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Acing Your First Year of Law School: The Ten Steps to Success You Won't Learn in Class, 2nd Edition Paperback – May 30, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0837714103 ISBN-10: 0837714109 Edition: 2nd

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Acing Your First Year of Law School: The Ten Steps to Success You Won't Learn in Class, 2nd Edition + Getting To Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams + Law School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Law School Experience: By Students, for Students
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: William s Hein & Co; 2nd edition (May 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0837714109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837714103
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


First published in 1999, Acing has gone on to become one of the bestselling law school preparation books of all time. It has been recommended by the pre-law advisory office of numerous universities and by a variety of legal organizations, law school admissions consultant services and law school student organizations. It also has been favorably discussed many times on various law school discussion boards and blogs. Why? Because it has helped tens of thousands of law students ace their first year of law school!
Law schools throughout the country have caught on. Acing has been required reading for a number of 1L courses and suggested reading for incoming and 1L students at many law schools, including Akron, Appalachian, Arizona, BYU, California Western, Chapman, Charleston, Denver, Georgia, Georgia State, Hamline, Hastings, Hawaii, Hofstra, Houston, LSU, McGeorge, Mercer, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York Law School, Northeastern, Oklahoma City, Pace, Roger Williams, Samford, Seattle, St. Louis, Suffolk, Thomas Jefferson, Texas Southern, (Thurgood Marshall), Texas Tech, Tuoro, Washburn, University of Washington, Whittier, William & Mary and Wisconsin. --From the Publisher

WHY WE LOVE THIS BOOK: It focuses on the first year, providing many helpful tips for not only surviving, but also coming out on top. This book has a readable, conversational tone. It includes particularly valuable information about outlining, learning from Socratic class discussions, briefing cases and studying for exams. --National Jurist (September 2008)

From the Publisher

Law school attendance continues to rise each year. As more and more students enter law school, it becomes even harder to stand out in the crowd of other students. This book will teach you how to stand head and shoulders above your colleagues in law school, and succeed in your most critical year of law school, the first year. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

203 of 207 people found the following review helpful By _tiresias_ on December 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am a recent law school graduate. This book is solid and easy to read. The info on outlining and study guides is generally excellent. I disagree with the authors that you should wait until the semester is half over to start outlining, however. That will lead to unnec. anxiety, too much work at once, and possible procrastination or non-completion of the outline--the worst possible thing a 1L can do. I started outlining right away and made outstanding grades (when I was finally smart enough to outline). At least start by end of the first month. Just look at the syllabus or the textbook's table of contents to see the big picture.
Also, this book excessivley discusses legal research and writing. You will get all you need on that subject from your LRW class. Just keep up, and knock out assignments ahead of time. Your LRW textbook ought to discuss strategies as to timely completion of assignments. That is the most important thing with LRW. Oh, and stop doing research and start writing sooner rather than later. Hand in complete, organized rough drafts, and your instructor will point you in the right direction. You aren't expected to know everyhting as a 1L. Believe in yourself throughout the entire law school experience, reflect daily on your goals and situation, seek to quickly master new challenges, and minimize outside noise and distractions, at home and at school.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Conlon on May 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
When one wonders at the brilliance of a virtuoso pianist, for example, it is very easy to forget that she got to that point by breaking complex pieces down into smaller and smaller pieces and then practicing them until she could perform them exceptionally well. It turns out that it's the same thing with acing the first year of law school, according to Shana and Henry Noyes.
In deceptively simple prose, the Noyeses break down the "first year" experience into its basics: how to read a case, how to brief a case, cite cases, do research, etc. Certainly as important as what they point out as important (which they do with exceptional clarity), is what they point out is a waste of time (the "dicta" at the back of each chapter). Things like recopying notes - a waste of time, they note, that could be put to better use by actually thinking about what went on in that class. (Thinking, they argue, is avoided at all costs by some "first years" who will find anything to keep them busy.)
Some of the strongest chapters are on legal writing - how to organize papers, the conventions of legal writing, what research is necessary and what isn't, and navigating the arcana of legal citations (don't worry about most of the rules until you make Law Review). And capping it off is a modestly offered example of how to write an Outline: their outline of criminal law is a model of elegant simplicity. (These two are good.)
This book came out too late to help most of the first year Class of 2000. Not too late for the son a friend, who purchased it a week before his final exams, and thought it a great investment. Just think how he could have performed if he had this book on the first day.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Misha Rabinowitch on January 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
Shana and Henry Noyes capture the essence of the difficulties that face a first year law student. They've managed to boil down what can be an incredibly intimidating experience into ten easy to read chapters. Students beginning law school should not underestimate the value of being well prepared for their first day of class. High grades received in the first year can catapult a student to a prestigious judicial clerkship or a summer associate position at a well respected law firm. Students who read this book will have a tremendous advantage over others who are not so fortunate. This is a must read for all first years!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I bought this book shortly before beginning law school, and while it seemed adequate at first, it seemed less so once I was actually taking classes. Different professors expect different things: one suggests briefing your cases for "at least the first few weeks of class," not a whole year; another demands that your case briefs be so exhaustively detailed that you wonder why you're bothering to write briefs at all when they end up almost as long as the cases themselves. The case that the authors brief in the book is much shorter and more straightforward than most of the cases I've had to read so far. The authors might have served their audience better if they had also included an example of their approach to a longer, more confusing case.
Another shortcoming of this book is that it gives no advice on multiple-choice exams. Of my four classes this semester, one will have a final exam that is exclusively multiple-choice and another will be half multiple-choice. State bar exams have also moved toward more multiple-choice questions. Including a strategy for taking this type of test would have been helpful to readers.
The rest of the information in this book is appreciated, especially the advice on thinking for yourself, using study aids, outlining, and preparing for essay exams. The dicta columns help you know what not to worry about. The authors' repetition of "You know better" gets a little old, but it doesn't detract too much from the what's valuable in this book.
Follow-up: Waiting until six weeks into the semester to begin outlining is a mistake. It's best to do it weekly, while the information is fresh. It's overwhelming to feel behind on outlining when you've got other pressing things, like writing assignments, to worry about.
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