Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

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futurelawyer413
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby futurelawyer413 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:45 pm

I'm a 0L so plz dont bash me too hard haha, but what about the idea of simply going to class and working on back exams for each class from day1? i'm not trying to imply that this is a gunner move, but why spend all the time briefing, outlining, etc. when your grade for most courses solely depends on a single (final) exam? wouldnt it be helpful to know how to write and take exams at the earliest instead of figuring this midway through the semester?

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apper123
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby apper123 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:47 pm

futurelawyer413 wrote:I'm a 0L so plz dont bash me too hard haha, but what about the idea of simply going to class and working on back exams for each class from day1? i'm not trying to imply that this is a gunner move, but why spend all the time briefing, outlining, etc. when your grade for most courses solely depends on a single (final) exam? wouldnt it be helpful to know how to write and take exams at the earliest instead of figuring this midway through the semester?

Read all the articles on site, seriously. Get back to us if you have any questions.

This is obviously a bad idea, but arrow, that NYU guy and others explain it much better than I can.

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Mon May 03, 2010 11:49 pm

futurelawyer413 wrote:I'm a 0L so plz dont bash me too hard haha, but what about the idea of simply going to class and working on back exams for each class from day1? i'm not trying to imply that this is a gunner move, but why spend all the time briefing, outlining, etc. when your grade for most courses solely depends on a single (final) exam? wouldnt it be helpful to know how to write and take exams at the earliest instead of figuring this midway through the semester?

You can't write a decent exam until you know the material. That happens some time in the last month or maybe not at all. There are only so many practice exams; don't waste them.

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futurelawyer413
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby futurelawyer413 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:51 pm

Oh I have, trust me. I just wanted to know some thoughts/opinions on TLS here cuz I got a buddy at Chi Kent and one at UVA, and they've told me that this strategy worked for them, albeit they are geniuses. I dont see how its a bad idea?

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romothesavior
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby romothesavior » Mon May 03, 2010 11:52 pm

Maybe a better title would be "The Non-Gunner's Guide to Surviving Law School" or the "Normal Guy's Guide to Surviving Law School." I don't want to slack, but I also don't want to hole myself up in my room for five hours a day wanting to hang myself.

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apper123
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby apper123 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:54 pm

futurelawyer413 wrote:Oh I have, trust me. I just wanted to know some thoughts/opinions on TLS here cuz I got a buddy at Chi Kent and one at UVA, and they've told me that this strategy worked for them, albeit they are geniuses. I dont see how its a bad idea?

There are people who can crack an old outline 2 days before the test, read it over, make a checklist and then destroy the exam. There's at least one, and probably more than one, person like this at every law school (obviously have no evidence of this outside of posts on TLS and my own experiences at my one law school) and he/she is generally in the top of the class.

You won't know if you are one of those people for a while.

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futurelawyer413
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby futurelawyer413 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:56 pm

mikeytwoshoes wrote:
futurelawyer413 wrote:I'm a 0L so plz dont bash me too hard haha, but what about the idea of simply going to class and working on back exams for each class from day1? i'm not trying to imply that this is a gunner move, but why spend all the time briefing, outlining, etc. when your grade for most courses solely depends on a single (final) exam? wouldnt it be helpful to know how to write and take exams at the earliest instead of figuring this midway through the semester?

You can't write a decent exam until you know the material. That happens some time in the last month or maybe not at all. There are only so many practice exams; don't waste them.



True, but I doubt I'm gona wait until the last month to figure out how to write a good exam. I'm sure there are academic support groups and legal writing and exam sessions, which may be useless, but not to mention upper 2Ls and 3Ls and prof office hours which I would imagine might be helpful at the very least. theres actually an LLM I personally know who did a JD from the same school, but i doubt they will remember much from 1L haha

mrm2083
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby mrm2083 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:56 pm

romothesavior wrote:Maybe a better title would be "The Non-Gunner's Guide to Surviving Law School" or the "Normal Guy's Guide to Surviving Law School." I don't want to slack, but I also don't want to hole myself up in my room for five hours a day wanting to hang myself.


