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4/14/10 4:02 PM
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Fake Pie
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I am happy to give it and have given the same advice on here and in real life many times but the response is always about the same: people don't want to hear anything negative. Unless you say "GO FOR IT, YOU WILL MAKE LOOT!!!" they pretty much get defensive and try to say why whatever you said won't apply to them.

For example, someone on the OG asked about it and when he got legitimate responses he got very defensive... flash forward and of course he has an "I am going to law school!" thread. If you made up your mind and don't want any advice, why ask?

Eh, I know, people just want their decisions reinforced. And other people (ME) just want to bitch about stuff.
4/14/10 6:04 PM
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Brabo Fett
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well i have already decided that I am going to law school and I have been accepted for the fall of 2010, my main concern is doing well in class. I was wondering what tips you might have.

thanks for a legit response it would be really helpful.
4/15/10 7:22 AM
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KenTheWalrus
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I disagree with turducken. Read the cases, they give you a context in which you can apply the rules of law.

Learn to brief quickly. Basically, just read the case, pick out the (generally) one rule of law it is there to teach you and look at how the courts came up with the holding (analysis).

Get into a study group to boost your understanding to a more dynamic applicable understanding (shared knowledge vs. memorization).

Commercial outlines and E&E are good resources to supplement class discussions. Nutshells are good, too, but overkill if you already read cases, commercial outlines, and work through the E&E.

If your professor uses PowerPoint, print the slides even if you use a laptop. It saves time from switching pages and you can study without a laptop/ plug for the thing.

Upperclass outlines do help you get a feel for the professor. And they are dogshit. I guarantee there will be something in there that is close to right, sounds right, but is completely wrong.

Get drunk, but don't over do it. If you train, get a feel for school first, then go back to training. Martial arts give an understanding and calmness that other students will not have.

Get laid... alot. If your school has a decent breakdown of male to femal students, chicks will be DTF to help relieve the stress. Avoid the psychos. 

Realize that doing well in class means doing well on your finals. The only measure that counts are your grades (although gaining knowledge is the ultimate goal). You can volunteer to cite as many cases as you want, but if you bomb the final all of your class participation is worthless.

Be humble. There are enough arrogant pricks in law school. Talk to the people who work at the school. Talk to fellow students and professors. Being a decent, polite person will help make contacts and keep your head on straight. Like I said, there are enough arrogant pricks in law school already. -ken
4/15/10 7:31 AM
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KenTheWalrus
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People think I'm a dick when I tell them that they shouldn't go to law school. I point out that it costs alot of money and that they will be working, reading, writing and more for the rest of their career, more so than pretty much any other career choice. If they aren't going to enjoy that type of life then they shouldn't go to law school.

What I don't get is how a person can't take another person's solicited criticism, yet they plan on going to law school taught in the Socratic method and work in an adversarial career. My saying "don't go" pales in comparison to what the future holds for them. Yet I'm the dick for giving my honest opinion. -ken
4/15/10 8:27 AM
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419
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Learn how to read cases and make flash cards.
4/15/10 12:45 PM
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419
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Are you claiming that learning how to read cases is useless in the real world?
4/15/10 3:10 PM
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goku
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turducken - dont waste your time with bullshit casebooks, just get examples&explanations and other commercial study guides and use those. also get outlines from upperclassmen and use these as a guide as to what each particular professor focuses on...dont study from the student made outlines because 99% of them are dogshit and full of errors...just use them to figure out which areas to focus on in your commercial outlines.

the key is to learn your professor and choose the proper study guide for the class(for example, if your contracts professor is obsessed with common law bullshit, you want to get chirelstein's contracts book and just use that as your bible...if the prof is a UCC guy, get ABCs of the UCC and you will do amazing...if a mix, get examples and explanations....for con law get chemerinsky no matter what, for secured transactions get gilberts, for crim pro get lexis understanding series, etc.). do NOT waste your time on the stupid case brief books...these are worthless for exams and are only for idiots who dont want to read the casebook and are scared of getting called on in class.

you will get A's on all your exams and law school will be a joke. the only people who suffer in law school are the idiots who try to study from casebooks...that is a recipe for having no life and getting shitty grades.
this...i actually read the casebooks and didnt use any guides and although i got good grades..i literally had NO life...

utlimately you have to gear your studies towards the professor you have...dont worry about "learning the law"...1st years at law firms dont know shit anyways...just waorry about getting good grades...
 
