Are study groups a must?

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nitr0x99
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Are study groups a must?

Postby nitr0x99 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:13 pm

Sorry if I should have put this in the FAQ section, I just feel like I'd get better answers here.

I keep hearing talk of forming study groups. What are your experiences with study groups? Are they absolutely necessary? Will you do better by being in a study group?

The reason I ask is because during undergrad studying in groups would either lead to

A.) The group socializing the whole time and not accomplishing much

B.) Me having to teach everyone all the concepts because I was ahead of them (really don't mean to sound like a prick, its just the truth. I'm a nice guy, honest :wink: )


I usually study better on my own, but I don't want to be at a disadvantage.

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patrickd139
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:17 pm

No.

Lady Croft
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Lady Croft » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:19 pm

I would look for one other person that is as serious as studying as you are. Meet once a week to discuss problems you're having trouble with, otherwise I was fine working alone for the same reasons you outlined above. Better yet find someone that is substantially smarter than you and willing to tutor you for free under the guise of studying...should be easy if you're a girl.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Aeroplane » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:50 pm

I personally don't find it useful to sit around discussing the material with other people, so I did a study group w/2 other people who felt the same way. It was very helpful, and didn't take up too much of my time.

We met pretty much only to take practice exams together, and didn't even start meeting until the last 6 weeks or so of the semester. We were laid back about meetings and if someone had to bail at the last minute, it wasn't a big deal.

We also pooled resources: useful links, study tips, old outlines, our own self-prepared stuff. If one of us had a question about something, we'd just email it & one of the others would respond. Occasionally, we'd go to office hours together to ask about something we didn't understand. Otherwise we studied & outlined on our own.

pehaigllleises
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby pehaigllleises » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:54 pm

I don't study with anyone else for exams. Usually I take my questions to hornbooks or Westlaw research. Do whatever works for you.

I do find it useful to discuss research on open memos with classmates, to make sure I'm not missing anything big. This was within our writing program policy for memos, but not every school might allow it.

Black-Blue
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Black-Blue » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:42 pm

Usually, study groups aren't useful.

1. There are so many supplements that if you don't understand something, just read it in the supplement.

2. It's not like undergrad science/engineering where people get together to do problem sets. In law school, there's no work that would benefit from a group.

scubagirl
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby scubagirl » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:43 pm

i studied mostly by myself and found it to work well. i tried a group to study once and decided it wasnt working for me. I did, however, do a few practice exam problems and discussed answers with a group. That is where I found having other people's input to be the most useful.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:48 pm

NO. From what you said, you know enough about study groups to know the answer. And, frankly, everything you do that helps another student do better on an exam is a chance that person will move you down the curve. Just my 2 cents, but there are plenty of supplements to fill in the blanks. The more people you help, well, law school is rigged to make it in your best interest to do everything you can to do better than everyone.

And the amazing thing is, something many people overlook - what you will be tested on is in the assigned readings.

Its not about being a nice guy or not - its about getting employed at the best job possible.

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JPeavy44
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby JPeavy44 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:55 pm

I predominately study on my own. It's more efficient and I learn better on my own. I do talk to my group afterwards though. I think that it is helpful to talk out your reasoning with people and hear how they understand things and if you've missed anything. Primarily just to reinforce what I already know, not to learn everything the first time.

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Clint Eastwood
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Clint Eastwood » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:05 am

How many swamp rats can you get in one room?

nitr0x99
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby nitr0x99 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:01 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:NO. From what you said, you know enough about study groups to know the answer. And, frankly, everything you do that helps another student do better on an exam is a chance that person will move you down the curve. Just my 2 cents, but there are plenty of supplements to fill in the blanks. The more people you help, well, law school is rigged to make it in your best interest to do everything you can to do better than everyone.

And the amazing thing is, something many people overlook - what you will be tested on is in the assigned readings.

Its not about being a nice guy or not - its about getting employed at the best job possible.



Yes, I think this is an important point. And trust me, I am the farthest thing from a "nice guy" :twisted:

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JazzOne
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby JazzOne » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:04 am

I don't do study groups. I did pretty well last semester. Study groups aren't necessary. Unless you're talking about Marshall's construction of the word "necessary." Then, maybe. But they're not absolutely necessary.

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steve_nash
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby steve_nash » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:30 am

I wouldn't say that they are a "must," but I do think they are helpful for discussing practice exams, especially when the exams don't have answers. Of course there is the chance that someone will learn from your insight, but I think it counterbalances with what you can learn from them. I still attribute my success on one exam to something a study partner had alerted me to the night before the exam, and which I had forgotten existed.

ScaredWorkedBored
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:43 am

Your undergrad experience will be largely repeated in law school, except with more douchbaggery. Study groups are particularly odd first semester because no one knows who in the group is actually contributing or not. Lots of very useless hard work and people who seem so confident and informative but who actually know jack.

There are some study groups among the merit-based extracurricular activity cliques in my class. These also tend to be drinking and poker groups, but you know everyone in them is taking it seriously. Most of these formed late 1L or early 2L. I personally have never done one other than helping a friend one-on-one and I'm graduating with honors.

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Cavalier
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Cavalier » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:53 am

Like everyone else said, you definitely do not need to be in a study group. I did well last semester without being in one. However, taking practice exams on your own and discussing your answers with one or two other classmates can be invaluable, especially if there are no model answers available. Also it's sometimes nice to trade outlines with another person.

Ignatius J. Reilly
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Ignatius J. Reilly » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:39 pm

Unnecessary.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Aeroplane » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:43 pm

Just as a general aside, there is pretty much no study technique that is indisputably and universally "a must" in law school.

VincentChase
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby VincentChase » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:21 pm

They are extremely, extremely important when there aren't model answers for issue spotter practice exams, not so much when there are model answers.

I've also found at least loose academic alliances to be important so you know somebody you can comfortably go to to clarify a concept, fill in a gap you missed in class while you were perhaps still trying to write down something else the professor said, etc., etc. Because LS is set up as a competition, it can feel awkward asking others for help, but a "study group," even in the loosest sense of the word, removes that barrier.

CCA
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby CCA » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:33 pm

I agree that they can be very useful to go over the past exams and concepts, at least in the hardest classes. I only had study group for civ pro and it was my highest grade. They are also good in that they encourage you to start studying earlier. I'm not sure how useful study groups would be for the easier classes like torts and contracts, especially since the grading can be fairly subjective anyway. I don't think there was any way I could have prepared for the torts exam that I had, either with a group or alone.
Last edited by CCA on Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grad_Student
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby Grad_Student » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:34 pm

No, just find one person you can bounce ideas off of

VincentChase
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Re: Are study groups a must?

Postby VincentChase » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:20 pm

CCA wrote:I agree that they can be very useful to go over the past exams and concepts, at least in the hardest classes. I only had study group for civ pro and it was my highest grade. They are also good in that they encourage you to start studying earlier. I'm not sure how useful study groups would be for the easier classes like torts and contracts, especially since the grading can be fairly subjective anyway. I don't think there was any way I could have prepared for the torts exam that I had, either with a group or alone.


I actually think it's most helpful for the easy classes, because those just because pure issue-spotting exams. Everybody knows the basic concepts, and the test becomes an Easter egg hunt, essentially.




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