0L trying to prepare for a Law School

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didxogns1

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0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby didxogns1 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:08 am

Hi!

I am a 0L currently admitted to GW Law and waiting on decisions from the other schools.

In the mean times, I am trying to study and prepare for 1L.
I've heard anecdotally that law schools share core curriculum regardless of which school you are going to (especially for 1Ls)
Is this the case? If so, what are the core curriculum that I should study for?

If you can recommend me some books regarding such curriculum, that I can read and study with in advance, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for helping a future law student!

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:06 pm

Yes, the 1L curriculum is largely identical across schools.

But there's no benefit to studying in advance of starting school. In many cases, it could have a detrimental effect, because you'll be learning material that your professors don't teach and/or teach in an idiosyncratic way.

Relax, and focus on admissions for now. Get the best school you can at a reasonable price tag. You can worry about 1L when you're in it.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby aadcsplitter » Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:18 pm

didxogns1 wrote:Hi!

I am a 0L currently admitted to GW Law and waiting on decisions from the other schools.

In the mean times, I am trying to study and prepare for 1L.
I've heard anecdotally that law schools share core curriculum regardless of which school you are going to (especially for 1Ls)
Is this the case? If so, what are the core curriculum that I should study for?

If you can recommend me some books regarding such curriculum, that I can read and study with in advance, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance for helping a future law student!


This is fairly well trod soil on TLS tbh. See below example:

viewtopic.php?p=2924250#p2924250

FWIW, I am in your same shoes: also 0L, also admitted to/considering GWU, also wondering if there is something I should be doing now to ease my path in the fall.

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Mullens

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Mullens » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:34 pm

Honestly you’re far better off retaking the LSAT to get into a better school or to get more scholarship money than anything else. Studying before 1L is unlikely to help and could in fact hurt your law school performance. A couple more points on the LSAT could have a remarkable and life-altering impact on your career.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Npret » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:55 pm

Mullens wrote:Honestly you’re far better off retaking the LSAT to get into a better school or to get more scholarship money than anything else. Studying before 1L is unlikely to help and could in fact hurt your law school performance. A couple more points on the LSAT could have a remarkable and life-altering impact on your career.

Good luck with getting 0Ls to listen to that advice. The last GW (or was it Georgetown?) admit we repeatedly advised to retake basically told us to shut up and go away because they were betting on themselves.

I think that person was betting on PSLF for their $350,000 estimated debt at repayment. It’s such an unnecessary amount of debt to undertake, in my view anyway. But somehow retaking is not an option.

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cbbinnyc

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby cbbinnyc » Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:59 pm

I know this is "well trod soil" here, as a previous poster said, but just for a counter-point ... while it is true that 0L prep CAN be a poor use of time, there is certain preparation that is undeniably helpful. For example, learning about the format of law school exams. I did the LEEWS program and read through "Getting to Maybe." Your grade boils down to taking one exam, in most cases, and knowing how to approach exams before your classmates gives you a clear advantage and will affect how you approach the material throughout the year.

Learning substantive law is probably less beneficial, though I think it's a stretch to say that it's detrimental, except in certain cases. It's definitely a bad idea to get your casebooks early and read through them. That's a waste of time and you may get confused by not understanding the right approach and filling your head with material that won't be covered. In general, though, learning the broad strokes of the different 1L topics is, I think, a solid idea that will give you a leg up. Obviously your professor will want you to know a specific set of cases and to parrot the doctrine in a particular way. But I don't see how it can be a bad thing to, say, come into Civ Pro with a basic idea of how personal jurisdiction works. It is fairly easy to do a little research online and figure out the topics that are pretty certain to be covered in 1L classes.

To be clear, I'm not saying this is necessary; it's absolutely doable to just show up on day one with zero prep and nail 1L. But I think some prudent 0L prep is undeniably helpful.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby QContinuum » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:16 pm

Npret wrote:
Mullens wrote:Honestly you’re far better off retaking the LSAT to get into a better school or to get more scholarship money than anything else. Studying before 1L is unlikely to help and could in fact hurt your law school performance. A couple more points on the LSAT could have a remarkable and life-altering impact on your career.

Good luck with getting 0Ls to listen to that advice. The last GW (or was it Georgetown?) admit we repeatedly advised to retake basically told us to shut up and go away because they were betting on themselves.

I think that person was betting on PSLF for their $350,000 estimated debt at repayment. It’s such an unnecessary amount of debt to undertake, in my view anyway. But somehow retaking is not an option.

To be fair, we don't know what this thread's OP's LSAT situation or history is. Maybe they've already maxed out their LSAT and their GPA's holding them back from a higher-ranked school. Maybe they will actually end up getting into a higher-ranked school.

