Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

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mallard
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:39 pm

thesealocust wrote:My 2 cents: I think the best thing you can do before law school starts is to learn where to turn during the semester. You need to learn things they won't tell you: The fact that you'll have to do practice exams, the fact that law exams are called issue spotters and really weird, the fact that getting to maybe is probably a wise time investment. Knowing what resources to use and when to turn to them could be very handy to do before law school starts... but the number of people who do fabulously well learning the law but terribly on exams strongly suggests 0L prep isn't going to turn you into a super star. Here's a comment from the Volokh conspiracy the illustrates that point well:

Pragmaticist wrote:In my first semester of law school, my torts final consisted of two parts: multiple choice and essays. The professor told me that I had the highest score in the class on the multiple choice portion of the exam, and a low score on the essays portion. Why was my score on the essays portion so low when I had demonstrated understanding of torts by achieving a nearly perfect score on the multiple choice portion? Because I had mistakenly wrote my essays on the presumption that my reader had an intellect superior to that of a slow child.


This is more of a matter of what the professor is looking for than "exam prep." Some professors like you to demonstrate every step of the analysis. Others get pissed if you spend too much time rehashing stuff they already know. It's just an important thing to realize about your specific lawprofs.

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thesealocust
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:41 pm

edit: n/m
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mallard
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:42 pm

So you're saying that your professors were different from mine - and that means that there's little difference among professors? ;)

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thesealocust
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:47 pm

edit: n/m
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apper123
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby apper123 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:47 pm

Sometimes I think we need to take things professors say with a grain of salt. I had one class where the professor told us to not use any supplements and to just focus on the casebook and that, furthermore, long exams are bad because people "mind dump" and that she will be taking points off for excessively long answers.

I stopped reading the cases halfway in and used exclusively supplements. I also wrote an excessively long exam answer. I think I booked the course (not sure yet). It's important to interpret a professor's desires through their behavior and how they teach and not necessarily what they explicitly told you.

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mallard
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:48 pm

Put simply, I know that some of my professors wanted IRAC and some of them just wanted AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Of course the whole "never be conclusory," "argue both sides," "play with the facts," "bring in policy" etc. is useful across the board.

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thesealocust
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:50 pm

edit: n/m
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thesealocust
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:51 pm

edit: n/m
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mallard
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:52 pm

Okay then, haha. But I think it affects something like the "treat your audience like a slow child." IRAC is a good way to make sure a slow child would get what you're saying. AAAAAAAAAA is not a good method for comprehensibility to someone who hasn't taken or taught the exact class you were in.

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JazzOne
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:02 pm

betasteve wrote:Explain to me AAAAAAAAAAAA

Is this just Analysis over and over again?

Those are mallard's grades.

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thesealocust
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:05 pm

edit: n/m
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Nietzsche_Addy
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby Nietzsche_Addy » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:14 pm

betasteve wrote:Oh yeah, completely agree. They want to see lots of A, but somewhere they want to know that you weren't just guessing on R.


I agree too. What's that tell ya? http://www.eonline.com/videos/v48744_the-soup-trash-talker.html

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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby Nietzsche_Addy » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:20 pm

betasteve wrote:
Nietzsche_Addy wrote:
betasteve wrote:Oh yeah, completely agree. They want to see lots of A, but somewhere they want to know that you weren't just guessing on R.


I agree too. What's that tell ya? http://www.eonline.com/videos/v48744_the-soup-trash-talker.html

I can't, in good conscience, click on any link from E!. You'll need to explain to me what that tells me.


Haha. Sorry, it doesn't belong in this thread. But, for some reason I couldn't stop laughing when I watched the clip. It's from the Soup; just a redneck lumberjack talking about pissing. Sorry for derailment.

Snooker
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby Snooker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:21 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Snooker wrote:If you saw my other posts, you will have seen me, on at least 10 occasions, suggesting that a larger sample is needed, but TTT has never made such a suggestion. In these above posts, I am just responding to TTT along the lines of the logic he has suggested. If anything, this conversation should more or less show that nothing can be proven by such a small sample size.

Actually, the idea of studying as a 0L being good can be sufficiently disproven with a single data point, if that data point effectively conveys that there can be a real negative impact your grades. Someone in fact provided such a data point just a few posts ago, indicating someone got a B- in a class because they had studied as a 0L and relied on that knowledge on the test, and it was knowledge that was not discussed in class or appropriate to be discussing in the test.

Small sample sizes don't often prove anything in the affirmative, but they can and do sometimes prove something in the negative.


I had heard about that sort of thing before, so I didn't go out and try to learn the rules. I just got some general concepts down. I do agree that your studying has to be class-centered, i.e. see my posts where I say I read cases because they will be covered in class and that the professor wants you to be focusing your ammo there. For that reason I have avoided the pure hornbook approach. Overall I enjoyed my bit of pre-law reading. I read interesting books.

