What should I do to prepare for law school

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Helmholtz
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:11 am

thecilent wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:I know that the competition for LR starts almost immediately after finals are done here, but you're going to start doing some legal writing and bluebooking pretty early into your first semester. Eugene Volokh, in his book on legal writing and law review competitions, stresses that you should be extremely familiar with the bluebook and a general/legal style guide long before that time even rolls around. You'll save yourself some time and anxiety if you're already plugged into those guides. And unlike law courses for the most part, which can differ wildly from professor to professor, generally speaking, what's good bluebooking/writing at Harvard is good bluebooking/writing at Cornell which is good bluebooking/writing at UIUC.

Oh, and I forgot something else. This may sound ridiculously premature, but get some of your 1L summer job stuff done before you start LS. You're going to be overwhelmed as things get moving and around Dec. 1st, you're probably going to be feeling the walls of your first exams start to close in. This is really my biggest regret re: 0L prep. I wish to god that I had the foresight to take care of the bulk of all things 1L summer early on.

I've heard the bolded a couple times and def planned on working on that. Never heard about familiarizing with bluebooking though. Any recommendations on style guides? thanks btw


I would recommend Garner's Redbook for legal writing. You might as well pick up Volokh's "Academic Legal Writing" now (there shouldn't be a new edition for another 2-3 years, and you're going to buy it anyway, so why not). A lot of different guides will do for general grammar/usage. I liked Strunk & White.

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Helmholtz
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:12 am

beach_terror wrote:If you try to learn the ins and outs of the bluebook before law school, you might end up throwing yourself off a building.


:lol:

I think it's a lot less about learning the ins and outs and more just feeling comfortable with it, knowing how the book generally fits together, etc.

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JazzOne
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:13 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
thecilent wrote:While I don't like the direction frank took this all in, re-read the OP. Look at what he asks. It's not inconsiderate for me or another 0l to answer. but yeah i know what you're saying

Point taken. The OP was fairly whimsical, and he didn't seem to be looking for actual advice. But....

I worked at a biglaw firm for six weeks last summer. That doesn't mean I should go around giving advice on how to make partner. Even if I thought I knew how to make partner, I'd probably let other people offer opinions until I actually, you know, make partner.


If you reread my post, I wasn't even giving advice. I said how I was going to approach things, indicated the experience I had, and then stated my new feelings toward it. I never suggested that I'd uncovered the secret, or that I had the answer, or even told the OP to do it my way. I just shared a thought, really.

Post finals burnout?

You said that the regular TLS mantra (that you can't predict how well you'll do in law school) was exaggerated. That may not have been direct advice, but it implies that you know how difficult it will be to finish in the top 20%. You don't.

It would be like me saying, "I've seen a few associates working at their desks, and from what I've seen, it doesn't look that hard to make partner."
Last edited by JazzOne on Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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thecilent
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby thecilent » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:14 am

Interesting. Thanks for advice.

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Hank Chill
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Hank Chill » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:16 am

JazzOne wrote:
Helmholtz wrote:This is really my biggest regret re: 0L prep. I wish to god that I had the foresight to take care of the bulk of all things 1L summer early on.

Right. Law firms start accepting applications on December 1. That's a horrible time for law students, and the ones who wait until then to think about summer jobs, well, they don't usually get summer jobs. If I could do it over again, I'd start researching firms and networking before 1L.


Good call.

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thecilent
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby thecilent » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:17 am

Wait, jazz, one more question. When you say research firms, what exactly does that entail..?

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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:57 am

thecilent wrote:Wait, jazz, one more question. When you say research firms, what exactly does that entail..?

I had a very difficult time with this. I don't have any attorneys in my family or circle of acquaintances. Some of my classmates seem to know a lot of gossip about the big firms, and I never really understood how they learned that stuff. They always knew which firms were laying off and which ones were no offering their summers. I'm pretty clueless about that stuff.

But there are a few resources. First, start reading Above the Law and some of the blogs. Also, take a look at the Vault 100 list and the NLJP 250. You should a least be familiar with the names of the major firms. Get someone to tell you how their pronounced if you don't know. I heard a girl walk into an interview with Dechert and brutalize the name of the firm before she even sat down. I'm guessing she didn't get hired.

