Prep studying for the summer before 0L

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john1990
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Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby john1990 » Sat May 19, 2012 3:14 pm

I am thinking of spending some time this summer to become better prepared for law school in the fall. I am an accounting undergrad and i am worried about my writing skills and my reading comprehension. Besides carrying a summer reading book, is there anything at all that i can do to prepare for law school?

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gaud
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby gaud » Sat May 19, 2012 3:18 pm


lawyerwannabe
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat May 19, 2012 3:20 pm

john1990 wrote:I am thinking of spending some time this summer to become better prepared for law school in the fall. I am an accounting undergrad and i am worried about my writing skills and my reading comprehension. Besides carrying a summer reading book, is there anything at all that i can do to prepare for law school?


Read GTM. Read high-density information stuff. Improve your typing skills. Hang out and enjoy not being in law school for the time being.

Edit: why did you choose law school if you are worried about two of the most important lawyering skills?

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blurbz
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby blurbz » Sat May 19, 2012 3:46 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:
john1990 wrote:I am thinking of spending some time this summer to become better prepared for law school in the fall. I am an accounting undergrad and i am worried about my writing skills and my reading comprehension. Besides carrying a summer reading book, is there anything at all that i can do to prepare for law school?


Read GTM. Read high-density information stuff. Improve your typing skills. Hang out and enjoy not being in law school for the time being.

Edit: why did you choose law school if you are worried about two of the most important lawyering skills?



This is about it. I don't recommend doing too much: substantive prep is worthless.

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nshapkar
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby nshapkar » Sat May 19, 2012 3:52 pm

what about planet law school? is that useful?

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat May 19, 2012 3:56 pm

nshapkar wrote:what about planet law school? is that useful?


To each his own. But I did not understand the point in reading many different law school books just so you could stress yourself out with what is most likely going to be useless information before you even set foot in a law school classroom.

Short answer: Didn't read it and don't think it would be useful.

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blurbz
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby blurbz » Sat May 19, 2012 3:58 pm

nshapkar wrote:what about planet law school? is that useful?



It's okay. I'll be the first to admit that I read a bunch of the prelawschool books: PLS, LS Confdential, etc....

I found them interesting and entertaining, sure, but once 1L started, I didn't really follow much of the advice. They were fun to read, though. So maybe take a look at them and if you enjoy them, read them. Just don't necessarily take them as gospel.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby fundamentallybroken » Sat May 19, 2012 4:22 pm

nshapkar wrote:what about planet law school? is that useful?


Read it, enjoyed it, followed some of the advice. Good book, though it doesn't really impart anything more about succeeding in law school than the many advice threads here. Does give you a nice, cynical perspective of what to expect.

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nshapkar
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby nshapkar » Sat May 19, 2012 4:37 pm

blurbz wrote:
nshapkar wrote:what about planet law school? is that useful?



It's okay. I'll be the first to admit that I read a bunch of the prelawschool books: PLS, LS Confdential, etc....

I found them interesting and entertaining, sure, but once 1L started, I didn't really follow much of the advice. They were fun to read, though. So maybe take a look at them and if you enjoy them, read them. Just don't necessarily take them as gospel.



But Getting to Maybe is recommended?

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blurbz
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby blurbz » Sat May 19, 2012 4:44 pm

nshapkar wrote:
blurbz wrote:
nshapkar wrote:what about planet law school? is that useful?



It's okay. I'll be the first to admit that I read a bunch of the prelawschool books: PLS, LS Confdential, etc....

I found them interesting and entertaining, sure, but once 1L started, I didn't really follow much of the advice. They were fun to read, though. So maybe take a look at them and if you enjoy them, read them. Just don't necessarily take them as gospel.



But Getting to Maybe is recommended?



I guess. I found it incredibly redundant. Basically, when you analyze a fact pattern, look at all sides of every argument. Those sides have sides and etc etc etc. Be thorough. It's a good enough book, especially if you're not used to writing analytically.

seaguy2010
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby seaguy2010 » Sun May 20, 2012 4:44 pm

The most important thing to do is to learn how to do a structured lawyerlike analysis. You need to start law school knowing exactly how you will be tested so that you don't get bogged down by all the distracting stuff that the profs throw at you. PLS is excellent because it gives you the starting point. A lot of what is in PLS turned out to be true. One of the key reasons for doing substantive prep prior to law school is that it gives you some BLL for you to start practicing how to write a mechanical lawyerly analysis of a hypo.

The E&Es are good but you need to also supplement them with an outline so you can start seeing how to break apart rules and analyze each element. Definitely read Delaney's Exam book. If you can, I would also get LEEWS (you can get it cheaper on Amazon BTW and then just sell it back when you're done). I would focus on these two over GTM. I don't think you need other books talking about law school. The rest of your time should be spent learning some BLL and then working mechanically through simple hypos. Learning what to focus on by doing will be a lot more valuable than reading about some other person's pointers about law school. I think one reason why most people read these books and then never do anything with the information is because they don't actually realize (before exams) how challenging it can be to write a solid A+ answer to a complicated hypothetical.

Once law school starts you will not have time to focus on all of the class reading as well as trying to go back and understand the rudiments of a lawyerlike analysis. The cases send you on a wild ride and aren't much help. If anything I think they are a detriment for half of the year. Hence the importance of prepping beforehand to understand how you're going to sort through all of the information. If I could I would've prepped more along the lines of what I'm suggesting to you. I ended up doing well but had to put a ridiculous amount of time (12-15 hrs per day, nearly every day) in order to master everything. I believe you can significantly cut this down if you know what you are doing before starting the classes. Most students have no clue what they are doing until first semester finals are over. Then the reality hits that most of the lectures and casebook reading was essentially useless for exams.

Point is: definitely prep. Don't think of substantive prep as just learning the law but more as a starting point for you to conduct analysis. The quicker you understand what is important and what is just distraction the more efficient you will be during 1L year. While everyone else is getting bogged down by some tangential policy stuff or rereading cases, you'll know that you need to spend most of your time mastering the BLL, working with hypos, and taking exams.


Also, just a side point. Don’t get distracted by the social BS that goes on during law school. A lot of people slide into the drama, etc. Define your goal and focus on it. Some people will say that you’re a gunner for prepping, studying all the time, etc., etc. Usually these are the people that have some kind of internal connection that doesn’t require them to work as hard or they are just flat-out delusional about the market today. Often they just don’t have the guts to put in the laborious hours that it takes to reache the top. Your grades are extremely important, so that should be your priority.

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tyro
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby tyro » Thu May 24, 2012 2:03 am

This is really a great sticky that has a compilation of archived threads on the topic. I'm just starting to do a lil reading and the main thing I've learned so far is to definitely avoid any kind of actual legal text. I took a quick peak at this guide that I found and kept seeing reference to Arthur Corbin. I'm kind of obsessed with Am history so I picked up this damn book I kept seeing reference to (Corbin on Contracts) and yeah, it's just a silly silly idea to open a book like that as a 0L. Seems like the common wisdom these days is to do nothing at all for prep and if you are going to do something, it's GTM and/or maybe LEEWS.

rowdyrr
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby rowdyrr » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:42 pm

Probably an obvious question but does law school really teach you the fundamentals of law that they probably just expect people to know? I mean I know you learn how to do briefs and learn various intricacies of the law, but how about the glaringly obvious stuff, like how courts work, what an appellate court is or even the divisions of power on the local and federal levels, etc? Basically, the stuff you learn in Poli Sci 101 or middle school, which I've long forgotten.

As a 0L who didn't major in Poli Sci and who has taken some time off from UG, just like many other 0Ls, I can't help but feel woefully inadequate when it comes to knowing maybe a tiny bit more than the average citizen about even the fundamentals of law or government. Thus, I really want to go against conventional wisdom and prep my ass off this summer to even just get a basic grasp of law, how courts function, and how it structurally works in modern society.

Any thoughts? Do schools expect you to know things like that?

rowdyrr
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby rowdyrr » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:17 am

Anyone? Was it that stupid of a question?

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby fundamentallybroken » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:42 am

rowdyrr wrote:Anyone? Was it that stupid of a question?


You'll pick it up, don't stress.

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FlanAl
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby FlanAl » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:47 am

if you have to take con law read chemerinsky. civ pro read freer

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ilovesf
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby ilovesf » Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:50 am

rowdyrr wrote:Probably an obvious question but does law school really teach you the fundamentals of law that they probably just expect people to know? I mean I know you learn how to do briefs and learn various intricacies of the law, but how about the glaringly obvious stuff, like how courts work, what an appellate court is or even the divisions of power on the local and federal levels, etc? Basically, the stuff you learn in Poli Sci 101 or middle school, which I've long forgotten.

As a 0L who didn't major in Poli Sci and who has taken some time off from UG, just like many other 0Ls, I can't help but feel woefully inadequate when it comes to knowing maybe a tiny bit more than the average citizen about even the fundamentals of law or government. Thus, I really want to go against conventional wisdom and prep my ass off this summer to even just get a basic grasp of law, how courts function, and how it structurally works in modern society.

Any thoughts? Do schools expect you to know things like that?

They went over the different court levels and functions the first day of our legal writing class. Don't worry about it. They make sure to go over this stuff just in case someone doesn't know it. It isn't anything you can't find on wikipedia. That's the extent of prep I'd do, if any.

acrossthelake
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Re: Prep studying for the summer before 0L

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:18 am

My answer to every 0L who asks me this is:

Don't study. Inefficient. Instead, you should spend time writing the structure of a generic cover letter (leaving room to customize), fixing up your resume, and thinking about what you might want to do 1L summer, and looking into which of them require or "strongly prefer" that you apply Dec 1st. If you're a minority (racial or LGBTQ), go through some drafts of essays for diversity scholarships, get it up to the final draft if you can (though don't stress). Then, if anything you wanted preferred a Dec 1st application, experience the fruits of your foresight in late November when you don't have to face the "apply for that job I want or study for finals?" dilemma (you'll see a small slew of posts/threads about this on TLS around then) and instead all you have to do is put this stuff together into either an envelope or e-mail and hit send before going back to focusing on finals.




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