Closing Thoughts

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
Thane Messinger
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:54 pm

Closing Thoughts

Postby Thane Messinger » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:21 pm

I was referred to this forum by someone who was enthusiastic for the positive, helpful advice. I too see some excellent advice. I thought I might post two notes to provide a dissenting opinion about two qualities that have seeped into the mindset of law students.

There is a fundamental disagreement and, what’s worse, there are any number and types of attacks that make a reasoned debate difficult. Reasoned debate is, of course, closely aligned with what is rewarded on law exams.

One disagreement centers on preparation. I am not of the mindset of Atticus Falcon in PLS. For example, I do not disagree with much of the commentary here, which focuses on the truism in law school that time spent studying does not equal high grades. Exactly right. That does not, however, mean that the opposite is true. On average, those who follow PLS in the way that that book recommends WILL do better than those who do not. I would tend to say that they will do much better, but I’ve not seen any studies to show it. Agree or disagree, it’s hard to argue that focusing on a subject intently won’t have some benefit.

A second disagreement is whether there is “a” right way. I never argue this, but neither is it true that “everyone’s way is equally good.” Sorry, no. Some techniques, such as color coding, are just plain silly. Other techniques, such as case briefing, massive note-taking, and brown-nosing, are a sideshow.

A third disagreement is a corollary of the first: sit back, relax, get drunk, etc. Summers are to be enjoyed. Sure. But to put your fate entirely in the hands of, well, fate is, for an attorney, an astonishing thing. This is everything that the law is not. Just as we might agree that time spent studying doesn’t necessarily lead to good grades, doesn’t it follow that nine months of intense study won’t necessary lead to good grades either? This is, after all, the “top” discussion board, yes?

It is possible to do well in nine months. To paraphrase any self-respecting pre-pubescent, “Well, duh.” But it’s hardly guaranteed. The odds are nine-to-one against you. And several of the assumptions and presumed “best practices” are nothing of the kind. They are awful distractions in your challenge to do well in law school.

But all this I leave to you to debate. I will butt out.

Before I do, I will offer this: There is a simple test, which I would propose you keep in mind as you begin law school.

If, during your FIRST WEEK of law school, your classes make sense, then the modest preparation you might do (building a framework of the six major subjects) is correct.

[If classes makes sense and you've not done any preparation, you might be one of the "natural born geniuses of the law" that Atticus talks about. Congratuations to you if so.]

If, during your first week of law school, the topics and cases and discussions do NOT make sense, then you should engage in a screeching re-assessment of the methods you’re using.

Nine months is plenty of time, if there is little wasted effort.

By "make sense," I mean that you understand the discussion, almost as if your professor were talking about, say, how the Judiciary is distinct from the Executive and Legislative (separation-of-powers from ol' 9th grade civics), and how the judiciary is independent. Pretty straightforward, right? That’s what law school should be. Not easy. Not simple. But not mind-bogglingly disorienting.

If it is disorienting, stop. It won’t get easier, and it won’t get better. If it is disorienting, figure out what is working and what is not. Do more of the former and stop doing the latter.

To anyone who’s willing to listen, I recommend that you prepare carefully, modestly, and intently, building an awareness and understanding of the framework of each of the six major subjects. We’re talking about a few dozen hours for each subject. Into those frameworks you will put the specific knowledge as you approach each topic in law school.

Best of luck to all,

Thane.

User avatar
darkarmour
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:38 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby darkarmour » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:06 pm

Captain! Huge ego detected in Sector OP! Scanner readings indicate undeserved, yet curiously prepossessing, sense of superiority! Recommend set shields to 70%.

User avatar
daesonesb
Posts: 499
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:18 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby daesonesb » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:09 pm

Shaddup Thane.

lawgod
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:22 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby lawgod » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:12 pm

I also have closing thoughts.

And in parting from you now,
thus much let me avow,
you are not wrong to deem,
that my days have been a dream,
yet if hope has flown away,
in a night or in a day,
in a vision or in none,
is it therefore the less gone,
all that we see and seem,
is but a dream within a dream.

poe?

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby sundance95 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:16 pm

Image

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Tanicius » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:20 pm

darkarmour wrote:Captain! Huge ego detected in Sector OP! Scanner readings indicate undeserved, yet curiously prepossessing, sense of superiority! Recommend set shields to 70%.


Objection to spec --

Er, no, never mind.