Next, you can start looking at the websites of the top firms in your area. Start getting a feel for the various practice areas and which firms do what. Some firms are known for litigation (e.g., Susmann), and others are known for transactional work (e.g., V&E). You need to know that so you can target the right firm, and even if you target both, you should at least know what to say in your cover letter and in your interview. There is another website called martindale that has information on smaller firms.

The best way to learn this stuff is probably to network. The opportunities are limited for 0Ls, but there are a few. For instance, I was asked to speak at a meeting of the prelaw society at my university earlier this week. They wanted me to talk about the LSAT and Law Review. The speaker after me was a partner from K&L Gates, so I stayed around to chat her up after the meeting. I don't think the UGs had any idea of this woman's stature. I don't think they realized how prestigious her firm is or how accomplished she is personally. She passed out her business cards and invited everyone at the meeting to email her and come tour her firm's local office. I don't think the UGs knew how to important it was to interact with this woman. If you know of any happy hours or other events where there will be biglaw attorneys, get out there, and start asking questions.

Edited to correct: It's "martindale." Not what I put originally. Sorry. Google it.
Last edited by JazzOne on Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:02 am

JazzOne wrote:
thecilent wrote:Wait, jazz, one more question. When you say research firms, what exactly does that entail..?

I had a very difficult time with this. I don't have any attorneys in my family or circle of acquaintances. Some of my classmates seem to know a lot of gossip about the big firms, and I never really understood how they learned that stuff. They always knew which firms were laying off and which ones were no offering their summers. I'm pretty clueless about that stuff.

But there are a few resources. First, start reading Above the Law and some of the blogs. Also, take a look at the Vault 100 list and the NLJP 250. You should a least be familiar with the names of the major firms. Get someone to tell you how their pronounced if you don't know. I heard a girl walk into an interview with Dechert and brutalize the name of the firm before she even sat down. I'm guessing she didn't get hired.

Next, you can start looking at the websites of the top firms in your area. Start getting a feel for the various practice areas and which firms do what. Some firms are known for litigation (e.g., Susmann), and others are known for transactional work (e.g., V&E). You need to know that so you can target the right firm, and even if you target both, you should at least know what to say in your cover letter and in your interview. There is another website called martingdale that has information on smaller firms.

The best way to learn this stuff is probably to network. The opportunities are limited for 0Ls, but there are a few. For instance, I was asked to speak at a prelaw society at my university. They wanted me to talk about the LSAT and Law Review. The speaker after me was a partner from K&L Gates, so I stayed around to chat her up after the meeting. I don't think the UGs had any idea of this woman's stature. I don't think they realized how prestigious her firm is or how accomplished she is personally. She passed out her business cards and invited everyone at the meeting to email her and come tour her firm's local office. I don't think the UGs knew how to important it was to interact with this woman. If you know of any happy hours or other events where there will be biglaw attorneys, get out there, and start asking questions.

This sounds like solid advice. Thanks for your solid advice throughout, JazzOne. I'm a 0L that was lurking around this thread, and have found the actual advice throughout to look like it will be pretty helpful.

Related to firms/jobs stuff for 1L summer though: what would you guys recommend for preparing (as a 0L) for what Helmholtz refers to as "1L summer job stuff"? For instance, how can a 0L start preparing cover letters for jobs they are not even applying for yet?

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JazzOne
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:12 am

Judge Philip Banks wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
thecilent wrote:Wait, jazz, one more question. When you say research firms, what exactly does that entail..?

I had a very difficult time with this. I don't have any attorneys in my family or circle of acquaintances. Some of my classmates seem to know a lot of gossip about the big firms, and I never really understood how they learned that stuff. They always knew which firms were laying off and which ones were no offering their summers. I'm pretty clueless about that stuff.

But there are a few resources. First, start reading Above the Law and some of the blogs. Also, take a look at the Vault 100 list and the NLJP 250. You should a least be familiar with the names of the major firms. Get someone to tell you how their pronounced if you don't know. I heard a girl walk into an interview with Dechert and brutalize the name of the firm before she even sat down. I'm guessing she didn't get hired.

