Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
Attucks
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:15 pm

Re: Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

Postby Attucks » Mon May 10, 2010 7:02 pm

It's 0L summer. I'm going to law school in the fall. I decide that I'll pick up an E+E and start flipping through it, just to get acclimated to how lawyers/law students think. I read through the materials on personal jurisdiction (without reading any cases), even playing along with some of the practice questions. Semester starts. My prof begins with pleading, discovery, trial, post-trial.

Lesson: The prep didn't even help a little bit. You don't and can't know how to do this until you begin reading tidy, single-issue case excerpts geared toward helping acclimate you toward how to do this/getting cold-called in class/having guided discussions with your professors. I would argue that even the useful stuff like GTM will do worlds more for you if read concurrently with your first semester materials. Enjoy getting drunk/doing hard drugs before school starts.

User avatar
mikeytwoshoes
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:45 pm

Re: Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Tue May 11, 2010 12:59 am

Attucks wrote:It's 0L summer. I'm going to law school in the fall. I decide that I'll pick up an E+E and start flipping through it, just to get acclimated to how lawyers/law students think. I read through the materials on personal jurisdiction (without reading any cases), even playing along with some of the practice questions. Semester starts. My prof begins with pleading, discovery, trial, post-trial.

Lesson: The prep didn't even help a little bit. You don't and can't know how to do this until you begin reading tidy, single-issue case excerpts geared toward helping acclimate you toward how to do this/getting cold-called in class/having guided discussions with your professors. I would argue that even the useful stuff like GTM will do worlds more for you if read concurrently with your first semester materials. Enjoy getting drunk/doing hard drugs before school starts.

When in doubt, disclose. C & F is a bitch.

User avatar
androstan
Posts: 2699
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:07 am

Re: Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

Postby androstan » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:49 am

Does anyone have GW specific advice? Are the exams all open book/note? Are the exams heavily multiple-issue-spotter, single-issue-in-depth, or policy? Which profs have which style?

Knowing some of this can help a 0L buy the right supplements now, for cheaper (more time to shop around), instead of scrambling for them once the semester has begun. Also, if exams are closed book it may not hurt to start memorizing some basic/common BLL, especially if someone can confirm that a particular supplement outlines the BLL relevant to GW or, even better, particular professor(s) at GW.

User avatar
Bustang
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:26 pm

Re: Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

Postby Bustang » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:03 pm

stinger35 wrote:
GermX wrote:But what about actual case briefs, etc..., any certain ones that would be useful reading as a 0L?


I would read every single Constitutional Law case brief that I could get my hands on. Maybe Torts and Contracts as well. If you can, email your teacher to find out what book they plan on using, then get the Legalines Canned briefs that corresponds to that book and just got to town. It would be helpful for every class, but certainly for the ones I named. Once you have those down, it wouldn't hurt to just go to the actual cases themsevles and read most of them.

For LRW, I would read the bluebook cover to cover 4-5 times before school started. Will give you a huge huge headstart for the class.

If you want more: (this would be somewhat gunnerish though)
Read, higlight, take notes of Chemerinsky (A con law supplement)
Read the E&E's and do the questions
Get Gilberts AND/OR Emmanuels and go through the first year subjects, cover to cover

Aside from that, theres not much you can do. Still, it would certainly guarantee you top 10-15%


Here I edited this for you for correctness.

User avatar
Paichka
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:17 am

Re: Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

Postby Paichka » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:24 pm

androstan wrote:Does anyone have GW specific advice? Are the exams all open book/note? Are the exams heavily multiple-issue-spotter, single-issue-in-depth, or policy? Which profs have which style?

Knowing some of this can help a 0L buy the right supplements now, for cheaper (more time to shop around), instead of scrambling for them once the semester has begun. Also, if exams are closed book it may not hurt to start memorizing some basic/common BLL, especially if someone can confirm that a particular supplement outlines the BLL relevant to GW or, even better, particular professor(s) at GW.


Most of the 1L professors give open note exams. I'll caveat that by saying my section 1L year had both professors that gave closed note exams (torts in the fall and conlaw in the spring). All of my exams 1L year were primarily multiple issue spotters -- however, in the Spring I had two professors give us one policy-oriented question (out of three essay questions -- conlaw and property).

I do NOT advise getting supplements now. I bought all of my supplements before school started my 1L year (I'm going into 3L now), and I regretted it -- you really need to get a feel for your professor and the course before you get a supplement. For example, for my professor, the torts E&E was worthless -- I ended up buying Understanding Torts and loving it. When you get to school, wait for one or two classes, then go to the library, where all of the major supplements are on reserve at the front desk. Check out a few and look them over -- based on your professor and your own learning style, which one do you like best? Then go buy that one.