User avatar
MURPH
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby MURPH » Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:42 am

Thanks Thane,
I didn't realize what an echo chamber TLS was. You've given some good advice about prepping before school starts. It just blows my mind that the posters on TLS go berzerk when someone reccomends prepping. After all I and most posters start posting here while we prep for the LSAT. The best advice for LSAT prepping, which I followed, is Pithypike's method. You should do every available practice test and use the best available prep books, the Powerscore Bibles. That is the standard advice for LSAT prep.

Yet when it comes to 1L prep there is almost a TLS zero tolorance policy for prepping. Read E&E's? Waste of time. Follow a self study program like PLS recommends? It will do more harm then good? Read anything law related??? well maybe glance at GTM, but it won't help.

The reasoning behind this policy of never prep is ridiculous. They say 1Ls will burn out - perhaps if we prep 14 hours per day or study our asses off like we are in school but if we read and do E&Es for a few hours per day instead of surfing the net or watching TV will we really burn out. It isn't like we have to cram and fret about being cold called. Just reading about a subject that we are (or should be) interested in at our own pace isn't going to lead to burn out.

They say we are not being tested on the subject but on our professors version of the subject. No kidding. Anyone who has been through college knows that some profs have their own weird versions of reality. My prof for introductory sociology was an avowed Maoist who defended the one child policy and killing capitalists with a smile. That is fine. I can learn the subject while also taking time to understand my profs idiosyncracies. With a bit of preparation and use of standard resources I should be able to tell when I am being taught the standard version of the subject and when I am being taught the profs version. That should only help on exams, not to mention real life as a lawyer.

The claim that law school is unlike anything else that we have done and therefore we shouldn't prep is no good either. I am sure law school is different than undergrad or grad school. But still how does that mean we shouldn't prep. I can't imagine any other discipline where it would be harmful to prep. Math, music, nursing, history, philosophy, economics... in pretty much any area of study it would be better to have some background knowledge before the semester starts. Even just being familiar with the vocabulary would be a benefit.

The argument that prepping is a waste of time is no good either. I do a fair amount of prepping at work, it isn't like I have to choose between prepping and rescuing drowning orphans. I just crack open a book when it gets slow at work or instead of watching TV at home. Prepping doesn't prevent me from hiking or going to the beach when I want to. It just keeps me from actually wasting my time doing stupid shit while I am waiting for something better to do.

Anyway, I enjoyed your book. I am following your advice and I'll let you know how it works out.

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Tanicius » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:18 am

MURPH wrote:Thanks Thane,
I didn't realize what an echo chamber TLS was. You've given some good advice about prepping before school starts. It just blows my mind that the posters on TLS go berzerk when someone reccomends prepping. After all I and most posters start posting here while we prep for the LSAT. The best advice for LSAT prepping, which I followed, is Pithypike's method. You should do every available practice test and use the best available prep books, the Powerscore Bibles. That is the standard advice for LSAT prep.

Yet when it comes to 1L prep there is almost a TLS zero tolorance policy for prepping. Read E&E's? Waste of time. Follow a self study program like PLS recommends? It will do more harm then good? Read anything law related??? well maybe glance at GTM, but it won't help.

The reasoning behind this policy of never prep is ridiculous. They say 1Ls will burn out - perhaps if we prep 14 hours per day or study our asses off like we are in school but if we read and do E&Es for a few hours per day instead of surfing the net or watching TV will we really burn out. It isn't like we have to cram and fret about being cold called. Just reading about a subject that we are (or should be) interested in at our own pace isn't going to lead to burn out.

They say we are not being tested on the subject but on our professors version of the subject. No kidding. Anyone who has been through college knows that some profs have their own weird versions of reality. My prof for introductory sociology was an avowed Maoist who defended the one child policy and killing capitalists with a smile. That is fine. I can learn the subject while also taking time to understand my profs idiosyncracies. With a bit of preparation and use of standard resources I should be able to tell when I am being taught the standard version of the subject and when I am being taught the profs version. That should only help on exams, not to mention real life as a lawyer.

The claim that law school is unlike anything else that we have done and therefore we shouldn't prep is no good either. I am sure law school is different than undergrad or grad school. But still how does that mean we shouldn't prep. I can't imagine any other discipline where it would be harmful to prep. Math, music, nursing, history, philosophy, economics... in pretty much any area of study it would be better to have some background knowledge before the semester starts. Even just being familiar with the vocabulary would be a benefit.

The argument that prepping is a waste of time is no good either. I do a fair amount of prepping at work, it isn't like I have to choose between prepping and rescuing drowning orphans. I just crack open a book when it gets slow at work or instead of watching TV at home. Prepping doesn't prevent me from hiking or going to the beach when I want to. It just keeps me from actually wasting my time doing stupid shit while I am waiting for something better to do.

