Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

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scifiguy
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Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:00 pm

How much reading per day or week do you guys have?

And do you find that you need to be a fast reader (not losing comprehension in the process) in order to keep up with the work?

How does the reading compare with undergrad for you guys? Thanks for sharing your insights!

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2014
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby 2014 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:20 pm

I have 40-50 pages per class per week, so 4 classes worth is usually around 200. Takes me an hour to do 15 pages or so taking notes while I go so I don't have to re-read it so thats ~15 hours of reading a week or 3 per day with Friday and Saturday off. My friends who are slow readers probably take an extra hour a day.

Obviously some weeks are worse, some are better, but even reading at a pretty slow pace it's doable if you treat it like a job.

I gave zero fucks in undergrad so I can't make the comparison but page wise I'd say I'm assigned less for law school. It it's hardly comparable though, cases and liberal arts shit read very differently.

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dingbat
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby dingbat » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:00 pm

It's more important to understand than to read fast. A guy in my school is a slow reader and us in the library a good 8-10 hours a day, but he's doing fine. 50 pages per class sounds about right. I'm a fast reader (most novels take less than a week and I once did 2000 pages in a weekend), but law school reading us far more intense - Ibneed at least an hour, more like 2, per class

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JCFindley
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby JCFindley » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:11 pm

dingbat wrote:It's more important to understand than to read fast. A guy in my school is a slow reader and us in the library a good 8-10 hours a day, but he's doing fine. 50 pages per class sounds about right. I'm a fast reader (most novels take less than a week and I once did 2000 pages in a weekend), but law school reading us far more intense - Ibneed at least an hour, more like 2, per class


This.

I am a fast reader and it does help. (assuming you both read fast and comprehend the material.)

bigbang
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby bigbang » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:46 pm

I do think it helps a lot to be a fast reader. I am a pretty slow reader and it takes me forever to get through the material! I also take notes/brief along the way for most classes, so that could be slowing me down. I seem to have way more reading than some of you guys though -- for one day's civil procedure reading we have more than 135 pages! Although not all of it is cases, he does cold call on most of it :(

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Icculus
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby Icculus » Sun Nov 04, 2012 10:51 pm

bigbang wrote:I do think it helps a lot to be a fast reader. I am a pretty slow reader and it takes me forever to get through the material! I also take notes/brief along the way for most classes, so that could be slowing me down. I seem to have way more reading than some of you guys though -- for one day's civil procedure reading we have more than 135 pages! Although not all of it is cases, he does cold call on most of it :(


What you guys are missing here is that to be successful at law school requires you to be good at law school exams not necessarily reading for class every day. In that sense it helps tremendously to read quickly and process what you have read quickly because you will be able to spot multiple issues and the multiple ways to evaluate and discuss those issues. I had a 3 or five page Con Law Issue spotter and we had one hour to spot and analyze as many issues as possible. I am guessing the faster readers did better since they could get through the fact pattern more quickly and analyze more issues.

mr.hands
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby mr.hands » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:13 am

Icculus wrote:
bigbang wrote:I do think it helps a lot to be a fast reader. I am a pretty slow reader and it takes me forever to get through the material! I also take notes/brief along the way for most classes, so that could be slowing me down. I seem to have way more reading than some of you guys though -- for one day's civil procedure reading we have more than 135 pages! Although not all of it is cases, he does cold call on most of it :(


What you guys are missing here is that to be successful at law school requires you to be good at law school exams not necessarily reading for class every day. In that sense it helps tremendously to read quickly and process what you have read quickly because you will be able to spot multiple issues and the multiple ways to evaluate and discuss those issues. I had a 3 or five page Con Law Issue spotter and we had one hour to spot and analyze as many issues as possible. I am guessing the faster readers did better since they could get through the fact pattern more quickly and analyze more issues.


How did you practice (or generally learn) issue spotting?

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tfer2222
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby tfer2222 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:48 am

typing quickly >>> reading quickly.

I never took much time reading casebooks, and I consider myself a relatively slow reader. Assigned cases usually only had a few major points to figure out/take note of (for exam purposes), so I skimmed most readings, just looking to figure out the relevant rule. I looked stupid in class when getting called on sometimes, because i rarely knew much about the cases, etc, but it never mattered.

