0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

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Hspeaksfriend
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0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Hspeaksfriend » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:34 pm

So I've seen the NUMEROUS threads about 0L prep... I've read through a lot of those threads and feel as though I gained some pretty useful advice. However........

The purpose of this thread is to get some updated advice from current 1Ls and 2Ls. Most of the posts in those threads are from 2007/2008. I know that most of the advice is still useful, but I'd like to hear from current law students (instead of links to old threads).

I've read it all... "drink heavily, travel, don't read anything involving law/law school, relax and do nothing, blah blah blah." Personally, I refuse to believe that 0L prep is pointless. Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.

Thanks 8)

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ph14
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby ph14 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:35 pm

Hspeaksfriend wrote:So I've seen the NUMEROUS threads about 0L prep... I've read through a lot of those threads and feel as though I gained some pretty useful advice. However........

The purpose of this thread is to get some updated advice from current 1Ls and 2Ls. Most of the posts in those threads are from 2007/2008. I know that most of the advice is still useful, but I'd like to hear from current law students (instead of links to old threads).

I've read it all... "drink heavily, travel, don't read anything involving law/law school, relax and do nothing, blah blah blah." Personally, I refuse to believe that 0L prep is pointless. Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.

Thanks 8)


If you insist on doing 0L prep, and I personally am in the school of do absolutely nothing as it is completely unecessary, I would focus on things like learning how to take a law school exam, learning how to outline, learning basic vocabulary, court system, and government structure. Not substantive law.

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HBBJohnStamos
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby HBBJohnStamos » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:44 pm

Hspeaksfriend wrote: Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.


Prepare your anus.

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Hspeaksfriend
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Hspeaksfriend » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:48 pm

ph14 wrote:
Hspeaksfriend wrote:So I've seen the NUMEROUS threads about 0L prep... I've read through a lot of those threads and feel as though I gained some pretty useful advice. However........

The purpose of this thread is to get some updated advice from current 1Ls and 2Ls. Most of the posts in those threads are from 2007/2008. I know that most of the advice is still useful, but I'd like to hear from current law students (instead of links to old threads).

I've read it all... "drink heavily, travel, don't read anything involving law/law school, relax and do nothing, blah blah blah." Personally, I refuse to believe that 0L prep is pointless. Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.

Thanks 8)


If you insist on doing 0L prep, and I personally am in the school of do absolutely nothing as it is completely unecessary, I would focus on things like learning how to take a law school exam, learning how to outline, learning basic vocabulary, court system, and government structure. Not substantive law.


Noted. Thanks

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Hspeaksfriend
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Hspeaksfriend » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:48 pm

HBBJohnStamos wrote:
Hspeaksfriend wrote: Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.


Prepare your anus.


I totally forgot about this... thank you so much for the reminder. Great advice!

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gaud
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby gaud » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:49 pm

ph14 wrote:
Hspeaksfriend wrote:So I've seen the NUMEROUS threads about 0L prep... I've read through a lot of those threads and feel as though I gained some pretty useful advice. However........

The purpose of this thread is to get some updated advice from current 1Ls and 2Ls. Most of the posts in those threads are from 2007/2008. I know that most of the advice is still useful, but I'd like to hear from current law students (instead of links to old threads).

I've read it all... "drink heavily, travel, don't read anything involving law/law school, relax and do nothing, blah blah blah." Personally, I refuse to believe that 0L prep is pointless. Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.

Thanks 8)


If you insist on doing 0L prep, and I personally am in the school of do absolutely nothing as it is completely unecessary, I would focus on things like learning how to take a law school exam, learning how to outline, learning basic vocabulary, court system, and government structure. Not substantive law.

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BuckinghamB
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby BuckinghamB » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:27 pm

It's superfluous, just like it always has been and always will be. I didn't do anything, not even GTM. I drank, traveled, and spent time with the family/SO and I was more than fine. Actually, I think it was helpful to not do anything (avoided burnout IMO).

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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby cinephile » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:36 pm

I guess I'd say work on some resumes and cover letters. Like have one resume/cover letter for public interest, small firm, and biglaw. Figure out how to tailor it to the different positions.

And start contact parents' friends and friend's parents and everyone else in your network who has a position that's somewhat legal. Like, I have family friends who work for fortune 500 corps and got some interviews through these connections. It doesn't hurt either to contact people at firms you're interested in for informational interviews.

