Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

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truevines
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby truevines » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:34 pm

Dude, congrats!
You did an excellent job and it is so generous of you to share your secrets with us.
Thank you, arrow.

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:06 pm

Gatorade wrote:congratulations on doing so awesome in ur 1L.

I'd love to see what your outline/case note/exam prep documents look like, especially the exam prep document. I am about to starting 1L in August, little nervous right now, since so much hinges on how well one does in 1L. thx

Subject: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)



Thank you for asking me to do this. Here are the 3 files I have for my Criminal Law Class.

A few things to notice:

My notes file: At the bottom of the file, I have big long lists of questions. These are things that confused me when I was studying and reading. I wrote them down and asked them to the professor during office hours.

My outline: At the top, I wrote small reminders to myself on things that were easily missed. I bold + italicize or used red font on certain things I tended to forget (basically I used them to emphasize things). At the bottom of my outline, I have the list of issues (in non-abbreviated form) that I would write down first thing on the exam.

My exam prep: Yes, it is a whopping 200 pages, as most of my exam prep documents range from 50-200 pages. This is the type of focus I think you should have for exam preparation. This professor had a ton of hypotheticals and practice exams for me to play with, which was perfect. In addition, her exam was especially a hard one racehorse style. You will also notice I have typed the black letter law quite a few times throughout the document, and no they were not copied. I also bolded the parts I forget and would review it now and then. Finally, you will notice that the font changes at some point in this document. That is because I started practicing my exams and stuff in ExamSoft from that point on instead of simply in Microsoft word (I copied back into this document so I could edit it/learn from it).

--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.scribd.com/full/17016168?access_key=key-1pg6uigxccjyuwiaz2xa
Last edited by Arrow on Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

emoticons777
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby emoticons777 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:10 pm

Arrow wrote:
Gatorade wrote:congratulations on doing so awesome in ur 1L.

I'd love to see what your outline/case note/exam prep documents look like, especially the exam prep document. I am about to starting 1L in August, little nervous right now, since so much hinges on how well one does in 1L. thx

Subject: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)



Thank you for asking me to do this. Here are the 3 files I have for my Criminal Law Class.

A few things to notice:

My notes file: At the bottom of the file, I have big long lists of questions. These are things that confused me when I was studying and reading. I wrote them down and asked them to the professor during office hours.

My outline: At the top, I wrote small reminders to myself on things that were easily missed. I bold + italicize or used red font on certain things I tended to forget (basically I used them to emphasize things). At the bottom of my outline, I have the list of issues (in non-abbreviated form) that I would write down first thing on the exam.

My exam prep: Yes, it is a whopping 200 pages, as most of my exam prep documents range from 50-200 pages. This is the type of preparation for the exam, in which I believe has the right focus. This professor had a ton of hypotheticals and practice exams for me to play with, which was perfect. In addition, her exam was especially a hard one racehorse style. You will also notice I have typed the black letter law quite a few times throughout the document, and no they were not copied. I also bolded the parts I forget and would review it now and then.

--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.scribd.com/full/17016168?access_key=key-1pg6uigxccjyuwiaz2xa


Thanks for the links :)

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bouakedojo
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby bouakedojo » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:13 pm

.
Last edited by bouakedojo on Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A'nold
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:25 pm

Arrow wrote:
Gatorade wrote:congratulations on doing so awesome in ur 1L.

I'd love to see what your outline/case note/exam prep documents look like, especially the exam prep document. I am about to starting 1L in August, little nervous right now, since so much hinges on how well one does in 1L. thx

Subject: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)



Thank you for asking me to do this. Here are the 3 files I have for my Criminal Law Class.

A few things to notice:

My notes file: At the bottom of the file, I have big long lists of questions. These are things that confused me when I was studying and reading. I wrote them down and asked them to the professor during office hours.

My outline: At the top, I wrote small reminders to myself on things that were easily missed. I bold + italicize or used red font on certain things I tended to forget (basically I used them to emphasize things). At the bottom of my outline, I have the list of issues (in non-abbreviated form) that I would write down first thing on the exam.

My exam prep: Yes, it is a whopping 200 pages, as most of my exam prep documents range from 50-200 pages. This is the type of focus I think you should have for exam preparation. This professor had a ton of hypotheticals and practice exams for me to play with, which was perfect. In addition, her exam was especially a hard one racehorse style. You will also notice I have typed the black letter law quite a few times throughout the document, and no they were not copied. I also bolded the parts I forget and would review it now and then.

--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.scribd.com/full/17016168?access_key=key-1pg6uigxccjyuwiaz2xa



I LOVE (and I mean love) your suggestion to write down all of the issues right away. That seems like the most genius thing I have ever read regarding exam prep. How could you possibly miss an issue? BRILLIANT.

Gatorade
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Gatorade » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:52 pm

wow arrow, ur notes are publication worthy, now I know how u get such good grades. Thx again for sharing.

