August 19, 2015

Law School Orientation Day 2

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Registering for Databases

On today's agenda: representatives from Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, and Lexis Advance came and convinced all of us to sign up for their services in exchange for free swag. Apparently these are what we'll be using pretty frequently to look up cases, but I was just in it for the CamelBak. 

law school orientation day 2 |

Reading Cases

After that, today was a lot more useful in terms of getting us in the mood for law school. The Assistant Dean gave our section an interactive one-hour seminar over how to read cases. His advice was:

  • read the text to understand what is written 
  • pay attention while you read
  • review the text for understanding and memory
  • interpret the text by testing for ambiguity and testing for contradiction
  • learn the context
  • make sure you understand the rule of the case, why the rule was used, and how it was applied to the relevant facts

Being Prepared for Class

A member of the Office of Student Success gave us advice on how to be prepared for class:
  • Pre Class Preparations
    • brief cases for both understanding and as a tool if called upon in class
  • Class
    • learn the rules being taught
    • learn how your professors expect you to apply the rules on the exam
    • look at the hypotheticals thrown out by the professors
  • Post Class
    • organize the material through outlining
    • perfect your understanding of the material
  • Exam Prep
    • take practice exams
    • memorize the rules and learn to apply them throughout the semester
Then he explained IRAC, the most popular method for briefing cases:
  • Issue
    • specific question posed to the court (Whether...)
    • often the rule is stated as a question
  • Rule
    • make sure not too vague nor too specific
    • often easier to write the rule before the issue
  • Analysis
    • how the court applied the rule to the facts
    • cover every point discussed by the court
    • does the court follow precedent or distinguish the case from previous decisions?
  • Conclusion
    • also known as the Holding

Mock Class and Core Grammar

The last thing we did was a mock class over the case we had to read last night. The professor was very interesting and I actually enjoyed the Socratic method, but maybe that's because I got an answer right :) It really got me excited for law school because, for me, classes will finally be intriguing rather than just sitting there copying slides. When I got home, I worked a little more on Core Grammar which is a big pain because you have to answer 5 interactive grammar questions after doing a reading and if you get one wrong, you have to start all over again. However, it was nice working on it in the courtyard of my condos, so it wasn't all bad. Two days of orientation down, 3 to go!

Final Thoughts

Read more about how my Day 1, Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5 went! And check out my Guide to Orientation post :)
law school orientation day 2 |
A little advice that I've heard many times this past year.
Here is what it's actually like to study like law school is a job!


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