0L starting in may, order of books to read?

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victortsoi
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0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby victortsoi » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:12 pm

Hello all. So, I am starting LS in a little over a month. My classes during the summer trimester will be Elements, Contracts, and Criminal.

I have Planet Law School II,
Getting to Maybe,
Learning Legal Reasoning-Delaney
Contracts-Blum
Contracts-Chirielstein,
Acing Contracts

I'm a quarter in to Getting to maybe. Of the other books, which do you think I should read, and in what order? Unfortunately, I will be working full time until the start of LS, so the time I have to read is limited for now, so I want to make it count. Should I order LEEWS in addition to this?
Thanks in advance.

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bk1
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:13 pm

Don't read anything else till you actually start classes. Reading GtM is fine. Maybe do LEEWS if you really feel like. Everything else just don't.

victortsoi
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby victortsoi » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:16 pm

Thanks bk1. To clarify, you recommend reading all the others alongside coursework, not before?

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Ludo!
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby Ludo! » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:17 pm

Getting to maybe is great. Planet law school from what i remember was mildly entertaining. Try to get your money back for the rest

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leobowski
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby leobowski » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:20 pm

Yeah just read getting to maybe throughout the semester, to get an idea of how to write a law school exam. Sell the rest IMO and pick up a bunch of E&Es when class actually starts

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Sapientia
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby Sapientia » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:28 pm

I liked Delaney's learning legal reasoning. Getting to Maybe is good, too. And PLS is good because it instills a cynical attitude into the reader about law school, thereby helping them refrain from useless studying.
Last edited by Sapientia on Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:30 pm

victortsoi wrote:Thanks bk1. To clarify, you recommend reading all the others alongside coursework, not before?


I read a bunch of crappy pre-lawschool books about a year before I went to law school (before I had realized I needed to retake/reapply and before I had realized the pre-lawschool books are worthless). I read PLS2, Law School Confidential, 1L of a Ride. They were worthless since they mainly describe what law school is like. PLS2 is really only good if you feel you need to be scared into studying, but if you're on TLS you already know you need to work smart (and PLS2 is long as shit and you don't have time). The guides on TLS of people who did well are all infinitely better as well as shorter than any book. The truth is that you need to know what works for you and what doesn't. You can't get that from any of the TLS guides or any of the books.

I read GtM the week before classes. It's short, but very redundant. It's also incredibly obvious (at least to me). It doesn't take hundreds of pages, it takes 3 words: argue both sides. I'd read just in case you need that message pounded into you. I also started reading both Delaney's books (legal reasoning/case briefing) but they were boring and unhelpful so I just stopped.

Reading supplements is worthless. You have no idea what your prof will cover (they often will change the syllabus so even if you have that you can't be sure). You also don't know their take on it. Plus you will have tons of reading to do in law school. No reason to burn yourself out by starting early. The best thing that will help you do well on exams is practice exams, not reading a supplement. And you can't do practice exams until way into the semester.

dazzleberry
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby dazzleberry » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:34 pm

Chirelstein's writing is crisp and clear, but it might not be helpful to you. Wait until you know how and what your professor is going to focus on.

Before law school Getting to Maybe could be a good read, although the gist of it is pretty simple. Fun note: I'm in the author's class right now.

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1800calturk
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby 1800calturk » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:37 pm

Wow that is a serious reading list. I read GTM, Planet Law School, and Law School Confidential. I also watched the paper chase. I have to say, now that two years have passed, none of those really prepare you haha. GTM is probably the most valuable of those, PLS was good but kind of a debbie downer, and I like LSC a lot but didn't end up following any of the advice in it. I also did LEEWS, but I got a scholarship to do it so I couldn't say if I would have paid that much $$$. I think you just need to do whatever makes you feel like you're preparing and keeps you excited, don't kill yourself over it.

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gdane
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby gdane » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:42 pm

Read Getting to Maybe before classes start. Thats it.

However, read the E and E's for your courses early on in the semester and try to front load your work.

Good luck!

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bk1
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:44 pm

Nightrunner wrote:Word to everything BK said, with the exception of my finding GtM to be more valuable than he did. It is definitely redundant, but it is amazing how many students need "there is no 'correct' answer" beat into them before they actually internalize it.


Even after reading GtM and hearing it all over every TLS guide, I didn't fully internalize it until practice tests (which is why I felt GtM wasn't as valuable). Understanding it on a functional level is what I found easy, actually doing it on every single issue I saw on an issue spotter exam was harder (my first instinct on my first practice test was "what's the right answer?"). It wasn't until I fucked up my first practice test that I think I fully realized it. After that it was second nature, but I credit that to taking practice tests and not to GtM. Caveat of course: people lean differently and I bet there are people who will be best served by reading all of GtM even though I don't think that was true in my case.

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bk1
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby bk1 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:49 pm

Nightrunner wrote:Fair. I guess my response would be: "I didn't learn about how to crush a dude until I played my first football game, but that doesn't mean it would have come so naturally if my coach hadn't spent weeks telling me how to crush a dude."

Fair as well. I think reading GtM, since it's so short, is the safest since it'll hedge your bets whether you'd be okay with it or without it (since you can't know beforehand).

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rayiner
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:55 pm

victortsoi wrote:Thanks bk1. To clarify, you recommend reading all the others alongside coursework, not before?


Read GTM to figure out issue spotters. Other than that, don't read anything. The big challenge of first semester is learning how to learn. You can't begin that process until you get into class. In November, you'll look back on what you thought you got out of the reading in September and October and you'll realize your understanding was crap. In that vein, stuff you do over the summer will be less than useless.

This is especially true at a place like U Chicago where professors and their teaching are very idiosyncratic. You risk cluttering your mind with what Chirelstein, etc, thinks about contracts rather than your professor.