Also, work on figuring out what makes you happy. And don't give that up while you're in law school.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:41 pm

Hspeaksfriend wrote:"drink heavily, travel, don't read anything involving law/law school, relax and do nothing"

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kalvano
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby kalvano » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:01 am

Hspeaksfriend wrote:So I've seen the NUMEROUS threads about 0L prep


What was the point of starting another one then? It's not as if those threads vary wildly.

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dingbat
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby dingbat » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:04 am

Hspeaksfriend wrote:So I've seen the NUMEROUS threads about 0L prep... I've read through a lot of those threads and feel as though I gained some pretty useful advice. However........

The purpose of this thread is to get some updated advice from current 1Ls and 2Ls. Most of the posts in those threads are from 2007/2008. I know that most of the advice is still useful, but I'd like to hear from current law students (instead of links to old threads).

I've read it all... "drink heavily, travel, don't read anything involving law/law school, relax and do nothing, blah blah blah." Personally, I refuse to believe that 0L prep is pointless. Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.

Thanks 8)

enjoy wasting your time

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togepi
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby togepi » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:04 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Hspeaksfriend wrote:"drink heavily, travel, don't read anything involving law/law school, relax and do nothing"

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Nelson
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Nelson » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:40 am

cinephile wrote:I guess I'd say work on some resumes and cover letters. Like have one resume/cover letter for public interest, small firm, and biglaw. Figure out how to tailor it to the different positions.

And start contact parents' friends and friend's parents and everyone else in your network who has a position that's somewhat legal. Like, I have family friends who work for fortune 500 corps and got some interviews through these connections. It doesn't hurt either to contact people at firms you're interested in for informational interviews.

Also, work on figuring out what makes you happy. And don't give that up while you're in law school.

This is the kind of substantive prep people should do. Spend your time on creating an up-to-date resume, figuring out some target practice areas/firms/organizations you might want to work for with reasons why, and coming up with a some answers to the question "why I want to be a lawyer" that aren't "models and bottles" and don't make you sound completely naive. Talk to some lawyers (like 5-10 years out of school max, longer than that isn't as helpful). Figuring this stuff out takes way longer than you think and the majority of 1Ls don't do much of it before arriving on campus. I sure didn't and my summer job search was way harder than it needed to be because of it. If you do, you'll be way ahead in a more important and useful way than learning Erie doctrine from a supplement only to realize that your professor is the only person in the country who does it his way.

Exam prep pre-1L is a waste of time. Getting to Maybe might be useful if you read it in November. It's futile to read it in August. Spending even a minute learning any black letter law is a complete waste of time.

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mephistopheles
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby mephistopheles » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:43 am

getting to maybe isn't a useless read in the summer.

neither is glancing over supplements to get a feel for your subjects, once you've figured out what classes you have in the fall.

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Hspeaksfriend
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Hspeaksfriend » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:09 am

kalvano wrote:What was the point of starting another one then? It's not as if those threads vary wildly.


Getting the perspective of current law students.

dingbat wrote:enjoy wasting your time


Thank you for such a meaningful post dingbat!

Nelson wrote:
cinephile wrote:I guess I'd say work on some resumes and cover letters. Like have one resume/cover letter for public interest, small firm, and biglaw. Figure out how to tailor it to the different positions.

And start contact parents' friends and friend's parents and everyone else in your network who has a position that's somewhat legal. Like, I have family friends who work for fortune 500 corps and got some interviews through these connections. It doesn't hurt either to contact people at firms you're interested in for informational interviews.

Also, work on figuring out what makes you happy. And don't give that up while you're in law school.

This is the kind of substantive prep people should do. Spend your time on creating an up-to-date resume, figuring out some target practice areas/firms/organizations you might want to work for with reasons why, and coming up with a some answers to the question "why I want to be a lawyer" that aren't "models and bottles" and don't make you sound completely naive. Talk to some lawyers (like 5-10 years out of school max, longer than that isn't as helpful). Figuring this stuff out takes way longer than you think and the majority of 1Ls don't do much of it before arriving on campus. I sure didn't and my summer job search was way harder than it needed to be because of it. If you do, you'll be way ahead in a more important and useful way than learning Erie doctrine from a supplement only to realize that your professor is the only person in the country who does it his way.

