What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

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hkm6315
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What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby hkm6315 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:07 pm

I want to buy some law summary books to read before I start classes in August that will give me an overview of all of the first year classes. I have heard people recommend Gilbert books... Can anybody give me some other suggestions? Thanks! :P

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Corsair
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby Corsair » Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:14 pm

..

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hkm6315
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby hkm6315 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:25 pm

Haha. Thanks Corsair! I thought about searching the site, but I am too lazy for that too. I guess if I don't get a bunch of links posted in this thread I will go and look. I have heard the same thing repeatedly from people who say that I shouldn't bother and to just relax for the summer, but I am a little nervous about the "deer in the headlights" effect that I am sure to get at the beginning.... How much time do you have left at Northwestern? You planning on ending up in Chicago? (Sorry, don't feel like digging through links for the answer to those : )

chiller
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby chiller » Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:16 pm

i know i'm probably in the minority on this, but i wish i had read this book before ls started: "Writing to Win" by Steven D. Stark.

Caution: only read this book if you think that you need a brief overview on legal writing before school starts, or if you haven't done any significant amount of writing before LS (which was the case for me). plus, you may want to check with your writing prof. if this is a good idea.

I'm a horrible writer, so this book really helped. Again, this suggestion comes w/ great caution. But since you're asking for inputs, i'll give you mine.

Oblomov
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby Oblomov » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:05 pm

A Theory Of Justice --Rawls

Critique of Practical Reason --Kant

Leviathan --Hobbes

Spirit of the Laws -Montesquieu

Tractus -Wittgenstein

Leviticus & Matthew and Romans

Summa Theologica --Aquinas, with special attention to Law V. Custom

Without these, you'll never "get" the law. If that's a little too much, and you don't mind putting yourself at a great disadvantage, spend the summer pouring over McCarthy's Blood Meridian; its pretty much a distillation of this list.

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mumbling2myself
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby mumbling2myself » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:13 pm

Oblomov wrote:Without these, you'll never "get" the law.


Damn, it would have been nice to have gotten such fantastic advice before I started law school. I'm glad this board has so many informative law students on it who are willing to share what they've learned through their experience at law school.

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edgarderby
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby edgarderby » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:37 pm

Oblomov wrote:Leviticus & Matthew and Romans
.


lol wut


You put LEVITICUS on the list, but left out H L Hart, Austin, Finnis, and Dworkin?

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:40 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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20160810
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby 20160810 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:40 pm

The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

Oblomov
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby Oblomov » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:10 pm

.
Last edited by Oblomov on Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby edgarderby » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:25 pm

Oblomov wrote:
edgarderby wrote:You put LEVITICUS on the list, but left out H L Hart, Austin, Finnis, and Dworkin?


Had I included those, I thought someone might take me seriously.


:idea:

:lol:

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby hokiefan » Sun Jun 29, 2008 4:57 pm

On a related note; are there books that one should buy before law school but not necessarily read? I've had little desire to read during the summer but am curious as to whether I should purchase the E&E's and hornbooks ahead of time so that I don't have to during the school year?

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby TTT-LS » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:10 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby hkm6315 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:31 pm

Thanks for the input! From what I read from the links TTT posted, it sounds like I should definitely check out Getting To Maybe. Nobody really seemed to have anything negative to say about that. Relaxing for the next month sounds much more desirable than pouring over 1L class summaries and signing up for Law Preview... Which both seem to have enough mixed reviews that lead me to believe I should just stay away..

Question. I thought of this while reading the threads TTT posted. I have also wondered this several times before while reading threads on here. Are some law students really this passive aggressive in person or is this just a "once in a while" or internet thing pertaining to specific subjects discussed on TLS? No offense to anybody, because I am sure that I have been passive aggressive in previous posts, but I do turn it off and am definitely not like that all the time in person. I have been a little worried about this since I am going to a law school where I will know nobody and I would hate to be picking apart and debating a call in last night's Cubs game tit for tat when I am just trying to relax and have a beer. I tried to date a guy in law school a few years back and he was one of these people who had to pick apart and debate every and any subject every time we spoke. So we never spoke, we just fought... Needless to say, it didn't work out. I have met a lot of people in law school or on this site who are fun and cool and do have an off/on switch. I just wanted to ask those who are in law school if I am going to run into a bunch of people who want to fight all the time about everything little thing (like my ex), or if that is just a trait for most that is obviously inherent in this profession but usually just surfaces when needed.... or when you are speaking from a computer screen... : )

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby Corsair » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:25 pm

..

yesofcourse
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby yesofcourse » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:15 pm

HA HA Kant's Critique of Pure Reason for a summer reading list......good luck.