Changed the title. It's politically correct now :D

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PDaddy
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby PDaddy » Mon May 03, 2010 11:58 pm

disco_barred wrote:
mrm2083 wrote:So I've spent hours looking through TLS reading people's explanations on how to do well in law school but they are all guide's on how to be at the top of your class. Are there any guides out there on the most efficient and easiest ways to be median? I'm sure not everyone, though this is TLS, cares to be top 10 percent of their class and I feel like it would be good to learn the best way to just do decent. Things like use old outlines, skip reading certain cases etc. So for those of you that have been through it, enjoyed your 1L year, and did just fine what did you guys do?


You can't really slack first semester and expect median, because you'll have no idea what you're doing. Slacking in law school is a privilege. The harder you work early on, the more you can slack / better grades you will maintain when slacking.

Sure, you could risk it first semester - but you won't know how to be efficient and if you misstep you'll hamstring your career prospects, whatever your school.

The general idea is: ignore the reading, go to class and follow from / take notes onto an old outline, review that outline for a few hours before the exam, take the exam. Have fun trying to get median that way first semester buddy.


Makes perfect sense.

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futurelawyer413
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby futurelawyer413 » Mon May 03, 2010 11:59 pm

apper123 wrote:
futurelawyer413 wrote:Oh I have, trust me. I just wanted to know some thoughts/opinions on TLS here cuz I got a buddy at Chi Kent and one at UVA, and they've told me that this strategy worked for them, albeit they are geniuses. I dont see how its a bad idea?

There are people who can crack an old outline 2 days before the test, read it over, make a checklist and then destroy the exam. There's at least one, and probably more than one, person like this at every law school (obviously have no evidence of this outside of posts on TLS and my own experiences at my one law school) and he/she is generally in the top of the class.

You won't know if you are one of those people for a while.


Good point - i read an earlier post/thread somewhere on TLS that LS is all about being less confused as everybody else, is that really true? I dont think that would help you get to the top of the class, but it seems like its a start lol

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Always Credited
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby Always Credited » Mon May 03, 2010 11:59 pm

PDaddy wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
mrm2083 wrote:So I've spent hours looking through TLS reading people's explanations on how to do well in law school but they are all guide's on how to be at the top of your class. Are there any guides out there on the most efficient and easiest ways to be median? I'm sure not everyone, though this is TLS, cares to be top 10 percent of their class and I feel like it would be good to learn the best way to just do decent. Things like use old outlines, skip reading certain cases etc. So for those of you that have been through it, enjoyed your 1L year, and did just fine what did you guys do?


You can't really slack first semester and expect median, because you'll have no idea what you're doing. Slacking in law school is a privilege. The harder you work early on, the more you can slack / better grades you will maintain when slacking.

Sure, you could risk it first semester - but you won't know how to be efficient and if you misstep you'll hamstring your career prospects, whatever your school.

The general idea is: ignore the reading, go to class and follow from / take notes onto an old outline, review that outline for a few hours before the exam, take the exam. Have fun trying to get median that way first semester buddy.


Makes perfect sense.


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futurelawyer413
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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby futurelawyer413 » Tue May 04, 2010 12:01 am

mrm2083 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Maybe a better title would be "The Non-Gunner's Guide to Surviving Law School" or the "Normal Guy's Guide to Surviving Law School." I don't want to slack, but I also don't want to hole myself up in my room for five hours a day wanting to hang myself.


Changed the title. It's politically correct now :D


haha, nice! I also agree that I don't wanna be in the lib so much, but since 1L grades are so damn important, it seems like its the only motivation. then, i slack off 2L and 3L

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AngryAvocado
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby AngryAvocado » Tue May 04, 2010 12:21 am

But guys, I did well in UG and barely studied! Surely there's a way to slack in law school and still do well!!

Oh wait, everything is curved?

Oh wait, everything is curved and 95% of the people are working their ass off?

Oh wait, everything is curved, 95% of the people are working their ass off, and pretty much everyone here did similarly well in UG and on the LSAT?

Oh wait, all of the above is true and we won't find out if we have any damn clue what we're doing until a round of exams?

Sounds like mystery slacker method is a good idea to me!

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lostmyname
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby lostmyname » Tue May 04, 2010 12:34 am

It really depends on the professor's teaching style and your learning style.

Don't read extra materials unless you feel like it's adding to your comprehension of what the professor wants you to take away from the class.

If you didn't learn productively from flash cards before, don't start doing that just because your first-semester classmates are freaked out.

If you do go the "brief every case" route, try to determine as soon as you can what kind of questions the professor asks in class and also what the black letter law in the case is. This will make note taking easier. Even as a second semester 1L, I briefed every case; it made outlining go a lot quicker.

On the other hand, if you can find an outline with a verbatim transcript of the professor's class from a year before, you might not have to spend as much time prepping for class as I did. :)

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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby Renzo » Tue May 04, 2010 1:29 am

disco_barred wrote:Also by second semester there's a lot of reflexive slacking going on. Law school is fucking exhausting.

This seems particularly apropos right now. I feel beat to hell, and I still have 2 exams to go.

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apper123
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby apper123 » Tue May 04, 2010 1:40 am

I have a ton of stuff to still master for Con Law in 6 hours, but I'm just kinda sitting here staring blankly at the screen. I'm drained.

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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby mac.empress » Tue May 04, 2010 1:47 am

apper123 wrote:I have a ton of stuff to still master for Con Law in 6 hours, but I'm just kinda sitting here staring blankly at the screen. I'm drained.


*Hugs*

My K exam is Friday. I don't know how the hell I'm gonna study for that.

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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby sophie316 » Tue May 04, 2010 1:48 am

Renzo wrote:
disco_barred wrote:Also by second semester there's a lot of reflexive slacking going on. Law school is fucking exhausting.

This seems particularly apropos right now. I feel beat to hell, and I still have 2 exams to go.


This. I killed myself studying for crim for an incomprehensible exam that tested maybe 5% of the course. Now too tired to study for the exams where it probably will matter far more.

Edit: re OP's post...learn how to take exams. I did ok first semester and I sure as hell didn't do as much work as the vast majority of people...I put it down to being able to write clearly/in a sensible order. I really think that when a prof has to read 90+ exams making the same points over and over, just being a strong writer makes their job easier and can influence your grade a lil, even if they would deny it.

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Re: Slacker's guide to surviving law school?

Postby stinger35 » Tue May 04, 2010 2:56 am

disco_barred wrote:
stinger35 wrote:I dont mean to contradict anyones advice here, but as someone who is #1 at a T2, i don't think its necessary to read the cases, really that much at all. (I reserve the right to change this in 4 weeks when grades from this semester come out)

That being said, you obviously can't slack. The time I spend not reading cases isn't spent playin xbox or something, its reading E&E's, hornbooks, outlining, etc. You also def. need to understand the cases and the facts (i.e. pay attention in class, read Emmanuels, Legalines, old outlines, etc.) but seriously, I feel like it contributes very little to your grade/exams.


I don't disagree with you at all in the general sense - I'm mainly referring to first semester. I feel like never reading the cases would be a good way to get your ass handed to you.

Maybe it only takes 3 weeks of reading cases so you can figure out the relationship between supplements, class lectures, old outlines, and cases well enough to never open the book again. But if you don't spend those three weeks... I just can't imagine it working out well at all.


I do actually agree with that. In fact, I don't think it would be proper advice for me to disagree. I read every single case the first semester. Briefed the first half, all of that stupid shit. It was basically just when it came time to study, I didn't even open my casebook. This time around, I've probably read about 1/2 of the cases assigned but done extensive supplement work and tried to stay focus on the big picture the whole time instead of the minutia. However, we will see how that works out.

