Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

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jmk83
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Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby jmk83 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:08 am

0L here still preparing to Kung-Fu the LSAT. I won't be a 1L until the fall of 2015.

I'm working a two day pr week job that pays a nice full time salary, and I'm gonna milk this situation out for as long as I can. In the meantime, with over a year to kill until then, I'd like to read and begin memorizing as much on Civ Law, Criminal Law, Torts, and Contracts as I possibly can.

Can someone give me some direction on what to start reading now that might help me a little in the future?

If it makes a difference in what you recommend, my goal is to get the best deal from a 3rd tier law school that I can. 3.3 undergrad GPA and I've been out of school for 8 years.

FlowBro
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby FlowBro » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:23 am

Enjoy the ass-kicking you're about to receive from TLS

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SnakySalmon
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby SnakySalmon » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:41 am

1: What you read in 0L doesn't really matter. Your profs will teach it differently from any random book we could suggest, and you'll need to learn anything you pick up again. Wait till they tell you what to read. It's not like college where you can know everything in the class before going to it.

2: Don't go to a T3. You will become a JD, not a lawyer.

3: With your GPA, you can get into a school worth going to, but you will have to do very well on the LSAT. Focus on that if you're sure you want law school.

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banjo
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby banjo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:03 pm

When you open a law school exam, you'll most likely see a crazy fact pattern that goes something like this, except many pages longer and with much more detail:

Your space capsule, negligently manufactured by a small Russian company, comes crashing down into the State of Kent (assume Kent has adopted California's long arm statute) and hits a driver. After the accident, the driver of the car pulled you out of the capsule but, fearing the capsule would explode, left you on the street, where you got hit by another car. It also turns out that, as the capsule entered the atmosphere, tons of little pieces of metal broke off and rained down, causing accidents in several adjoining states, including one fatal accident in the State of West Dakota, a few miles from the Kent border.

That's a sparse fact pattern, but you get the idea.

On a Civ Pro exam, one question might say: you have been sued in state court in West Dakota by family of the victim of the West Dakota accident--John Ham. Should you file a 12(b)(2) motion for lack of personal jurisdiction? Will you prevail? There will be no right answer to this question. You'll have to drawn on the line of cases that explore personal jurisdiction. You might also be asked--indirectly--about what parties need to be included (or joined) in the action, whether the court has the power to hear your case (subject matter jurisdiction), removal from state to federal court, transfer of venue, and a whole range of other issues. Tons and tons of issues. You'll need to pick the issues out, prioritize them, and explore them as thoroughly as you can in the time you have.

On a Torts exam, you might be asked what claims you have against all of the parties in the fact pattern. You could talk about negligence, products liability, trespass. It will depend on the facts you have. You'll have to weave the law with the facts given on the exam.

The actual body of law you apply is pretty small. Memorizing the Federal Rule regarding joinder of parties won't do much for you, because that's not the difficult part of the process. It takes just minutes to read some of the Federal Rules. It probably takes ten minutes to read some of the key Civ Pro cases like International Shoe and Erie. Simply reading this stuff won't give you an advantage IMHO. Just come to law school prepared to read and think.
Last edited by banjo on Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby Nova » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:08 pm

spend all that extra time you have either studying for the LSAT or enjoying life

memorizing law as a 0L would be huge waste of time. Pretty much everyone knows the law by the end of the semester. Grades are based on application.

jmk83
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby jmk83 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:23 am

First of all, thanks so much you guys (especially to banjo) for addressing the question and instead of informing me of the definition of 'a stupid OP'. :D

I was under the impression that law school required you to memorize hundreds of lengthy passages verbatim with big long reference numbers. Almost like memorizing entire chapters with verse references in a frickin bible, and then being told you have to learn them specifically from the king james version. Is this not true?

I've read articles about how people have struggled with mass memorization and reciting exact reference numbers and dates on exams. I guess if it was that bad someone would have said "DUDE...START MEMORIZING NOW!!".

Nova, when you say 'everyone knows the law by the end of the semester', judging by your context, you seem to not be talking about having enormous globs of text committed to memory. If I have correctly understood your reply, I'll happily take your recommendation to diligently prep for that LSAT instead.

Thank you guys again for taking the time to clarify these things.

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Clearly
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby Clearly » Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:36 am

The LSAT is the only thing that matters now.

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Over the top
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby Over the top » Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:41 pm

Maybe read Getting to Maybe during your 0L summer if you must do something. It's a nice intro to exams and the "forks" mentality is a good introduction to legal thinking.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:30 pm

jmk83 wrote:First of all, thanks so much you guys (especially to banjo) for addressing the question and instead of informing me of the definition of 'a stupid OP'. :D

I was under the impression that law school required you to memorize hundreds of lengthy passages verbatim with big long reference numbers. Almost like memorizing entire chapters with verse references in a frickin bible, and then being told you have to learn them specifically from the king james version. Is this not true?

I've read articles about how people have struggled with mass memorization and reciting exact reference numbers and dates on exams. I guess if it was that bad someone would have said "DUDE...START MEMORIZING NOW!!".

Nova, when you say 'everyone knows the law by the end of the semester', judging by your context, you seem to not be talking about having enormous globs of text committed to memory. If I have correctly understood your reply, I'll happily take your recommendation to diligently prep for that LSAT instead.

Thank you guys again for taking the time to clarify these things.

Yeah, this impression isn't correct. The bar exam does require some of this (though generally not the reference numbers part), but not law school; in fact, most law school exams are open book/open notes. You still have to know the law, but not in specific language. (Or to put it another way: you have to know the law, as in what legal principles govern particular situations, but you don't have to memorize the law, as in the stuff that's written in statute books.) You'll be fine. :D

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bearsfan23
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby bearsfan23 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:36 am

There is no need to do any "school-related" prep. If you're going to do anything, focus on your employment materials, the job search, networking, figuring out what you want to study/field of law, etc.

As far as Getting to Maybe, I can summarize it in 1 sentence:
Apply the law to the facts, argue both sides, keep writing until the facts run out


There, now you know how to write a law school exam. Don't worry about 1L courses as a 0L

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lawhopeful10
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby lawhopeful10 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:41 am

I usually think some 0L prep can help but definitely not just memorizing legal rules. If you think you would find it interesting you could read E&Es or something and getting to maybe is good but as others have said your teacher will teach the rules the way they want so trying hard to memorize stuff now is likely a waste of time.

cccsss
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby cccsss » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:47 pm

I'd agree that focusing on LSAT and Personal Statement is your best bet.

But if you do want a preview of law school courses, you can buy some supplements that you would likely find helpful once law school begins.

Civil Procedure Examples & Explanations
Torts Concepts & Insights
Contracts - Honestly, a dummies version may be best; no supplement really helped me in contracts.

cccsss
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Re: Can someone recommend Civ Law/Torts/Contract books?

Postby cccsss » Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:49 pm

Law school rarely requires memorization (though depends on Prof; criminal law sometimes does require memorization). Most people have outlines that they carry to the exam, as well as checklists that they use to answer questions. Organization is key.

I'd recommend studying some economics before coming to law school. Microeconomics or Economics & the Law (especially in Torts, Contracts, and Anti-trust contexts) would be really helpful as you participate in class.




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