Supplements for 1L year

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theramblinman
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Supplements for 1L year

Postby theramblinman » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:09 pm

Hey everyone,

I was wondering if any current law school students could speak on the value of using course supplements. Are they more important for certain courses or valuable for all courses? Additionally, if you could suggest which company's/publisher's supplements you have found most helpful for your 1L year.

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uch14
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby uch14 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:01 pm

I would hold off on buying any. I don't think they're really worth it. Occasionally if I want to get another perspective on a concept I check one out from the library but you're going to do well on the exam if you can understand the material the way the prof taught and by reading the casebook. I did really well in all my classes without using supplements. Keep up with all your reading and if you think you need a supplement toward the end of the semester when you're studying for finals, that may be the time to think about getting one.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:04 am

Supplements are largely worthless. If you want one, ask your prof if she has any recommendations. Even the civ pro E&E, an industry standard, is outdated enough at this point that it wasn't worth the $10 I paid for it.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:06 am

understanding property and understanding crim are amazing. everything else was worthless

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Icculus
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Icculus » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:09 am

I liked the Civ Pro E&E and also liked UNderstanding Criminal law by Dressler. I will say the latter was specifically recommended by my Crim prof, I also liked Concepts and Case Analysis in Contracts by Chirelestein, again this was recommended by the TA who had our professor. Our contracts prof also never addressed the UCC, we did all common law, so that may be why it was so useful. Other than that I felt the rest of the ones I had were not very good, though I plan on selling them to the incoming 1L class just as last years 2Ls sold them to me. Let's keep the cycle going.

dudders
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby dudders » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:51 am

I use E&Es and Law in a Flash pretty heavily, but that's more because of the problems/hypos posed than the substance of the material contained therein. They're not a substitute for already learning and outlining the material.

sidhesadie
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby sidhesadie » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:20 pm

I suggest waiting to see how you're understanding it as first semester progresses. If you're doing well, don't bother. I didn't use them at all first semester, and did really well. I wanted to do even *better* second semester, so I used the highest recommended (from here) supplements for every class, and my grades slipped by a good chunk.
I don't blame the supplements or the recommendations, I just figured out (too late) that it's critical to my own learning process to slog through to comprehension on my own.
The only exception was Con Law, which I used the chemerinsky supplement minimally to understand some things that were over my head because I have NO history background at all.

I'm not saying supplements are bad, I'm just saying wait and see, if you feel lost, then try some.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:32 pm

I should clarify that each semester I would only use supplements a month before finals. I'd keep up with the class through the casebook and make sure I understood everything. I would then summarize/outline every subject in understanding crim (or property) that had been covered by our class. After that, I would read through my notes and add in anything that was missing/different from the class itself. I'd end up memorizing the law through summarizing the entire supplement and I'd have a killer outline at the end of it. The whole process took about a month. I did the same for chemerinsky, but that took more than a month.

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Lawst
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Lawst » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:38 pm

As others have said, they are useful mostly when you approach finals and when you are outlining and meeting with your study group. The best people to ask for supplement recommendations are 2Ls and 3Ls who had your prof as a 1L, and you have plenty of time to find them and ask them. And yes, the profs themselves, though some gave no recommendations at all or gave so many recs that it was useless.

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amg414
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby amg414 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:17 pm

Here's a tip: It doesn't matter what the law actually is, it only matters what your professor says it is. Your job is to learn what and how your professor thinks. The sooner you accept this, the better. To date I have only bought supplements my professor has recommended because that means the supplement explains things along the lines of how the professor thinks. I wouldn't waste your time with anything else.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:24 pm

amg414 wrote:Here's a tip: It doesn't matter what the law actually is, it only matters what your professor says it is. Your job is to learn what and how your professor thinks. The sooner you accept this, the better. To date I have only bought supplements my professor has recommended because that means the supplement explains things along the lines of how the professor thinks. I wouldn't waste your time with anything else.


Yea that's a great point. I had a prof. that combined elements of adverse possession and totally deviated from the black letter in understanding property and the E&E. I made sure to use her version on the exam.

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Icculus
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Icculus » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:10 pm

amg414 wrote:Here's a tip: It doesn't matter what the law actually is, it only matters what your professor says it is. Your job is to learn what and how your professor thinks. The sooner you accept this, the better. To date I have only bought supplements my professor has recommended because that means the supplement explains things along the lines of how the professor thinks. I wouldn't waste your time with anything else.


I agree with this completely, though I did find the supplements helpful when I was approaching exams, but I used the ones the TAs recommended or recommendations from 2Ls and 3Ls. I do think it's nice to have something concrete to use in conjunction with class notes, just be sure to know what your professor thinks. This is also why I disagree with people who argue class discussion/attendance isn't that important since it is here that you know what your prof thinks and thus you are better able to answer exam questions.

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Broseidon
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Broseidon » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:23 pm

Supplements aren't nearly as helpful as old exams and, preferably, ones with model answers. You see what the prof wants and you spit that right back out. Even if the substance is different, you get the style, how to frame the answer, etc. A big part of exams is giving the prof what he likes to see.
Last edited by Broseidon on Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Flips88
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 6:31 pm

Dressler's Crim is credited. Chermerinksy for Con Law is credited. I found the Glannon Guide helpful for Civ Pro.

Edit: And to echo the above post, by far the most useful thing for succeeding on exams is taking practice exams. Also try to track down an outline from someone who had your prof the year before.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:19 pm

Flips88 wrote:Dressler's Crim is credited. Chermerinksy for Con Law is credited. I found the Glannon Guide helpful for Civ Pro.

Edit: And to echo the above post, by far the most useful thing for succeeding on exams is taking practice exams. Also try to track down an outline from someone who had your prof the year before.

I'm going to go against the vast TLS consensus and say that taking practice exams is seriously oversold on this website. I think it's valuable to look over old exams to see what your professor is looking for and identify areas you might need to brush up on, but taking a practice test under actual timed conditions becomes pretty worthless after the first time you take an in-class exam. But again, this is all an example of how some things work for some people while other things work for other people. I get far more value out of reviewing notes and outlines than out of taking PTs, while others get a lot of value out of PTs. OP, don't feel compelled to follow anyone's advice in this thread if you try it and it doesn't seem helpful.

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Flips88
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby Flips88 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:37 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
Flips88 wrote:Dressler's Crim is credited. Chermerinksy for Con Law is credited. I found the Glannon Guide helpful for Civ Pro.

Edit: And to echo the above post, by far the most useful thing for succeeding on exams is taking practice exams. Also try to track down an outline from someone who had your prof the year before.

I'm going to go against the vast TLS consensus and say that taking practice exams is seriously oversold on this website. I think it's valuable to look over old exams to see what your professor is looking for and identify areas you might need to brush up on, but taking a practice test under actual timed conditions becomes pretty worthless after the first time you take an in-class exam. But again, this is all an example of how some things work for some people while other things work for other people. I get far more value out of reviewing notes and outlines than out of taking PTs, while others get a lot of value out of PTs. OP, don't feel compelled to follow anyone's advice in this thread if you try it and it doesn't seem helpful.

I don't think taking a test under timed conditions is the important part of taking a practice test. I think the benefits of practice exams are three-fold: (1) it helps you spot issues and if you do it with friends or have model answers it helps you find out your blind spots and have an awareness for those types of issues going forward, (2) it helps you learn how to write about those issues on the exam in a concise manner and helps you organize your analysis, and (3) it helps you learn the material as you go through the exam.

My basic studying process would be to complete an outline for a course, take 3 or more practice exams with that outline, night before and day of read over the outline a few times and then take the test.

YMMV, but I found this to be a very helpful and successful strategy. If it isn't working for you, then find what works for you. This is just my 2 cents.

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bk1
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby bk1 » Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:46 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
Flips88 wrote:Dressler's Crim is credited. Chermerinksy for Con Law is credited. I found the Glannon Guide helpful for Civ Pro.

Edit: And to echo the above post, by far the most useful thing for succeeding on exams is taking practice exams. Also try to track down an outline from someone who had your prof the year before.

I'm going to go against the vast TLS consensus and say that taking practice exams is seriously oversold on this website. I think it's valuable to look over old exams to see what your professor is looking for and identify areas you might need to brush up on, but taking a practice test under actual timed conditions becomes pretty worthless after the first time you take an in-class exam. But again, this is all an example of how some things work for some people while other things work for other people. I get far more value out of reviewing notes and outlines than out of taking PTs, while others get a lot of value out of PTs. OP, don't feel compelled to follow anyone's advice in this thread if you try it and it doesn't seem helpful.


I essentially had the same study plan as flips and agree with all he's said.

However, I do agree that taking rigorous PTs gets less useful with time and I wouldn't recommend doing it for second semester. First semester I took 3+ PTs for each class timed exactly (actually as I got to my last exam they were not so strictly timed). Second semester I just went through them and answered the question haphazardly mainly to just issue spot and organize my answer. I went through my outlines a decent amount but I felt that being forced to use that info to issue spot was more helpful than just reviewing the actual info itself.

Finally, could not agree more that there is no magic method that works for everyone. Find what works for you.

hiima3L
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Re: Supplements for 1L year

Postby hiima3L » Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:38 pm

I think the absolute best thing you can do is to somehow track down a good outline from a recent student. Get them as early as you can into the semester, supplement them as you go, and really try to understand the rules of the cases you went over. Practice tests are only useful insofar as you learn how to quickly and articulately state the applicable law. Everything else is just analysis.




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