Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

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20130312
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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby 20130312 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:59 pm

apl6783 wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:How about everybody helps themselves to a piping hot cup of shut the fuck up?

This is not why this thread exists.


Lock it. This thread is a booby trap. Like one of those pits covered with leaves, only instead of spikes at the bottom its just lots of shitty advice.


Not sure how you jump from "everyone has their own style" to "this is shitty advice."

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby apl6783 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:03 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
apl6783 wrote:
Nightrunner wrote:How about everybody helps themselves to a piping hot cup of shut the fuck up?

This is not why this thread exists.


Lock it. This thread is a booby trap. Like one of those pits covered with leaves, only instead of spikes at the bottom its just lots of shitty advice.


Not sure how you jump from "everyone has their own style" to "this is shitty advice."


I don't care.

Lazy
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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Lazy » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:11 pm

Like I said in the OP, I think everyone should read all the guides available and do what will work best for them.

Apl6783, you are welcome not to use this guide. You are welcome to write your own, if you feel you have better advice to offer. I certainly won't take it personally.

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furcifer
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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby furcifer » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:16 pm

I love how "lazy" wrote a chapter to post about his lazziness.
Awsome.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:17 am

OP's shirt is ugly, I assume!

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby sundance95 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

apl6783 wrote:I don't care what anyone says, most people in law school aren't smart enough to make strait A's by reading cases.

Image

Also, I took lazy's approach, along with some E&Es in Torts and CivPro, and did well first semester. It might blow your mind to know that some approaches work better for some people than others-that's why there are multiple guides.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby LawMan20 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:04 pm

Bottom line: Read cases, pay attention and take notes in class, clarify things as needed with supplements/office hours, do practice problems throughout the semester, outline, memorize outlines, and take practice exams during the last month. Do those 7 things and you can't go wrong.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby victortsoi » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:38 am

About note taking...in my most difficult UG class, I did actually transcribe almost every word, every class. This really helped burn the material into me.
I approached my notes like the textbook and highlighted them before exams, and I think I was one of two outof 30 to get an A in the class. I'm really comfortable with this method. Should I endeavor to change it for 1L?

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby emkay625 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:40 am

this seems useful...

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby apl6783 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:11 pm

victortsoi wrote:About note taking...in my most difficult UG class, I did actually transcribe almost every word, every class. This really helped burn the material into me.
I approached my notes like the textbook and highlighted them before exams, and I think I was one of two outof 30 to get an A in the class. I'm really comfortable with this method. Should I endeavor to change it for 1L?


In LS the textbook is a "casebook" so you can't really take notes from it like you did in UG.

I recommend that you buy supplements, which in my and many other peoples' opinions are the true "textbook" for the courses.

Be sure to read all the other guides posted on TLS, many are more exhaustive in their coverage of actually learning the material. Prevailing wisdom here appears to be that everyone knows the law come exam time, and your professors will tell you the same thing.

I don't think it's true. I think the top 5% know the law much better than the bottom 80%.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Lazy » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:59 pm

victortsoi wrote:About note taking...in my most difficult UG class, I did actually transcribe almost every word, every class. This really helped burn the material into me.
I approached my notes like the textbook and highlighted them before exams, and I think I was one of two outof 30 to get an A in the class. I'm really comfortable with this method. Should I endeavor to change it for 1L?


I think the most important thing I can tell you is that if something has always worked for you, stick with it; you know yourself and how you learn far better than a stranger like me ever could. You may need to modify your undergrad study habits to better accommodate law school (I know I did; I had to start actually...going to class and reading things), but that doesn't mean you have to change them entirely. Start with whatever you are comfortable with, your undergrad method, and then as the weeks go on and you get a feel for what you're doing you can fine-tune your method to the new challenges of law school.

I think taking notes in law school is slightly different than in undergrad. My undergrad classes that were lecture-type were typically classes where I would be tested on every little thing (like history: dates, names, etc.). So word-for-word transcription was often important, or even necessary, for some of the people in those classes. In law school you're being tested on larger concepts, the "rules", not the minutia. So being able to recall every single word is a little less important.

I have to disagree with Apl6783, as I believe that it is entirely possible to take notes from the casebooks (the assigned textbooks) and personally I still do so. In fact, I believe that it's the ONLY book that one needs to take notes (either in-book or in a notebook/laptop) from. Pulling the law from the cases you are assigned takes practice and makes you think critically about those rules and how they are applied to facts. Thinking critically about the rules and applying them is what you're tested on; it's all that matters. Personally, I am not a fan of supplements which circumvent that process and just say "this is the rule". That said, Aple6783 correct in saying that if you want to use them there are other guides that can tell you how to do so.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby apl6783 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:27 pm

To be fair, the supplements don't just say "this is the rule."

