Boston College 2L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
JetsFan1990
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:17 pm

Thanks for fielding questions. I'm curious - what is the relative prestige of the secondary journals?

bclegaleagle89
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bclegaleagle89 » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:55 pm

JetsFan1990 wrote:Thanks for fielding questions. I'm curious - what is the relative prestige of the secondary journals?


There are four journals in addition to the main law review, and there is a law and religion program that is not a certified journal yet. From what I have witnessed myself and heard from rising 3L's and from practicing lawyers who went to BC Law, there is definitely a significant difference in the prestige of the main law review and the secondary journals. As one practicing lawyer said, the secondary journals pale in comparison to the main law review. With that said, it is still absolutely worth it to join a secondary journal if you have that opportunity, as they are still quite valuable. I know a bunch of smart people that surprisingly did not make it onto any journal this year, so they are a great accomplishment that a lot of employers like to see.

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Sandstorm
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby Sandstorm » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:55 am

I thought I would add my two cents with my own perspective.

First, to one of the questions concerning grad housing, there is no graduate housing anymore. BC just ended that program this year. Graduate housing was located in Cleveland Circle. You can even rent in the same building that BC had it's graduate housing in but it's going to be more expensive.

1) What has been your biggest gripe/pet peeve about your BC experience so far?
2) Why did you choose BC and how did your decision process play out?
3) In your experience, do the BC Law student body stereotypes (more collegial/social) seem true?
4) How bad is the Boston winter?

Thanks!


Biggest pet peeve would be the students. I know some people go into the school hearing about this Disney Land thing. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Many of the students at BC are rather rude and exhibit anti-social behavior. Students are highly cliquish, and if you don't find a group of friends in the first few weeks its unlikely you will ever find a group of friends in the school. People will talk behind your back and gossip is rampant. Now this may be the case at other law schools, but from my experience with students from the surrounding schools I found BC students were much more unfriendly. There will always be a few decent people willing to help, but don't think for a second that BC is not filled with very competitive, unfriendly people.

That said, I do want to say that perhaps the Disney Land thing comes from the professors and classes. The professors do not use the Socratic method like other schools I have heard stories about. When professors do cold call they are very nice about it. The professors are for the most part extremely nice and will go out of their way to help you. Most make an effort to get to know their students. (Note because of this, good luck trying to speak to a professor after class. Normally, there are crowds trying to speak with them after class. My advice would be to meet professors during their office hours)

Boston winters are mild. It was pretty hot this past winter actually.

1) Biggest pet peeve - the dining hall on the Newton campus. The food is overpriced (we're talking something in the area of $6 for a sandwich consisting of turkey, cheese and lettuce on wheat bread), and not particularly good. That said, there are plenty of places you can go off campus to get good food (a quick drive with a car, and Newton Center is about a 10-15 minute walk), and you can always bring food. (But I'm lazy, and so I don't bring....)


I will second the overpriced comment on the dining hall. However, I would say the food is actually really good. They have a pretty wide selection.

3) How difficult is it to get into clinics?


I've met a few 3Ls who haven't been able to get into the clinic they wanted to. 2Ls have to get lucky if they want to get into one. Most 3Ls that wanted any clinic eventually got into one though, but it's not guaranteed.

5) Is a car necessary?


You may be very unhappy without a car. The law school is in Newton, far enough from most convenient public transit. The BC shuttle buses do not cater to the law students. The timing of the buses make it very hard to get from the law campus to anywhere past the Chestnut Hill campus (Cleveland Circle).

Favorite/ least favorite thing about living in Boston.

I think the history aspect of the city is awesome.


The history of Boston is awesome. If you're interested in history there is a lot to do. Boston is known for being rather unfriendly. If you know that coming in, you don't mind it. People are generally more stressed and blunt than other areas of the country. I just wish people would drive a little better.

Did you find that the cost of attendance was accurate?


