Using Chemerinsky

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
goosey
Posts: 1543
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Using Chemerinsky

Postby goosey » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:15 pm

I am attempting to supplement my class readings for con law with teh chemerinsky book..as it is we have like 80 pages a night to read for that class, so I am trying to minimize the amt of reading I do in the supplement b/c I have other classes to read for too :shock:

I am having a really hard time figuring out what to read in the supplement though..I have been looking up the cases we are doing in the casebook and reading those sections of the supplement but im some instances the case is only mentioned for 2 lines and thats it.

I'm assuming everyone did not read the entire chemerinsky book so just curious on how you guys did or are using this supplement since it is so massive

Cherith Cutestory
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:58 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Cherith Cutestory » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:26 pm

I am having a really hard time figuring out what to read in the supplement though..I have been looking up the cases we are doing in the casebook and reading those sections of the supplement but im some instances the case is only mentioned for 2 lines and thats it.

This is pretty much what I did and it worked out for me pretty well. A bunch of Con Law cases (especially those concerned with the DCC) are two lines of actual merit surrounded by volumes of faffing. Chemerinsky boils it down to what you need.

User avatar
goosey
Posts: 1543
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby goosey » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:28 pm

Cherith Cutestory wrote:
I am having a really hard time figuring out what to read in the supplement though..I have been looking up the cases we are doing in the casebook and reading those sections of the supplement but im some instances the case is only mentioned for 2 lines and thats it.

This is pretty much what I did and it worked out for me pretty well. A bunch of Con Law cases (especially those concerned with the DCC) are two lines of actual merit surrounded by volumes of faffing. Chemerinsky boils it down to what you need.


did you read the entire chapter in the supplement or just the paragraph or two before and after the case was mentioned

dougroberts
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:18 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby dougroberts » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:30 pm

That's quite a lot of reading. How much reading are you assigned in Con Law?

I used Chemerinsky's treatise along with his casebook, and found the treatise to be immensely helpful (and I got an A in Con Law I). Sometimes Supreme Court cases are rather lengthy and convoluted. The treatise cuts the unnecessary parts and basically gives the holdings of each case, with a short description of the facts. I used the treatise's summary of the facts in my brief since they were nice 1-2 sentence summaries, and then used the holdings from the treatise. I supplemented that with any quotes that I though would be helpful from the cases themselves.

If you thoroughly read the treatise parts that correspond to the assigned reading, and then read the casebook fast, you shouldn't waste too much additional time.

I normally read the entire case summary in the treatise + the filler text in between the cases. However, sometimes the treatise included cases that were not in the casebook, so you can skip those. And some newer cases were not in the treatise. Finally, the filler text was the same filler text used in the casebook many times.

User avatar
goosey
Posts: 1543
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby goosey » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:35 pm

dougroberts wrote:That's quite a lot of reading. How much reading are you assigned in Con Law?

I used Chemerinsky's treatise along with his casebook, and found the treatise to be immensely helpful (and I got an A in Con Law I). Sometimes Supreme Court cases are rather lengthy and convoluted. The treatise cuts the unnecessary parts and basically gives the holdings of each case, with a short description of the facts. I used the treatise's summary of the facts in my brief since they were nice 1-2 sentence summaries, and then used the holdings from the treatise. I supplemented that with any quotes that I though would be helpful from the cases themselves.

If you thoroughly read the treatise parts that correspond to the assigned reading, and then read the casebook fast, you shouldn't waste too much additional time.

I normally read the entire case summary in the treatise + the filler text in between the cases. However, sometimes the treatise included cases that were not in the casebook, so you can skip those. And some newer cases were not in the treatise. Finally, the filler text was the same filler text used in the casebook many times.


ok thanks. Yeah theres probably over 200 pages a week--I attempt to get it done over the weekend so I can use supplements throughout the week to hammer in principles, but this never happens. I think I will go with the read supplement first, read casebook fast approach. One of our TA's said that we should not skip the casebook reading no matter what.

