If I could do my first semester over again...

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uvalaw4l
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby uvalaw4l » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:27 pm

mikeymike wrote:
uvalaw4l wrote:
silver11 wrote:What are these points and how do you get them?


Westlaw and Lexis are the two big online legal research companies. Pretty much all appellate cases, statutes, rules, legal articles and more are available through those sites, instead of searching by hand through books. Those companies are very expensive when you're out in the real world but they're free while you're a student, so you can practice and get used to them (with the hopes you'll continue to do so when you're a lawyer). Both companies offer various points for different things: doing a search is so many, attending tutorials, using various features, etc. All three years, you can keep adding points and cash them in for different items - from DVDs to camping gear to an XBOX360.


So if you keep using them you get more points? How many pts per hr LOL?


I wish it were per hour! It's like 5 points a day to do a search, 100 points for tutorials, 15 points for a daily trivia question. It adds up over the years.

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Son of Cicero
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Son of Cicero » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:59 pm

Hindsight revision #1:
I would have spent all of my criminal law study time focusing on the material from the last 5 weeks of class.

snotrocket
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby snotrocket » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:46 am

Hindsight revision #1: I would have spent all of my criminal law study time focusing on the material from the last 5 weeks of class.

If we had to have only one rule of law school, then I say it should be this. I have a strong sense from looking at practice exams that some professors have a habit of testing mainly on the last few weeks more than than all the rest. If nothing else, you hit the most complex topics at the end of the semester, since they have to cover the simpler things first. And even if the syllabus and testing style don't run this way, this is still the part of the class that more people will neglect due to overload or fatigue, so by default you stand a better chance of picking up points here that others will miss.

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Pyke
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Pyke » Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:14 am

snotrocket wrote:
Hindsight revision #1: I would have spent all of my criminal law study time focusing on the material from the last 5 weeks of class.

If we had to have only one rule of law school, then I say it should be this. I have a strong sense from looking at practice exams that some professors have a habit of testing mainly on the last few weeks more than than all the rest. If nothing else, you hit the most complex topics at the end of the semester, since they have to cover the simpler things first. And even if the syllabus and testing style don't run this way, this is still the part of the class that more people will neglect due to overload or fatigue, so by default you stand a better chance of picking up points here that others will miss.


I'm not entirely sure that's true in courses like K...

In Criminal, or maybe Property, I agree.

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papertiger
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby papertiger » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:56 pm

I believe that Civil Procedure would be an exception, unless you get personal jurisdiction at the very end, for some reason.

snotrocket
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby snotrocket » Tue Dec 09, 2008 3:35 pm

I believe that Civil Procedure would be an exception, unless you get personal jurisdiction at the very end, for some reason.

Or if you don't get it at all (Michigan splits Jurisdiction and Choice of Law out in an upper-class course). For us the complex litigation / res judicata stuff was the ugliest, and it all came in the last few weeks. I still think it's true either way that a lot more people zone out, fall behind, or give up in the last month than at the beginning.

NakaNaka
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby NakaNaka » Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:04 pm

silver11 wrote:Which E&Es specifically do you suggest reading before 1L?


None. They will teach you the material.

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papertiger
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby papertiger » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:14 pm

If I could do my first semester again,

Things I'd do differently:
1) not study so much the first 2 semesters
2) put away the multi-colored highlighters. I never used them in college...no reason to start now.
3) not buy Emanuels outlines. didn't even look at one.
4) not buy used books. I get too distracted by other people's highlights and writings.

Things I'd do the same:
1) start on legal writing as soon as the assignment is in my hands. It saved me time later on in the semester when it mattered
2) read the E & Es.
3) get 8 hours of sleep during finals. I haven't felt burnt out at any point.
4) Not start outlining until late October/early November.
5) read the cases. guess I'm a nerd...I kinda like reading them.
6) ignore the gunner comments
7) stay off the internet in class

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lishi
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby lishi » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:57 pm

I'm actually kinda the opposite of papertigers.

