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Terracycle

0L studying 1L content

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I’ve heard that there is little benefit in spending my 0L time studying 1L material but I’m eager to do it anyways. 
 

I have access to 1L textbooks and materials for one specific Ontario school, however I’m not sure if I’ll be attending this school and may not hear a response from the school until well until the summer.

So my question is, is the knowledge transferable from 1 school to another? If I study the full 1L curriculum at UFT and end up at Ottawa, will I find a huge discrepancy in the content? 
 

thanks!!!!

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I would really, really reconsider studying 1L material now. Not only is there little benefit, there's likely actually a detriment to doing it. You don't know how to learn the law or approach the materials yet, and as eager as you are, you're likely to confuse yourself and have to unlearn everything once you actually start 1L. A lot of the time 1Ls have to redo their notes from September when they're studying for December exams, because it takes some time to figure out how to approach and study the material. There's lots of other things you can do to prepare for 1L (I always recommend you get your resume polished and prepare a couple of cover letters for clubs and clinics, since those deadlines are often all at the start of September and it can get overwhelming). Studying 1L material early is not one of them.

In response to your second question, it really depends. It might be, it might not be. There will inevitably be some overlap, but different professors will focus on different things, assign different cases, have you buy different textbooks. I have a friend who started at another Ontario law school when I started 2L at Western and I thought I'd be able to sell a bunch of my 1L books to her, but only one of my books ended up being assigned to her too.

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30 minutes ago, Terracycle said:

I’ve heard that there is little benefit in spending my 0L time studying 1L material but I’m eager to do it anyways. 

I have access to 1L textbooks and materials for one specific Ontario school, however I’m not sure if I’ll be attending this school and may not hear a response from the school until well until the summer.

So my question is, is the knowledge transferable from 1 school to another? If I study the full 1L curriculum at UFT and end up at Ottawa, will I find a huge discrepancy in the content? 
 

thanks!!!!

Everyone will tell you not to do this and you should listen to them. It's not just that there is little or no benefit - it might have a negative effect. 

Regardless, the fundamentals taught in the major courses at different Ontario law schools will be basically the same. Some use different textbooks, different approaches and perspectives, etc. but the major cases will be the same and of course the law isn't different. 

I imagine that your eagerness will disappear about 100 pages into the first textbook but even you do really want to do this I would recommend sticking to the core subjects like Criminal, Contracts. You don't want to read through Osgoode's Ethical Lawyering course or some first year seminar course from Western and then end up at Ottawa. Actually now that I type that it really doesn't matter. You should think of any reading you do as casual, interest-driven reading and nothing more.  

Edited by BringBackCrunchBerries
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If you really have to do something to prepare for 1L, I would suggest two things: practice reading and practice typing. If you don't come from a reading-intensive academic discipline before coming to law school, it may help to train yourself to read faster and skim/speed-read large volumes of text. If you are not a fast typer, train yourself to type faster because most law students type out their exams on the computer. If you already have those basic skills down pat and you are not worried about them, follow the advice you've been given above, especially re: resume preparation.

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Law students love to argue about the relative merits of many ideas. This is one of the rare exceptions. 

Edited by Tagger
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32 minutes ago, Terracycle said:

I’ve heard that there is little benefit in spending my 0L time studying 1L material but I’m eager to do it anyways.

I agree with all the above posters that this is really not a good idea. I would advise heavily against it. If you want to do some prep for next year, I would recommend learning about the basic structure of federalism in Canada and the basic structure of the courts, as some people will have done this in their undergrad. And then, as @cherrytree suggests, practice typing, and read plenty (but not law textbooks).

Don't do this by reading the federalism section of a constitutional law textbook, instead read something like this if you want to brush up on your knowledge (which I actually have read and it was helpful): https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/how-parliament-works/9780888872951-item.html

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Thank you everyone for the thorough responses!! Taking everything into consideration, will be refining my other skills (reading & typing)

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If you're doing it because you think it'll give you some sort of competitive advantage in law school ... don't.

If you're doing it because you looooove reading dense fact patterns about esoteric legal concepts you don't fully understand yet, then by all means go ahead.

Personally, I wouldn't burn what fleeting time I had left on law books. You'll be up to your eyeballs in reading materials once the actual thing starts and possibly for the rest of your career. So, imo the reading can wait a few months.

But that's just me.

 

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I did it, thinking it would give me some sort of advantage. It didn't. Reading 1L content without the context of a structured course is practically useless, you will forget it all once 1L begins.

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Thanks for posting this thread, @Terracycle! I also have a lot of materials for a specific Ontario school that I am seriously considering attending, and was planning on studying beforehand as well. I'm glad I read this thread first! I will also now be focusing on my reading and writing skills before the fall. 

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While we’re on this topic can anyone comment on the merits of reading Getting to Maybe? 
 

I’ve started reading it because I felt like I should be doing... something.
 

It’s interesting and I’m actually enjoying reading it quite a bit. Is there anyone here who read it before 1L? Did it help at all? 

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11 minutes ago, Seekingredemption said:

While we’re on this topic can anyone comment on the merits of reading Getting to Maybe? 
 

I’ve started reading it because I felt like I should be doing... something.
 

It’s interesting and I’m actually enjoying reading it quite a bit. Is there anyone here who read it before 1L? Did it help at all? 


I didn't end up reading G2M until 1L summer, and regret not having been told about it sooner. This is absolutely the one law-related book you should be reading before 1L starts (and should return to frequently).

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26 minutes ago, OldPBeswick said:


I didn't end up reading G2M until 1L summer, and regret not having been told about it sooner. This is absolutely the one law-related book you should be reading before 1L starts (and should return to frequently).

Thanks for the response :) 
 

I’m going to keep reading it and keep it handy during 1L! 

Edited by Seekingredemption

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