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Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:07 pm
by bumblebeechewna

Law School Confidential- gives a pretty good overview of the law school process from applications to getting your first job, although some of it is a little cheesy and ridiculous (color-coded case briefings? what are we, 5?)
for you 1Ls that read Law School Confidential: do you echo this sentiment about color coding?...As a visual learner, I was really planning on loading up on the highlighters for this method :oops:

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:14 pm
by the lsat hax0r
I think the advice in Law School Confidential is completely useless.

The color coding scheme is ridiculous. I didn't even bother briefing cases after two weeks of law school - it's pointless. You don't ever need to know the facts of a case like that, unless you're being cold called (and if you're really worried about being embarrassed in class, just get canned case briefs_. I just write little notes in the margins, or underline important parts. The holding is all that really matters and is what you're going to need for the test so his strategy (and briefing in general) is a complete waste of time.

He also says to spend some ridiculous amount of time (3-4 hrs per day) just outlining, every single day. That's completely unnecessary too. I don't know of anyone at SLS who puts that much work in. You don't need 350+ hrs over an entire semester to outline 4 classes - that's just excessive.

I think everyone would be better off not reading LSC.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:30 pm
by ktlulu1
I did a version of the color coding thing and it actually saved me a few times when I was cold called. I guess that made it worth it enough for me. I also tend to stop paying attention to what I'm reading unless I'm doing something active like highlighting. I definitely didn't outline for 4 hours a day, though. That really is ridiculous.

Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:49 pm
by Mobb_Deep
Any opinions on "How to do your best on law school exams" by John Delaney? He also wrote "Learning Legal Reasoning" and both books have pretty solid reviews on amazon.

Also, considering the fact that I will be going to law school in Canada, will the methods and ideas in these books not apply to me, or are the ideas regading law school itself pretty constant between Canada and the US?

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:43 pm
by jimalaiyah
I've relied on a modified version of the highlighting method...
Especially when first starting out, you never know exactly which category what you're reading falls into until you've read the case.
Very rarely are opinions clear enough to make those distinctions while reading, especially the older cases, which will take up good portion of the 1L curriculum...

Instead what I did, which will most likely only work for a select few of you, is I grabbed four differently colored highlighters and I started in, and when I found that there was a substantive change in what I was reading, I changed colors. I think I reserved one color, green for me, for things that didn't immediately make sense. This way you see how the opinion evolves, where things change up, and then you can underline or bracket key words and phrases with a different color highlighter (that isn't green) for emphasis. Again, this will only work for some, but I think the point of all of this is to throw all the methods out there and for you to pick the one or two that you think would work for you. BTW, I'd say the majority of my classmates that began with the LSC method, eventually fell back to a variation of this. Also, this method gives you incentive not to fully rely on the book briefing, which, while it has saved many on cold calls, it ultimately does them in, because they've relied on having it in the book and not having to understand the flow of the case.

Also, many cases are written so you think they're holding one thing and then in the last sentence they switch it, so all your highlighting, effectively uneraseable, is wrong.

Then again, I don't have the patience or time to read everything twice.


As far as books are concerned, I'll echo the experiential books discussed above, but if you want to get into the substance, which some do and some don't... there are two series of books that I wish I had glanced at before starting in... Now there is a large, possibly overwhelming number of people out there who will vehemently disagree with this and call it a waste of time and energy and tell you that it doesn't matter 'cause you're not gonna get anyway so don't even try. For those of you who don't much care what they say...

1) Foundations of [insert course title] Law
Published by Foundation Press
Essentially compilations of fundamental theoretical articles in a coherent order that are relatively easy to read that introduce you, both to the subjects generally, but also to the deeper fundamental concepts underlying what you're learning. Some profs assign them, others don't.
I wish I had read them before classes started.


2) The LexisNexis Series of Hornbooks
I know, I know...
This will be for the crazier of you...
Reading casebooks is actually worthless, b/c you won't know what you're supposed to be getting from them and what you're not and it may actually hurt you to have read them and this goes for briefs and outlines too.
While the LN Series of Hornbooks are long... really long... and really in-depth, they set out the material directly, concisely and clearly in a way and at a depth that you'll need to be understanding in order to do well in any decent school.

I think they can be read like a novel.

1 of my profs practically taught from it... like verbatim... it was kinda sad actually when we found out... OK, we're not 100% sure, but if we're wrong, then the book is that good.

If you don't look at it before, which 99.9% of you won't, get it and read it along with the case book from the beginning.

There will be a violent reaction to this, but if you wanna get down and go crazy, these are decent options for material that is directly on point.

Go nuts... and stop worrying, it's not that bad... most people have more fun, and go out more in law school, and we're talking top-tier, than ever before... relax...

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:22 pm
by jimalaiyah
To all of you gearing up...

Scott Turow, other of One L, was asked by a panel of law professors, how in the hell he managed to work 17 hours a day or however long he says in the book, his response:

"Well, I had to write the book."

Again, relax.

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:29 am
by TheMeager
Uh... nothing. Law school is cake. Don't be a drama queen about it.