About accurate. Most I think went over their estimated CoA. But I have heard of several people finding the CoA was higher than they actually spent. I think it completely depends on you and your lifestyle.
Last edited by Sandstorm on Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bclegaleagle89
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bclegaleagle89 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:57 am

I agree with a lot of what sandstorm said, except for the students at BC. I had a completely different experience. I don't know if maybe sandstorm was in a different section or something, but I have met very few people who act like that. In fact, one of the reputations of BC that I found most accurate was the disney land moniker. I'm not doubting that sandstorm may have met people like this, but I just wanted to throw out there that my experience was very different, especially compared to what I have heard about BU ("most miserable three years of my life" has come up in several of the conversations and every person down to the last one that I have talked to did not enjoy BU), although this is based purely on what I have heard from a small sample of people.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:01 am

bclegaleagle89 wrote:I agree with a lot of what sandstorm said, except for the students at BC. I had a completely different experience. I don't know if maybe sandstorm was in a different section or something, but I have met very few people who act like that. In fact, one of the reputations of BC that I found most accurate was the disney land moniker. I'm not doubting that sandstorm may have met people like this, but I just wanted to throw out there that my experience was very different, especially compared to what I have heard about BU ("most miserable three years of my life" has come up in several of the conversations and every person down to the last one that I have talked to did not enjoy BU), although this is based purely on what I have heard from a small sample of people.


I appreciate this. In regards to my previous question - Is any one secondary journal regarded more highly than another? Or, are they all similarly regarded ( "all are good to be on, but not as good as Law Review")?

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Sandstorm
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby Sandstorm » Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:19 pm

I appreciate this. In regards to my previous question - Is any one secondary journal regarded more highly than another? Or, are they all similarly regarded ( "all are good to be on, but not as good as Law Review")?


I think it might be best for a 3L to answer this since they have been on a journal and through OCI. But from what I have heard it's pretty much "all are good to be on, but not as good as Law Review". I do want to say though, that I've heard if you're going into environmental law and are on the environmental affairs journal it looks good, almost as good as the law review. Shows an employer you know what you want to do and you're focused. That said, if you want go into environmental law for example, and join the Law Review, no employer is going to question why.

A lot of employers have a "journal preferred" statement when applying. Any of the journals would normally be fine for this. If you get on any journal, take it. Also, when writing a note you can tailor your note to combine the area of law that you are really interested in with the area of law the journal is focused on.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JusticeHarlan » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:44 am

Sandstorm wrote:
I appreciate this. In regards to my previous question - Is any one secondary journal regarded more highly than another? Or, are they all similarly regarded ( "all are good to be on, but not as good as Law Review")?


I think it might be best for a 3L to answer this since they have been on a journal and through OCI. But from what I have heard it's pretty much "all are good to be on, but not as good as Law Review". I do want to say though, that I've heard if you're going into environmental law and are on the environmental affairs journal it looks good, almost as good as the law review. Shows an employer you know what you want to do and you're focused. That said, if you want go into environmental law for example, and join the Law Review, no employer is going to question why.

A lot of employers have a "journal preferred" statement when applying. Any of the journals would normally be fine for this. If you get on any journal, take it. Also, when writing a note you can tailor your note to combine the area of law that you are really interested in with the area of law the journal is focused on.

My (super-anecdotal) observation would be that those on the UCC Reporter-Digest seem to have done quite well at OCI, whether it's because UCC knowledge is prized, or it signals a willingness to delve into commercial law, or because they have a loyal alumni base.

Or I could just be totally off.

bclegaleagle89
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bclegaleagle89 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:04 pm

Except for the environmental journal point, to which I cannot speak, I would say that the sentiment that "all are good to be on, but not as good as law review" is accurate.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:23 pm

Also, there is a sale on Aspen for 50% of all supplements ending today. Even if I wind up not needing the outlines, I figure this is a hell of a deal. I'm not gunning or anything. Realistically, I'm going to try to not look at them for as long as I can.

So far I am thinking of getting: Glannon, CivPro; Chemerinsky, ConLaw; Glannon, Torts. Are these good choices? If so, what are some suggestions for contracts, property, and criminal law? Thanks.

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bostonlawchick » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:47 pm

JetsFan1990 wrote:Also, there is a sale on Aspen for 50% of all supplements ending today. Even if I wind up not needing the outlines, I figure this is a hell of a deal. I'm not gunning or anything. Realistically, I'm going to try to not look at them for as long as I can.

So far I am thinking of getting: Glannon, CivPro; Chemerinsky, ConLaw; Glannon, Torts. Are these good choices? If so, what are some suggestions for contracts, property, and criminal law? Thanks.


I think those three are definitely credited no matter what. Our Con Law professor straight up told everyone to go buy Chemerinsky. The Glannon guides were pretty helpful, I used the Civ Pro one way more than the Torts one.

