adh07d wrote:This thread went exactly the way I figured it would. Maybe some of us are sadistic and want to read through the E&E's for pleasure? Why not just humor us gunners an answer instead of repeating something the OP has heard a thousand times. If it turns out to be a waste of time and even hurtful to our 1L then that's our mistake to be made and we've gotten fair warning, so why not play along and maybe try and answer what the OP was asking.
The problem with TLS is that a lot of anxious, excited, competitive 0Ls want to get an edge before getting to law school. That is completely understandable. They want to hear that prep can help, they want to hear how to do it, they want to spend time, effort, and money on it. So when they ask, and 9 successful law students say 'massive waste' and 1 successful law student gives his or her blessing, they just take that info and run with it. TLS law students forum turns into a flock of eager 0Ls looking for a 1L yes-man.
It frustrates us, as I'm sure every older generation has felt frustrated when younger generations ignored their advice. But I guess sometimes you have to learn by doing instead of being told.
At the very least, any OTHER 0Ls out there lurking: You have absolute nothing to fear from those doing 0L prep, nor the people who lock themselves in the library until midnight every night once school starts. You have nothing to fear from the people whose hornbooks spill from their arms when they sit down for the first classes, you have nothing to fear from the person whose casebook is tabbed and full read by four weeks into the semester. You have nothing to fear from the guy whose outlines are updated every week.
Why? Because no one crazy study strategy is necessary. You've got to know the law and write a mean exam, and you can get there with much less effort and panic than you'll see those around you doing. Not only that, but that panic and over-eager approach will often result in epic burnout: people who put in three times the effort and get middling grades anyway. Because ONLY one thing matters, and it often gets neglected, because learning and practicing exam skills is more abstract, unguided, and difficult than just reading a dozen hornbooks and outling until your fingers ache.
Law school is scary, uncertain, and competitive. There ARE things you can do to get an advantage. They tend to be subtle, they tend to not require herculean effort.
You need to approach law school intelligently. And it's so, so hard to do it because the guidance your given is minimal and the tension is enormous. Everyone watches
everyone else. Everyone is nervous, everyone wonders if they're ready - if they are learning - if they will be ready to test their best on finals. Even after finals, few law students truly understand why they got the grades they did. It's scary! And things like 0L prep make it worse for everyone
When you read 4 E&Es before law school, you aren't helping your grade, but you are rattling your saber. If it doesn't come up, congrats: You're starting 1L with a secret. It won't do anything good for your psychology. And if it comes up, others are going to be scared, worry that they're falling behind. It's an arms race that just burns people out, because 0Ls and young 1Ls don't know how to pick their battles with learning (and learning to apply) the law. It's a socially damaging practice, it's an academically damaging practice, and it gives TLS a bad reputation because as an institution we should be encouraging intelligent, proper approach to law school not the balls-to-the-wall hyper competitive under-effective overly stressful approach.
Make your own choices... but realize that to a lot of us who've recently survived the gauntlet, these 0L questions aren't just mildly obnoxious, their threats to the well being of a generation of law students as well as TLS and its reputation. That's a little overly dramatic, I'll grant you, but maybe hearing it will help the 0Ls understand our visceral response.