Things I would do differently:
1) Not buy the E&Es I didn't really find them helpful
2) Not spend as much time on gchat
3) Buy the Emanuel's and read them throughout the semester

Things I would do the same:
1) Start outlining early in the semester - when everyone was stressing about outlining, I was studying
2) Keep on top of my LRW assignments - I saw everyone else get stressed and that didn't really happen to me
3) Maintain my beauty sleep throughout the term, even if that does make me a dork
4) Get to school early to get studying done

I'm sure I'll have more to add after I get my grades

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babs22pa
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby babs22pa » Tue Dec 16, 2008 8:01 pm

Keep up to date with my Contracts' reading.
Not wait until the last minute to do my outlines.
Do more practice exams.
Be more physically active.
Find time to do music.

06072010
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby 06072010 » Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:33 pm

this thread is a blast from the past -- what up, babs?

LALawyer
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby LALawyer » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:06 pm

I would do exactly what I did the first time. No books, no study. Of course, the first time that approach was necessitated by a major illness that prevented me from studying, but the experience taught me that you can do well at a Top 10 school without studying AT ALL (I stopped even buying books after 1L), and still make law review, win moot court and two trial team competitions, get a JD, pass the California bar on the first try, and get a firm job.

And spend all of law school reading novels, watching movies and going to Vegas. Ching!

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underdawg
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby underdawg » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:14 pm

dude, how can you be trying to screw your school's curve via a message board? surely there are better ways to sabotage..

zhensley
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby zhensley » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:34 am

It took me several weeks to stop reading the casebook. Personally, I won't read the casebook ever again unless there's some dire need or a brief skim at the end of the semester. Those books that brief the cases for you are the most helpful books that I have bought. I bought some hornbooks. They were a complete waste of money. The E&E's are awesome.

I would not have worried so much about exams. I've got one left, and the anticipation is definitely much worse than the actual exam (I say that now, and watch me fail them all).

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bwv812
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby bwv812 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:37 am

.
Last edited by bwv812 on Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zhensley
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby zhensley » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:38 am

LALawyer wrote:I would do exactly what I did the first time. No books, no study. Of course, the first time that approach was necessitated by a major illness that prevented me from studying, but the experience taught me that you can do well at a Top 10 school without studying AT ALL (I stopped even buying books after 1L), and still make law review, win moot court and two trial team competitions, get a JD, pass the California bar on the first try, and get a firm job.

And spend all of law school reading novels, watching movies and going to Vegas. Ching!


I get the feeling that this guy is joking, but I think that there is some truth in this. I mean, each person is different, but you don't need to spend 3 hours briefing a case. At best, for an exam, you'll need to know like one or two sentences of facts about the case. Most of the time I just needed the rule from the case.

I'll still buy the casebook just because those books that brief the cases don't have all the notes between the cases or the minor cases that aren't briefed. But, relax. Listen in class (I did stop doing that for a while and that was a mistake) and realize that most of what you need is the rule from the case. The teacher spends 45 minutes talking through a case only to get you to the one rule that you need. They think that they need to do this in order to teach you to thin like a lawyer. I mean, if that floats your boat. But yeah.

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Arrow
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Arrow » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:41 am

TITCR

The rule is all you need. Period. My brief consists of 1. the rule (or rules sometimes) and 2. One sentence that reminds me quickly what the case was about.

I mean the law = the rules. If the professor is drilling a student for 45 minutes to see if he did the reading, then it's not very helpful until he gets to the end where the rule is. Of course, it helps a lot to glance over the subject (like from a commercial outline) or something to get to know what the rule is.

I don't think hornbooks are useless. They're very comprehensive and teach you, well, everything about an area of law. I think horn books help me a lot with policy since they help me understand why the laws are there sometimes.

zhensley
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby zhensley » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:42 am

bwv812 wrote:
zhensley wrote:It took me several weeks to stop reading the casebook. Personally, I won't read the casebook ever again unless there's some dire need or a brief skim at the end of the semester. Those books that brief the cases for you are the most helpful books that I have bought. I bought some hornbooks. They were a complete waste of money. The E&E's are awesome.

I would not have worried so much about exams. I've got one left, and the anticipation is definitely much worse than the actual exam (I say that now, and watch me fail them all).

