Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dear 1L's

Wow! I never thought I'd see this day--the one where I look back and remember the stress, chaos, depression and outright madness of first semester, first year. I spent hours and hours and hours obsessively reading law blogs. I purchased every single pre-law prep book on the market. I watched the Paper Chase (which I recommend) and I drove my entire family crazy.

You will hear a lot of the same advice and some different just know that you will find your way. When they say there is no way to prepare they are NOT KIDDING. I fought that one tooth and nail I was sure I could be ahead by reading all this crap and it didnt work. The very hardest thing for me to learn and understand was the whole "work smart" and time management advice. It seems absolutely impossible at first but I promise after a few failed methods you will find your groove.

Regarding study groups, I was desperate to create and be part of a study group. This was ineffective for me and now I study alone. Unless you and your group are adequately prepared getting together in a group will only result in wasted time.

Learn How to brief before the first day. Each class will take a different style brief.

Torts Brief (this is only my style)

(court, year)

P: (Plaintiff)
D: (Defendant) remember the appellate division sometimes the P and D are switched and the person appealing is on the left pay close attention to that)

TC: (Trial court and I usually put what they did wrong in their decision)
APP: (appellate court)

FACTS: (only those that if changed would change the outcome)

ISSUE: (What problem are they trying to solve?)

RULE: (rule of law)

HOLDING: (final court decision usually appellate level)

RATIONALE: (usually policy related)

NOW FOR CONTRACTS YOU WOULD TAKE A DIFFERENT APPROACH. I suggest you follow the above format only remember that the most important thing in contracts is the sequence of events (e.g. dates and correspondence) was it a letter (a writing) or a phone call what exactly was said. You will learn all about the objective theory of contracts. Look thru my previous posts for contracts info. It was my best grade and my favorite.

CRIMLAW: is more procedural and you will learn the MPC (Model Penal Code) vs. the Common law. The cases are nice and gorry but there isnt much to it. You need to learn all about Homicide which includes Murder 1, Murder 2, Manslaughter- Voluntary and Involuntary.

Book Briefing: Dont do it

Outlining: Do your own

Reading: Read it twice if you have to

Missing class: dont do it

Keep your grades to yourself: A MUST

Make friends: Necessary---networking for the future kids! Don't miss out you never know who will come in handy later.

Get involved: Maybe...I didn't

Good luck with balance I won't even go there

Work out!

Don't live on Cheeze Its

Do shower regularly

Don't dress like a stripper or go to school in your P.J.s

Dont wear flip flops in the library and don't talk in the library

Don't get drunk and sleep with everyone....(it's junior high all over)

Most importantly: DONT GIVE UP

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