Next, you can start looking at the websites of the top firms in your area. Start getting a feel for the various practice areas and which firms do what. Some firms are known for litigation (e.g., Susmann), and others are known for transactional work (e.g., V&E). You need to know that so you can target the right firm, and even if you target both, you should at least know what to say in your cover letter and in your interview. There is another website called martingdale that has information on smaller firms.

The best way to learn this stuff is probably to network. The opportunities are limited for 0Ls, but there are a few. For instance, I was asked to speak at a prelaw society at my university. They wanted me to talk about the LSAT and Law Review. The speaker after me was a partner from K&L Gates, so I stayed around to chat her up after the meeting. I don't think the UGs had any idea of this woman's stature. I don't think they realized how prestigious her firm is or how accomplished she is personally. She passed out her business cards and invited everyone at the meeting to email her and come tour her firm's local office. I don't think the UGs knew how to important it was to interact with this woman. If you know of any happy hours or other events where there will be biglaw attorneys, get out there, and start asking questions.

This sounds like solid advice. Thanks for your solid advice throughout, JazzOne. I'm a 0L that was lurking around this thread, and have found the actual advice throughout to look like it will be pretty helpful.

Related to firms/jobs stuff for 1L summer though: what would you guys recommend for preparing (as a 0L) for what Helmholtz refers to as "1L summer job stuff"? For instance, how can a 0L start preparing cover letters for jobs they are not even applying for yet?

You don't need to have everything ready to go by August 1, but you should at least be doing research and narrowing down your list of firms to those in the correct region and with the practice areas you're interested in. I think Career Services is allowed to start meeting with 0Ls on November 1. By November 1, you should have a draft of your resume and some cover letters for your top firms. Let Career Services help you edit the resume and letters. You should probably try to do some mock interviews before the real thing too.

Things are a little less busy in November than they are in December, but you're still going to have finals around the corner, and LRLW assignments are usually due a bit before finals, so you might be working on a memo in November. So, the right time to really get this stuff together is October, perhaps.

You might not be able to draft the letters right now, but you could start to create a mail merge or else just make a bunch of Word letterheads dated December 1 and addressed to each firm you're interested in. If you can take care of some legwork now, you won't be so distracted during the semester. Also, I have learned that big firms host a lot of happy hours. The sooner you get comfortable working a happy hour, the less stressful your job search will be.
Last edited by JazzOne on Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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beachbum
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby beachbum » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:18 am

JazzOne wrote:
thecilent wrote:Wait, jazz, one more question. When you say research firms, what exactly does that entail..?

I had a very difficult time with this. I don't have any attorneys in my family or circle of acquaintances. Some of my classmates seem to know a lot of gossip about the big firms, and I never really understood how they learned that stuff. They always knew which firms were laying off and which ones were no offering their summers. I'm pretty clueless about that stuff.

But there are a few resources. First, start reading Above the Law and some of the blogs. Also, take a look at the Vault 100 list and the NLJP 250. You should a least be familiar with the names of the major firms. Get someone to tell you how their pronounced if you don't know. I heard a girl walk into an interview with Dechert and brutalize the name of the firm before she even sat down. I'm guessing she didn't get hired.

Next, you can start looking at the websites of the top firms in your area. Start getting a feel for the various practice areas and which firms do what. Some firms are known for litigation (e.g., Susmann), and others are known for transactional work (e.g., V&E). You need to know that so you can target the right firm, and even if you target both, you should at least know what to say in your cover letter and in your interview. There is another website called martingdale that has information on smaller firms.

The best way to learn this stuff is probably to network. The opportunities are limited for 0Ls, but there are a few. For instance, I was asked to speak at a meeting of the prelaw society at my university earlier this week. They wanted me to talk about the LSAT and Law Review. The speaker after me was a partner from K&L Gates, so I stayed around to chat her up after the meeting. I don't think the UGs had any idea of this woman's stature. I don't think they realized how prestigious her firm is or how accomplished she is personally. She passed out her business cards and invited everyone at the meeting to email her and come tour her firm's local office. I don't think the UGs knew how to important it was to interact with this woman. If you know of any happy hours or other events where there will be biglaw attorneys, get out there, and start asking questions.


Great advice, thanks. Also want to add that several schools (i.e. GULC, Duke) have law firm pronunciation guides (with sound clips) on their websites.

Otherwise, just want to thank everyone for the good advice and thoughtful questions ITT. I've been starting to think about 0L prep (I'm gonna have so much free time this summer), so threads like this one are lifesavers.

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:31 am

JazzOne wrote:You don't need to have everything ready to go by August 1, but you should at least be doing research and narrowing down your list of firms to those in the correct region and with the practice areas you're interested in. I think Career Services is allowed to start meeting with 0Ls on November 1. By November 1, you should have a draft of your resume and some cover letters for your top firms. Let Career Services help you edit the resume and letters. You should probably try to do some mock interviews before the real thing too.

Things are a little less busy in November than they are in December, but you're still going to have finals around the corner, and LRLW assignments are usually due a bit before finals, so you might be working on a memo in November. So, the right time to really get this stuff together is October, perhaps.

You might not be able to draft the letters right now, but you could start to create a mail merge or else just make a bunch of Word letterheads dated December 1 and addressed to each firm you're interested in. If you can take care of some legwork now, you won't be so distracted during the semester. Also, I have learned that big firms host a lot of happy hours. The sooner you get comfortable working a happy hour, the less stressful your job search will be.

Thanks for this. If I remember correctly, this is kind of what Law School Confidential suggests. I will definitely be trying to get some of this stuff done before school when I have a lot of free time.

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Helmholtz
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:00 am

Judge Philip Banks wrote:
JazzOne wrote:You don't need to have everything ready to go by August 1, but you should at least be doing research and narrowing down your list of firms to those in the correct region and with the practice areas you're interested in. I think Career Services is allowed to start meeting with 0Ls on November 1. By November 1, you should have a draft of your resume and some cover letters for your top firms. Let Career Services help you edit the resume and letters. You should probably try to do some mock interviews before the real thing too.

Things are a little less busy in November than they are in December, but you're still going to have finals around the corner, and LRLW assignments are usually due a bit before finals, so you might be working on a memo in November. So, the right time to really get this stuff together is October, perhaps.

You might not be able to draft the letters right now, but you could start to create a mail merge or else just make a bunch of Word letterheads dated December 1 and addressed to each firm you're interested in. If you can take care of some legwork now, you won't be so distracted during the semester. Also, I have learned that big firms host a lot of happy hours. The sooner you get comfortable working a happy hour, the less stressful your job search will be.

Thanks for this. If I remember correctly, this is kind of what Law School Confidential suggests. I will definitely be trying to get some of this stuff done before school when I have a lot of free time.


LSC does suggest it. Did I ignore this? Yes. Do I completely regret it? Yes.

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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby gwuorbust » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:33 pm

All I did was read Getting to Maybe over the summer. I feel like there is nothing which I could have done which would have helped me. I had plenty of time in law school to prepare for the exams. I did more work than almost anyone else. And I am still sitting just above median. It mostly comes down to how well you can take exams. There is little else that matters for grades.

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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:34 pm

Helmholtz wrote:
Judge Philip Banks wrote:
JazzOne wrote:You don't need to have everything ready to go by August 1, but you should at least be doing research and narrowing down your list of firms to those in the correct region and with the practice areas you're interested in. I think Career Services is allowed to start meeting with 0Ls on November 1. By November 1, you should have a draft of your resume and some cover letters for your top firms. Let Career Services help you edit the resume and letters. You should probably try to do some mock interviews before the real thing too.

Things are a little less busy in November than they are in December, but you're still going to have finals around the corner, and LRLW assignments are usually due a bit before finals, so you might be working on a memo in November. So, the right time to really get this stuff together is October, perhaps.

You might not be able to draft the letters right now, but you could start to create a mail merge or else just make a bunch of Word letterheads dated December 1 and addressed to each firm you're interested in. If you can take care of some legwork now, you won't be so distracted during the semester. Also, I have learned that big firms host a lot of happy hours. The sooner you get comfortable working a happy hour, the less stressful your job search will be.

