Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

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jediknight2424
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Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby jediknight2424 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:06 am

I know TLS advises against it but it seems like most who comment on the topic disagree with 0l prep in theory and haven't tried it themselves.

Can anyone who actually gave it a shot comment on how it worked out for them?

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ilovesf
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby ilovesf » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:09 am

People have already talked about this A LOT.

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ph14
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:11 am

ilovesf wrote:People have already talked about this A LOT.

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bk1
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:12 am

Arrow did it and wrote a guide: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=77628

My take: if you snag an old outline for a class from a 2L/3L you could pretty much learn all the substantive material for any given class in 2 days. There really isn't a ton of stuff to learn so there's no reason to start early. If you're going to read anything read stuff that gives you an outline of what law school is like (NOT E&E's) or anything that will scare you shitless so you actually put in the time to do well on finals.

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ph14
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:14 am

bk1 wrote:Arrow did it and wrote a guide: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=77628

My take: if you snag an old outline for a class from a 2L/3L you could pretty much learn all the substantive material for any given class in 2 days. There really isn't a ton of stuff to learn so there's no reason to start early. If you're going to read anything read stuff that gives you an outline of what law school is like (NOT E&E's) or anything that will scare you shitless so you actually put in the time to do well on finals.


If you're going to do anything, learn how to take law school exams. Ready "Getting to Maybe," and some of the other good books out there.

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cinephile
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby cinephile » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:18 am

You can't really study for courses because you don't know how your particular professor will teach the material. Sometimes they disagree with the holdings or maybe they have pet theories they like to teach. Having to unlearn what you studied as a 0L will be difficult.

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bk1
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:20 am

ph14 wrote:If you're going to do anything, learn how to take law school exams. Ready "Getting to Maybe," and some of the other good books out there.


There's that too. And Delaney's Guide (though I fell asleep while reading Delaney's once and never touched it again). I think if you're gonna do GTM/Leews/Delaney's you might as well save them for right before class starts or even during the first month of class (which is comparatively empty) so they are as fresh as possible.

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kalvano
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:29 am

ph14 wrote:If you're going to do anything, learn how to take law school exams. Ready "Getting to Maybe," and some of the other good books out there.



I actually didn't find GTM that useful. Argue ambiguities...gee, thanks. I actually found the Whitebread book much more useful. 99% of the time, it isn't a lack of comprehension that means you do poorly on exams, it's a lack of ability to properly organize and convey that comprehension to a professor in the allotted time.

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ph14
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:32 am

kalvano wrote:
ph14 wrote:If you're going to do anything, learn how to take law school exams. Ready "Getting to Maybe," and some of the other good books out there.



I actually didn't find GTM that useful. Argue ambiguities...gee, thanks. I actually found the Whitebread book much more useful. 99% of the time, it isn't a lack of comprehension that means you do poorly on exams, it's a lack of ability to properly organize and convey that comprehension to a professor in the allotted time.


I personally found GTM decently useful. It introduced me to the fork in the facts/fork in the law concept and had some other tidbits. Reading the guides on TLS (Arrow's, etc.) was really helpful as well.

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kalvano
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:36 am

ph14 wrote:
kalvano wrote:
ph14 wrote:If you're going to do anything, learn how to take law school exams. Ready "Getting to Maybe," and some of the other good books out there.



I actually didn't find GTM that useful. Argue ambiguities...gee, thanks. I actually found the Whitebread book much more useful. 99% of the time, it isn't a lack of comprehension that means you do poorly on exams, it's a lack of ability to properly organize and convey that comprehension to a professor in the allotted time.


I personally found GTM decently useful. It introduced me to the fork in the facts/fork in the law concept and had some other tidbits. Reading the guides on TLS (Arrow's, etc.) was really helpful as well.


Different strokes, I guess. I think the main point is that no one thing works for everyone. I had a shitty first year, even though I knew the material...read GTM, LEEWS, all that. Didn't help. Learning how to organize an exam answer did.

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ilovesf
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby ilovesf » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:12 am

I did absolutely nothing. The only thing I read was someone on here's guide to doing well in law school. basically: find out what your professor wants, and do it. Just have fun before you commit yourself to school.

sillyboots
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby sillyboots » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:47 pm

I read through the E&E and In a Nutshell for one class, and through the E&E for another. Frankly, it made little to no noticable difference in either class. I found that I was having to study just as much for those classes, and having to work equally hard to understand and get good grades in those classes as my others. Different teachers really teach subject matters differently, or have their own way of framing and discussing particular issues. Having a deep and nuanced understanding of what specifically your teacher wants you to know and wants you to think like is essential (IMO) to getting a great grade in the class. So, unless your teacher wrote the supplement, it's just not going to do anything for you.

I know it's incredibly frustrating sitting as a 0L and thinking how bad you want to succeed in law school, but feel like you can't do anything about it yet. It's a really unfortunate fact, but I think that there really is very little you can do. That being said, if you're eager, I will recommend a couple of things:

1. Get at least a decent grip on American history (especially around the time of the constitution onward) and get a working understanding of the structure of our government and court system if you don't already have one. It's stuff that you'll be taught and learn as you go along, but you will actually save yourself some wikipedia surfing time in the future and some feelings of fear and stress if you already have a good grasp on our history and system.
2. Work on your typing. I was averaging ~7 double spaced pages per hour on some of my exams, and I think how fast I worked and how fast I am able to type really helped me out. Especially with teachers that use issue spotters that are so dense you could never unpack the whole thing, there will be a few smart kids who saw everything that the kids at the top of the class did, but weren't able to produce fast enough to rack up the necessary points. Also, being able to type fast will make note taking a lot easier. Obviously, you don't need to be able to type faster than you can think, but typing at least as fast is awfully helpful.
3. Read one supplement for a given class. I'm not saying this for substantive prep purposes, but because 1) it won't hurt you and 2) you'll get a good idea of what studying a subject in law school is like. I'd recommend contracts, since it's perhaps the most accessible just using a supplement and because I think it's a good sample of what a substantive law class is like. If you find it really interesting and enjoyable to read through, it's a good indication you might actually enjoy law school. If you want to papercut your eyes with the pages of the book, it's a good indication that law school might not be for you.

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ph14
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:49 pm

sillyboots wrote:
If you find it really interesting and enjoyable to read through, it's a good indication you might actually enjoy law school. If you want to papercut your eyes with the pages of the book, it's a good indication that law school might not be for you.


If you don't want to papercut your eyes after you read law-school stuff, there's something wrong with you.

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birdlaw117
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby birdlaw117 » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:51 pm

Nobody has ever tried this nor discussed it on TLS.

thechee
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Re: Has anyone tried substantive 0l prep?

Postby thechee » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:13 pm

I read a few supplements before LS. I don't think they helped me with specific classes, but I think it was useful overall to have some sense of legal reasoning, terminology, etc.

Also, I was a big fan of Ward Farnsworth's "The Legal Analyst." Being familiar with basic econ can be huge, depending on your profs. If you have no such background, read "Basic Economics" by Thomas Sowell. It's written from a unabashedly right-leaning perspective, but there really isn't anything like it.

Getting to Maybe was a complete waste of time. Look up "analysis" in the dictionary and you'll derive the same benefit I got from reading GTM.

Basically, I vote do 0L prep, but go easy on the supplements. Focus on things having to do with the law in general, rather than learning about specific subjects. Like, understanding things like the Coase theorem, transaction costs, equity, rules vs. standards, and mandatory vs. default rules etc can be tremendously helpful, but it all depends on what's important to your prof. Knowing the venue statutes in civil procedure, or memorizing the different types of life estates in property is probably not the best use of your time.

After first semester, I'm around top 10-15%, FWIW. I go to Penn. Not sure how much to attribute to 0L prep, but I would do it again.




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