Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

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Drake014
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby Drake014 » Tue May 12, 2009 7:03 pm

ari20dal7 wrote:I haven't posted here in forever, but I just finished my last 1L final yesterday and thought I owed the community a little bit of advice for the help I got. I think I'll just say a little bit and follow it up with a few bullet points.

Law school is not difficult in substance. I went to UCLA, which is an OK school and is pretty well regarded. If you're going to upper T14, maybe it will be harder for you. It was not hard for me. The reason it was not hard is that law school is a process. It rewards a very narrow skill set and provides no incentive to learn much at all. To do well in 1L classes (legal writing aside), you need to know how to do three things: briefly summarize a rule, type fast, and make arguments on the fly. That's it. You also need to figure out what your prof's G-spot is so that you can work it into your argument somehow. Knowing detailed fact patterns is useless. Memorizing details for fear of Socratic embarrassment is useless. Trying to put together a comprehensive two hundred page outline is useless. If you cannot fit all the law you need to know in a particular area (for example, acceptance in contracts) into two pages, this is probably because you do not understand the law in that area.

I did not learn all of this the hard way. I am lazy and do not like law school. I think the people are fine, but it's not my set at all. Therefore, I spent as little time at the law school as possible, probably studying about an hour a day five days a week on average. I went to about half of my classes. I got great grades (so far) and have no reason to expect that will not continue. Why do I tell you this? I tell you this because for most of us, whatever's going on at law school has very little to do with what we want to get out of it. How many of you are seriously interested in the philosophical implications of easements? How many of you really care about the difference between strict liability tort regimes and negligence-based regimes? Almost none of you, and if you don't know what those words mean, thanks for proving the point. Most of us care about getting good grades and good (read: well paying) jobs. Some of us have an interest that we hope to explore in law school, an interest that will consume fifteen percent of our time in class at best. A few of us actually want to help people. But Socratic methods and pointless briefing serves none of those objectives. Read the essay on "How to Succeed in Law School" on this site and, if you're not going to a really, really good school, cut out the bit about the hornbooks. Do not fall into the trap. If you're at something other than T6 and you're working ten hours a day, you're working four times too much.

Now, I should of course qualify this: your mileage may vary. You may read a little more slowly and need some more time. You may really care about the law, in which case feel free to knock yourself out. But I've seen nothing in a full year at what purports to be a good school that would indicate that the standard experience should vary all that much. If you do what's in that essay or even a scaled back version of it, you will win the dumbest game in graduate school. I should caution you: if you absolutely must finish #1 in the class, then do what's in that essay AND go crazy with the briefing. Just realize that the first 5% of your work will (presuming you know how to work) get you the first 90% of your results.

A few other random tips:

1) Watch out for the time suck. Law school will provide you with a deluge of stupidity designed to get you to spend every waking moment there. I found one thing I liked doing and did only that thing. Do not trick yourself into thinking "well, maybe I'll be interested in the drafting of contracts in widget law". If you want to do extracurricular thinking (as I do), whatever law school you consider will have a first rate university library. Use it. Read good books.

2) Avoid the temptation to talk about your own results. I guess there are a few people around TLS who know who I am, but most of them probably don't read this anymore. I've discussed my performance openly with only a couple of people here at the law school and only after I knew for sure that they were pretty straight up people who see the world in much the same way as I do. I think nothing is more pathetic than people who barely know you fishing for grades. Whether you got great grades or bad grades, act like you've been there before. You'll be less stressed.

3) Realize that, like it or not, the stupidity of your classmates serves your goals and the intelligence of your classmates is at best neutral. Don't go out of your way to work with everyone and form study groups. If you want to, then do it, I guess. But think about it this way: if you basically do the same thing as everyone else, you'll get basically the same results. In an awful economy, are you interested in putting your grades on the roulette wheel? Are you interested in hoping that the prof likes your IRAC better than the one that's exactly identical from the girl across the aisle? I wouldn't be. Learn how to summarize and type fast.

4) There are really a lot of things to like about law school. If you do it right, you'll have lots of time to pursue your own interests and people will assume you're busy. Great combination, if you ask me. I've met some really nice people and I haven't met a single person I dislike (very much). Don't waste what will probably be your last chance to read good books and watch more basketball than any reasonable person could stomach.

5) If you spend a lot of time, spend it on your memos. These are the thing where more time really does improve results. If your legal writing class is pass/fail, then who cares?

One last thing: I just read this and it sounds pretty arrogant and mean. That's not the intent. The intent is just to try and help many of you to see what I saw: the law school experience does nothing for you other than give you the ability to take a BarBri class and a set of credentials.

Also, if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer.


He gives useful info for those not in the T6. Can anyone verify that this information is still reasonable for the T6? It would make me feel better.

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ari20dal7
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby ari20dal7 » Tue May 12, 2009 7:12 pm

Sorry about the delay.....I'll post a reply to the meaningful questions that I think I can answer. And to snarky remarks that I would like to flame.

Thanks for the advice. This is awesome. Also, I know you mentioned hornbooks are really only necessary at a T6 or so, and you said briefing is largely a waste of time. What supplements do you use? The E&E's? What pre-made briefs do you use?


First caveat: I should have been much clearer about the hornbook thing. My expectation is that the vast, vast majority of people are struggling with the content in class to the extent that simply knowing it cold and being able to write an exam are sufficient. You don't have to make the leaps to the edge of the doctrine, you just have to execute a simple plan. I wasn't smart enough or qualified enough to get into a T6, but I'd imagine the competition there is harder. You shouldn't base your decision on what to do at a T6 school on me: I've never been. I used a couple of the E&Es. Torts helped me. I wasn't impressed with the others, but I know others who liked them. I used no other supplements: lots of them just help you learn stuff that won't get you any points, in my opinion. My advice would be to start with E&Es. If they help, then maybe look for other stuff. You'll really just have to see for yourself.

Also, the how to essay on this site talks a bit about outlining. Do you start outlining from the very beginning of the semester, and then work on practice tests towards the exam? Or what's your strategy like?


First month of first semester, just stay on the reading and get used to law school. After that, move forward with outlining unit by unit (that will make sense once you're actually in law school). I kind of straddled the fence on this and did some outlining early and a lot of it late. That was some slacking that I regret.

Wouldn't things actually be easier at a T6 since, by and large, grades don't really matter?


Yeah, they would be. But I expect you'd have to go above and beyond if good grades matter to you for other reasons. I don't have the luxury of attending a school where grades don't matter, though. Ben's right: I'm speculating here and you'd be better served to talk to someone who actually went T6.

1) Pre 1L prep: Should we do nothing? Skim/Read E&E etc.?
2) Any advice on taking notes in class? How did you figure out the prof's preferences?
3) When did you start outlining, looking at practice exams? How long were your outlines? Any special techniques you used?
4) You seem to be discouraging study groups...did you go solo? Or were you able to find "above-median" types?
5) How did you structure your exam answers to maximize points?
6) Sounds like you figured out some day-to-day short cuts that allowed you a great deal of free time while still getting great grades. What did your daily/weekly routine look like at the beginning/middle/end of the semester?
7) Did you find the advice of 2Ls and 3Ls useful? Especially as a 1L seems to me I won't know whose advice to trust because it's hard to know who's actually doing well.


1) Do nothing. If you do anything, skim the E&Es. But it's seriously not necessary. If you're planning on working twelve hours a day during the year, then start gunning now. But why not just take an extra couple hours a day and work the E&Es during the first month of classes? Get your sleep.

2) You just listen to the prof and highlight arguments that they find particularly persuasive. If they tell you that they want a certain type of argument on the exam, then be sure to know that.

