Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

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lawhopeful10
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Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby lawhopeful10 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:10 pm

I wanted to make a post giving my thoughts on what I believe to be the value of 0L prep since I think it runs contrary to what most people say on TLS. I just finished my first semester at a T1 regional school and received a combination of A's, and in our year long classes the highest raw scores for our mid terms. I followed the success guides on this website which I think are very well done and some of which do advocate 0L prep which I did. My 0L prep consisted of first doing LEEWS and then reading Getting to Maybe to familiarize myself with law exams and how to take them. I then read about two supplements for each subject, usually the E&E and a hornbook although for some I didn't do the hornbook and instead would use something else.

Most people say not to read the law beforehand because it wastes time since you don't know what your teacher is going to actually cover. This likely will happen, I covered more crimes than we ultimately read in our criminal law class, and spent more time on jurisdiction when we aren't even doing that until second semester in civ pro. However, I did read over a lot of stuff we did learn and it made the semester much more relaxed and easier already knowing the material going in each day. While most of the material for 1L classes isn't particularly complex, it still made it easy to go into class solely focusing on the points my teacher really cared about since I already knew the general doctrine. I wouldn't try and memorize the law or doing anything too intense but I think having a good background on the concepts is good and I think reading an E&E for each class would be sufficient to do that.

Next, and maybe the most important part of 0L prep was looking over exams and taking them. After reading the supplements I would go online and find random outlines for classes and then find exams on a law school like Berkeley which doesn't require a password and then take some exams which had model answers. This helped me get a feel for issue spotting and how to analyze the law. Most people say don't worry about it until during the semester however my thought process was why not get good at it ahead of time. As the sealocust says in his post on how to take exams, once people figure it out they don't need to put in nearly as much time afterwards in order to still do well because they "get" law school exams. By figuring out how to take law exams early I could focus during the semester on the specific nuances of each of my teacher's exam from day 1 and not have to spend any actual semester time learning the basics.

Most people might just not want to spend their summer reading this stuff which makes sense but I might have given off the impression that I spent a lot of time doing this prep. Honestly, I probably only did any law prep an hour or two a day during the week and nothing on weekends. Most of my friends worked during the week or took summer classes and some of the reading I actually found interesting so it really wasn't too much work to do. An hour or two a day for an entire summer adds up and is likely plenty to read E&Es, LEEWS, and Getting to Maybe. (Of all of those Getting to Maybe is probably the most important, I ended up reading it about 3 times total counting the summer and the semester)

I don't know that I did well because of the 0L prep and I can't say that it was necessary either. I do think that even at worst, it made the semester less stressful since I had more time to do other things since I already knew some of the law and how to take exams. 0L prep is definitely not necessary to doing well, however I think if someone has the time and wants to give themselves the highest odds of success it can help. Obviously this is all just my opinion and I'm sure plenty of people disagree. Hope this helps someone or at least is a slightly different viewpoint.

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fringles
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby fringles » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:48 pm

im not so sure. all of this sounds like stuff wise people do during the course of their first semester and you really receive no benefit from doing it early besides not having to spend the time doing it. and time is something you do have a little bit of early on your first semester.

also sounds like to me you probably outgunned most of your classmates, which helped your grades.

and i also think stress is generally not a huge huge factor in law school exams, no where close to how the LSAT is

i do think, as you suggest, that in addition to getting a general grasp of what law school will be like, it may be smart to think abt specific subjects. but really, to a very minimal extent. like vocabulary and broad definitions of various concepts, but being careful not to dig too deep into them.

in short though, just because you did well and you did this doesnt mean your prep helped all that much. i think it could probably just be explained by your crazy work ethic, motivation, neuroticism, and just being good at law school.

also. congrats!

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yossarian
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby yossarian » Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:54 pm

Thanks for this thread and for the insight to both of you. I'm looking forward to prepping this summer.

Did anyone read 1L of a Ride? Useful?

arklaw13
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby arklaw13 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:35 pm

I killed this semester without any 0L prep other than reading Getting to Maybe, which I remembered none of by November. I agree that learning to take the exams early is important, but I'd wait at least until you have a general working knowledge of how your professor actually teaches the subject. Makes a lot of difference.

