1L Prep

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
mbeastcoast

New
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:24 pm

1L Prep

Postby mbeastcoast » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:22 pm

I am currently looking for a good 1L prep course I can take. Unfortunately, I have had almost no luck finding reviews of much substance for the small amount of courses I have found. So far I am looking at Kaplan's 1L Edge and Powerscore's 1L Advantage programs. Has anyone taken these? If so would you recommend them? I have also heard it is a good idea to read Getting to Maybe and LexisNexis study guides. Any advice or insight is much appreciated!

Thanks,
Matt
:D
Last edited by mbeastcoast on Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

clshopeful

Bronze
Posts: 372
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:15 pm

Re: L1 Prep

Postby clshopeful » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:40 pm

it's 1L lol. Also, people on TLS generally dont suggest doing any "prep" before law school starts... Just enjoy your free time. No use trying to learn the law or stuff like that before school starts.

Voyager

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 2:52 pm

Re: L1 Prep

Postby Voyager » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:14 pm

Well... there are those law school exam classes one can take. I wish i had done one of those.

User avatar
mjb447

Silver
Posts: 1280
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:36 am

Re: 1L Prep

Postby mjb447 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:53 pm

A lot of the resources you've mentioned focus (at least in part) on the substance of the law - I wouldn't bother with any of that, as you don't really know how to study for a law school exam yet, and your professors may have idiosyncrasies that will cause confusion if you come into class thinking you know what's going on.

somedeadman

Bronze
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: L1 Prep

Postby somedeadman » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:28 pm

Voyager wrote:Well... there are those law school exam classes one can take. I wish i had done one of those.

Where can one find these?

Voyager

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 2:52 pm

Re: L1 Prep

Postby Voyager » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:59 pm

somedeadman wrote:
Voyager wrote:Well... there are those law school exam classes one can take. I wish i had done one of those.

Where can one find these?


Here is the classic one: http://leews.com/

User avatar
KiltedKicker

Bronze
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:02 am

Re: 1L Prep

Postby KiltedKicker » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:44 am

Current 1L. I don't recommend doing any prep, classes vary too significantly from prof to prof and school to school. Like ya, reading a whole prep book on a subject would probably be helpful but it's so horribly inefficient it isn't worth the time, and there's a good chance it'll just confuse you anyway because it'll differ from what your prof teaches. Taking law school exams isn't something you need a class to learn, you just need to be diligent and take a bunch of practice tests once you've learned the material.

However, once you know who your profs are and have a syllabus then you can start working. Start your reading, talk to older students who have had the prof before and find out which outlines are good/what their tests are like/which supplements are most helpful. Once you know what is being taught you could start skimming an Examples and Explanation book on the subjects you know will be covered (though again, this might conflict with what you'll be taught and at that point it'll probably just be confusing as shit).

It'd be great if there were helpful things you could do before starting 1L to prepare. Unfortunately I don't think there are, and haven't talked to anyone here that disagrees. Just relax, make sure you come in healthy and as mentally prepared as possible, and work your ass off once you start.

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 5049
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:58 am

I go a bit against the general consensus on this topic, because I do recommend reading "Getting to Maybe" before you start. Parts of it may not make sense yet. But you won't have time to really read the whole thing again once 1L is underway, and it's extremely helpful in preparing for exams. I found it extremely useful in putting my mind in the right place to understand where professors were going in class, and that helped me keep focused on how I should take notes, etc.

I do not recommend dumping loads of money on test-prep courses, and I definitely don't recommend "primer" books. Your professors are going to introduce you to the basic concepts of law, and they're each going to have their own style.

somedeadman

Bronze
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby somedeadman » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:51 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:I go a bit against the general consensus on this topic, because I do recommend reading "Getting to Maybe" before you start. Parts of it may not make sense yet. But you won't have time to really read the whole thing again once 1L is underway, and it's extremely helpful in preparing for exams. I found it extremely useful in putting my mind in the right place to understand where professors were going in class, and that helped me keep focused on how I should take notes, etc.

I do not recommend dumping loads of money on test-prep courses, and I definitely don't recommend "primer" books. Your professors are going to introduce you to the basic concepts of law, and they're each going to have their own style.

I'd love to hear more about why one should or should not take an exam prep class. I've seen it recommended a few times

User avatar
emkay625

Gold
Posts: 1987
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:31 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby emkay625 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:27 am

You don't need to prep. Things you should do:

1. Read Getting to Maybe.
2. Buy office supplies. Highlighters (lots of them), tabs you can write on (the stiff ones, not the flimsy ones, and a bunch of them), pens, binders, a three-hole punch, a stapler and staples, a printer, extra ink cartridges, a couple reams of paper, some file folders, and some spirals. Also, if you don't already have one, a laptop.
3. Spend time visiting friends and family. Take a big roadtrip and visit all the people important to you in various locales. You won't have much time to see people in law school. Your summer is much better spent with people you love than doing a prep course.
4. Update your resume and draft a cover letter to use for 1L summer hiring. Create a spreadsheet of contact information for firms so you are ready to mass mail on December 1.

