Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

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hopefulincal
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Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby hopefulincal » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:16 pm

There has been a few threads discussing this over the years, but I figure since many of us have gotten to know each other on TLS and are obsessively checking status checkers and school-specific threads, it might be worthwhile to start a list here and help us get started. After all, whether you've already received your JR2 or are oddly hoping not to receive a decision from Cornell, we will all eventually get into a school somewhere, so we might as well start preparing for law school instead of obsessing over 91 pages of posts with no acceptances.

So, reading the previous threads and the article on TLS, here is the list I've compiled:

Getting to Maybe (by far the most recommended)
Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law In a Nutshell
E&E Civil Procedure
E&E Torts (only included these two E&E since they are the best)
LEEWS (on the expensive side)

Books I left out:

Law School Insider (great book, but no longer available except on eBay)
Law School Confidential (some useful information, but honestly I think TLS probably has more/better advice)
Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams (required unless you plan on being top 1/4 in your class)
Planet Law School II (reviews are mixed)

My objective is to keep this list short enough so that we will actually read it before school starts.

Thoughts anyone?
Last edited by hopefulincal on Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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randyn
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby randyn » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:17 pm

interested as well.

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UFMatt
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby UFMatt » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:24 pm

I plan to read Getting to Maybe and Planet Law School II in January. Other than that I'd like to study and take the patent bar before the summer.

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tintin
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby tintin » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:27 pm

i flipped through law school confidential. it was interesting and somewhat informative, although the job-hunting portions of it were mostly geared towards private practice.

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TheBigMediocre
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby TheBigMediocre » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:27 pm

Planet Law School II (Atticus Falcon) and 1L (Scott Turow) are both books that are often mentioned that you may want to add to the list.

Disclosure: Planet Law School II seems to be pretty controversial with a lot of people swearing by it and a lot of people calling it total crap.

sfdreaming09
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby sfdreaming09 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:31 pm

So based on previous threads, it looks like the "E&E's" are very good. Question: Are there only E&E's on Civil Procedure and Torts?

And would it be best to read the E&E's before "Getting to Maybe" or after? Any advice would be appreciated!

Burger in a can
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby Burger in a can » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:54 pm

sfdreaming09 wrote:So based on previous threads, it looks like the "E&E's" are very good. Question: Are there only E&E's on Civil Procedure and Torts?

And would it be best to read the E&E's before "Getting to Maybe" or after? Any advice would be appreciated!


E&E? Please elaborate. Thanks.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby philosoraptor » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:02 pm

TheBigMediocre wrote:Planet Law School II (Atticus Falcon) and 1L (Scott Turow) are both books that are often mentioned that you may want to add to the list.

Disclosure: Planet Law School II seems to be pretty controversial with a lot of people swearing by it and a lot of people calling it total crap.


I've read PLS II, and an apt description of it would be "hard-core."

If you can ignore the countless, distracting editing and typesetting errors and the sweeping generalizations about how all professors (the "professoriat," as Mr. Falcon calls them) are out to get you (he's got articles to prove it!), and if you can accept his premise that your fellow law students will be evil and stupid (except the ones who blindly follow Mr. Falcon's commandments, of course), go for it.

Overall, though, it's worth a trip to the library, provided you keep a grain of salt handy at all times. He's got some interesting suggestions, such as read the E&E books, don't do your assigned reading, don't bother prepping for class, and start taking practice exams ASAP. One author he highly recommends (and I can see why, having read his books as well) is John Delaney.

Frankly, PLS is like a way more vitriolic but better-sourced version of this article on TLS: http://www.top-law-schools.com/success- ... chool.html.

Here's what an E&E book looks like, for those who don't know: http://www.amazon.com/Procedure-Example ... pd_sim_b_4. I found some pretty cheap on half.com.

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MF248
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby MF248 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:04 pm

1L & The Paper Chase. I like 1L more.

savesthedayajb
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby savesthedayajb » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:15 pm

Great advice (although controversial I'm sure) concerning good books to read before 1L: http://www.top-law-schools.com/loyola-study-advice.html

avacado111
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby avacado111 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:16 pm

cool list.

also I heard leews are good to do before?

