a two week span.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:42 pm

This has a very big chance to backfire when you learn things one way and your professor teaches it another way. High risk low reward.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby XxSpyKEx » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:32 am

At first I thought this was going to be another gunner 0L thread...

Anyway, I took business law in undergrad as well (I was a business UG). It's a cool class. Enjoy it, and wish that your first year of law school more like that because it won't be. Business law just gives you an overview of legal issues that you'd be faced with in the business world. You use a descriptive text and the class is extremely simple and straight forward. Law school is quite a bit different in that you don't get descriptive text and you focus a lot more on the law and policy implications.

If you want to get a bit of insight into law school try taking an advance business law class... I forgot what it was called and I actually dropped it as an UG because I felt like it was too much work, but at my UG we had that course and the course book was literally a hornbook. That's a little bit closer to the denseness of the reading you see in law school, but still a quite a bit different then actually reading cases. But I recall that course looking at actual legal issues through case analysis (at least the first couple days we did, then I dropped it), which is a lot closer to what you'll do in law school. It's been a few years since UG for me (I'm a 2L now), but I'd imagine any advanced business law class you take would be the same because I recall the reason that prof used a hornbook for the reading was because none of the publishers publish a simple and descriptive textbook for business students besides for the basic business law class (like the one you are in now).

As for "whether you can breathe a little easier"- I felt like being a business UG was a huge advantage in law school. The exams in law school are pretty much like easy versions of papers that you write for class where you take a real Harvard business school cases and then analyze it based on the principles and theoretical frameworks that are set in your text book (e.g. organizational behavior is big on this). Actually, when I was working on my MBA prior to law school a lot of the exams were actual Harvard business school cases that simply asked a few questions after the case (I have no idea if better UGs then the one I went to just do this for UG as well). I thought those were actually a lot more difficult then law school exams in that they were real cases and the theoretical frameworks didn’t fit so nicely around the edges of the given facts so you really had to wrestle with how and what to discuss. Law school exams are a bit more straight forward because your prof will make up a hypothetical and the stuff that you cover in class will fit squarely within that hypothetical. However, we did get a TON of time to complete exams in most classes in business (UG and grad), whereas some law school exams can be very time pressed (not all, but some).

Hope that helps.
Last edited by XxSpyKEx on Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Renzo
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby Renzo » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:36 am

Learning the law is easy. Taking law school exams is a motherfucker.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby Kilpatrick » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:41 am

D. H2Oman wrote:
miamiman wrote:Yep, breathe easier.


Well, this is half right. Yes, you should breathe easier knowing that you know have a huge advantage over other incoming 0L's. However, be worried because it's such a big advantage that it completely crosses the line and gives you an unfair advantage. You'll definitely have to declare this on the C&F portion of your Bar application. I'm not going to say you'll be denied because of this, but it's a very realistic possibility.


You are the best poster

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prezidentv8
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:03 am

Renzo wrote:Learning the law is easy. Taking law school exams is a motherfucker.


180

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Knowledge of law before LS?

Postby bostonlawchick » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:34 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:At first I thought this was going to be another gunner 0L thread...

Anyway, I took business law in undergrad as well (I was a business UG). It's a cool class. Enjoy it, and wish that your first year of law school more like that because it won't be. Business law just gives you an overview of legal issues that you'd be faced with in the business world. You use a descriptive text and the class is extremely simple and straight forward. Law school is quite a bit different in that you don't get descriptive text and you focus a lot more on the law and policy implications.

If you want to get a bit of insight into law school try taking an advance business law class... I forgot what it was called and I actually dropped it as an UG because I felt like it was too much work, but at my UG we had that course and the course book was literally a hornbook. That's a little bit closer to the denseness of the reading you see in law school, but still a quite a bit different then actually reading cases. But I recall that course looking at actual legal issues through case analysis (at least the first couple days we did, then I dropped it), which is a lot closer to what you'll do in law school. It's been a few years since UG for me (I'm a 2L now), but I'd imagine any advanced business law class you take would be the same because I recall the reason that prof used a hornbook for the reading was because none of the publishers publish a simple and descriptive textbook for business students besides for the basic business law class (like the one you are in now).

As for "whether you can breathe a little easier"- I felt like being a business UG was a huge advantage in law school. The exams in law school are pretty much like easy versions of papers that you write for class where you take a real Harvard business school cases and then analyze it based on the principles and theoretical frameworks that are set in your text book (e.g. organizational behavior is big on this). Actually, when I was working on my MBA prior to law school a lot of the exams were actual Harvard business school cases that simply asked a few questions after the case (I have no idea if better UGs then the one I went to just do this for UG as well). I thought those were actually a lot more difficult then law school exams in that they were real cases and the theoretical frameworks didn’t fit so nicely around the edges of the given facts so you really had to wrestle with how and what to discuss. Law school exams are a bit more straight forward because your prof will make up a hypothetical and the stuff that you cover in class will fit squarely within that hypothetical. However, we did get a TON of time to complete exams in most classes in business (UG and grad), whereas some law school exams can be very time pressed (not all, but some).

Hope that helps.


Thanks, that really does help. I really don't think I have it in me to be a gunner. Obviously I want to do well, I'm sure everyone does, but I'm just not the type of person to talk in class unless I get called on. I go to a small state school with an alright business program, but we don't have any advanced business law classes. I actually did have to read a couple Harvard Business School cases for my organizational behavior class though, we had to write papers on them. God, I hated that class... though probably because my prof was totally useless. Most of my classes give you a ton of time for exams, but my law class doesn't... I have 60 minutes for my next exam. Which is tomorrow. I should be studying for it, but here I am. He's going to give us a hypothetical, probably about contracts, and we have 60 minutes to write as much as we can about it. I completely ran out of time last time... although we did have a fire alarm go off in the middle of the exam.




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