Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

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A.Taarabt7
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby A.Taarabt7 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:16 pm

Can we just read the introductory chapters for the E&E just to build a foundation? Or at the very least to see if E&E are the right supplements to use?(as opposed to the many other competing supplement brands)

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pancakes3
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:36 pm

No. DF gave gave me the best piece of advice any 1L could have in saying "The black letter law is not that hard." and it's the truest thing you'll ever learn all year. Everyone in LS understands the law enough to get an A. What makes/breaks people is writing the exam and that's going to be 33% dependent on your prof, 33% innate talent, 33% practice, 1% luck.

In fact, I would go so far as to say if you prep now, you're at a disadvantage bc really you're not taking the class, you're taking your professor. Learning what an E&E says about topic X could be misaligned with what your prof says and you'll only be confusing yourself.

Also, listen to sealocust. Whatever you do, listen to sealocust.

lawman84
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby lawman84 » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:56 pm

Just to echo what others have said, I did no 0L prep. I didn't read a single thing relating to law prior to my first day assignments. And I finished 1L year in the top 1-2% of my class at T1 (waiting on my rank). I also did not use supplements when studying for tests. But they may help other people, I know most of my classmates used them. I just took meticulous notes (by hand). Black letter law is easy. As others said, you'll know it going into the exams. The difficult part is applying it better to your professor's crazy scenario than your classmates will and making better arguments.

I've never read Getting to the Maybe, it might help if it teaches you how to argue both sides of an issue. Because that's what law school is...ambiguity.

Don't prep for 1L. Enjoy your summer. You'll get enough of the law during the semester. In the end, doing well in law school will come down to how good of an exam-taker you are. And that's not something you'll be able to prepare much for before you start taking classes.

On the topic of stress, each law school exam only stresses me out for two very brief periods...the night of the day I took the exam (every thing I missed pops into my mind and I start to doubt things that I got correct) and the 1-2 hours before grades come out. No stress at all before or during the exam. I just come into the exam totally relaxed with crazy high confidence and it works for me.(may not work for others but it works well for me)

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

Postby bloodorangedeer » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:37 pm

Just my two cents here, but I would strongly suggest you don't do any formal 0L prep for law school. As has been mentioned here and on other threads, law school exams don't test your knowledge of case law, statutes, etc. If they did, it would be impossible to make a curve, since everyone would just memorize the facts and regurgitate them. What law school exams test is your ability to write concisely, to warrant your claims (i.e. don't assert things, prove them through argumentative logic), and your ability to consider and stress test the inevitable multitude of positions any legal claim can give rise to. While books like "Getting to Maybe" help you get a jump start on some of these skills, reading an E&E will not help you. If you really want to prepare for law school, I'd do the following - read (a lot) of great pieces of literature; travel; write (letters will do); and read more. The closest thing you should do law-related is download a few of John Roberts' briefs that he wrote when he was with Hogan and analyze how he presents his arguments and his writing style. Do that, work hard your Fall year, and you'll do well.

A short anecdote. This year, one of my good friends went to law school with me. He's one of the hardest workers I know and everyday he crushed - took down everything the professor said, read every note section assigned, went to office hours, yada yada. I, on the other hand, read each case once, never briefed, didn't go to one office hour, and rarely took notes in class. What I did do - at the end of each week - was put aside an hour for each class and come up with permutations for the black letter law we were learning that would complicate its application. I'd then try to use the caselaw we'd been given to differentiate or support those cases from the hypo I'd come up with. One hour for each class, every week. In the end, I crushed my friend gradewise, along with a lot of other gunners who knew the law but didn't understand it. If you can conceptually understand and explain why the law became what it is (the historical perspective), how it is applied (the pragmatic perspective), and deficiencies it might have (theoretical perspective), you'll do well. Which is all to say, as a 0L you have none of the materials necessary to succeed and therefore should be busy chasing tail and/or buy shots and not bastardizing your own future understanding of res judicata or forum non conveniens.

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

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:32 am

finished 1L in the top 10% or something at CCN. here is my advice regarding 0L prep (YMMV):

(1) read GTM (don't just skim it, but no need to highlight, take notes, or anything either);
(2) take a look at the sample exam questions at the back of GTM and the sample answers to those questions, just to get an idea of what a law school exam looks like; and
(3) enjoy your summer.

don't worry about substantive law, for all the reasons others have stated. just to try to get a sense of what issues or "forks" (to use GTM nomenclature) look like so you know to spot the ones your prof thinks are important. one word of caution, though: not every prof will structure his or her exam like the samples in GTM. indeed, every prof will structure her exam in a slightly different (or extremely different) way. that's why you look at your prof's past exams a bit into the semester. the most important thing is to (i) argue both sides of the issues that (ii) your prof thinks are important. that is why you must pay attention to what your prof thinks is important and why 0L prep is not very useful.

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

Postby UnicornHunter » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:40 am

pancakes3 wrote: "The black letter law is not that hard." and it's the truest thing you'll ever learn all year.


Plus freaking one. "The Law" is not conceptually difficult.

A.Taarabt7
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby A.Taarabt7 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:15 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:finished 1L in the top 10% or something at CCN. here is my advice regarding 0L prep (YMMV):

(1) read GTM (don't just skim it, but no need to highlight, take notes, or anything either);
(2) take a look at the sample exam questions at the back of GTM and the sample answers to those questions, just to get an idea of what a law school exam looks like; and
(3) enjoy your summer.

don't worry about substantive law, for all the reasons others have stated. just to try to get a sense of what issues or "forks" (to use GTM nomenclature) look like so you know to spot the ones your prof thinks are important. one word of caution, though: not every prof will structure his or her exam like the samples in GTM. indeed, every prof will structure her exam in a slightly different (or extremely different) way. that's why you look at your prof's past exams a bit into the semester. the most important thing is to (i) argue both sides of the issues that (ii) your prof thinks are important. that is why you must pay attention to what your prof thinks is important and why 0L prep is not very useful.



unfortunately most of us aren't headed to a T14 so if there is anything that gives us an advantage on the competition, we will do it. Or at the very least try.

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

Postby UnicornHunter » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:22 am

A.Taarabt7 wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:finished 1L in the top 10% or something at CCN. here is my advice regarding 0L prep (YMMV):

(1) read GTM (don't just skim it, but no need to highlight, take notes, or anything either);
(2) take a look at the sample exam questions at the back of GTM and the sample answers to those questions, just to get an idea of what a law school exam looks like; and
(3) enjoy your summer.

don't worry about substantive law, for all the reasons others have stated. just to try to get a sense of what issues or "forks" (to use GTM nomenclature) look like so you know to spot the ones your prof thinks are important. one word of caution, though: not every prof will structure his or her exam like the samples in GTM. indeed, every prof will structure her exam in a slightly different (or extremely different) way. that's why you look at your prof's past exams a bit into the semester. the most important thing is to (i) argue both sides of the issues that (ii) your prof thinks are important. that is why you must pay attention to what your prof thinks is important and why 0L prep is not very useful.



unfortunately most of us aren't headed to a T14 so if there is anything that gives us an advantage on the competition, we will do it. Or at the very least try.


There's only one thing you can do to reliably maximize your chances of a good outcome before law school.

A.Taarabt7
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby A.Taarabt7 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:34 am

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
pancakes3 wrote: "The black letter law is not that hard." and it's the truest thing you'll ever learn all year.


Plus freaking one. "The Law" is not conceptually difficult.



so rule of perpetuities, adverse possession, promissory estoppel, duress, restitution, and parol evidence rule are easy to understand?

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

Postby iamgeorgebush » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:26 am

A.Taarabt7 wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
pancakes3 wrote: "The black letter law is not that hard." and it's the truest thing you'll ever learn all year.


Plus freaking one. "The Law" is not conceptually difficult.



so rule of perpetuities, adverse possession, promissory estoppel, duress, restitution, and parol evidence rule are easy to understand?

i assume you're a 0L, given that you included "restitution" among examples of doctrines that are supposedly difficult to understand. (it's not.) the RAP and PER are kinda difficult to grasp at first, but those others you mentioned are fairly easy. promissory estoppel, for example, is just a (1) promise that (2) induces substantial reliance in the promisee where (3) the promisor reasonably should have expected her promise to induce such reliance and (4) injustice can be prevented only by enforcing the promise. that description might sound a bit opaque to you right now, but that's b/c you haven't started law school yet. i "promise" you'll get it once you read some cases/do some E&E problems/etc.

