Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
TTH
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 1:14 am

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby TTH » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:57 am

I'm guessing OP hasn't even memorized the Constitution yet.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:10 am

TTH wrote:I'm guessing OP hasn't even memorized the Constitution yet.


Say it ain't so.

xyzbca
Posts: 128
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:36 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby xyzbca » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:46 am

macaulian wrote:The question here is about casebooks, not E&E's, and ostensibly the professors choose the casebooks. What I find most confusing is the notion that reading the casebooks might harm the student. At some point, I have to read these cases. Am I really not to be trusted to do so unless within one week I have a professor show me the inevitable errors of my ways?


You don't know what to read. My Civ Pro professor started on page 1 of the casebook and we read 1050 pages in order by the time 1L was done. Other Civ Pro professors start on page 1027, jump back to 550, and finish the year with the first chapter. They want you learn in the order they think is important. In contracts we probably only read 150 pages out of an 800 page casebook.

Additionally, some classes/professors rely heavily on a restatement and/or treatise. This was especially true in Torts and Contracts for me. Although something like a Civ Pro casebook is good about telling you to go read FRCP 12(b)(6) before reading a case that deals with a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, other casebooks don't even mention the companion reading. In those classes, it is up to your professor to assign Restatement 90 and pages 440-460 of the treatise along with a specific case from the casebook.

User avatar
trialjunky
Posts: 928
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:41 am

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby trialjunky » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:53 am

chicagolaw2013 wrote:I just clicked on this to see OP get ripped a new one.

Satisfied.



Agreed, I was hoping it would be more acerbic though...TLS is letting me down today

User avatar
evilxs
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:21 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby evilxs » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:55 am

I started this summer and Im glad I didnt do any of this shit.

Hell no is the answer.

Each teacher uses the books differently. I have a $200 text we've cracked twice and barely done anything with. Another professor teaches entirely from a $40 text so much so that I have already caused pages to fall out of the damn thing. You have no friggen clue what THEY want to focus on and once that exam comes nothing matters except what THE PROFESSOR wants to see.

0L prep = waste of time. Enjoy your summer

User avatar
sintacs
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu May 06, 2010 11:52 am

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby sintacs » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:20 pm

macaulian wrote:
imchuckbass58 wrote:
macaulian wrote:What is the reasoning for why it would hurt? It seems like getting a handle on the cases beforehand would allow more time for briefing, analysis, and reading other things during the semester. Assume for a moment that the student doesn't find the casebooks boring...


The reasoning is if you read the E&Es (or casebooks) cold - without context, without direction, without actually knowing any law, you will focus on the wrong things. Not only will you not pick up very much, you will actually pick up stuff that is unhelpful, counterproductive, and distracting from what actually matters.

If you get a prof that teaches the subject differently from the E&E, and you just parrot back the E&E, not only will you waste time, you will likely actually get docked for focusing on stuff the professor thinks is irrelevant rather than what he taught (which may or may not be in the E&E). There's a reason they're called supplements, and that's because they are meant to reinforce and contextualize what you are actually taught by the professor and directed to read in the casebook.


The question here is about casebooks, not E&E's, and ostensibly the professors choose the casebooks. What I find most confusing is the notion that reading the casebooks might harm the student. At some point, I have to read these cases. Am I really not to be trusted to do so unless within one week I have a professor show me the inevitable errors of my ways?


Not only will you pick up and focus on things that don't matter, but it seems from your attitude that you will hold on to what you think is right. It's bad enough learning crap that will only distract you from the best answer for a specific prof, but it is even worse when you combine that with a stubborn mind.

User avatar
chicagolaw2013
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:16 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:26 pm

sintacs wrote:
macaulian wrote:
The question here is about casebooks, not E&E's, and ostensibly the professors choose the casebooks. What I find most confusing is the notion that reading the casebooks might harm the student. At some point, I have to read these cases. Am I really not to be trusted to do so unless within one week I have a professor show me the inevitable errors of my ways?


Not only will you pick up and focus on things that don't matter, but it seems from your attitude that you will hold on to what you think is right. It's bad enough learning crap that will only distract you from the best answer for a specific prof, but it is even worse when you combine that with a stubborn mind.


+1. I think I sense a "numbah one gunnah" in our midst.

User avatar
Vegas_Rebel
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:18 am

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby Vegas_Rebel » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:29 pm

Here's a question that relates to prep:

I've been convinced to study after reading PLS2. While I understand the general outlook here is that PLS2 is worthless or worse, is Atticus Falcon wrong when he says that law professors aren't going to teach their students the law? How helpful have 2L+'s found their professors to be when it comes to actually teaching the law?

User avatar
traehekat
Posts: 3195
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:00 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby traehekat » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:36 pm

macaulian wrote:The question here is about casebooks, not E&E's, and ostensibly the professors choose the casebooks. What I find most confusing is the notion that reading the casebooks might harm the student. At some point, I have to read these cases. Am I really not to be trusted to do so unless within one week I have a professor show me the inevitable errors of my ways?


Not only will you probably go over cases you don't need to and fail to really understand them anyway, but you will also fail to grasp the larger forest of cases. Often times, professors cover cases in some kind of logical order (not necessarily the order that is presented in the casebook) that will help to make sense of how the cases relate to each other and how the common law has evolved. If you look at each case as standing on its own, rather than part of a larger series of cases and legal history, you are really missing out on an important component of legal education.