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sublime
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby sublime » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:38 pm

..

arklaw13
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby arklaw13 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:41 pm

sublime wrote:
fringles wrote:im not so sure. all of this sounds like stuff wise people do during the course of their first semester and you really receive no benefit from doing it early besides not having to spend the time doing it. and time is something you do have a little bit of early on your first semester.

also sounds like to me you probably outgunned most of your classmates, which helped your grades.

and i also think stress is generally not a huge huge factor in law school exams, no where close to how the LSAT is

i do think, as you suggest, that in addition to getting a general grasp of what law school will be like, it may be smart to think abt specific subjects. but really, to a very minimal extent. like vocabulary and broad definitions of various concepts, but being careful not to dig too deep into them.

in short though, just because you did well and you did this doesnt mean your prep helped all that much. i think it could probably just be explained by your crazy work ethic, motivation, neuroticism, and just being good at law school.

also. congrats!


I would disagree with the bolded. If you fuck up the LSAT you lose $160 and can take it again. You fuck up an exam you can't retake it, it is curved against people who did well on the LSAT and in UG already, and if you fuck up too many you could be out several hundred thousand dollars.

You can feel the collective stress in the building leading up to finals week. It is insane.


+1

Didn't think about the LSAT at all after I took. Spent the entire month after exams with things I missed constantly running through my head. Thought I did horrible in classes I ended up doing extremely well in. Law school exams do things that no other exams do to people.

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fringles
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby fringles » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:41 am

yossarian71 wrote:Thanks for this thread and for the insight to both of you. I'm looking forward to prepping this summer.

Did anyone read 1L of a Ride? Useful?


I did, and it was a little bit. Definitely helped me get the "feel" for law school. Which is all that your 0L prep should consist of.

Slight disclaimer, i didn't "kill" this semester it doesnt look like. Should be healthily above median but distanced from those who really killed it

I also wouldnt disagree at all with what you guys said abt law school exam stress. What I was trying to say was stress can make you fall victim to stupid tricks or make you miss a "not" or something on the LSAT. But you dont really have to worry abt such things on a law school exam. That said, before and afterwards can certainly be as or more stressful, and this can impact your performance. Making you do silly things in your exam prep or spending too long on minor issues on the exam itself.

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First Offense
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby First Offense » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:27 am

Haven't gotten all of my grades back, but it's looking pretty good so far.

Honestly, going back I wouldn't even have read GtM. The profs go over what you need to know.

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thesealocust
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby thesealocust » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:35 am

holy fuck 0L prep is not necessary this thread is bad and you should feel bad.

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yossarian
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby yossarian » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:49 am

thesealocust wrote:holy fuck 0L prep is not necessary this thread is bad and you should feel bad.


Calm down man. 0L prep may not be necessary, but as a 0L who is (naturally and like most 0L's on TLS) freaking out it's nice to get a variety of opinions (including yours). But, the thread isn't bad. Maybe the OP was overkill, but I like the thread, man.

Perhaps the prep doesn't even come down to law school specific stuff. I've been teaching for 2 years, and my idea of work flow is messed up. I can't work for an hour without thinking (why isn't a kid asking to use the restroom, why am I not breaking up a fight, do I need to reteach something, etc.?)

So, at the least, I need to relearn how to work like an adult for an entire day without a bell schedule and 12 year olds telling me what to do.

We all need to prepare. TLS is the mecca for over-preparers.

EDIT: Not sure if using mecca metaphorically can be offensive. If so, I apologize, and please let me know.

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby lawhopeful10 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:54 am

thesealocust wrote:holy fuck 0L prep is not necessary this thread is bad and you should feel bad.

I don't want to get into a debate over this, but I said in my post 0L prep is definitely not necessary. I'm suggesting that it may make ones life easier and possibly give one a leg up on the competition. I thought I understood law exams on the first day of class better than most people did the week before finals but I have no evidence to support that since it's impossible for me to know exactly how much my preparation helped if at all.

whereskyle
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby whereskyle » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:43 am

What's an E&E?