For the others though, it really depends on your professor. For property, there was a supplement written by our casebook author which I found really helpful, especially because our professor and casebook focused on a lot of things that weren't big topics in other casebooks. For contracts everyone said to get the ship book, Chirelstein I think it was? Our contracts professor was really anti-supplement and his exam format was a little different, so I didn't find it all that helpful. For Crim our professor was out of left field and the upperclassmen told us that no supplement would ever be helpful. They were right.

When they gave us our booklist there were supplements suggested for most of the classes, specific to each professor. Those were the most helpful.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:54 pm

bostonlawchick wrote:
JetsFan1990 wrote:Also, there is a sale on Aspen for 50% of all supplements ending today. Even if I wind up not needing the outlines, I figure this is a hell of a deal. I'm not gunning or anything. Realistically, I'm going to try to not look at them for as long as I can.

So far I am thinking of getting: Glannon, CivPro; Chemerinsky, ConLaw; Glannon, Torts. Are these good choices? If so, what are some suggestions for contracts, property, and criminal law? Thanks.


I think those three are definitely credited no matter what. Our Con Law professor straight up told everyone to go buy Chemerinsky. The Glannon guides were pretty helpful, I used the Civ Pro one way more than the Torts one.

For the others though, it really depends on your professor. For property, there was a supplement written by our casebook author which I found really helpful, especially because our professor and casebook focused on a lot of things that weren't big topics in other casebooks. For contracts everyone said to get the ship book, Chirelstein I think it was? Our contracts professor was really anti-supplement and his exam format was a little different, so I didn't find it all that helpful. For Crim our professor was out of left field and the upperclassmen told us that no supplement would ever be helpful. They were right.

When they gave us our booklist there were supplements suggested for most of the classes, specific to each professor. Those were the most helpful.


Appreciate it. I'm skeptical of buying these now, and leaning towards waiting until classes start. They have a bundle deal for $75 which includes: Glannon (Torts and CivPro); Blum (Contracts); Burke (Property); and Singer (Criminal Law). I was going to buy Chemerinsky separately (since almost everyone says it's worth having). Is it worth buying these for $75, or should I just wait?

I just have a sinking feeling that if I don't buy these now, I'll wish I did later.

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bostonlawchick » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:09 pm

JetsFan1990 wrote:
Appreciate it. I'm skeptical of buying these now, and leaning towards waiting until classes start. They have a bundle deal for $75 which includes: Glannon (Torts and CivPro); Blum (Contracts); Burke (Property); and Singer (Criminal Law). I was going to buy Chemerinsky separately (since almost everyone says it's worth having). Is it worth buying these for $75, or should I just wait?

I just have a sinking feeling that if I don't buy these now, I'll wish I did later.


I don't think I would. Out of those I've only heard of Glannon. If you're going to get a book for Contracts it should be Chemerinsky. Really, I would hesitate to get supplements without knowing what your professors recommend, because you don't want to have a huge pile of supplements that you feel obligated to read on top of everything else you're going to have to do.

Although I have no idea how much these supplements cost, so if $75 is a good deal just for the Glannon books, I'd do it. They do also have sales on them during the year I think.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:15 pm

bostonlawchick wrote:
JetsFan1990 wrote:
Appreciate it. I'm skeptical of buying these now, and leaning towards waiting until classes start. They have a bundle deal for $75 which includes: Glannon (Torts and CivPro); Blum (Contracts); Burke (Property); and Singer (Criminal Law). I was going to buy Chemerinsky separately (since almost everyone says it's worth having). Is it worth buying these for $75, or should I just wait?

I just have a sinking feeling that if I don't buy these now, I'll wish I did later.


I don't think I would. Out of those I've only heard of Glannon. If you're going to get a book for Contracts it should be Chemerinsky. Really, I would hesitate to get supplements without knowing what your professors recommend, because you don't want to have a huge pile of supplements that you feel obligated to read on top of everything else you're going to have to do.

Although I have no idea how much these supplements cost, so if $75 is a good deal just for the Glannon books, I'd do it. They do also have sales on them during the year I think.


The Glannon books are regularly $50 each. I think you're probably right about just waiting though. Even if I wind up spending a little more later, it's better to have the supplements recommended by the professor.