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Matthies
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby Matthies » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:20 pm

Really the only book you MUST read before law school is this: Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, 2d

http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics ... 119&sr=8-3

The piont of law school is getting a job as a lawyer. This book will explain to you everything you need to know about how to do that regardless of your grades, class rank, or school you go to. This will give you a huge advantage over your classmates and make you an expert on what it takes to get a good job out of law school.

That way you’re ready if your top 10% or not. Seriously, as a law school graduate this IS the most important book you can read before LS starts. It will give you a game plan for all 3 years of school so no matter what, even in this economy, you come out with a decent job.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:24 pm

ill have to keep an eye on this thread; good suggestions

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IHaveDietMoxie
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby IHaveDietMoxie » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:28 pm

I read getting to maybe...meh it was like 100 pgs too long

probably good to read right before taking exams

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vanwinkle
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:47 pm

God. You guys are such gunners. :shock: Some thoughts from a current T14 1L:

I would very highly recommend you do not start trying to study subjects now. Your professors will teach you everything you need to know about each subject over the course of the semester.

I tried reading GTM before coming to law school, and a lot of it didn't really make much sense to me because I'd never seen a law school exam before, let alone studied any of the subjects to get the points being made about them. I also think that if you try to read the E&E's for a subject before starting the semester you'll just burn yourself out. You won't know what parts of the E&E to focus on (your professor may not cover every subject, my Torts professor this semester spent almost no time at all on damages for example) so you'll have to go through the whole thing and end up trying to remember a lot of information you won't even be taught during the semester.

You also run the risk of learning something differently than the way your professor will teach it to you; you really want to try to adhere to your professor's views and terminology (different professors really will refer to the same concepts in different ways). Some may focus on the Restatement more, others may focus on the specific cases in your casebook, and those will be what you need to know and draw from come exam time. The E&Es help to review overall concepts, but they're more effective after your professor has already emphasized what parts you'll need to know and what his take on it is.

Here's what I'd recommend:

A Civil Action - this novel is required reading in some Civil Procedure sections here (thought not mine). It will give you a glimpse into the way a civil action case runs from beginning to end, something you may not be familiar with. (Most pop culture focuses on criminal law, and those shows/movies that focus on civil suits usually don't show much at all of the actual legal process, they just use it as something to drive the plot.)

One L - This Scott Turow memoir is kind of whiny and exaggerated, and people often seem aghast at the way he treats his wife as the burden of law school starts overwhelming him. But it still is a true story about the experience of a 1L with rather good writing skills, and it may be good to read even before you decide which school to go to, because it'll reinforce a concept a lot of people aren't used to before they get to law school: You can't count on being the best where you are because everyone at your school is going to be the best the law school could recruit. You'll be surrounded by people who are as smart, dedicated, and serious about succeeding as you are or even moreso, and being graded on a curve will mentally affect you once you get to realize this, even at a less competitive law school. This book is the only thing that could come close to preparing you for that first-semester feeling that you will ultimately have.

(Side note: Do not plan on transferring. You have no way of knowing if you can get good enough grades to transfer, no matter what you think, because you are not prepared for the law exam yet. Just stop thinking that right now.)

Thinking Like A Lawyer: A New Introduction To Legal Reasoning - This is what you should be learning before you come to law school. You don't need to know the subject matter before you get here, they'll give you everything you need to do, but you can get a real advantage by learning as much as you can about how lawyers are supposed to see things. A lot of people struggle with picking this kind of thing up because it's only being given to you subtly over the course of the semester, professors don't just outright come out and give you instruction on this, it's something they assume you learn through case reading. You can get a leg up by trying to teach yourself more about how to approach the material before you get here, by reading books like these.

LEEWS - If you want to learn about law school exams, this book/audio program is the way to do it. I don't know if it'd make too much sense to someone who hasn't started law school yet, but it'd probably make more sense than GTM at least. You can always hold onto it and go over it about 4-5 weeks into the semester, once you've seen what law school classes are really like and have that experience.

Matthies may be onto something with his book recommendation, also. It's job-hunting time for me and I'm totally unprepared for it. I'm wishing I'd paid a lot more attention to figuring out and planning what I need to be doing now about six months ago, because now I'm so stressed and burdened by exam studying that I don't have the energy to send off job apps at all, even though I desperately need to be doing so. I would recommend you follow his advice (he strikes me as a TLS poster who gives good advice in general, so I trust his book recommendation) or at least find some resource on finding legal jobs to read either before the semester starts or very early in your first semester.

You will have plenty of time your first couple months of law school. The material starts off pretty slowly and builds up. You'll have a lot of reading to do, but once you go over LEEWS you'll learn the much faster ways to read and record information so you're not spending as much time reading each case. Use that spare time wisely, as the semester nears an end it'll start running out and you'll wish you had it back.

But those first 6 weeks or so of law school are really when you should be getting into GTM, LEEWS, and any E&Es. That's when you'll have your syllabus, know the scope and angle of each professor and class, and have seen enough of your classes to know what you're supposed to be focusing on and to actually get the tips and suggestions in the study aids and exam guides.

Enjoy your free time. God, I wish I had the last year of my life before law school back. I'd be out partying every day.

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Matthies
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby Matthies » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:13 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Matthies may be onto something with his book recommendation, also. It's job-hunting time for me and I'm totally unprepared for it. I'm wishing I'd paid a lot more attention to figuring out and planning what I need to be doing now about six months ago, because now I'm so stressed and burdened by exam studying that I don't have the energy to send off job apps at all, even though I desperately need to be doing so. I would recommend you follow his advice (he strikes me as a TLS poster who gives good advice in general, so I trust his book recommendation) or at least find some resource on finding legal jobs to read either before the semester starts or very early in your first semester.



Thanks for the props.

I just want to add to this, before going to law school you would think career services would be more valuable than it really is. First thing you can’t even talk to them first semester of law school until like Dec 1st or something (I forget what the NALP deadline is now, 1L was 4 years ago for me).

Second they really focus on OCI stuff, they don’t tend have much info or guidance on how to find a job for yourself. All fine and dandy if you make the OCI cut off, but you won’t even know that till towards the end of 1L. So if you wait till then to have a backup plan its too late.

Third the single ebst way to find a good job, even better than OCI, is contacts and this book tells you how to meet them, keep in contact with them, and use them to your advantage.

Better to know before school starts how the process works, so like Vanwinkle says your not trying to do that AND study for exams. Rea this book BEFORE school starts, then just refer to the chapters you need to refresh while in school.

Its sort of like an Ann Landers type book, the author wrote an advice colllum for lawyers for many years. Lawyers and law students would write in with questions, then she would interview experts at law school, firms, government ect. Then provide a response. So this book is a combination of all the experts’ advice on various job search techniques.

sfdreaming09
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby sfdreaming09 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:18 pm

Matthies wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:Matthies may be onto something with his book recommendation, also. It's job-hunting time for me and I'm totally unprepared for it. I'm wishing I'd paid a lot more attention to figuring out and planning what I need to be doing now about six months ago, because now I'm so stressed and burdened by exam studying that I don't have the energy to send off job apps at all, even though I desperately need to be doing so. I would recommend you follow his advice (he strikes me as a TLS poster who gives good advice in general, so I trust his book recommendation) or at least find some resource on finding legal jobs to read either before the semester starts or very early in your first semester.



Thanks for the props.

I just want to add to this, before going to law school you would think career services would be more valuable than it really is. First thing you can’t even talk to them first semester of law school until like Dec 1st or something (I forget what the NALP deadline is now, 1L was 4 years ago for me).

Second they really focus on OCI stuff, they don’t tend have much info or guidance on how to find a job for yourself. All fine and dandy if you make the OCI cut off, but you won’t even know that till towards the end of 1L. So if you wait till then to have a backup plan its too late.

