COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:16 pm

booker09 wrote:bookmarkkk. OP rocks. she IS the princess of TLS.

The thread is stickied at the top of the Forum for Law School Students.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby ZXCVBNM » Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:18 pm

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby 00TREX00 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:59 am

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lostmyname » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:06 pm

OK, I keep reading in the "things I would have done differently during 1L" thread that a lot of people would have read E&E's, but on the other hand, people are saying in this thread that it's worthless to read E&Es the summer before? Which is it, and why? I was thinking of skimming E&E's before school started just to pick up some of the concepts and vocabulary, but is it really going to be a fruitless endeavor?

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby RVP11 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:09 pm

lostmyname wrote:OK, I keep reading in the "things I would have done differently during 1L" thread that a lot of people would have read E&E's, but on the other hand, people are saying in this thread that it's worthless to read E&Es the summer before? Which is it, and why? I was thinking of skimming E&E's before school started just to pick up some of the concepts and vocabulary, but is it really going to be a fruitless endeavor?


I wonder if people who say the would have read E&Es before are overestimating how much they would have understood and retained without having even gone to a class yet.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lostmyname » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:14 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:I wonder if people who say the would have read E&Es before are overestimating how much they would have understood and retained without having even gone to a class yet.


That's what I wonder too. And if it's not the case, what's the best way to optimize any time I do spend reading supplements beforehand? I don't plan to, you know, read things cover to cover before I start school, but if I can front-load any of the learning process with an hour or two of reading in my spare time, that would be ideal.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby RVP11 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:18 pm

lostmyname wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:I wonder if people who say the would have read E&Es before are overestimating how much they would have understood and retained without having even gone to a class yet.


That's what I wonder too. And if it's not the case, what's the best way to optimize any time I do spend reading supplements beforehand? I don't plan to, you know, read things cover to cover before I start school, but if I can front-load any of the learning process with an hour or two of reading in my spare time, that would be ideal.


You're going to have to read it all again once you're in school. And not everything in a supplement is going to be covered in your class. I've head that the typical prof will only cover 2/3 to 3/4 of what is in most casebooks, and therefore what is in most supplements. Even it were marginally helpful (and the verdict seems to be that it's not), it's still certainly inefficient and a waste of your last weeks of true free time.

One 1L I spoke to at UVA said that every hour he spent studying in November was worth something like 6 hours of studying in August/September, when he'd only been in class for a few weeks. Now imagine how many hours of studying before you've even stepped foot in a law school classroom that'd be worth. That should drive home how inefficient a use of your time 0L studying probably is.

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Son of Cicero
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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:24 pm

lostmyname wrote:OK, I keep reading in the "things I would have done differently during 1L" thread that a lot of people would have read E&E's, but on the other hand, people are saying in this thread that it's worthless to read E&Es the summer before? Which is it, and why? I was thinking of skimming E&E's before school started just to pick up some of the concepts and vocabulary, but is it really going to be a fruitless endeavor?

JSUVA1012 wrote:You're going to have to read it all again once you're in school. And not everything in a supplement is going to be covered in your class. I've head that the typical prof will only cover 2/3 to 3/4 of what is in most casebooks, and therefore what is in most supplements. Even it were marginally helpful (and the verdict seems to be that it's not), it's still certainly inefficient and a waste of your last weeks of true free time.

Nice points. The smaller issues that E&Es illuminate will more prominently stand out in your memory if you learn these things after you are familiar with the related cases and lecture materials. You'll want to go back to them before the final anyway, as the second quote rightly points out.

It's good to read E&Es before the final, no question. But it doesn't take that long, and IMO it is more effective if you are doing this while also learning the concepts through lectures/casebook readings, or as a form of review. If you have nothing better to do, it may give you a slight advantage if you try to learn everything now, but it will all stick to your memory better later. Also, the first time you go over materials in class, they will almost never go over your head. People who haven't read the E&Es are going to get around the same amount of information as you will out of each lecture if they just did the casebook readings beforehand.

Units are broken down pretty clearly in law school. Why not just spend an hour reading about strict liability/the parol evidence rule/res judicata/whatever the night before your prof lectures on the related cases, instead of having a bunch of new concepts mix together in your head 3 months before you learn about them in class? The prof isn't going to throw in some key point about personal jurisdiction 6 weeks before the syllabus covers that set of materials so that only those who studied ahead will be able to gather the full meaning of his comment.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lostmyname » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:24 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:You're going to have to read it all again once you're in school. And not everything in a supplement is going to be covered in your class. I've head that the typical prof will only cover 2/3 to 3/4 of what is in most casebooks, and therefore what is in most supplements.


I know that, thanks.

Even it were marginally helpful (and the verdict seems to be that it's not), it's still certainly inefficient and a waste of your last weeks of true free time.


I posted in this thread to solicit additional information, not to read someone's conclusion on what has already been posted. And I don't have "true free time" in the sense that I'm working until 2 weeks before school starts. Vacation? I'll take it then.

If you were going to my school, I would think that you were trying to discourage me from studying up beforehand so you can out-gun me. :D

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby RVP11 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:26 pm

lostmyname wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:You're going to have to read it all again once you're in school. And not everything in a supplement is going to be covered in your class. I've head that the typical prof will only cover 2/3 to 3/4 of what is in most casebooks, and therefore what is in most supplements.


I know that, thanks.

Even it were marginally helpful (and the verdict seems to be that it's not), it's still certainly inefficient and a waste of your last weeks of true free time.


I posted in this thread to solicit additional information, not to read someone's conclusion on what has already been posted. And I don't have "true free time" in the sense that I'm working until 2 weeks before school starts. Vacation? I'll take it then.

If you were going to my school, I would think that you were trying to discourage me from studying up beforehand so you can out-gun me. :D


No, but I am acting for gunner prevention because I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of people who study E&Es for fun when I get to law school because they think they have to or because TLS told them to.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lostmyname » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:28 pm

Son of Cicero wrote:It's good to read E&Es before the final, no question. But it doesn't take that long, and IMO it is more effective if you are doing this while also learning the concepts through lectures/casebook readings, or as a form of review. If you have nothing better to do, it may give you a slight advantage if you try to learn everything now, but it will all stick to your memory better later. Also, the first time you go over materials in class, they will almost never go over your head. People who haven't read the E&Es are going to get around the same amount of information as you will out of each lecture if they just did the casebook readings beforehand.

Units are broken down pretty clearly in law school. Why not just spend an hour reading about strict liability/the parol evidence rule/res judicata/whatever the night before your prof lectures on the related cases, instead of having a bunch of new concepts mix together in your head 3 months before you learn about them in class? The prof isn't going to throw in some key point about personal jurisdiction 6 weeks before the syllabus covers that set of materials so that only those who studied ahead will be able to gather the full meaning of his comment.


Thanks for the comments. I appreciate it.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lostmyname » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:34 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
lostmyname wrote:If you were going to my school, I would think that you were trying to discourage me from studying up beforehand so you can out-gun me. :D


No, but I am acting for gunner prevention because I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of people who study E&Es for fun when I get to law school because they think they have to or because TLS told them to.


Wow, anti-work ethic much? Jeeze... there was conflicting information on two different threads, not a conclusive "verdict." I asked a question so as to be more directly informed by people who actually have gone through 1L. I appreciate your responses, but you're not really in the position to give a sufficiently informative answer. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to evaluate whether or not an additional degree of preparation is actually necessary. That know-it-all, negative attitude is what makes gunners disliked.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby markakis » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:39 pm

bump

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:42 pm

markakis wrote:bump

lol ur doin it wrong

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby dood » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:45 pm

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lostmyname » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:49 pm

dood wrote:I think it really depends on the person and situation. Personally, I have absolutely nothing to do all summer; I'm reading some E&Es for leisure and to satisfy my curiosity. I think pre-1L studying with the sole purpose of beating you classmates grades-wise is stupid.

EDIT: and reading E&Es probably > sitting on TLS.com for 4 hours. :wink:


I don't want to do extra work if I don't need to. :D

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby RVP11 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:49 pm

lostmyname wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
lostmyname wrote:If you were going to my school, I would think that you were trying to discourage me from studying up beforehand so you can out-gun me. :D


No, but I am acting for gunner prevention because I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of people who study E&Es for fun when I get to law school because they think they have to or because TLS told them to.


Wow, anti-work ethic much? Jeeze... there was conflicting information on two different threads, not a conclusive "verdict." I asked a question so as to be more directly informed by people who actually have gone through 1L. I appreciate your responses, but you're not really in the position to give a sufficiently informative answer. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to evaluate whether or not an additional degree of preparation is actually necessary. That know-it-all, negative attitude is what makes gunners disliked.


Did I run over your cat or something? WTF @ your snark.

I have no clue how not wanting to be surrounded by gunners or people who feel they need to read E&Es prior to law school is indicative of being "anti-work ethic". I consider it a good deed to keep future law students from potentially wasting a lot of time.

Yes, I am a 0L. I'm not sure how that invalidates what I've said. You were looking for a response from a particular kind of user, but 2Ls aren't that easy to come by so I figured I'd throw in some commentary. I summarized what I know from both senior TLSers and 2Ls and 3Ls I've talked to IRL. Guess what - not a single one advised me to do 0L prep. If you only want to read first-hand opinions and are annoyed by second-hand information, you may want to block your eye-holes when on TLS. I was trying to help you out.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby Son of Cicero » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:50 pm

If you're looking to kill time, I would seriously check out that Ward Farnsworth book I recommended earlier (The Legal Analyst: A Toolkit for Thinking About the Law). This is the kind of material that is useful know before law school because it affects how you will interpret and analyze almost everything throughout the entire year. E&Es provide more specific guidance on areas of the law, whereas Farnsworth instructs you on the key theories that will help you think like a well-informed law student/professor. It is extremely important to acquaint yourself with the latter materials before you are forced to answer policy questions on tests, and you'll be less likely to take the time to study them when you're spending your days learning about types of laws rather than legal perspectives.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby RVP11 » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:50 pm

dood wrote:I think it really depends on the person and situation. Personally, I have absolutely nothing to do all summer; I'm reading some E&Es for leisure and to satisfy my curiosity. I think pre-1L studying with the sole purpose of beating you classmates grades-wise is stupid.

EDIT: and reading E&Es probably > sitting on TLS.com for 4 hours. :wink:


Agree with above. I'd probably do the same, but a lot of my studying energy comes from the enthusiasm of learning something new, so 0L reading could be detrimental to someone like me. I want the stuff to be fresh when I get to it in the course of the semester so I can really attack it.

But I think we all know that most law student types will see this as a competitive advantage and WILL waste time.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lostmyname » Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:59 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
lostmyname wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
lostmyname wrote:If you were going to my school, I would think that you were trying to discourage me from studying up beforehand so you can out-gun me. :D


No, but I am acting for gunner prevention because I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of people who study E&Es for fun when I get to law school because they think they have to or because TLS told them to.


Wow, anti-work ethic much? Jeeze... there was conflicting information on two different threads, not a conclusive "verdict." I asked a question so as to be more directly informed by people who actually have gone through 1L. I appreciate your responses, but you're not really in the position to give a sufficiently informative answer. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to evaluate whether or not an additional degree of preparation is actually necessary. That know-it-all, negative attitude is what makes gunners disliked.


Did I run over your cat or something? WTF @ your snark.

I have no clue how not wanting to be surrounded by gunners or people who feel they need to read E&Es prior to law school is indicative of being "anti-work ethic". I consider it a good deed to keep future law students from potentially wasting a lot of time.

Yes, I am a 0L. I'm not sure how that invalidates what I've said. You were looking for a response from a particular kind of user, but 2Ls aren't that easy to come by so I figured I'd throw in some commentary. I summarized what I know from both senior TLSers and 2Ls and 3Ls I've talked to IRL. Guess what - not a single one advised me to do 0L prep. If you only want to read first-hand opinions and are annoyed by second-hand information, you may want to block your eye-holes when on TLS. I was trying to help you out.


I guess this is an internet miscommunication because your tone on the original comment came off as really rude to me! Who cares if other people try to gun? But I obviously didn't know what or where you were coming from and you a few very conclusive-sounding but vague statements without indicating why you thought so. Once again, I do appreciate your comment; I just appreciate it more now that I actually know where you were coming from when you made a confident assertion.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby lawyer180 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:41 am

lostmyname wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:
lostmyname wrote:If you were going to my school, I would think that you were trying to discourage me from studying up beforehand so you can out-gun me. :D


No, but I am acting for gunner prevention because I don't want to be surrounded by a bunch of people who study E&Es for fun when I get to law school because they think they have to or because TLS told them to.


Wow, anti-work ethic much? Jeeze... there was conflicting information on two different threads, not a conclusive "verdict." I asked a question so as to be more directly informed by people who actually have gone through 1L. I appreciate your responses, but you're not really in the position to give a sufficiently informative answer. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to evaluate whether or not an additional degree of preparation is actually necessary. That know-it-all, negative attitude is what makes gunners disliked.


lostmyname, i totally agree with you. There is absolutely nothing wrong with considering some prep prior to LS. Those who haven't been through it and adamantly advocate one thing or the other (perhaps even with good intentions) should be ignored. I've also talked to MANY different individuals: general counsel at my work, 0L - 3L's, recent grads etc. All with conflicting info. The thing is (and i know this answer sucks) it depends. It depends on how you function, what you feel comfortable with, what school you'll be at and who your prof is. I don't think preliminary light prep would be overly detrimental to any 0L, esp if you already have an itch (as do I) to read something related to what we'll be studying this coming year. Honestly, Torts is torts, contracts are contracts, etc. Yes, ambiguities exist and you'll need to cater you're knowledge to what the prof desires and how they interpret certain concepts, but browsing through some E&E's won't hurt you IMHO, esp if you keep an open mind and learn well on your own anyway.

And with that, I've already ordered a bunch of E&E's and hornbooks if not to simply skim before school starts (dont' worry, i have a 1.5 month vacation abroad and will prob bring 2-3 books with me when i get bored). I totally agree with Son of Cicero and have heard directly that these primers are excellent to read DURING school as well i.e. the respective chapter before the lecture.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby LurkerNoMore » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:10 pm

I am not an 0L and I did well my first year of law school. One class I read some stuff over the summer, the rest I did not, so I can comment from both perspectives.

Reading over the summer was a waste of time, but was not particularly detrimental because I didn't take it very seriously. Had I intensely read or expected to have gained an advantage from reading over the summer I would have been (a) sorely disappointed and (b) a lot worse off for the effort.

Law school is a marathon, not a sprint. By the end of my second semester, I felt a bit further behind and more stressed because I had put disproportionately more effort into my first semester from the beginning (more than I should have). I would have been much better off pacing myself in the beginning of the semesters and increasing the intensity slowly as the semesters progressed, rather than coming out full throttle.

E&E's and other supplements are most helpful to when you read them along side or after you have tackled the material assigned by your professor. As a field, Torts is Torts and Contracts is Contracts. This is not true as a course, though. Prof. A's Torts will not be the same as Prof. B's Torts. Reading the supplements helps shape your understanding of the professor's take on the field. That understanding is what is going to help you excel in classes. It is much better for exams to look at the supplements through the lens of your professor's take on the class than it is to look at the professor's class through the lens of the supplement.

The burn out issue is also a serious concern. It's easy to disregard this as an 0L. It is also tempting to think that if you start sooner, you'll decrease burn out, but that is not how it usually happens. Starting earlier starts the fatigue process sooner. It's not how hard you are working, it is how long you are thinking about the topics. I also saw a lot of people who started reading over the summer get lulled into a false sense of security because of it. They got a rudimentary understanding of some of the concepts, which caused them to skim more during the actual class (which is very tempting to do because of the general work flow). As a result, they missed a lot of the pieces to the puzzle that people who were reading the material fresh picked up on.

Another thing to mention is that some supplements are likely to steer you completely wrong on some issues. All of them are out of date to some extent. CivPro and ConLaw have both had some major shake-ups in some areas in the last 2 years (and some that have come in the last few months). Reading some of these supplements can give you a wrong impression of where the law is going. (Class actions and burdens of proof/pleadings have had some serious revisions recently; sentencing and some evidentiary issues in Crim are very much in flux; equal protection in ConLaw may see some major changes in the next month; etc.)

If you really want to read, I would pick up a horn book (rather than an E&E type book) and read a chapter out of each topic (at most), not to learn any substance of the law, but rather to look at the vocabulary. Read it to pick out some of the terms of art. Wikipedia them. Get comfortable with the writing, not not learn the law. Realize, though, that you will be saving yourself, at most, a week or two of "advantage" and you could loose more than you gain by feeling more fatigued at the end of the semester when it counts.

As for once you hit class, here are some thoughts.

If your text has a case briefs supplement keyed to it, consider getting it, at least for one class (preferably something like ConLaw or CivPro, where the cases are more involved). Read the case brief first and then read the case in your book. Change it up and read the case first and then the case brief. Listen in class to see what your professor pulls out of the cases. This is a quick way to teach yourself how to pull the relevant material out of cases.

To brief or not to brief: This is an individualized thing. I book briefed my first semester (highlighter method) for a couple of weeks. After that I stopped. I found briefing to be waste of time. What I did do, and continued to do throughout, was to underline (in pen, not highlighter) and write profusely in margins. Then I made a running list of all the cases and put in a couple sentences about the case (along the lines of "Guy runs over woman several times with car, no need to prove premeditation in PA, intentional murder is enough for 1st degree"). Involved cases might get a couple of paragraphs if there was a lot of nuance and multiple dissents and/or concurrences, but I would usually write those after class to pull out just the issue that were discussed. I was able to answer questions about facts and such on call from my case book because I had written enough in the margins.

I'm a big believer in actually reading the cases rather than relying on supplements. I know other people work better the other way, though. I am not someone who can cram. My reading takes me more time than a lot of people take, but when I read I really synthesize the material. I constantly make connections between what I'm reading currently and what I've read in the past and what the professor has talked about. My margin notes often reflect that. Because of this, I think I have an easier time at the end of the semester than a lot of people. I also know that I pick up points on exams for being able to bring in details that were covered in readings, but not class or supplements.

Outlines: don't get thrown by people who make amazingly comprehensive class outlines. These are great resources for people taking that professor's class in future terms, but are of pretty limited use for exams. The best exam outlines don't outline the class, they outline exam approaches. The course is usually broken out into discrete topic areas. Exams are generally complicated hypos that touch upon many/most of those topics in one scenario. When making an outline, you should first read a bunch of practice exams to get a sense of the types of questions you will be asked. Take the various topics that were discussed in class and put them into the appropriate order for answering a question, not the appropriate order for regurgitating the class. This is often the difference between distinctions between grades.

If a particular style of studying worked for you in UG, don't reinvent the wheel. Like I said, I'm not a crammer. Lots of people are and walk around the last few weeks of the semester memorizing cases names, etc. It's easy to get thrown by that sort of thing if it isn't your style. It's generally better to go with what has been proven to work for you in the past. I synthesize as I go along and generally make sparse outlines and spend more of my time doing practice exams (sometimes writing them out fully, sometimes just outlining answers, sometimes just thinking about how I would answer the question). It works for me. It might not work for other people. That is fine.

Work on your writing. If your professor doesn't understand your answer, then you don't get credit for all of your arguments. When you get your lexis and westlaw pins, download some appellate briefs and read them (you might want to stick to SCOTUS cases so that there is a better chance that the issues were well briefed). This will give you an idea of what your writing style should be like. Recognize, though, that a good exam answer will incorporate both sides of the argument, not just one. So pull briefs from both sides of a case and then see how you would combine them to make a complete exam answer.

Good luck and don't burn yourself out this summer!

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby iagolives » Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:50 pm

This is awesome, thanks.

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SoxyPirate
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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby SoxyPirate » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:47 am

For some reason this dialog came to mind while reading through the advice to 0L's not to read this stuff during the summer:

Tobias: You know, Lindsay, as a therapist, I have advised a number of couples to explore an open relationship where the couple remains emotionally committed, but free to explore extra-marital encounters.
Lindsay: Well, did it work for those people?
Tobias: No, it never does. I mean, these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but.... it might work for us.

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Re: COMMON 0L QUESTIONS books, study guides, E&Es, studying,etc

Postby 00TREX00 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:37 am

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