Bottom of the class?

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Matthies
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Matthies » Thu May 06, 2010 9:00 pm

apper123 wrote:also ive never sat down and taken a full practice exam... ever. i look over them for strategy reasons definitely and maybe sometimes outline answers, but i've never actually simulated the exam before the exam day. dunno. works better for me that way.


Same exact way. Never took a single practice test in law school not even once. Also never paid attention in class (I'm just NOT an auditory learner at all and have the attention span of a nat). What helped me was after a few weeks of doing everything they suggest in those pre-law books, and what my classmates where doing, and attending studying groups I said, F-this, 99% of this stuff I have never done before to learn anything, and this is does feel like it working, so I quit all that crap. I then went back to the methods that I have used all my life to learn stuff and it worked for me. point is, it seems, allot of LS is just figuring out how best you personally learn this shit and not following the heard, if what the heard is doing does not work for you. That can be hard to do because there is allot of pressure in law school to conform to do it this way or that way, and people look at your like your crazy if you don't multicolor your book. But once you figure out a method that works for you, do that.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Thu May 06, 2010 9:07 pm

teebone51 wrote:
apper123 wrote: To be completely honest, and I'm dead serious when I say this, I'm a very serious poker player and have been playing successfully for 6 years now. And truthfully a lot of those skills are immensely helpful on a law exam.

I'd be interested in hearing what skills you find applicable to law school exams. Been playing off and on for seven years or so, myself. Any serious player knows that the skills are transferable to a wide variety of contexts-- just curious as to what skills you think apply, and how...

tbh, chess and starcraft are better, although all three games involve similar strategies in the meta

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Pizon
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Pizon » Thu May 06, 2010 10:35 pm

KMaine wrote:Those people who just didn't give a shit in college, they are not in law school.


I didn't give a shit in college. I am in law school.

(But I'd probably be in a better one had I given a shit.)

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rayiner
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby rayiner » Thu May 06, 2010 10:54 pm

let/them/eat/cake wrote:
KMaine wrote:....

People in law school are smart. I think "working hard" and "working smart" are very important, but you cannot be sure of anything with the curve. Those people who just didn't give a shit in college, they are not in law school. And even the people who don't work that hard may be good at law school tests and can cram well enough to beat the curve.


o the lulz.


+1.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri May 07, 2010 6:40 pm

Bet philosophy majors tend not to end up in the bottom of the class.

To answer the question of who ends up in the top or bottom of the class, I think there are only four factors to consider.

1) Innate Intelligence - the smarter, the better.
2) Writing skill - inevitably linked with intelligence.
3) Hard work - takes an appropriate amount of time to absorb and retain the necessary information.
4) Luck - as in you didn't get sick, you can think well in the abstract, you don't fold under pressure, you have the drive to study enough, your brain developed well, you remember the one case the professor used to model his essay exam off of, etc.

hithere
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby hithere » Fri May 07, 2010 6:50 pm

You've got to be able to think fast (and type fast) and be able to apply the law to any given fact pattern to do well on a law exam. Being able to do that comes from hard work in studying and memorizing the law and working on hypos so that you know how to apply the law quickly on an exam. Law exams are notorious for having tricky questions, so you need to be intelligent to spot the red herrings, etc...

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri May 07, 2010 6:55 pm

hithere wrote:You've got to be able to think fast (and type fast) and be able to apply the law to any given fact pattern to do well on a law exam. Being able to do that comes from hard work in studying and memorizing the law and working on hypos so that you know how to apply the law quickly on an exam. Law exams are notorious for having tricky questions, so you need to be intelligent to spot the red herrings, etc...


In addition, ORGANIZE YOUR ANSWERS.

That may be the one "trick" that separates the top from the bottom. I'd spend 15-25min (depending) actually drawing a small outline of my essay answer. Its great because you think through the question entirely and coherently, and the rest of the exam is really you just expanding your outline into paragraphs. If your writing flows logically, the prof can tell you understand.

ORGANIZE YOUR ANSWERS.