They give you the rule, but they also give you background about how the rule came to be - which involves a discussion of the relevant canon of cases. Generally the supplements give you 90%-100% of the cases you would read in the casebook, only they give you only what you need to know in a concise paragraph (or sentence) rather than 4 pages of meandering judge language.

How many of the cases in your assigned reading are going to be in the supplement varies by class. In criminal law, for example, casebook writers can choose from hundreds and hundreds of cases to illustrate a rule; in Conlaw they can only choose a few, sometimes only one.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Lazy » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:29 pm

apl6783 wrote:To be fair, the supplements don't just say "this is the rule."

They give you the rule, but they also give you background about how the rule came to be - which involves a discussion of the relevant canon of cases. Generally the supplements give you 90%-100% of the cases you would read in the casebook, only they give you only what you need to know in a concise paragraph (or sentence) rather than 4 pages of meandering judge language.

How many of the cases in your assigned reading are going to be in the supplement varies by class. In criminal law, for example, casebook writers can choose from hundreds and hundreds of cases to illustrate a rule; in Conlaw they can only choose a few, sometimes only one.


The rule with a cliff notes version still doesn't involve the kind of engagement with the case that just reading the case does. Learning how to read a case has, I think, value for 1Ls. It helps them learn how to spot relevant facts and issues from amongst the muck and red herrings. Sure, a supplement might help them avoid the extra work of grappling with the case, but learning how to do the analysis themselves is beneficial.

Beyond that, it seems even more pointless to me to waste time and money buying and reading supplements if they don't even have the assigned cases. I'm only being tested on knowing what my professor taught, why would I waste time learning extra stuff?

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby apl6783 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:23 pm

You're right to an extent, I think - reading cases definitely helps you with lawyering. I feel like the LRW class is probably enough exposure to reading cases for most people to get it though. The writing class is also more beneficial in that way since you're reading modern cases and analyzing a modern problem, rather than reading cases written in the 1800s, which tend to be harder to read and understand.

You're not learning extra stuff by reading the supplement instead of the casebook. The only times the supplements don't have cases you cover in class are times when the principle is so well founded that there are hundreds, or maybe thousands of cases to choose from that illustrate the principle. In crim, for example, a supplement might cite 5 cases for one of the mens reas of murder. Maybe none are the ones your teacher wanted you to read to learn that that mens rea, but who cares? They all apply the same principle, so it doesn't matter which you read.

In CivPro on the other hand, which cases you read absolutely matters since there are usually only one or two cases on point. Fortunately, all the supplements have those cases - Pennoyer and its progeny for PJ, Twombly/iqbal and dioguardi for pleadings, etc. Same with Conlaw. And, any "extra" cases the supplements supply for these classes are usually found somewhere in the notes of the casebook and will be tested on the exam.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby reformed calvinist » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:13 pm

I dunno, I think this is part law school exceptionalism mythos law students seem to love. All the cases you read are someone's rationale for resolving a dispute between parties. And then you recognize that every case has slightly different facts, judges look to precedent, sometimes extend or choose not to extend things, or even strike out into new territory, yadda yadda yadda. Beyond contextualizing what your casebook is like that, it's just reading comprehension. I also think "learning how to read a case" is part of this silly mythos. It's reading. A casebook can be better than a supplement in that sometimes it's better to learn directly from primary sources and digest it yourself, but that's hardly unique to law school.

Now, some supplements are basically Wikipedia. I think the nutshell series is pretty underwhelming. But the outstanding supplements, like Freer's Civ Pro and Chemerinsky? I think the argument holds less water there.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Lazy » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:49 pm

apl6783 wrote:You're not learning extra stuff by reading the supplement instead of the casebook. The only times the supplements don't have cases you cover in class are times when the principle is so well founded that there are hundreds, or maybe thousands of cases to choose from that illustrate the principle. In crim, for example, a supplement might cite 5 cases for one of the mens reas of murder. Maybe none are the ones your teacher wanted you to read to learn that that mens rea, but who cares? They all apply the same principle, so it doesn't matter which you read.


See, I disagree with this. I think the key to doing well on exams is regurgitating what your professor wanted you to read, and sticking to that. Professors convey their opinions about how cases were decided when they lecture, and while the BLL may be the same case to case, the professor's opinion about its application may vary. The difference between "okay" and "awesome" I think is knowing the nuances, including the professor's opinions on them, of the assigned cases. Things about other cases? Totally useless.

reformed calvinist wrote:I dunno, I think this is part law school exceptionalism mythos law students seem to love. All the cases you read are someone's rationale for resolving a dispute between parties. And then you recognize that every case has slightly different facts, judges look to precedent, sometimes extend or choose not to extend things, or even strike out into new territory, yadda yadda yadda. Beyond contextualizing what your casebook is like that, it's just reading comprehension. I also think "learning how to read a case" is part of this silly mythos. It's reading. A casebook can be better than a supplement in that sometimes it's better to learn directly from primary sources and digest it yourself, but that's hardly unique to law school.

Now, some supplements are basically Wikipedia. I think the nutshell series is pretty underwhelming. But the outstanding supplements, like Freer's Civ Pro and Chemerinsky? I think the argument holds less water there.


I think that, although reading a case is reading comprehension, learning how to comprehend it has a learning curve. Whether that's different from all other disciplines, I don't know, but learning how to parse cases definitely threw me off my first couple weeks; I do believe that reading cases is a skill. And, based on the people I know at school - which may not be representative sample - those that are good with case-reading are the ones that do better on our exams. This is anecdotal, though, so you may be right.

Regardless of whether it is unique to law school or not, I think there's undoubtedly something to be said for getting things from the primary source and digesting it oneself.

I hear great things about Chemerinsky, and based on its size I'm sure that there's plenty of synthesis readers can do from the supplement alone. That said, I think even the best supplements are not substitutes for reading the cases oneself. I know some of the other guides address using supplements more thoroughly, though, and they all seem to speak highly of Chemerinsky. Freer I'm less familiar with, but I'll take your (and their) word that it goes beyond BLL Wiki.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby reformed calvinist » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:50 pm

Lazy wrote:
apl6783 wrote:You're not learning extra stuff by reading the supplement instead of the casebook. The only times the supplements don't have cases you cover in class are times when the principle is so well founded that there are hundreds, or maybe thousands of cases to choose from that illustrate the principle. In crim, for example, a supplement might cite 5 cases for one of the mens reas of murder. Maybe none are the ones your teacher wanted you to read to learn that that mens rea, but who cares? They all apply the same principle, so it doesn't matter which you read.


See, I disagree with this. I think the key to doing well on exams is regurgitating what your professor wanted you to read, and sticking to that. Professors convey their opinions about how cases were decided when they lecture, and while the BLL may be the same case to case, the professor's opinion about its application may vary. The difference between "okay" and "awesome" I think is knowing the nuances, including the professor's opinions on them, of the assigned cases. Things about other cases? Totally useless.

reformed calvinist wrote:I dunno, I think this is part law school exceptionalism mythos law students seem to love. All the cases you read are someone's rationale for resolving a dispute between parties. And then you recognize that every case has slightly different facts, judges look to precedent, sometimes extend or choose not to extend things, or even strike out into new territory, yadda yadda yadda. Beyond contextualizing what your casebook is like that, it's just reading comprehension. I also think "learning how to read a case" is part of this silly mythos. It's reading. A casebook can be better than a supplement in that sometimes it's better to learn directly from primary sources and digest it yourself, but that's hardly unique to law school.

Now, some supplements are basically Wikipedia. I think the nutshell series is pretty underwhelming. But the outstanding supplements, like Freer's Civ Pro and Chemerinsky? I think the argument holds less water there.


I think that, although reading a case is reading comprehension, learning how to comprehend it has a learning curve. Whether that's different from all other disciplines, I don't know, but learning how to parse cases definitely threw me off my first couple weeks; I do believe that reading cases is a skill. And, based on the people I know at school - which may not be representative sample - those that are good with case-reading are the ones that do better on our exams. This is anecdotal, though, so you may be right.

Regardless of whether it is unique to law school or not, I think there's undoubtedly something to be said for getting things from the primary source and digesting it oneself.

I hear great things about Chemerinsky, and based on its size I'm sure that there's plenty of synthesis readers can do from the supplement alone. That said, I think even the best supplements are not substitutes for reading the cases oneself. I know some of the other guides address using supplements more thoroughly, though, and they all seem to speak highly of Chemerinsky. Freer I'm less familiar with, but I'll take your (and their) word that it goes beyond BLL Wiki.


Nah, I agree with you, I think I was responding to generalities that I keep hearing.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby apl6783 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:18 am

Yea, I guess I should say that I'm talking about the quality supplements. These included the E&E for torts, Chirelstein contracts, Freer civ pro, Chemerinsky con law, Dressler's crimlaw, etc. I've also found most of the E&E's I've picked up to be very helpful, but some are easier to understand on the first pass than others.

I didn't start reading them the first week of class, I bought them all a few weeks into the first semester when I realized that the casebook was a giant time sink and I could get more understanding in less time with a supplement. I think that's also part of actually practicing not just law, but any profession - being able to recognize the most efficient way to do something. It's not the same as taking a shortcut. It's also not the same as being lazy, but in this case the efficient thing happens to work very well with a lazy person's schedule.

As for missing nuances your professor covers - again, that really doesn't happen when you read supplements. Sticking with crim as an example, if there are 8 nuances in all of the case law on depraved heart murder, the supplement will cover all of them. If you don't want to learn them all, just learn the one your professor teaches (go to class, listen). I learned them all, it still didn't take as long as doing the required reading did, and 9 times out of 10 some of them appeared on the exam. Plus, if you look you'll generally find that most of these issues are mentioned or alluded to in the notes and questions after each case, so you really are required to know them most of the time anyway.

My teacher probably thought I was really smart for working through these nuances so effectively. Surprise! I'm not that smart - I just read the answer out of a book a few weeks before the test, put it in my outline, and memorized it. Boom, strait A's (and one bullshit A-).

Give it a try in next semester in one class that has a widely credited supplement available. As a 2L, they'll free up your time to do other things - LR, mock trial, xbox, etc.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Sandro » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:35 pm

apl6783 wrote: I just read the answer out of a book a few weeks before the test, put it in my outline, and memorized it. Boom, strait A's (and one bullshit A-).


Thats really all there is to it. Sure, you have to be a certain degree of "smart" to recognize certain elements they want you to spout off on the exam, but it doesn't take an intellectual genius to memorize stuff. Memorization, think back to middle school vocab exams.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Lazy » Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:06 pm

I think we're just going to have to disagree on this one. I think that supplements are a waste of time and money, especially when you're already paying for casebooks and frantic 1Ls are going to do the reading whether they have the supplement or not.

Beyond that, and this is just a personal learning thing that will vary person to person, I memorize things that I read reasonably well. I memorize even better the things that I read and synthesize myself. So for me it's more helpful to read, and thus be able to easily recall, a case rather than just sitting there and memorizing the rule distilled from the facts (like in a supplement). I'm able to memorize it just as well either way, and you get mad points for being able to make educated comparisons to cases on the exams. Like I said, though, others milage may vary. I don't think that I'm unusual in that I memorize better when I think it through myself, but I could be wrong.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby JR1988 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:05 pm

apl6783 wrote:
As for missing nuances your professor covers - again, that really doesn't happen when you read supplements. Sticking with crim as an example, if there are 8 nuances in all of the case law on depraved heart murder, the supplement will cover all of them. If you don't want to learn them all, just learn the one your professor teaches (go to class, listen). I learned them all, it still didn't take as long as doing the required reading did, and 9 times out of 10 some of them appeared on the exam. Plus, if you look you'll generally find that most of these issues are mentioned or alluded to in the notes and questions after each case, so you really are required to know them most of the time anyway.

My teacher probably thought I was really smart for working through these nuances so effectively. Surprise! I'm not that smart - I just read the answer out of a book a few weeks before the test, put it in my outline, and memorized it. Boom, strait A's (and one bullshit A-).


Just wanted to comment on this section of your response. I think you are completely off, here. If I depended on supplements for torts right now and paid attention in class, I would be completely wasting my time on the supplements. Basically, what I'm saying is that the supplements (torts E&E bc I'm talking about torts; but any other premier supplement for any class for that matter) have very few cases in them from my class, and the laws are all worded differently from what my prof says. I would be remiss to get anything from the supplements other than an explanation to clear up confusion - but even then, office hours work better. It behooves any 1L to word the law like the teacher does, and, furhtermore, to analogize and distinguish w/ the cases the teacher uses. YOU (most likely) WILL NOT GET ANY OF THAT (i.e. what you need for the exam) FROM THE SUPPLEMENT.

Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Lazy » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:13 am

JR1988 wrote:
apl6783 wrote:
As for missing nuances your professor covers - again, that really doesn't happen when you read supplements. Sticking with crim as an example, if there are 8 nuances in all of the case law on depraved heart murder, the supplement will cover all of them. If you don't want to learn them all, just learn the one your professor teaches (go to class, listen). I learned them all, it still didn't take as long as doing the required reading did, and 9 times out of 10 some of them appeared on the exam. Plus, if you look you'll generally find that most of these issues are mentioned or alluded to in the notes and questions after each case, so you really are required to know them most of the time anyway.