Posted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:40 pm
by Master Tofu
Don't worry about reading books about the substantive matter of the law before you cover them in class. You won't remember them. What I would recommend is to use them as the school year progresses on whatever topic you're working on in class to get a fuller perspective of what's going on. Instead, read about other things like what top-law-schools.com is like, what options there are for you and whatever your interests are, and maybe what you need to do(besides good grades, that's a given) to get where you want to be after 3 years.

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:07 am
by riseagainst
Don't read anything law related before you start school. Do something you actually enjoy while you still have time to do it.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:03 am
by Fly
David Souter is one of my favorite Justices
I thought I was the only one. I'm reading Tinsley Yarbrough's biography of Mr. Souter. When he eats apples, he eats it all: core, seeds, everything. Fun Supreme Court Fact of the Day.

Anyway, I'm sort of planning on catching up on novels and such before law school starts. I've tried to get the basic gist of the "GET READY!" books based on what I've heard here, and I don't think buying and reading them would add much more. Some of the "strategies" actually seem like common sense, anyway. Plus, during my last few months of freedom, I don't want to be spending my time worrying about law school. Maybe I'll end up regretting it, but I doubt it.

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:18 am
by alexb240
I believe Mr. Souter is notorious for eating the same lunch every day -- yogurt and an apple, or something to that effect?

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:43 pm
by underdawg
Man Souter's a fucking manimal then. He eats the core???

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:48 pm
by Fly
Perhaps a manimal. Perhaps an overly frugal bastard. You decide!

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:06 pm
by Rayster
I think Rep. Kucinich carries one tea bag around (taking a new one from home each morning) and just orders water wherever he goes. Now THAT is frugal.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:16 pm
by Fly
If I were making $165,000 per year, I'd just go ahead and order tea.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:50 pm
by seagull48
I would recommend reading books that are fun
novels, if that's your thing, or magazines, because you're going to get enough of the law in law school. plus, those 1L prep books are pretty unnecessary.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:35 pm
by Rayster
I have seen that there are newer editions of the examples and explanations books. Is there any real difference?

The core of Property law (or whichever) probably didn't change in 2 years, but has anyone noticed an actual difference?

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:43 pm
by shoebox
I'd ignore whatever reading list your school sends and get a copy of E&E for a couple of your first semester classes and start scanning/reading those. You certainly don't have to (and I wouldn't stress over it or anything), but you'll have a leg up in class discussions and you'll be able to focus a little more on the important stuff right out of the gate. I found that I either didn't have time to read along in the hornbooks or I procrastinated on them once school got started.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:06 pm
by underdawg
I couldn't find any of these books at Barnes & Nobles or Book-a-million. Man, the South is a backwards place...

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:54 pm
by RTR10
underdawg wrote:I couldn't find any of these books at Barnes & Nobles or Book-a-million. Man, the South is a backwards place...

Where do you live?

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:00 pm
by jerryike
Any opinions on "How to do your best on law school exams" by John Delaney? He also wrote "Learning Legal Reasoning" and both books have pretty solid reviews on amazon.

Also, considering the fact that I will be going to law school in Canada, will the methods and ideas in these books not apply to me, or are the ideas regading law school itself pretty constant between Canada and the US?
glad to hear it has good reviews...just took off the learning legal reasoning book from my sister's bookshelf to start readin...

so far, its good reading.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:50 pm
by underdawg
ajlrf03 wrote: Where do you live?
North Bama, near Huntsville. I was semi-joking, but it's semi-true. There were only about 8 books on how to choose a college and 1 book on how to choose a med/b-school in the whole store. In NJ, every B&N will have dozens of books on how to choose a college. I was pretty shocked, actually.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:05 pm
by Son of Cicero
I've heard of eating the core, but what about the stem? If Souter eats the stem, I won't even need to look over his decisions to know he is my favorite living justice.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 12:26 am
by RTR10
North Bama, near Huntsville
Makes sense. The bookstores here are very strange. I have to order everything on amazon since they don't carry anything of value to me.

Re: Any books I should read before law school starts??

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:53 am
by Ethan826
To echo Mobb_Deep's question--

I just read Delaney's How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams. He recommends CIRI(P) instead of IRAC: Conclusion, Issue, Rule, Interweaving (of the facts with the elements constituting the cause of action), and as necessary, Policy.

If A threw a rock at B that B was unaware of until being struck by it, Delaney would format the answer more or less as follows:

A Liable to B for the Intentional Tort of Battery
The issue is whether A is liable to B for battery for throwing a rock, unobserved, that hit B. Battery requires the intentional and unprivileged harmful or offensive contact with another. A demonstrated the intent to harm B by throwing the rock, and B suffered a harmful contact when the rock hit him.

A Not Liable to B for the Intentional Tort of Assault
The issue is whether A is liable to B for assault. Assault requires intentionally causing the imminent apprehension of a harmful or offensive contact with another. Because B was not aware of the rock having been thrown until it struck him, he did not apprehend the imminent contact. The tort of assault serves the purpose of protecting individuals from the fear of unwanted contacts, and thus does not apply to a situation in which an individual does not apprehend the contact before it occurs.

Is this acceptable to professors, who may expect the conclusion at the end? Has anyone else read that book and applied its techniques during an exam?

Also, has anyone used the other PLS II recommendation of LEEWS? I've heard mixed things.