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby snotrocket » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:15 pm

TTT-LS wrote:(4) Some links explaining why reading lots of law books before 1L year is a bad idea: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... =3&t=29473 (wherein several law students unanimously agree that substantive 0L summer reading is a bad idea); http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... =3&t=25639 (regarding law preview, with some related discussion of trying to learn law before 1L year in general). Note that there are a lot of opinions here on TLS from 0Ls saying that 0L summer reading *is* a good idea. The thing about these opinions is that they're from people who have no law school experience whatsoever. They haven't taken law school exams. They haven't taken law school classes. And you shouldn't take their law school advice.

In the interest of equal airtime, and for the benefit of people who might run across this thread and actually be swayed by the above: If you look around, you will find other opinions on this subject in this forum -- from people who "have law school experience" and "have taken law school classes" and "have taken law school exams." For instance:

Katkins wrote:
I'd read the E&E's before the semester, just as an overview.

Absolutely, unequivocally TCR. I was told to do this before law school, I didn't do it, and that was stupid. 0Ls reading this: THIS IS NOT A JOKE. It is the best thing you can do for yourself, in my opinion.

From: If I could do my first semester over again...

Katkins is a former (current?) moderator here, and now a rising 2L at one of CCN (I think everyone knows which one, but just to be polite ...). I don't know how she finished in terms of grades, but she seems quite smart, and I assume she did well.

Eremite wrote:Credited. I did a lot of summer reading. The typical fare: Aceing Your First Year of Law School, Getting to Maybe, and Estrich's How to Get into Law School, a long with the Nutshell books, which did not help me personally, and the E&E books, which are dope. I think that was a big help, particularly on my first exam.

From: How do I get good 1L grades?

Eremite posted elsewhere that she (he?) cried (from joy, I presume) when grades came out first semester. She also admits secretly wanting very much to transfer to a higher ranked school from before the start of 1L, and she wound up with a stellar GPA that made that a real possibility. I don't know where Eremite attends, and it seems based on later posts that she has since decided against transferring and is happy where she is. But she did say that her second semester grades were even better than the first.

PKSebben wrote:I'd read the E&E's before the semester, just as an overview.

From If I could do my first semester over again...

I read Torts over the summer. It put things into a good perspective during the summer. Just go easy on the whole thing. Don't try to LEARN anything from it. Get a good feeling for what the terms mean, how the concepts are put together. Some pre-law books (PLS*cough*cough*) advise you to read every word and make up hypos and form summer study groups and all manner of ridiculous shit. Totally, totally, totally retarded on so many levels.

The goal is to become familiar with the subject area - you're not going to outgun the other people because you read an E&E before school starts - it just doesn't work like that.

Take your time and relax before school, skim through the first semester E&E's, and mentally prepare yourself for the marathon.

From: If I could do my first semester over again...

PKSebben is also a moderator here, and according to his posts elsewhere finished 1L in the Top 4% of his class at his Top 40ish school (again, I think most people here know which one ...). Like Eremite, PK also had (has) designs on transferring. With his grades, he surely has a very good chance, but I don't know if he's heard back from all his targets yet.

PK has it right: Don't think you're going to "learn" the law by reading ahead, and don't go nuts with it. But just try to get an overview of each subject, get your brain in shape for the work ahead, and get your mind used to the concepts which you'll see again during the year. Law school is a mental marathon, and there is value in doing some reasonable training for it. Make your own decision about how you want to spend your summer, but don't believe this silly hype that you're going to "exhaust" yourself or that you're a witless wannabe gunner for thinking that anything you could read about the law before law school could possibly do you any good in any way ever.

Think of it this way: If you knew you planned to run a real marathon in three months, and you had two coaches giving you advice, which one would you believe:

A) Who tells you that a marathon is a tough race, and you may survive it without any special preparation. But if you want to finish well and avoid hurting yourself, then it would help to start now on a sensible training routine to build your endurance and get used to running long distances on actual roads; or

B) Who tells you that a marathon is a tough race, that there's nothing you can do to prepare for it, and that your only hope is to ensure you don't wear yourself out before the big day. Under no circumstances should you exercise in any way at all during the next twelve weeks. Just chill on the couch, fire up the big screen, tip some brews, and take it easy -- that way you'll be sure to start the race "well rested."

EDIT:

You can be like me and do nothing before starting school and you can still do well (although it may be harder).

If you want to do some work, but not an outrageous amount, I would start by reading the Examples & Explanations books before school. Start with torts or one of the easier subjects, since this may be your first introduction to law. I think it is very valuable to get an overview of a course in advance, and you are cutting out work that you are going to have to do anyway.

