How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )

How many hours do you spend reading/briefing for a typical day of class?

<2 hrs
37
33%
2 hrs
13
12%
3 hrs
29
26%
4 hrs
16
14%
5 hrs
6
5%
6 hrs
3
3%
7 hrs
1
1%
8 hrs
1
1%
9 hrs
1
1%
10+ hrs
6
5%
 
Total votes: 113

User avatar
TheSpanishMain
Posts: 4114
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:32 pm

Gotta agree with my good friend Dan. Read a case brief, then skim the book to make sure it's consistent. Fuck burning a lot of calories transcribing everything about a case. Doesn't matter

TheNextAmendment
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby TheNextAmendment » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:48 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is basically exactly what I was going to say. (We usually had 25-40 pps per class, though number of cases, I have no idea.)

Though I don't know anyone ever who says that briefing EVERY case for EVERY case is important. I briefed for about 3 weeks to figure out what I needed to be reading for, then I book briefed (which is a fancy name for scribbling in my books).


+1.
1L I probably spent 2 hours/day reading for assignments and spent 3 hours/day reading the E&Es
2L I spend 2 hours/day reading for assignments and book brief and spend roughly 30 min/day reviewing old outlines

FWIW- great grades at T6, so don't think that just because you don't study 8+ hours a day you aren't working hard. There is a huge difference between working hard and working smart, and I highly recommend that all law students master this skill because it has made law school very enjoyable and (relatively) stress-free for me. If you are spending 4+ hours on the class assignments, you are doing it wrong.

BigZuck
Posts: 10852
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:55 pm

TheNextAmendment wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is basically exactly what I was going to say. (We usually had 25-40 pps per class, though number of cases, I have no idea.)

Though I don't know anyone ever who says that briefing EVERY case for EVERY case is important. I briefed for about 3 weeks to figure out what I needed to be reading for, then I book briefed (which is a fancy name for scribbling in my books).


+1.
1L I probably spent 2 hours/day reading for assignments and spent 3 hours/day reading the E&Es
2L I spend 2 hours/day reading for assignments and book brief and spend roughly 30 min/day reviewing old outlines

FWIW- great grades at T6, so don't think that just because you don't study 8+ hours a day you aren't working hard. There is a huge difference between working hard and working smart, and I highly recommend that all law students master this skill because it has made law school very enjoyable and (relatively) stress-free for me. If you are spending 4+ hours on the class assignments, you are doing it wrong.

Didn't you just say you were spending 5 hours on class assignments?

TheNextAmendment
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:44 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby TheNextAmendment » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:59 pm

BigZuck wrote:
TheNextAmendment wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is basically exactly what I was going to say. (We usually had 25-40 pps per class, though number of cases, I have no idea.)

Though I don't know anyone ever who says that briefing EVERY case for EVERY case is important. I briefed for about 3 weeks to figure out what I needed to be reading for, then I book briefed (which is a fancy name for scribbling in my books).


+1.
1L I probably spent 2 hours/day reading for assignments and spent 3 hours/day reading the E&Es
2L I spend 2 hours/day reading for assignments and book brief and spend roughly 30 min/day reviewing old outlines

FWIW- great grades at T6, so don't think that just because you don't study 8+ hours a day you aren't working hard. There is a huge difference between working hard and working smart, and I highly recommend that all law students master this skill because it has made law school very enjoyable and (relatively) stress-free for me. If you are spending 4+ hours on the class assignments, you are doing it wrong.

Didn't you just say you were spending 5 hours on class assignments?


No 1L year I spent 2 hours on the assignments and the rest of my time was on understanding legal concepts via e&es (i.e. going through the examples and explanations, taking the practice exams, etc.). My point was that someone who reads the casebook assignments and briefs for 5 hours is doing it wrong. You know what I meant...

notgreat
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:24 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby notgreat » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:03 pm

I don't really read until finals. Then I read non-stop. No idea what that averages out to.

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby bjsesq » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:14 pm

Patent2014 wrote:I wish i went to all your law schools lol 3hrs of reading would be so nice

Chop that in half and spend the time saved on killing yourself.

BigZuck
Posts: 10852
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:34 pm

TheNextAmendment wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
TheNextAmendment wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:This is basically exactly what I was going to say. (We usually had 25-40 pps per class, though number of cases, I have no idea.)