3) Outlines should be a maximum of 20 pages in my opinion. You should know the content of it pretty cold going into the exam. If you do better a different way, go to town. I saw a lot of hundred page outlines and I saw a lot of stressed out page flipping.

4) Solo all the way. I learn better on my own. If study groups work for you, then go ahead. But constantly evaluate what you're doing and don't change your own methods unless you're very confident in the merits of the change. Don't get on the study group assembly line where you spend an hour bitching, an hour comparing grades, and two hours compiling the most expansive outline possible.

5) Clarity is the key. If the question lends itself easily to a particular organization, then do that. If not, then pick a solid structure that's clear, have headings that are easy to follow, and be clear in your arguments. Particular structure isn't usually a big deal in my experience. Some profs may well vary.

6) Daily: go to class sometimes, be sure to set aside time to stay ahead on the reading, be sure to block out time for outlining. I read pretty fast and don't need to spend a lot of time. I don't know that my schedule would be very helpful because a lot of people see it differently. If you still want to know more, PM me and we'll talk nitty gritty.

7) I did not solicit much advice. My 2L writing advisor for legal writing was very helpful to me for that class. Be careful about taking what I say as the holy gospel: I'm just a dude on the internet. Easy to be a big man on the web.

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby Kohinoor » Tue May 12, 2009 7:12 pm

Drake014 wrote:
ari20dal7 wrote:I haven't posted here in forever, but I just finished my last 1L final yesterday and thought I owed the community a little bit of advice for the help I got. I think I'll just say a little bit and follow it up with a few bullet points.

Law school is not difficult in substance. I went to UCLA, which is an OK school and is pretty well regarded. If you're going to upper T14, maybe it will be harder for you. It was not hard for me. The reason it was not hard is that law school is a process. It rewards a very narrow skill set and provides no incentive to learn much at all. To do well in 1L classes (legal writing aside), you need to know how to do three things: briefly summarize a rule, type fast, and make arguments on the fly. That's it. You also need to figure out what your prof's G-spot is so that you can work it into your argument somehow. Knowing detailed fact patterns is useless. Memorizing details for fear of Socratic embarrassment is useless. Trying to put together a comprehensive two hundred page outline is useless. If you cannot fit all the law you need to know in a particular area (for example, acceptance in contracts) into two pages, this is probably because you do not understand the law in that area.

I did not learn all of this the hard way. I am lazy and do not like law school. I think the people are fine, but it's not my set at all. Therefore, I spent as little time at the law school as possible, probably studying about an hour a day five days a week on average. I went to about half of my classes. I got great grades (so far) and have no reason to expect that will not continue. Why do I tell you this? I tell you this because for most of us, whatever's going on at law school has very little to do with what we want to get out of it. How many of you are seriously interested in the philosophical implications of easements? How many of you really care about the difference between strict liability tort regimes and negligence-based regimes? Almost none of you, and if you don't know what those words mean, thanks for proving the point. Most of us care about getting good grades and good (read: well paying) jobs. Some of us have an interest that we hope to explore in law school, an interest that will consume fifteen percent of our time in class at best. A few of us actually want to help people. But Socratic methods and pointless briefing serves none of those objectives. Read the essay on "How to Succeed in Law School" on this site and, if you're not going to a really, really good school, cut out the bit about the hornbooks. Do not fall into the trap. If you're at something other than T6 and you're working ten hours a day, you're working four times too much.

Now, I should of course qualify this: your mileage may vary. You may read a little more slowly and need some more time. You may really care about the law, in which case feel free to knock yourself out. But I've seen nothing in a full year at what purports to be a good school that would indicate that the standard experience should vary all that much. If you do what's in that essay or even a scaled back version of it, you will win the dumbest game in graduate school. I should caution you: if you absolutely must finish #1 in the class, then do what's in that essay AND go crazy with the briefing. Just realize that the first 5% of your work will (presuming you know how to work) get you the first 90% of your results.