I don't think that a single data point could prove anything if it were a bad one. If one guy reads ahead and gets a 4.0 and another does it and gets a 2.3, but they did the exact same thing, how could you say that the reading ahead definitely causes crash and burn? Maybe the single data point has exam anxiety, or had a migraine on the exam, or the exam didn't test anything related to what you were learning. It's also well known that law exams test a skill, legal problem solving & analysis, that is really learned in law school and taught very poorly in general but makes a big impact on how you score. Lots of people who know the BLL cold probably do poorly on exams because their problem solving skills aren't as good as their classmates. A lot of people say luck dominates on these sorts of exams.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:23 pm

My exam answers normally look like this:

i?(indicating that I depends on previous Cs, as well as how you interpret whatever the problem language/situation in the fact pattern is)R1R2R3R4(indicating that any number of rules could apply, depending on how I is framed, what court you're talking about, and where A takes you)AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA(If [X about I] is true, then R1, if [Y about I] is true, then R2... etc. If R1, then [A1, which could result in any number of Cs depending on what the Court decides, various policy implications, etc.], if R2, then A2, etc.c?(indicating that the conclusion is entirely dependent on where R+A took you, along with a seperate policy statement of whether C makes sense or not)

Is this "diagram" understandable? No, not really. Which demonstrates the absolute futility that is involved with trying to explain, with alphabet soup, how exam questions should be answered.

Snooker
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby Snooker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:23 pm

thesealocust wrote:
apper123 wrote:Sometimes I think we need to take things professors say with a grain of salt. I had one class where the professor told us to not use any supplements and to just focus on the casebook and that, furthermore, long exams are bad because people "mind dump" and that she will be taking points off for excessively long answers.


My civ pro prof told us the best way to prepare for his exam would be to re-read the cases as many times as possible. I'll let that suggestion stand on its own without comment from myself.

Actually, I lied. Since 0Ls might be reading this: In my experience, re-reading all of the cases as exam prep is probably the least efficient (if not quite outright detrimental) study strategy I can imagine.


My professor said to re-read the cases over and over too. I guess this is the true secret to law school success.

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mallard
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:25 pm

That seems a little overcomplicated even without the alphabet soup...

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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby Snooker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:25 pm

Esc wrote:Let's go back to waiting for grades. And complaining about them. FUCKING SLOW ASS PROFESSORS!


Yeah I am feeling it too. Good thing there's a holiday on monday!

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:27 pm

FWIW, reading cases over again once or twice can, in fact, be helpful. I always make use of cases in finals--I'm not sure why people discount the usefullness of having a ready set of facts, which allows you to quickly engage in analysis-by-comparison.

It is a lot faster to type "unlike in X, the following facts are indicated here" than "the following facts are implicated here. The situation would be different if this otther set of facts--which led to a certain rule I'm going to use later in my analysis--were more applicable.

The more shorthand you're able to use in your exams, the better. Citations to cases are shorthand. If I write 25 pages using extensive citations, and you write 27 pages, it is almost certain that I have actually gotten more information in to my exam than you did.

Mallard- It's essentially my attempt at saying "argue in the alternative whenever you possibly can, because that gives you the best chance at picking up every point."

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JazzOne
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:29 pm

I didn't cite a single case in any of my exams. Curiouser and curiouser.

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JazzOne
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:32 pm

The whole prep debate is getting a bit ridiculous. Couldn't it be the case that different things work for different people? I never go around telling people to prep. I just don't understand the vehement opposition to it. It helped me. A lot. So why go around telling people it can't help?

Oh, and if someone claims that it actually hurt them, I submit that he/she would not have done well in law school under any circumstances. How hard is it to understand that your professor has a different take than the supplement?

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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:34 pm

JazzOne wrote:I didn't cite a single case in any of my exams. Curiouser and curiouser.


Just so you know, the point about shorthand applies universally--i.e., you're never going to get penalized for using the cases the way I use them. That isn't to say that it isn't possible to do quite well without using cases, sometimes.

You WILL have professors who insist on seeing case citations, though. Just be aware of that--I saw a few people last year do pretty well first semester in classes where profs didn't care about case citations. 2nd semester came around, they ended up pulling profs that care about case citations (but didn't explicitly say as much,) and they took an absolute nosedive in the 2nd semester grades.

Not saying you're doing it wrong, just trying to make sure the same thing doesn't happen to you.

Re: Prep -- I've seen it hurt a lot of people. I also question whether it really did help you or not--I think it is much more likely that, without prep, you would have had a substantially similar level of success. It isn't that it is hard to see the difference in approach between an E&E and a supplement. The problem is that it can be pretty difficult to completely seperate your mode of analysis on a final exam, when you are in extremely timed conditions.
Last edited by ToTransferOrNot on Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mallard
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:34 pm

JazzOne wrote:I didn't cite a single case in any of my exams. Curiouser and curiouser.


Some of my profs specifically told us to cite cases, others told us specifically not to.

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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:37 pm

mallard wrote:
JazzOne wrote:I didn't cite a single case in any of my exams. Curiouser and curiouser.


Some of my profs specifically told us to cite cases, others told us specifically not to.


Really? I'll be damned, I've never heard of a prof that specifically did not want any citations.

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mallard
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Re: Waiting for 1L grades...so much worse than waiting for LSATs

Postby mallard » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:38 pm

Well, some told us not to focus on it, at least. I think they wanted to make sure we understood that demonstrating our knowledge of cases wouldn't get points the way actually making legal arguments would.




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