Failure is imminent if your understanding of a promise is anything to go by...


Right. Well, I guess we'll find out in January. :)

zhensley
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby zhensley » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:43 am

Arrow wrote:TITCR

The rule is all you need. Period. My brief consists of 1. the rule (or rules sometimes) and 2. One sentence that reminds me quickly what the case was about.

I mean the law = the rules. If the professor is drilling a student for 45 minutes to see if he did the reading, then it's not very helpful until he gets to the end where the rule is. Of course, it helps a lot to glance over the subject (like from a commercial outline) or something to get to know what the rule is.

I don't think hornbooks are useless. They're very comprehensive and teach you, well, everything about an area of law. I think horn books help me a lot with policy since they help me understand why the laws are there sometimes.


Oh, most definitely: the hornbooks are good in that they are very detailed. I just found that they were TOO detailed for the money. The E&E's generally gave the amount of info that I needed.

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babs22pa
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby babs22pa » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:49 am

Hey, PK!

Granted the rules are the most important, but most of the rules really don't mean anything without seeing them in action. I think the cases help to flush out and define the scope of the rules.

zhensley
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby zhensley » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:19 am

babs22pa wrote:Hey, PK!

Granted the rules are the most important, but most of the rules really don't mean anything without seeing them in action. I think the cases help to flush out and define the scope of the rules.


I would agree in a general sense just as I would agree that black marks on white paper without some kind of semantics being imputed to it. So, if a rule is just a series of black marks on white paper and understanding the cases is equivalent to seeing how those black marks are used (as one might learn what a series of letters [i.e., a word] means by seeing people use it) then yeah you have to understand how the courts have used that rule. But that's really just saying that you have to understand what the rule is. Whether you get that by reading an E&E, a hornbook, or a series of cases, you need to know what a rule means. That is, I could understand what a rule means by reading a hornbook that may never make reference to any particular case in your casebook. Yet your casebook also explains the meaning of the rule by having your read a series of cases and see how those representative courts have understood the rule.

I think the gist of the remark that the facts of particular cases are unimportant for exams, is that if you understand the rule, then very rarely will you need to know facts of a particular case. I think I've needed to make reference to one or two facts from like a case or two, but those were very general facts that were really just general elements of a rule, or whatever.

But I dunno, maybe other people do their exams by making more specific references to the facts of particular cases. I just cite the rule and then the case that its from.

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melbel08
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby melbel08 » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:23 am

snotrocket wrote:
Hindsight revision #1: I would have spent all of my criminal law study time focusing on the material from the last 5 weeks of class.

If we had to have only one rule of law school, then I say it should be this. I have a strong sense from looking at practice exams that some professors have a habit of testing mainly on the last few weeks more than than all the rest. If nothing else, you hit the most complex topics at the end of the semester, since they have to cover the simpler things first. And even if the syllabus and testing style don't run this way, this is still the part of the class that more people will neglect due to overload or fatigue, so by default you stand a better chance of picking up points here that others will miss.



This is so true for the exam i just had... ugh...

SmartCookie
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby SmartCookie » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:08 pm

This is by far the MOST valuable discussion thread I've come across. As a 0L, the advice from those of you who have been through the first semester/year is priceless. (I didn't even know what E&E was before this) Thank you- and please keep the suggestions/regrets/wisdom coming! It's great karma! :D

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lmondragon
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby lmondragon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:18 pm

SmartCookie wrote:This is by far the MOST valuable discussion thread I've come across. As a 0L, the advice from those of you who have been through the first semester/year is priceless. (I didn't even know what E&E was before this) Thank you- and please keep the suggestions/regrets/wisdom coming! It's great karma! :D

just make sure you actually follow through with the advice. i knew about e&e's before starting and didnt get them until thanksgiving. doh! it would have been a lot more helpful to read them throughout the semester

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underdawg
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby underdawg » Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:54 pm

best advice ever: DO THE PRACTICE QUESTIONS in the E&E's, or at least read the answers. some of the most important stuff is hidden in there...




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