I got them!
I think I saved $500-$800 on textbooks.
Here’s how I did it:
1) Roommate’s fiance is a recent law grad who owns and will happily loan me the book for Contracts.
2) 1L mentor offered to give me the book for Civil Procedure for free.
3) Bought two books needed for 1st and 2nd semesters of Criminal Law through a facebook book swap for $75.
4) E-mailed the torts professor about what book would be used. She promptly replied that it was the same book as last year. Purchased via abebooks.com for about $100.
5) One of the books I need for legal research and writing is Bryan Garner’s “Legal Writing in Plain English,” which I have already read most of this summer.
6) Earlier this summer I bought an Examples and Explanations book for each course I have first semester for $10-$30 on half.com.
So… I’ve spent max $300 on books for semester one. I have heard that during orientation, 1Ls will be led to the bookmart, which is like a closet where they sell books, and handed a huge stack of books for a hefty fee of around $800. I’m not sure if I’m missing something, or if these books are really like $200 each new. Most people don’t figure out what books they will need until orientation, and at that point it’s just days away, so there isn’t time to get used books mailed. All in all, I’m very happy with my thrifty judgment. So unlike me!