Arrow wrote:
Gatorade wrote:congratulations on doing so awesome in ur 1L.

I'd love to see what your outline/case note/exam prep documents look like, especially the exam prep document. I am about to starting 1L in August, little nervous right now, since so much hinges on how well one does in 1L. thx

Subject: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)



Thank you for asking me to do this. Here are the 3 files I have for my Criminal Law Class.

A few things to notice:

My notes file: At the bottom of the file, I have big long lists of questions. These are things that confused me when I was studying and reading. I wrote them down and asked them to the professor during office hours.

My outline: At the top, I wrote small reminders to myself on things that were easily missed. I bold + italicize or used red font on certain things I tended to forget (basically I used them to emphasize things). At the bottom of my outline, I have the list of issues (in non-abbreviated form) that I would write down first thing on the exam.

My exam prep: Yes, it is a whopping 200 pages, as most of my exam prep documents range from 50-200 pages. This is the type of focus I think you should have for exam preparation. This professor had a ton of hypotheticals and practice exams for me to play with, which was perfect. In addition, her exam was especially a hard one racehorse style. You will also notice I have typed the black letter law quite a few times throughout the document, and no they were not copied. I also bolded the parts I forget and would review it now and then.

--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--
http://www.scribd.com/full/17016168?access_key=key-1pg6uigxccjyuwiaz2xa

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rayiner
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby rayiner » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:26 pm

Arrow, you are completely insane. :mrgreen:

Props to a fellow engineer!

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:47 am

A'nold wrote:
Arrow wrote:No, I did them because I was bored from playing World of Warcraft (j/k, I don't play that game).

When I would do hypos and practice exams, my thoughts were this: I will ace the final exam. So, yes, I did do them to practice my legal thinking. More importantly, I was preparing for exams. Every time I wrote out a hypo, I was writing a shortened exam answer. I was trying to simulate exactly what I would do on the exam in terms of format, structuring, analysis, etc.



Thanks. My post was kind of hard to understand at second glance. I meant ask if you did them less for the substantive stuff like the black letter law and more for gaining experience in the proper structure and issue spotting.


In a sense, I guess it ended up being both (since you write the rules out anyways), but I did the hypos and practice exams to gain the experience in proper structure and issue spotting.

On another side note, I also recommend checking out JayCutlerCombover's blog, which so far, seems very helpful as well.

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=77498

strawberrysmoothie
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby strawberrysmoothie » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:34 am

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Last edited by strawberrysmoothie on Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ugchicago
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby ugchicago » Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:31 pm

Thanks!

yesofcourse
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby yesofcourse » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:56 pm

splick

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:35 pm

Don't got time to read this now, but with how much is written

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jul 04, 2009 3:49 pm

Arrow, I don't know you, but you are magnificent. Thanks for showing this site that there is life beyond the T14!

With affection,

OS

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lawlover829
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby lawlover829 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:10 pm

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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Wahoo1L
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Wahoo1L » Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:28 pm

Great post. It's motivated me to write about my experiences too (also around top 1% after 1L), although your post is probably far more helpful [I stole the format of your post]. I'm wondering if there is anyway that there could be a sticky for especially useful posts such as yours and Xeoh85.

lawschool7777
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby lawschool7777 » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:31 pm

thanks! this is an amazing post! Wahoo...where can we find your post?

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Wahoo1L
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Wahoo1L » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:29 pm

Haven't posted it yet. I'm editing it so that I don't sound like a moron.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:58 pm

I only skimmed your post, but it's weird because I was a little disappointed in getting 3 A-s my first year (out of 8 classes) but after reading how much work you put into your first year to pull close to a 4.0 you probably had, I don't think I did all that bad (I think I did about 20% the work you did). Congrats man.

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A'nold
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:31 pm

So, would you guys say that most t2-4 schools use these so-called "issue spotter" exams? If so, wouldn't LEEWS be awesome for that? How many of your classes, arrow, were these kinds of exams (if you don't mind)?

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Arrow
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby Arrow » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:42 pm

I would say most law schools everywhere use the same type of exams (issue spotter), since that is what people just seem to talk about and what professors want to see. There will always be exceptions, and only one of my professors was "non issue spotter" (and wanted policy), the other 6/7 went at it the traditional way.

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anacbanana
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby anacbanana » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:22 pm

Arrow wrote:I would say most law schools everywhere use the same type of exams (issue spotter), since that is what people just seem to talk about and what professors want to see. There will always be exceptions, and only one of my professors was "non issue spotter" (and wanted policy), the other 6/7 went at it the traditional way.


My International Law class involved two group projects. Miserable.

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A'nold
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby A'nold » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:26 pm

anacbanana wrote:
Arrow wrote:I would say most law schools everywhere use the same type of exams (issue spotter), since that is what people just seem to talk about and what professors want to see. There will always be exceptions, and only one of my professors was "non issue spotter" (and wanted policy), the other 6/7 went at it the traditional way.