Thanks for your advice!

bclegaleagle89
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bclegaleagle89 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:51 am

At the risk of rambling about supplements, I will nevertheless make a quick point or two. I understand the feeling of wanting to buy supplements to try and get an upper hand, but please believe me when I tell you that supplements are most often (at least what I experienced with my professors) completely pointless for doing well on exams. Having browsed TLS quite often before my 1L year, I know that there is a lot of talk about supplements and about the fact that law schools are full of the brightest people and you will not be able to stand out and get A's just by doing what everyone else is doing. There is, however, a big flaw in this sentiment, which is that most people do not even do what they are supposed to do. The one exception to my thoughts on supplements is the chemerinsky con law supplement, which I found very useful. Other than that, please don't worry about supplements at all unless you feel like you are completely lost. They will not necessarily give you a hand up and they might even throw you off, especially since I had multiple professors say that they do not agree with what the supplement says on certain topics. So start off by just doing the readings carefully and paying close attention to what the professor says and picking up on things he repeats and then if you are lost on something, only then resort to supplements (and you can check them out from the library rather than buying them). This is just my opinion, but better to write about what the professor who will be writing/grading your exam says that what some supplement says. Hope that helps. Sorry for the ramble, but I think people get carried away with supplements and trying to get an upper hand (a la law school prep classes) and ignore more important things like paying attention in class and reading closely the assigned readings.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:02 am

bclegaleagle89 wrote:At the risk of rambling about supplements, I will nevertheless make a quick point or two. I understand the feeling of wanting to buy supplements to try and get an upper hand, but please believe me when I tell you that supplements are most often (at least what I experienced with my professors) completely pointless for doing well on exams. Having browsed TLS quite often before my 1L year, I know that there is a lot of talk about supplements and about the fact that law schools are full of the brightest people and you will not be able to stand out and get A's just by doing what everyone else is doing. There is, however, a big flaw in this sentiment, which is that most people do not even do what they are supposed to do. The one exception to my thoughts on supplements is the chemerinsky con law supplement, which I found very useful. Other than that, please don't worry about supplements at all unless you feel like you are completely lost. They will not necessarily give you a hand up and they might even throw you off, especially since I had multiple professors say that they do not agree with what the supplement says on certain topics. So start off by just doing the readings carefully and paying close attention to what the professor says and picking up on things he repeats and then if you are lost on something, only then resort to supplements (and you can check them out from the library rather than buying them). This is just my opinion, but better to write about what the professor who will be writing/grading your exam says that what some supplement says. Hope that helps. Sorry for the ramble, but I think people get carried away with supplements and trying to get an upper hand (a la law school prep classes) and ignore more important things like paying attention in class and reading closely the assigned readings.


Don't apologize, I appreciate your advice. I'm going to hold off on any supplements until—and, if—I need them.

Besides, I've been told by 3L friends that the best way to go is to find an upperclassman friend who has a good outline for the specific professor :wink:, and to consult that if you need to.

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Sandstorm
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby Sandstorm » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:51 am

Don't apologize, I appreciate your advice. I'm going to hold off on any supplements until—and, if—I need them.

Besides, I've been told by 3L friends that the best way to go is to find an upperclassman friend who has a good outline for the specific professor , and to consult that if you need to.


I think this would be a mistake. While I agree with bclegaleagle89 that there are some things the professors see differently than are in the supplements but they are minor at best and far and few between. The best thing for you to do is to get a handle on the course material before you get to your first class. This is extremely important because you can do all the required reading but if you don't grasp it quickly you will spend so much wasted time that you will fall behind in the readings. At the very least reading before classes starts would help you to get a roadmap of the classes. There were many who read a lot before going to BC. At first these same people acted as if they didn't do any prep. People will lie about how much effort they will and have put into classes. Put some time in and just get an overview of what the topics you will be studying. You don't have to go crazy, but the more you put in now the better. Once you know the material its just a game of figuring out what the professors like best/differently, which is imo much easier.

As far as outlines, I'm of the opinion that outlines are only helpful if you put them together yourself. Getting outlines from an upper classman is dangerous as well. You have no idea of the quality of the outline, and some of the better students will not give out their outlines to underclassmen. Also, there was a story of an upperclassman changing his outline to mess with the 1Ls. I wouldn't trust it.