Anyway, I enjoyed your book. I am following your advice and I'll let you know how it works out.


Practically every "How I got Top __%" post I've seen on this forum suggests prep of some kind. That's not at all what people are disagreeing with in this thread.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby 98234872348 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:43 am

MURPH wrote:Thanks Thane,
I am a 0L

All I read. It is pointless to offer advice on a subject you know nothing about. I don't think you should be suggesting that your method of 0L prep is helpful before you've even taken a law school class; if you think prepping will be helpful, go ahead, go against the grain. Best of luck. Everyone studies differently, there is no one formula to success. But don't offer advice when your method hasn't proven successful, because people take the advice on these boards seriously.

User avatar
doyleoil
Posts: 631
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:59 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby doyleoil » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:52 am

MURPH wrote:Thanks Thane,
I didn't realize what an echo chamber TLS was. You've given some good advice about prepping before school starts. It just blows my mind that the posters on TLS go berzerk when someone reccomends prepping. After all I and most posters start posting here while we prep for the LSAT. The best advice for LSAT prepping, which I followed, is Pithypike's method. You should do every available practice test and use the best available prep books, the Powerscore Bibles. That is the standard advice for LSAT prep.

Yet when it comes to 1L prep there is almost a TLS zero tolorance policy for prepping. Read E&E's? Waste of time. Follow a self study program like PLS recommends? It will do more harm then good? Read anything law related??? well maybe glance at GTM, but it won't help.

The reasoning behind this policy of never prep is ridiculous. They say 1Ls will burn out - perhaps if we prep 14 hours per day or study our asses off like we are in school but if we read and do E&Es for a few hours per day instead of surfing the net or watching TV will we really burn out. It isn't like we have to cram and fret about being cold called. Just reading about a subject that we are (or should be) interested in at our own pace isn't going to lead to burn out.

They say we are not being tested on the subject but on our professors version of the subject. No kidding. Anyone who has been through college knows that some profs have their own weird versions of reality. My prof for introductory sociology was an avowed Maoist who defended the one child policy and killing capitalists with a smile. That is fine. I can learn the subject while also taking time to understand my profs idiosyncracies. With a bit of preparation and use of standard resources I should be able to tell when I am being taught the standard version of the subject and when I am being taught the profs version. That should only help on exams, not to mention real life as a lawyer.

The claim that law school is unlike anything else that we have done and therefore we shouldn't prep is no good either. I am sure law school is different than undergrad or grad school. But still how does that mean we shouldn't prep. I can't imagine any other discipline where it would be harmful to prep. Math, music, nursing, history, philosophy, economics... in pretty much any area of study it would be better to have some background knowledge before the semester starts. Even just being familiar with the vocabulary would be a benefit.

The argument that prepping is a waste of time is no good either. I do a fair amount of prepping at work, it isn't like I have to choose between prepping and rescuing drowning orphans. I just crack open a book when it gets slow at work or instead of watching TV at home. Prepping doesn't prevent me from hiking or going to the beach when I want to. It just keeps me from actually wasting my time doing stupid shit while I am waiting for something better to do.

Anyway, I enjoyed your book. I am following your advice and I'll let you know how it works out.


almost forgot how insufferable 0L's can be

thanks for the reminder

User avatar
worldtraveler
Posts: 7667
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:47 am

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:52 am

How come this guy keeps saying "final thoughts" and that he's going to go away, and then he never shuts up?

Thane Messinger
Posts: 119
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Thane Messinger » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:33 pm

worldtraveler wrote:How come this guy keeps saying "final thoughts" and that he's going to go away, and then he never shuts up?


Genetic disorder, I suppose.

Here's an article some might find interesting . . .

http://www.abajournal.com/weekly/articl ... _anonymous

It would be rather interesting if the ABA supported states in stripping anonymity from discussion forums such as this. Those committees on fitness to practice law, to which each attorney-aspirant must apply, would be most interested in the level of, ah, debate herein.

By the way, there's yet another link with an interesting story: it's a foreword by none other than the founder of TLS, Ken DeLeon, who with the author mirror the perspective and advice that I have been trying to get across. Here 'tis, on this very forum: http://www.top-law-schools.com/success- ... chool.html

To any who have decided to take it easy during the summer, on the assumption that starting in a few weeks your brains and heroic study brawn will carry you to grade-on status, you might also read Juan Doria's book, Slacker's Guide to Law School. Seriously. That will help both with lower levels of stress and with an appreciation for the advice that is so heartily rejected.
Last edited by Thane Messinger on Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
mallard
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:45 am

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby mallard » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:34 pm

Shut up, Thane.
Shut up, MURPH.

User avatar
go4hls
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby go4hls » Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:53 pm

Daaaang, when did this forum get so testy??

User avatar
billyez
Posts: 868
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:19 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby billyez » Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:30 am

Tanicius wrote:
darkarmour wrote:Captain! Huge ego detected in Sector OP! Scanner readings indicate undeserved, yet curiously prepossessing, sense of superiority! Recommend set shields to 70%.


Objection to spec --

Er, no, never mind.


:lol: You can take the guy out of Mock Trial...

User avatar
MURPH
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby MURPH » Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:27 am

mallard wrote:Shut up, Thane.
Shut up, MURPH.
Feel free to reply with a substantive argument of why I shouldn't prep. I live in Hawaii and there are plenty of beaches and swimming pools I could spend the next five weeks sitting near, if you could convince me.
Thane is an author. He is not here to figure out how to get into law school or how to get a good job. He has done that. He is dropping some advice on his area of expertise: the stuff he has written a couple of books about. We get occasional law professors and occasional big law lawyers here who give advice now and then. There is nothing controversial about that.
The only thing that seems to stir people's anger is the suggestion of pre-law prepping. TLS members go berserk about it. Even when numerous people with high GPAs state that they prepped, the party line is that prepping is a waste of time. Any deviation from that is considered a flame.
I am a 0L, ignorant and stupid in the ways of the law. Help me. explain why I should close my E&E, Delaney and other books and relax. I am willing to listen.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Cleareyes » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:03 am

MURPH wrote:
mallard wrote:Shut up, Thane.
Shut up, MURPH.
Feel free to reply with a substantive argument of why I shouldn't prep. I live in Hawaii and there are plenty of beaches and swimming pools I could spend the next five weeks sitting near, if you could convince me.
Thane is an author. He is not here to figure out how to get into law school or how to get a good job. He has done that. He is dropping some advice on his area of expertise: the stuff he has written a couple of books about. We get occasional law professors and occasional big law lawyers here who give advice now and then. There is nothing controversial about that.
The only thing that seems to stir people's anger is the suggestion of pre-law prepping. TLS members go berserk about it. Even when numerous people with high GPAs state that they prepped, the party line is that prepping is a waste of time. Any deviation from that is considered a flame.
I am a 0L, ignorant and stupid in the ways of the law. Help me. explain why I should close my E&E, Delaney and other books and relax. I am willing to listen.


If you want to prep, prep. It isn't likely to hurt you, may help, and it's none of our concern how much time you get to spend on the beach.

But that doesn't excuse encouraging pompous longwinded posts or pompous longwinded posters. That's like feeding the bears. It puts everyone else in danger for your own enjoyment.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby 98234872348 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:59 am

MURPH wrote:
mallard wrote:Shut up, Thane.
Shut up, MURPH.
Feel free to reply with a substantive argument of why I shouldn't prep. I live in Hawaii and there are plenty of beaches and swimming pools I could spend the next five weeks sitting near, if you could convince me.
Thane is an author. He is not here to figure out how to get into law school or how to get a good job. He has done that. He is dropping some advice on his area of expertise: the stuff he has written a couple of books about. We get occasional law professors and occasional big law lawyers here who give advice now and then. There is nothing controversial about that.
The only thing that seems to stir people's anger is the suggestion of pre-law prepping. TLS members go berserk about it. Even when numerous people with high GPAs state that they prepped, the party line is that prepping is a waste of time. Any deviation from that is considered a flame.
I am a 0L, ignorant and stupid in the ways of the law. Help me. explain why I should close my E&E, Delaney and other books and relax. I am willing to listen.

Because 1L is a marathon and people burn out. If you're prepping substantially it is likely this will happen to you. It really doesn't matter how well prepared you are for an exam when you're bleary eyed and can't focus because you're so overworked and mentally exhausted that you can't begin to string together a coherent sentence less one that articulates a comprehensive understanding of the law.

In addition, having additional knowledge can be confusing and sometimes even detrimental. Your professor is going to test you on his or her understanding of a particular, minuscule body of a much more vast area of law (ESPECIALLY in property). The professor will have a certain understanding of rules that may differ dramatically from the way the E&Es or the hornbooks lay out the rules. If you have prepped, you may subconsciously attempt to force the outside source's understanding of the law on your professor and you will be penalized for that. In addition, you may focus on an area of the law that isn't necessarily as important to the question as you think; professors write nuanced and complex exam questions, which warrant various arguments that may be outside the scope of the course or, alternatively, have a certain legal issue that is vastly more important to speak about depending on the focus areas of your class. I made this fatal error on the exam I received my worst grade on in law school; I spoke about an obscure issue extensively and this caused me to miss points on another issue that was more relevant and important to what our class had focused on. Finally, not only may you focus on something that is obscure and your professor only discussed tangentially, you might focus on something that is completely outside the scope of your course. When you've prepped, you're going to have knowledge that will be completely irrelevant to your course; I prepped for two courses and this is absolutely true. You're going to have a LOT of unnecessary knowledge, actually, at least in the sense that the knowledge is applicable to a particular course. So, bearing that in mind, when finals come around and you're frantically pouring through your notes and checking them against treatises, you WILL be confused about what law was derived from what sources. Here's a lesson: what the professor says IS THE LAW. It doesn't matter if you disagree. The reason for this is that 1) no one knows what the law is anyways and 2) the professor is trying to assess your ability to understand law - ANY law - and while they will try to teach you the law as it exists in practice, you'll find that in many areas it is hard to say with any sort of precision EXACTLY what the law is. Therefore, if you're talking about how the rule against perpetuities blocks a certain individual from receiving the future interest that would have been created by a contingent remainder, and your professor hardly even spoke about the RAP, your hard work will ultimately be futile as the professor glosses over the paragraph of writing you just effectively wasted. And don't say "oh, well, I'm too smart and discerning, this will never happen to me," because it will; law school is confusing and when you're at the end of a course you're trying to cling to any source of knowledge you can, including the ideas that you're ultimately going to recall from all that unnecessary prep you did.

Oh, one more thing: prepping is absurd because YOU CAN LEARN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IN A SEMESTER. People say prepping is unnecessary because, ultimately, it is. You'll hear time and time again from every professor you have that you don't need any outside knowledge of the law to do well in their course. This is absolutely true; I know many successful students who never even picked up a treatise. The guy who booked my contracts class never read anything outside of the material presented in the book; he read the cases and the restatement and received a book award. You can too, although, with all the prepping you're doing, you'll likely be too burned out and baffled by the time you take exams that you'll be contending for Bs, not book awards.

hth.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Cleareyes » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:08 am

mistergoft wrote:
MURPH wrote:
mallard wrote:Shut up, Thane.
Shut up, MURPH.
Feel free to reply with a substantive argument of why I shouldn't prep. I live in Hawaii and there are plenty of beaches and swimming pools I could spend the next five weeks sitting near, if you could convince me.
Thane is an author. He is not here to figure out how to get into law school or how to get a good job. He has done that. He is dropping some advice on his area of expertise: the stuff he has written a couple of books about. We get occasional law professors and occasional big law lawyers here who give advice now and then. There is nothing controversial about that.
The only thing that seems to stir people's anger is the suggestion of pre-law prepping. TLS members go berserk about it. Even when numerous people with high GPAs state that they prepped, the party line is that prepping is a waste of time. Any deviation from that is considered a flame.
I am a 0L, ignorant and stupid in the ways of the law. Help me. explain why I should close my E&E, Delaney and other books and relax. I am willing to listen.

Because 1L is a marathon and people burn out. If you're prepping substantially it is likely this will happen to you. It really doesn't matter how well prepared you are for an exam when you're bleary eyed and can't focus because you're so overworked and mentally exhausted that you can't begin to string together a coherent sentence less one that articulates a comprehensive understanding of the law.