From the TLS article Success in Law School - A Unique Perspective

Ken states in his introduction to the article that its author finished his first year in the Top 10% of his class at NYU.
Last edited by snotrocket on Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:43 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby underdawg » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:45 pm

party pooper

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Corsair
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby Corsair » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:59 pm

..

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby hkm6315 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:26 am

Hmmm. Well I just ordered Getting to Maybe off Amazon... Not sure about the E&Es, but my only intention in ordering them was to get some familiarity with the subjects so that I wasn't struggling as much to understand the general types of law. Right now I am pretty freaked out about the "unknown" factor and I was just looking to get my feet a little damp before I jumped in and started swimming. It doesn't seem like the E&Es are something that will help me get ahead. It does sound like it couldn't hurt to just skim over them in order to get familiar with the different areas of the law. It also sounds like it could be of little to no help if I take a Law Preview class, or take the books too seriously and begin forming my own opinions and framing the law a certain way in my head that runs contrary to how my professor may teach it... ? Does this sound like a somewhat fair compilation of the different opinions expressed?

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hkm6315
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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby hkm6315 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:03 am

Then again, I don't really feel like even skimming over thousands of pages of E&Es for my next 7 weeks of freedom, so I think I am just going to order Acing Your First Year of Law School and be done with it.

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby nonunique » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:16 am

snotrocket wrote:In the interest of equal airtime, and for the benefit of people who might run across this thread and actually be swayed by the above: If you look around, you will find other opinions on this subject in this forum -- from people who "have law school experience" and "have taken law school classes" and "have taken law school exams." For instance:


And, in fairness, if you look around, you will find that TTT-LS and others have no qualms with skimming a few E&Es. I understand that TTT-LS's statement seems a little categorical, but most of the discussions referred to are ones where people are suggesting taking up intensive summer reading programs (or, worse yet, law preview courses) before law school.

Even at the reading E&Es level, my guess at the majority opinion is that only a few of them are worth summer perusal.

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby mumbling2myself » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:29 am

hkm6315 wrote:Hmmm. Well I just ordered Getting to Maybe off Amazon... Not sure about the E&Es, but my only intention in ordering them was to get some familiarity with the subjects so that I wasn't struggling as much to understand the general types of law. Right now I am pretty freaked out about the "unknown" factor and I was just looking to get my feet a little damp before I jumped in and started swimming. It doesn't seem like the E&Es are something that will help me get ahead. It does sound like it couldn't hurt to just skim over them in order to get familiar with the different areas of the law. It also sounds like it could be of little to no help if I take a Law Preview class, or take the books too seriously and begin forming my own opinions and framing the law a certain way in my head that runs contrary to how my professor may teach it... ? Does this sound like a somewhat fair compilation of the different opinions expressed?


hkm6315 wrote:Then again, I don't really feel like even skimming over thousands of pages of E&Es for my next 7 weeks of freedom, so I think I am just going to order Acing Your First Year of Law School and be done with it.


I would say that the first bit there is pretty much exactly how I feel about it. I don't think there's anything wrong with prepping per se, simply that it's not useful in the sense of increasing 1L grades. If you're interested in the material, by all means, read it. If you want to read it for some other reason, by all means, do so. It's just frustrating to read books like PLS which answer the question, "OMG LAW SCHOOL LOOKS HARD, WHUT TO DO?!?" with, "don't trust that your school will teach you any of the material and treat all of your classmates like competition. Read it all over the summer so that your professors can't mislead you."

I read 3 E&E's before starting school, and my grades in the classes for which I read ranged from better than I would've hoped to not much better than I'd feared. I feel much more comfortable attributing my success (and relative failure) to my professors and my study habits during the semester and right around finals. The torts and crim E&E's are pretty fun and approachable, and will make a lot of sense without any class to back them up (but won't necessarily prep you for your particular prof, for example my crim class never looked at any crime but homicide, but really got into homicide as an entry into general criminal legal thought).

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby snotrocket » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:25 pm

Even at the reading E&Es level, my guess at the majority opinion is that only a few of them are worth summer perusal.


In other news: 51% of law students surveyed reported that their first year GPA was "around or below the median." And an overwhelming 90% agreed that they did not rank in the Top 10% of their class.

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Re: What are the best books to buy to prepare for law school?

Postby mumbling2myself » Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:35 pm

snotrocket wrote:
Even at the reading E&Es level, my guess at the majority opinion is that only a few of them are worth summer perusal.


In other news: 51% of law students surveyed reported that their first year GPA was "around or below the median." And an overwhelming 90% agreed that they did not rank in the Top 10% of their class.


'snotrocket,' please expand. This seems pretty patronizing and kindof weak, so I'm curious to know if you're trying to say what I think you're trying to say.




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