what i cannot promise is that you'll spot the promissory estoppel issue on the exam or write a good analysis of the promissory estoppel issue. indeed, the more difficult thing than understanding the black letter law is getting good at applying it to novel fact patterns. you can know the elements of promissory estoppel like the back of your hand and understand precisely what they mean, but if you miss the promissory estoppel issue on the exam or write a weak analysis on the issue, you will do poorly. that's why i recommend reading GTM before law school; you can at least kinda start down that path by getting an understanding of what it means to "apply law to fact." read GTM and some of the guides to success on TLS; that is all. do not worry about learning the BLL before you've even stepped foot in law school.

also, your random examples illustrate a reason why it's a mistake to worry about learning the BLL as a 0L: your profs might not even cover those doctrines, let alone test them. for example, take the dreaded Rule Against Perpetuities. many property courses do not cover the RAP, and many property courses that do cover the RAP place very little weigh on it. my property prof put just one RAP multiple choice question (out of like 30 multiple choice questions, in section that comprised only 1/3 of the exam grade) on the exam. and to learn the RAP, you must first learn the estate system (present and future interests), which is takes a lot of time itself. imagine how must time you would have wasted if none of that came up on the exam!

one last thing: given that you get points on law school exams mostly from applying the BLL to novel fact patterns in the way that your professor thinks it applies, a big danger that others have probably mentioned ITT is that learning the BLL one way when you professor has a slightly different take may cause you to apply a version of the BLL that the prof doesn't want you applying.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:41 am

A.Taarabt7 wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
pancakes3 wrote: "The black letter law is not that hard." and it's the truest thing you'll ever learn all year.


Plus freaking one. "The Law" is not conceptually difficult.


so rule of perpetuities, adverse possession, promissory estoppel, duress, restitution, and parol evidence rule are easy to understand?

Those things only look hard because you don't know anything about them yet. 3rd-grade level Turkish looks hard to me because I don't know any Turkish.

I will say that there are definitely going to be points where you're confused. But it's really not the black letter law that's confusing, it's the facts. Learning the elements of adverse possession is really not hard. Looking at a set of facts regarding a particular piece of land and what different people have done with it and whether those things fit the elements is what's harder (and you get better at it as you go along, like everything new). I just think that 0Ls really aren't in a position to do that kind of grappling in any way that will help you at all during 0L summer, and it's unnecessary for success.

You also won't know if the E&E supplements are the right ones to use until you know your prof and casebook and get a sense of what your prof teaches - like the RAP examples. Whether the E&E is great or terrible at teaching you the RAP doesn't matter if it doesn't teach it the way your prof does, or if your prof doesn't even cover it.

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

Postby LawsRUs » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:02 am

Thanks guys. The theme of 0Ls wanting to do "prep" and not following students / grads who are against it has been an issue that comes up every year, from what I've been gathering. But I'm definitely not doing any 0L prep--I think it's good advice not to do it except getting to maybe and reading TLS threads.

And thanks for whoever bumped this thread for the timely reminder.

A.Taarabt7
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby A.Taarabt7 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:09 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:
A.Taarabt7 wrote:
TheUnicornHunter wrote:
pancakes3 wrote: "The black letter law is not that hard." and it's the truest thing you'll ever learn all year.


Plus freaking one. "The Law" is not conceptually difficult.



so rule of perpetuities, adverse possession, promissory estoppel, duress, restitution, and parol evidence rule are easy to understand?

i assume you're a 0L, given that you included "restitution" among examples of doctrines that are supposedly difficult to understand. (it's not.) the RAP and PER are kinda difficult to grasp at first, but those others you mentioned are fairly easy. promissory estoppel, for example, is just a (1) promise that (2) induces substantial reliance in the promisee where (3) the promisor reasonably should have expected her promise to induce such reliance and (4) injustice can be prevented only by enforcing the promise. that description might sound a bit opaque to you right now, but that's b/c you haven't started law school yet. i "promise" you'll get it once you read some cases/do some E&E problems/etc.

