OP, I attended a school ranked about t30ish. After my first year I was almost exactly median. For my 2L and 3L I changed up my strategy significantly. I am now graduating in the top 15% and I booked a few major classes. Because of my grade change I got a few interviews at big firms and a call back at one. While those opportunities did not work out I still snagged a good job and have had a number of other interviews and one other offer.
For me, the key to raising my grades was to not work so hard. During my 1L year I averaged 5-6 hours a sleep per night and 1-3 hours of sleep on nights before an exam. I think not being rested up can be detrimental when it comes to trying to spot issues quickly and address them in a comprehensive way. Secondly, when I outlined I forced myself to try to understand the law, the concepts, and how the rules related to one another. I tried to outline like I was organizing a brief. Making sure rules and cases flowed naturally so I could easily put them into my exam. Third, make sure that your exam answers are well organized. If your outline is well organized it should make it easy to organize the structure of your exam answer. The easier your answer is to read, the more it flows logically, the better off you will be. Think about reading a brief or a note, if it is not structured well, the argument suffers. The same is true for your law school exams. Even if you simply make each issue you spot a seperate paragraph under a heading. Then explain the law with that issue. Then apply the facts to the law and analyze the situation. Just stay structured. Fourth, you need to be able to spot the issues. If you know the law well and have taken practice exams that should help you with spoting the issues. You can do everything else right, but if you don't spot more issues than most people you are still going to just be median or below.
I should also mention that you need to try to get all the legal experience that you can. Don't only work this summer, but try to work during the school year doing legal work. Try to intern with a judge. Just get as much legal experience as possible. That will help you to stand out amongst your peers.
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