User avatar
iagolives
Posts: 687
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:24 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby iagolives » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:02 pm

Vegas_Rebel wrote:Here's a question that relates to prep:

I've been convinced to study after reading PLS2. While I understand the general outlook here is that PLS2 is worthless or worse, is Atticus Falcon wrong when he says that law professors aren't going to teach their students the law? How helpful have 2L+'s found their professors to be when it comes to actually teaching the law?


It depends what you mean by "the law." Will they teach you stuff that will be on the bar exam and stuff you will use in practice someday? Probably not. Because legal academia is growing stronger ties to other branches of academia, it is becoming more, well, academic and less practical. Most law professors did not practice for that long (if at all) before beginning to teach so that simply isn't their strength. There are exceptions but this is the general rule.

By "the law" do you mean their ideas about certain areas of legal doctrine? If so, this is more likely. There will always be bad profs no matter where you go who are simply incapable of teaching. However, if you go to class and pay attention, you will in a large majority of cases get a read on how a prof thinks. Is he into policy and social justice angles of tort? Does she think that every issue of contract is nothing more than an economic calculation? Professors most of the time can't help but advocate their approaches and theories because this is what they believe and, more importantly, this is what they want you to learn. I don't care how well you memorize sections of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if you write an entire exam about the ethical implications of some rule to a professor who writes lots of books advocating Law and Econ, you will probably not be satisfied with your grade.

User avatar
Vegas_Rebel
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:18 am

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby Vegas_Rebel » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:23 pm

iagolives wrote:By "the law" do you mean their ideas about certain areas of legal doctrine? If so, this is more likely. There will always be bad profs no matter where you go who are simply incapable of teaching. However, if you go to class and pay attention, you will in a large majority of cases get a read on how a prof thinks. Is he into policy and social justice angles of tort? Does she think that every issue of contract is nothing more than an economic calculation? Professors most of the time can't help but advocate their approaches and theories because this is what they believe and, more importantly, this is what they want you to learn. I don't care how well you memorize sections of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, if you write an entire exam about the ethical implications of some rule to a professor who writes lots of books advocating Law and Econ, you will probably not be satisfied with your grade.


That makes sense, and I'll clarify.

Profs might give an in-depth description of the justifications for, say, tort law. They might go over some history, explain policy implications, discuss the social pros and cons of suggested changes, and otherwise talk all around the law via it's impact on society.

At least according to PLS2 and Atticus, however, what they're not likely to teach you is Black Letter Law: The tort of intentional negligence has x, y, and z elements with exceptions a, b, and c and an exception to the exception, f.

The cases will, by varying degrees, touch on this but they're written by judges for other judges and lawyers, who already know what the BLL is, and so they don't rehash what, to them, is elementary stuff. If they do explain the reasoning, it's intimately tied to the facts of the case and requires a lot of work to unravel the actual rule buried in there.

The concern seemed to be that profs won't teach BLL, but will test via straight up issue-spotters that require an expert understanding of BLL in addition to knowing the policy implications. Just like writing an exam answer that conflicts with obvious policy prefs of the professor is liable to turn into a bad grade, so to is explaining the impact of tort law on society and regurgitating policy information on the exam when the question at hand is whether A is liable to B for Battery.

If this is reasonably accurate (and I've had a helpful PM that it's not entirely right), I don't see how studying E&E's, which do spell out the BLL, is going to be harmful. First, you won't get a chance to ask your professor about it in school anyway (cause they don't teach it). Second, you'll have to learn it along with everything else if you wait (as opposed to buying some time later with summer downtime now). Third, despite BLL not being taught, your grade at the end of the term counts on you knowing it as if it were taught.

I'll be the first to say that when it comes to 1L I'm a noob and don't have any better understanding than any other pleb whose read a lot of books about it. Given the arguments in the book, however, I just don't see how it can hurt*. I'll also say that I chose to minor in business law to get a good foundation for law school (an elementary knowledge of contracts, torts, admin law, property, etc) and that, if studying the summer before really is a bad idea, minoring in this way is an even worse idea. I'm like anyone else, and don't want to be wrong, so I probably put more weight on anecdotes that reinforce my existing beliefs.

*One exception comes to mind: Burnout. How likely one is to burn out is something each person is best able to answer for themselves. I'm not worried about it, but I can see how it would be a real detriment.

User avatar
iagolives
Posts: 687
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:24 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby iagolives » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:35 pm

Ha, you will make a good lawyer based on how in depth you are with your arguments already. ;)

Look, you obviously want to read the E&Es. If this is what you really want, then I would. I doubt it will be the thing which ends your future as a law student nor will it be the thing that puts you on SCOTUS. As someone who started one and couldn't finish it b/c I got confused/forget what i read a few chapters back, I don't think it helped me in the class for which I read it. Maybe you just learn better/faster/more adeptly than I do but I, personally, would have preferred to do something else with my time. But, if you want to read the E&Es and find a topic which interests you, go ahead. It's your summer, do what you want as long as you don't look back and say, "wow, I wish I had that summer back."

User avatar
prezidentv8
Posts: 2821
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:33 am

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:45 am

No real reason to post this, except to give you an example of great lawyering:

Seinfeld/South Park ftw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ifgj8WXp8w

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhvAs5GsMPw#t=0m43s

User avatar
20160810
Posts: 19648
Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 1:18 pm

Re: Reading the textbooks 0L summer...

Postby 20160810 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:50 am





Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: charmonster, m052310 and 8 guests