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apper123
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby apper123 » Fri May 07, 2010 7:00 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
hithere wrote:You've got to be able to think fast (and type fast) and be able to apply the law to any given fact pattern to do well on a law exam. Being able to do that comes from hard work in studying and memorizing the law and working on hypos so that you know how to apply the law quickly on an exam. Law exams are notorious for having tricky questions, so you need to be intelligent to spot the red herrings, etc...


In addition, ORGANIZE YOUR ANSWERS.

That may be the one "trick" that separates the top from the bottom. I'd spend 15-25min (depending) actually drawing a small outline of my essay answer. Its great because you think through the question entirely and coherently, and the rest of the exam is really you just expanding your outline into paragraphs. If your writing flows logically, the prof can tell you understand.

ORGANIZE YOUR ANSWERS.


i always leave 15 mins at the end of an exam to quick read my answers and make sure they are in a logical order. sometimes i just mind dump on a subject, and it comes out in the wrong order and doesn't make sense. organizing it is so much better.

my con law exam was a mess of organization. not to mention my PC messed up formatting just as i submitted it.

but my Ks exam today was neat and tightly organized and i was really happy with it

BobSacamano
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby BobSacamano » Fri May 07, 2010 7:01 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:4) Luck - as in you didn't get sick, you can think well in the abstract, you don't fold under pressure, you have the drive to study enough, your brain developed well, you remember the one case the professor used to model his essay exam off of, etc.

Sadly, this can be a huge factor depending on the type of exam you have. It's not so much a problem in big issue spotters, but certain exams can be really unlucky. My entire Con Law exam was about one single issue in the course... which happened to not be my strong suit. 1/3rd of my Contracts exam last semester was on a subject we devoted one whole class to.

You cover a LOT of material in law school (it's actually kind of impressive, when you think about it), there's bound to be stuff you just "get" better than other stuff. Sometimes you get lucky and you get a question that you totally own (Civ Pro last semester for me) and sometimes you don't. In the end it should all balance out, though.

As for exam advice... YES to outlining your answer. Big blocks of text are not fun for anyone. Try to relax, but don't get too complacent.

hubtubrub
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby hubtubrub » Fri May 07, 2010 7:07 pm

truthypants wrote:
ConMan345 wrote:disco, apper, rayiner, how did you respectively teach yourselves the right approach to the exam? Practice exams and model answers? GTM? etc


Do the law preview course. They have an online course (for like 100 bucks)--you can look at the material anytime and it has model law school exam answers (fully explained-why it has a good structure, what you need to include in your answer, how to do analysis/spot issues in an exam setting, etc.). It's really good--got me As.


what law school preview course?

if it's this:

http://www.lawpreview.com/

it's freaking expensive.

Also, what did you all do for summer prep? Anything different then reading LSC, Getting to Maybe, 1L, and Delany's books?

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apper123
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby apper123 » Fri May 07, 2010 7:18 pm

hubtubrub wrote:
truthypants wrote:
ConMan345 wrote:disco, apper, rayiner, how did you respectively teach yourselves the right approach to the exam? Practice exams and model answers? GTM? etc


Do the law preview course. They have an online course (for like 100 bucks)--you can look at the material anytime and it has model law school exam answers (fully explained-why it has a good structure, what you need to include in your answer, how to do analysis/spot issues in an exam setting, etc.). It's really good--got me As.


what law school preview course?

if it's this:

http://www.lawpreview.com/

it's freaking expensive.

Also, what did you all do for summer prep? Anything different then reading LSC, Getting to Maybe, 1L, and Delany's books?


yeah, i did something different than that. i did nothing. at all. i bought getting to maybe, read 3 pages and pretty much never touched it again until i put it on the toilet with 2 weeks to go for exams. i started reading supplements with like 6 weeks to go to exams.

seriously, as stated 28348324 times, 0L prep isn't worth it.

work on your writing, grammar, spelling, typing. do that. i'll give you that. that's useful.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Fri May 07, 2010 7:19 pm

apper123 wrote:yeah, i did something different than that. i did nothing. at all. i bought getting to maybe, read 3 pages and pretty much never touched it again until i put it on the toilet with 2 weeks to go for exams. i started reading supplements with like 6 weeks to go to exams.

I read supplements the day before exams.
And own them.