In addition, having additional knowledge can be confusing and sometimes even detrimental. Your professor is going to test you on his or her understanding of a particular, minuscule body of a much more vast area of law (ESPECIALLY in property). The professor will have a certain understanding of rules that may differ dramatically from the way the E&Es or the hornbooks lay out the rules. If you have prepped, you may subconsciously attempt to force the outside source's understanding of the law on your professor and you will be penalized for that. In addition, you may focus on an area of the law that isn't necessarily as important to the question as you think; professors write nuanced and complex exam questions, which warrant various arguments that may be outside the scope of the course or, alternatively, have a certain legal issue that is vastly more important to speak about depending on the focus areas of your class. I made this fatal error on the exam I received my worst grade on in law school; I spoke about an obscure issue extensively and this caused me to miss points on another issue that was more relevant and important to what our class had focused on. Finally, not only may you focus on something that is obscure and your professor only discussed tangentially, you might focus on something that is completely outside the scope of your course. When you've prepped, you're going to have knowledge that will be completely irrelevant to your course; I prepped for two courses and this is absolutely true. You're going to have a LOT of unnecessary knowledge, actually, at least in the sense that the knowledge is applicable to a particular course. So, bearing that in mind, when finals come around and you're frantically pouring through your notes and checking them against treatises, you WILL be confused about what law was derived from what sources. Here's a lesson: what the professor says IS THE LAW. It doesn't matter if you disagree. The reason for this is that 1) no one knows what the law is anyways and 2) the professor is trying to assess your ability to understand law - ANY law - and while they will try to teach you the law as it exists in practice, you'll find that in many areas it is hard to say with any sort of precision EXACTLY what the law is. Therefore, if you're talking about how the rule against perpetuities blocks a certain individual from receiving the future interest that would have been created by a contingent remainder, and your professor hardly even spoke about the RAP, your hard work will ultimately be futile as the professor glosses over the paragraph of writing you just effectively wasted. And don't say "oh, well, I'm too smart and discerning, this will never happen to me," because it will; law school is confusing and when you're at the end of a course you're trying to cling to any source of knowledge you can, including the ideas that you're ultimately going to recall from all that unnecessary prep you did.

Oh, one more thing: prepping is absurd because YOU CAN LEARN EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW IN A SEMESTER. People say prepping is unnecessary because, ultimately, it is. You'll hear time and time again from every professor you have that you don't need any outside knowledge of the law to do well in their course. This is absolutely true; I know many successful students who never even picked up a treatise. The guy who booked my contracts class never read anything outside of the material presented in the book; he read the cases and the restatement and received a book award. You can too, although, with all the prepping you're doing, you'll likely be too burned out and baffled by the time you take exams that you'll be contending for Bs, not book awards.

hth.


Eh.

Prepping hardcore might burn you out, but leisurely reading an E&E for an hour every day and then stopping a few weeks before school probably wouldn't.

Relying heavily on pre-school prep probably would cause confusion on important issues if you tried to fully integrate the information. If, however, all you did was have an idea of, say, how the federal rules of civil procedure worked, a framework in which to understand what the professor is teaching, I doubt it would cause damage.

The stuff about focusing on what the prof says is absolutely credited for most classes, but it doesn't necessarily contradict the idea of pre-school prep. Neither does the fact that you CAN learn everything in a semester.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby 98234872348 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:19 am

Cleareyes wrote:Eh.

Prepping hardcore might burn you out, but leisurely reading an E&E for an hour every day and then stopping a few weeks before school probably wouldn't.

Relying heavily on pre-school prep probably would cause confusion on important issues if you tried to fully integrate the information. If, however, all you did was have an idea of, say, how the federal rules of civil procedure worked, a framework in which to understand what the professor is teaching, I doubt it would cause damage.

The stuff about focusing on what the prof says is absolutely credited for most classes, but it doesn't necessarily contradict the idea of pre-school prep. Neither does the fact that you CAN learn everything in a semester.

I'm just making the arguments Cleareyes, I prepped before 1L (i.e. leisurely reading E&Es,reading articles and GTM, though I by no means did anything as extensive as what Murph is suggesting) and I don't regret it at all. I actually thought it was helpful. But just because I think so doesn't make it universally true, especially in the sense that I think if I had prepped for courses like property or contracts it would have affected my understanding of those areas of law detrimentally.

He said tell him why not to, so I did. Will all those arguments apply to everyone? No, probably not. However, burn out can happen and so can confusion between sources of law. Also, the fact that you CAN learn everything was used to reinforce the other arguments rather than as an alternative argument in itself.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Cleareyes » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:30 am

mistergoft wrote:I'm just making the arguments Cleareyes, I prepped before 1L (i.e. leisurely reading E&Es,reading articles and GTM, though I by no means did anything as extensive as what Murph is suggesting) and I don't regret it at all. I actually thought it was helpful. But just because I think so doesn't make it universally true, especially in the sense that I think if I had prepped for courses like property or contracts it would have affected my understanding of those areas of law detrimentally.

He said tell him why not to, so I did. Will all those arguments apply to everyone? No, probably not. However, burn out can happen and so can confusion between sources of law. Also, the fact that you CAN learn everything was used to reinforce the other arguments rather than as an alternative argument in itself.


As an academic exercise that's fine, but I think he actually wants people's advice as to what he should do.