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bostonlawchick » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:29 am

bclegaleagle89 wrote:At the risk of rambling about supplements, I will nevertheless make a quick point or two. I understand the feeling of wanting to buy supplements to try and get an upper hand, but please believe me when I tell you that supplements are most often (at least what I experienced with my professors) completely pointless for doing well on exams. Having browsed TLS quite often before my 1L year, I know that there is a lot of talk about supplements and about the fact that law schools are full of the brightest people and you will not be able to stand out and get A's just by doing what everyone else is doing. There is, however, a big flaw in this sentiment, which is that most people do not even do what they are supposed to do. The one exception to my thoughts on supplements is the chemerinsky con law supplement, which I found very useful. Other than that, please don't worry about supplements at all unless you feel like you are completely lost. They will not necessarily give you a hand up and they might even throw you off, especially since I had multiple professors say that they do not agree with what the supplement says on certain topics. So start off by just doing the readings carefully and paying close attention to what the professor says and picking up on things he repeats and then if you are lost on something, only then resort to supplements (and you can check them out from the library rather than buying them). This is just my opinion, but better to write about what the professor who will be writing/grading your exam says that what some supplement says. Hope that helps. Sorry for the ramble, but I think people get carried away with supplements and trying to get an upper hand (a la law school prep classes) and ignore more important things like paying attention in class and reading closely the assigned readings.


I agree with all of this. I really wouldn't recommend trying to learn things before you come to class. It's really not going to give you that much of an advantage. The material in law school is NOT HARD. The concepts are not difficult. The hard part is putting the concepts together at the end and applying them to a new situation in a clear and concise way. I can think of maybe a handful of things that I had to go back and clarify after doing the reading and sitting through class.

Our contracts professor was very anti-supplement, and he wrote his own casebook. He was incredibly particular, and wanted you to explain things the way he wanted using the words he wanted which differed greatly from what I remember in the supplement.

I do agree with Sandstorm that putting together your own outlines is worthwhile. I did so first semester and did well. Second semester I was crunched for time and used other people's and it was more difficult and stressful, because I didn't feel that I had as good a handle on the material.

JetsFan1990
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:37 am

bostonlawchick wrote:
bclegaleagle89 wrote:At the risk of rambling about supplements, I will nevertheless make a quick point or two. I understand the feeling of wanting to buy supplements to try and get an upper hand, but please believe me when I tell you that supplements are most often (at least what I experienced with my professors) completely pointless for doing well on exams. Having browsed TLS quite often before my 1L year, I know that there is a lot of talk about supplements and about the fact that law schools are full of the brightest people and you will not be able to stand out and get A's just by doing what everyone else is doing. There is, however, a big flaw in this sentiment, which is that most people do not even do what they are supposed to do. The one exception to my thoughts on supplements is the chemerinsky con law supplement, which I found very useful. Other than that, please don't worry about supplements at all unless you feel like you are completely lost. They will not necessarily give you a hand up and they might even throw you off, especially since I had multiple professors say that they do not agree with what the supplement says on certain topics. So start off by just doing the readings carefully and paying close attention to what the professor says and picking up on things he repeats and then if you are lost on something, only then resort to supplements (and you can check them out from the library rather than buying them). This is just my opinion, but better to write about what the professor who will be writing/grading your exam says that what some supplement says. Hope that helps. Sorry for the ramble, but I think people get carried away with supplements and trying to get an upper hand (a la law school prep classes) and ignore more important things like paying attention in class and reading closely the assigned readings.


I agree with all of this. I really wouldn't recommend trying to learn things before you come to class. It's really not going to give you that much of an advantage. The material in law school is NOT HARD. The concepts are not difficult. The hard part is putting the concepts together at the end and applying them to a new situation in a clear and concise way. I can think of maybe a handful of things that I had to go back and clarify after doing the reading and sitting through class.

Our contracts professor was very anti-supplement, and he wrote his own casebook. He was incredibly particular, and wanted you to explain things the way he wanted using the words he wanted which differed greatly from what I remember in the supplement.

I do agree with Sandstorm that putting together your own outlines is worthwhile. I did so first semester and did well. Second semester I was crunched for time and used other people's and it was more difficult and stressful, because I didn't feel that I had as good a handle on the material.


Thanks again for all the advice. I think I'm going to go ahead and just get the ConLaw book (Chemerinsky); most people seem to think it's helpful regardless of the professor. As for the other supplements, I think I'm going to wait and see if the professors recommend any on their syllabi.