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby brotherdarkness » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:55 am

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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North
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby North » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:54 pm

Throwing it out there.

I kind of wish I had done some 0L prep. If anything, I would have appreciated feeling like I was on the right side of the firehose occasionally. Doing what I would have done for 0L prep during the semester made me feel like I was behind the whole time. YMMV.

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First Offense
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby First Offense » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:56 pm

If a 0L is going to prep at all, don't waste time on GtM or E&Es or anything else. Learn to type faster and maybe think about your note taking skills, and see if there's anything you can do to tighten that up. The rest? Not very valuable in my opinion. I don't know anyone that goes into finals not knowing the BLL backwards and forwards, and that's all looking at an E&E is going to help you with this far out.

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thesealocust
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby thesealocust » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:30 pm

lawhopeful10 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:holy fuck 0L prep is not necessary this thread is bad and you should feel bad.

possibly give one a leg up on the competition.


No.

The problem with 0L prep isn't that you can't make an argument that all else being equal it's maybe not harmful or even O.K. sometimes. Because you can. But it's not a good time to apply Pascal's Wager.

TLS is a disastrous neurotic echo chamber of doom. You hint that it might be useful and you (further) break the already fundamentally broken (pre) law students, who start to think it's necessary and drown (faster and sooner) in the 1L arms race. Realistically there is PLENTY of time during 1L to cover everything you need to cover, because the hard part all comes from mastering the material presented by your profs and in the manner it was presented by them.

Look, I spend my free time writing guides about how to crush 1L. I'm also a lawyer and work like 26 hours per day and don't actually have any free time. I enjoyed 1L and have spent far too much time thinking about all of the nuances of crushing it.

These posts just send me into an apoplectic rage because it's so easy for ambitious-to-a-fault law students to replace careful and intelligent preparation with furious, misguided and exhausting preparation (which, IMO, includes any substantive 0L prep beyond skimming Getting to Maybe and getting oriented with the general process of 1L and law school).
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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yossarian
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby yossarian » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:45 pm

thesealocust wrote:
lawhopeful10 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:holy fuck 0L prep is not necessary this thread is bad and you should feel bad.

possibly give one a leg up on the competition.


No.

The problem with 0L prep isn't that you can't make an argument that all else being equal it's maybe not harmful or even O.K. sometimes. Because you can. But it's not a good time to apply Pascal's Wager.

The problem with 0L prep is that TLS is a disastrous neurotic echo chamber of doom. You hint that it might be useful and you (further) break the already fundamentally broken (pre) law students, who start to think it's necessary and drown (faster and sooner) in the 1L arms race. Realistically there is PLENTY of time during 1L to cover everything you need to cover, because the hard part all comes from mastering the material presented by your profs and in the manner it was presented by them.

Look, I spend my free time writing guides about how to crush 1L. I'm also a lawyer and work like 26 hours per day and don't actually have any free time. I enjoyed 1L and have spent far too much time thinking about all of the nuances of crushing it.

These post just send me into an apoplectic rage because it's so easy for ambitious-to-a-fault law students to replace careful and intelligent preparation with furious, misguided and exhausting preparation (which, IMO, includes any substantive 0L prep beyond skimming Getting to Maybe and getting oriented with the general process of 1L and law school).


Thank you for this. Glad to have your insight... and I can understand these sorts of threads making you angry based on your stance. However, your first comment I would say contributed more so to the "disastrous neurotic echo chamber of doom" than it did to push against it. As a 0L just genuinely looking for advice, the above is especially helpful.

Thanks so much.

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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby macbookfan » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:11 pm

This is a great post OP and perfect for my situtation as I am a 0L and have been accepted to law school for september. So I want to use the next six or seven months as wisely as possible, I want to redeem my time - and kick ass in 1L of course. I figure I will read a supplement textbook for each of the five core courses as well as reading the outlines over and over. Second, take as many practice exams as I can find. I am also reading getting to maybe. The only problem is I cant seem to find many practice exams, can someone upload some?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby nickb285 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:32 pm

macbookfan wrote:This is a great post OP and perfect for my situtation as I am a 0L and have been accepted to law school for september. So I want to use the next six or seven months as wisely as possible, I want to redeem my time - and kick ass in 1L of course. I figure I will read a supplement textbook for each of the five core courses as well as reading the outlines over and over. Second, take as many practice exams as I can find. I am also reading getting to maybe. The only problem is I cant seem to find many practice exams, can someone upload some?