I used more time outlining/condensing/memorizing bll/nuances than reading.

tldr: not really for me.

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Icculus
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby Icculus » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:28 am

tfer2222 wrote:typing quickly >>> reading quickly.

I never took much time reading casebooks, and I consider myself a relatively slow reader. Assigned cases usually only had a few major points to figure out/take note of (for exam purposes), so I skimmed most readings, just looking to figure out the relevant rule. I looked stupid in class when getting called on sometimes, because i rarely knew much about the cases, etc, but it never mattered.

I used more time outlining/condensing/memorizing bll/nuances than reading.

tldr: not really for me.


I agree with this for the most part. Typing quickly is a helpful skill. All of my non word limit exams were between 17 and 21 pages when I finished and I think typing quickly definitely was necessary. As for learning to issue spot, I just worked with a couple of friends with old exams. We would meet, read through the fact patterns and then take about 15 minutes to outline an answer and then compare with each other and with the model answer. Not sure that would work for everyone as I know many of my friends took tons of timed practice exams. The key thing is find what works for you though reviewing old exams is probably the most important thing to do.

bbmic45
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby bbmic45 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:02 pm

Need to be a fast reader? No. Helps? Yes. And +1 for typing quickly>reading quickly.

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scifiguy
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby scifiguy » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:20 am

Icculus wrote:
tfer2222 wrote:typing quickly >>> reading quickly.
I never took much time reading casebooks, and I consider myself a relatively slow reader. Assigned cases usually only had a few major points to figure out/take note of (for exam purposes), so I skimmed most readings, just looking to figure out the relevant rule. I looked stupid in class when getting called on sometimes, because i rarely knew much about the cases, etc, but it never mattered.

I used more time outlining/condensing/memorizing bll/nuances than reading.

tldr: not really for me.


I agree with this for the most part. Typing quickly is a helpful skill. All of my non word limit exams were between 17 and 21 pages when I finished and I think typing quickly definitely was necessary. As for learning to issue spot, I just worked with a couple of friends with old exams. We would meet, read through the fact patterns and then take about 15 minutes to outline an answer and then compare with each other and with the model answer. Not sure that would work for everyone as I know many of my friends took tons of timed practice exams. The key thing is find what works for you though reviewing old exams is probably the most important thing to do.


Wow!!! 17-21 pages??? Double-spaced? Um..big fonts?

How long is a law exam?

If it's like a typical UG in-class final of three hours, then that still sounds like a lot. I think the last paper I wrote that was a take-home and five pages took me about ...hmmm. I wanna say at least three to four hours - my memory's slightly fuzzy. But, that's five pages double-spaced. I know I definitely took at least two hours.

Just getting an outline and writing that first paragraph can take me a long time. But usually after I get my setup, then I'm able to write faster.

But dude, 20 pages sounds like a lot for an in-class essay.

That's 7 pages: 1 hour! I dunno. Maybe my perception is off, b/c I've never done that long of an essay in-class???

Also, what is considered fast tuyping for you guys?

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tfer2222
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby tfer2222 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:32 am

scifiguy wrote:
Icculus wrote:
tfer2222 wrote:typing quickly >>> reading quickly.
I never took much time reading casebooks, and I consider myself a relatively slow reader. Assigned cases usually only had a few major points to figure out/take note of (for exam purposes), so I skimmed most readings, just looking to figure out the relevant rule. I looked stupid in class when getting called on sometimes, because i rarely knew much about the cases, etc, but it never mattered.

I used more time outlining/condensing/memorizing bll/nuances than reading.

tldr: not really for me.


I agree with this for the most part. Typing quickly is a helpful skill. All of my non word limit exams were between 17 and 21 pages when I finished and I think typing quickly definitely was necessary. As for learning to issue spot, I just worked with a couple of friends with old exams. We would meet, read through the fact patterns and then take about 15 minutes to outline an answer and then compare with each other and with the model answer. Not sure that would work for everyone as I know many of my friends took tons of timed practice exams. The key thing is find what works for you though reviewing old exams is probably the most important thing to do.


Wow!!! 17-21 pages??? Double-spaced? Um..big fonts?

How long is a law exam?