Thanks for this. If I remember correctly, this is kind of what Law School Confidential suggests. I will definitely be trying to get some of this stuff done before school when I have a lot of free time.


LSC does suggest it. Did I ignore this? Yes. Do I completely regret it? Yes.

I ignored it too. I thought my grades would get me a job. lololololol

If I could go back and do it all over again, I'd learn how to work happy hours. I'm fucking socially retarded, and it's a miracle I ended up with any job offers at all. Looking back, boy was I stupid.

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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:43 pm

gwuorbust wrote:All I did was read Getting to Maybe over the summer. I feel like there is nothing which I could have done which would have helped me. I had plenty of time in law school to prepare for the exams. I did more work than almost anyone else. And I am still sitting just above median. It mostly comes down to how well you can take exams. There is little else that matters for grades.

I've said this before, but I'll repeat it again. 0L prep does not lead directly to the final goal. You don't learn how to ace a class by studying the torts E&E prior to law school. But what you can do is learn the BLL of torts. That way you spend your semester focusing on application of the law and mastery of test taking skills. While everyone else was trying to decipher the rule of Palsgraf, I was thinking about how to apply the rule to the practice tests.

I know that doesn't help you out, but I frequently disagree with people on this forum about 0L prep, and that is the basis of my disagreement. The benefit of 0L prep is indirect and nonobvious, but I firmly believe that it helped me get on LR.

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Judge Philip Banks
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Judge Philip Banks » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:14 pm

JazzOne wrote:
gwuorbust wrote:All I did was read Getting to Maybe over the summer. I feel like there is nothing which I could have done which would have helped me. I had plenty of time in law school to prepare for the exams. I did more work than almost anyone else. And I am still sitting just above median. It mostly comes down to how well you can take exams. There is little else that matters for grades.

I've said this before, but I'll repeat it again. 0L prep does not lead directly to the final goal. You don't learn how to ace a class by studying the torts E&E prior to law school. But what you can do is learn the BLL of torts. That way you spend your semester focusing on application of the law and mastery of test taking skills. While everyone else was trying to decipher the rule of Palsgraf, I was thinking about how to apply the rule to the practice tests.

I know that doesn't help you out, but I frequently disagree with people on this forum about 0L prep, and that is the basis of my disagreement. The benefit of 0L prep is indirect and nonobvious, but I firmly believe that it helped me get on LR.

This sounds like a good insight. Thanks.

What about your timeline for 0L prep, JazzOne? Did you read all the E&Es during the summer, or start earlier than that? When do you think it is "too early" to start prep?

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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Heartford » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:01 pm

Judge Philip Banks wrote:
What about your timeline for 0L prep, JazzOne? Did you read all the E&Es during the summer, or start earlier than that? When do you think it is "too early" to start prep?


Just throwing my $.02 in here: If you're dead-set on 0L prep, especially if you're thinking of just starting to learn black letter law, I don't think there is a time that is "too early". This stuff is going to be running around your head for the rest of your life (at least ideally) so whether you begin to become familiar with it now or in October doesn't really matter.

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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:12 pm

Judge Philip Banks wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
gwuorbust wrote:All I did was read Getting to Maybe over the summer. I feel like there is nothing which I could have done which would have helped me. I had plenty of time in law school to prepare for the exams. I did more work than almost anyone else. And I am still sitting just above median. It mostly comes down to how well you can take exams. There is little else that matters for grades.

I've said this before, but I'll repeat it again. 0L prep does not lead directly to the final goal. You don't learn how to ace a class by studying the torts E&E prior to law school. But what you can do is learn the BLL of torts. That way you spend your semester focusing on application of the law and mastery of test taking skills. While everyone else was trying to decipher the rule of Palsgraf, I was thinking about how to apply the rule to the practice tests.

I know that doesn't help you out, but I frequently disagree with people on this forum about 0L prep, and that is the basis of my disagreement. The benefit of 0L prep is indirect and nonobvious, but I firmly believe that it helped me get on LR.

This sounds like a good insight. Thanks.

What about your timeline for 0L prep, JazzOne? Did you read all the E&Es during the summer, or start earlier than that? When do you think it is "too early" to start prep?