I did not prep before law school, and I did fine, but frankly I think having skimmed Glannon before Civ Pro would have been helpful, and reading something torts related would have been good, not because it would have helped with the exam but because I would know something about torts.

And in terms of prepping detrimentally affecting someone's understanding of areas of law, hopefully the new stuff from class will overwrite the old prep stuff where they conflict. At least vs taking class and reading supplements simultaneously where they're more likely to intermingle and fight.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby 98234872348 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:40 am

Cleareyes wrote:
mistergoft wrote:I'm just making the arguments Cleareyes, I prepped before 1L (i.e. leisurely reading E&Es,reading articles and GTM, though I by no means did anything as extensive as what Murph is suggesting) and I don't regret it at all. I actually thought it was helpful. But just because I think so doesn't make it universally true, especially in the sense that I think if I had prepped for courses like property or contracts it would have affected my understanding of those areas of law detrimentally.

He said tell him why not to, so I did. Will all those arguments apply to everyone? No, probably not. However, burn out can happen and so can confusion between sources of law. Also, the fact that you CAN learn everything was used to reinforce the other arguments rather than as an alternative argument in itself.


As an academic exercise that's fine, but I think he actually wants people's advice as to what he should do.

I did not prep before law school, and I did fine, but frankly I think having skimmed Glannon before Civ Pro would have been helpful, and reading something torts related would have been good, not because it would have helped with the exam but because I would know something about torts.

And in terms of prepping detrimentally affecting someone's understanding of areas of law, hopefully the new stuff from class will overwrite the old prep stuff where they conflict. At least vs taking class and reading supplements simultaneously where they're more likely to intermingle and fight.

It's not an academic exercise though, I am regurgitating arguments that I have heard from various sources and I do believe that there is some truth to what I have said. I suffered from burn out my first semester towards my last exam which I do think was directly attributable to over studying and prepping before 1L - this burn out landed me my worst grade in law school. So it's not like I am speaking abstractly. In addition, while I did not prep for other courses, I definitely spent a lot of time studying unnecessary areas of the law my first semester and this caused me to focus on areas of law that were irrelevant to our course. Granted this was not directly correlated to prepping, however, I know that prepping definitely could land someone in the same predicament. Which is why I advise against it.

As I iterated before, it's going to be different in every situation. I am just presenting the arguments. If you're a avid student who loves to prep, and it's how you've operated in courses before, by all means, continue. I heard the arguments against prepping an ignored them. Ultimately it's going to be your decision. However, someone inexperienced with how law school works should certainly be presented with the adverse effects of prepping before undertaking a rigorous regimen. amirite?

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Cleareyes » Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:50 am

mistergoft wrote:It's not an academic exercise though, I am regurgitating arguments that I have heard from various sources and I do believe that there is some truth to what I have said. I suffered from burn out my first semester towards my last exam which I do think was directly attributable to over studying and prepping before 1L - this burn out landed me my worst grade in law school. So it's not like I am speaking abstractly. In addition, while I did not prep for other courses, I definitely spent a lot of time studying unnecessary areas of the law my first semester and this caused me to focus on areas of law that were irrelevant to our course. Granted this was not directly correlated to prepping, however, I know that prepping definitely could land someone in the same predicament. Which is why I advise against it.

As I iterated before, it's going to be different in every situation. I am just presenting the arguments. If you're a avid student who loves to prep, and it's how you've operated in courses before, by all means, continue. I heard the arguments against prepping an ignored them. Ultimately it's going to be your decision. However, someone inexperienced with how law school works should certainly be presented with the adverse effects of prepping before undertaking a rigorous regimen. amirite?


Regurgitating arguments you have heard from various sources. GODDAMN but you're a law student!

I doubt that your burnout at the VERY END OF THE SEMESTER on the last exam was related to prepping. Just about everyone burned out at the end of the first semester at 1L.

In some ways I think prepping could ameliorate the studying random areas of the law irrelevant to the course effect because you can get your hornbook reading out of the way to some extent and focus on what's taught in class.

I think that people inexperienced in how law school works should be exposed to balanced advice from various sources rather than a bunch of people advocating one choice or the other rather than their balanced, honest, opinion.

User avatar
98234872348
Posts: 1547
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:25 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby 98234872348 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:00 am

Cleareyes wrote:
mistergoft wrote:It's not an academic exercise though, I am regurgitating arguments that I have heard from various sources and I do believe that there is some truth to what I have said. I suffered from burn out my first semester towards my last exam which I do think was directly attributable to over studying and prepping before 1L - this burn out landed me my worst grade in law school. So it's not like I am speaking abstractly. In addition, while I did not prep for other courses, I definitely spent a lot of time studying unnecessary areas of the law my first semester and this caused me to focus on areas of law that were irrelevant to our course. Granted this was not directly correlated to prepping, however, I know that prepping definitely could land someone in the same predicament. Which is why I advise against it.