I can say that there are a couple of professors you can buy supplements for right now -- if you draw Professor Raven-Hansen for civil procedure, go buy his supplement (he's a co-author on Freer's Understanding Civil Procedure). If you get Professor Friedenthal for Civ Pro, buy his hornbook. If you draw Cheh for Con Law, get Chemerinsky's Constitutional Law book (she loves him).

Here is my experience as far as professors go:

Professor Turley spends most of his class periods discussing policy and telling awesome stories, so if you draw him for Torts go get Understanding Torts and learn the BLL cold -- he likes talking policy, but his exam is a hellish 7 or 8 page issue spotter, and you MUST be able to rattle off the elements of each tort without thinking. No matter who you get for criminal law, buy Dressler's Understanding Criminal Law, it is pure gold -- and if you get Butler or Fairfax, be prepared to be cold-called and mercilessly grilled by these two former federal prosecutors. Note on Butler -- you MUST be prepared for his class. If you aren't, he will not cut you any slack. He called on one guy in my criminal procedure (upper level) class, the guy guessed, Butler said, "no, that's totally wrong." The guy said, "well then I don't know," and Butler said, "Okay, we'll wait while you find the answer." It was...brutal.

If you get Cottrol, you might find his classes confusing because he's not well organized -- he knows his stuff, but he tends to jump around. If you get Cheh for con law, stock up on red bulls because her class is at 8:50 in the morning and she has no mercy on the unprepared. If you get Bracey for con law, he's fabulous, so enjoy it. If you get Maggs for contracts, he's a WONDERFUL professor, plus he makes cheat sheet outlines to sum up the course, but his second semester exam is brutally hard, so know the UCC cold.

And...that's about it.

User avatar
androstan
Posts: 2699
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:07 am

Re: Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

Postby androstan » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:53 pm

Paichka, thanks so much for that helpful response. I'm in the evening division so I'll be taking...

Maggs for Contracts I
Turley for Torts
Transgrud for Civpro I

I was going to pick up an E&E, Hornbook, and "Concepts and Insights" for each class, plus an audio supplement because I do a lot of commuting and working out and I want to somehow utilize that time.

Do you think I should get "Understanding Torts" as a replacement for one of the above-mentioned or in addition to? Any reccomendations for how to make sure I'm ready for Maggs' exam (you warned about 2nd semester, does that mean the 1st semester exam was fairly standard?). Finally, any info, even secondhand, about Transgrud?

User avatar
Paichka
Posts: 287
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:17 am

Re: Starting LS in the fall at GW Law. How to get a head start?

Postby Paichka » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:42 pm

androstan wrote:Paichka, thanks so much for that helpful response. I'm in the evening division so I'll be taking...

Maggs for Contracts I
Turley for Torts
Transgrud for Civpro I

I was going to pick up an E&E, Hornbook, and "Concepts and Insights" for each class, plus an audio supplement because I do a lot of commuting and working out and I want to somehow utilize that time.

Do you think I should get "Understanding Torts" as a replacement for one of the above-mentioned or in addition to? Any reccomendations for how to make sure I'm ready for Maggs' exam (you warned about 2nd semester, does that mean the 1st semester exam was fairly standard?). Finally, any info, even secondhand, about Transgrud?


Yikes, that's a lot of supplements. You don't need that many. Pick one per class, and IF NECESSARY, go to the library and read the relevant sections of another. For example, I had "Understanding Contracts" for Maggs' class. A few times, when I wanted a more nuanced understanding of some topic, I'd go and read the relevant sections in Farnsworth on Contracts, a hornbook on reserve in the library (Farnsworth wrote our textbook).

Maggs will give you the opportunity to participate in a little contest at the end of the semester where you write a list of defenses to a breach-of-contracts claim. Definitely participate -- my list of defenses served as a checklist during the exam to make sure I wasn't missing anything. His first semester exam is tough, but very fair. His second semester exam, at least my 1L year, was just brutal. The best way to prepare for his exams is to take a bunch of practice exams (which he will supply you with towards the end of the semester -- more practice exams than you could ever hope to do), and to know the BLL -- he doesn't want a lot of analysis, he just wants to see if you can spot the issue and raise all appropriate defenses and counterarguments to those defenses.

I personally found "Understanding Torts" to be more helpful than the E&E, but like I said, flip through your options and pick the one that appeals to you. My only advice on Turley is to pick one that very clearly outlines the elements of each tort -- that's a quick way to pick up points on his exam. He wants you to spot AND analyze, and if you can throw in a little policy or legal theory (he's big on legal theory -- law and economics, critical legal studies, etc -- but he will teach you all you need to know for his exam, so don't go buy a legal theory book) then you're golden.

I know nothing about Transgrud. Your best bet is to pick up the Glannon Guide (for MC practice) and either the E&E or the Understanding Civ Pro book (which I preferred). Also, when you get access to the student portal, you can look up course reviews for the professors that you drew. That ought to give you a heads up on what students who had them thought.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: ididntwantsalmon and 10 guests