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Sandstorm
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby Sandstorm » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:47 am

I agree with all of this. I really wouldn't recommend trying to learn things before you come to class. It's really not going to give you that much of an advantage. The material in law school is NOT HARD. The concepts are not difficult. The hard part is putting the concepts together at the end and applying them to a new situation in a clear and concise way. I can think of maybe a handful of things that I had to go back and clarify after doing the reading and sitting through class.

Our contracts professor was very anti-supplement, and he wrote his own casebook. He was incredibly particular, and wanted you to explain things the way he wanted using the words he wanted which differed greatly from what I remember in the supplement.

I do agree with Sandstorm that putting together your own outlines is worthwhile. I did so first semester and did well. Second semester I was crunched for time and used other people's and it was more difficult and stressful, because I didn't feel that I had as good a handle on the material.


I can not stress how BAD this advice is. You really need to either read before you get here in order not fall behind or the material needs to come easily to you in order to do well. Bostonlawchick obviously found the material easy by her statement that "the material in law school is not hard." Good for her, but that is just not the case for the majority of people. I could be wrong, and you could get here and find all your classes easy just like these people giving you 'advice' here. But if for some reason you find the material difficult and find yourself drowned in readings, good luck. Don't say someone didn't warn you. Why risk it?

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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby JetsFan1990 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:58 am

Sandstorm wrote:
I agree with all of this. I really wouldn't recommend trying to learn things before you come to class. It's really not going to give you that much of an advantage. The material in law school is NOT HARD. The concepts are not difficult. The hard part is putting the concepts together at the end and applying them to a new situation in a clear and concise way. I can think of maybe a handful of things that I had to go back and clarify after doing the reading and sitting through class.

Our contracts professor was very anti-supplement, and he wrote his own casebook. He was incredibly particular, and wanted you to explain things the way he wanted using the words he wanted which differed greatly from what I remember in the supplement.

I do agree with Sandstorm that putting together your own outlines is worthwhile. I did so first semester and did well. Second semester I was crunched for time and used other people's and it was more difficult and stressful, because I didn't feel that I had as good a handle on the material.


I can not stress how BAD this advice is. You really need to either read before you get here in order not fall behind or the material needs to come easily to you in order to do well. Bostonlawchick obviously found the material easy by her statement that "the material in law school is not hard." Good for her, but that is just not the case for the majority of people. I could be wrong, and you could get here and find all your classes easy just like these people giving you 'advice' here. But if for some reason you find the material difficult and find yourself drowned in readings, good luck. Don't say someone didn't warn you. Why risk it?


Sandstorm, what exactly are your suggestions for prep work? How much reading should I do? I'm not going in completely blind, here. I've read Elements of Legal Style, GTM, Law School Confidential, and the Bramble Bush; though I suppose these aren't really relevant to what you're suggesting.

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Sandstorm
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby Sandstorm » Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:20 pm

Ok, at least that's something. I thought you had done no reading. But yes I meant material on the courses. It also completely depends on how much time you're willing to put into it. I know there are some smaller books that give a general overview if on a course if that's all you have time for. I personally really like the 'Understanding' series. E&E are not bad but part of those books are application of the material, which I will agree, you don't need to do yet. Chemerinsky is really good. Singer for property is also good. Farnsworth on contracts. Civil procedure can get confusing, I know many used the E&E; there probably is something better out there.

Look at those, and look at what else is out there and try to figure out how much time you have to devote to it. I think you should at least have an understanding of where you are going in the course. If you know what you have covered in a class and what you have yet to cover you're in a good place. If you can understand where the professor is starting in the material in the first week you are doing well. If you have more time, use it. I don't think you can go wrong with more time spent on preparation.

In the end you should be able to understand no just what your professor teaches you but all interpretations of a topic. It also makes for a more interesting discussion when you're speaking with professors when you can talk about their interpretation of an area of law compared to other interpretations.

bclegaleagle89
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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bclegaleagle89 » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:30 pm

Sandstorm wrote:
I agree with all of this. I really wouldn't recommend trying to learn things before you come to class. It's really not going to give you that much of an advantage. The material in law school is NOT HARD. The concepts are not difficult. The hard part is putting the concepts together at the end and applying them to a new situation in a clear and concise way. I can think of maybe a handful of things that I had to go back and clarify after doing the reading and sitting through class.