Though I don't know anyone ever who says that briefing EVERY case for EVERY case is important. I briefed for about 3 weeks to figure out what I needed to be reading for, then I book briefed (which is a fancy name for scribbling in my books).


+1.
1L I probably spent 2 hours/day reading for assignments and spent 3 hours/day reading the E&Es
2L I spend 2 hours/day reading for assignments and book brief and spend roughly 30 min/day reviewing old outlines

FWIW- great grades at T6, so don't think that just because you don't study 8+ hours a day you aren't working hard. There is a huge difference between working hard and working smart, and I highly recommend that all law students master this skill because it has made law school very enjoyable and (relatively) stress-free for me. If you are spending 4+ hours on the class assignments, you are doing it wrong.

Didn't you just say you were spending 5 hours on class assignments?


No 1L year I spent 2 hours on the assignments and the rest of my time was on understanding legal concepts via e&es (i.e. going through the examples and explanations, taking the practice exams, etc.). My point was that someone who reads the casebook assignments and briefs for 5 hours is doing it wrong. You know what I meant...

No, I didn't

5 hours day in and day out (or even just 5 days a week or whatever you're describing) seems like pretty big overkill to me too but everyone has to do themselves

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:58 pm

I'll bet I drank twice as many beers in law school than hours spent reading.

User avatar
AT9
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 6:00 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby AT9 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:08 pm

I probably average 2-4 depending on the week, but that's because I actually read everything, CivPro professor in particular is a monster with cold-calling, and I probably don't focus well enough to get through the reading quickly. My case briefs first semester were pretty much the full thing with all the facts, procedural history, reasoning, rules, etc. and it worked out grade wise (I don't know if it's because I stuck to it or if I would have done well anyway).

Now that I'm better at reading cases, I just take basic notes in a running document about each case (i.e., the rule(s) and any key reasoning).

So yeah, really just depends on the class, professor, and the week.

mx23250
Posts: 638
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby mx23250 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:28 pm

I'm amazed at how TLS is all about studying 24/7 using hardcore tactics with "no score is ever good enough" for the LSAT but then takes a "I'm too cool to study" and corner cutting approach once in law school

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22805
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:31 pm

mx23250 wrote:I'm amazed at how TLS is all about studying 24/7 using hardcore tactics with "no score is ever good enough" for the LSAT but then takes a "I'm too cool to study" and corner cutting approach once in law school

If those people are getting grades they're satisfied with, why does it matter?

BigZuck
Posts: 10852
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:41 pm

mx23250 wrote:I'm amazed at how TLS is all about studying 24/7 using hardcore tactics with "no score is ever good enough" for the LSAT but then takes a "I'm too cool to study" and corner cutting approach once in law school

A couple months isn't three years

Also, if you're at a school that places well and you can get the job you want as an expected outcome, why kill yourself studying? Even if all that extra studying mattered (and I think the returns are diminishing at best), what is there to gain?

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15464
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:49 pm

mx23250 wrote:I'm amazed at how TLS is all about studying 24/7 using hardcore tactics with "no score is ever good enough" for the LSAT but then takes a "I'm too cool to study" and corner cutting approach once in law school

I'm with you here.

User avatar
AT9
Posts: 1298
Joined: Sun May 17, 2009 6:00 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby AT9 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:09 pm

mx23250 wrote:I'm amazed at how TLS is all about studying 24/7 using hardcore tactics with "no score is ever good enough" for the LSAT but then takes a "I'm too cool to study" and corner cutting approach once in law school


Probably because:

(1) The LSAT, for most people, requires a lot of hardcore drilling and studying. The same is not true for most of the semester in law school; once you know how to law school, you can weed out the more inefficient study tactics with respect to what you actually need to do well on the test.
(2) While I disagree to an extent, the prevailing opinion is that law school grades are random. So if your grades are somewhat out of your control, why kill yourself when it might not make a difference? Again, the LSAT is seen as having a much more direct correlation between hard work and better outcomes.
(3) Other reasons people already mentioned.

User avatar
yomisterd
Posts: 1556
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:52 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby yomisterd » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:15 pm

read way more first semester than I am second semester. part lack of motivation. part realizing most of the work comes at the end regardless of how much work you do in between.

irish921
Posts: 70
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:22 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby irish921 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:04 am

yomisterd wrote:read way more first semester than I am second semester. part lack of motivation. part realizing most of the work comes at the end regardless of how much work you do in between.