As I iterated before, it's going to be different in every situation. I am just presenting the arguments. If you're a avid student who loves to prep, and it's how you've operated in courses before, by all means, continue. I heard the arguments against prepping an ignored them. Ultimately it's going to be your decision. However, someone inexperienced with how law school works should certainly be presented with the adverse effects of prepping before undertaking a rigorous regimen. amirite?


Regurgitating arguments you have heard from various sources. GODDAMN but you're a law student!

I doubt that your burnout at the VERY END OF THE SEMESTER on the last exam was related to prepping. Just about everyone burned out at the end of the first semester at 1L.

In some ways I think prepping could ameliorate the studying random areas of the law irrelevant to the course effect because you can get your hornbook reading out of the way to some extent and focus on what's taught in class.

I think that people inexperienced in how law school works should be exposed to balanced advice from various sources rather than a bunch of people advocating one choice or the other rather than their balanced, honest, opinion.

Well, I don't think I would have burnt out (at least, not to the same extent I did) if I hadn't studied so excessively and focused on so many irrelevant sources of law. In addition, I think I would have done just as well on my Professional Responsibility exam studying about half as much as I did. But yeah, I also agree that potential students should draw off of various sources of information and craft their own personal plan. That's what I did and I did relatively well. But, as I have iterated in other threads, we're posting here and for every one person like Murph who we're interacting with, there are 100 people lurking and drawing off of our advice. And their abilities likely run the spectrum. So while my advice might not apply to say, someone of your abilities (or maybe even murph's?) it will likely apply to others.

User avatar
Cleareyes
Posts: 408
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:59 pm

Re: Closing Thoughts

Postby Cleareyes » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:04 am

mistergoft wrote:
Cleareyes wrote:
mistergoft wrote:It's not an academic exercise though, I am regurgitating arguments that I have heard from various sources and I do believe that there is some truth to what I have said. I suffered from burn out my first semester towards my last exam which I do think was directly attributable to over studying and prepping before 1L - this burn out landed me my worst grade in law school. So it's not like I am speaking abstractly. In addition, while I did not prep for other courses, I definitely spent a lot of time studying unnecessary areas of the law my first semester and this caused me to focus on areas of law that were irrelevant to our course. Granted this was not directly correlated to prepping, however, I know that prepping definitely could land someone in the same predicament. Which is why I advise against it.

As I iterated before, it's going to be different in every situation. I am just presenting the arguments. If you're a avid student who loves to prep, and it's how you've operated in courses before, by all means, continue. I heard the arguments against prepping an ignored them. Ultimately it's going to be your decision. However, someone inexperienced with how law school works should certainly be presented with the adverse effects of prepping before undertaking a rigorous regimen. amirite?


Regurgitating arguments you have heard from various sources. GODDAMN but you're a law student!

I doubt that your burnout at the VERY END OF THE SEMESTER on the last exam was related to prepping. Just about everyone burned out at the end of the first semester at 1L.

In some ways I think prepping could ameliorate the studying random areas of the law irrelevant to the course effect because you can get your hornbook reading out of the way to some extent and focus on what's taught in class.

I think that people inexperienced in how law school works should be exposed to balanced advice from various sources rather than a bunch of people advocating one choice or the other rather than their balanced, honest, opinion.

Well, I don't think I would have burnt out (at least, not to the same extent I did) if I hadn't studied so excessively and focused on so many irrelevant sources of law. In addition, I think I would have done just as well on my Professional Responsibility exam studying about half as much as I did. But yeah, I also agree that potential students should draw off of various sources of information and craft their own personal plan. That's what I did and I did relatively well. But, as I have iterated in other threads, we're posting here and for every one person like Murph who we're interacting with, there are 100 people lurking and drawing off of our advice. And their abilities likely run the spectrum. So while my advice might not apply to say, someone of your abilities (or maybe even murph's?) it will likely apply to others.


I think it's great that you're giving your advice and I wouldn't say there's anyone it's not applicable to as at least one perspective. I just objected slightly to your advocating against pre-school prep without fully fleshing out your perspective, that's all. I think that your advice about not focusing on learning aspects of the law the prof hasn't mentioned is a really good and important point, but I think it applies more strongly to what you do during the semester than before it begins.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests