reading cases ahead of time?

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swtlilsoni
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reading cases ahead of time?

Postby swtlilsoni » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:04 pm

Okay I know everyone keeps saying do not study/prepare for 1L the summer before because it is a waste of time. But it seems like people are mostly talking about study materials/books.

But what about actual cases?

It seems like there is a lot of case reading during school, so if I read the actual cases over the summer wouldn't it cut down the reading during the semester? I understand that there is a possibility that the prof will want you to look for different things and you will only find out what they are after classes start, but if I read the case beforehand, it wouldn't take as long to reread it and look for those things because I will already have an understanding of what it is about.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I am considering this only because I have nothing to do over the summer and I thought it'll take some of that immense stressful workload off during the semester so I'll have more time.
Last edited by swtlilsoni on Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Flips88
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby Flips88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:06 pm

Don't do this.




















Also, stop being a gunner.

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swtlilsoni
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby swtlilsoni » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:12 pm

Flips88 wrote:Don't do this.




















Also, stop being a gunner.



I'm not trying to be a gunner =( I'm not doing it to "excel" or anything. I just wanted to get some of the work out of the way so I won't be totally stressed out, and I'll have more time to hang out during the semester. So I guess I'm trying to be a slacker =P

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Flips88
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby Flips88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:15 pm

swtlilsoni wrote:I'm not trying to be a gunner =( I'm not doing it to "excel" or anything. I just wanted to get some of the work out of the way so I won't be totally stressed out, and I'll have more time to hang out during the semester. So I guess I'm trying to be a slacker =P

Well first, you have no idea exactly what cases you will be reading since you probably won't have your syllabus until right before classes start. Guessing means you might read hundreds of pages for no reason.

Second, you won't get what you're supposed to out of the cases if you read them now. For instance, reading Civ Pro would confuse the shit out of you.

Third, just read online briefs if you want to take it light on the reading load in school.

cpajd
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby cpajd » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:16 pm

Its only marginally beneficial, so there are probably more beneficial things to do in life. I wouldn't recommend it, because it just means you'll be re-reading it a second time right before class (at least if your professor does the Socratic questioning to any extent). Go do light and enjoyable reading, if anything.

sparty99
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby sparty99 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:20 pm

Stop being a nerd. By the time you actually read the case in law school, you will have forgotten what it is all about.

DO NOT DO THIS.

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ph14
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby ph14 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:55 pm

Reading cases are barely worth it in the first place. Definitely don't do it ahead of time. I can give this advice with 100% certainty. If you want to learn something useful, go figure out vocabulary, (appellant/appellee/plaintiff/respondent/plaintiff-in-error, etc.), how the US court systems works, and some basic US government structure and history.

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traehekat
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby traehekat » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:21 pm

I'm one of the few people who contend that a little bit of prep before law school can actually be beneficial and I'll still tell you that this would be one of the biggest wastes of time in the world.

If you feel like you must do some sort of prep (which again, isn't necessarily a bad idea), I would suggest just casually skimming a few chapters in the E&Es. I do think that going in with a somewhat basic understanding of the big concepts can be useful.

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beachbum
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby beachbum » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:27 pm

Flips88 wrote:Well first, you have no idea exactly what cases you will be reading since you probably won't have your syllabus until right before classes start. Guessing means you might read hundreds of pages for no reason.

Second, you won't get what you're supposed to out of the cases if you read them now. For instance, reading Civ Pro would confuse the shit out of you.

Third, just read online briefs if you want to take it light on the reading load in school.


This. If you absolutely must do something, work on your job apps. Get your resume ready, draft a generic cover letter or two, and research employers. Having everything ready to go (as much as possible) on Dec. 1 will significantly lighten your load, and is about the only meaningful/productive thing you can do right now.

Also, go to the pool and have a beer, dude. Have some fun.

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Mce252
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby Mce252 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:34 pm


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PDaddy
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby PDaddy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:39 pm

ph14 wrote:Reading cases are barely worth it in the first place. Definitely don't do it ahead of time. I can give this advice with 100% certainty.


No you can't. As someone who has actually attended a pre-law program - where I had to read over 60 cases, take six exams and submit six papers and a major brief, and participate in mock trial at the end - I can tell you the complete opposite.

There's much value in early exposure to the cases because it's less "re-reading" during 1L. Secondly, your analyses are likely to be stronger. OP could also look at E & E's, study vocab, learn research techniques, etc. All of those things are valuable. IMO, the people who attend summer pre-law programs (the good ones like CLEO and CHH, for example), gain a leg up. In fact, you'll find that some of the people who either have beaten or will beat you in your 1L year will have gone to those peograms, and that their stellar performances can be at least partially attributed to having done so.

Flips88 wrote:Don't do this.


There's no harm in casually studying Marbury v. Madison, Dred Scott v. Sandford, Korematsu v. United States, or some of the other huge 1L cases. People who go to CLEO or other six week pre law programs in the summers directly before they begin law school have often gained a leg up on the competition, and they are taking real exams, writing briefs and being graded. It hasn't seemed to hurt them. Early exposure to those cases can only help you. If you have the time you should read them, but do so casually. Just be sure to take time out to have fun. Go on vacation, play basketball, swim, go jetskiing, see movies, etc....have your summer.

kaiser
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby kaiser » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:53 pm

No, do NOT do this. You may think that those of us who speak against 0L prep simply didn't do any, and want to validate our choices. Well I actually did 0L prep, and quite a bit of it. And I can tell you that it was entirely wasted time. It was counterproductive for many reasons:

1. You don't get your syllabus for class until very soon before class starts. So I was blindly reading E&E's, trying to learn about everything all at once, wasting time with things that we never got close to covering. And because I was on such an info overload, I could barely remember anything from the things that actually were important

2. Your professors will have his own take and spin on the material. Always remember that you are not learning torts, and you are not learning contracts. You are learning Professor A's take on torts, and Professor B's take on contracts. Learning through the wrong "lens" will force you to have to undo things that you learned. Its like going the wrong way down the fork in a road. While your classmates start at the fork and can just follow the professor in the right direction, you will have to backtrack and undo things just to get back to the clean slate that you should have when you start law school

3. Any advantage you gain only exists for a minimal amount of time. Sure, on the first day of class, you may have an idea of the elements of negligence, whereas your classmates do not yet know this. But grades aren't given out on the first day. They are given out on the last, and by the last day, the playing field has entirely evened and any advantage you may have had has now disappeared. Like I said, I did 0L prep and I came into class with a rough idea of what personal jurisdiction was, what consideration in a contract is, what the elements of negligence are, etc. But your classmates catch up before you have any chance to capitalize on anything.

4. Spending time on 0L prep takes time away from actually productive things that you can be doing. Improve your typing skills, spruce up your resume, make some cover letter templates, get yourself organized and prioritized, learn about law school exams (perhaps by skimming Getting to Maybe) and, most importantly, take some time to clear your mind, reflect on what you are about to go through, and make sure you have clear goals in mind. All of this will make you far more productive in law school than any 0L prep.

071816
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby 071816 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:57 pm

If you do this I will come to your house and slap your mama.

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Flips88
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby Flips88 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:27 pm

PDaddy wrote:
ph14 wrote:Reading cases are barely worth it in the first place. Definitely don't do it ahead of time. I can give this advice with 100% certainty.


No you can't. As someone who has actually attended a pre-law program - where I had to read over 60 cases, take six exams and submit six papers and a major brief, and participate in mock trial at the end - I can tell you the complete opposite.

As someone who did jack shit to prepare for law school and started taking practice exams a couple weeks before finals, I can tell you the complete opposite.


Anyone else care to chime in with their purely individualized anecdotal experience?

sidhesadie
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby sidhesadie » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:17 pm

PDaddy wrote:
ph14 wrote:Reading cases are barely worth it in the first place. Definitely don't do it ahead of time. I can give this advice with 100% certainty.


No you can't. As someone who has actually attended a pre-law program - where I had to read over 60 cases, take six exams and submit six papers and a major brief, and participate in mock trial at the end - I can tell you the complete opposite.

There's much value in early exposure to the cases because it's less "re-reading" during 1L. Secondly, your analyses are likely to be stronger. OP could also look at E & E's, study vocab, learn research techniques, etc. All of those things are valuable. IMO, the people who attend summer pre-law programs (the good ones like CLEO and CHH, for example), gain a leg up. In fact, you'll find that some of the people who either have beaten or will beat you in your 1L year will have gone to those peograms, and that their stellar performances can be at least partially attributed to having done so.

Flips88 wrote:Don't do this.


There's no harm in casually studying Marbury v. Madison, Dred Scott v. Sandford, Korematsu v. United States, or some of the other huge 1L cases. People who go to CLEO or other six week pre law programs in the summers directly before they begin law school have often gained a leg up on the competition, and they are taking real exams, writing briefs and being graded. It hasn't seemed to hurt them. Early exposure to those cases can only help you. If you have the time you should read them, but do so casually. Just be sure to take time out to have fun. Go on vacation, play basketball, swim, go jetskiing, see movies, etc....have your summer.



If OP wants to read some cases because he's interested, then going to the supreme court website and reading some of the recent ones won't hurt him. I wouldn't try reading 'big' cases with the idea that you'll definitely be a leg up in LS, though. For example, of your list above, Marbury is the only case we read this year. It's never a 'bad' idea to read cases on subjects you think are interesting, OP, just don't do it because you think it'll help next year as far as 'some of the work being done'. You just have no way to know what your profs will have you read.

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R2-D2
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby R2-D2 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:51 am

I'd strongly advise you not to. I've read countless law school admissions books, and the one word of advice that they give is to definitely take it easy during that summer before 1L. It's the last bit of downtime you'll have for quite a while, so just take it easy. Reading those cases without anyone to explain the "legalese" to you is like reading a book in Japanese without knowing the actual language. Just take it easy, read for leisure, take a trip, sleep, bake a cake, do anything but read cases. You'll have more than enough time for that once 1L begins.

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quiver
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby quiver » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:52 pm

Terrible idea. I'm in complete agreement with kaiser here

kaiser wrote:No, do NOT do this. You may think that those of us who speak against 0L prep simply didn't do any, and want to validate our choices. Well I actually did 0L prep, and quite a bit of it. And I can tell you that it was entirely wasted time. It was counterproductive for many reasons:

1. You don't get your syllabus for class until very soon before class starts. So I was blindly reading E&E's, trying to learn about everything all at once, wasting time with things that we never got close to covering. And because I was on such an info overload, I could barely remember anything from the things that actually were important

2. Your professors will have his own take and spin on the material. Always remember that you are not learning torts, and you are not learning contracts. You are learning Professor A's take on torts, and Professor B's take on contracts. Learning through the wrong "lens" will force you to have to undo things that you learned. Its like going the wrong way down the fork in a road. While your classmates start at the fork and can just follow the professor in the right direction, you will have to backtrack and undo things just to get back to the clean slate that you should have when you start law school

3. Any advantage you gain only exists for a minimal amount of time. Sure, on the first day of class, you may have an idea of the elements of negligence, whereas your classmates do not yet know this. But grades aren't given out on the first day. They are given out on the last, and by the last day, the playing field has entirely evened and any advantage you may have had has now disappeared. Like I said, I did 0L prep and I came into class with a rough idea of what personal jurisdiction was, what consideration in a contract is, what the elements of negligence are, etc. But your classmates catch up before you have any chance to capitalize on anything.

4. Spending time on 0L prep takes time away from actually productive things that you can be doing. Improve your typing skills, spruce up your resume, make some cover letter templates, get yourself organized and prioritized, learn about law school exams (perhaps by skimming Getting to Maybe) and, most importantly, take some time to clear your mind, reflect on what you are about to go through, and make sure you have clear goals in mind. All of this will make you far more productive in law school than any 0L prep.

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bns_77
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby bns_77 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:14 pm

I like how the OP thought reading actual cases would somehow be a more beneficial use of precious 0L summer time than reading supplements.

funny shit

lobolawyer
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby lobolawyer » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:23 pm

beachbum wrote:
Flips88 wrote:Well first, you have no idea exactly what cases you will be reading since you probably won't have your syllabus until right before classes start. Guessing means you might read hundreds of pages for no reason.

Second, you won't get what you're supposed to out of the cases if you read them now. For instance, reading Civ Pro would confuse the shit out of you.

Third, just read online briefs if you want to take it light on the reading load in school.


Work on your job apps. Get your resume ready, draft a generic cover letter or two, and research employers. Having everything ready to go (as much as possible) on Dec. 1 will significantly lighten your load, and is about the only meaningful/productive thing you can do right now.

Also, go to the pool, go on vacation, and have a ton of beers, dude. Have some fun.


However, if you feel that you cannot go without doing some (worthless) preparation, read law school confidential to get an idea of how to brief cases, read GTM (for some reason ppl think this book is useful, but I think it's worthless), and do the LEEWS system (find it for free or discounted) to get the vaguest idea possible of how to write a law school exam. That being said, I doubt any of this will do anything to help you during 1L and that time would be better spent at the beach drinking coronas.

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monkey85
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby monkey85 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:36 pm

Travel. Sleep. Booze. Bang.

Do all of the above, in no particular order, many times over for your 0L summer.

Just do NOT prepare during your 0L summer.

lobolawyer
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby lobolawyer » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:42 pm

monkey85 wrote:Travel. Sleep. Booze. Bang.

Do all of the above, in no particular order, many times over for your 0L summer.

Just do NOT prepare during your 0L summer.


This is a concise summary of the best advice in this thread.

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TheGreatWhiteHorse
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby TheGreatWhiteHorse » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:43 pm

monkey85 wrote:Travel. Sleep. Booze. Bang.

Do all of the above, in no particular order, many times over for your 0L summer.

Just do NOT prepare during your 0L summer.



Without question, THIS.

By the way, the gunner who was in 0L brief-whatever who said that reading doctrinal cases would be beneficial (like Dredd Scott, Kurematsu, etc.)...my 1L did not cover a single one of those cases. That would be a tremendous waste of beer drinking time and ought to be punishable by garden-hose lashings.

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spleenworship
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:47 pm

Flips88 wrote:Don't do this.




















Also, stop being a gunner.


+100000000000

2transferornot
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby 2transferornot » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:50 pm

swtlilsoni wrote:Okay I know everyone keeps saying do not study/prepare for 1L the summer before because it is a waste of time. But it seems like people are mostly talking about study materials/books.

But what about actual cases?

It seems like there is a lot of case reading during school, so if I read the actual cases over the summer wouldn't it cut down the reading during the semester? I understand that there is a possibility that the prof will want you to look for different things and you will only find out what they are after classes start, but if I read the case beforehand, it wouldn't take as long to reread it and look for those things because I will already have an understanding of what it is about.

Thoughts?

EDIT: I am considering this only because I have nothing to do over the summer and I thought it'll take some of that immense stressful workload off during the semester so I'll have more time.


Don't read cases to get ahead of the material. Read cases to learn how to read cases. This may be a difficult exercise if no one is helping you. Whatever 0L prep you do, forget everything when you come in and don't expect it to help you. It's some of the skills you might have picked up that will help; almost never the actual material.

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spleenworship
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Re: reading cases ahead of time?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:52 pm

PDaddy wrote:
As someone who has actually attended a pre-law program



pre-law program run by a law school during the summer =/= reading cases on your own. CLEO or something like that is actually useful, if OP wants to do that. But just reading cases is pointless because 99.9% of 0Ls don't know what to extract from them, and 80% of 1Ls don't know until halfway through first semester.
Last edited by spleenworship on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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