My teacher probably thought I was really smart for working through these nuances so effectively. Surprise! I'm not that smart - I just read the answer out of a book a few weeks before the test, put it in my outline, and memorized it. Boom, strait A's (and one bullshit A-).


Just wanted to comment on this section of your response. I think you are completely off, here. If I depended on supplements for torts right now and paid attention in class, I would be completely wasting my time on the supplements. Basically, what I'm saying is that the supplements (torts E&E bc I'm talking about torts; but any other premier supplement for any class for that matter) have very few cases in them from my class, and the laws are all worded differently from what my prof says. I would be remiss to get anything from the supplements other than an explanation to clear up confusion - but even then, office hours work better. It behooves any 1L to word the law like the teacher does, and, furhtermore, to analogize and distinguish w/ the cases the teacher uses. YOU (most likely) WILL NOT GET ANY OF THAT (i.e. what you need for the exam) FROM THE SUPPLEMENT.

Just my 2 cents.


Also, this.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby apl6783 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:47 pm

I don't understand that.

The only place you get your teacher's wording is from your teacher. You don't get that from the casebook. I've read casebooks. It depends on the class and the book, but this is what they do in general: They give you a case, it contains a rule/rationale. That rule represents one approach, there are potentially others. It may be the minority approach or the majority approach. Then there are notes/questions for the case. The questions (which don't have answers) allude to variations on the rule, and want you to figure out how those variations are resolved. The notes reference other cases which contain variations on the rule (variation meaning - a variation in facts, and how the rule is applied to that type of situation). Then there is another case, which has a rule/rationale that advances the one from the previous case. It has it's own confusing notes/questions.

These series of cases develop a doctrine, or a principle, which has a name. "Promissory Estoppel," "State Action Doctrine," "Depraved Heart Murder," "Adverse Possession." Teachers use different cases to teach these doctrines, but the doctrines are the same everywhere. If you understand the doctrine you understand the doctrine.

The supplement gives teaches you the doctrine in plain english, with numerous case examples, and made up examples that are commonly seen on exams. The supplement answers all the questions from your casebook and fleshes out the notes. You can learn all of adverse possession in 1 hour and have a better understanding of it than you could get from the casebook, or you can learn it over the course of a week reading the casebook.

Nothing your teacher will teach you is going to be different than what is in the supplement. Your teacher may not teach you Res Ipsa Loquitur, in which case you shouldn't read it in the supplement. Otherwise, the Cardozo approach to proximate cause is the Cardozo approach to proximate cause. The Andrews approach is the Andrews approach. It's the same everywhere. The supplement just makes it easier to read because it's in plain English.

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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Lazy » Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:11 pm

As I understood him, and what I agreed with, was that with supplements although you may have the doctrine technically right you may not have learned how to explain it in the way your professor wants to hear it. Although the doctrine fundamentals may be the same, that you spent all this time memorizing some other professor's language for it could be detrimental. You memorized the "plain English". The professor wants to hear "Justice Cardozo". These are the same in real legal practice, but they are NOT the same for purposes of scoring well on the exam. Everyone will know the BLL. The trick is to be able to regurgitate it the way your professor likes to hear it.

That said, I think this discussion is kind of reaching the end of its usefulness.

Dude, you and I are just never going to see the supplement issue the same way. I am never going to use them. Since I think that at best they're useless, and at worst they are detrimental, I am never going to believe that they are necessary. In fact, I think you sell yourself and others a bit short by implying that the only way one is able to learn and memorize doctrine is by paying someone else to figure it out and spoon-feed it.

That aside, for 1Ls especially, I think it a complete waste of time and money even if the supplements were an effective replacement for casebook reading. Why? Because panicked 1Ls, the kind that actually bother to go online and find a guide to help them do well, are generally the type that will do the assigned reading regardless. They don't see it as "either/or", they see it as "both". I firmly believe that if you're already doing the assigned reading, supplements are a complete waste of time and money.

That said, I am only one person. My opinion is entirely my own. If you want to have a more constructive and potentially useful dialogue about how to best use supplements, I recommend one of the many other guides that address that topic. If you want to teach 0Ls that they can get ahead by reading only supplements, I'm sure that there is call out there for a guide that teaches them how to do so. Go for it. I'm sure there are people who will agree with you, I'm just not one of them.

Breezin
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Re: Lazy's Guide to Top 10% Without Working Nights or Weekends

Postby Breezin » Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:36 pm

I don't know why you can't explain Cardozo's approach in your own words.




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