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rayiner
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby rayiner » Fri May 07, 2010 7:21 pm

The reason 0L prep is so dumb is that 1L isn't really time-limited in a sense. 90% of your learning happens in the month before finals while you're preparing your outlines. What you did in Sept/Oct doesn't really matter much less what you did over the summer.

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truthypants
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby truthypants » Fri May 07, 2010 7:27 pm

hubtubrub wrote:
truthypants wrote:
ConMan345 wrote:disco, apper, rayiner, how did you respectively teach yourselves the right approach to the exam? Practice exams and model answers? GTM? etc


Do the law preview course. They have an online course (for like 100 bucks)--you can look at the material anytime and it has model law school exam answers (fully explained-why it has a good structure, what you need to include in your answer, how to do analysis/spot issues in an exam setting, etc.). It's really good--got me As.


what law school preview course?

if it's this:

http://www.lawpreview.com/

it's freaking expensive.


Also, what did you all do for summer prep? Anything different then reading LSC, Getting to Maybe, 1L, and Delany's books?


http://www.lawpreview.com/index.php/Onl ... 429cc67c02

That's the one i'm talking about (for like $100 or so). It is gold--you get outlines written in plain English and model answers. Plus, the guy walks you through the structure for each answer and what you need to include in your exam to get the A (i.e., how to throw in policy to put you over the top, etc.). I like it because it is in plain English and very easy to understand (no hiding the ball). Also, it has multiple choice strategies. You follow the checklists they give you, you will be good.

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apper123
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby apper123 » Fri May 07, 2010 7:28 pm

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
apper123 wrote:yeah, i did something different than that. i did nothing. at all. i bought getting to maybe, read 3 pages and pretty much never touched it again until i put it on the toilet with 2 weeks to go for exams. i started reading supplements with like 6 weeks to go to exams.

I read supplements the day before exams.
And own them.

lol i didnt even buy them for half my classes this semester

ONE UP THAT BRAH

TELL ME YOU WRITE THEM

TELL ME THAT

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truthypants
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby truthypants » Fri May 07, 2010 7:33 pm

rayiner wrote:The reason 0L prep is so dumb is that 1L isn't really time-limited in a sense. 90% of your learning happens in the month before finals while you're preparing your outlines. What you did in Sept/Oct doesn't really matter much less what you did over the summer.


I gotta disagree here. I think it is smart to prep as a 0L. Speed kills on law exams and prepping extensively builds your speed. The more you practice and the quicker you get at answering legal questions, the better. If you have free time now, I would start prepping--you never know if you will have time during the semester to have adequate time to prep (emergencies can and do happen).

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kyle
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby kyle » Fri May 07, 2010 9:01 pm

To the OP: No, the bottom of the class does not necessarily reflect upon your intelligence or potential as a lawyer. There is more than one way to get a bad grade. In fact, there are several.

I've made a couple bad grades. I've typed up the two ways I know how to make a bad law school grade. Hopefully some 0Ls will see here what not to do.

Both ways to do poorly are obvious. Though obvious, both ways are somewhat common mistakes of 1Ls in the first semester.

You are forewarned. :-)

----

1. Be a slacker. (Civil Procedure in my case). Below are the steps I followed to slack my way to a bad grade.

a. Don't learn the law very well and rely on your outline hard on test day.

b. Make sure your outline is shitty and not designed for test taking... preferably one you didn't make yourself, but downloaded from the internet. If you're outline is designed for test taking (flow charts, canned answers, etc.), it is more difficult to perform poorly, and you may even do well. So to do poorly, you don't want a good outline designed for test day. Also, do not make a table of contents for your shit outline, so that it takes you a long time to find what you need.

c. Do not take any practice tests at all, and if you do take them, don't take them using your shit outline.

If you follow these three easy steps, and you're not some kind of beast genius, rest assured you will get lower than a B because you will not have nearly enough time to find the relevant law in your shit outline and apply it on test day. If you're lucky like me, you might hit that B- or C+, instead of the dreaded C-. However, the risk of C- is high, so DO NOT FOLLOW THESE STEPS.