Third the single ebst way to find a good job, even better than OCI, is contacts and this book tells you how to meet them, keep in contact with them, and use them to your advantage.

Better to know before school starts how the process works, so like Vanwinkle says your not trying to do that AND study for exams. Rea this book BEFORE school starts, then just refer to the chapters you need to refresh while in school.

Its sort of like an Ann Landers type book, the author wrote an advice colllum for lawyers for many years. Lawyers and law students would write in with questions, then she would interview experts at law school, firms, government ect. Then provide a response. So this book is a combination of all the experts’ advice on various job search techniques.


First of all, thanks a lot for the advice!

But a couple quick questions. First, what do you mean by OCI cutoff? Do only the top x% of students get to participate? And second, does this advice (i.e. reading the guerilla tactics books, pursue networking opps/contacts, etc.) apply even if you're attending a T3 school (HYS)? Thanks in advance!

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Matthies
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby Matthies » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:27 pm

sfdreaming09 wrote:
Matthies wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:Matthies may be onto something with his book recommendation, also. It's job-hunting time for me and I'm totally unprepared for it. I'm wishing I'd paid a lot more attention to figuring out and planning what I need to be doing now about six months ago, because now I'm so stressed and burdened by exam studying that I don't have the energy to send off job apps at all, even though I desperately need to be doing so. I would recommend you follow his advice (he strikes me as a TLS poster who gives good advice in general, so I trust his book recommendation) or at least find some resource on finding legal jobs to read either before the semester starts or very early in your first semester.



Thanks for the props.

I just want to add to this, before going to law school you would think career services would be more valuable than it really is. First thing you can’t even talk to them first semester of law school until like Dec 1st or something (I forget what the NALP deadline is now, 1L was 4 years ago for me).

Second they really focus on OCI stuff, they don’t tend have much info or guidance on how to find a job for yourself. All fine and dandy if you make the OCI cut off, but you won’t even know that till towards the end of 1L. So if you wait till then to have a backup plan its too late.

Third the single ebst way to find a good job, even better than OCI, is contacts and this book tells you how to meet them, keep in contact with them, and use them to your advantage.

Better to know before school starts how the process works, so like Vanwinkle says your not trying to do that AND study for exams. Rea this book BEFORE school starts, then just refer to the chapters you need to refresh while in school.

Its sort of like an Ann Landers type book, the author wrote an advice colllum for lawyers for many years. Lawyers and law students would write in with questions, then she would interview experts at law school, firms, government ect. Then provide a response. So this book is a combination of all the experts’ advice on various job search techniques.


First of all, thanks a lot for the advice!

But a couple quick questions. First, what do you mean by OCI cutoff? Do only the top x% of students get to participate? And second, does this advice (i.e. reading the guerilla tactics books, pursue networking opps/contacts, etc.) apply even if you're attending a T3 school (HYS)? Thanks in advance!


Yes some schools won't let you particpate in OCI if your grades are not high enough, and some firms won't look at you. Not all the advice will apply if your going to the Top 3, but some will, and knowing how the process works can't hirt you anyway. Its not just about how to get your first job, but how to get jobs after that too.

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traehekat
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby traehekat » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:27 pm

To add my two cents, I have read through almost all of Law School Confidential and found a lot of it to be solid information. If you read Planet Law School II, I think LSC falls under "Law School Lite," meaning that is really more of a brief overview without any substantial information to succeed. I do agree, to some extent. Reading LSC is NOT going to help you do better in law school, at least not in the sense that perhaps books from the Delaney series will. It WILL give you a good introduction to the law school environment and some tips to make life easier, however. I would recommend it, considering it is easy to get through.

I am still getting through Planet Law School II, but I can see why people hate it. This guy is the ultimate cynic and you find yourself cringing every now and then at things he says. However, there is some great insight into legal reasoning and the steps to success in law school. If you can get past his, 'every law school professor is out to fail you' tone, there is a lot to gain from reading PLS.

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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby revolution724 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:38 pm

hopefulincal wrote:
My objective is to keep this list short enough so that we will actually read it before school starts.

Thoughts anyone?


