Summer Reading Before 1L

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zicker1352
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Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby zicker1352 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:57 am

Hey there,

I will be attending law school this fall and have been recommended by some people to go ahead and purchase outlines or something else during the summer to get a head start. Is this a good idea? and if so, any good recommendation on what to get?

Thanks!

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bk1
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:58 am

Search function.

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buckilaw
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby buckilaw » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:24 am

zicker1352 wrote:Hey there,

I will be attending law school this fall and have been recommended by some people to go ahead and purchase outlines or something else during the summer to get a head start. Is this a good idea? and if so, any good recommendation on what to get?

Thanks!


Chill, don't read law related shit until you are required to read it. If you insist on reading Getting to Maybe would be the thing to read.

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cinephile
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby cinephile » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:27 am

I would never purchase an outline. Get one for free from a 2L/3L who had your prof.

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YYZ
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby YYZ » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:42 am

You will receive lots of different opinions on this. If you have the time and are anxious to start learning, I would recommend "1L of a Ride" and "Getting to Maybe." I found it interesting to listen to the podcasts on iTunes called "Life as a Law Student." Finally, if you're willing to spend some money and you know which professors you will have next year, you can purchase outlines on outlinedepot.com for those courses and start reading the cases taught by those profs. But, I don't highly recommend doing the last thing I mentioned.

Other tips I recommend for the summer:

1. Learn to be a faster typist (if you're not already). There are many free sites that can help with this. This can really make the difference between an A and B on exams. You can learn the law in great detail during the semester and feel really good before the final. But, you can then crash and burn if you can't type out the legal analysis quickly enough on the exam. Many of the exam questions take much longer to fully analyze than you are allotted. Getting down more arguments and analysis than your peers can make all of the difference.

2. Practice/Learn excellent grammar. Obviously, you need to be an excellent writer to excel in a graded LWRA course. If your grammar skills are rusty, use the internet to re-learn the grammar rules.

Feel free to PM me if you need more info.

Good luck next year!

vyelps
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby vyelps » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:12 am

I'll echo a few things:

1. Getting to Maybe is a great book and really the only worthwhile pre-1L prep. If you are interested in immersing yourself in law, perhaps start reading SCOTUSBlog and similar sites to familiarize yourself with current happenings in the legal world

2. TYPING SKILLS ARE CRUCIAL. This is true both for exams and for in class note taking. Learn to type quickly and write efficiently. Trust us, 1L final exams often end up becoming speed typing tests and the faster you can type, the more analysis you can fit in your exam. This isn't to say that quantity trumps quality of response, but quantity often matters as well.

3. Strunk and White's Elements of Style is another great book about writing in general. If you insist on preparing before 1L (which isn't a terrible idea, but has little return on investment) then I'd suggest really digging into Strunk and White's book and making sure you master the skills contained therein. I don't care how good a writer an 0L is before starting law school. There is always room to improve. Focus this summer on becoming as clear a writer as possible. I wish I had done that before law school. Making that investment over the pre-1L summer would have paid serious dividends.

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Law Sauce
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby Law Sauce » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:41 am

Dont do anything substantive for your classes. You want to be more or less a clean slate who only knows what the professor emphasizes. That way you can talk about the subject the way the professor does.

I do recommend doing LEEWS (Law Essay Exam Writing System) by Wentworth Miller. It is a series on tape with a workbook that teaches you what Law School professors are looking for on exams and gives you a system for giving them what they want. You don't have to use the system exactly, but knowing what exams will be like will be a huge advantage during your first semester when everyone else is trying to figure out what is important. (Note: not every professor gives exams that are exactly like the LEEWS Issue spotters, but the ideas in LEEWS are still applicable and crucial to understand).

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:35 am

Don't do summer prep. I didn't do anything over the summer, didn't even read GTM or LEEWS (still haven't) and I think it was the right call.

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ilovesf
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby ilovesf » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:36 am

Bildungsroman wrote:Don't do summer prep. I didn't do anything over the summer, didn't even read GTM or LEEWS (still haven't) and I think it was the right call.

Me too.

