It's good to see this discussion take a substantive turn. To be honest, I was looking forward to quitting. Again.
As is often the case, we tend to argue past each other. As to burnout, if one is going to burn out it will be because of poor study habits. Whether it takes six months or nine months or ten to get there is irrelevant. Moreover, I argue that nearly all of the techniques that most students use are worthless (meaning that they have a low benefit-cost) or worse (meaning that they lead to burnout).
Here's a recent post from a 0L, who was getting advice from a 3L:
"What should I do about my friend? I tried to share some of my study techniques with her. She strongly disagreed with many things I said. I think she was even offended by certain things I said, such as C's are failing grades in law school, reading casebooks is highly inefficent to learn the law, etc. I also believe the more I talk to her, the more I become unsure of myself. If she was another 1L, I would probably ignore things, but her '3L' status does seem to make her look like she knows what she's doing. She tells me she still has trouble reading all her cases. Does this sound like she's hopelessly lost? even as a 3L?"
[Note: This 3L admitted to . . . "being confused all the time, but still was able to pass all her courses by practicing revising outlines and issue spotting on past exams."]
I fully agree that we are each responsible, and these opinions are just that. Here is my response to the 0L, written about five minutes ago, as it happens:
"I'm glad your wrote about your friend. The short answer is, "back off." Be friendly, and listen, but don't flog the issue. She's given you her input, and it's not just pointless but also riling to continue the discussion. On the substance, she does indeed deserve deference for her 3L status. Where I think law school is so harmful is that nearly everyone is operating in a bubble. You mention that she "[was] confused all the time, but still was able to pass all her courses by practicing revising outlines and issue spotting on past exams." The key words are "confusion" and "pass." Do you see the issue? Are those even remotely good enough? Nearly everyone suffers from this, so of course it's hard to see that it could be any other way. And, yes, even 3Ls can be lost, which should be answer enough. (This is not at all a criticism of her personally.)
There is a strong degree of faith in breaking this pattern. That is where the initial success comes in. Read LEEWS, focus on your outline, and by the time you're at the middle of the semester, start taking practice exams, for real. Not "work through them," but TAKE them, timing yourself short. If you can find one or two who are serious about their approach too, that's even better. How to find out? Carefully. Keep your conversations light, and do NOT discuss the different study patterns throughout the semester. That's part of the bad habit to break. Each law student is an adult, and must make his or her own way. I'm truly sorry the majority couldn't be helped, but to try to do so will only rebound, negatively, on you. (And when you are #1, it would be even more negative.) Be careful here."
To each, I will restate the original advice: Don't just accept the common wisdom. Think about what you're about to enter, and how.
PS: A "C" is indeed a failing grade, in this market and for most law students. And, yes, a strong ability to type is valuable, as is an ability to leave sloppy-ish grammar in an exam alone. The best exams are not fine literature. (Or even gross literature, for that matter.) What they ARE is something that might have been written by, yes, a real lawyer.
jayn3 wrote: prezidentv8 wrote:
MD/JD2B wrote:On TLS you are hearing opinions about the law from people who have never practiced it. Sure, you get clues about study techniques and the likes but I'd love to see some actual attorneys with 15-20 years experience discuss some of the issues raised. I had opinions about medicine, medical school and training back when, but they differ slightly after 20 years in practice. I think some of the practical advice on TLS (typing speed, organization, etc.) have been outstanding, but let opinions be what they are and consider where they are coming from.
Why would an actual attorney's opinion about a law school exam be more relevant than a current student's? I thought this thread was only about practical advice.....
i wish advice on prep/exams/etc only came from current or recent students. there are too many 0Ls (myself included) who have opinions and feel the need to share.
in general, though, i do think TLS would benefit from the input of practicing attorneys. there are a ton of TLSers who have no clue what areas of law are interesting to them. i almost did a backflip of joy when the family law guy took questions the other night.