If it's like a typical UG in-class final of three hours, then that still sounds like a lot. I think the last paper I wrote that was a take-home and five pages took me about ...hmmm. I wanna say at least three to four hours - my memory's slightly fuzzy. But, that's five pages double-spaced. I know I definitely took at least two hours.

Just getting an outline and writing that first paragraph can take me a long time. But usually after I get my setup, then I'm able to write faster.

But dude, 20 pages sounds like a lot for an in-class essay.

That's 7 pages: 1 hour! I dunno. Maybe my perception is off, b/c I've never done that long of an essay in-class???

Also, what is considered fast tuyping for you guys?


Most of my exams have been around 3 hours long. This answer is mostly directed to typical fact-pattern issue-spotter exams, which are just that: long, complex fact pattern, followed by the instructions to "discuss the rights of all parties," or something along those lines. Not all exams are like this- often short answer or multiple choice get thrown into the mix. Also, sometimes professors will give you a word limit, which requires more time to plan exactly what you need to say.

However, for the typical issue spotter, after about 10-15 minutes of reading the fact patterns and briefly jotting down a quick outline on scratch paper, i go to typing and i don't stop for the rest of the time. I usually always have my outline and the black letter law memorized, so I rarely have to refer to my outlines on open-book exams.

I think the most I've written on an exam is about 10,000 words. I'm not sure how many pages that is, but probably about 17 or 18? I usually do a quick statement of the law for each issue, and then start pouring out as many arguments as i can possibly think of for each party on every issue for every little detail and nuance in the fact pattern and the applicable law.

More words does NOT = more points. Typing a bunch of regurgitated or canned law / information dumping won't get you more points. However, the faster you type, the more arguments you can make, the more detailed you can get, the more likely you're hitting the points the professor has on his/her checklist, the higher your chances at beating everyone else and getting an A.

not everyone adopts this method, some write much less and still manage great grades. However this is what I've done and it's worked very well for me. everyone is different.

Law school exams are nothing like anything I did in undergrad. Way more pressure, way more information to know, and way more competition (especially if we're talking 1L year before OCI the following fall - your employment prospects are on the line).

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dextermorgan
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:17 am

I'm a slow reader, it hasn't been a problem for me.

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Icculus
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Re: Need to be Fast Reader in Law School?

Postby Icculus » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:02 am

scifiguy wrote:
Icculus wrote:
tfer2222 wrote:typing quickly >>> reading quickly.
I never took much time reading casebooks, and I consider myself a relatively slow reader. Assigned cases usually only had a few major points to figure out/take note of (for exam purposes), so I skimmed most readings, just looking to figure out the relevant rule. I looked stupid in class when getting called on sometimes, because i rarely knew much about the cases, etc, but it never mattered.

I used more time outlining/condensing/memorizing bll/nuances than reading.

tldr: not really for me.


I agree with this for the most part. Typing quickly is a helpful skill. All of my non word limit exams were between 17 and 21 pages when I finished and I think typing quickly definitely was necessary. As for learning to issue spot, I just worked with a couple of friends with old exams. We would meet, read through the fact patterns and then take about 15 minutes to outline an answer and then compare with each other and with the model answer. Not sure that would work for everyone as I know many of my friends took tons of timed practice exams. The key thing is find what works for you though reviewing old exams is probably the most important thing to do.


Wow!!! 17-21 pages??? Double-spaced? Um..big fonts?

How long is a law exam?

If it's like a typical UG in-class final of three hours, then that still sounds like a lot. I think the last paper I wrote that was a take-home and five pages took me about ...hmmm. I wanna say at least three to four hours - my memory's slightly fuzzy. But, that's five pages double-spaced. I know I definitely took at least two hours.

Just getting an outline and writing that first paragraph can take me a long time. But usually after I get my setup, then I'm able to write faster.

But dude, 20 pages sounds like a lot for an in-class essay.

That's 7 pages: 1 hour! I dunno. Maybe my perception is off, b/c I've never done that long of an essay in-class???

Also, what is considered fast tuyping for you guys?


That was double spaced, Times New Roman, 12. To be fair one of them was a crim exam that we needed to analyze both the common law and the MPC so there was a ton of material. I have a friend who wrote even more. More words does not mean a better grade. Two of my best grades 1L were on my longest and shortest exams.

The key thing is basically having everything memorized and using your outline to double check wording or terms.




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