A few other random tips:

1) Watch out for the time suck. Law school will provide you with a deluge of stupidity designed to get you to spend every waking moment there. I found one thing I liked doing and did only that thing. Do not trick yourself into thinking "well, maybe I'll be interested in the drafting of contracts in widget law". If you want to do extracurricular thinking (as I do), whatever law school you consider will have a first rate university library. Use it. Read good books.

2) Avoid the temptation to talk about your own results. I guess there are a few people around TLS who know who I am, but most of them probably don't read this anymore. I've discussed my performance openly with only a couple of people here at the law school and only after I knew for sure that they were pretty straight up people who see the world in much the same way as I do. I think nothing is more pathetic than people who barely know you fishing for grades. Whether you got great grades or bad grades, act like you've been there before. You'll be less stressed.

3) Realize that, like it or not, the stupidity of your classmates serves your goals and the intelligence of your classmates is at best neutral. Don't go out of your way to work with everyone and form study groups. If you want to, then do it, I guess. But think about it this way: if you basically do the same thing as everyone else, you'll get basically the same results. In an awful economy, are you interested in putting your grades on the roulette wheel? Are you interested in hoping that the prof likes your IRAC better than the one that's exactly identical from the girl across the aisle? I wouldn't be. Learn how to summarize and type fast.

4) There are really a lot of things to like about law school. If you do it right, you'll have lots of time to pursue your own interests and people will assume you're busy. Great combination, if you ask me. I've met some really nice people and I haven't met a single person I dislike (very much). Don't waste what will probably be your last chance to read good books and watch more basketball than any reasonable person could stomach.

5) If you spend a lot of time, spend it on your memos. These are the thing where more time really does improve results. If your legal writing class is pass/fail, then who cares?

One last thing: I just read this and it sounds pretty arrogant and mean. That's not the intent. The intent is just to try and help many of you to see what I saw: the law school experience does nothing for you other than give you the ability to take a BarBri class and a set of credentials.

Also, if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer.


He gives useful info for those not in the T6. Can anyone verify that this information is still reasonable for the T6? It would make me feel better.
Columbia Chicago and Harvard all have a reputation for being unpleasantly intense. That is to say, of the T6 schools, they would require the greatest amount of work to excel.

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Mr. Costello
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby Mr. Costello » Tue May 12, 2009 7:20 pm

thanks for the helpful advice, ari20dal7.

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ari20dal7
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby ari20dal7 » Tue May 12, 2009 7:20 pm

I call bullshit on the "you have to type at least 70 WPM to succeed in law school" theorem.


Of course. But it's a skill that anyone could improve and will be useful in most test situations. I mean, you don't have to have great lower body strength to play in the NFL, but it's always going to help, right? It'll definitely help more than agonizing over zOMG outlining.

i sat in on a "review" torts class when i visted ND (as in it was the last class before finals), and the professor actually has a 2000 word limit on exams. I'm not saying OP is wrong... just noting that more words =/= better grades in all cases.


Quite correct, friend. My crim final had a word limit as well, in addition to being an eight hour take home. There are situations where it does not matter much.

I have to admit this is pretty much TCOP. I especially agree with this point, and I would say put a lot of work into Legal Writing even if it is pass/fail. The skills you build writing a winning memo that even a working attorney would respect will help to make you fast and accurate and able to hit the sweet spot on exams, as long as you think about what you're doing and generalize your methods.


Yes, this is right. Our class talked to some judges at the Ninth Circuit and they indicated that the vast majority of cases that they deem close enough for oral argument are still won and lost on briefs. We're gonna have to know how to do it: why not now?

More important than any of this typing speed nonsense: do you think your advice of only needing to study 1.5 hours still matters in this economy? I don't know the exact timing but I don't think your class knew how bad things were getting until this semester?


I heard that the class was, as a whole, agonizing all year. I honestly don't talk to people at school much: I'd rather go shoot some hoops or read at the university library.