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rayiner
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby rayiner » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:02 pm

I think Getting to Maybe hammers in the "argue both sides" point better for some people than others.

The thing to remember is that the goal on a typical issue spotter is to rack up the most points possible. You rack up points by applying a rule from your outline to the facts in a hypothetical. There are right or wrong answers in the sense that you don't get points for applying the wrong rule to the wrong facts, but that's about it.

This is partially why pre-law reading doesn't help. Rapidly apply your outline to the facts depends on having synthesized your outline. You can't really synthesize your outline until you have one containing the material your professor is actually going to test. Most learning in law school happens in the last month before finals once you've got all your assignments and are synthesizing the material. Any understanding you get of the material before that is pretty superficial.

shock259
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby shock259 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:06 pm

I read/did GTM, LEEWS, PSC, LSC, Delaney, and all the E&E's prior to first semester. Was it necessary? Probably not. Did it help? I think so. It certainly didn't hurt. A couple of the other kids in the top 10% at my school did the same prep. It's unclear how many non-top 10% people did the prep, but I'm guessing not many. However, correlation =/= causation.

target
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby target » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:10 pm

I would recommend to read a few chapters of tort E&E and try the problems. That would help you learn issue spotting hand on. But other than that, RELAX!!! You will wish to have a free summer after you start law school.

portaprokoss
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby portaprokoss » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:21 pm

Do you know which classes you will have?

CanadianWolf
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:24 pm

If you plan on becoming a trial lawyer in the rural South, then you'll need to brush up on your bible readings for closing argument preparation.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby Bildungsroman » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:54 pm

I didn't read anything over the summer; I highly recommend doing the same.

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sundance95
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby sundance95 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:22 am

Reading supplements will hurt, not help you. Why? Supplements are exactly that: supplements to the primary readings of a course. Your professor may not cover some topics, or may use different vocabulary to reference the concepts, or may take a totally different approach than the supplement. It's much harder to unlearn something than to learn it for the first time, so these differences could hurt you. I've only read around 20% of any supplement I own, because I selectively read them for topics we've covered where the supp agrees with my professors' approaches.

You should stay clear of even the CivPro E&E (the gold standard of supplements) because even the latest edition is out of date with respect to certain topics. The only possible exception I could think of would be to read a little about present and future interests in property to get some familiarity, since that is a very static area of law and is pretty confusing at first, but its not necessary and your time will be much, much better spent chilling out, drinking, and having BBQs.

Hear us now and believe us later: you can't brute force law school, so just chillax. Seriously.

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traehekat
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby traehekat » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:04 am

GTM is worth reading at some point before exams. Now is as good a time as any, I suppose, since you will probably become busy once the semester beings. LSC isn't bad if you are truly clueless as to what law school is like, but otherwise I think most people who have spent some time on this website know what they are getting into. PLS is 95% garbage, 5% mildly useful. Didn't get all the way through the Delaney book, so I guess I didn't enjoy it much.

As far as substantive prep goes, I think it probably helps more than it hurts. There is no doubt that it is lame as hell and extremely gunner-ish, and as a result, most people are going to pass it off as useless and just tell you to relax. The idea that professors might not cover some things or approach it a different way is a little misguided, though. Spoiler Alert: You will cover offer, acceptance, and consideration in Contracts. I don't think you should read all the E&Es cover to cover, but I don't think it's a bad idea to go through some of the common topics in your first semester courses. It lays a foundation, and so when your professor/casebook goes over the same stuff, it sets off a signal in your head like, "Oh, that's exactly what the E&E said, I guess that is important." Personally I thought it was helpful to have this corroboration, so to speak, because otherwise I think it might have been more difficult to decipher useful information for exam-taking purposes, and the random BS that makes up 75% of what many professors talk about in lecture. This isn't to say you don't use your professors' specific formulations for rules or pay attention to their spin on it, but generally speaking the law of property/torts/contracts is pretty well-settled.

FWIW, I only did this for one class (Torts), but perhaps not-so-coincidentally it has been the only class in law school that I have absolutely crushed. Like shock259 said, though, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. I will also admit that Torts is probably the class that varies the least from professor to professor.

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spleenworship
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby spleenworship » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:37 am

Here is what I recommend:

1) read GTM
2) get laid
3) get drunk
4) get some good food
5) catch some ZZZZZZZZZZZs
6) go to law school
7) consider /self
8 ) take finals
9) seriously consider /self
10) realize law school is idiotic
11) get bored and annoyed with LS
12) graduate
13) take bar
14) ?????

beardown_tho
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby beardown_tho » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:20 pm

read Game of Thrones

don't think about law

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:44 pm

victortsoi wrote:Hello all. So, I am starting LS in a little over a month. My classes during the summer trimester will be Elements, Contracts, and Criminal.

I have Planet Law School II,
Getting to Maybe,
Learning Legal Reasoning-Delaney
Contracts-Blum
Contracts-Chirielstein,
Acing Contracts

I'm a quarter in to Getting to maybe. Of the other books, which do you think I should read, and in what order? Unfortunately, I will be working full time until the start of LS, so the time I have to read is limited for now, so I want to make it count. Should I order LEEWS in addition to this?
Thanks in advance.

Image

FloridaCoastalorbust
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Re: 0L starting in may, order of books to read?

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:03 pm

To be clear, is there only 1 recommended E&E per 1L course? For example, is there one E&E list for the torts, civpro, crim, con law, etc?

Or should someone buying E&Es buy particular ones according to their professors? I guess I would just like a current student to point me in the right direction as to what particular copies to buy. A link to an actual E&E on Amazon would be much appreciated. TIA




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