nice thread, TS. I didn't get the chance to read everything, but here are some thoughts from someone who did well at a T14
-This thread is really nice because it gives you the exact details about how this guy wrote good exams. This is a good way to help relieve the feeling as a 1L you have that things are happening and you don't really know why, and that you're lost in a moving sea. That relief isn't everything you need, though; what you mostly need is to do the work yourself.
-I agree with TS's last words about how most people who do well in law school work really hard at it. Maybe the best way to look at it is this: If you work really hard, you will probably do well; statistics about how other people shouldn't matter to you. I've always believed that one should not try to compare themselves too much to their peers - do your own thing and don't worry too much about the study schedules of your classmates, but work your butt off in the best way you can. This is a little counter-intuitive since we're sitting on this prestige-whore website in a prestige-whore profession, but it's a good thing to try to stick to.
-Up until I got my first grades back, I really didn't know whether things were going to work well for me. I did well in my LRW class, but then realized that writing exam essays is different and can't be as polished, of course. I (and I expect the TS) recognize that you guys and we are in a different position from us: looking back, we remember 1L a little differently than we experienced it. It's your turn to do better than we did, and to figure out the things we missed.
-I didn't end up using LEEWS; I bought it but didn't end up watching it. TS says it's essential, and I've heard good things about it, but I think the underlying important thing is figuring out how to complete the basic syllogism that most of the answers you write will be based in. Here's the law; here's this analogous situation; here's the conclusion. Half-way through LRW I remember being very frustrated because I simply didn't get what my professor wanted, or what the hell legal writing was all about. Another professor, who also taught legal writing (but not to me) sat down with me for a few minutes and basically told me that you're only doing a few things in legal writing: stating the law, stating the facts, and analogizing or distinguishing a case. LRW wants you to show off all of the legal abilities they teach you: distinguish facts, analogize facts. I think getting good at LRW is a good idea and will help you write your essays in the end.
-Finally: don't lose your mind if you feel like you can't do everything TS says, or totally keep up with the schedule of what you want to complete. Sometimes you have to close the book at 10pm and go to bed so you can feel okay in class the next day. Sometimes you don't have time to read the supplement in addition to the case readings. But push hard when you can, and practice writing answers, and you shoudl be in good shape.
Sorry this is a bit rambley - I'm not paying TLS as much attention as I once did. But my final thought is this: I took the bar exam a couple of weeks ago and for some reason am sitting here, posting on TLS. Why? Because I have a strange obsession with my own legal education making sure I keep abreast of what's going on. I also want to give back to something that helped me get to where I am. I think this is an important trait: you need drive to push you to better yourself and become a master of law school. Go gettum guys!