That said, I agree that "advance 1L prep" is unlikely to help and could actually hurt. It could hurt by burning someone out before 1L even starts. It could hurt if the student scores a prof with a unique/nonstandard view of the law.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby bettercallmymidlevel » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:35 pm

This is controversial, but I actually do think there are certain things an incoming law student can do to get ahead of their fellow classmates ahead of their 1L. None of them, however, have to do with actually learning the law. For example, once you commit to a school and get your schedule, see if you know any alumni who went there and ask for their thoughts on the professor and if they knew anyone who had him/her. Law students--I at least found--were really unwilling to let go of their resentments about certain exams. Those resentments = good for you to know. I have some other ideas as well -- feel free to message.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Go Nats! » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:47 pm

Npret wrote:
Mullens wrote:Honestly you’re far better off retaking the LSAT to get into a better school or to get more scholarship money than anything else. Studying before 1L is unlikely to help and could in fact hurt your law school performance. A couple more points on the LSAT could have a remarkable and life-altering impact on your career.

Good luck with getting 0Ls to listen to that advice. The last GW (or was it Georgetown?) admit we repeatedly advised to retake basically told us to shut up and go away because they were betting on themselves.

I think that person was betting on PSLF for their $350,000 estimated debt at repayment. It’s such an unnecessary amount of debt to undertake, in my view anyway. But somehow retaking is not an option.


Dude, you don't even know whether the OP in this thread got money or what their situation is. And the Georgetown admit you're talking about has been admitted to Berkeley and other top schools and appears to be quite satisfied with the result. Let it go, man.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Go Nats! » Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:50 pm

OP, what you should really do is relax. You're going to be so busy your 1L year that I recommend just taking the time you have to recharge. There's some great threads on TLS already about 1L success and how to approach that first year. Read those.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby LitigatingLiar » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:17 pm

Don't "prepare." Honestly, the best thing you can do is relax. You're not going to do much of it your 1L year. Your friends and family will wonder if you've died.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby BeeTeeZ » Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:55 pm

If I could do it all over again I would have spent some time reading opinions prior to law school. Any opinions on any subject, some old and some new. Not to learn the law, but rather to get a feel for how opinions are (generally) organized, how to distinguish dictum from dicta, etc. Classmates who began 1L year with those skills had an advantage.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Bingo_Bongo » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:41 pm

bettercallmymidlevel wrote:This is controversial, but I actually do think there are certain things an incoming law student can do to get ahead of their fellow classmates ahead of their 1L. None of them, however, have to do with actually learning the law. For example, once you commit to a school and get your schedule, see if you know any alumni who went there and ask for their thoughts on the professor and if they knew anyone who had him/her. Law students--I at least found--were really unwilling to let go of their resentments about certain exams. Those resentments = good for you to know. I have some other ideas as well -- feel free to message.


I don't think that's controversial at all. I actually go against the grain and think going in with some (correct) knowledge of substantive law can be very helpful. Some of the best students in my class had prior legal knowledge from their life. One was a cop who always am-jur'd anything criminal law related and was one of the top ranked students. He said he actually learned more in the police academy than he ever did in law school.

But I personally would just relax and enjoy your time before your 1L year. You'll have plenty of time to be neurotic once you get into law school and start competing for grades. Then you'll have plenty of time to be neurotic when it comes time to meeting your future firm's billable hour requirements. You never hear an old attorney tell you that the one thing he wish he did differently was study/freak out more.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Npret » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:15 am

Go Nats! wrote:
Npret wrote:
Mullens wrote:Honestly you’re far better off retaking the LSAT to get into a better school or to get more scholarship money than anything else. Studying before 1L is unlikely to help and could in fact hurt your law school performance. A couple more points on the LSAT could have a remarkable and life-altering impact on your career.

Good luck with getting 0Ls to listen to that advice. The last GW (or was it Georgetown?) admit we repeatedly advised to retake basically told us to shut up and go away because they were betting on themselves.

I think that person was betting on PSLF for their $350,000 estimated debt at repayment. It’s such an unnecessary amount of debt to undertake, in my view anyway. But somehow retaking is not an option.


Dude, you don't even know whether the OP in this thread got money or what their situation is. And the Georgetown admit you're talking about has been admitted to Berkeley and other top schools and appears to be quite satisfied with the result. Let it go, man.

You realize that these threads aren’t just for the benefit of the OP? As for being satisfied with debt, most 0Ls don’t even know their expected debt at repayment. Most students don’t even check their loan balance.There’s no harm in reminding anyone that repaying 6 figures of debt is a major undertaking not to be so easily dismissed.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Go Nats! » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:32 pm

Npret wrote:You realize that these threads aren’t just for the benefit of the OP? As for being satisfied with debt, most 0Ls don’t even know their expected debt at repayment. Most students don’t even check their loan balance.There’s no harm in reminding anyone that repaying 6 figures of debt is a major undertaking not to be so easily dismissed.


There's a difference between bringing up general advice for other 0L's who are searching for similar advice on a topic and bringing up a topic that doesn't have anything to do with the OP's question, which is what happened here. I mean, what was the point about complaining about an entirely different thread earlier? None. Or talking about money or advising that the OP should go to a different school when they've made it clear they've already accepted and are attending GW? None.

P.S. I don't know why I can't PM this. I would've rather done that so I didn't derail this thread by responding. To that end, this will be my final response in this thread. OP has gotten good advice from others that is responsive to the topic he specifically cares about.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Npret » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:15 pm

Go Nats! wrote:
Npret wrote:You realize that these threads aren’t just for the benefit of the OP? As for being satisfied with debt, most 0Ls don’t even know their expected debt at repayment. Most students don’t even check their loan balance.There’s no harm in reminding anyone that repaying 6 figures of debt is a major undertaking not to be so easily dismissed.


There's a difference between bringing up general advice for other 0L's who are searching for similar advice on a topic and bringing up a topic that doesn't have anything to do with the OP's question, which is what happened here. I mean, what was the point about complaining about an entirely different thread earlier? None. Or talking about money or advising that the OP should go to a different school when they've made it clear they've already accepted and are attending GW? None.

P.S. I don't know why I can't PM this. I would've rather done that so I didn't derail this thread by responding. To that end, this will be my final response in this thread. OP has gotten good advice from others that is responsive to the topic he specifically cares about.

You can’t PM me because I have PMs turned off.

I have been here a lot longer than you and my experience is my basis for my response. I bring up other examples because it’s relevant.

Disagree all you want, but I don’t agree with trying to tell people what to post. If there is an issue mods can deal with it.

Having more opinions only benfit the 0Ls that post here. There’s always a chance some 0Ls will benefit from the view that retaking the LSAT can get them better acceptances and scholarships.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby we'rebothmenofthelaw » Sun Dec 23, 2018 12:24 pm

I’d recommend doing what you can to be in a good place physically, emotionally, and, if this speaks to you, spiritually, before you begin law school. It can take a big bite out of your mental and physical health, so establishing some positive habits, grounding yourself, and knowing yourself can be really helpful. That might mean hitting the gym regularly before law school, improving your cooking game, finding a local religious community, traveling the summer befor law school, or doing something else that inspires and energizes you. Personally, I did a yoga teacher training before law school and it was one of the best decisions I ever made, even though 1L is a joke of a time time to start a distinct career and my practice has ebbed and flowed during law school. A lot of the people who succeed in law school are folks who can see the big picture.

Also, this might sound super privileged if the message is to travel or do an expensive activity before law school. Financial well-being is also important for yor health, so earning some extra money (or getting good scholarship) so you don’t have to worry about making rent or feeding yourself during finals is also a solid choice, in my opinion.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Bingo_Bongo » Sun Dec 23, 2018 3:46 pm

we'rebothmenofthelaw wrote:A lot of the people who succeed in law school are folks who can see the big picture.


This is big. I guarantee you're going to have a lot of failures in law school. Between the curve realistically giving you a GPA lower than you've ever experienced before, to not making law review, to not making moot court, to being turned down by employer after employer, to seeing people you think are way less qualified than you getting things you don't, to all the other inevitable crappy things that will happen, you will experience plenty of failure in law school, just like literally every other student does. For a lot of overachievers, it's the first time they've ever experienced, in their entire lives, not getting what they want, and realizing that they're not perfect. This is why so many people are miserable and depressed in law school.

I think just understanding that you're going to fail a lot is helpful going in. Prepare for it, and don't lose sight of the big picture. Law school isn't undergrad where everyone can get As. It's also a place where everyone's smart and capable, so it's very competitive. Enjoy your wins (you will have these too) and just keep on trucking along for your three years realizing that, no matter what, you're at a good school, about to join an elite and respectable profession, and a few years after graduation you'll likely have a nice career and nobody will give a rat's ass about what you did in law school. (And all the things that matter to law students don't matter to people on the outside. They see the big picture. To them, you're an overachiever going to Georgetown Law.)

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Npret » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:56 pm

Improve your typing speed to as fast as you possibly can manage. Practice typing with clear headings, etc.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby QContinuum » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:40 pm

Bingo_Bongo wrote:This is big. I guarantee you're going to have a lot of failures in law school. Between the curve realistically giving you a GPA lower than you've ever experienced before, to not making law review, to not making moot court, to being turned down by employer after employer, to seeing people you think are way less qualified than you getting things you don't, to all the other inevitable crappy things that will happen, you will experience plenty of failure in law school, just like literally every other student does. For a lot of overachievers, it's the first time they've ever experienced, in their entire lives, not getting what they want, and realizing that they're not perfect. This is why so many people are miserable and depressed in law school.

I think just understanding that you're going to fail a lot is helpful going in. Prepare for it, and don't lose sight of the big picture. Law school isn't undergrad where everyone can get As. It's also a place where everyone's smart and capable, so it's very competitive. Enjoy your wins (you will have these too) and just keep on trucking along for your three years realizing that, no matter what, you're at a good school, about to join an elite and respectable profession, and a few years after graduation you'll likely have a nice career and nobody will give a rat's ass about what you did in law school. (And all the things that matter to law students don't matter to people on the outside. They see the big picture. To them, you're an overachiever going to Georgetown Law.)

The above can't be emphasized strongly enough. Even the most successful students in law school will likely experience - relative to high school or college - many more setbacks than they've ever experienced before. This doesn't mean they aren't doing well, just reflects the reality that they're now competing against a pool of classmates, all of whom also did about equally well in college and on the LSAT.

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby Bmzl » Wed Dec 26, 2018 9:25 am

QContinuum wrote:
Bingo_Bongo wrote:This is big. I guarantee you're going to have a lot of failures in law school. Between the curve realistically giving you a GPA lower than you've ever experienced before, to not making law review, to not making moot court, to being turned down by employer after employer, to seeing people you think are way less qualified than you getting things you don't, to all the other inevitable crappy things that will happen, you will experience plenty of failure in law school, just like literally every other student does. For a lot of overachievers, it's the first time they've ever experienced, in their entire lives, not getting what they want, and realizing that they're not perfect. This is why so many people are miserable and depressed in law school.

I think just understanding that you're going to fail a lot is helpful going in. Prepare for it, and don't lose sight of the big picture. Law school isn't undergrad where everyone can get As. It's also a place where everyone's smart and capable, so it's very competitive. Enjoy your wins (you will have these too) and just keep on trucking along for your three years realizing that, no matter what, you're at a good school, about to join an elite and respectable profession, and a few years after graduation you'll likely have a nice career and nobody will give a rat's ass about what you did in law school. (And all the things that matter to law students don't matter to people on the outside. They see the big picture. To them, you're an overachiever going to Georgetown Law.)

The above can't be emphasized strongly enough. Even the most successful students in law school will likely experience - relative to high school or college - many more setbacks than they've ever experienced before. This doesn't mean they aren't doing well, just reflects the reality that they're now competing against a pool of classmates, all of whom also did about equally well in college and on the LSAT.


I would consider a legal podcast just to begin acclimating yourself as to how people talk about the law- any actual substantive knowledge is just an extra benefit

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Re: 0L trying to prepare for a Law School

Postby arose928 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 1:17 pm

we'rebothmenofthelaw wrote:I’d recommend doing what you can to be in a good place physically, emotionally, and, if this speaks to you, spiritually, before you begin law school. It can take a big bite out of your mental and physical health, so establishing some positive habits, grounding yourself, and knowing yourself can be really helpful. That might mean hitting the gym regularly before law school, improving your cooking game, finding a local religious community, traveling the summer befor law school, or doing something else that inspires and energizes you. Personally, I did a yoga teacher training before law school and it was one of the best decisions I ever made, even though 1L is a joke of a time time to start a distinct career and my practice has ebbed and flowed during law school. A lot of the people who succeed in law school are folks who can see the big picture.

Also, this might sound super privileged if the message is to travel or do an expensive activity before law school. Financial well-being is also important for yor health, so earning some extra money (or getting good scholarship) so you don’t have to worry about making rent or feeding yourself during finals is also a solid choice, in my opinion.


I agree with this more than anything anyone else has written. Getting grounded in good habits and/or hobbies will take you way further than reading some cases that you won't yet understand.

I was really glad/fortunate that I could attend law school in the same place I had already been living for several years, so I didn't have to move, get furniture, acclimate, etc. I quit my job three months before school started and did a two-month road trip across the country, visiting friends and family all over the place. Then I had one month before school to just relax and get my head right. When school started, I was ready to hit the ground running. Contrast that with the people who worked until the last minute, or moved at the last minute, and then their attention was divided between trying to buy a bed and also keep up with reading.

If you're asking this question I'm guessing you are a gunner who is going to ignore this advice, but for anyone else browsing, just do what you can to get into a good headspace before starting school.



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