what i cannot promise is that you'll spot the promissory estoppel issue on the exam or write a good analysis of the promissory estoppel issue. indeed, the more difficult thing than understanding the black letter law is getting good at applying it to novel fact patterns. you can know the elements of promissory estoppel like the back of your hand and understand precisely what they mean, but if you miss the promissory estoppel issue on the exam or write a weak analysis on the issue, you will do poorly. that's why i recommend reading GTM before law school; you can at least kinda start down that path by getting an understanding of what it means to "apply law to fact." read GTM and some of the guides to success on TLS; that is all. do not worry about learning the BLL before you've even stepped foot in law school.

also, your random examples illustrate a reason why it's a mistake to worry about learning the BLL as a 0L: your profs might not even cover those doctrines, let alone test them. for example, take the dreaded Rule Against Perpetuities. many property courses do not cover the RAP, and many property courses that do cover the RAP place very little weigh on it. my property prof put just one RAP multiple choice question (out of like 30 multiple choice questions, in section that comprised only 1/3 of the exam grade) on the exam. and to learn the RAP, you must first learn the estate system (present and future interests), which is takes a lot of time itself. imagine how must time you would have wasted if none of that came up on the exam!

one last thing: given that you get points on law school exams mostly from applying the BLL to novel fact patterns in the way that your professor thinks it applies, a big danger that others have probably mentioned ITT is that learning the BLL one way when you professor has a slightly different take may cause you to apply a version of the BLL that the prof doesn't want you applying.



Bro your first and Third patagraph sounded like French to me. Why can't I just read a portion of the e and e or at least chirelstein to get the basics down. Give me more confidence which will make happy and in my mind at least I have an edge

I plan to read gtm as well. Im not reading an entire e and e just a few select portions.

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

Postby chuckbass » Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:44 am

To illustrate how much this is about knowing your professor and writing to them: my second highest grade in law school was in property, and I did not know shit about property and didn't even have the best grasp of the BLL and relied heavily on outlines during the exam (b/c I heard that I could and would have the time). I did well because I figured out how to take law school exams and I wrote specifically what my professor wanted.

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

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:15 am

7 different posters telling you that 0L prep is at best a waste of your time, but in all likelihood do more harm than help, but hey. Do you.

If only you were so indomitable in your LSAT prep.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:10 am

Of course it sounds like French. It sounded like French to all 0Ls. It's new material using specialized terms you don't know. You will learn it all once you start. If you were signed up for a French course, would you spend the summer studying French before you even set foot in the classroom?

I think people are convinced that learning legal material is different because law school is graded on a curve, and prep ahead of time is going to set them apart. It's not.

If you really want to crack an E&E just to see what it looks like, go for it. It won't give you an edge and it's a waste of time, but it's your time. (Not sure how you will decide on the select few portions or how reading a few select portions will help, though.)

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

Postby lawhopeful10 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:40 am

This topic has been beaten to death, but since it is relevant again I want to clarify that substantive prep as far as memorizing the law and things like that is almost certainly a waste of time. I do think however that learning a little law so you can look at practice exams and model answers and reading getting to maybe is helpful. Your grade comes down to a 3 hour exam at the end of the semester. Almost everyone in your class will know the law. Having some background going in to start school can make it less stressful I think, but that is far from necessary. Getting good at exam taking though can happen anytime and like anything else in life, the more you practice the better you get. But I definitely don't want my OP to be an endorsement of memorizing hornbook law because that would be a waste.

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

Postby lawman84 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:48 am

A.Taarabt7 wrote:Bro your first and Third patagraph sounded like French to me. Why can't I just read a portion of the e and e or at least chirelstein to get the basics down. Give me more confidence which will make happy and in my mind at least I have an edge

I plan to read gtm as well. Im not reading an entire e and e just a few select portions.


You're an adult; you can do whatever you choose. What people here are telling you is that it's a waste of your time. Still, it's your life so do what makes you comfortable. Just realize that you're likely not getting any sort of advantage for doing it and could be using that time to do things you enjoy.

TheLaw2015
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby TheLaw2015 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:35 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Of course it sounds like French. It sounded like French to all 0Ls. It's new material using specialized terms you don't know. You will learn it all once you start. If you were signed up for a French course, would you spend the summer studying French before you even set foot in the classroom?

I think people are convinced that learning legal material is different because law school is graded on a curve, and prep ahead of time is going to set them apart. It's not.

If you really want to crack an E&E just to see what it looks like, go for it. It won't give you an edge and it's a waste of time, but it's your time. (Not sure how you will decide on the select few portions or how reading a few select portions will help, though.)