This path towards a poor grade is pretty obvious. But as an additional warning, realize that a law school slacker is different than a college slacker because the law school slacker at least has a general understanding of what's going on throughout the term. The law school slacker read and learned much of the material. However, he fails to learn enough material to compete on test day. Law school is filled with hardworking kids that are all gunning for the A. Understanding the material may not be enough, you should also learn it.

----

2. The second way I know how to make a bad grade (Torts) is to over-study and try to impress your teacher, while generally ignoring the task at hand on test day. The steps below will not apply for all teachers and tests. However, it is a good example of how to do poorly when your teacher wants a functional analysis and you give him a philosophy essay.

Here's the steps I followed. (Note: the most important step is to ignore the task at hand, found in steps C and D).

a. Learn all the law cold. Read all the cases and read the horn book. An outline will be irrelevant, because even though you'll make one, you won't need it during the test, because you'll know the law so well.

b. After you've learned the law well, make sure you learn the underlying policy for all the law and how different jurisdictions view such rationales. Understand how every area of this field of law is interconnected and largely based on the same basic foundation. When you find any contradictions, reflect on them thoroughly. Perhaps even write your own little notes and arguments for a purely intellectual purpose in your free time. At this point, you are on track for a very good grade. The crucial steps for your bad grade are next.

c. Come test day, when you read your long hypo(s), find all the issues you can. Begin your analysis. Be excited that you found endless issues to discuss. But do not focus on the big / most important issues. Go for quantity of issues found and not quality of discussion. Do not "advise the client" or whatever task your professor gives for the test. Forget the fact that your teacher grades with a checklist (or other kind of objective criteria). Instead try to impress him/her with your policy discussions and the amount that you studied. Proceed to d (most important.)

d. When you write your answers, do NOT spend much time applying the law to the facts. Instead, focus your discussion on the law. Do not use CREAC / IRAC. Instead, use something like IPRCP (issue, policy discussion, rule explanation, conclusion, more policy - see example). When your teacher wants a functional analysis, such as asking you to advice a hypothetical client like a real lawyer would do, the more original philosophical thought you write, the better for your poor grade.

Example:

Here's an example of my IPRCP. It's not exactly nor intentionally what I did, but just a general reflection of the terrible way I approached an issue spotter in a non-functional way; the opposite of what my teacher wanted.

When you see negligence, first discuss how and why the law of negligence developed why it will bring / does not bring an appropriate remedy at law for these facts. Then, discuss the rule for negligence, and argue some philosophical justifications for it. Next, make your conclusion for the facts of the hypo, but be very careful not to apply the BLL to the facts much...only do so very briefly. Basically, relate the facts much more to policy than to the rule. Do not explain how the conclusion follows from the facts via BLL. Finally, discuss different policy reasons for why and how the court should rule on the issue. Explain how different courts could go different ways, and your general opinion for the way the law should be compared to the way the law is, and why. And remember, generally, the more original philosophical thought you give, the better for your bad grade.

Undoubtedly, your answer will be much longer than your peers' answers, and you'll be very pleased with yourself right after your test. However, you will have failed at your task, and the grade will reflect the failure.

This is the worst way to make a bad grade, because you could have studied half as much and performed better if more focus were dedicated to the task at hand. Furthermore, more time could have been devoted to that other subject that you slacked in.... Civil Procedure (see above).

Moral of the story: Don't try to be fancy. Realize what your professor wants, and give it to him.

-----

Good luck!

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Fri May 07, 2010 9:09 pm

If you have to refer to your outline more than 1-2 times an hour you've already lost.

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rayiner
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby rayiner » Fri May 07, 2010 9:31 pm

kyle wrote:To the OP: No, the bottom of the class does not necessarily reflect upon your intelligence or potential as a lawyer. There is more than one way to get a bad grade. In fact, there are several.

I've made a couple bad grades. I've typed up the two ways I know how to make a bad law school grade. Hopefully some 0Ls will see here what not to do.

Both ways to do poorly are obvious. Though obvious, both ways are somewhat common mistakes of 1Ls in the first semester.