Cherith Cutestory
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:58 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Cherith Cutestory » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:39 pm

did you read the entire chapter in the supplement or just the paragraph or two before and after the case was mentioned

I usually looked up where the case was and read the section that it was in, but not the entire chapter, and write the BLL into my outline. Then I'd read the actual casebook and underline the BLL and any policy arguments that jumped out. Sometimes in class my professor would throw in an extra element he liked so I'd add that to the outline. Then I got an old outline from a 3L which had the prof's little oddities already in there so I didn't even have to pay that much attention in class, which I found extremely liberating since Con Law seems to actively encourage people to turn into political strawmen over every little thing.

User avatar
uzpakalis
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:36 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby uzpakalis » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:30 pm

If you read Chemerinsky you don't need to read the casebook...

User avatar
goosey
Posts: 1543
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:48 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby goosey » Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:46 pm

uzpakalis wrote:If you read Chemerinsky you don't need to read the casebook...



I am almost positive this is true, but the 2% chance that it isn't is too big a risk for me to take in a 5 credit class

User avatar
wiseowl
Posts: 1071
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:38 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby wiseowl » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:12 pm

All I can attest to is what worked for me...stopped reading the cases around mid-semester, stuck straight to Chemerinsky, got highest grade in law school.

your mileage may vary.

User avatar
uzpakalis
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:36 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby uzpakalis » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:44 pm

goosey wrote:
uzpakalis wrote:If you read Chemerinsky you don't need to read the casebook...



I am almost positive this is true, but the 2% chance that it isn't is too big a risk for me to take in a 5 credit class


Then keep doing what you've been doing? Chemerinsky not only gives you "what you need to know", he also gives you the history, arguments, and policy issues that you need to use on an exam to get an A.

How about getting the briefs online to save time? All these con law cases have been mulled over plenty, and there is not much you are going to get out of reading the actual case that you can't get from a wiki entry. IMHO.

User avatar
Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:49 pm

uzpakalis wrote:If you read Chemerinsky you don't need to read the casebook...


This is not what I've been told from my source that booked 1L year. He has been right before. I think it depends on your competition and professor.

User avatar
mbusch22
Posts: 255
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby mbusch22 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:02 pm

goosey wrote:
uzpakalis wrote:If you read Chemerinsky you don't need to read the casebook...



I am almost positive this is true, but the 2% chance that it isn't is too big a risk for me to take in a 5 credit class



I've just been skimming/highlighting the casebook after reading the relevant Chemerinski sections. I can't stand reading those convoluted old cases. And 200 pages of assigned con law reading a week? That sounds awful.

missinglink
Posts: 946
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:49 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby missinglink » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:04 pm

Veyron wrote:
uzpakalis wrote:If you read Chemerinsky you don't need to read the casebook...


This is not what I've been told from my source that booked 1L year. He has been right before. I think it depends on your competition and professor.

Really depends on your professor. If you just relied on Chemerinsky with my professor, you'd be owned on the final, if only because they have very different views on Constitutional Law.

I say, read sections of the Chem book to clarify things, but really pay attention to what your professor emphasizes. I've gotten by so far just skimming major cases, then getting the salient points from Emanuel's or Chemerinsky.

There's no relevant reason to read old cases. But I like to do it anyways because I find some of them very well written, or I'm fascinated by the legal reasoning that is used.

BeenDidThat
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby BeenDidThat » Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:11 pm

Protip: Don't read everything in ConLaw cases. Familiarize yourself with the facts, BRIEFLY. Then get to the holding where the opinion will discuss the applicable law and the court's take on it. SCOTUS loves writing a bunch of fluff about the importance of American traditions yada, yada, yada before getting to the point.

If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong.

