How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

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bdm261
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How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

Postby bdm261 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:31 pm

Are a good chunk of 1Ls already well-versed in the law or are most starting with a blank slate?

Will having law firm experience (2+ years) doing sub-paralegal type work put a 1L at any type of an advantage? I have learned a lot about legal theory and other general stuff just by working in a small PI firm, specifically products liability torts, civil procedure (I already memorized some FRCP), discovery, etc.

I'm sure I won't be the only one-el coming from this type of background, but will I be in the minority?

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dingbat
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Re: How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

Postby dingbat » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:42 pm

bdm261 wrote:Will having law firm experience (2+ years) doing sub-paralegal type work put a 1L at any type of an advantage?

Having had significant legal exposure, I can say it's as much of a disadvantage as it is an advantage.

Sure, I knew all about future interests before I started, but I had to unlearn what I knew about the rule against perpetuities.

Basically, how things work in practice and how they're supposed to happen in theory are two entirely different things. Your preconceptions can hurt you if they don't match what the professor teaches (especially when a professor is wrong, as some other people have alleged)

Not only that, it can build a false confidence. I'm fairly confident that I've seen/reviewed more contracts than my contracts professor, but that doesn't mean I know more about the subject than she does - I've only dealt with how they work in practice, where you never deal with 3/4 of the stuff taught in class and don't need to worry about what may or may not constitute consideration and what may or may not constitute agreement. I certainly have never had to deal with parol evidence, as every contract I ever saw had an integration clause - and now I understand the importance thereof.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:44 pm

Typically not much (some students might be somewhat familiar with a few con law cases). That said, knowing stuff coming in isn't usually too helpful since you will be learning your professor's version of the law. Thus, what you know about torts might actually be detrimental at times if it conflicts with what your professor is teaching. Civ Pro is usually taught more clear cut, but there still could be differences in background theory and varying views of current issues.

The tl;dr version: Yes, you will probably be in the minority, but it probably won't be that much of an advantage.

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dietcoke0
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Re: How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

Postby dietcoke0 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:08 pm

How the fuck do you unlearn Rules of Perpetuities?

That shit will forever be burned into my brain.

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dietcoke0
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Re: How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

Postby dietcoke0 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:12 pm

Oh and to OP, there are about three types of people that go to law school.

1. is blank tablet people, who don't even know what a tort is. Those people do fine.
2. People that gun 0L, know all the E+Es and shit, and read all those prep books. Those people do fine.
3. Those who families have lawyer pedigree, and the kids go to law school because that's what they know. Those people do fine.

I was 1 (well, knew what a tort was) but walked into all the classes not knowing a thing, and I would say I'm competing for top 10% as of now, but mainly because of hard work. First couple of weeks were awkward, had to hustle, but after about a month, everyone is on equal ground, and then it's just those who want it more.

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dingbat
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Re: How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

Postby dingbat » Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:29 pm

dietcoke0 wrote:How the fuck do you unlearn Rules of Perpetuities?

That shit will forever be burned into my brain.

I didn't actually learn what it was, I just learned that the trusts we worked on had a clause that basically meant that if the trust would run afoul of RAP, instead it should would terminate and distribute to all eligible beneficiaries at the point RAP would otherwise take effect (or something like that).
Rather than deal with the actual rule, we just found a way to not fuck up because of it

jeffreyangley
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Re: How much law does the typical incoming 1L already know?

Postby jeffreyangley » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:59 am

When you do arrive at law school, try not to put too much faith in third-hand cafeteria info. One-L's tend to filter out the real information in this stuff and generally pass along only the most paranoia-inducing stuff.




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