Peg
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby Peg » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:46 am

ilovesf wrote:
Bildungsroman wrote:Don't do summer prep. I didn't do anything over the summer, didn't even read GTM or LEEWS (still haven't) and I think it was the right call.

Me too.


Listen to them. I did LEEWS and Getting to Maybe over the summer and it did nothing for me. And yet I've finished 1L with good grades. My advice is enjoy your summer. It's the last true summer of your academic career, so use it well. Get some of the stuff on your wish list checked off. Relax. Savor the feeling of having nothing to do and no responsibilities or deadlines waiting for you.

At this point, any prep is useless because you won't remember it by the time classes start and it may be very different from your professor's syllabus, or at least his approach to the subject.

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kalvano
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:28 am

If "summer prep" means anything other than reading Game of Thrones by the pool with a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy close at hand, you are doing it very, very wrong.

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Iceman389
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby Iceman389 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:42 am

kalvano wrote:If "summer prep" means anything other than reading Game of Thrones by the pool with a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy close at hand, you are doing it very, very wrong.


Well now I know EXACTLY what I will be doing this weekend.

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shortporch
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby shortporch » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:50 am

There are innumerable "typing matters!" trolls around this place, so allow me to offer a fairly vigorous dissent. I don't use word limits, and after each exam period, I run a regression analysis between work count and exam score. And every year, the r^2 is substantially below 0.5, and usually below 0.3. If you took out 3-5 grade outliers (the top A's and the bottom C's), the r^2 often falls below 0.1.

So, no, typing doesn't mean a whole lot. That's not to say that some professors aren't impressed with voluminous typing; but it is to say that, for me, it is not the case.

Additionally, I don't think people here quite understand that the ability to compose via word processor is a very different skill set than the ability to transcribe via word processor. "Typing skills" emphasize transcription. Composition is inherently a slower task via word processor. Perhaps if you type faster, you can transcribe more of your outline onto the screen. Maybe that fools some professors. But the act of composition requires thinking about organization, structure, analysis, incorporation of facts, and so on. Speed matters much less than quickness (and depth) of ability to analyze. I think there are very few people who walk away from an exam thinking, "Wow, I just had so much to analyze in Problem 2, and I only got in 300 words on the elements surrounding unconscionability!" More likely, the problem is that they only had 300 words to say on unconscionability--or, actually, had 200 words to say and used 300 to say it.

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DCDuck
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby DCDuck » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:53 am

Any fiction that isn't law related.

vyelps
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby vyelps » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:46 pm

shortporch wrote:There are innumerable "typing matters!" trolls around this place, so allow me to offer a fairly vigorous dissent. I don't use word limits, and after each exam period, I run a regression analysis between work count and exam score. And every year, the r^2 is substantially below 0.5, and usually below 0.3. If you took out 3-5 grade outliers (the top A's and the bottom C's), the r^2 often falls below 0.1.

So, no, typing doesn't mean a whole lot. That's not to say that some professors aren't impressed with voluminous typing; but it is to say that, for me, it is not the case.

Additionally, I don't think people here quite understand that the ability to compose via word processor is a very different skill set than the ability to transcribe via word processor. "Typing skills" emphasize transcription. Composition is inherently a slower task via word processor. Perhaps if you type faster, you can transcribe more of your outline onto the screen. Maybe that fools some professors. But the act of composition requires thinking about organization, structure, analysis, incorporation of facts, and so on. Speed matters much less than quickness (and depth) of ability to analyze. I think there are very few people who walk away from an exam thinking, "Wow, I just had so much to analyze in Problem 2, and I only got in 300 words on the elements surrounding unconscionability!" More likely, the problem is that they only had 300 words to say on unconscionability--or, actually, had 200 words to say and used 300 to say it.