You are forewarned. :-)

----

1. Be a slacker. (Civil Procedure in my case). Below are the steps I followed to slack my way to a bad grade.

a. Don't learn the law very well and rely on your outline hard on test day.

b. Make sure your outline is shitty and not designed for test taking... preferably one you didn't make yourself, but downloaded from the internet. If you're outline is designed for test taking (flow charts, canned answers, etc.), it is more difficult to perform poorly, and you may even do well. So to do poorly, you don't want a good outline designed for test day. Also, do not make a table of contents for your shit outline, so that it takes you a long time to find what you need.

c. Do not take any practice tests at all, and if you do take them, don't take them using your shit outline.

If you follow these three easy steps, and you're not some kind of beast genius, rest assured you will get lower than a B because you will not have nearly enough time to find the relevant law in your shit outline and apply it on test day. If you're lucky like me, you might hit that B- or C+, instead of the dreaded C-. However, the risk of C- is high, so DO NOT FOLLOW THESE STEPS.

This path towards a poor grade is pretty obvious. But as an additional warning, realize that a law school slacker is different than a college slacker because the law school slacker at least has a general understanding of what's going on throughout the term. The law school slacker read and learned much of the material. However, he fails to learn enough material to compete on test day. Law school is filled with hardworking kids that are all gunning for the A. Understanding the material may not be enough, you should also learn it.

----

2. The second way I know how to make a bad grade (Torts) is to over-study and try to impress your teacher, while generally ignoring the task at hand on test day. The steps below will not apply for all teachers and tests. However, it is a good example of how to do poorly when your teacher wants a functional analysis and you give him a philosophy essay.

Here's the steps I followed. (Note: the most important step is to ignore the task at hand, found in steps C and D).

a. Learn all the law cold. Read all the cases and read the horn book. An outline will be irrelevant, because even though you'll make one, you won't need it during the test, because you'll know the law so well.

b. After you've learned the law well, make sure you learn the underlying policy for all the law and how different jurisdictions view such rationales. Understand how every area of this field of law is interconnected and largely based on the same basic foundation. When you find any contradictions, reflect on them thoroughly. Perhaps even write your own little notes and arguments for a purely intellectual purpose in your free time. At this point, you are on track for a very good grade. The crucial steps for your bad grade are next.

c. Come test day, when you read your long hypo(s), find all the issues you can. Begin your analysis. Be excited that you found endless issues to discuss. But do not focus on the big / most important issues. Go for quantity of issues found and not quality of discussion. Do not "advise the client" or whatever task your professor gives for the test. Forget the fact that your teacher grades with a checklist (or other kind of objective criteria). Instead try to impress him/her with your policy discussions and the amount that you studied. Proceed to d (most important.)

d. When you write your answers, do NOT spend much time applying the law to the facts. Instead, focus your discussion on the law. Do not use CREAC / IRAC. Instead, use something like IPRCP (issue, policy discussion, rule explanation, conclusion, more policy - see example). When your teacher wants a functional analysis, such as asking you to advice a hypothetical client like a real lawyer would do, the more original philosophical thought you write, the better for your poor grade.

Example:

Here's an example of my IPRCP. It's not exactly nor intentionally what I did, but just a general reflection of the terrible way I approached an issue spotter in a non-functional way; the opposite of what my teacher wanted.

When you see negligence, first discuss how and why the law of negligence developed why it will bring / does not bring an appropriate remedy at law for these facts. Then, discuss the rule for negligence, and argue some philosophical justifications for it. Next, make your conclusion for the facts of the hypo, but be very careful not to apply the BLL to the facts much...only do so very briefly. Basically, relate the facts much more to policy than to the rule. Do not explain how the conclusion follows from the facts via BLL. Finally, discuss different policy reasons for why and how the court should rule on the issue. Explain how different courts could go different ways, and your general opinion for the way the law should be compared to the way the law is, and why. And remember, generally, the more original philosophical thought you give, the better for your bad grade.

Undoubtedly, your answer will be much longer than your peers' answers, and you'll be very pleased with yourself right after your test. However, you will have failed at your task, and the grade will reflect the failure.

This is the worst way to make a bad grade, because you could have studied half as much and performed better if more focus were dedicated to the task at hand. Furthermore, more time could have been devoted to that other subject that you slacked in.... Civil Procedure (see above).

Moral of the story: Don't try to be fancy. Realize what your professor wants, and give it to him.