User avatar
Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:33 pm

BeenDidThat wrote:Protip: Don't read everything in ConLaw cases. Familiarize yourself with the facts, BRIEFLY. Then get to the holding where the opinion will discuss the applicable law and the court's take on it. SCOTUS loves writing a bunch of fluff about the importance of American traditions yada, yada, yada before getting to the point.

If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong.


We could more easily assess your protip if you provided us with grade and school range.

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Grizz » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:35 pm

Veyron wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Protip: Don't read everything in ConLaw cases. Familiarize yourself with the facts, BRIEFLY. Then get to the holding where the opinion will discuss the applicable law and the court's take on it. SCOTUS loves writing a bunch of fluff about the importance of American traditions yada, yada, yada before getting to the point.

If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong.


We could more easily assess your protip if you provided us with grade and school range.


Or even better yet, what your exam was like and how your teacher taught the class.

User avatar
Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:03 pm

rad law wrote:
Veyron wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Protip: Don't read everything in ConLaw cases. Familiarize yourself with the facts, BRIEFLY. Then get to the holding where the opinion will discuss the applicable law and the court's take on it. SCOTUS loves writing a bunch of fluff about the importance of American traditions yada, yada, yada before getting to the point.

If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong.


We could more easily assess your protip if you provided us with grade and school range.


Or even better yet, what your exam was like and how your teacher taught the class.


Or both, I still wouldn't take a protip from someone who took my exact class and got a C.

BeenDidThat
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby BeenDidThat » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:35 pm

Veyron wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Protip: Don't read everything in ConLaw cases. Familiarize yourself with the facts, BRIEFLY. Then get to the holding where the opinion will discuss the applicable law and the court's take on it. SCOTUS loves writing a bunch of fluff about the importance of American traditions yada, yada, yada before getting to the point.

If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong.


We could more easily assess your protip if you provided us with grade and school range.


A

Worse than Northwestern and better than GW.

EDIT: I'd also like to amend to be more helpful and less of a dick: If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong. But you can spend a few more min on the notes following the case. For the most part, professors will highlight the important parts of the case. You just don't want to be caught with your pants down if the prof calls on you. My class was all about the final (as are most law school classes, as I understand it), so the key was taking away the relevant precedent and any important policy issues that the case highlights.

Cherith Cutestory
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:58 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Cherith Cutestory » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:13 pm

EDIT: I'd also like to amend to be more helpful and less of a dick: If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong. But you can spend a few more min on the notes following the case. For the most part, professors will highlight the important parts of the case. You just don't want to be caught with your pants down if the prof calls on you. My class was all about the final (as are most law school classes, as I understand it), so the key was taking away the relevant precedent and any important policy issues that the case highlights.

+1

And really, if your Con Law is anything like mine you won't even have to worry about being cold called because the entire class time will be taken up by people doing proxy Fox News v. HuffPo comment wars.

My advice (Lower T-14, A): Just focus on getting the BLL and policy issues down, then take as many practice exams as you can. I finished reading all of the Chemerinsky sections and skimming the actual cases in about a month and a half, then outlined a practice exam every three days for the rest of the semester. From my experience, since there's relatively little BLL everybody in your class will know the basics, so the average Con law exam involves being able to carefully pick out what specific area(s) you have to answer and then making better arguments. Carefully reading/briefing 200 pages a week won't necessarily teach you that.

User avatar
Veyron
Posts: 3598
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:50 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Veyron » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:24 pm

^ How long was your exam?

Cherith Cutestory
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:58 am

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Cherith Cutestory » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:27 pm

Veyron wrote:^ How long was your exam?

3.5 hours with a word limit.

huckabees
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:38 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby huckabees » Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:36 pm

BeenDidThat wrote:
Veyron wrote:
BeenDidThat wrote:Protip: Don't read everything in ConLaw cases. Familiarize yourself with the facts, BRIEFLY. Then get to the holding where the opinion will discuss the applicable law and the court's take on it. SCOTUS loves writing a bunch of fluff about the importance of American traditions yada, yada, yada before getting to the point.

