Law School Materials for Success
Barbara Glesner Fines
Copyright Year: 2013
Publisher: CALI's eLangdell® Press
Conditions of Use
This is comprehensive in that it covers a wide range of issues related to how law students should study, outline, and even take care of themselves. read more
This is comprehensive in that it covers a wide range of issues related to how law students should study, outline, and even take care of themselves.
The book was fairly accurate in terms of parsing out ideas for functional analysis, and applying law. It gets into how students can learn to analyze cases and determine "rules" that will apply in later cases. The "Guided Reading of a Case" materials starting on page 25 were a bit unclear to me. I am not sure that I would recommend the same sort of "charting" provided in the book. However, this is a matter of preference and seems perfectly reasonable -- just a bit different from what I would recommend.
This is clearly relevant and important, especially with so many students who are seeking direction for "how to study" and "how to succeed" in law school.
It is clear for the most part. Starting on p. 32, however, there are materials that reference "footnotes" but I think that the book really has end notes. That section was a bit unclear for me overall.
This is consistent.
This is a big benefit of the book. I am considering using only some portions and it seems very easy to do that. For example, the materials on p. 39 referencing means for distinguishing cases is very helpful. I do this sort of juxtaposition of cases in class with my Contracts students and it is very helpful for students seeking to learn. I feel I can use these analytical examples to help students learn, although I would not adopt the parts dealing with "Guided Reading" more generally (referenced above).
This is logically organized.
The reference to footnotes needs to be clarified.
This seemed fine for the most part.
It did not seem offensive.
For some audiences or purposes, the book may be too inclusive, potentially overwhelming students instead of preparing or comforting them. Some additional information could be incorporated, but that would come at a cost. A book like this really... read more
For some audiences or purposes, the book may be too inclusive, potentially overwhelming students instead of preparing or comforting them. Some additional information could be incorporated, but that would come at a cost. A book like this really ought to be short; otherwise, it is unlikely to be used and therefore cannot be useful to students.
Substantively, the book is strong. Some of the information it includes may not apply to all schools or professors, but the author acknowledges that.
Legal education is slow to evolve, so I expect the material to remain relevant for some time.
Some portions could be more concise.
Substantively, I noted two points where I would expect students to experience confusion based on inconsistency: reference to an apparently absent article on page 7 and a discrepancy about the ratio of out-of-class to in-class time on page 8.
The chapters and sub-sections make the material easy to access.
The book follows a logical order. The reader is able to naturally progress through the material as a result of its organization.
I noticed no interface issues while reading this text on Microsoft Word.
The text includes a handful of grammar and punctuation errors that require cleanup. In terms of attention to detail or polish (e.g., on matters of format, grammar, and consistency), the text would benefit from another round of edits.
I noted no problems, though perhaps the text could affirmatively note some of the challenges (and strategies) commonly experienced by students whose backgrounds have not exposed them to lawyers and the expectations of the profession (e.g., students who have never met a lawyer; students who are first-generation college graduates; students who have not received extensive feedback on their writing; etc.).
This text is likely to be a useful tool for instructors and students involved in an orientation or academic success program. For orientation, a distilled version of the materials may be more appropriate than the full original text.
Table of Contents
- Chapter One: Assessing your Resources
- Chapter Two: Preparing for Class
- Chapter Three: Getting the Most from Class
- Chapter Four: After Class Review
- Chapter Five: Outlining and Exam Preparation
- Chapter Six: Taking an Exam
- Chapter Seven: The Next Semester
About the Book
The first year of law school is, for many people, one of the most significant transitions of their adult life. Law school demands a lot as it helps you make the transition from your prior identity as student (or as some other occupational role) to your new identity as an attorney. To meet the demands of law school, it is often helpful to have the big picture before you begin – a sense of what it is you are trying to do as you prepare for classes, participate in those classes, review and prepare for exams, take exams, and then begin the cycle once again.
Law School Materials for Success is designed to give you the essentials of that process. It is purposefully brief – most law students do not have the time for an extensive examination of the study of law school. Rather, they need a source for some basic, critical advice and some pointers on where to go for more if necessary. That is what this book and the accompanying podcasts are designed to provide.
About the Contributors
Barbara Glesner Fines is the Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law and Executive Associate Dean for Faculty and Academics at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, where she has taught since 1986. Professor Glesner received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her masters of law degree from Yale Law School. She teaches Professional Responsibility, Family Violence, Divorce Process, and a Seminar in Ethical Issues in the Representation of Families and Children. Her recent publications include ETHICAL ISSUES IN FAMILY REPRESENTATION (Carolina Academic Press 2010); PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY: A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH (Context and Skills Series)(Carolina Academic Press 2012); Fifty Years of Family Law Practice - The Evolving Role of The Family Law Attorney, 24 J. AMER. ACAD. MATRIM. L. 601 (2011); Lessons Learned About Classroom Teaching from Authoring Computer-assisted Instruction Lessons, 38 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 1094 (2012). Professor Glesner has held leadership positions in many organizations devoted to legal education, including the AALS Section on Teaching Methods (Chair 2012-13); the AALS section on Professional Responsibility (Chair Elect 2015-16); the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (Board of Directors, 1998-2005; President 2002-2005; Editorial Board 1998- current); and the Institute for Law School Teaching and Learning (Advisory Board 2003-date, Acting President 2006-2008).