4/15/10 3:26 PM
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KenTheWalrus
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 Cases give a reference for the black letter law, at least for me.

Expectation damages = Hairy Hand.
Mutual mistake = two guys and a pregnant cow. So on and so forth.

Without the cases it's just memorization and regurgitation for me, which I find harder.  -ken
4/15/10 4:11 PM
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salyer36
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Depending on what school you are going to, my advice would also be to not go.

That being said, I would read the cases first for a general reference and to put everything in perspective.

I would "study" from E & E and Crunchtime books.
4/15/10 4:20 PM
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Brabo Fett
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thank you for your honest answers.
4/15/10 5:33 PM
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The Gimp
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This book really helped me out. Plus, it's short and sweet:

http://www.amazon.com/Acing-Your-First-Year-School/dp/0837709121
4/16/10 10:25 PM
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Fake Pie
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Edited: 04/16/10 10:32 PM
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Wow didn't expect so many responses.

I have to disagree with Turducken on this one, though generally he is a very good source for advice. There is no one good method. I did all the readings in the case book and did my own version of briefing all the cases in my notes. I then attended all the classes and added class notes to my case notes.

I do agree that I never used study groups, but that is a personal preference.  

For exams, I reread all my notes and then read all the old exams that were available for that professor/class (prior exams are the most helpful thing EVAR IMO). I was in the top third of my class, not bragging just saying it worked for me. Obviously other things worked for others. I never outlined but I can't knock it as it seemed to work for others. My best advice is to not be lazy and put the work in. It isn't undergrad, you can't coast, though I did a lot less work than most, so I don't think you have to kill yourself.  I got drunk like twice a week, three times my third year. I worked and went to school all through undergrad and didn't work during law school, so it was a breeze in that respect to me, even though I studied way harder than I ever did in undergrad. 
4/17/10 12:56 AM
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Brabo Fett
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hmm interesting thoughts. My take away so far is that

1. regardless of which studying style is best suited for me, it is important to know what my professor is going to concentrate on.

2. study groups are worthless

3. i should look to get laid a lot.


Another question I have is is about "cultivating a way of thinking" i hear this phrase from a number of law students when they try to describe their experience. However, none of them can give me a clear explanation of how their thinking changed. Are they basically just saying they learned to spot issues and examine the different POVs? if so what would be a good way of getting a head start on that before i start in the fall?



thanks again for the answers. It has been helpful to see what has worked and what hasn't.
4/17/10 2:54 AM
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Shaz
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 Well you're really going to be learning to "think like a lawyer".  I had a professor who summed it up the best when he said law school is having a bunch of professors lawyer at you until you start to lawyer back.

I also think that learning how to read/brief cases is extremely important - it's difficult at first but after enough of them it becomes a breeze.  I remember when I started law school I had no idea how to read/comprehend a case.  I would spend literally hours trying to understand what was going on and what the issue was and what I was supposed to be understanding - now when I get ready for a hearing or arguments or whatever I can get the issue I need from a case in literally under a minute or two, it's all about practice.

If you want to practice reading cases, by the way, check out anything written by Judge Alex Kozinsky on the 9th circuit, he's hilarious.
4/19/10 3:16 PM
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KenTheWalrus
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I'll agree with skipping classes. to a degree. Knowing how the professor lectures brings insight into what they focus on for the exam.

Other than that, sitting there for 20 minutes while someone else fumbles through an easy case or one you might be able to recite while smashed on homemade wine while tied upside to a dominatrix' sex swing is a really crappy way to spend a morning.

I'd rather just sleep-in and study through the afternoon. (Or get smashed on homemade wine and spend the morning tied upside down to a dominatrx' sex swing.)  -ken
4/19/10 3:29 PM
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Fake Pie
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I don't know... my professors were all pretty much geniuses. I learned most of what was useful to me now in class, and it was also the most useful knowledge for exams because they test on what THEY teach, not what is in a commercial outline or anything else. Again, though, there is no one method.
4/19/10 6:39 PM
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Brabo Fett
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Shaz -  Well you're really going to be learning to "think like a lawyer".  I had a professor who summed it up the best when he said law school is having a bunch of professors lawyer at you until you start to lawyer back.