This is credited. It is just not efficient to put time in during the majority of the semester after 1L.

User avatar
jbagelboy
Posts: 9635
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:31 am

mx23250 wrote:I'm amazed at how TLS is all about studying 24/7 using hardcore tactics with "no score is ever good enough" for the LSAT but then takes a "I'm too cool to study" and corner cutting approach once in law school


TLS doesn't say no score is good enough, only the blue blood strivers, although retake is generally credited until 170+
Added value of LSAT prep, which has proven, tangible returns for a single objective dwarfs that of law exam studying, where 1Ls never know what they're doing, a process varying by professor, rife with uncertainty and eclectic product
Law school is more about studying smart than studying long. LSAT is drill baby drill.

User avatar
yeslekkkk
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:37 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby yeslekkkk » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:51 am

I probably read 2-3 hours per day. I also brief every case. Tons of people saying briefing is a waste of time, but the act of writing it out and selecting key elements of the cases helps me engrain it into my mind. I finished in the top 10% last semester. I started this semester not being as diligent about my reading and briefing and could tell that my understanding/comprehension suffered. I think it depends on the person. I, personally, need to interact with the material in some sort of way. I figured I should just keep doing what I have been doing.

User avatar
BVest
Posts: 5681
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:51 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby BVest » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:17 am

We had two semesters of K 1L year. After fall grades came out, our prof spent an entire class hour lecturing us on how we needed to work smarter rather than harder, including telling us that if we were still briefing cases we were doing it wrong and that if we liked briefs, we should use commercial ones.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby romothesavior » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:51 am

BVest wrote:We had two semesters of K 1L year. After fall grades came out, our prof spent an entire class hour lecturing us on how we needed to work smarter rather than harder, including telling us that if we were still briefing cases we were doing it wrong and that if we liked briefs, we should use commercial ones.

I like your professor.

User avatar
pancakes3
Posts: 3893
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:45 am

romothesavior wrote:
BVest wrote:We had two semesters of K 1L year. After fall grades came out, our prof spent an entire class hour lecturing us on how we needed to work smarter rather than harder, including telling us that if we were still briefing cases we were doing it wrong and that if we liked briefs, we should use commercial ones.

I like your professor.


My K's prof gave more or less the same speech a few weeks ago. She said that we were reading too much and not writing enough.

Winter is Coming
Posts: 301
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:51 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby Winter is Coming » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:02 am

One of our professors told us the third week of class that briefing every case (especially older ones) is especially ridiculous because many of the cases in a casebook are there because they are actually examples of shitty legal reasoning and shitty legal writing. Especially in torts and Ks, where judges essentially just lie half of the time to get to what everyone knows is the result but theres some common law doctrine standing in the way.

But as a first semester 1L it was hard to tell at first what the point of case was, once you realize why its in the book its way easier/faster to extract the important stuff. By the time finals comes around you should really be able to tell what cases are important and why and then work with them more in depth while you're studying outlining.

At this point, I do a really quick "book-brief" which gets me through cold calls fine (literally just writing in the margins stuff like "Ps argument, Ds argument, holding, bullshit argument, Scalia needs to chill")

User avatar
KD35
Posts: 948
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:30 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby KD35 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:25 am

If you spend more than an hr per class you're overdoing it. There is no need to spend more time in order to be prepared if you are MAYBE going to be called on in class

User avatar
bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
Posts: 13383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby bjsesq » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:33 am

mx23250 wrote:I'm amazed at how TLS is all about studying 24/7 using hardcore tactics with "no score is ever good enough" for the LSAT but then takes a "I'm too cool to study" and corner cutting approach once in law school

Perfect analogy. No problems there.

badaboom61
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: How many hours do you read/brief for a typical day of class?

Postby badaboom61 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:34 am

I spent about an hour per class reading the casebook readings just enough to get through a cold call and book-briefing as I went. This was the only time I used the casebook. I took notes on the facts and holding of the case as we discussed it in class.

Then about 4-5 weeks before exams I'd add another hour or so per class going back through my notes and outlining. Then about 2-3 weeks out I'd add another hour or two reading through commercial supplements (usually the E&E) and conforming my outline to the blackletter law. By the time reading period started I'd have my outline done and be totally familiar with the course content, and could start doing practice exams.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: cdotson2, hairbear7, pancakes3, Tiddlywinks and 4 guests