placencia wrote:My opinions are in stark contrast to several people who have posted.
I read all of the E & Es over my 0L summer, and I would recommend doing it to everyone. I am planning on reading the E & Es for all of my classes next semester this summer, and I have talked with several friends, and we all agree this is the right move (if it matters, we all did extremely well). It's not about learning the material from the E & Es (although you probably could in certain situations...I would peruse the supplements over the course of the semester and reread each one entirely in the study period before each exam), it's about preparing you with the vocabulary and the framework for what you will be getting into. I knew about topics before they were introduced, I could see the larger framework of the course from the beginning, and I was able to understand the minutiae.
It's easy to say not to read them if you never did it, but for those who actually read them cover to cover before going to the classes, I don't know of anyone personally who wouldn't do it again. You have several months and nothing to do, any way you can cut down on what you're going to be learning for the first time once in school is an advantage.
Additionally, I highly recommend LEEWS. I got it and completed it over my 0L summer and then reviewed it several times over the course of the year, and it definitely paid off, even though only about half of my exams even used that style.
I probably read a dozen or more books before school, including GTM, the Complete Law School Companion, Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold. Those books are always good to provide you with an overview, but other than GTM, I wouldn't say any are truly essential.
If I had to boil down my advice, it would be to read the E & Es, complete LEEWS, read GTM and maybe one or two other books...the point is that everyone sees things differently, but I don't think you can read too much, and the only two things that will actually save you time once you get to school are the E & Es (because it covers substantive material you will have to learn anyway) and LEEWS (because it is a good blueprint for how to deal with law school exams, even if you don't end up and follow it entirely).
0Ls, this is your definition of a gunner. I dont mean that in a negative way though. Placencia worked really hard and it paid off. Though I know of people who did not work nearly as hard before school and are around top 10%. It all depends on what your goals/priorities are. If you want to maximize you chance of top 10%, then I would suggest following most of what placencia did.
I read GTM and LSC. GTM was great for understanding IRAC, and how when profs say they want IRAC, they really want something slightly different. I thought LSC was also a great read (as did my wife) because it gave me an idea of what law school would be like. GTM is like reading a textbook IMO, while LSC was a much more casual read.
While my grades arent as impressive as others, I am still within the range I set out to be in (pending second semester grades
), so take my advice FWIW. However, I do have a 1L SA, and will be a TA for my writing prof next year.