As other people have said - some people just get law school. When I went to see one of my professors about my exam he said - I'll quickly paraphrase - "I see a lot of myself in you, and i dont mean this in a bad way, but I didn't study as much as I probably should have, and there were people who probably worked harder, but for some people this is just easy and I feel like it just is for you. You can't learn that kind of thing" - Now...he may or may not be right (I feel like I am about to fail these exams) but, that sort of cemented something that has been said by many others, some people just get law school and law school exams. It doesn't mean you don't have to work hard, it just means not as hard as everyone else.

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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby GZL » Tue May 04, 2010 2:57 am

From my little experience, the gunners I've seen --the ones always breaking their arm to answer a question, share their opinion, etc.-- are rarely in the top of the class. I'd also say that people spend way too much effing time looking through 20 different supplements, 8 different outlines, 4 years of old tests trying to get an idea of what's going to be on their particular test, etc. and end up mostly confusing themselves instead of actually trying to figure out the law, the concepts behind the law and how to apply it. Also, briefing has a purpose. In the beginning at least, there's a reason most profs tell you to stay away from canned briefs. I know a few students who ignored briefing totally, spending all their time on studying "outside" sources. A good portion of those either confused themselves and the issues, or knew the black letter law and every little wrinkle in it cold at the time of the test, but couldn't apply it for Sh^t.

So: aim to do less, and do it really damn well.

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apper123
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby apper123 » Tue May 04, 2010 4:10 am

As I sit here with 4.5 hours to go to my exam unable to sleep let me add:

There is something to be said, as GZL pointed out, about overstudying. It can confuse you, cloud your mind and you start to rely on hard and fast rules of law for every situation. As my con law prof pointed out in a review session today (yesterday :-(), he's not putting any issue on the test that's already been decided.

Learn the basic rules and axioms and how the court found them. Honestly there really isn't much behind this for most courses (obviously CivPro is a BIT different). Once you learn them and how to use them, things become much more natural.

I know a lot of people who studied harder than anyone and had ever minute inch of BLL memorized, but failed to see a lot of the side issues on the exam. Why? Cause those side issues weren't covered by a piece of BLL, and their minds were so geared and tailored towards finding textbook cases (no pun intended).

I dunno. It's 4 AM and I haven't slept in a long time. Maybe I'm just rambling and make no sense.

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pany1985
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby pany1985 » Tue May 04, 2010 4:27 am

I feel like I've slacked so hard this semester compared to last... but I also felt about the same post-exam with each of my finals as I did last semester. So... I don't know. Things are probably fine.

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apper123
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby apper123 » Tue May 04, 2010 4:28 am

pany1985 wrote:I feel like I've slacked so hard this semester compared to last... but I also felt about the same post-exam with each of my finals as I did last semester. So... I don't know. Things are probably fine.

yea this seems normal

the people I know that did poorly are studying harder and longer to do better (although some went the other way)

however they have changed nothing about their study habits or approach other than effort and time (even after a few of them asked me for advice and I offered it... no go). Time/effort was probably not the issue the first time around.

zizou
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby zizou » Tue May 04, 2010 11:34 am

Actually the best way to slack is probably to read the cases but don't do anything else. E&E's and hornbooks are nice, especially for difficult concepts, but in the end the test is going to be based off of the cases and what was said in class.

stinger35
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Re: Non-gunner's guide to surviving law school?

Postby stinger35 » Tue May 04, 2010 6:24 pm

zizou wrote:Actually the best way to slack is probably to read the cases but don't do anything else. E&E's and hornbooks are nice, especially for difficult concepts, but in the end the test is going to be based off of the cases and what was said in class.


While this may work for some people (I'm not here to discredit anyone), I couldn't disagree with this more.

Cases allow you to get caught up in the little minute facts of the scenarios rather than the big picture. E&E's are like textbooks from college, they just tell it to you, rather than making you figure it out. In addition, the questions obviously help a ton for comprehension and application. The note questions after cases are completely pointless, even a lot of professors will admit that. Also, they are more taxing to read, def. more boring, and simply shit.

Again, what works for you is what matters (but I did extremely well)




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