If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong.


We could more easily assess your protip if you provided us with grade and school range.


A

Worse than Northwestern and better than GW.

EDIT: I'd also like to amend to be more helpful and less of a dick: If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong. But you can spend a few more min on the notes following the case. For the most part, professors will highlight the important parts of the case. You just don't want to be caught with your pants down if the prof calls on you. My class was all about the final (as are most law school classes, as I understand it), so the key was taking away the relevant precedent and any important policy issues that the case highlights.


Cherith Cutestory wrote:
EDIT: I'd also like to amend to be more helpful and less of a dick: If you're reading a case for more than 10 minutes, you're doing it wrong. But you can spend a few more min on the notes following the case. For the most part, professors will highlight the important parts of the case. You just don't want to be caught with your pants down if the prof calls on you. My class was all about the final (as are most law school classes, as I understand it), so the key was taking away the relevant precedent and any important policy issues that the case highlights.

+1

And really, if your Con Law is anything like mine you won't even have to worry about being cold called because the entire class time will be taken up by people doing proxy Fox News v. HuffPo comment wars.

My advice (Lower T-14, A): Just focus on getting the BLL and policy issues down, then take as many practice exams as you can. I finished reading all of the Chemerinsky sections and skimming the actual cases in about a month and a half, then outlined a practice exam every three days for the rest of the semester. From my experience, since there's relatively little BLL everybody in your class will know the basics, so the average Con law exam involves being able to carefully pick out what specific area(s) you have to answer and then making better arguments. Carefully reading/briefing 200 pages a week won't necessarily teach you that.



Thanks guys. Will return to this thread when I get a better feel for the course. Right now, I oddly don't find Chemerinsky that useful because I'm afraid that it'll mess with how the prof is teaching it.

User avatar
Wholigan
Posts: 763
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Wholigan » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:51 pm

I am debating buying Chemerinsky. I ran a search here and I have only seen a couple of negative comments and a ton of positive. I did very well in the fall without using any treatises, hornbooks or commercial outlines, so I'm hesitant to mess with that.

However, I'm a little worried about the exam. It's handwritten and you can only use your own notes and outlines, which is different than all of my fall exams. Our reading is pretty light, about 40 pages a week, so I feel like I would have time to read the casebook and also read Chemerinsky and prepare a parallel outline that I could use on the exam. Does that seem like a good idea? Any thoughts from anyone who has aced Con Law by just reading the casebook?

Edit: It looks like the newest edition is 2006. Is that right? It seems like we have covered a fair amount of cases that came out after that...

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby Grizz » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:45 pm

Wholigan wrote:I am debating buying Chemerinsky. I ran a search here and I have only seen a couple of negative comments and a ton of positive. I did very well in the fall without using any treatises, hornbooks or commercial outlines, so I'm hesitant to mess with that.

However, I'm a little worried about the exam. It's handwritten and you can only use your own notes and outlines, which is different than all of my fall exams. Our reading is pretty light, about 40 pages a week, so I feel like I would have time to read the casebook and also read Chemerinsky and prepare a parallel outline that I could use on the exam. Does that seem like a good idea? Any thoughts from anyone who has aced Con Law by just reading the casebook?

Edit: It looks like the newest edition is 2006. Is that right? It seems like we have covered a fair amount of cases that came out after that...


Depends on your prof. Mine sort of rambles about, and it's hard to pick out the important stuff that he's saying. Chem. does a better job of distilling it down to the elements so you can use that to supplement what your prof. is saying.

User avatar
A'nold
Posts: 3622
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:07 pm

Re: Using Chemerinsky

Postby A'nold » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:22 pm

That amount of reading is insane. I could not do it and get everything else done.

Edit: Wait....you said ~80 pages a night but ~200 a week....which is it? If the latter then it is doable.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: LawHammer and 6 guests