1L Resources

Moving into Madison?




Visitor & Information Programs is the central Campus Area Housing Office for the University of Wisconsin–Madison, serving faculty, staff, students and the general public.

Conduct a free search of hundreds of available campus area, Madison, and Dane County rentals including:

Apartments , Houses, Sublets and roommate openings , Rooms in private homes, suites, co-ops, rooming houses, and fraternities/sororities, and Private residence halls.

Purchasing Furniture

Furniture Deals & Steals
4634 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI
(608) 241-3355

Ashley Furniture Homestore
4279 Lien Road, Madison, WI
(608) 244-0222

A1 Furniture & Bedding, Inc.
2002 S. Stoughton Rd., Madison, WI
(608) 222-9200

Slumberland Furniture
2201 E Springs Dr, Madison, WI
(608) 240-0200

2127 E Springs Dr, Madison, WI
(608) 246-3147

2501 Royal Ave, Monona, WI
(608) 224-0781

Living in Madison

Places to Eat

On State Street

Buraka Restaurant (Ethiopian)
543 State Street

Frida Mexican Grill
117 State St
(608) 256-4000

Potbelly Sandwich Works
564 State Street

Takara Japanese Restaurant
315 State Street

Tutto Pasta
305 State Street

On Capitol Square

The Old Fashioned
23 N Pinckney St
(608) 310-4545

Tornado Steakhouse
116 South Hamilton

A to Z Guide to Restaurants in Madison


Free or Discount Rate Activities

Farmer’s markets


On Capitol Square, Saturday Mornings during the Fall

2nd run movies -$3 at Market Square


Vitense mini golf


Indoor tennis at Nielsen


Most Importantly, Become Informed

  • Sign up for the UW newslink at http://www.news.wisc.edu/ to get updates of free events/lectures around campus.
  • Get on the Union email list, they have lots of shows in the theatre and concerts that are cheap for students.
  • Read the campus papers, and the Isthmus (all free) to find out what’s going on around town.

Academic Support

Academic Do´s and Dont´s of the 1L year


  • Start working on your outlines at least 6 weeks before the exam
  • Collect outlines from students who have performed well in the classes you are taking
  • Take timed practice exams at least 3 or 4 weeks before the exam
  • Read ¨Getting to Maybe¨
  • Make study groups and use them
  • Use hornbooks and study aids
  • Befriend the people in your section as much as you can
  • Become active in at least one student organization at the law school
  • Attend LEO Sponsored Activities
  • Go to Bar Review!
  • Take a break from Madison. Take the Van Galder Bus at the Memorial Union and go to Chicago if you have friends there!


  • Cut down on your sleep hours to study more
  • Start looking for a job during your first semester of law school
  • Fall behind on your reading
  • Rely on commercial outlines
  • Eat too much fast food
  • Approach law school exactly the same way you approached undergrad (they are just too different)
  • Live too far away from campus

A Review of 1L Professors

This information was contributed by various LLSA members, and does not constitute the organization’s official views.


Constitutional Law

“Overall, an extremely frustrating class. Most of my learning and understanding came from my own studies. Most people do a lot better than they think they will on her exams, though. She is very concerned with you knowing how a particular justice thinks, so when you read cases, take note of what justices take part in the majority opinions, who wrote dissents, and try to understand the judging tendencies of the different Supreme Court justices. As exam questions, she’ll sometimes just give you a passage from a case and ask you to apply it to a new situation.”


Civil Procedure I

“There are only a few cases to read in Professor Brito´s class, but it is really important that you understand these cases really well. The Rules of Civil Procedure Book, if used properly, will be your best friend, and can paint a clearer picture of the class if you read it wisely. Diagrams work really for this course, so draw one up, and add it as a supplement to your outline.”

“I had her for civil procedure. I wouldn’t take her again, though. Since her focus is on family law, it didn’t always seem like she was entirely into civil procedure. She tried to pack a lot of things into the class, and while some of it helped, other times it just felt like a waste of time. You end up knowing more than you think, but it’s a frustrating class, because it doesn’t feel like you read a lot, and she doesn’t always explain things clearly.”


Contracts II

“Professor Bugge is a classic lecturer. He will rarely call on someone. However, it´s important to go to class, and take good notes of the cases discussed. Don´t think you can learn everything by just reading the case book! A solid understanding of the UCC is also necessary for this class, so make sure you always bring that book to class, and know the sections discussed like the back of your hand by exam time.”



“He appears intimidating, but he is really not as scary as he seems at first. He usually goes around the room clockwise, or counter clockwise, so you can fairly predict the day you will be on call. His midterm is tougher than final, so don´t freak out if your grade is a little lower than what you had expected.”

“I had him for torts. He likes to act like a tough guy, but he’s not. He really wants you to be a practical thinker, and wants you to stay in the real world—none of that hypothetical stuff. Be very ready when you’re on call, because he will sometimes grill you for a long time. Very cool outside of class, and extremely helpful. He gives a midterm and a couple of assignments throughout the semester. His feedback is great, and he is always willing to help you outside of class.”



“¨Jacque¨, ¨NIMBY´s¨, ¨and then the rent will go up¨ are terms that will pop up again, and again, again in this course. Professor Church teaches the course from a policy stand point based on the case book, and you will not learn much about the black letter law itself. For this course make sure you know the cases discussed, and the policies they each specifically raise. His exams have word limits (500 to 1000 for each response). Thus, unlike other courses where professors give credit to students for the quantity of their response, in Church´s property course it´s all about the quality of the written answer.”

Constitutional Law

“Doesn’t ask questions, just lectures. Really dry, but you learn a lot. Exam is all about writing well.”


Criminal Procedure

“I had him for criminal procedure. Criminal procedure is a frustrating class in general, because it’s really just an extension of criminal law. You don’t really learn much procedure. You learn more about drugs, stop/search/seizure laws. Dickey usually explains things pretty well, and he gives helpful examples of situations he’s faced in his life to help show what he’s trying to get across. He also brings in guest speakers that are very informative. One thing I didn’t like about Dickey was that he’s a very busy person, and so he doesn’t always have time to really understand the gist of your question. It’s better to email him your questions, and be sure to be as clear as you can, so he doesn’t misunderstand. He answers other people’s email questions at the beginning of classes, so it’s important to be there for that. Also, do not be late—he will call you out in front of the class, which would probably be pretty embarrassing.”


Criminal Procedure

“Actually was entertaining, though class content was pretty meaningless. Don’t both doing the reading, just pay attention to the problem sets.”



“I had him for property, and I would definitely take him again. Although he can be a bit cocky and sometimes a bit of a toughie, he really makes sure you know your stuff. He does the Socratic method, but he divides the class into parts, and will tell you beforehand which day you’re on call. He’s incredibly helpful outside of class; I’ve sat in his office for a couple hours just to go over a prior exam. Take advantage of his office hours and his email.”



“My small group for torts. I liked her personally, the book was really clear, could have been a big class but having one exam take home was good to mix it up. If she gives a midterm, take it seriously and go over it with her, she gives great feedback and it’s exactly like her final.”


Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure

“Don’t expect to take many notes in his class. So the best thing you can do is get an outline from someone who did well in his class, and then just add information to it. He is not big on the Socratic Method, the same people usually raise their hands throughout the semester. He is probably one of the funnier professors at the law school, so walk in ready to laugh!”

“Will drive you crazy at how disorganized he is about sticking to his syllabus and class time. He also never will answer a question, just “I don’t know, what do you think?” It can be frustrating, but I knew exactly how he wanted us to think and felt more prepared for his final than any other.”

“I had him for criminal law. He can be frustrating sometimes, but you will know more than you thought you did when the end of the semester rolls around. He’s very concerned with you being able to see several sides to an issue, and being able to identify various viewpoints in an argument. You need to address all sides, refute the sides you think are weak, and strengthen your own version of the argument. Facts are big for Smith, as well—he wants you to consider each fact, and whether it should be given credit, or why it might be important.

He’s a lot more helpful outside of class. In class, he won’t give you direct answers; in class, he’s a lot more direct and will tell you if he thinks your idea is wrong.”



“Finds himself very amusing, a lot of students did too. Didn’t learn a lot from him though, buy the Examples/Explanations book from bookmart.”


Civil Procedure II

“I had her for civil procedure 2, and I loved her. She does Socratic method the same way that Whitford does, except that she picks certain sides of the class on each day (so on Tuesdays, the left side of the class is on call, and on Thursdays the right side of the class is on call). Sometimes her questions are strange, and she kind of expects you to read her mind, so that can be tricky. Usually, she’s very straightforward in her explanations, though, and she repeats things a lot, so that’s helpful, too. When she’s calling on people, she tends to go right down the row, so if someone a couple seats down from you gets called on, prepare yourself to be next.”

Constitutional Law

“Read the Chemerinsky horn book throughout the semester. This past year Professor Weston wrote a question on her final based on a 2-3 page section in Chemerinsky´s book (which luckily, I had read the night before). A solid understanding of U.S. Legal History is vital to this course, so rent a History Channel DVD on Netflix on anything that has to do with the U.S. Supreme Court.”



“Amazing professor. Big on the Socratic Method. If you don’t want to get called on, the best thing you can do is avoid all eye contact with him at the beginning of class. Before class begins he stands behind the podium, and selects the people he will call (usually about 3 or 4 per class). Have your laptop ready, you will take a lot of notes in his class. Make sure to bring the UCC book.”

“Great professor. Pay attention to his “mini summaries” on Friday (and yes, go to his class on Friday). Very Socratic in class, and if you get a question right he’ll come at you with something harder. At some point you’ll be wrong, but he’s really clear and you understand the concepts. Don’t worry about facts of cases, but do know if courts are split on an issue because you’ll need to know when to make policy arguments on the exam.”

“I had him for contracts. Absolutely awesome. Gives great mini-reviews/summaries of class material on Fridays, so don’t miss his Friday classes. He does the Socratic method, and sometimes will ask hard questions, but usually his questioning will start out pretty easy and basic (ie, asking for a recitation of the facts). He is very clear and thorough, and the Socratic method does force you to really know your stuff. Even though contracts is a pretty dry class, you will definitely know it pretty well. He really emphasizes policy stuff. A good way to brush up on policy issues is to read a couple of newspaper articles each week, and ask yourself WHY a certain law or rule is the way it is.

For example: most department stores (ie, Best Buy) have a rule that no employee may pursue a shoplifter outside the boundaries of the store. Think about why this rule might exist within the store policies…….The answer is a policy reason: the store does not want to be held liable for any injuries that the employee might sustain, and the store also does not want to be held liable for any injuries that the shoplifter might sustain. This is just a brief example of a policy reason, and is something that Whitford will want you to keep trying to think of throughout the course.”

If you are a 2L or 3L that has information that you would think would be helpful to 1L students, or a 1L with information you feel would be helpful to your fellow classmates, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and our webmaster will incorporate the information in to this page. Thanks!

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