Just for full disclosure, I should add that I didn't use the E&Es for 0L prep. I attended a week-long course called Law Preview, and I used the course materials to prep. This forum has a pretty negative opinion of Law Preview, but I found it to be very interesting and helpful. The instructors are all real law school professors, and the course materials contain many of the same landmark cases that we subsequently discussed in my 1L classes. However, the course if very expensive. I received a scholarship to attend that class, and I would not have paid the price for the course. The course is probably worth the money, but I just didn't have any extra money at that time.

Having said that, I will add that I used the E&Es for every class during my first semester. I read every chapter, typed answers to every question, and compared all my answers to the model answers in the book. This was an exhausting procedure, and it was probably overkill. But I used the sample questions as opportunities to practice molding my answers to the IRAC format. By the time exams came around, I didn't have to think about how to structure my analyses; the structure was already deeply ingrained in my methodology by then. This is what I mean by staying a step ahead. In addition to learning the rules from the cases, I was practicing the application of those rules to fact patterns long before my classmates started doing that. Really, it's impossible for me to say whether that's the reason I outperformed my class, but I felt like it helped me. And it seems to me that first semester of 1L is the only time you can really take advantage of this opportunity. Once everyone gets their grades from first semester, a lot of folks kick into higher gear second semester. Even if they don't turn it up a notch, they will be further down the road of figuring out how to apply the law to facts. First semester is when they have no clue, and you can totally dominate if you're well prepared.

One last thought: I don't think all the E&Es would be equally helpful for 0L prep. The torts E&E is probably a good place to start because it is well written and the subject is familiar to most folks. If you picked up the contracts E&E or the civil procedure E&E, I think it would be much more difficult to understand what they mean. But the torts E&E has the right mix of familiarity and technicality to point you in the right direction.

Last last thought: If you don't know what IRAC is, figure it out before you start answering the sample questions. The sample questions in the E&E are really broken down into discrete issues. In other words, the fact patterns don't implicate every single doctrine; instead, they are geared toward exploring small sections of doctrine one at a time. Since the application of the law to the facts is relatively straightforward for each question, I think it is almost more important to structure the answer correctly.
Last edited by JazzOne on Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hank Chill
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Hank Chill » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:18 pm

JazzOne wrote:
Judge Philip Banks wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
gwuorbust wrote:All I did was read Getting to Maybe over the summer. I feel like there is nothing which I could have done which would have helped me. I had plenty of time in law school to prepare for the exams. I did more work than almost anyone else. And I am still sitting just above median. It mostly comes down to how well you can take exams. There is little else that matters for grades.

I've said this before, but I'll repeat it again. 0L prep does not lead directly to the final goal. You don't learn how to ace a class by studying the torts E&E prior to law school. But what you can do is learn the BLL of torts. That way you spend your semester focusing on application of the law and mastery of test taking skills. While everyone else was trying to decipher the rule of Palsgraf, I was thinking about how to apply the rule to the practice tests.

I know that doesn't help you out, but I frequently disagree with people on this forum about 0L prep, and that is the basis of my disagreement. The benefit of 0L prep is indirect and nonobvious, but I firmly believe that it helped me get on LR.

This sounds like a good insight. Thanks.

What about your timeline for 0L prep, JazzOne? Did you read all the E&Es during the summer, or start earlier than that? When do you think it is "too early" to start prep?

Just for full disclosure, I should add that I didn't use the E&Es for 0L prep. I attended a week-long course called Law Preview, and I used the course materials to prep. This forum has a pretty negative opinion of Law Preview, but I found it to be very interesting and helpful. The instructors are all real law school professors, and the course materials contain many of the same landmark cases that we subsequently discussed in my 1L classes. However, the course if very expensive. I received a scholarship to attend that class, and I would not have paid the price for the course. The course is probably worth the money, but I just didn't have any extra money at that time.