I look forward to whooping your butt in court someday, Douche.


1) I'm a Douche with a capital D! I'm going places!

2) How would you even know? That's like saying "I'm looking forward to beating sadfjash@hotmail.com at table tennis." How would you even set that up?

im curious why you think there is a difference in the study habits required between ucla and a t6? i always figured they would be roughly the same.


Speculation on my part and I should have been clearer about that. My apologies. The fact is that, on average, Columbia students are smarter than us. We have no evidence to show this isn't true. It's cool: we're still at a good school. But the average student there is brighter and so I would imagine the competition for the very top might be harder.

OP, word of advice - somewhat intelligent gamers like you can game school, and end up with nice mediocre careers. But there is a difference with those who truly excel, both in work ethic and top intelligence. You will realize this 10-15 years down the road as you join the malcontent whining band that gets lost in the crowd...


You're right. A lack of willingness to spend time on things that are not necessary or even helpful does demonstrate weakness. Your failure to excel at woodcarving surely indicates that you don't have the heart to make Wachtell or even a TTT like Sullivan & Cromwell.

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby RVP11 » Tue May 12, 2009 9:40 pm

For anyone talking shit about Ari, just know he was one of the most mild-mannered, reasoned, and helpful posters last cycle. He's not the type to come back here to brag about his efficiency or be arrogant. I assume he's just being honest.

That is all.

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby heyyitskatie » Tue May 12, 2009 10:28 pm

Oh, and thanks for the fabulous post, OP. :)

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby dresden doll » Tue May 12, 2009 10:46 pm

Drake014 wrote:
ari20dal7 wrote:I haven't posted here in forever, but I just finished my last 1L final yesterday and thought I owed the community a little bit of advice for the help I got. I think I'll just say a little bit and follow it up with a few bullet points.

Law school is not difficult in substance. I went to UCLA, which is an OK school and is pretty well regarded. If you're going to upper T14, maybe it will be harder for you. It was not hard for me. The reason it was not hard is that law school is a process. It rewards a very narrow skill set and provides no incentive to learn much at all. To do well in 1L classes (legal writing aside), you need to know how to do three things: briefly summarize a rule, type fast, and make arguments on the fly. That's it. You also need to figure out what your prof's G-spot is so that you can work it into your argument somehow. Knowing detailed fact patterns is useless. Memorizing details for fear of Socratic embarrassment is useless. Trying to put together a comprehensive two hundred page outline is useless. If you cannot fit all the law you need to know in a particular area (for example, acceptance in contracts) into two pages, this is probably because you do not understand the law in that area.

I did not learn all of this the hard way. I am lazy and do not like law school. I think the people are fine, but it's not my set at all. Therefore, I spent as little time at the law school as possible, probably studying about an hour a day five days a week on average. I went to about half of my classes. I got great grades (so far) and have no reason to expect that will not continue. Why do I tell you this? I tell you this because for most of us, whatever's going on at law school has very little to do with what we want to get out of it. How many of you are seriously interested in the philosophical implications of easements? How many of you really care about the difference between strict liability tort regimes and negligence-based regimes? Almost none of you, and if you don't know what those words mean, thanks for proving the point. Most of us care about getting good grades and good (read: well paying) jobs. Some of us have an interest that we hope to explore in law school, an interest that will consume fifteen percent of our time in class at best. A few of us actually want to help people. But Socratic methods and pointless briefing serves none of those objectives. Read the essay on "How to Succeed in Law School" on this site and, if you're not going to a really, really good school, cut out the bit about the hornbooks. Do not fall into the trap. If you're at something other than T6 and you're working ten hours a day, you're working four times too much.

Now, I should of course qualify this: your mileage may vary. You may read a little more slowly and need some more time. You may really care about the law, in which case feel free to knock yourself out. But I've seen nothing in a full year at what purports to be a good school that would indicate that the standard experience should vary all that much. If you do what's in that essay or even a scaled back version of it, you will win the dumbest game in graduate school. I should caution you: if you absolutely must finish #1 in the class, then do what's in that essay AND go crazy with the briefing. Just realize that the first 5% of your work will (presuming you know how to work) get you the first 90% of your results.

A few other random tips:

1) Watch out for the time suck. Law school will provide you with a deluge of stupidity designed to get you to spend every waking moment there. I found one thing I liked doing and did only that thing. Do not trick yourself into thinking "well, maybe I'll be interested in the drafting of contracts in widget law". If you want to do extracurricular thinking (as I do), whatever law school you consider will have a first rate university library. Use it. Read good books.

2) Avoid the temptation to talk about your own results. I guess there are a few people around TLS who know who I am, but most of them probably don't read this anymore. I've discussed my performance openly with only a couple of people here at the law school and only after I knew for sure that they were pretty straight up people who see the world in much the same way as I do. I think nothing is more pathetic than people who barely know you fishing for grades. Whether you got great grades or bad grades, act like you've been there before. You'll be less stressed.

3) Realize that, like it or not, the stupidity of your classmates serves your goals and the intelligence of your classmates is at best neutral. Don't go out of your way to work with everyone and form study groups. If you want to, then do it, I guess. But think about it this way: if you basically do the same thing as everyone else, you'll get basically the same results. In an awful economy, are you interested in putting your grades on the roulette wheel? Are you interested in hoping that the prof likes your IRAC better than the one that's exactly identical from the girl across the aisle? I wouldn't be. Learn how to summarize and type fast.

4) There are really a lot of things to like about law school. If you do it right, you'll have lots of time to pursue your own interests and people will assume you're busy. Great combination, if you ask me. I've met some really nice people and I haven't met a single person I dislike (very much). Don't waste what will probably be your last chance to read good books and watch more basketball than any reasonable person could stomach.

5) If you spend a lot of time, spend it on your memos. These are the thing where more time really does improve results. If your legal writing class is pass/fail, then who cares?

One last thing: I just read this and it sounds pretty arrogant and mean. That's not the intent. The intent is just to try and help many of you to see what I saw: the law school experience does nothing for you other than give you the ability to take a BarBri class and a set of credentials.

Also, if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer.


He gives useful info for those not in the T6. Can anyone verify that this information is still reasonable for the T6? It would make me feel better.


Reasonably speaking, he probably referred to HYSCCN when he spoke of T6. My guess is that the info should still be perfectly useful for Berkeley.

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby Jay Obee » Tue May 12, 2009 11:37 pm

Thanks for coming back and posting this. TLS could use more posters like you.
(Ari is a legend. When I just started lurking here a year ago, he/she was probably the number one poster in terms of quality, helpful info.)

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby rayiner » Wed May 13, 2009 12:41 am

Have you ever thought that it might all be a game?


Life is a game. It's all one big fucking game, and the sooner you appreciate that the better off you'll be.

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby altamira » Wed May 13, 2009 12:53 am

Thanks so much for responding to all of my questions!!!

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby robcataus » Wed May 13, 2009 1:00 am

Great post.

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atlantalaw
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby atlantalaw » Wed May 13, 2009 2:00 am

thanks ari!

how many practice tests did you take per class? when did you start taking practice tests?

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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby waldodanto » Wed May 13, 2009 2:08 am

interested to read this at a later date

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ari20dal7
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby ari20dal7 » Wed May 13, 2009 2:33 am

First off, if I offended anyone, I apologize. I'm pretty smart and I take some pride in that. But my intent is not to brag. I sincerely believe that anyone on this board or anyone at my school could do as well as I did doing as much work with a few critical insights. I'm not a genius: shoot, if I were, I'd be at Harvard or (much more likely) doing a PhD at a school like that. UCLA's great, but it ain't Harvard, and I'm just a guy who did OK.

The main reason I posted this is because the law school myth is perpetuated with more vigor than nearly any myth I've ever seen. People fall all over themselves to debunk the Paper Chase myth: this is especially appropriate since it's entirely untrue. However, in the process, people talk about how 1L year is the hardest thing in the world. We have "Saving Relationships" sessions for the significant others of people in law school. We've got people coming to talk to us about avoiding becoming alcoholics. We've got people constantly praising us for getting through 1L year when the reality is that you would really have to work your ass off to fail out. Everybody spends hours talking about working on top of whatever work they're actually doing. If that works for you, then cool. If you love the law school experience, then cool. I'm really happy for you: it isn't every day that you get to study what you love in preparation for a pretty good career.

But, sometimes, the emperor has no clothes. The reality is that it is not a mammoth intellectual journey. It is not the hardest thing anyone will ever do. My dad gets up at two in the morning to drive a bread truck seventy hours a week. That's hard. Going to class four hours a day and studying another four? That's a full time job with comfortable chairs in an air-conditioned building with a support system that could choke a horse. And you don't even really have to do that. If you really, honestly think law school is the hardest thing you'll ever do, well, good luck.

how many practice tests did you take per class? when did you start taking practice tests?


I looked over a practice test to get a feel for structure and what would generally be expected of me in the first month of class. I didn't take all that many exams: sometimes as few as one. I believe that was a mistake. I did well and expect to do well again, but taking practice tests is one of the most efficient things you can possibly do with your law school study time. I would suggest looking over a test in the first few weeks, trying to finish the reading on the syllabus by mid-semester, and spending the latter half of the semester taking practice exams and filling gaps.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby worldtraveler » Wed May 13, 2009 7:14 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:For anyone talking shit about Ari, just know he was one of the most mild-mannered, reasoned, and helpful posters last cycle. He's not the type to come back here to brag about his efficiency or be arrogant. I assume he's just being honest.

That is all.


If people actually think Ari is a douche, I worry about them interacting with the real world. He's quite possibly one of the most sensible and polite people ever to be on TLS. I think he was just giving blunt advice to be as helpful as possible.

Apparently people can hate on you for anything.

Bankhead
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby Bankhead » Wed May 13, 2009 10:26 am

worldtraveler wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:For anyone talking shit about Ari, just know he was one of the most mild-mannered, reasoned, and helpful posters last cycle. He's not the type to come back here to brag about his efficiency or be arrogant. I assume he's just being honest.

That is all.


If people actually think Ari is a douche, I worry about them interacting with the real world. He's quite possibly one of the most sensible and polite people ever to be on TLS. I think he was just giving blunt advice to be as helpful as possible.

Apparently people can hate on you for anything.


+1

He even apologized in advance, saying that he didn't intend for his post to come off as snarky (and it came off as caring and selfless). I don't see what the issue is. We should be thankful that a 1L would even come back to a prelaw board and take time to type out such lengthy posts (though with his superior typing skills I'm sure it was no big deal :lol: ).

wraaaa
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby wraaaa » Wed May 13, 2009 11:03 am

thanks. great advice

ecclaw07
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby ecclaw07 » Wed May 13, 2009 11:24 am

Thanks Ari. Really interesting and useful stuff, especially for a future UCLA student. :)

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cqphan89
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby cqphan89 » Wed May 13, 2009 12:58 pm

worldtraveler wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:For anyone talking shit about Ari, just know he was one of the most mild-mannered, reasoned, and helpful posters last cycle. He's not the type to come back here to brag about his efficiency or be arrogant. I assume he's just being honest.

That is all.


If people actually think Ari is a douche, I worry about them interacting with the real world. He's quite possibly one of the most sensible and polite people ever to be on TLS. I think he was just giving blunt advice to be as helpful as possible.

Apparently people can hate on you for anything.


CONCURRED!

