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Do-it-yourself law school

 
 
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2011 04:36 pm
Has anyone considered studying law on your own? Mind sharing some resources?
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2011 04:55 pm
@samanthac,
Why did you have to do three threads on this?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2011 05:33 pm
@samanthac,
Interesting question -- this is my bookmark.

I've heard of people "reading" law and taking the bar without having gone to school (Abraham Lincoln, Frank Abagnale Jr) but I've never heard from anyone who actually did it.

I would think a good place to start would be a practice bar exam as it would give you a good idea of what you needed to know.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2011 05:34 pm
@Mame,
Maybe because they're new here and haven't quite figured out how it all works.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2011 05:43 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
...I've heard of people "reading" law and taking the bar without having gone to school ...


Not every state allows that. California does if I'm recalling correctly, but New York doesn't, or at least it didn't 20 years ago when I was taking the Bar. Looks like some of that may have changed if this site is to be believed (it has no citations, so read at your own risk): http://studyfor.com/bar-exam/can-i-take-bar-exam-lawyer-without-going-law-school-234/

Even if it is permitted, it is a buttload of study -- generally as many years or more as Law School ends up being.
djjd62
 
  4  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2011 05:59 pm
@jespah,
i spent the better part of 15 years in bars and only had few run-ins with the law


and i got a lot of reading done as well
0 Replies
 
samanthac
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jun, 2011 06:01 pm
@jespah,
I believe New York allows it if you have had prior experience as a paralegal and at least 1 year of law school. I thought i would want to try to study for the bar on my own as i am more interested in public interests law for interests sake, which I believe is not a specialty to earn a good source of income in. At least when you factor in law school tuition fees.

My question is : What is a good way to start? There are just so many books. From what Ive heard, law school doesnt really focus on the content, instead they teach you how to talk and think like a lawyer. So I gathered that content-wise, everyone is more or less on their own, and so one can actually study the content on his/her own
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2011 06:33 am
@samanthac,
Weelllll the thing is, Law School does the whole Socratic method thing. But they also teach to the Bar Exam. This doesn't mean that a Bar Review course isn't needed -- they are! But when in the Bar Review course they talk about Pennoyer v. Neff, you know wtf they're talking about.

I have met many paralegals and/or people who were referred to as paras and billed out as same (I used to audit law firms, plus I also used to teach paralegal courses). Some paralegal work (e. g. preparing briefs and trial memoranda, and doing research) is smart, difficult work that is spot-on for becoming a lawyer. Other paralegal work, e. g. writing basic letters to judges, proofreading briefs, scheduling depositions, asking for more time to answer a pleading, etc. is not much beyond clerical work. This is not to disparage administrative assistants or paras and it is not to say that the law doesn't involve a lot of that because God knows it does. But what I will say is that the quality of paralegal tasks and experiences varies considerably from para to para, firm to firm and state to state.

When the one year of para work has to be supplemented with six years of study (while, possibly, not making too much $$ because you're busy studying, plus you are pushing back your lawyer earning years), three years of Law School starts to look like, potentially, a decent deal in terms of the price.

Look into prices and look into evening study. There is a significant price differential between NYU and Touro College Law School (see: http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/tuition.php/1/desc/Tuition ). When I was at Law School, you could attend at night at my school, plus you could go over the summer, and I suspect that is still true there and in many other places. Independent studying for the Bar is possible but it is not for the faint at heart.
samanthac
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2011 12:07 pm
@jespah,
im not sure if I want to pursue a career in law as my main profession. a part of me would like to do it on my own for kicks. and it would always be useful to know the law. hence, i am not ready to commit to paying for law school.

thanks for your info. I have had socratic styled lectures in phil classes at college and some of them turned out to be really pseudo-intellectual and petty discussions LOL.
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2011 12:20 pm
@samanthac,
In my experience as an observer of lawyers and law students, these discussions can also run in that direction -- with the significant exception that, ultimately, there is going to be some grounding in reality and a determination, however arbitrary, will be made. Eventually.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 19 Jun, 2011 06:00 pm
@samanthac,
Oh you haven't seen pseudo 'til you've taken a Constitutional Law class.

And lawyers are - Gawd - there can be an awful lotta grindingly dumb law students (I imagine they did well on the LSATs).

Law is a PITA type of discipline - it is a lotta work to just do it for fun -- dunno if that quite makes any sense. Once you start to see that, behind it, someone could lose their house, their kid, their freedom or even their life, it can become rather daunting.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 03:53 am
@jespah,
jespah wrote:
Oh you haven't seen pseudo 'til you've taken a Constitutional Law class.
Explain?? "pseudo" ?
I really ENJOYED that class.




jespah wrote:
And lawyers are - Gawd - there can be an awful lotta grindingly dumb law students (I imagine they did well on the LSATs).

Law is a PITA type of discipline - it is a lotta work to just do it for fun -- dunno if that quite makes any sense. Once you start to see that, behind it, someone could lose their house, their kid, their freedom or even their life, it can become rather daunting.
What does "a PITA type of discipline" mean ??





David
tsarstepan
 
  4  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 04:30 am
@samanthac,
Have you considered pursuit of a career in the healthcare industry by trying out the do-it-yourself medical school?
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Mon 20 Jun, 2011 05:38 am
@OmSigDAVID,
Psuedo, as in people engaging in pseudo-intellectual posturing. I enjoyed my Con Law class, too, but I also saw a lot of people spouting a lotta BS during it.

PITA = pain in the ass. The point I am making is, law is a lot of work, particularly if one is pursuing it just for fun.

And the other point, which you didn't comment on, is that this is not a lark for people -- they can lose their house, their kid, etc (in all fairness, even if you don't screw up, those things can still happen). When you screw up in web design, the website looks bad and perhaps customers are lost. Eventually, if you screw up truly badly, a company can fold. If you screw up engineering, the bridge falls down (but in engineering everything is triple-checked -- it's pretty rare that truly egregious errors get to the final product).

When you screw up in the law, someone goes to jail, they lose their home, they lose custody, etc. Except for medicine, there is a lot at stake, a lot more than in probably any other profession. Having a blast is all fine and dandy but I think potential lawyers should keep their clients in mind. It's not fun and games to the person whose future is on the line.
0 Replies
 
SolonTheLawmaker
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 04:26 am
@Mame,
At least he is not resurrecting a 2 year old thread.
I mean, the very thought of resurrecting a 2 year old thread -
Gives me the shiver me timbers... arrr...
SolonTheLawmaker
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 04:29 am
@samanthac,
Hey man,
Only this past week.
It never occurred to me before, but I need to know it, all of it (or at least... as much of it as I can handle.)

Two years have passed since you posted this thread.

I know that raising up old topics is a bit of a taboo on "the forums", but I have seen it done in the past by newbies.
I should have a couple more strikes before somebody decides to throw in my towel for me (the internet being a breading ground for the passive aggressive.)

How far did you get in your research?
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 04:34 am
@samanthac,
A lot might well depend on whether u want to PRACTICE law
or u just wanna find out what it IS.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Jul, 2013 04:44 am
@SolonTheLawmaker,
SolonTheLawmaker wrote:
At least he is not resurrecting a 2 year old thread.
I mean, the very thought of resurrecting a 2 year old thread -
Gives me the shiver me timbers... arrr...
Just speaking for myself,
I see no problem with that.





David
0 Replies
 
 

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