Having said that, I will add that I used the E&Es for every class during my first semester. I read every chapter, typed answers to every question, and compared all my answers to the model answers in the book. This was an exhausting procedure, and it was probably overkill. But I used the sample questions as opportunities to practice molding my answers to the IRAC format. By the time exams came around, I didn't have to think about how to structure my analyses; the structure was already deeply ingrained in my methodology by then. This is what I mean by staying a step ahead. In addition to learning the rules from the cases, I was practicing the application of those rules to fact patterns long before my classmates started doing that. Really, it's impossible for me to say whether that's the reason I outperformed my class, but I felt like it helped me. And it seems to me that first semester of 1L is the only time you can really take advantage of this opportunity. Once everyone gets their grades from first semester, a lot of folks kick into higher gear second semester. Even if they don't turn it up a notch, they will be further down the road of figuring out how to apply the law to facts. First semester is when they have no clue, and you can totally dominate if you're well prepared.


Great insight here. Is this Law Preview class something you just sign up for like an LSAT prep course?

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JazzOne
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:22 pm

Hank Chill wrote:Great insight here. Is this Law Preview class something you just sign up for like an LSAT prep course?

Pretty much. Just google search "law preview" and see if it looks like something you're interested in. I have become friends with the company owner, and I did some work for him last summer. So, I don't want to be a shill for Law Preview. I think the class is too expensive, but I hate to say that because I know that law school professors don't work cheaply, and I doubt there is a large margin of profit in that kind of endeavor. Nonetheless, I'm not sure I can offer objective advice because of my friendship with the owner. So, consider that a disclaimer if you decide to inquire further.

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Stringer6
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby Stringer6 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:09 am

Any suggestions or reading materials on "working a happy hour"? This sounds horrifying. I despise these types of social situations, although i guess i could buckle down if it really mattered. And when are these happy hours? 1L?

MVPson
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby MVPson » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:23 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:I was all for preparing, but then I visited law schools. The "you can't say you'll get top 20% because everyone is trying to get top twenty percent" thing on TLS is overblown, if even just a little. Four lectures down and I can already see where professors are putting points of emphasis and where students aren't listening. Not to say I'll ace exams or anything, but visiting really swayed me to the "pay attention, take notes, and really just do what your professor tells you to" side of things.

one classroom I sat with six peoples laptops visible to me. Two facebook, one internet based game, one text message guy, one girl taking notes sporadically while she chatted on AIM or yahoo messenger (could see that well) and the classroom gunner who tried to copy everything while also challenging every position the instructor took on anything. Anything.

All of them were taking notes, but very sporadically (except the gunner guy), and few were listening to the explanations. Get the key terms and main points, and then back to whatever social activity they were doing.


Paying half attention has propelled me into top 5%.
Last edited by MVPson on Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

2011Law
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby 2011Law » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:25 am

Stringer6 wrote:Any suggestions or reading materials on "working a happy hour"? This sounds horrifying. I despise these types of social situations, although i guess i could buckle down if it really mattered. And when are these happy hours? 1L?


It makes me happy knowing there are people going to law school even more socially awkward than me :D .

Do you really not have a clue what happy hour is, or do you mean to ask if one should be going to happy hours during 1L to network, or what?

edit: sp and 0L pro-tip: I hear that lawyers need to be unambiguous in their writing.

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JazzOne
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby JazzOne » Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:50 am

Stringer6 wrote:Any suggestions or reading materials on "working a happy hour"? This sounds horrifying. I despise these types of social situations, although i guess i could buckle down if it really mattered. And when are these happy hours? 1L?

I hate those kinds of events too. I don't know of a book or anything like that. Firms host these happy hours pretty frequently. I get emails about them all the time. If you pay attention to the social events during 1L, you'll see that many of them are paid for by firms. Sometimes attorneys attend the events.

These events are real difficult to work. There will be a few attorneys there and a dozen law students trying to talk to each one. These start to pop up more frequently when the employers roll into town for 2L OCI. Some of the firms set up happy hour events for the interviewees. These are basically mandatory. Sometimes they pass out name tags, so if your tag is left on the table at the end of the night, they know you didn't really give a shit. It's such a sucky game. I have no idea how I landed a job.

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fatduck
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Re: What should I do to prepare for law school

Postby fatduck » Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:05 am

Stringer6 wrote:Any suggestions or reading materials on "working a happy hour"? This sounds horrifying. I despise these types of social situations, although i guess i could buckle down if it really mattered. And when are these happy hours? 1L?


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