Our contracts professor was very anti-supplement, and he wrote his own casebook. He was incredibly particular, and wanted you to explain things the way he wanted using the words he wanted which differed greatly from what I remember in the supplement.

I do agree with Sandstorm that putting together your own outlines is worthwhile. I did so first semester and did well. Second semester I was crunched for time and used other people's and it was more difficult and stressful, because I didn't feel that I had as good a handle on the material.


I can not stress how BAD this advice is. You really need to either read before you get here in order not fall behind or the material needs to come easily to you in order to do well. Bostonlawchick obviously found the material easy by her statement that "the material in law school is not hard." Good for her, but that is just not the case for the majority of people. I could be wrong, and you could get here and find all your classes easy just like these people giving you 'advice' here. But if for some reason you find the material difficult and find yourself drowned in readings, good luck. Don't say someone didn't warn you. Why risk it?



This advice is not only impractical, but depending on which professors you have, it could also get you into trouble. It seems sandstorm did not have the same professors as bostonlawchick and me (from her speaking about our contracts professor, I know we had the same professors), and if you happen to have the professors I did, sandstorm's advice is VERY problematic, as one of our professors flat out told us that talking about things we did not discuss in class (ostensibly one of the reasons one would look at supplements) would not reflect well on an exam. There is plenty to discuss without trying to bring in things that are not of interest to the professor. The way people distinguish themselves is largely by figuring out which things to spend time one and, as bostonlawchick said, by putting everything together. If you look/ask around, most people will likely tell you that pre-law school prep is at best a waste of time and at worst a problem since you could focus attention on things that will not be discussed. There is NO way to know what will be discussed in the class until you start. Reading ahead once classes start is ok, but you probably do not want to be too ahead either, but that is not something to worry about now. Reading GTM and the other books you read is good background, but as far as substantive prep, do yourself a favor and just enjoy your summer and relax (although I know it's hard...I was in the same position, but trust me). Everyone is in the same position to start, because nobody knows what it's like.

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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby Sandstorm » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:15 pm

This advice is not only impractical, but depending on which professors you have, it could also get you into trouble. It seems sandstorm did not have the same professors as bostonlawchick and me (from her speaking about our contracts professor, I know we had the same professors), and if you happen to have the professors I did, sandstorm's advice is VERY problematic, as one of our professors flat out told us that talking about things we did not discuss in class (ostensibly one of the reasons one would look at supplements) would not reflect well on an exam. There is plenty to discuss without trying to bring in things that are not of interest to the professor. The way people distinguish themselves is largely by figuring out which things to spend time one and, as bostonlawchick said, by putting everything together. If you look/ask around, most people will likely tell you that pre-law school prep is at best a waste of time and at worst a problem since you could focus attention on things that will not be discussed. There is NO way to know what will be discussed in the class until you start. Reading ahead once classes start is ok, but you probably do not want to be too ahead either, but that is not something to worry about now. Reading GTM and the other books you read is good background, but as far as substantive prep, do yourself a favor and just enjoy your summer and relax (although I know it's hard...I was in the same position, but trust me). Everyone is in the same position to start, because nobody knows what it's like.



You are free to do whatever you like but just know that there are very different opinions on this. Everyone is different. I have no doubt that these two had a very idiosyncratic professor in terms of material. You will find professors like that but I think they miss my point. Of course you should talk about what the professors want you to talk about on the exam. Like I said before, you have the whole semester to figure out where the focus of your professor is. You never want to spit out everything you have ever read onto an exam anyways.

The concepts will be difficult. They will take time to understand. I have never heard of someone really reading ahead like bclegaleagle's comment. You just won't have time for that. That is impractical. You will likely be spending enough time trying to understand the concepts that are being taught that week. Again, my advice was just to read through some hornbooks or supplements to get an idea of the roadmap of that area of law. There are some things that all law professors will or are likely to cover. It's not like you can go and write a memo or go before a judge and say "Well, I took contracts with Prof. X so I follow a completely different law". Read the supplements you have time for and if you don't understand a topic or something seems too detailed in your mind just move past it and keep reading. Don't get bogged down in the details of these books before you get here. But you absolutely can understand what topics would likely be discussed generally before classes start. Just understand what would likely be covered in, for example a property course and get a roadmap of the course.

I really really wish someone gave me the advice I'm give you now. I believe I was given some of the same advice as you're getting from these other people. GTM and the other books can't hurt, but they amount to nothing. They give you a false sense of comfort that you know something before getting here. I think you should do anything you can to make yourself feel better and more confident but I never found those books very helpful in the end. I don't really understand what everyone meant by relaxing and enjoying your summer. I would get this advice too last year. If you have other obligations, you have other obligations. But if you have time to 'relax' I think you have time to read a bit of material before you get here. To me, reading the supplements before classes start, at your own pace, is very relaxing and gives you confidence and some peace of mind. Everyone has different ways of studying and learning. You have to figure out what works best for you.

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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bostonlawchick » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:28 pm

bclegaleagle89 wrote:
This advice is not only impractical, but depending on which professors you have, it could also get you into trouble. It seems sandstorm did not have the same professors as bostonlawchick and me (from her speaking about our contracts professor, I know we had the same professors), and if you happen to have the professors I did, sandstorm's advice is VERY problematic, as one of our professors flat out told us that talking about things we did not discuss in class (ostensibly one of the reasons one would look at supplements) would not reflect well on an exam. There is plenty to discuss without trying to bring in things that are not of interest to the professor. The way people distinguish themselves is largely by figuring out which things to spend time one and, as bostonlawchick said, by putting everything together. If you look/ask around, most people will likely tell you that pre-law school prep is at best a waste of time and at worst a problem since you could focus attention on things that will not be discussed. There is NO way to know what will be discussed in the class until you start. Reading ahead once classes start is ok, but you probably do not want to be too ahead either, but that is not something to worry about now. Reading GTM and the other books you read is good background, but as far as substantive prep, do yourself a favor and just enjoy your summer and relax (although I know it's hard...I was in the same position, but trust me). Everyone is in the same position to start, because nobody knows what it's like.


Exactly. I bought a property supplement before school started but didn't look at it until I was studying for exams. I opened it up and was like WTF is this? We never talked about half of the stuff in there, and stuff we spent weeks on was nowhere to be found. Substantive prep for that class, and our contracts class, would have been largely a waste of time.

And I don't know what section Sandstorm was in, but we were never drowned in readings. We had usually between 40-90 pages of reading a day max.

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Re: Boston College 2L taking questions

Postby bostonlawchick » Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:41 pm

Sandstorm wrote:
You are free to do whatever you like but just know that there are very different opinions on this. Everyone is different. I have no doubt that these two had a very idiosyncratic professor in terms of material. You will find professors like that but I think they miss my point. Of course you should talk about what the professors want you to talk about on the exam. Like I said before, you have the whole semester to figure out where the focus of your professor is. You never want to spit out everything you have ever read onto an exam anyways.

The concepts will be difficult. They will take time to understand. I have never heard of someone really reading ahead like bclegaleagle's comment. You just won't have time for that. That is impractical. You will likely be spending enough time trying to understand the concepts that are being taught that week. Again, my advice was just to read through some hornbooks or supplements to get an idea of the roadmap of that area of law. There are some things that all law professors will or are likely to cover. It's not like you can go and write a memo or go before a judge and say "Well, I took contracts with Prof. X so I follow a completely different law". Read the supplements you have time for and if you don't understand a topic or something seems too detailed in your mind just move past it and keep reading. Don't get bogged down in the details of these books before you get here. But you absolutely can understand what topics would likely be discussed generally before classes start. Just understand what would likely be covered in, for example a property course and get a roadmap of the course.


No one is saying that you'd use your professor's rationale on a memo or before a judge. Chances are good that you'll never use anything you learn 1L (outside of Civ Pro) ever again anyway. We're just saying the roadmap to every course is different depending on the professor. The basic things that you would glean from skimming a supplement and skipping over the technical or confusing parts are not the things you're going to be having difficulty with during the semester, so it's not going to give you much of an edge. If it makes you feel better, fine, but I just don't see the value in it. Reading a torts supplement in July and seeing that the elements of battery are x, y, and z is not going to give you a leg up or help you get a better grade come finals.

The hard stuff- technical concepts like parol evidence or the rule against perpetuities- you're not going to understand from a supplement, and those are the things that professors usually differ about anyway.

If your idea of relaxing is spending your last free summer before the grind of LS reading textbooks and that makes you feel more confident, by all means do so. Just don't expect it to give you an edge.




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