When to purchase supplements

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AllDangle
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When to purchase supplements

Postby AllDangle » Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:00 am

When is the best time for an incoming 1L to purchase supplements? Summer before school starts? Once classes begin to see if the professor recommends any in particular?

racrfish
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby racrfish » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:34 pm

And if the professor doesn't recommend anything, how does one determine which supplement(s) to go with?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:11 pm

Most professors won't recommend supplements. (My Civ Pro prof was the only one that did.) They will sometimes put primers/treatises on reserve to consult for questions, but those are very different things. Outlines and case briefs come keyed to particular casebooks, so you don't want to buy those until you know what casebooks you're using. E&Es and nutshells are generic so you don't need to know your casebook to pick those. Just figure out on your own what helps you most - outlines (usually with practice questions), case briefs (although I see no point to these because you have to learn how to read cases, and if you want the Cliff Notes versions you can get briefs off Westlaw/Lexis), E&Es (written explanations with practice questions), nutshells (written explanations, no practice stuff).

And apart from the casebook thing, it really doesn't matter when you buy them. If you wait till you get to school, your school probably has some kind of student-run used bookstore where you can get them really cheap (for many subjects, you can also buy older editions cheap). You could also not buy them at all, and just look things up in the library if you get confused - the library will have the most current editions on reserve and older editions available to check out.

(Personally I think most supplements aren't worth it and just play on the anxieties of newly-admitted students, but it depends on the subject and how good your profs are.)

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laxbrah420
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 3:23 pm

Supplements are awesome and even if you spend an extra $200/course, that'd be a ton of supplements, and is pretty negligible if it increases your grade or decreases your study time.
Buy them once you figure out the direction of your course and where you have concerns...and if your current supp is lacking, buy another one which looks like it may be more comprehensive.
You can bring them into exams in a lot of classes which can be HUGE for looking shit up quickly

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AllDangle
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby AllDangle » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:01 pm

Thanks for the replies. Where do hornbooks fit into the equation? It seems the credited responses on TLS are E&E's and hornbooks.

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laxbrah420
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:10 pm

I think i'd probably call an e&e a hornbook? Hornbook, treatise, nutshell...they're all slightly different but there's unfortunately not a bright distinction between the categories and each publisher may use a different term. Really the substantial difference is the length/depth of the book you're buying. E&E contains medium length hornbook-style chapters on the subject (30pgs/each?), but then also includes some "examples" that allow you to think about what you just read, and use them as practice problems if you want. If you're cramming right before an exam, you're going to want something short --like a nutshell or a crunchtime, but if you're trying to get a clearer understanding of the subject material as the course progresses, you may reach for a longer book (hornbook/treatise) where you can look up your troubled area and read for as long as you want on that shit. I think the "understanding" series and aspen student treatises are the best for that. Emmanuel's can get kind of in depth, but they're written in an outline format that reads a bit fragmented to me which slows me down...

Your library will likely have all of the good supplements on reserve (must keep in library, limited time w/ book), and even more in teh stacks that are likely to be a bit outdated. You can fuck around in the stacks to see which supplements you like the most before deciding to hop on amazon to get the most up-to-date version for home/extended studying

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traehekat
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby traehekat » Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:18 pm

You're best supplemental material are going to be outlines from 2L's and 3L's who took the class with your professor and did well. However, there may or may not be enough elaboration in these outlines for you to truly grasp what is going on, so I next recommend seeing if there are any supplements your professor recommends (or has actually written). In absence of this, you will usually want to go with supplements written by your casebook author. If those don't exist, then just search TLS for what are considered to be the best supplements for any given class. For instance, the E&E is quite good for torts and civil procedure, but perhaps not so much for property or contracts.

For me, I preferred numerous supplements for each class. If I wan't understanding a particular area of law, like res ipsa loquitur or something, I found it beneficial to multiple explanations available. Additionally, you never really know what areas your professor is going to emphasize, so if you have a supplement that is pretty thin on promissory estoppel but your professor spent quite a bit of time on it, then you may want to consult a different supplement just for the purposes of properly understanding promissory estoppel.

GouldGirl
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby GouldGirl » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:58 pm

AllDangle wrote:When is the best time for an incoming 1L to purchase supplements? Summer before school starts? Once classes begin to see if the professor recommends any in particular?


This depends on how much you know about the courses you will take. For instance at USC everyone takes the same three core courses in the first semester (Contracts, Torts and Civ Pro). As a result it is definitely worth it to pick of E&E's and Barbri First year review and get a head start in certain topics. At other schools the ball is hidden as to exactly what courses you will be taking and you could end up getting a head start on a course that you will not enrolled in until Spring semester.
If you can figure out your classes definitely pick up an E&E and start reading and answering the questions and reading the correct answer as you go through the chapters.
The fact is that 1L's have to teach themselves the law and not rely on their professors (Getting to Maybe clearly illustrates why this is important). Starting now learning black letter law will help you understand what your professors are even talking about but more importantly the sooner you have a grasp of the substantive law you can begin reviewing and completing past practice exams.
I actually have a friend who worked with a law school tutor familiar with her specific law school before school started and her grades were good enough to land a 1L job at a firm from a T2.(she is currently submitting application for a possible transfer).
My opinion is that you dont have time to wait for classes to start because lawschool exhaust so much of your time that the more you take advantage of your time this summer the better.
If you think about this question from a big picture perspective the end goal of earning top grades is satisfied by doing well on exams and as GTM correctly asserts the most important thing you can do is to complete past exams (preferably those written by your professor). Obviously the early you do this the better. Here lies the problem you cant get very much out of any practice exam if you don't know enough law. The truth of the matter is that you do not have to wait until classes start to learn the rules of law so that you can begin practicing writing your legal analysis and building exam skills.. I think that because I started over the summer attributed to may high class ranking at the end of 1L and it certainly helped me land at his summer's gig. The cool thing is that if you learn the black letter law and or rules of law now you can go to class and tailor the rules of law you learned over the summer to your professor's interests and other things raised in class. This way your outline will reflect what was emphasized in your specific course but you would have also not have wasted precious time learning things during the semester that you could have learned before the semester.
So I would strongly recommend that you get started early and wish you good luck. (also the previous post stating the advantage of 2L and 3L outlines being your best source is wise although perhaps slightly overstated. These outlines can help you better target areas that you can go to other primary supplements such as BarBri first year review and get more clarity on. The problem with these outlines for a rising 1L is that when a student prepares an outline they are condensing information they have learned from a larger context which a rising 1L may not fully grasp from the outline. However, becaue the outline is tailored specifically to the course it is a tool to target early studying and preparations in themese and areas of law that will most likely be covered in the fall semester.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:17 pm

OMG this is totally wrong. There is no point in reading supplements and learning black letter law over your 0L summer. This has been discussed to death.

(And I don't know any school that "hides the ball" on what classes you take as a 1L. At the vast majority of schools, the subjects 1Ls take in a given semester don't change from year to year unless the school goes through a major curricular change like adding a new subject.)

GouldGirl
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby GouldGirl » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:35 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:OMG this is totally wrong. There is no point in reading supplements and learning black letter law over your 0L summer. This has been discussed to death.

(And I don't know any school that "hides the ball" on what classes you take as a 1L. At the vast majority of schools, the subjects 1Ls take in a given semester don't change from year to year unless the school goes through a major curricular change like adding a new subject.)


What is "totally" wrong for you worked well for me. I landed big law this summer and I am in the top 10%. Admittedly I was able to navigate through these supplements without wasting time because I worked with a tutor referred to me by another 2L. Without their insight I would certainly have not been able to make as best use of that time as I was able. Also what is totally wrong for you helped a friend of mine at Loyola who just completed her 1L. She too read the E&E for civ pro before 1L began and is now within the top 10% of her class. So I think the key is that it is totally wrong for you.

Sure there are people who did as well as I did and better and went to Spain over the summer who didn't read a page of legally related material besides there new leasing contract. But that is why this is called a forum... people with disparate opinions or like opinions can voice their positions on a range of issues that may help some readers more than others depending on what works for them. Instead of attacking me help the forum be raising your voice regarding what you think would be helpful. Because merely asserting that I am not helpful does not move the forum forward.

As to law schools hiding the ball about which classes a 1L will take, I know for a fact that at a great many schools it is possible to know which classes you will certainly take in the fall semester at this point. And I assume that a rising 1L who is trying to get a head start would want to specifically prepare for fall semester courses but may not know exactly which courses they will be enrolled in. This is why I made the point that at USC all 1Ls take the same 3 core classes in the fall and spring semester.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:50 pm

I am being helpful. I'm pointing out that it's totally unnecessary to learn black letter law during your 1L summer. I'm not attacking you - I'm saying that your advice is wrong. Plenty of people end up in the top of their class without doing 0L prep, and neither you nor your friend can prove that reading blackletter law over the summer was the cause of your success. (The tutor may have had something to do with it regardless of your summer prep.)

And actually, schedules have generally been set by now, because rising 2Ls and 3Ls register for classes in the spring. Schools have to schedule all the classes to get the 2L and 3L schedules set. If there's any vagueness, look at last year's 1L fall schedule and this year's fall schedule will generally be the same. At every single school in the country? Maybe not, but at the majority. Sure, you won't know which section you're in, but that doesn't affect which subjects you'll take in the fall v. spring.

GouldGirl
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby GouldGirl » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:16 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I am being helpful. I'm pointing out that it's totally unnecessary to learn black letter law during your 1L summer. I'm not attacking you - I'm saying that your advice is wrong. Plenty of people end up in the top of their class without doing 0L prep, and neither you nor your friend can prove that reading blackletter law over the summer was the cause of your success. (The tutor may have had something to do with it regardless of your summer prep.)

And actually, schedules have generally been set by now, because rising 2Ls and 3Ls register for classes in the spring. Schools have to schedule all the classes to get the 2L and 3L schedules set. If there's any vagueness, look at last year's 1L fall schedule and this year's fall schedule will generally be the same. At every single school in the country? Maybe not, but at the majority. Sure, you won't know which section you're in, but that doesn't affect which subjects you'll take in the fall v. spring.


Yes, the tutor had a lot to do with it. Right or wrong I am simply a forum member sharing my experience and I respect your dissenting opinion. Aside from our advice the difference between the two of us is that I find it "totally unnecessary" to qualify your advice it as either right or wrong. My goal has always been "Getting to Maybe"; the objective being analysis instead of answers.

That being said, any rising 1L reading this who is thinking about prepping over the summer and is not sure where to start please PM me and if you can tell me what courses you will be enrolled I can help you figure out how to specifically address the class effectively and making constructive use out of your time. Certainly reading me go at it with Nony Mouse is probably not the best use of your summer time but forwarding the conversation and helping rising 1L's is my only interest.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:19 pm

Bless your heart.

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traehekat
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby traehekat » Sun Jun 02, 2013 8:58 pm

FWIW I read through the torts E&E the summer before 1L, ended up receiving the top grade in the class. I know, I know, correlation isn't causation but I still don't it is a complete waste of time doing a little substantive prep during the summer.

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SemperLegal
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby SemperLegal » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:12 pm

Library. Lets you try out the E&Es, nutshells, and understandings of all the subjects. Then late in the semester you can buy/borrow copies of supplements that you like from 2ls or even classmates who overbought

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laxbrah420
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:16 pm

I basically learn everything from E&E's. I don't really know why it would matter when I read it --but I do tend to feel rushed at the end of the semester. Over the summer seems like a solid idea

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Cobretti
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby Cobretti » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:18 pm

traehekat wrote:FWIW I read through the torts E&E the summer before 1L, ended up receiving the top grade in the class. I know, I know, correlation isn't causation but I still don't it is a complete waste of time doing a little substantive prep during the summer.

I really don't understand how TLS is so gunney in so many ways, but 0L prep is so taboo. TLS conventional wisdom is spend 500 hours prepping for the LSAT, but if you read an E&E the summer before you're an aspie gunner. Ken endorses it himself by the way.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Jun 02, 2013 9:28 pm

Cobretti wrote: TLS conventional wisdom is spend 500 hours prepping for the LSAT, but if you read an E&E the summer before you're an aspie gunner.

Because only one of those things has a decent chance to be a complete waste of time.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:06 pm

I'm gonna argue against supplements except in moderation during the semester. You have, literally, an entire semester to figure out one area of law. This is incredibly luxurious. You will be forced to figure out an equivalent amount of material in a week during a bar prep course. You have less time in actual practice.

What people seem to forget is that the point of reading cases is not to figure out a legal concept. If you want just the legal concepts and how they interact, go take a bar course. The point of reading casebooks is to be able to effectively and efficiently extract law from cases. This is a whole different animal. And them, once you think you've gotten that skill down, you have to effectively communicate it to your professor. Knowing the material is nice, but it's just a baby step in the process. A lot of law students get confused about this, and, at least at my school, I strongly suspect that confusion is the reason for quite a few Cs and Bs.

Instead of wasting your time going over material that you will go over again in the fall, give yourself some credit: there are very few legal concepts you won't be able to grasp at first blush. The remainder can be figured out by research or asking questions. Instead of wasting time on the easiest part of the getting a good grade, work on the hard part. Figure out a system on how to learn the law.

First: And probably most important. Know your target. What type of school are you going to? How hard will you likely have to work to get into the top part of the class? Are you at a strong regional school? Are you at a T14? Or are you at a TTT? This answer will change your prep and focus. If you go to a T14, you will probably be far more grade focused. Strong regional? Grades might matter less, but connections will matter more. Consider doing some volunteer work (legal or otherwise) during 1L. TTT? God help you, I have no idea. Also, if there's some sort of social function before school, go to it. Get to know your classmates. You'll learn a lot about both the people you might be friends with and your competition.

Second: Know what a law school test is. Read Getting to Maybe for an overview. I reread it several times, because I kept finding useful tidbits. Look at 1L by Scott Turow if you want a general feeling for the weirdness. Understand what a law school exam is, what you need to be able to do to succeed at one

Third: Organization. The biggest challenge in law school is the crushing amount of information thrown your way. A method of organization is crucial to your success. If you are a handnote taker, good luck. I couldn't do that (but I've seen it work for people.) I personally take computer notes. And don't just pop open a word document for the day and start banging away, either. There's some great topics on these forums about microsoft onenote and whatever the mac equivalent is (I think it's circusponies). These programs are well worth the time you spend now in learning how to use them. Learn how to use one over the summer. Practice what sort of tags you're going to use, and how you want to (at least at first) organize the information you're going to get. Watch some basic tutorials.

The most important thing about organization is that you have a system, and you need to be able to adapt it for different classes. You will take notes differently (or at least you should be) for civil proceedure than you will for legal writing, or for torts.

Fourth: Read some cases. Get a vague idea of what you're getting into. I found that the easiest way to go about this was to read the latest SCOTUS cases with a free legal dictionary website open in another tab. If I found a term I didn't know, I just plugged it in and learned something for the day.

That was the summer prep I did. I did look at a torts E&E, but I found it to be a waste of time. Sure, I felt good at the time, but it didn't mean anything on finals day. I guess the E&E might have helped me look smarter (or more gunnerish, more likely) in front of my friends. For like...two days.

So what's the point of supplements? They're for when you're stuck and yelling "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE *BLEEP* THE RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES MEANS." And you borrow them from the library instead of wasting your own money on them. :)

Hope this information helps clear up some confusion.

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seahawk32
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby seahawk32 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:12 pm

Never. Use the library.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby Scotusnerd » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:14 pm

seahawk32 wrote:Never. Use the library.


Credited, but you can use it to check out books. Free is free. Just don't stay in the bloody place to read.

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HBBJohnStamos
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby HBBJohnStamos » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:27 pm

Scotusnerd wrote:
seahawk32 wrote:Never. Use the library.


Credited, but you can use it to check out books. Free is free. Just don't stay in the bloody place to read.


lol

kaiser
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby kaiser » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:39 pm

First off, you wait until you consult with professors to see if they recommend particular supplements. Perhaps the professor wrote one, or perhaps there is a supplement that is keyed to your casebook. You obviously wouldn't know this too far in advance, so you should absolutely wait until school starts. Also, you very likely don't have to buy anything. Supplements are just that; supplements. So you won't use them all that often, and only need them to fill in the gaps (and give you practice examples, as the E&E series does). For that purpose, you can just rent them from the library, and don't need to spend a penny.

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Redamon1
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Re: When to purchase supplements

Postby Redamon1 » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:46 am

SemperLegal wrote:Library. Lets you try out the E&Es, nutshells, and understandings of all the subjects. Then late in the semester you can buy/borrow copies of supplements that you like from 2ls or even classmates who overbought




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