-----

Good luck!


This is gold.

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rayiner
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby rayiner » Fri May 07, 2010 9:33 pm

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:If you have to refer to your outline more than 1-2 times an hour you've already lost.


I dunno. If you need the outline to issue spot you're boned. If you need to glance at it to make sure you got all the bits of some factor test, you're probably okay. Of course i have my outline up right next to my exam and can glance at it in 5 sec while continuing to type.

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Fri May 07, 2010 9:37 pm

rayiner wrote:
Leeroy Jenkins wrote:If you have to refer to your outline more than 1-2 times an hour you've already lost.


I dunno. If you need the outline to issue spot you're boned. If you need to glance at it to make sure you got all the bits of some factor test, you're probably okay. Of course i have my outline up right next to my exam and can glance at it in 5 sec while continuing to type.

meh. of the 6 exams ive taken, 3 have been closed notes/closed book. So i end up just memorizing everything anyway. closing exams is one hell of a way to ensure a curve, tho

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Mattalones
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Mattalones » Fri May 07, 2010 10:44 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Bet philosophy majors tend not to end up in the bottom of the class.

+5 ... That list of tips was pretty much what is required in top analytic philosophy programs ... It was refreshing to see that list, cuz I tend to approach questions that way instinctively from my undergrad training.

Sidenote: Has anyone noticed that thinking in this way tends to bug the shit out of people who don't think this way? I have!

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Fri May 07, 2010 10:51 pm

Mattalones wrote:Sidenote: Has anyone noticed that thinking in this way tends to bug the shit out of people who don't think this way? I have!

Disregard them, they are dumbs

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Mattalones
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby Mattalones » Fri May 07, 2010 11:15 pm

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
Mattalones wrote:Sidenote: Has anyone noticed that thinking in this way tends to bug the shit out of people who don't think this way? I have!

Disregard them, they are dumbs

Yeah, I have just learned to deal with them and their dumbness. The hardest part was learning to be nice, appearing to respect their intelligence ... because, well, that person is your boss ... absolutely maddening! :evil:

[Rant on side-topic ... sorry]
I have gotten so many questions like, "What would you do in this situation if X happened and you knew that the set of contraints Y were in place? ... Would you do P?" I would be like, "P ignores a critical piece in Y, the set of constraints we face. If we modify P to P', it might be more compatible with our constraints. However, I recommend R because it is also in line with our constraints, but it is more in line with out goal than P or P'." ... [Blank stare :shock: ... as if to say "my brain hurts so I am going to ignore everything you just said"] The type of response I've gotten to intelligent/well articulated remarks have often been frustration or blank stares. Then, I'd have to watch as stupid idea P was implemented, and THEN take the blame while it failed in the way I clearly outlined it would during our discussion. ... Ah, the working life.

Luckily, I've mastered the art of putting aside my thoughts unless explicitly asked for them: "Wow, I wish I would have thought of idea P. Some day, I'll have as much experience as you and be able to come up with things like that on my own. Keep me up to date on how everything goes."
[Ending rant with a Sigh of relief] 8)

There is something about having the chance to be openly analytical in law school that I can't wait for, especially that it is rewarded ... I would imagine it will be like coming out out of closet with some big secret and then being met with acceptance (gross overexaggeration, but you get my point ... I'm looking forward to LS).

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A'nold
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Re: Bottom of the class?

Postby A'nold » Fri May 07, 2010 11:42 pm

kyle wrote:To the OP: because of my experience of ending up at the bottom of the class I just know that it does not necessarily reflect upon your intelligence or potential as a lawyer. [strike]There is more than one way to get a bad grade. In fact, there are several.

I've made a couple bad grades. I've typed up the two ways I know how to make a bad law school grade. Hopefully some 0Ls will see here what not to do.

Both ways to do poorly are obvious. Though obvious, both ways are somewhat common mistakes of 1Ls in the first semester.