I did not mean to suggest that quantity matters more than quality. Quality of a response is significantly more important. That being said, there are a lot of exams, at least in my experience, where speed does count for something. Some professors (often the crappy ones) like to test by imposing a significant time constraint and putting in tons of issues in that time constraint. The students who do better than median are able to 1. analyze a lot of issues, and 2. analyze them in depth. That requires some speed in typing. I'm NOT suggesting word vomit is appropriate. Nor do I think that students do well by just writing a lot on irrelevant issues. Part of doing well on law school exams certainly is triage - spotting which issues are most relevant and dealing with them in some well thought out order of priority/organization. But some exams do not lend themselves to that. I was merely suggesting that it is better to type quickly than to not type quickly. Most law students are good enough with computers that this is not an issue. (60 words per minute is probably enough). But some people are really slow at typing and that can hurt since the only thing that counts on exam day is what you put down in your response.

zicker1352
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby zicker1352 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:31 pm

Thanks for all the advice!

I must admit that the jitters are starting to set in and I felt like I needed to get started preparing already. It is really nice to hear the recommendation of just enjoying my summer. I also just received Getting to Maybe from my girlfriend so I am glad to hear that it is recommended by a number of people.

Thanks again!

jim-green
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby jim-green » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:36 pm

In the E&E for Criminal Law, Ch 1 end, the last para before the examples, could someone explain why the prosecutor's argument weakens Winship's protection?

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Lasers
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby Lasers » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:49 am

getting to maybe was totally useless, imo. so is any summer prep before 1L.

only book i read was 1L of a ride just to get a feel of what to expect. it was decent. find it at a library, check it out if you want. don't buy it since it's a quick read.

davisoz
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby davisoz » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:51 am

Just finished my 1L. Followed the advice from the notorious posts on here, read GTM, PLS, and Lawschool Confidential. Also read the Torts E & E. Ended up in the Top 5%. If I could do it over again I would only recommend GTM. Learn to type fast, and otherwise relax. Don't read the E & Es beforehand as your teacher may not teach all doctrine or teach it differently. (Torts was my lowest 1L grade...)

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:27 am

Instead of reading, work on your cover letters/resumes. Maybe polish your formal writing style (less important, since legal writing is so different from other types, but learning the elements of an effective, formal argument is worthwhile*). Brush up on ethos, pathos logos etc.

*Poster is a 0L with no actual experience in law, merely common sense. Poster is not responsible for any lapses in logic, relation to the real world or other important factors that may or may not render advice as useless. Batteries not included. See store for details.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:33 am

The first case that my section had to read for one el was Pennoyer v. Neff for civil procedure. It freaked me out because it's and extremely dense case (written in 1878), and it's difficult to understand. I still think it may have been one of the most difficult cases that I had to read during 1L.

I'd recommend reading it and trying to understand it. If you can get through Pennoyer, you can get through any case in law school.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federa ... /case.html

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:34 am

Scotusnerd wrote:Instead of reading, work on your cover letters/resumes. Maybe polish your formal writing style (less important, since legal writing is so different from other types, but learning the elements of an effective, formal argument is worthwhile*). Brush up on ethos, pathos logos etc.

*Poster is a 0L with no actual experience in law, merely common sense. Poster is not responsible for any lapses in logic, relation to the real world or other important factors that may or may not render advice as useless. Batteries not included. See store for details.

If you're a 0L, don't give advice in the Forum for Law Students.

And lol at your recommendations.

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nygrrrl
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby nygrrrl » Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:50 am

kalvano wrote:If "summer prep" means anything other than reading Game of Thrones by the pool with a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy close at hand, you are doing it very, very wrong.

Perfect

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JCFindley
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby JCFindley » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:01 am

nygrrrl wrote:
kalvano wrote:If "summer prep" means anything other than reading Game of Thrones by the pool with a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy close at hand, you are doing it very, very wrong.

Perfect



On that note, I think I will go to the beach.....

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AZN MegaPoaster
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Re: Summer Reading Before 1L

Postby AZN MegaPoaster » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:14 am

I.P. Daly wrote:The first case that my section had to read for one el was Pennoyer v. Neff for civil procedure. It freaked me out because it's and extremely dense case (written in 1878), and it's difficult to understand. I still think it may have been one of the most difficult cases that I had to read during 1L.

I'd recommend reading it and trying to understand it. If you can get through Pennoyer, you can get through any case in law school.

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federa ... /case.html


We didn't even read Pennoyer in my class :lol:

The prof did mention it a few times, though.

So, again, do not waste your time with pre-1L substantive reading. It's a prodigious waste of time.




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