Ari is one of the best on here. I have never read a post from Ari that was malicious, ridiculous or completely insensitive. Ari is honest, knowledgeable, to the point, and polite. Definitely one of my favorite posters on here. ;)

Thanks for the post and replies to the various questions.

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sirhitch
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby sirhitch » Wed May 13, 2009 1:23 pm

Sweet Moses, I'd love it if I could.

Truth be told, I don't completely see it. I'll probably get up and go to bed earlier. The Cardinals come first, so I'll never be studying to miss a Cardinal game. I'll try to get my workouts and personal stuff done before the first class starts. Then, I can study in between classes and in the time between the last class and the baseball game. Then, I'll probably go exercise again and study for a little while after that. So I could see putting in a few less hours during the week and a few more on the weekends.

So I'm hoping to do something like:

5:15 - wake up/read for myself/eat some breakfast
6:00 - exercise
7:30 - get some light studying in
9:00 - head over to class

Then class and studying in whatever schedule they put me on.

Around 3, I assume classes will be over, so I'll study till five, which is when most Cardinal games will start.

Around eight, I'll go exercise again, then get in an hour of studying before bed. So, on the average day, I'm looking at studying a couple hours less than X. I'd like to make that up by doing a little more on Saturday and Sunday.

Of course, the Cardinal games will end in late October (certainly not at the end of September, right?). So I'll have more time to study for finals.

Now for the bad news - Cardinal games start in April of the spring semester.......I had better hammer the fall.....

The key thing will be getting into whatever routine my class schedule allows. I'm usually pretty good about sticking to a set schedule as long as the schedule doesn't make my personal priorities impossible. Since my personal priorities are the Cardinals, we're good.

But yeah, X has given us some amazing info, and we're lucky he did that.


well what in the world happened to this?

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ari20dal7
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby ari20dal7 » Wed May 13, 2009 1:53 pm

Bluff called, sirhitch ;)

I am a lazy man and that won in the end.

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SillySil
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby SillySil » Wed May 13, 2009 1:58 pm

Thanks for the info :wink:

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ari20dal7
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby ari20dal7 » Wed May 13, 2009 2:23 pm

Glad I could help some folks.

I'd also suggest reading what I thought I'd do before law school (quoted by sirhitch above). That is a legitimate way to succeed in law school. If you want to be number one in your class, I would recommend paying attention to my tips on focusing on exam prep, while still doing all the work that xeoh85 talked about.

This is a great example of the perspective change that happens when you actually experience law school and critically reflect on it. Some people want to be #1 in the class or can't relax without working that much. Some people just learn better his way than mine. If that's you, then you should work a lot. I did very, very well, but I was not #1 and do not expect to be, because I simply didn't put in the work to get from very good to nearly perfect. Read the success in law school essay for a similar perspective on that issue. What I want to do more than anything is let people know that there is more than one way to skin a cat and it's a heck of a lot easier to use a knife than a spoon. When I got to law school, I realized that I didn't need to do very much to assimilate that material and do well on exams. I don't want anyone to fall into the trap I almost did. If you believe that the schedule above, study groups, and constant obsessing is the only way to do well, the best case scenario is that you'll spend a ton of time for a fairly minimal return in terms of grades. The worst case scenario is that you'll do worse and you won't even know it could have been better, while hating your life in return.

Most of all: DO NOT COMMIT TO EITHER APPROACH WITHOUT BEING IN LAW SCHOOL FOR A LITTLE WHILE. Make your own decision while critically reflecting on what's happening and the advice that's out there. No matter what, you'll be better off. This site is great, but it also provides an echo chamber for 0Ls who really don't need that.

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jackrabbitjones
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Re: Friendly advice for future 1Ls from a longtime TLSer

Postby jackrabbitjones » Wed May 13, 2009 7:00 pm

sirhitch wrote:well what in the world happened to this?


Well, it probably helped that the Cardinals didn't play in September. :wink:




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