You are forewarned. :-)

----

1. Be a slacker. (Civil Procedure in my case). Below are the steps I followed to slack my way to a bad grade.

a. Don't learn the law very well and rely on your outline hard on test day.

b. Make sure your outline is shitty and not designed for test taking... preferably one you didn't make yourself, but downloaded from the internet. If you're outline is designed for test taking (flow charts, canned answers, etc.), it is more difficult to perform poorly, and you may even do well. So to do poorly, you don't want a good outline designed for test day. Also, do not make a table of contents for your shit outline, so that it takes you a long time to find what you need.

c. Do not take any practice tests at all, and if you do take them, don't take them using your shit outline.

If you follow these three easy steps, and you're not some kind of beast genius, rest assured you will get lower than a B because you will not have nearly enough time to find the relevant law in your shit outline and apply it on test day. If you're lucky like me, you might hit that B- or C+, instead of the dreaded C-. However, the risk of C- is high, so DO NOT FOLLOW THESE STEPS.

This path towards a poor grade is pretty obvious. But as an additional warning, realize that a law school slacker is different than a college slacker because the law school slacker at least has a general understanding of what's going on throughout the term. The law school slacker read and learned much of the material. However, he fails to learn enough material to compete on test day. Law school is filled with hardworking kids that are all gunning for the A. Understanding the material may not be enough, you should also learn it.

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2. The second way I know how to make a bad grade (Torts) is to over-study and try to impress your teacher, while generally ignoring the task at hand on test day. The steps below will not apply for all teachers and tests. However, it is a good example of how to do poorly when your teacher wants a functional analysis and you give him a philosophy essay.

Here's the steps I followed. (Note: the most important step is to ignore the task at hand, found in steps C and D).

a. Learn all the law cold. Read all the cases and read the horn book. An outline will be irrelevant, because even though you'll make one, you won't need it during the test, because you'll know the law so well.

b. After you've learned the law well, make sure you learn the underlying policy for all the law and how different jurisdictions view such rationales. Understand how every area of this field of law is interconnected and largely based on the same basic foundation. When you find any contradictions, reflect on them thoroughly. Perhaps even write your own little notes and arguments for a purely intellectual purpose in your free time. At this point, you are on track for a very good grade. The crucial steps for your bad grade are next.

c. Come test day, when you read your long hypo(s), find all the issues you can. Begin your analysis. Be excited that you found endless issues to discuss. But do not focus on the big / most important issues. Go for quantity of issues found and not quality of discussion. Do not "advise the client" or whatever task your professor gives for the test. Forget the fact that your teacher grades with a checklist (or other kind of objective criteria). Instead try to impress him/her with your policy discussions and the amount that you studied. Proceed to d (most important.)

d. When you write your answers, do NOT spend much time applying the law to the facts. Instead, focus your discussion on the law. Do not use CREAC / IRAC. Instead, use something like IPRCP (issue, policy discussion, rule explanation, conclusion, more policy - see example). When your teacher wants a functional analysis, such as asking you to advice a hypothetical client like a real lawyer would do, the more original philosophical thought you write, the better for your poor grade.

Example:

Here's an example of my IPRCP. It's not exactly nor intentionally what I did, but just a general reflection of the terrible way I approached an issue spotter in a non-functional way; the opposite of what my teacher wanted.

When you see negligence, first discuss how and why the law of negligence developed why it will bring / does not bring an appropriate remedy at law for these facts. Then, discuss the rule for negligence, and argue some philosophical justifications for it. Next, make your conclusion for the facts of the hypo, but be very careful not to apply the BLL to the facts much...only do so very briefly. Basically, relate the facts much more to policy than to the rule. Do not explain how the conclusion follows from the facts via BLL. Finally, discuss different policy reasons for why and how the court should rule on the issue. Explain how different courts could go different ways, and your general opinion for the way the law should be compared to the way the law is, and why. And remember, generally, the more original philosophical thought you give, the better for your bad grade.

Undoubtedly, your answer will be much longer than your peers' answers, and you'll be very pleased with yourself right after your test. However, you will have failed at your task, and the grade will reflect the failure.

This is the worst way to make a bad grade, because you could have studied half as much and performed better if more focus were dedicated to the task at hand. Furthermore, more time could have been devoted to that other subject that you slacked in.... Civil Procedure (see above).

Moral of the story: Don't try to be fancy. Realize what your professor wants, and give it to him.

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Good luck![/strike]

:)




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