Exam prep pre-1L is a waste of time. Getting to Maybe might be useful if you read it in November. It's futile to read it in August. Spending even a minute learning any black letter law is a complete waste of time.


Very helpful! Thanks to both of you

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dingbat
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby dingbat » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:11 am

Hspeaksfriend wrote:Thank you for such a meaningful post dingbat!

you're welcome

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rouser
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby rouser » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:20 am

I read getting to maybe and bought another random book called '1L of a ride' which didn't seem too useful. I would say that if you choose to do something, read getting to maybe and spruce up your resume. to be honest one thing I wished I had done was to try to find a book or guide that had info on legal job hunt/resume/interviewing/etc.

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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby togepi » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:36 am

I would say read Getting to Maybe and just know what you're getting into (read about what law school life is like and understand how the tests are going to be different and what's expected of you).

Also, if you are going to look at supplements, just read enough to get a good feel as to what the class is going to be about and close it. I plan on spending my time before 1L getting lots of sleep, exercise, reading books I've been procrastinating, and watching TV shows/movies that I won't have time to get into during the first year.

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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby kalvano » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:46 am

Hspeaksfriend wrote:
kalvano wrote:What was the point of starting another one then? It's not as if those threads vary wildly.


Getting the perspective of current law students.


Shockingly, this thread is going in exactly the same direction as every other 0L prep thread.

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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby scruffy556 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:59 am

HBBJohnStamos wrote:
Hspeaksfriend wrote: Most likely I will do SOME prep, so I just want to hear what people have to say.


Prepare your anus.


My body is ready

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:42 pm

First, let me echo that I don't think 1L prep is necessary for doing well in law school. Maybe it helps a little, if you do it right. Maybe it would be more helpful to drink a lot and just relax before school begins though. But since people want advice for how to prep, here's my advice on what to focus on.

0L prep:

1) Update and turn your resume into a legal resume (include your law school on it). (Google “Sample Legal Resumes” for examples—I just did that search and George Mason had a pretty helpful 28 page word document on how to make a legal resume.)

2) Start research firms in the areas you want to be working and take a crack at writing 1L SA cover letters for them. (You might want to use NALP and/or the firm’s website to see if they hire 1Ls.) Also, figure out how to do a mail merge if you don’t know how. For help on writing cover letters, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1147.htm, or just google for more examples. For help on researching firms, see http://www.nalpdirectory.com/, http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA, and http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/ran ... Range=1-25.

Also start looking up federal district judges and COA judges in the areas you want to work and take a crack and writing 1L judicial internship cover letters. Use google for samples. Use Wikipedia for lists of judges.
Do the same for public interest organizations too, if you’re interested. (I can’t be as specific for how you start doing this though, since I have no clue. Google will probably have answers for you though.)

3) Consider buying the following book for help on #1 and #2: http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics ... our+dreams. The book can be a bit fluffy at times, as well as overly optimistic about how you can “create job opportunities” for yourself, but it can help acquaint you to how legal hiring works.

4) Read Getting to Maybe and Guides on TLS on how to succeed in law school. When you are reading the guides, keep two things in mind: 1) No method works best for everyone, and 2) the challenge of 1L year is trying to figure out what study methods work best for you. So how do you figure this out? By seeing a lot of different styles that worked for another people and trying to figure out what plays most to your strengths. Also, keep in mind that some methods may work better for some professors. So be flexible.

5) Buy and start skimming through the following two books: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Legal-St ... 0195141628 and http://www.amazon.com/Academic-Legal-Wr ... al+writing. A good chunk of Volokh’s book won’t be applicable yet, but he’s got some great general info on legal writing. Working on becoming a strong legal writer is an important part of law school. (And if you were an English major, you might have to adjust to a style of writing that is much less fluffy and verbose.)

6) Make a folder of important documents: Include in it transcripts from all the schools you’ve attended (unofficial transcripts should be fine—just make sure you always have at least one copy of each), a current passport, and your social security card. Also consider gathering some of the stuff you’ll need for your bar application or your declaration to study law application: A list of all the employers you’ve worked for since 18 and the name and number of the supervisor you worked under (if the supervisor isn’t there anymore, then don’t worry about it), documentation of any sort of infraction you got during undergrad, documentation of any sort of legal troubles besides speeding tickets, etc. The longer you wait to gather some of this info, the harder it can be to get.

7) Consider working on your typing speed. I think typing speed can be overhyped in terms of how much of an advantage it can give you, but if you’re bored and got nothing better to do, there’s no harm in seeing how fast you currently type and how much you can improve by the time school starts.

8) If you really want to do some reading that involves law, focus on things that give history and back. I would recommend buying the following supplements and reading the following sections and chapters: § 1.04 [Studying Constitutional Cases] and Chapter Three [Incorporation] in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure: Investigations (2010); Chapter One in Chemerinsky: Principles and Policies, 4th edition (2011); Chapters One through Four in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure, 6th edition (2012). Chemerinsky and Dressler’s Crim Law supplement are staples no matter what law school you go to or what professor teaches you either of these classes. The Crim Pro supplement provides a great, quick breakdown on how to read con law cases and a really good and concise summary of incorporation—an important topic you’ll cover in con law. Both are done with a slight crim focus, since it is a crim pro supplement, but it’s completely applicable to con law and if you take crim pro: investigations as a 2L or 3L (which you prob should, it’s a really interesting class), this supplement is also a staple for that class. (Also, I recommend getting the most recent versions of each supplement—another version won’t come out before you take the class (even the crim pro one, even if you wait till 3L year to take Crim Pro) and I think it’s much easier to have the most recent version so you don’t learn old law that is now outdated, which is especially important in Con Law and Crim Pro.)

9) Maybe consider getting some books from the “Law Stories” series (e.g., Constitutional Law Stories by Dorf). Skip any of the legal analysis if it gets too in depth and basically read for history and background. This is mostly if you’re just really bored though, since it’s only marginally helpful to know the background info of cases. That said, the background and facts of famous cases can be interesting, and, at least for me, it’s a lot easier to focus on learning and remembering the concepts if I already know what the story of the case is somewhat about.

10) If you really must read an Examples and Explanations, read the Civ Pro one by Glannon. It’s probably the best one and understanding the basics of Civ Pro will help you in reading case law for any of your 1L classes.

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chesterfan1230
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby chesterfan1230 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:46 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:First, let me echo that I don't think 1L prep is necessary for doing well in law school. Maybe it helps a little, if you do it right. Maybe it would be more helpful to drink a lot and just relax before school begins though. But since people want advice for how to prep, here's my advice on what to focus on.

0L prep:

1) Update and turn your resume into a legal resume (include your law school on it). (Google “Sample Legal Resumes” for examples—I just did that search and George Mason had a pretty helpful 28 page word document on how to make a legal resume.)

2) Start research firms in the areas you want to be working and take a crack at writing 1L SA cover letters for them. (You might want to use NALP and/or the firm’s website to see if they hire 1Ls.) Also, figure out how to do a mail merge if you don’t know how. For help on writing cover letters, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1147.htm, or just google for more examples. For help on researching firms, see http://www.nalpdirectory.com/, http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA, and http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/ran ... Range=1-25.

Also start looking up federal district judges and COA judges in the areas you want to work and take a crack and writing 1L judicial internship cover letters. Use google for samples. Use Wikipedia for lists of judges.
Do the same for public interest organizations too, if you’re interested. (I can’t be as specific for how you start doing this though, since I have no clue. Google will probably have answers for you though.)

3) Consider buying the following book for help on #1 and #2: http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics ... our+dreams. The book can be a bit fluffy at times, as well as overly optimistic about how you can “create job opportunities” for yourself, but it can help acquaint you to how legal hiring works.

4) Read Getting to Maybe and Guides on TLS on how to succeed in law school. When you are reading the guides, keep two things in mind: 1) No method works best for everyone, and 2) the challenge of 1L year is trying to figure out what study methods work best for you. So how do you figure this out? By seeing a lot of different styles that worked for another people and trying to figure out what plays most to your strengths. Also, keep in mind that some methods may work better for some professors. So be flexible.

5) Buy and start skimming through the following two books: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Legal-St ... 0195141628 and http://www.amazon.com/Academic-Legal-Wr ... al+writing. A good chunk of Volokh’s book won’t be applicable yet, but he’s got some great general info on legal writing. Working on becoming a strong legal writer is an important part of law school. (And if you were an English major, you might have to adjust to a style of writing that is much less fluffy and verbose.)

6) Make a folder of important documents: Include in it transcripts from all the schools you’ve attended (unofficial transcripts should be fine—just make sure you always have at least one copy of each), a current passport, and your social security card. Also consider gathering some of the stuff you’ll need for your bar application or your declaration to study law application: A list of all the employers you’ve worked for since 18 and the name and number of the supervisor you worked under (if the supervisor isn’t there anymore, then don’t worry about it), documentation of any sort of infraction you got during undergrad, documentation of any sort of legal troubles besides speeding tickets, etc. The longer you wait to gather some of this info, the harder it can be to get.

7) Consider working on your typing speed. I think typing speed can be overhyped in terms of how much of an advantage it can give you, but if you’re bored and got nothing better to do, there’s no harm in seeing how fast you currently type and how much you can improve by the time school starts.

8) If you really want to do some reading that involves law, focus on things that give history and back. I would recommend buying the following supplements and reading the following sections and chapters: § 1.04 [Studying Constitutional Cases] and Chapter Three [Incorporation] in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure: Investigations (2010); Chapter One in Chemerinsky: Principles and Policies, 4th edition (2011); Chapters One through Four in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure, 6th edition (2012). Chemerinsky and Dressler’s Crim Law supplement are staples no matter what law school you go to or what professor teaches you either of these classes. The Crim Pro supplement provides a great, quick breakdown on how to read con law cases and a really good and concise summary of incorporation—an important topic you’ll cover in con law. Both are done with a slight crim focus, since it is a crim pro supplement, but it’s completely applicable to con law and if you take crim pro: investigations as a 2L or 3L (which you prob should, it’s a really interesting class), this supplement is also a staple for that class. (Also, I recommend getting the most recent versions of each supplement—another version won’t come out before you take the class (even the crim pro one, even if you wait till 3L year to take Crim Pro) and I think it’s much easier to have the most recent version so you don’t learn old law that is now outdated, which is especially important in Con Law and Crim Pro.)

9) Maybe consider getting some books from the “Law Stories” series (e.g., Constitutional Law Stories by Dorf). Skip any of the legal analysis if it gets too in depth and basically read for history and background. This is mostly if you’re just really bored though, since it’s only marginally helpful to know the background info of cases. That said, the background and facts of famous cases can be interesting, and, at least for me, it’s a lot easier to focus on learning and remembering the concepts if I already know what the story of the case is somewhat about.

10) If you really must read an Examples and Explanations, read the Civ Pro one by Glannon. It’s probably the best one and understanding the basics of Civ Pro will help you in reading case law for any of your 1L classes.


No.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:54 pm

chesterfan1230 wrote:
No.


You'll be doing some of the stuff on the first five things (if not all of them) during law school at some point. There's really no harm in getting started early on those things. Messing around with nalp, chambers, and vault can be helpful for figuring out the firms in the areas you want to work (if you go to a school with decent biglaw placement and you're interested in biglaw).

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suralin
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby suralin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:07 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:First, let me echo that I don't think 1L prep is necessary for doing well in law school. Maybe it helps a little, if you do it right. Maybe it would be more helpful to drink a lot and just relax before school begins though. But since people want advice for how to prep, here's my advice on what to focus on.

0L prep:

1) Update and turn your resume into a legal resume (include your law school on it). (Google “Sample Legal Resumes” for examples—I just did that search and George Mason had a pretty helpful 28 page word document on how to make a legal resume.)

2) Start research firms in the areas you want to be working and take a crack at writing 1L SA cover letters for them. (You might want to use NALP and/or the firm’s website to see if they hire 1Ls.) Also, figure out how to do a mail merge if you don’t know how. For help on writing cover letters, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1147.htm, or just google for more examples. For help on researching firms, see http://www.nalpdirectory.com/, http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA, and http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/ran ... Range=1-25.

Also start looking up federal district judges and COA judges in the areas you want to work and take a crack and writing 1L judicial internship cover letters. Use google for samples. Use Wikipedia for lists of judges.
Do the same for public interest organizations too, if you’re interested. (I can’t be as specific for how you start doing this though, since I have no clue. Google will probably have answers for you though.)

3) Consider buying the following book for help on #1 and #2: http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics ... our+dreams. The book can be a bit fluffy at times, as well as overly optimistic about how you can “create job opportunities” for yourself, but it can help acquaint you to how legal hiring works.

4) Read Getting to Maybe and Guides on TLS on how to succeed in law school. When you are reading the guides, keep two things in mind: 1) No method works best for everyone, and 2) the challenge of 1L year is trying to figure out what study methods work best for you. So how do you figure this out? By seeing a lot of different styles that worked for another people and trying to figure out what plays most to your strengths. Also, keep in mind that some methods may work better for some professors. So be flexible.

5) Buy and start skimming through the following two books: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Legal-St ... 0195141628 and http://www.amazon.com/Academic-Legal-Wr ... al+writing. A good chunk of Volokh’s book won’t be applicable yet, but he’s got some great general info on legal writing. Working on becoming a strong legal writer is an important part of law school. (And if you were an English major, you might have to adjust to a style of writing that is much less fluffy and verbose.)

6) Make a folder of important documents: Include in it transcripts from all the schools you’ve attended (unofficial transcripts should be fine—just make sure you always have at least one copy of each), a current passport, and your social security card. Also consider gathering some of the stuff you’ll need for your bar application or your declaration to study law application: A list of all the employers you’ve worked for since 18 and the name and number of the supervisor you worked under (if the supervisor isn’t there anymore, then don’t worry about it), documentation of any sort of infraction you got during undergrad, documentation of any sort of legal troubles besides speeding tickets, etc. The longer you wait to gather some of this info, the harder it can be to get.

7) Consider working on your typing speed. I think typing speed can be overhyped in terms of how much of an advantage it can give you, but if you’re bored and got nothing better to do, there’s no harm in seeing how fast you currently type and how much you can improve by the time school starts.

8) If you really want to do some reading that involves law, focus on things that give history and back. I would recommend buying the following supplements and reading the following sections and chapters: § 1.04 [Studying Constitutional Cases] and Chapter Three [Incorporation] in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure: Investigations (2010); Chapter One in Chemerinsky: Principles and Policies, 4th edition (2011); Chapters One through Four in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure, 6th edition (2012). Chemerinsky and Dressler’s Crim Law supplement are staples no matter what law school you go to or what professor teaches you either of these classes. The Crim Pro supplement provides a great, quick breakdown on how to read con law cases and a really good and concise summary of incorporation—an important topic you’ll cover in con law. Both are done with a slight crim focus, since it is a crim pro supplement, but it’s completely applicable to con law and if you take crim pro: investigations as a 2L or 3L (which you prob should, it’s a really interesting class), this supplement is also a staple for that class. (Also, I recommend getting the most recent versions of each supplement—another version won’t come out before you take the class (even the crim pro one, even if you wait till 3L year to take Crim Pro) and I think it’s much easier to have the most recent version so you don’t learn old law that is now outdated, which is especially important in Con Law and Crim Pro.)

9) Maybe consider getting some books from the “Law Stories” series (e.g., Constitutional Law Stories by Dorf). Skip any of the legal analysis if it gets too in depth and basically read for history and background. This is mostly if you’re just really bored though, since it’s only marginally helpful to know the background info of cases. That said, the background and facts of famous cases can be interesting, and, at least for me, it’s a lot easier to focus on learning and remembering the concepts if I already know what the story of the case is somewhat about.

10) If you really must read an Examples and Explanations, read the Civ Pro one by Glannon. It’s probably the best one and understanding the basics of Civ Pro will help you in reading case law for any of your 1L classes.


Thanks, that was very helpful--particularly 1-7.

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Hspeaksfriend
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Re: 0L Prep Before Law School (2013 Style)

Postby Hspeaksfriend » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:01 pm

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:First, let me echo that I don't think 1L prep is necessary for doing well in law school. Maybe it helps a little, if you do it right. Maybe it would be more helpful to drink a lot and just relax before school begins though. But since people want advice for how to prep, here's my advice on what to focus on.

0L prep:

1) Update and turn your resume into a legal resume (include your law school on it). (Google “Sample Legal Resumes” for examples—I just did that search and George Mason had a pretty helpful 28 page word document on how to make a legal resume.)

2) Start research firms in the areas you want to be working and take a crack at writing 1L SA cover letters for them. (You might want to use NALP and/or the firm’s website to see if they hire 1Ls.) Also, figure out how to do a mail merge if you don’t know how. For help on writing cover letters, see http://www.law.berkeley.edu/1147.htm, or just google for more examples. For help on researching firms, see http://www.nalpdirectory.com/, http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA, and http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/ran ... Range=1-25.

Also start looking up federal district judges and COA judges in the areas you want to work and take a crack and writing 1L judicial internship cover letters. Use google for samples. Use Wikipedia for lists of judges.
Do the same for public interest organizations too, if you’re interested. (I can’t be as specific for how you start doing this though, since I have no clue. Google will probably have answers for you though.)

3) Consider buying the following book for help on #1 and #2: http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics ... our+dreams. The book can be a bit fluffy at times, as well as overly optimistic about how you can “create job opportunities” for yourself, but it can help acquaint you to how legal hiring works.

4) Read Getting to Maybe and Guides on TLS on how to succeed in law school. When you are reading the guides, keep two things in mind: 1) No method works best for everyone, and 2) the challenge of 1L year is trying to figure out what study methods work best for you. So how do you figure this out? By seeing a lot of different styles that worked for another people and trying to figure out what plays most to your strengths. Also, keep in mind that some methods may work better for some professors. So be flexible.

5) Buy and start skimming through the following two books: http://www.amazon.com/Elements-Legal-St ... 0195141628 and http://www.amazon.com/Academic-Legal-Wr ... al+writing. A good chunk of Volokh’s book won’t be applicable yet, but he’s got some great general info on legal writing. Working on becoming a strong legal writer is an important part of law school. (And if you were an English major, you might have to adjust to a style of writing that is much less fluffy and verbose.)

6) Make a folder of important documents: Include in it transcripts from all the schools you’ve attended (unofficial transcripts should be fine—just make sure you always have at least one copy of each), a current passport, and your social security card. Also consider gathering some of the stuff you’ll need for your bar application or your declaration to study law application: A list of all the employers you’ve worked for since 18 and the name and number of the supervisor you worked under (if the supervisor isn’t there anymore, then don’t worry about it), documentation of any sort of infraction you got during undergrad, documentation of any sort of legal troubles besides speeding tickets, etc. The longer you wait to gather some of this info, the harder it can be to get.

7) Consider working on your typing speed. I think typing speed can be overhyped in terms of how much of an advantage it can give you, but if you’re bored and got nothing better to do, there’s no harm in seeing how fast you currently type and how much you can improve by the time school starts.

8) If you really want to do some reading that involves law, focus on things that give history and back. I would recommend buying the following supplements and reading the following sections and chapters: § 1.04 [Studying Constitutional Cases] and Chapter Three [Incorporation] in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure: Investigations (2010); Chapter One in Chemerinsky: Principles and Policies, 4th edition (2011); Chapters One through Four in Dressler, Understanding Criminal Procedure, 6th edition (2012). Chemerinsky and Dressler’s Crim Law supplement are staples no matter what law school you go to or what professor teaches you either of these classes. The Crim Pro supplement provides a great, quick breakdown on how to read con law cases and a really good and concise summary of incorporation—an important topic you’ll cover in con law. Both are done with a slight crim focus, since it is a crim pro supplement, but it’s completely applicable to con law and if you take crim pro: investigations as a 2L or 3L (which you prob should, it’s a really interesting class), this supplement is also a staple for that class. (Also, I recommend getting the most recent versions of each supplement—another version won’t come out before you take the class (even the crim pro one, even if you wait till 3L year to take Crim Pro) and I think it’s much easier to have the most recent version so you don’t learn old law that is now outdated, which is especially important in Con Law and Crim Pro.)

9) Maybe consider getting some books from the “Law Stories” series (e.g., Constitutional Law Stories by Dorf). Skip any of the legal analysis if it gets too in depth and basically read for history and background. This is mostly if you’re just really bored though, since it’s only marginally helpful to know the background info of cases. That said, the background and facts of famous cases can be interesting, and, at least for me, it’s a lot easier to focus on learning and remembering the concepts if I already know what the story of the case is somewhat about.

10) If you really must read an Examples and Explanations, read the Civ Pro one by Glannon. It’s probably the best one and understanding the basics of Civ Pro will help you in reading case law for any of your 1L classes.



That was incredibly helpful. I really appreciate your advice!




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