I also think that learning how to read/brief cases is extremely important - it's difficult at first but after enough of them it becomes a breeze.  I remember when I started law school I had no idea how to read/comprehend a case.  I would spend literally hours trying to understand what was going on and what the issue was and what I was supposed to be understanding - now when I get ready for a hearing or arguments or whatever I can get the issue I need from a case in literally under a minute or two, it's all about practice.

If you want to practice reading cases, by the way, check out anything written by Judge Alex Kozinsky on the 9th circuit, he's hilarious.<br type="_moz" />


thanks for this
I am currently trying to find my way through a few of his cases. In truth, I am actually enjoy reading the cases more so than doing god forsaken accounting and bond analysis that i have assigned this last semester.
4/22/10 10:10 AM
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419
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One method of "learning how to think like a lawyer" is to question everything, including your own questions.
4/22/10 1:32 PM
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Fake Pie
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419 - One method of "learning how to think like a lawyer" is to question everything, including your own questions.


Nobody takes this to greater lengths than 419 either :)
4/22/10 3:36 PM
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goku
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419 - One method of "learning how to think like a lawyer" is to question everything, including your own questions.

 yup..the great thing is, this is AWESOME for billing...

not so great for the client tho...
4/22/10 4:58 PM
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Cookie Monster
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KenTheWalrus - I disagree with turducken. Read the cases, they give you a context in which you can apply the rules of law.

Learn to brief quickly. Basically, just read the case, pick out the (generally) one rule of law it is there to teach you and look at how the courts came up with the holding (analysis).

Get into a study group to boost your understanding to a more dynamic applicable understanding (shared knowledge vs. memorization).

This. Is. THE. Best. Advice. EVA!!!

Commercial outlines and E&E are good resources to supplement class discussions. Nutshells are good, too, but overkill if you already read cases, commercial outlines, and work through the E&E.

If your professor uses PowerPoint, print the slides even if you use a laptop. It saves time from switching pages and you can study without a laptop/ plug for the thing.

Upperclass outlines do help you get a feel for the professor. And they are dogshit. I guarantee there will be something in there that is close to right, sounds right, but is completely wrong.

Get drunk, but don't over do it. If you train, get a feel for school first, then go back to training. Martial arts give an understanding and calmness that other students will not have.

Get laid... alot. If your school has a decent breakdown of male to femal students, chicks will be DTF to help relieve the stress. Avoid the psychos. 

Realize that doing well in class means doing well on your finals. The only measure that counts are your grades (although gaining knowledge is the ultimate goal). You can volunteer to cite as many cases as you want, but if you bomb the final all of your class participation is worthless.

Be humble. There are enough arrogant pricks in law school. Talk to the people who work at the school. Talk to fellow students and professors. Being a decent, polite person will help make contacts and keep your head on straight. Like I said, there are enough arrogant pricks in law school already. -ken
4/22/10 10:05 PM
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Steve72
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I used study groups because:

(a) they kept me interested in studying (which was difficult);

(b) explaining something to someone else is, IMO, the best way to learn it (and the best way to practice for an exam in which you need to explain stuff; and

(c) if you pick your study group properly, it is far, far easier to get laid.
5/4/10 10:49 PM
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greco yeoman
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Read the casebook for Contracts and Torts. Those cases stick, and give you a framework for the rules. Stick to the supplements for the rest of your first year classes. Bang a different girl in every section, and deny doing it. Do not join study groups; it's the blind leading the even more blind. Don't go to review sessions; a TA is worse than a study buddy. And most importantly, don't look at the train-wreck that is an upperclassman's outline. You'll never see more wrong shit in your life.

Law school blows but you get to bang and there's usually a good party at the end of every semester.
5/5/10 12:39 AM
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greco yeoman
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If you don't mind me asking, where did you go to law school?
5/5/10 12:46 AM
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Brabo Fett
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so i have purchased the E&E books for civil procedure and Torts. I started reading them and trying to figure out the examples.


Another question i have is about tests
I have looked at some sample test that some of the prof. have posted on the website. i was wondering if when taking these tests they ask for specific cases references or can we just state the law and how it applies?

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