My International Law class involved two group projects. Miserable.


I think I would actually die right then and there if this ever happens...........

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anacbanana
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby anacbanana » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:42 pm

A'nold wrote:
anacbanana wrote:
Arrow wrote:I would say most law schools everywhere use the same type of exams (issue spotter), since that is what people just seem to talk about and what professors want to see. There will always be exceptions, and only one of my professors was "non issue spotter" (and wanted policy), the other 6/7 went at it the traditional way.


My International Law class involved two group projects. Miserable.


I think I would actually die right then and there if this ever happens...........


It was my lowest grade (B+), and I was tempted to do an addendum for my transfer applications, but I decided not to. It was an absolutely horrible experience. If we could have picked our groups, it might have been tolerable, but they were assigned. PLUS, it was an elective, so there were all years. Needless to say, if you got a 3L in your group, you were screwed.

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby SoxyPirate » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:46 pm

Great post Arrow. Here's a bit of a related question:

Conventional TLS wisdom (which is neither conventional, nor wise IMO) says that lower ranked (read: non-T14) schools can be extremely competitive because 100% of the students at T2's, for example, realize that they have to give the 4.0 effort to have shot at making money after school. It's insane to assume, or even dream of making top 10-15% at a T2, because EVERYBODY is shooting for top 10-15%

My understanding, however, from family members and friends who have been to law school, is that the effort from law students is largely similar to undergrad, i.e., you have your slackers, the middle-of-the-road kids, and then the folks that live in the library, study night and day, etc. The percentages might not be exactly the same (there are certainly more slackers in college than in law school), but the groups are there.

What's your opinion on the percentage of law school students that really give the "top 10%" effort? More specifically, is there a noticable difference between the effort of the top 10% and those that make top 30%, or can it mostly be attributed to "luck?"

Feel free to tweak the numbers to your liking if you must (e.g., "no difference in the 10% and 25% kids, but there's a big difference between top 25% and top 50%...)

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anacbanana
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Re: Advice for doing well in law school (at a T2)

Postby anacbanana » Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:46 pm

Here's my two cents. I did my 1L at a T2 (70-80), got a 3.96 (school doesn't rank) and have applied to transfer. In at Berkeley so far.

Taking notes & participating in class

I took notes by hand first semester and by computer second semester. My difference in grades (.04) between the two semesters was pretty negligible, so I don't think it mattered much. Becuase it was MUCH easier to outline with typed notes, I'd suggest that. That said, I disabled my internet--too big of a distraction. I also was a hyper-vigilant note-taker, and took notes in bulleted, almost outline-like format. I missed only 2-3 classes and I participated extensively, which I think definitely helped. That said, I got a rec from a prof who said he really appreciated my participation because I spoke succinctly, in contrast to many other participators. It's quality, not quantity. Nobody likes a gunner, not even the prof.

Supplements vs. casebook

I always got the CaseNotes, and never wrote a brief all semester. The briefs were a great way to review briefly before class and were uber-helpful when outlining. I also book-briefed and made notes in the margins that were super-helpful come class-time. In terms of supplements, besides CaseNotes/canned briefs, I didn't use outlines during the semester. I would always use the Emmanuel outlines/supplements during outlining time, though, as the information was great and condensed.

Outlining

I outlined every single class myself, even if I used others' outlines as an additional tool to Emmanuel. I found it helpful to do each one myself. I always started outlining about a week before the exam. The outlining process itself was studying, and it generally took me 5 days to outline a class. The 6th and 7th days before the exam I met with my study group and went over old exams and sample questions.

Gearing up for exams

I didn't stress. Stressing isn't healthy, and don't get caught up in the insanity. Write your own outlines, do not just use others', although you can use others' as a support to fill in the gaps. Get a good study group you really trust and can rely on.

Office Hours

Never went to office hours once, but I still got great LORs for transferring.

Exam Answers/Outlines

I was meticulous with my answers. My answers were like an outline. I would sub-number each section. So, each issue got a letter/number and then an explanation. I think the professors really appreciated that, and it kept me organized. I also always had very long outlines. Some people frown upon that, but I found it helpful. I then had a Table of Contents on the first couple of pages that would help direct me. I had everything in those outlines, they were 100+ pages, and with the ToC, I could get to things quickly, and everything was in there. I could literally just transcribe the law and then apply the facts. I always argued both sides of the coin, and rarely stated my opinion on the odds/best argument, unless the question explicitly requested it.

Have a social life

I didn't go out much on weekdays, but I definitely kept my studying on weekends to an absolute minimum, except when LRW papers were due. I also avoided bringing reading home as much as possible. In addition to your law school friends, try and stay in touch with friends who aren't law students to keep you grounded. Use your time on weekdays between classes to read, and this way, you can have your weeknights and weekends to yourself. I found treating law school like a job was very very effective in maintaining a good balance.
Last edited by anacbanana on Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.




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