I've had a couple of emails from readers asking about 1L stuff (notes, outlines, etc) and pre-1L stuff (what should I do the summer before I start school), and although I normally don't do the advice thing, because, let's face it, no one has worse study habits than me, I am going to try to give a brief overview of my thoughts with some links in what I would consider to be the right direction.
Before you start school.
The summer before 1L, my main advice would be to relax, spend time with your family, and don't do anything law related. ESPECIALLY don't waste your money on any of those pre-law-school boot camp things that are supposed to get you all spun up before school even starts. Your 1L professors will all teach in very different ways, and will want you to learn specific things for regurgitation come exam time. Any advantage one of those courses will get you will be gone by the second week of school, plus you'll have to live with the fact that you spent a couple thousand bucks in order to be even more crazy and anal then everyone else, which is saying something amongst a group of law students.
The summer before my 1L year I got out of the Air Force in May, took a vacation to see my parents for a couple of weeks, and then went to Oklahoma City and lived with M. rent-free for two months while I temped at an easy receptionist job, socked away money for school, paid off some bills, and drank a REAL LOT. I read lots of trashy romance novels, watched tons of Dr. Phil, took up swimming again at the YMCA, and oh yeah, drank.
For all you ever wanted to know about Pre-1L, check out the archive on that very subject at Blawg Wisdom (of which yours truly has been a contributor although I have shirked my duties for many months now).
Here's my list of the top ten things to bring to law school...I would say I was kidding, but...well...
This one is from me too...it should be called "Hey, how did I get here and do I want to stay?"
Here's Soupie's advice...
15 Tips from Ditzy Genius
UPDATE: Why quarters SUCK by moi
Ambulance Chaser's Low-Stress Guide to Being a 1L
An exhaustive guide to incoming 1L advice over at Jeremy Blachman's place
What to do in your last summer before law school...from Three Years of Hell to Become the Devil
Heidi Bond has a whole section called "Advice to Newlings" which can be found through the link in this post.
Pre-law summer reading from Ambivalent Imbroglio
Once You Start School.
My method of studying should never, EVER, be tried at home, and certainly never even attempted by anyone who is not a trained professional in the art of slackertude. I do not have good study habits, I blog too much, when I get bored I have been known to surf the 'net in class, and I often find myself catching up on reading during exam time because I am usually always behind. That being said, I will try to direct you to people who have better habits than I do...if you would like to know how to balance studying and drinking, or the best free emoticons on AIM, I'm your girl...for "real" studying, by "real" students...sorry, no can do.
Once again, I would suggest the 1L archive over at Blawg Wisdom.
I wrote about cutting your books here, and that seemed to be pretty popular.
Here's a take on first year law school grades from The Volokh Conspiracy
More on exams from me (with links to others who actually know what they're talking about)
A tip on reading cases from Ernie the Attorney
Reading a law school case for the first from Heidi Bond
Lots of advice for better legal writing
My take on grades....and Professor Yin's take on my take (which has some exam advice mixed in)
Top 10 Law School Survival Skills, via Andrew Raff
20 Questions with a Law Clerk, answered by Scott, asked by Milbarge
The Sua Sponte 1L Archive
The Law School/Law Student Archive at Notes from the (Legal) Underground
If you want to just know about 1L year in general, I would suggest picking any blog on my blogroll and just hunting through the archives and reading what the author wrote during their 1L year...you'll (I'm sure) be able to find posts on exams, studying, writing, job hunting, angst, triumphs, appellate briefs and moot court, law review write-ons...etc......
I hope that at least some of these links are helpful. I tried to pick a pretty reasonable range of people so there would be some differing perspectives on these topics. However, I am tired, I have been writing all day (it's worth noting that the reason I've been writing all day is because I didn't finish my paper before finals week was over and am thus working on an extension...see why I point you elsewhere?), and so I'm sure I missed lots of people who have wonderful 0L and 1L advice, if that's you, and you'd like to be included, please drop me a note and I will happily add you to the list. I am also going to get LQ to write a post when she gets back about OneNote which is what she uses to take notes...she loves it and I have had a question it, but alas, I know nothing.
I apologize also for the fact that this isn't more of a "what E. Spat did to survive 1L" type of post, but trust me, you don't want to know.
UPDATE: I added at least10 new blogs (but probably more like 15) to the blogroll tonight...thanks to everyone for linking, and for being so patient with me on the linking back thing...I am a notorious technophobe. As always, if I missed you, email me so I can fix it while I'm still motivated.