User avatar
KunAgnis

Bronze
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:41 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby KunAgnis » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:11 am

somedeadman wrote: I'd love to hear more about why one should or should not take an exam prep class. I've seen it recommended a few times


Different professors cover different parts of the subject. If you wanted to learn about Property law, for instance, there are professors who fly over Rule Against Perpetuity and other professors who'd cover that more in depth. Also, most professors make exams based on essay, which makes grading extremely subjective. At best, you'd learn some facts or laws that may not even be taught when you start; even worse, your teachers in the prep course might teach you to write exams the "wrong way." Best way is to just find good outlines. Try to find upperclassmen here and maybe reddit/r/lawschool. They can give you pointers and maybe even outlines.

User avatar
KMart

Gold
Posts: 4368
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:25 am

Re: 1L Prep

Postby KMart » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:17 am

Don't waste your time and money. You'll learn one view of the law and your professor will teach their view of the law (different than the courses). Too often 0Ls think law is some objectively clear guide, but it's really just a bunch of gray and where you explore with your prep course and where you explore with your real course are going to be different. Save your enthusiasm and energy for law school: you're going to need it.

Voyager

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 2:52 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby Voyager » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:26 pm

KunAgnis wrote:
somedeadman wrote: I'd love to hear more about why one should or should not take an exam prep class. I've seen it recommended a few times


Different professors cover different parts of the subject. If you wanted to learn about Property law, for instance, there are professors who fly over Rule Against Perpetuity and other professors who'd cover that more in depth. Also, most professors make exams based on essay, which makes grading extremely subjective. At best, you'd learn some facts or laws that may not even be taught when you start; even worse, your teachers in the prep course might teach you to write exams the "wrong way." Best way is to just find good outlines. Try to find upperclassmen here and maybe reddit/r/lawschool. They can give you pointers and maybe even outlines.


Well the idea of the exam prep classes is that they are teaching how to write a law school exam. They are teaching a framework for approaching the test.

They are NOT teaching points of law.

I think I would have benefitted from that...

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 5049
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:12 pm

Voyager wrote:Well the idea of the exam prep classes is that they are teaching how to write a law school exam. They are teaching a framework for approaching the test.

They are NOT teaching points of law.

I think I would have benefitted from that...


If you read "Getting to Maybe" and are still completely confused about how to write a law school exam, then you may want to consider shelling out thousands of dollars on a class. Otherwise, you're wasting your money.

Then again, I would say the same thing about LSAT prep, so if you're the type of person who prefers classroom instruction in these kinds of things, go with a course.

Voyager

Silver
Posts: 723
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 2:52 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby Voyager » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:06 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Voyager wrote:Well the idea of the exam prep classes is that they are teaching how to write a law school exam. They are teaching a framework for approaching the test.

They are NOT teaching points of law.

I think I would have benefitted from that...


If you read "Getting to Maybe" and are still completely confused about how to write a law school exam, then you may want to consider shelling out thousands of dollars on a class. Otherwise, you're wasting your money.

Then again, I would say the same thing about LSAT prep, so if you're the type of person who prefers classroom instruction in these kinds of things, go with a course.


Heh. Well, in fairness, I neither took a prep class nor read Getting to Maybe.

Either way, I was just under median my first semester so clearly I should have done something different.

somedeadman

Bronze
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby somedeadman » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:12 pm

Voyager wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Voyager wrote:Well the idea of the exam prep classes is that they are teaching how to write a law school exam. They are teaching a framework for approaching the test.

They are NOT teaching points of law.

I think I would have benefitted from that...


If you read "Getting to Maybe" and are still completely confused about how to write a law school exam, then you may want to consider shelling out thousands of dollars on a class. Otherwise, you're wasting your money.

Then again, I would say the same thing about LSAT prep, so if you're the type of person who prefers classroom instruction in these kinds of things, go with a course.


Heh. Well, in fairness, I neither took a prep class nor read Getting to Maybe.

Either way, I was just under median my first semester so clearly I should have done something different.

So, I'll read "getting to maybe," and if I'm still confused, then I'll take a class. Sound good?

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3463
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:28 pm

Read GtM in advance of 1L, and I felt it was largely useless. Not because it's not accurate/relevant, but because as a 0L you have no context to understand the finer points they talk about that will actually matter in improving your 1L grades. It explained things that probably should have/would have been obvious, and as a result I felt no more prepared for 1L than I might have otherwise been.

YMMV, but just realize there is no tried and true way of preparing for 1L exams.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29306
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: 1L Prep

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:44 am

Yeah, I think GTM helps more when you're closer to exams, when you have enough familiarity with the concepts GTM refers to that you can follow what they're saying. I had almost no legal experience/exposure at all when I read GTM pre-law school, and I honestly couldn't understand the distinctions they were making enough to take away what I was supposed to be doing. It won't hurt to read it, but you may get more out of it once you've got through a chunk of the semester.

As for a prep/how to take an exam class - if someone's offering you one for free I'd do it. I wouldn't pay money for one.

somedeadman

Bronze
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby somedeadman » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:01 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yeah, I think GTM helps more when you're closer to exams, when you have enough familiarity with the concepts GTM refers to that you can follow what they're saying. I had almost no legal experience/exposure at all when I read GTM pre-law school, and I honestly couldn't understand the distinctions they were making enough to take away what I was supposed to be doing. It won't hurt to read it, but you may get more out of it once you've got through a chunk of the semester.

As for a prep/how to take an exam class - if someone's offering you one for free I'd do it. I wouldn't pay money for one.

Is there really no way to prepare for 1l then? What about when the semester starts? Take lots of practice exams?

cavalier1138

Platinum
Posts: 5049
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:03 pm

somedeadman wrote:Is there really no way to prepare for 1l then? What about when the semester starts? Take lots of practice exams?


No.

You should not be taking practice exams until the end of the semester, and some professors won't even make them available until around then anyway. Taking a practice exam before you've covered the concepts in class is useless.

somedeadman

Bronze
Posts: 436
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: 1L Prep

Postby somedeadman » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:04 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
somedeadman wrote:Is there really no way to prepare for 1l then? What about when the semester starts? Take lots of practice exams?


No.

You should not be taking practice exams until the end of the semester, and some professors won't even make them available until around then anyway. Taking a practice exam before you've covered the concepts in class is useless.

I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to take them literally when the semester starts.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29306
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: 1L Prep

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:18 pm

somedeadman wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Yeah, I think GTM helps more when you're closer to exams, when you have enough familiarity with the concepts GTM refers to that you can follow what they're saying. I had almost no legal experience/exposure at all when I read GTM pre-law school, and I honestly couldn't understand the distinctions they were making enough to take away what I was supposed to be doing. It won't hurt to read it, but you may get more out of it once you've got through a chunk of the semester.

As for a prep/how to take an exam class - if someone's offering you one for free I'd do it. I wouldn't pay money for one.

Is there really no way to prepare for 1l then? What about when the semester starts? Take lots of practice exams?

Personally, I found practice exams, done with about 3-4 other people max, really helpful - that's enough people to spot pretty much all the issues without too much drama, and something about someone else coming up with an issue that I missed really helped burn the concepts into my brain (I remember studying for a property exam and a friend of mine bringing up an issue and I thought, oh, that's NEVER going to be on the exam, and then lo-and-behold it was the sort of threshold issue for an entire question, and the only reason I had any knowledge it existed was my friend bringing it up in the practice exam). They're not really helpful until the end of the semester, though.

Also, my take on doing well is that there's no real point in prepping beforehand, just do the work once you get there: do the readings, before class. Go to class, pay attention, and take notes (although it may take you a bit of time to learn how to distinguish between the prof spinning out a hypo with student opinions, vs. what you really need to know about the law. Take notes more on what your prof says than what your classmates say). If something confuses you, either ask in class, go to your prof's office hours, consult a supplement, or some combo of all three.

So I don't think there's any magic to it.

I don't think there's any harm in reading different "how to succeed in law school" guides, if you have some time. Not the substantive prep like reading E&Es or outlines, but suggestions for how to approach law school. I kind of liked Law School Confidential, just to get an overall sense of how law school works. But it was a little old when I read it which was a while ago, so I don't know how up to date it is any more, and some it is about applying/choosing a school, so not as relevant once you're accepted. I hated Planet Law School, I think the author just has a terrible attitude and wants to play on students' fears (and seriously needs an editor because it's way too long). And I know there are other books now since I started. The thing is not to take any of them as gospel, but just to have them as context when you start your own program, if you want to read something.

User avatar
mjb447

Silver
Posts: 1280
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:36 am

Re: 1L Prep

Postby mjb447 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:22 pm

somedeadman wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
somedeadman wrote:Is there really no way to prepare for 1l then? What about when the semester starts? Take lots of practice exams?


No.

You should not be taking practice exams until the end of the semester, and some professors won't even make them available until around then anyway. Taking a practice exam before you've covered the concepts in class is useless.

I wasn't clear. I didn't mean to take them literally when the semester starts.

There's not "no way to prepare;" some people have already suggested Getting to Maybe or an exam prep class. It's just that they don't work for everyone, and if you expect them to completely demystify law school you'll probably be disappointed, waste your time and money, and possibly go in thinking you know more than you do (which is a dangerous place to be). I don't think taking practice exams early will be very helpful, though; in a lot of subjects they're pretty comprehensive and longitudinal (e.g., in torts you may be asked to analyze all theories of liability that might fit a complicated fact pattern, and it's hard to do that meaningfully without most of the semester under your belt). May be useful just to see the style of the professor's exams if it will help you take notes or outline better, but I wouldn't spend too much time with them early on.



Return to ā€œAsk a Law Student / Graduateā€?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests