NAVIGATING LAW SCHOOL'S WATERS: A GUIDE TO SUCCESS
By Patricia Grande Montana
Law school, particularly the first year, can be a rather intimidating and challenging experience for many students. This book is designed to give students the tools they need to successfully navigate their way through it. It introduces students to the fundamentals of legal analysis and writing and teaches them how to read and brief cases, outline, study, master law school exams, and care for their physical and emotional well-being. In short, it prepares students for every aspect of their journey through law school.
Unlike other introduction to law school texts, this book is unique in that it takes a cognitive approach to its instruction. It is premised on the belief that students learn new information best when they have a "schema" or framework that allows them to think logically about the information. Thus, it routinely draws on non-legal examples when introducing new topics and skills, and spends substantial time explaining why law students are expected to read and brief cases, outline, study, and write exam answers the way they are. Additionally, this book builds upon the same core problems throughout, including the chapter exercises, so that students can more easily master the relevant skills. Every concept is illustrated and every chapter includes exercises that encourage students to apply what they have just learned. Accordingly, this book provides more than just written instructions on how to navigate law school's waters. It shows law students how to do so, thereby allowing them to sail smoothly through the experience with great skill and confidence.
Patricia Grande Montana is a Professor of Legal Writing at St. John's University School of Law. She earned her B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from Wellesley College (magna cum laude) and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (cum laude). Before joining the law faculty at St. John's, she was a litigator at Latham & Watkins, concentrating on commercial and intellectual property matters. At St. John's, she teaches Legal Writing and Drafting: Federal Civil Practice. She is also the founder and Director of the Street Law: Legal Education in the Community Program, where law students teach a practical law course to high school students in the community. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts state bar associations. Professor Montana has authored and presented many articles on legal writing theory and pedagogy as well as professional skills instruction.