Yes, here's a real thought. Read a lot of books you enjoy, because you will not have time anymore after school starts.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:39 pm

Matthies wrote:I just want to add to this, before going to law school you would think career services would be more valuable than it really is. First thing you can’t even talk to them first semester of law school until like Dec 1st or something (I forget what the NALP deadline is now, 1L was 4 years ago for me).


The rule is currently they can't talk to you until Nov. 1, you can't send out job apps until Dec. 1.

sfdreaming09 wrote:First of all, thanks a lot for the advice!

But a couple quick questions. First, what do you mean by OCI cutoff? Do only the top x% of students get to participate? And second, does this advice (i.e. reading the guerilla tactics books, pursue networking opps/contacts, etc.) apply even if you're attending a T3 school (HYS)? Thanks in advance!


There are two concerns about OCI: The first has already been raised, and depends on your school, but you may get shut out of interviews depending on your GPA and choices. This does vary greatly based on the rules the school use and what school you're going to (at HYS, at least in prior years, anyone who was passing their classes got all the interviews they wanted, though I can't say how much that's changed ITE).

The other concern about OCI is that it only applies to firm jobs. Public service jobs are handled totally differently, and your school may have a separate round of public service interviews, or not do anything public service related at all except have info for you to look up jobs and mail out interviews. I'm fortunate enough to go to a T14 that has a strong interest in public service, enough that they have a separate career services center dedicated to finding students public service jobs and internships. You should really look at that when you're looking at law schools; how much help they'll give you looking for work outside of firms is really important if you don't want to work for a law firm. (One of the things that impressed me about both Penn and UVA when I visited was the strength and visibility of their public service centers.)

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Matthies
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby Matthies » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:00 pm

Vanwinkle pretty much covers it on OCI. But there is one more consideration. In OCI the firm HOLDS ALL THE CARDS. They decide if you get a screening interview, if you get a call back, if they accept, if you get an offer after the summer, and what area you will work in (you may have a few choices of practice areas, but usually not more than three, and only the ones they have openings in). So in essence, they choose what kind of lawyer you will end up being.

This is fine for most folks, but if you have a desire to practice X, OCI is often not going to get you there. I had a desire to practice a certain specialty of law that many OCI firms did not even do. It is a very specialized sub filed of law, and pretty much you need to know people in it to get in, so contacts and networking where paramount for my job search stargey.

Finally most schools won’t have a 1L summer OCI, so finding something your first summer is usually done on your own. Another good reason to know how the system works and what tricks are out there before you get too far into the year and get too busy.

hopefulincal
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby hopefulincal » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:28 pm

Thanks for all the helpful advice. I'm researching into Thinking Like A Lawyer: A New Introduction To Legal Reasoning and found two versions on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Like-Lawyer-Introduction-Reasoning/dp/0674032705/

http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Like-Lawyer-Introduction-Perspectives/dp/0813322049/

They are also by two different authors. Could someone help clarify the difference between these two, and which one is the recommended one?

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Padimud
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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby Padimud » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:44 pm

Good thread- Needed to bookmark.

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Re: Books to read before Fall (distraction from the waiting)

Postby sneakersboy11 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:50 pm

vanwinkle wrote:One L - This Scott Turow memoir is kind of whiny and exaggerated, and people often seem aghast at the way he treats his wife as the burden of law school starts overwhelming him. But it still is a true story about the experience of a 1L with rather good writing skills, and it may be good to read even before you decide which school to go to, because it'll reinforce a concept a lot of people aren't used to before they get to law school: You can't count on being the best where you are because everyone at your school is going to be the best the law school could recruit. You'll be surrounded by people who are as smart, dedicated, and serious about succeeding as you are or even moreso, and being graded on a curve will mentally affect you once you get to realize this, even at a less competitive law school. This book is the only thing that could come close to preparing you for that first-semester feeling that you will ultimately have.


True, but I feel to some extent most prepared for this. Went to a top undergrad, work in very selective field. The shock of being surrounded of bright motivated people is the least of my concerns in LS right now.




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