It didn't necessarily sound like French too me. I'm a 0L, I took Business Law during undergrad and then TA'd the class for the next three semesters. I haven't even heard the word Estoppel in 2 years but I remember the example I always used to give at my review sessions. Man pledges to donate 100k to a church, church starts the process of some renovations based on the mans pledge to donate the money, man decides to use the money else were, church gets screwed because they already entered into agreements that they can no longer pay for = Promissory Estoppel. I could be wrong, but that's how I learned it.

I think it would be interesting for those of you who are more familiar with this than I am, to decide whether me having that knowledge before entering law school is of any use at all. I am not necessarily inclined to believe so, because I don't have any cases or other knowledge to back up any of that, which I would assume is of some importance and is the reason why we shouldn't even get into any of this?

I am on the fence about substantive 0l prep. I read 1L of a ride, which I thought was great (while chilling on the beach) and I am going to read GTM while on a trip to San Diego (also chilling on the beach), closer to the start of the year. I have read every post/guide/thread about 0l prep and how to do well in 1L that I could get my hands on. I can't help it, I get bored and I am excited and I can't shake the feeling that I need to compensate for what I believe are poor writing skills, terrible reading comprehension and severe laziness/procrastination.

Nonetheless, I really appreciate the general back and forth. It is helpful to hear everyone's opinion.

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

Postby chuckbass » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:39 am

Having any sort of knowledge of these topics and terms is useless, as several posters have repeatedly said. Cases can be very important or not important at all, which again gets to the point we're all making: it's all about the professor. Some professors specifically want you to cite important cases, and some don't want them mentioned at all, and they will tell you this and grade accordingly.

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

Postby pancakes3 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:45 am

To build off scotti, and rehash/reinforce the big picture message is:

1L is about getting grades. The law is almost irrelevant - or at least ancillary. Ultimately the final is an exercise to do whatever your professor wants you to do as perfectly as you can - which at this point, 0L's you have no idea what that entails. You'll have to re-learn it for whatever state's bar you sit for later anyway so... chill. GTM and other books that speak to exam taking tips are helpful to a degree, but E&Es? Nah bro.

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

Postby chuckbass » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:49 am

You all probably don't even know your professors yet. I crushed torts because I got the scoop on exactly what my prof was looking for, and I knew everything I needed to like the back of my hand so that I could spot as much as possible and spend as much of my time typing as possible. Had I taken another professor's exam, I probably wouldn't have done very well, even if the test covered the exact same material.

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

Postby TheLaw2015 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:51 am

Can anyone speak to the value of LEEWS? Let's just assume for a minute I have nothing better to do with my life for the rest of the summer. Yay or Nay?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Thoughts on 0L Prep Post 1L Fall Semester

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:04 pm

TheLaw2015 wrote:It didn't necessarily sound like French too me. I'm a 0L, I took Business Law during undergrad and then TA'd the class for the next three semesters.

Okay, it sounds like French to all 0Ls who haven't taken law classes.

I don't think it hurts you to have that knowledge before school, as long as you can keep your eyes open to how your LS profs teach things differently and not assume what you know will transfer. It may possibly lessen the freakout that comes with being deluged with totally unfamiliar stuff when you start. I think a lot of the former paralegals I knew were the calmest folks during the first few weeks of 1L because they weren't quite as much at sea. If there's any advantage in that, it disappears by about week 3. It doesn't persist to exams. (And I don't think studying over the summer confers any advantage, compared to having familiarity from previous courses/work, just to go back to the OP's question.)

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

Postby A.Taarabt7 » Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:23 pm

lawhopeful10 wrote:This topic has been beaten to death, but since it is relevant again I want to clarify that substantive prep as far as memorizing the law and things like that is almost certainly a waste of time. I do think however that learning a little law so you can look at practice exams and model answers and reading getting to maybe is helpful. Your grade comes down to a 3 hour exam at the end of the semester. Almost everyone in your class will know the law. Having some background going in to start school can make it less stressful I think, but that is far from necessary. Getting good at exam taking though can happen anytime and like anything else in life, the more you practice the better you get. But I definitely don't want my OP to be an endorsement of memorizing hornbook law because that would be a waste.



OP is going back on his OP. Now against substantive prep.




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