Thanks in advance!


I'm pretty sure you're a flame, but just in case:

No. Do not do this.

0L prep should consist of the following:
1. Read at least part of Getting to Maybe.
2. Take a trip somewhere, or go camping, or work, or learn to play an instrument, or read, or drink, or play sports, or for the love of God do anything else besides "prepping" for lawl school.

You won't understand the material very well, you'll have no guidance on what will be important for your class (e.g. my Civ Pro class was heavy on the Erie doctrine; a friend at another school didn't even touch on it but spent half the semester on jurisdiction), you'll fill your brain with useless and poorly understood information, and even the stuff that would otherwise be helpful will be stuff that you will learn, in more depth, and more efficiently, in your actual class. You know, the one where you're paying tons of money to learn what the professor thinks is important, and apply what that specific professor thinks is important to that specific professor's class. Your goal is not to come into law school already knowing the mailbox rule or memorizing the FRCP. Your goal is to understand what you need to know for the test and apply it well. Everything else is a total waste of time and energy at best.

Taus11
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby Taus11 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:51 pm

Don't do it. 1L Fall was stressful enough as it was. No need to do any law over the summer. Enjoy yourself. Now, I am not saying 0L prep does not have any value. I am sure it does. But the tradeoff is not worth it in my opinion.
Last edited by Taus11 on Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

somethingdemure
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby somethingdemure » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:54 pm

For those saying that it's refreshing to hear a variety of opinions on 0L prep, here's another anecdote. The only person I know who did substantive 0L prep did spectacularly bad in 1L. Think bottom 10%. I think these anecdotes cancel each other, no?

Something something correlation causation something something chill the fuck out.

macbookfan
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby macbookfan » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:07 pm

Practice exams can be found where? I dont have logins

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kay2016
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby kay2016 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:14 pm

macbookfan wrote:Practice exams can be found where? I dont have logins



viewtopic.php?f=3&t=170599

rambleon65
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby rambleon65 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:11 am

1st semester: top 5%. Knowing that 2nd semester is still left to go, take the rest of this (as well as all other posts on this thread) with a grain of salt.

I bought GTM over summer, got through maybe half, skimmed the rest, found it useless. You can really sum up into one sentence, "Argue both sides of everything." It is NOT the holy grail for 1L.
Donno what LEEWS is, but based on what i've seen, seems just the same. Save your money.


Theoretically, my best advice for 0L summer is undoubtedly to just ENJOY IT. And put in escrow as much normalcy as possible.
I heard all this my 0L summer, but out of anxiety, bought GTM. Only laziness saved me from reading the entire thing. Skim it at best.

And just do NOT do substantive law. You'll be amazed at how concepts differ between professors and things you concentrate over the summer on might not even be covered by your prof. Besides that, as a 0L (or even as a 1L up to a few weeks before finals) you have no idea how the law should be studied for a law school exam. It's a waste of time at best, preclusion at worst.

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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby WahooLaw24 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:18 am

I just finished my 1L Fall at the very top of the class at a T-10 and would highly recommend that you do NOT do anything law school related over the summer, or at least nothing substantive. I read 1L of a Ride and skimmed GTM which helped I suppose, but honestly there will be time for that during the semester and it will make a whole lot more sense then.

I think one of the main reasons I did so well was that all that was in my brain come test day was what my professors had taught to me. I didn't have a bunch of different takes on concepts from supplements, especially supplements read in the summer before I could ever even start to grasp the basics of the course. Prime example, at least from what I am told, is that most torts classes spend considerable time going over assault and battery. My Torts professor, one of the leading scholars in the field and a fantastic teacher, doesn't teach those concepts 1L. I am sure glad I didn't try to teach myself assault and battery over the summer.

Basically, I completely agree with rambleon.




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