0L Prep question

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risktaker
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0L Prep question

Postby risktaker » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:29 pm

Conventional wisdom is to get thebooks listed below if someone wants to do 0L prep, but I was wondering if there are E&E books for contracts, property, criminal law, and constitutional law that I should buy instead? Basically what I am asking is would the contracts book by Chirelstein suffice instead of buying another E&E book on contracts? Yes, I know some of you think this will be worthless, but I want to do it anyways. Thanks in advance.

- Civil Procedure: E&E (Glannon)
- Contracts: Chirelstein (The Boat Book)
- Property: Understanding Property Law (Sprankling)
- Torts: E&E (Glannon)
- Criminal Law Understanding Criminal Law (Dressler)
- Constitutional Law: Chemerinsky

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bk1
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:31 pm

You are going against conventional wisdom.

If you want to prep, I'd say follow Arrow's guide.

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risktaker
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby risktaker » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:44 pm

I looked at his guide and he said that he read 6 E&E's but did not mention which ones. If someone could give me the 6 E &E's that arrow used, that would be awesome. I already know that he got Glannon for torts and civ pro. What about the rest? Thanks in advance.

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risktaker
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby risktaker » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:44 pm

Also, does the edition matter on these E&E books?

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bk1
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:44 pm

Try PM'ing him, I think he still posts occasionally and might get your message.

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risktaker
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby risktaker » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:47 pm

Will do, but in case someone knows the answer, feel free to let me know ITT.

dakatz
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby dakatz » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:52 pm

OP, do you even undersand why people say its such a bad idea to read such materials prior to law school? The main reason is that you would be blowing a chance to acually take advantage and get ahead of your classmates in a way that few of them will think to do. By reading these books, you are merely falling into line with a large number of your classmates who will think it wise to do the same thing. Law school rule number one: You can't beat them if you are doing the same thing as them. And yes, a lot of them will spend some tme reading these go to supplements in advance. Or at least more than you would assume

The books you listed are all fine, though I don't know about the property one. But again, if there was one thing I wish I knew before school, its that I should have been looking for an advantage (which most certainly exists) not just falling in line with unhelpful materials.

amorfati
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby amorfati » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:55 pm

dakatz wrote:OP, do you even undersand why people say its such a bad idea to read such materials prior to law school? The main reason is that you would be blowing a chance to acually take advantage and get ahead of your classmates in a way that few of them will think to do. By reading these books, you are merely falling into line with a large number of your classmates who will think it wise to do the same thing. Law school rule number one: You can't beat them if you are doing the same thing as them. And yes, a lot of them will spend some tme reading these go to supplements in advance. Or at least more than you would assume


But that's not an argument for doing nothing. What do you propose doing instead? (I'm genuinely curious... although now that I'm interested I suppose I'll go try the search function...)

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bk1
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:58 pm

amorfati wrote:
dakatz wrote:OP, do you even undersand why people say its such a bad idea to read such materials prior to law school? The main reason is that you would be blowing a chance to acually take advantage and get ahead of your classmates in a way that few of them will think to do. By reading these books, you are merely falling into line with a large number of your classmates who will think it wise to do the same thing. Law school rule number one: You can't beat them if you are doing the same thing as them. And yes, a lot of them will spend some tme reading these go to supplements in advance. Or at least more than you would assume


But that's not an argument for doing nothing. What do you propose doing instead? (I'm genuinely curious... although now that I'm interested I suppose I'll go try the search function...)


I hear law students say that relaxing so you don't get burned out is a good idea.

dakatz
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby dakatz » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:14 pm

amorfati wrote:
dakatz wrote:OP, do you even undersand why people say its such a bad idea to read such materials prior to law school? The main reason is that you would be blowing a chance to acually take advantage and get ahead of your classmates in a way that few of them will think to do. By reading these books, you are merely falling into line with a large number of your classmates who will think it wise to do the same thing. Law school rule number one: You can't beat them if you are doing the same thing as them. And yes, a lot of them will spend some tme reading these go to supplements in advance. Or at least more than you would assume


But that's not an argument for doing nothing. What do you propose doing instead? (I'm genuinely curious... although now that I'm interested I suppose I'll go try the search function...)


Never did I say to do nothing. In fact I said the contrary. You should be getting an advantage which most certainly is possible. The problem is, its not the most intuitive thing.

Much of law school success is counter-intuitive. Because of the curve, you only do particularly well when you distinguish yourself from the rest. By implication, those who do what everyone else does don't usually end up doing all that well. Thus, it takes a mindset of thinking of what everyone else will likely do and then doing something different. Its a hard thing to stomach. But whenever something seems like the "default" way to do well or get ahead, a red flag should go up because you are likely falling into a trap. Many people fall easily into these "default" traps. Sure, a smart kid who is a real go-getter thinks that it would be smart to read prep books to get ahead. But that is what many other smart students in the class will think. And right there, you have a "default" trap. The truly smart one, and the one who will likely do the best in the end is the one who has the guts to do something counterintuitive that will actually be MORE helpful in the end because he has something that will distinguish himself from his peers in a more beneficial way.

Any time spent "prepping" before school should be in a macro sense, with the only specifics being how to take an exam and what it entails. This is what SO many smart students will forsake because they fall into default traps that take their eyes off the ball. I can't tell how many people did 0L prep and how few it actually paid off for. Yet I can tell you a select few people who are close to the top of the class and, guess what? They didn't fall into those traps and spent their "prepping" doing something that would actually distinguish themselves. Allow to elaborate as to what you can do (though by no means "need" to do in order to help yourself out):

--Learn all about exams. Read Getting to Maybe, read the Delaney book about how to take law school exams, do the LEEWS program if you wish. There is a special mindset for exams that most people don't have coming in that would benefit you SO much. Don't be the student who falls into a trap and thinks he can learn the law. Be the one who learns something that you ABSOLUTELY can and will be able to utilize to your advantage when it actually counts

--I attribute nearly all my success to taking practice exams toward the end of the semester. But at the end of the semester, you are busy applying for jobs. If I had spent time perfecting and editing my resume in the summer, I would have done even better on my exams. The correlation is just that direct. Make some template cover letters addressed to firms, judges, etc. I can't describe to you how helpful this would be

--Contact alumni of the school you will be attending. Making contacts early is very valuable and can be the "in" you need to getting a great internship first summer. A quick phone conversation can lead to weekly email updates to keep in touch, or perhaps meeting up for lunch. You want to "plant the seeds" early, and put a lot of time and care into it so that you hopefully form lasting contacts

--Get yourself organized, prioritized, get your head clear, etc. This is sort of the catch all, but take some time for self-reflection and mentally prepare yourself for what is ahead.

Sorry for the length of this post, but I feel like it is to anyone's benefit to know this stuff. I haven't even gotten into the majority of reasons why 0L prep is bad (and there are a number of them), but here you have the main reason: because you are failing to give yourself the advantage that the truly top students will me smart enough to gain. Don't fall in line. Don't fall into a default trap. And there you have it guys. Good luck to you all.

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risktaker
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby risktaker » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:39 pm

Thanks dakatz. That was actually pretty helpful. I will be doing all the things you mentioned, but I honestly don't see how it could hurt you to read the E&E books before school starts. If anything, it would help you understand certain tough concepts better, no?

dakatz
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Re: 0L Prep question

Postby dakatz » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:51 pm

risktaker wrote:Thanks dakatz. That was actually pretty helpful. I will be doing all the things you mentioned, but I honestly don't see how it could hurt you to read the E&E books before school starts. If anything, it would help you understand certain tough concepts better, no?


It seem like it would. I totally sympathize with you and understand. In fact, I thought the same thing before I started law school. But it ends up being another one of those counterintuitive things. My original thoughts were "Well, this is the law I'm learning. What could be more clear and learnable than the law, right?"

But the problem is that different professors teach it in wildly varying ways. In addition, those books you mentioned cover SOOO much more material than you could ever possibly learn. But before you start school, how could put on a filter? And how could you unlearn concepts that you ingrain in your head if your professor has a different take? Its not easy to just tweak it on the fly.

The only area where it may help is torts because the stuff you learn is so similar across any torts class in any school. Not that I am advocating trying to learn it in advance. But it is the most likely to be pertinent come school.

But all of this is negated by one simple fact: your advantage only lasts for a short while. If exams were given on day 1, then I'd be all for 0L prep, but they aren't. Come exam time, any advantage you have is gone and the playing field is leveled. So all the time you put in for 0L is for nothing. Now people sometimes counter that point and say "how could it not give you a lasting advantage? You could have so much more time for practice exams or maybe even relaxing a bit during the semester". But the reality is, you will have to redo the exact same material you "learned" over the summer because the professor will teach it with his own take, his own nuances and intricacies. Thus, you will have to spend just as much time with it as if you had never read it in the first place because A grades don't come from having a general idea of the overall concept. Rather, they come from the nuances and details that you couldn't possibly gather during the summer before school.

For example, there were kids in my class who knew what promissory estoppel (a contracts term you will become all too familiar with) was as soon as the professor mentioned it for the first time because he read some supplements on contracts. He even was able to define it and describe how it worked in a general sense. Yet within a day, I knew just as much about it as he did. Its not like he had anything more than a rough idea (since he had read thousands of pages of supplements, do you really expect him to be able to memorize more than the most general of ideas?). And guess who did better on the exam?

I don't mean to be antagonistic or attack your chosen method of preparation. I only wish to convey to you what I believe will help you the most and lead to the most success in law school. Again, I don't think that doing nothing is necessarily the best thing. You can certainly put your time to productive use if you feel you must do so. But there is really no need to attack 0L prep books that simply won't help in the end. Again, sorry for the length of the post, but I hope this info helps you.




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