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.