presh wrote:Telling people to not read cases is dumb. Why? Because once you actually start working as an attorney, you are going to be spending a significant amount of time reading cases. If you don't learn to do it efficiently now when it is more or less your job, you are going to be learning that skill on the job and it is going to cost your bosses extra time, something that they will not like.
There is a lot of truth to this message. Much of the skills you will need as an attorney is honed in Legal Research and Writing. This is a part of the reason that many attorneys say that the most relevant law school course is legal research and writing. As litigators research and writing is the bulk of the job and their bread and butter. That being said, I am not quite sure if Torts or Contracts is the best place for 1L's to hone this skill because they are in a race against the clock with little time to write both a winning brief for LRW plus brief cases for all 3 or 4 core classes in the traditional manner plus complete practice exams in time enough to review a few with professors.
It would be great to "start working as an attorney" but before we cross that bridge we have to earn good enough grades to land the job. Read cases? Sure. But let's read them smart. I think our bosses will appreciate our resourcefulness in working smarter and not harder so long as we meet the billables.
I don't disagree with everything in the OP. In fact, I didn't brief a single case my 1L (just highlighted in the book to prep for class) and ended up in the top 10%.
However, if you can't manage to read the material (keeping in mind that this should go more quickly as the semester progresses and you become better at it) and
complete the LRW assignments and
do a few practice exams over the course of the semester, you probably shouldn't be an attorney. It is not that much work and is perfectly doable in the amount of time allotted for a semester.
There are all kinds of ways to be a successful law student as far as grades go. Some people outline, some use supplements, some study very little, some cram at the end of the semester. But imo, it is a mistake to develop your study method in a way that deprives you of practicing for the actual skills you will need as an attorney when doing so completely unnecessary.