Books & Misc $$

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
FMaze
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:43 pm

Books & Misc $$

Postby FMaze » Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:47 pm

Perhaps this will be addressed in my acceptance package, but since there is no Sunday delivery, permit to ask. How much should I budget for books and miscellaneous items? I will be attending a top 10 (I do not see why this should matter, but who knows).

All advise on purchasing specific books or particular miscellaneous aids is appreciated. I have an up-to-date laptop, WiFi capable, etc. and a Blackberry. Thanks.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11724
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:29 pm

They should offer a breakdown of estimated cost of attendance under the financial aid page on the web site. It will usually include books.

I had 6 classes, and spent about a $1000 on books with careful use of Amazon and Half, and probably another $125 on supplements.

User avatar
dextermorgan
Posts: 1138
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:37 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:42 pm

FMaze wrote:Perhaps this will be addressed in my acceptance package, but since there is no Sunday delivery, permit to ask. How much should I budget for books and miscellaneous items? I will be attending a top 10 (I do not see why this should matter, but who knows).

All advise on purchasing specific books or particular miscellaneous aids is appreciated. I have an up-to-date laptop, WiFi capable, etc. and a Blackberry. Thanks.

While holding onto your current laptop is a great idea if it is a reliable machine, remember that it is one of (if not the) most important tools for a law student. Schools usually allow a one time allowance for a new computer should you ever need it.

User avatar
OGR3
Posts: 881
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:56 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby OGR3 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:46 pm

dextermorgan wrote:
FMaze wrote:Perhaps this will be addressed in my acceptance package, but since there is no Sunday delivery, permit to ask. How much should I budget for books and miscellaneous items? I will be attending a top 10 (I do not see why this should matter, but who knows).

All advise on purchasing specific books or particular miscellaneous aids is appreciated. I have an up-to-date laptop, WiFi capable, etc. and a Blackberry. Thanks.

While holding onto your current laptop is a great idea if it is a reliable machine, remember that it is one of (if not the) most important tools for a law student. Schools usually allow a one time allowance for a new computer should you ever need it.


Getting a good and reliable laptop is quite possibly the best money you'll spend during law school. You want something that won't crash (or only do so very rarely), is light, has a comfortable keyboard, and will last you for three years. If your computer is over 2 years old, I would suggest getting a new one, the last thing you want is your computer dying right before finals...

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby nealric » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:48 pm

I had 6 classes, and spent about a $1000 on books with careful use of Amazon and Half, and probably another $125 on supplements.


FWIW, I never spent more than $400, and usually less than $300. For one semester, I managed to pay 0.

If your computer is over 2 years old, I would suggest getting a new one, the last thing you want is your computer dying right before finals...


If you are that paranoid, just get a new hard drive. Nothing else is very likely to fail. If you keep proper backups, you should be able to be up and running within 3 hours (including the trip to the store) on a new machine if need be.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11724
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:53 pm

nealric wrote:
I had 6 classes, and spent about a $1000 on books with careful use of Amazon and Half, and probably another $125 on supplements.


FWIW, I never spent more than $400, and usually less than $300. For one semester, I managed to pay 0.



We were assigned a shit-ton of books, including 4 alone just for LRW. They also go all the way through next semester.

If you're worried about backing stuff up, Dropbox is easy and free.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby nealric » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:19 pm

We were assigned a shit-ton of books, including 4 alone just for LRW. They also go all the way through next semester.


The key for classes like LRW that assign a ton of books is to figure out which books are BS and which ones you really need. There were some "assigned" texts in LRW that we ended up using once. Most textbooks are available at the library if you only need to reference them a few times. Sometimes certain texts will be redundant between classes. For example, in my LLM classes, almost every single class assigns some excerpted edition of the tax code. You don't really need five versions of the tax code. One good edition will suffice.

For big casebooks, do a little recon work and figure out if the old edition is OK. Ask the prof or a student who has already taken the class. Or better yet, wait until you get the syllabus. Old editions of $150 books can often be had for as little as $20. A lot of times the difference is one or two cases- which may not even be assigned for the class. Even if they are, it's not a big deal if you have to read one or two cases on lexis/westlaw. In fact, as I got into 2L/3L year I would sometimes just look up an assigned case on lexis and just read the headnotes instead of the whole case. What you need to know from any given case can usually be distilled into two or three sentences.

User avatar
FMaze
Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby FMaze » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:53 am

Thanks for the advice! Although, I wish I would have the question this way: "other than an up-to-date laptop and smart phone, what specific books and miscellaneous items did U purchase?”

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11724
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby kalvano » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:54 am

nealric wrote:
We were assigned a shit-ton of books, including 4 alone just for LRW. They also go all the way through next semester.


The key for classes like LRW that assign a ton of books is to figure out which books are BS and which ones you really need. There were some "assigned" texts in LRW that we ended up using once. Most textbooks are available at the library if you only need to reference them a few times. Sometimes certain texts will be redundant between classes. For example, in my LLM classes, almost every single class assigns some excerpted edition of the tax code. You don't really need five versions of the tax code. One good edition will suffice.

For big casebooks, do a little recon work and figure out if the old edition is OK. Ask the prof or a student who has already taken the class. Or better yet, wait until you get the syllabus. Old editions of $150 books can often be had for as little as $20. A lot of times the difference is one or two cases- which may not even be assigned for the class. Even if they are, it's not a big deal if you have to read one or two cases on lexis/westlaw. In fact, as I got into 2L/3L year I would sometimes just look up an assigned case on lexis and just read the headnotes instead of the whole case. What you need to know from any given case can usually be distilled into two or three sentences.



It's going to average out to about $550 a semester, so not too bad. But yes, casebooks tend to be overpriced and irritating because most everything is available online.

However, a couple of my professors were big on note cases.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby nealric » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:21 am

"other than an up-to-date laptop and smart phone, what specific books and miscellaneous items did U purchase?”


You don't really need a smartphone. I didn't get one until 3L year when I had a job offer lined up.

NJcollegestudent
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:12 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby NJcollegestudent » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:48 am

allbookstores.com is a great resource for finding cheaper books. This is great for undergraduate, however, you might have to see if it can help with law books.

jjlaw
Posts: 299
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:43 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby jjlaw » Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:07 pm

Which kind of books would you recommend buying brand new, and which ones can be bought used without sacrificing quality of note-taking/highlighting? I have read that casebooks should be bought brand new, but what about commercial outlines and other supplements?

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby Grizz » Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:04 pm

jjlaw wrote:Which kind of books would you recommend buying brand new, and which ones can be bought used without sacrificing quality of note-taking/highlighting? I have read that casebooks should be bought brand new, but what about commercial outlines and other supplements?


You will not like this answer, but it all depends on how much other people's markings bother YOU and how much you like to mark up YOUR stuff.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11724
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby kalvano » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:17 pm

jjlaw wrote:Which kind of books would you recommend buying brand new, and which ones can be bought used without sacrificing quality of note-taking/highlighting? I have read that casebooks should be bought brand new, but what about commercial outlines and other supplements?



Go on Half. Utilize the condition reports. Most people will report any highlighting or markings. Save money.

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby quakeroats » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:35 pm

nealric wrote:
"other than an up-to-date laptop and smart phone, what specific books and miscellaneous items did U purchase?”


You don't really need a smartphone. I didn't get one until 3L year when I had a job offer lined up.


What's the point of being so thrifty?

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:26 am

I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.

Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby Grizz » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:51 am

romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.

Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


I keep hearing about how the newest Civ Pro Glannon has up to date Erie crap or whatever though. Although for like torts and Ks where the common law is pretty well established, go for it.

User avatar
eandy
Posts: 2725
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby eandy » Mon Dec 27, 2010 3:56 am

rad law wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.

Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


I keep hearing about how the newest Civ Pro Glannon has up to date Erie crap or whatever though. Although for like torts and Ks where the common law is pretty well established, go for it.

Old editions can screw you up with Civ Pro. Experienced this with the 2005 Freer supp; I switched it out for the 2009 one.

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby quakeroats » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:42 am

romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.

Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


Why are you cutting here? You're probably spending many times that in tuition, board, etc. $6k doesn't amount to much over 10 years or even 20. And it's hard to value the insights you miss (or gain) with old editions.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:04 am

quakeroats wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.

Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


Why are you cutting here? You're probably spending many times that in tuition, board, etc. $6k doesn't amount to much over 10 years or even 20. And it's hard to value the insights you miss (or gain) with old editions.


Because there is no way I am picking up new editions of every single supplement for $50+ when the cheaper one that costs $5 works just as well.

Rad and Eandy, I haven't taken Civ Pro so I'm sure you're credited. I'll keep that in mind.

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby quakeroats » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:31 am

romothesavior wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.

Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


Why are you cutting here? You're probably spending many times that in tuition, board, etc. $6k doesn't amount to much over 10 years or even 20. And it's hard to value the insights you miss (or gain) with old editions.


Because there is no way I am picking up new editions of every single supplement for $50+ when the cheaper one that costs $5 works just as well.

Rad and Eandy, I haven't taken Civ Pro so I'm sure you're credited. I'll keep that in mind.


Your answer values cost above all else but doesn't deal with any issues that might argue for another approach:

1. How much time and effort do you spend hunting for used books?
2. How much time and effort does it require to evaluate whether old editions aren't missing something you need to know, or are in some other way insufficient?
3. Which books are worth the higher cost and which are not, and how do you evaluate this?

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11724
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby kalvano » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:13 pm

romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.


5 substantive classes plus LRW.


romothesavior wrote:Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


Except for the Civ Pro E&E. The newer, the better on that one. Same for torts, but not strictly necessary like the Civ Pro.


quakeroats wrote:Your answer values cost above all else but doesn't deal with any issues that might argue for another approach:

1. How much time and effort do you spend hunting for used books?
2. How much time and effort does it require to evaluate whether old editions aren't missing something you need to know, or are in some other way insufficient?
3. Which books are worth the higher cost and which are not, and how do you evaluate this?


1) 30 seconds to search Half and Amazon.
2) 30 seconds to search TLS.
3) The ones that people on TLS say are substantially different in the newer versus the older form and worth buying. The ones that people said were worth, were.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:23 pm

[quote="kalvano]1) 30 seconds to search Half and Amazon.
2) 30 seconds to search TLS.
3) The ones that people on TLS say are substantially different in the newer versus the older form and worth buying. The ones that people said were worth, were.[/quote]
This. Also, I talk to my classmates and profs. The most helpful supplement I got was the West Property Nutshell which was highly recommended by my prof and a few of my classmates, and I got it for $3 on Barnes and Noble. The nuts and bolts of property law doesn't change much in 5 years or whatever.

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby quakeroats » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:24 pm

kalvano wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.


5 substantive classes plus LRW.


romothesavior wrote:Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


Except for the Civ Pro E&E. The newer, the better on that one. Same for torts, but not strictly necessary like the Civ Pro.


quakeroats wrote:Your answer values cost above all else but doesn't deal with any issues that might argue for another approach:

1. How much time and effort do you spend hunting for used books?
2. How much time and effort does it require to evaluate whether old editions aren't missing something you need to know, or are in some other way insufficient?
3. Which books are worth the higher cost and which are not, and how do you evaluate this?


1) 30 seconds to search Half and Amazon.
2) 30 seconds to search TLS.
3) The ones that people on TLS say are substantially different in the newer versus the older form and worth buying. The ones that people said were worth, were.


1. I highly doubt 30 seconds is enough time to do more than a cursory review
2. Ditto, plus people disagree, and sorting the disagreement takes time and often experience which:
3. A post-hoc analysis tends to gloss over. Why leave so much to chance, especially when it's easily rectified?

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: Books & Misc $$

Postby romothesavior » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:25 pm

quakeroats wrote:
kalvano wrote:
romothesavior wrote:I can't even imagine how anyone could spend $1000 a semester on books, but maybe it depends on profs/school. Sounds like my experience is more like nealric's. I may not even spend $1000 the whole year. I think I spent around $400 last semester, and then about $50 more later in the semester.


5 substantive classes plus LRW.


romothesavior wrote:Pro tip: If you are going to get supplements, wait until you're a few weeks/months into the semester and just buy the previous edition. Having, say, the 2003 version of a supplement instead of the 2008 version will have zero impact on its usefulness, and the previous editions of anything usually cost about five times less than the current version (for example, the most helpful supplement I had was the West Property Nutshell that cost me $3 on Barnes and Noble.)


Except for the Civ Pro E&E. The newer, the better on that one. Same for torts, but not strictly necessary like the Civ Pro.


quakeroats wrote:Your answer values cost above all else but doesn't deal with any issues that might argue for another approach:

1. How much time and effort do you spend hunting for used books?
2. How much time and effort does it require to evaluate whether old editions aren't missing something you need to know, or are in some other way insufficient?
3. Which books are worth the higher cost and which are not, and how do you evaluate this?


1) 30 seconds to search Half and Amazon.
2) 30 seconds to search TLS.
3) The ones that people on TLS say are substantially different in the newer versus the older form and worth buying. The ones that people said were worth, were.


1. I highly doubt 30 seconds is enough time to do more than a cursory review
2. Ditto, plus people disagree, and sorting the disagreement takes time and often experience which:
3. A post-hoc analysis tends to gloss over. Why leave so much to chance, especially when it's easily rectified?


Cool story bro.




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest