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SwollenMonkey
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby SwollenMonkey » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:58 pm

Have any of you already setup One Note according to your class schedule? I have and find it so useful. One Note is also very easy to use. Mind you, I was a total newbie when it came to One Note. I'm still learning the ins-and-outs of this program.
Last edited by SwollenMonkey on Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby SwollenMonkey » Fri Aug 13, 2010 9:59 pm

rbgrocio wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:Also... Why are you all reading ALL these books. Enjoy the few weeks you have left because from now on you will eat, breath and live law. Really, just enjoy the time you have left.


This is the gunner thread, remember?



I thought we had already settled on the fact that the OP uses the WRONG definition of gunner!


If you see what the moderator said as a *settlement, then the issue is settled. If you don't see it as a *settlement, then I guess you'll continue posting in this thread.

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Matteliszt
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:03 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:Have any of you already setup One Note according to your class schedule? I have and find it so useful. One Note is also very easy to use.



Yeah it took me a very short amount of time to get familar with onenote. I ran through the tutorial and started going. Also there is a new thread posted about success in law school that I hadn't seen. If anyone wants it is located here.

viewtopic.php?f=22&t=123699


Throughout the year I will be making my notes available to anyone who wants to use them, I have some on GTM and The Delaney books if anyone would like.



stonepeep wrote:This thread is ridiculous. Chill the fuck out, 0Ls.

I want to finish as high in the class as I can!!! Well no shit, do you really think anyone aims to suck? A "study group" thread is going to do less than nothing to help you excel. Just focus on going to class and doing your reading. Problem solved.

Goddamn I hate this forum most of the time.


No one is asking you to like it, or for that matter your negative attitude. If you don't want to be a part of this thread then GTFO, simple as that. All I ask is that you respect the members of this thread in doing what we want to do. This is the last response I will have to anyone flaming this thread.

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skoobily doobily
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby skoobily doobily » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:06 pm

Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D

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Matteliszt
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:07 pm

skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I am going to start practice tests probably around week 6, at least will the material I understand at that point? Too soon? I am looking at you goft.

sibley
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby sibley » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:09 pm

Will be reading this thread as soon as my move is finished.

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rbgrocio
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby rbgrocio » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:10 pm

skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I thought this may help you understand what being a gunner entails:

Courtesy of urbandictionary.com:

I raise my hand just to tell my life experiences. I think I am smart but really have no life skills besides being a bigot and asshole. My opinion is the only one that counts. I am pretty sure I have been everywhere in the world. I am smarter and know more than my professors. I am in the bottom of my class. For some reason the teachers still call on me even though they know only my stupid opinion is going to come out.

The bolded part is one of the key elements.... Trust me, you do not want to be a gunner! I know a few!

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby SwollenMonkey » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:11 pm

skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D


I had a link to practice exams on my school's account, but it has disappeared as of late. I did read one exam, which the professor claimed to have taken eights hours to write. The prof did specify the real exam would be three hours long. As far as the library, I haven't found a corner just yet, but my library hours are pretty much set. I'll be staying from opening to closing Monday through Friday unless something prevents me from doing so. I'm doing this to study, but also to avoid traffic on the freeways. Part of being a gunner is managing your time wisely. Time spent commuting is wasted time, IMO.

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traehekat
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby traehekat » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:12 pm

Matteliszt wrote:
skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I am going to start practice tests probably around week 6, at least will the material I understand at that point? Too soon? I am looking at you goft.


Have you done LEEWS yet? I think I am going to try and devote some time every weekend to some exam prep/hypothetical stuff. If you haven't done LEEWS, the idea is that you never really have to take an ENTIRE exam, or at least earlier in the semester. You can just start with the law you know (which will be very little to start) and start going over some hypotheticals and grabbing whatever issues you can and getting in the habit of the "lawyerly analysis" that is required. The E&Es provide a ton of short little hypotheticals so that is a good source. You can also just get some random ass exams from online and just try and pick out whatever issues you can. There are a ton out there, so it isn't like you are wasting them or anything by looking at them before you know a lot of law. Just pick out the issues you can with the law you know, and work through that.

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Matteliszt
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:12 pm

rbgrocio wrote:
skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I thought this may help you understand what being a gunner entails:

Courtesy of urbandictionary.com:

I raise my hand just to tell my life experiences. I think I am smart but really have no life skills besides being a bigot and asshole. My opinion is the only one that counts. I am pretty sure I have been everywhere in the world. I am smarter and know more than my professors. I am in the bottom of my class. For some reason the teachers still call on me even though they know only my stupid opinion is going to come out.

The bolded part is one of the key elements.... Trust me, you do not want to be a gunner! I know a few!



Please leave us alone unless you are actually contributing to something re:studying.

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skoobily doobily
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby skoobily doobily » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:14 pm

Matteliszt wrote:
skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I am going to start practice tests probably around week 6, at least will the material I understand at that point? Too soon? I am looking at you goft.


I picked Sunday November 7th, this gives me room to take close to 25 practice tests assuming I skip a few days, but will require me to keep my outlines constantly updated. Starting on the first day of November I'll truly go into crunch-time, spending 4-5 hours a day intensive reviewing, and then when I start taking my practice exams I'll substitute it for 4-5 of exam + review leading up to finals week.

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Matteliszt
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:15 pm

traehekat wrote:
Matteliszt wrote:
skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I am going to start practice tests probably around week 6, at least will the material I understand at that point? Too soon? I am looking at you goft.


Have you done LEEWS yet? I think I am going to try and devote some time every weekend to some exam prep/hypothetical stuff. If you haven't done LEEWS, the idea is that you never really have to take an ENTIRE exam, or at least earlier in the semester. You can just start with the law you know (which will be very little to start) and start going over some hypotheticals and grabbing whatever issues you can and getting in the habit of the "lawyerly analysis" that is required. The E&Es provide a ton of short little hypotheticals so that is a good source. You can also just get some random ass exams from online and just try and pick out whatever issues you can. There are a ton out there, so it isn't like you are wasting them or anything by looking at them before you know a lot of law. Just pick out the issues you can with the law you know, and work through that.



Yeah that's what I was building off of, just working on what I know at that point. I only have 3 "real" exams per professor so I will probably also work through other prof's tests on the subject just for practice.

also this article was posted on xo, hope this helps yall

It is HUGE(OTB huge) I can edit this post if yall think this is to big and PM it to people who want it. The problem with linking the thread is that there is a lot of xo garbage in it.


1. No matter what anyone says (including your prof), it's all about the black-letter law. DO NOT worry about whatever bullshit you talk about in class. Your torts exam will make no mention of Calabresi's "The Cost of Accidents," and you will not get any points for applying law and economics principles to the case at bar. What you need to do on the exam is (a) correctly state the issue(s), (b) correctly state the law (the elements for a battery are 1,2,3,etc.) and (c) 'apply' the law to the facts, which simply means picking out a fact or two from the question, and saying "here, [element x] is met because [fact y]," and finally (d) state your conclusion
That is what is meant by "IRAC." The 'A' part is supposedly the most important. IMO both the 'R' (Rule) and the 'A' (Analysis) are equally important. If you don't know the rule, you won't get the issue. You must state the rule
completely and accurately. Then, you just have to pick out a fact or two and say because of the stupid fact, the element/rule is met. That's it.
They key is to write as if both you and your audience were morons. State obvious issues and rules. Even if it's clear that, say, defendant comitted a battery, state the issue (the issue is whether D committed a battery), the rule (the elements for battery are...), the analysis (element 1 is met because D...; element 2 is met because D...), and then your conclusion (because D met all the stupid elements, he has committed a battery).
Again, state the obvious. This is counter-intuitive, b/c normal humans only think of things as "issues" when there is a colorable argument that the claim could be in dispute. For example, say I punch you in the face for no reason. That's a battery. To a normal human, there's no issue about whether or not I have committed a battery; it's completely freaking obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the law. There's no way I could say I haven't.
But law school is not for normal humans. It is for morons. So, even though both you and your prof and everyone else already knows the answer, you must write as if the person you are speaking to has no knowledge whatsoever of the law (and is incredibly daft to boot). In the above example, you would lose points for not discussing why I have committed a battery, stupid as that may sound.
2. In light of #1, use study aids. Your prof will NOT teach you the black-letter law. Instead, he will prefer to BS about policy, government, his politics, his bitch wife, whatever. He doesn't care. He's clueless. That was how he was taught, and he's not an educator anyway. He's a scholar. Scholars don't care about law, they all are policy wonks who want work in think-tanks (only problem is think tanks are not prestigious enough for the prof's giant egos).
3. Learn how to write a law school exam (even though I have already told you). DO PRACTICE EXAMS. Maybe get LEEWS, whatever. But def look at old exams, and whenever possible, best student answers. This is extremely important.
4. Given 1 and 2, don't worry that much about class and the bs that spews out of your prof's mouth. If he says the rule is 'X' then you say the rule is 'X' even if the study aid says the rule is 'Y.' Chances are he won't ever tell you the rule, given what I said in 2. But in the rare case that he does, make sure that you know exactly what he said the rule was. Write an email after class in you're not sure.
But, for the most part, he won't tell you the rules (that's the 'beauty' of the Socratic method - you're supposed to figure them out for yourself!). So get and use study aids from day 1.
What I have prescribed is the recipe for success in all American law schools, b/c they all use the same crappy pedagogical method (socratic lectures followed by a giant issue-spotter exam which accounts for 100% of your grade). A torts exam at harvard looks the same as a torts exam at podunk u; it will be a giant fact-pattern, and you will need to apply black-letter rules to the facts. Maybe, and this is just a maybe, the harvard exam will have a teeny-tiny policy question that's worth 15% of the grade or so (they're usually only 30 minute Qs on a 3-hour final; so 1/6). So, if one of these Qs shows up (and chances are it won't), that means that 95% of what you learned in class accounts for only 15% of your grade. Again, chances are you won't even get a policy Q on the exam, and if you do, knowing the black-letter law cold will prepare you for that stupid question anyway.
People like to say "you're not learning torts...you're learning professor X's torts." That's extremely misleading. All this means is that (1) your prof will not cover every conceivable topic in the law of torts, and (2) if and when your prof thinks the rule is different from what the study aid says (not often, but sometimes) then use his rule. What it certainly does NOT mean is that what your professor bs's about in class is what you will see on the final. Bottom line - the law of torts is the law of torts is the law of torts. there's a goddamned restatement which spells it out, and that's why it can be tested on a multi-state bar exam. that's the shit you need to know cold, regardless of how much class time you spend on 'loss spreading' or 'efficiency vs. fairness.'
People also like to say, "in law school, there is no 'right' answer." that is also bullshit. The simple fact of the matter is that professors generally write exams that, for the most part, have clear answers (even if you think they don't). Professors have to grade upwards of 100 exams per class. When the semester is over, they want to go on vacation as soon as possible. Every minute they spend grading exams is a minute they're not on the beach sipping my-tais. Thus, a prof is not going to waste his time giving any exam a thorough read to see 'what your arguments were.' instead, he writes the exam with a grading key, and the people who get good grades are the one who give him the conclusions and the reasons he wants to see. Again, he doesn't put question in there so you can go nuts and impress him. He's looking for something in particular; basically, he's looking for the answer he's already thought up.
That said, don't worry about getting the conclusion wrong. As long as you state the correct rule, and throw in the right facts, you'll get some points. You might not get full credit, but you'll get some.


(--LinkRemoved--)

________________________________________

Date: December 6th, 2008 2:35 PM
Author: Sweep the Leg Johnny (the little things you planned ain't coming true.)
Subject: Fiver's Exam Tips 2: Approaching the Question

So last time, I told you that I thought that IRAC was necessary but by no means sufficient for law school exams. This post will try to explain how to fill in the gaps in IRAC, and how to organize a law school exam.
So, you've probably heard professors say something like "don't start writing your exam right away. Take your time. Think." You'll hear figures saying that you should spend somewhere between one-third and one-half your time preparing to write. Yippee! Advice! From law professors! About how to take exams! Yay! Um, so, what are you supposed to do with that time?
The typical answer is something like, "Spot issues!" This is where your blueprint comes into play. So you have this blueprint, and you go through it -- you will go through it, point by point, line by line, potential trick by potential trick. And if you're me, which I am and you are not, what you do is you jot all these down on a separate piece of paper. (Incidentally, if you are me, your paper is color-coded to your class. You've been taking notes on colored paper all semester. One class, one color. This is most definitely not advice; it is just me being anal.) You end up with a big jumble of issues.
A side-note. When I say "issues" I do not mean causes of action. I mean "things to opine about". For instance, spotting an issue is not restricted to noticing that Jane can argue that Bill was negligent. How was Bill negligent? There may be three theories. Did he violate the statute? Was the point of the statute to protect against the kind of harm that Jane suffered? Was there an intervening cause? Can we argue that Bill was negligent because he should have taken a particular precaution? Does he have a duty to take that precaution? Why might courts balk at that duty? Was it foreseeable that not taking the precaution would cause that kind of harm? Does it depend on whether you describe the harm that occured broadly or narrowly (hint: yes)?
Those are your issues. Your blueprint gives you a series of questions that you must ask; you note on your paper which questions arise from the fact pattern you are given. You come up with lengthy and confusing jumble. [Note: IRAC, of course, does not help you come up with the things in the jumble. One way in which IRAC is not helpful.]
Ah yes. What I just said? Good thing it's not advice, because it sucks as advice. You don't actually want to go through your blueprint point by point to see if you're hitting all the relevant law. You actually only want to do that for the first few times, when you're doing practice exams (more on that next week). What you really really want to do is go through the hypothetical point by point to see if you're hitting all the relevant facts; you should know your blueprint well enough that you never have to look to see how the blueprint covers the facts. Let the facts drive your answer; the law provides the structure that you need. There are almost never irrelevant facts. Very very occasionally, there will be an irrelevant fact (there was one on my torts exam. I asked Don afterwards. He said so. I wept, just a little bit. Well, not really). This is very rare. Almost everything on the exam can be picked up, caressed, shaded, and used to make an argument. On the other hand, if you can't think of a way to use a fact, don't make up something wrong just because you think it's not relevant.
I don't know if I've emphasized that enough. Maybe I should repeat it. Your job on an exam is not to repeat all the law you know. There's a reason why your professor doesn't just tell you the black-letter law in class, and it's not because she's trying to hide it. It's because she's trying to emphasize that what matters is not your knowing the law, but your applying the law to facts. Facts are where it's at. You drape facts over the law; law provides form, but really, without facts, law is naked.
It is now your job to impose order on that jumble. [Note: IRAC, of course, won't help you here. You have lots and lots of issues. You need to decide how to order them.] Some things are obvious. First of all, it often makes sense to group related issues together. Thus, you might want to lump all the ways that Bill is negligent together. (It's easiest, if when you're writing, you kind of have little areas of the page mentally blocked off for things.) You'll put damages together. You'll put contributory negligence together. In fact, chances are pretty good that you'll want to separate things exactly like the professor did in class.
For instance, suppose -- and this is entirely hypothetical -- that you had a professor who wrote an outline on the board every day, and that outline would say something like "I. Source of Right A. "Penumbras" B. Discrete and insular? C. Textualism II. Breadth of Right" and so on. This is a hint -- a big hint -- about how you should be organizing your answer. First, you should talk about the source of the right. You should mention several theories, and how it comes out under those theories, and what you think would happen. Then, you should talk about the breadth of the right. So if you're lucky enough to have a professor who does that kind of organization, steal his organization for your exam. If nothing else, the general groups that are used on the syllabus are fine.
Okay, fine. So now you know you're talking about all the negligence claims together. How d'you organize those? This is a noncomprehensive list, but there are three ways to organize a group of arguments.
Trees
These are the easiest to talk about, because they're the most intuitive. If you had a flow-chart for the possible arguments, your answer would essentially go through the tree, in order, point by point. In my experience, this sort of thing worked best for my Contracts class. Although it may have been my particular professor, too. This lends itself well to an actual outline, with lettered and numbered points. I. Consideration A. Illusory Promise B. Legal Duty? and so forth.
Trees are very straight-forward.
Stacking
This is, by far, the most fun. Sadly, it doesn't always work as an organization device. I found it worked the best (again, for me; this may depend on your professor!) in Contracts discussions of whether there's some kind of contract and in Torts discussions of whether someone was negligent.
Here's how it works. You have several theories as to why there's a contract (or why someone's negligent). Now, if you're really going through all the facts, you also have a lot of counter-arguments. Some of those counter-arguments will only apply to some theories. In fact, thinking of the counter-arguments may make you think of better theories of negligence or contractual obligation. So you have: theory of obligation, counter-argument, theory of obligation that side-steps counter-argument, counter-argument, new theory that side-steps that counter-argument, counter-argument. So the arguments stack on top of each other, and the one you end up with -- the last one, which is either a theory of obligation or a counter-argument, is the one that you can't get around. The arguments get successively stronger and stronger as the stack gets higher and higher.
There really is very little that's more fun than a good stacking argument. Um, very little more fun in the law school exam arena. But honestly, it's a total blast.
Unraveling
Sometimes, you get a fact pattern that's really complicated. One thing feeds into another feeds into another. This happens a lot in torts when you have multiple parties. A argues that B is negligent because of 1. C also wants B to be negligent, but 1 makes C negligent as well. So C wants to argue 2. B does not want to argue 2. B wants to argue 3. The best way I can think of to set this up is to take all the arguments, see how everyone falls out on each argument, and then start with an argument. Say something like "A and B want to argue blah." Now identify a party that doesn't like blah. Explain why they don't like it, how they'd argue against it, and what they'd argue instead. Identify who agrees with them. Identify who doesn't, what they don't like about it, and what they'd argue instead. Repeat. Grab hold of an argument, see what parties connect, pull it out as far as you can, and notice that you're pulling on another argument. Pull until there are no more arguments left (or until you've pulled out all the arguments that are connected to each other in this ridiculous fashion).
Unraveling is a big mess. It can sometimes be fun. It can sometimes be a real drag.
Note that I haven't said anything about how you make these arguments. How you phrase each individual argument, how you analyze each issue--well, that's all about irAAAAAAc."

This is not advice. And the reason it's not advice will be very clear to anyone who goes to the meta-blog that Ambivalent Imbroglio has just set up, called Blawg Wisdom, which compiles discussions of how people approached law school and what they did during law school. Lots of people there give advice on anything you can imagine -- transferring, reading cases, and so forth.
If you read it, you'll find some conflicting points of view. "Hand-write your notes." "Type everything in the computer." "Don't talk unless you're called on." "Talk as much as you feel like." "Law school is just school, about law." "Law school is like nothing you've ever done before." "Outline early." "Wait until the semester is almost over to start outlining." "Don't outline at all." What this should teach you -- and this is the only piece of actual advice here -- is that many many people have successfully approached law school in a large number of ways. Trust yourself. If you've never learned well by working in groups, don't join a study group. If you learn best by discussing with other people, do that. Know what you want, and do what you have to to get it. Because ultimately, even the people who write big expensive books that charge lots of money are not really giving advice. They're just saying, "hey, this worked for me!" Hopefully you'll learn to trust yourself. And next year, maybe you'll be able to say "Hey, this worked for me!" too.
So if it's not advice, why bother doing it? Because law school is, no matter whether you find it that way or not, hyped up to be a scary arbitrary random frightening tiring experience. Potential misery loves anecdote. So read away, and realize that for some people, law school is fun. Maybe it'll be fun for you, too. Drop the fear, and remember that your professors are not trying to kill you.
This is the final entry in my not-advice series, and I must finish it today, before I leave this town. I also have to pack. So the disclaimer is light: even if this sounds like advice, it is not advice. Got it?
Exam Tips 3: What to get out of practice exams
So, if you've paid attention through this whole thing, you'll remember that I finish my outlines within hours of the class being finished. This means that I essentially have the entire exam period to focus on honing my exam-taking skills. And to goof off.
Let me emphasize the goofing off part for a little bit. The last thing you want to do, and by you, I mean me, is walk into an exam feeling burned out. You will not perform at your peak. You will miss issues. You will get bored while writing your exam, and your exam will not be particularly interesting to read. This is Not a Good Thing. So, for me, the worst time of the semester is about two weeks before classes end, when I'm pushing to understand the last few concepts and finish my outlines. After classes end, I take an afternoon off and do little to nothing, and then work for maybe three to five hours a day thereafter. More if I meet with people. This goofing off period, for me, is vital to enjoying what I do.
Now, if my outline is finished, what am I spending my time doing? The answer is: practice exams, practice exams, and more practice exams. Ideally what you want is exams written by your professor, with sample answers, also written by your professor (remember that even a student who does very very well on the exam will miss some interesting and important points). In fact, ideally you want a practice exam, a sample perfect answer, a sample "B" answer, and a sample "C" answer. The reason is that you want to do negative hypothesis testing: if you say "this exam is superlative because it does X" you want to make sure that the "C" exam is not also doing X. I have never gotten anything other than sample perfect exams from professors, though.
The first time you take an exam -- the very very first -- you need to time yourself, but don't hold yourself strictly to the time guidelines. That is: know how much time you took, and how much time you should have taken, but take all the time you need to make your answer as good as possible. Within reason, of course; you shouldn't spend days on it.
Now take your exam, and compare it with the sample answer. If you don't have a sample answer, get together with your friends and talk about the answers you got. You're looking for two things here. First, you're looking for things you didn't see. Mark down the things you didn't see with a pen on a separate piece of paper; we'll come back to that. Second, you're looking for organization. Ask yourself: How could I have organized this better? What could I do to make this appear more logically?
Okay. Now you've taken your first practice exam. What you should have at this point is a diagnostic. You know what you're missing, and you know what the problems are with your organization. You also know how long you take to write an issue. Now you need to work on all these things.
First, how do you start getting the things you were missing? You'll find that you have some systematic errors, like not noticing potential illusory promises or forgetting about contributory negligence. You'll also notice that some of your friends are particularly good at seeing ways of resolving a particular kind of conflict. What you need to do is convert these missed issues into questions where, if you asked yourself that question, you would get the answer. Thus: "Is there any way that this person could escape this contract?" might highlight a particular illusory promise issue, or "What best preserves the rights of the non-breaching party?" Take this list of questions, and after you read the fact pattern and before you start writing, ask yourself those questions. If you systematically force yourself to ask questions about things you typically miss, you will train yourself to get them.
How do you fix organization? Practice and redos. After you take that first exam, tear the organization apart. Figure out how you could have best organized it -- how you could have spent less time on this important issue and more time on this less important issue, how you should have talked about this next to this next to this -- and come up with an effective organizational scheme for that exam. Now, rewrite the exam -- yes, rewrite it! -- using that organizational scheme. You must teach yourself to write the right way, the first time. The only way I know to do that, at least for me, is to reinforce the feeling of "organizing right" in my head.
And finally, how do you fix time problems? You learn to be organically connected with the clock on your computer as you write. You must learn exactly how long it takes to write a certain issue -- to within thirty seconds -- and be able, once you have drafted out what you're going to say, to roughly allocate time and finish your answer exactly within the allotted times. After the first practice exam, stick to your time limits. If the question says "thirty minutes", take thirty minutes. Stick to your internal time limits as well. If the question says thirty minutes and it raises two major points, each of which is approximately as important as the other, spend fifteen minutes on each of those points. Period. Some slight variation is allowed, but err on the side of less time rather than more. Time is not your friend in exams.
In addition to knowing your clock, you must also learn to write quickly, without great pauses for thought. And you must do so intelligently. It's nice to write in complete sentences. The easiest way to do this, by far, is to write simple sentences with words that you normally use. The best thing I did, first year, as far as getting myself to write quick uninhibited prose was to keep a blog. And my exams pretty much were written in the same style as my blog posts -- I write quickly, I glance once-over, and that's it. It's not always perfect, but that's okay.
On the other hand, you do not want to write as if you are semi-literate, even if that would be faster for you. Your professor may say that he or she does not take off for misspelled grammatically twisted sentences. But if your professor has to read your sentence two or three times just to figure out what the heck you meant -- and if your professor than has to read the previous sentence to see where the heck you're going -- and if your professor has to read a hundred exams and twenty pages each . . . . I'm sure you see where this is going. You're not going to get credit for a concept your professor doesn't see. If it's actually head-achingly painful to read your prose, your professor just might not see everything you said. Write simply. Write quickly. And write with some semblance of grace and style.
While we're on this subject, I should mention a Very Bad Habit of mine, which is to make sly, sometimes sarcastic, asides. Never more than one or two per exam (although there are far more in my practice exams -- if I didn't make those snide comments, I'd get seriously bored doing practice exams). Really, they just slip out. But like I said, I'd get bored if I didn't do them during practices, I'd get bored, and what I practice, I end up doing in the real thing. So far as I can tell, it has never hurt me. So: don't try to be funny during an exam, or snide, or crack jokes; there's no reason to waste brain power on something that gets you no points. But do be comfortable; any delegitimizing effect that might accrue when you tongue-in-cheek point out that "rational basis" and "president" may not belong in the same sentence will be balanced by your increased comfort level. If you write comfortably, as you would on a blog, you'll be writing at the right level. Informal but passably written is far superior -- at least in terms of time management and ease of reading -- than stilted prose with big words.
Do this over and over again. You have not practiced enough if your time allocation is awry. Time must, must, must come out right (but look on the bright side: once you learn that skill, you'll have it for all your classes, for ever more. The first semester of exams will be the hardest, because you'll have to learn time allocation). You will not ever get all the issues. Sorry. You will not even get all the issues that you know that you systematically miss. So you just have to do your best and try and get more every time you practice.
Most importantly, write comfortably and have fun. If you enjoy writing your exam, it's more likely that your professor will enjoy reading it. That's a win-win situation for everyone.
And that's it!"


(http://www.autoadmit.com/thread.php?thr ... 2#10472760)

________________________________________

Date: December 6th, 2008 2:37 PM
Author: Sweep the Leg Johnny (the little things you planned ain't coming true.)
Subject: Fiver's An incomplete list of generalized tricks
Targeting tricks
The first trick that I learned in law school is what I call a targeting trick, and I learned it in torts (although you see it lots and lots of other places). I call it a targeting trick because (if you haven't noticed) I have a very visual way of approaching the world, and I imagined it thusly: first, you think you're trying to get a spear through two hoops, one entitled "breach of duty" and another entitled "cause of injury". The problem is that you must get through both hoops with one spear throw. The hoops are spaced so that this isn't an easy task: you must throw the javelin so that it passes through the first hoop, the "breach of duty" hoop at just the right angle, with just the right velocity, so that it also goes through the "cause of injury" hoop. (Note that my mental analogy does not extend to talking about killing two birds with one stone. Poor birdies.)
So an example of an insufficiently targeted discussion: You did something bad. The thing you did caused an injury. Therefore, you're a negligent weasel. And you can see with ridiculous examples that this won't do: you negligently didn't change your brakes. This caused the local brake-changing person to lose $10 of your business. Pay up, you negligent weasel! Of course it doesn't work like that, because we care about why it is negligent to do something. That is: the negligence has to match up with the injury. You have to throw your javelin so that the "why" of the negligence matches up with the "how" of the injury.
This targeting trick is actually used just about everywhere, especially if you're considering extending known law to new situations. Why do we have this law? What are we trying to achieve? What happens in the new situation? If the javelin passes through both hoops -- if the why matches up with the how -- you've got yourself a reasonably good argument.
Breadth tricks
Another favorite trick of mine. Luckily, everyone learns how to do this when they're two. You just have to remind yourself to do it in when you're in law school. As I'm sure you remember from when you're a child, something that a parent tells you not to do must be construed as narrowly a possible. Thus, when your mother tells you "don't leave your clothes on the floor!" you realize that she is talking specifically about the clothes that you are wearing at that instant, and really, she only means the kitchen floor. Fine, fine, you say, I won't leave these jeans on the kitchen floor. But the dress is fine, and these jeans can go in the living room. And on the other hand, anything your parent tells you you can do is construed broadly. "You can go to Amy's house to play after you finish your homework" becomes "Take the afternoon off and hike to the moon. Don't bother calling if you skip dinner." (The relationship between parent and child, as construed by the child, is somewhat similar to the relationship between insured and insurer.)
And that's all there is to the trick. Broad descriptions encompass more; narrow descriptions encompass less. Take, for instance, some people arguing now about war powers. Some people say, for instance, "the president has expanded powers when we're at war, and the judiciary shouldn't interfere." This is a very broad description of what's going on. Others say, "the president shouldn't be allowed to hold citizens without cause indefinitely while beating them about the head and neck with rubber hoses." This is a very narrow description. And you see the difference that breadth makes? Each of those descriptions sounds somewhat reasonable. It doesn't sound anywhere near as reasonable to negate either of those sentences. (And I don't insist that all people describe things this way. Of course they don't. And I don't endorse either description. Except I'm lying. I endorse the second one, that the president can't hold citizens indefinitely without cause while beating them about the head and neck with rubber hoses.)
This trick interacts with the previous one: the bigger you draw your hoops, the easier it is to throw your javelin through them. Thus, if someone says that the reason not changing your brakes is negligent is because you want to prevent accidents, and you side-swiped that car because you were day-dreaming about how you needed to get your brakes changed, you negligent weasel, what they're doing is drawing the original hoop, the "why" hoop of negligence, very very broadly. On the other hand, someone who says that the reason not changing your brakes is negligent is because you don't want to rear-end a car, and you actually just couldn't slow down on the curve and hit oncoming traffic head-on, so you're not negligent is drawing the initial "why" hoop of negligence very very narrowly. And of course this illustrates that we do believe that there are some guiding principles for how we choose the proper breadth.
At this point, I have to admit I'm pretty bored of writing this entry. So I'm going to mention a few without being quite as complete as I was above. Besides, they're in Getting to Maybe. Which really deserves a read. (And that one sentence is advice, for everyone.)
Point-of-View tricks
Think of the many different ways to characterize the facts. Facts are your friends. I'll have more to say about facts when I start meandering on about exams.
Choice-of-Law tricks
You learn several different ways to approach this, depending on time, jurisdiction, or setting.
Trend tricks
See where things were, why they changed, and where they're going to.
Note that none of this talks about things like process theory or law and economics. I don't consider that stuff a "trick"--they're often used as ways to resolve the correct breadth (think: should we be applying strict scrutiny here, and why?), or the correct choice-of-law (when you have a choice).
The use of subjective knee-jerk reactions in law school
Your professors will try and beat it out of you the first time someone says "It's not fair!" You'll realize after a while that it's reasons that matter. Reasons. Reasons. Only reasons, and arguments, and appeals to efficiency and history and precedent and discrete and insular minorities .... Yeah. There are a lot of reasons out there. But your professors will work hard to drum your subjective knee-jerk reactions out of you.
"But it isn't fair!" "But they're morally blameworthy!" "But they're babies!" "But it's just wrong!" "But that's completely backword!" "But the poor chickens!" This series is not generally advice, but yeah, this next sentence really really is advice. NEVER WRITE ANY OF THAT ON A TEST. If you find yourself using mental italics and exclamation points, if you find your sentences starting with the word "but" and not using the word "because" you are not writing a sentence which belongs on a law school exam. Trust me.
So you read the facts in a case, or hear a hypothetical, or read a fact-pattern on an exam. And part of you, well ... it responds. That part says "I feel sorry for A" or "God, C is such an idiot" or "Somebody should do something about Y." That part of you is not good for articulating things you say or do in class. But "thinking like a lawyer" doesn't mean discarding those subjective knee-jerk reactions.
Learn to use them. So you read a fact pattern, and you think "Man, we should be able to do something for poor A here." Then you make an entirely intellectual evaluation, holding that subjective evaluation to the side. Damn, you think. I'm thinking like a lawyer, and it looks like there's nothing to be done for A here. Oh well. The law is a bitch, aint she?
No. The law is not. The disjoint between the emotional and the intellectual tells you one of two things. It may tell you that you're missing an argument, and a good one. You've gotten the obvious ones, but there's something else still there. Or it could tell you that you're missing a characterization, that you've read something into the facts that isn't there, and if only you change the way you look at what happened, you'll find that poor old A maybe isn't quite so deserving as you initially thought. Your subjective reaction generally doesn't give you information to articulate, but it can help you point yourself in the direction of articulation.
It is very easy to get caught up in the argument. In fact, I do it -- much more now than I did before law school started. Possibly more than I should. But if you hold your emotions to the side and say "these matter, and if I don't agree with myself, I'll have to figure things out" you'll have one more way to find gaps in your arguments.
The first practice exam I ever took was in my torts class. I got the hypo; I read it; I felt sorry for the girl and listed a couple of ways that she was the victim of battery and/or negligence. And after I finished the exam, I realized that I'd done a shockingly bad thing: because I *knew* the plaintiff should win, I'd forgotten to look for her best arguments. The ones, you know, that sweep aside the objections and make it obvious, obvious intellectually as well as emotionally, that she should win. And this is why your emotions shouldn't dominate what you do--because you have to make your best arguments, bar none.
You cannot be so entranced with your ability to win and your moral vindication that you fail to convince anyone else. On the other hand, intellect is a powerful tool, sharp and incisive. And yet without anyone there to direct it, it can't do much more than gash indiscriminately.
Love. Hate. Feel. Rage. Don't believe that the law is dispassionate; it's not. You can't steer with your emotions, but you can't be driven by your intellect.


(--LinkRemoved--)

________________________________________

Date: December 6th, 2008 2:38 PM
Author: Sweep the Leg Johnny (the little things you planned ain't coming true.)
Subject: Fiver's The Mechanics of Writing Law School Exams
Because I'm grading a handful of law review competitions, I have had the chance to see how some people write. And I am reminded that some things I think should be obvious to people are not.
There are a few mechanical things that I think you can do to improve your chances of getting good grades. Let me repeat: these are mechanical. They are not substantive. That means, this has nothing to do with spotting issues, writing answers, arguing well, or whatever. Nonetheless, I think all of these skills help improve grades.
Is this advice? Probably not. Advice would imply that I told you to do something, and I won't. I'll tell you what you skills you should try and have.
But on the other hand, it is advice in the sense that I might advise you to cultivate these skills. And I don't think that mileage vary much on these.
Continued below the fold.
Law school exams usually are some combination of limiting factors. From a purely mechanical standpoint, exams are limited by paper, time, or both. Likewise, there are two important skills you need to have in order to maximize your performance on those exams. It's really simple: everyone has the same amount of time, or words. If you want to do better than others, you need to do more with your time -- or your words -- than they do.
My other bits of not-advice can help you with that substantively, if you're like me. But there's also stuff that's purely mechanical. Quite simply, you can do more if you need less time -- or words -- than your classmates.
1. Typing speed. The more time you spend thinking, as opposed to typing, the better your answer will be. The faster you type -- and by "type," I mean, "get your thoughts on paper," the more time you have to formulate those thoughts before they must be transcribed.
The fastest way to increase typing speed is to increase your words-per-minute. Take a class. Get some software. Something like that. It goes without saying that if you type slowly, you will not be able to say as much. So the first thing to do is increase literal typing speed.
Of course, if it takes you a long time to think of a sentence, or to phrase what you mean, you're going to run into problems even if you can type hundreds of words per minute. So you also need to learn to keep it simple, stupid. Short sentences are good. Convoluted sentences are harder to write, and so take longer. Likewise, they are harder to read, and more likely to make your grader's head hurt. (You hear that, writing competition people? Long sentences make my head hurt. Ouch!)
So, if you want to say more than your classmates, it helps to literally be able to say more than your classmates. End of story.
2. The second half of saying more is simple. Concision. Most people are really crummy at editing for length. (At least, so I judge by what I read.) Again, it really helps to use relatively short sentences. It also helps to use vocabulary that you would use when talking. If you use short, familiar sentences, it becomes really obvious when you are repeating yourself. Use fewer adjectives. Replace complicated clauses with single verbs. Don't fear contractions. Start sentences with "and" and "but" (over the past three days, three people have told me not to start sentences with connectors, but I checked the Chicago Manual -- and it says that it's just fine).
Write concisely. Write as if you were talking. And eliminate redundancies. As a general rule, I can usually reduce my word count by 30% from my original writing without removing issues.
So there you have it. Given two people with otherwise equal skills -- knowledge of law, skill in application -- the person who can write faster and more concisely will get a better grade.

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skoobily doobily
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby skoobily doobily » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:17 pm

rbgrocio wrote:
skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I thought this may help you understand what being a gunner entails:

Courtesy of urbandictionary.com:

I raise my hand just to tell my life experiences. I think I am smart but really have no life skills besides being a bigot and asshole. My opinion is the only one that counts. I am pretty sure I have been everywhere in the world. I am smarter and know more than my professors. I am in the bottom of my class. For some reason the teachers still call on me even though they know only my stupid opinion is going to come out.

The bolded part is one of the key elements.... Trust me, you do not want to be a gunner! I know a few!


I wouldn't call that a universal trait of a gunner, which is a fairly vague term to begin with. It's only a problem if you make it a problem grocio!

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beach_terror
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby beach_terror » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:20 pm

"Don't stop for nothing, its full speed or nothing. I am taking down whatever is in my way". Gotta love Metallica lyrics that support gunning.

To the commuter, I'm pretty sure LEEWS comes in audio cd's, could be useful for your commutes.

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SmittenMitten
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zjiRe: The Gunner Thread

Postby SmittenMitten » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:22 pm

Wow thanks for posting all that! Now off to finish reading

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traehekat
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby traehekat » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:22 pm

beach_terror wrote:"Don't stop for nothing, its full speed or nothing. I am taking down whatever is in my way". Gotta love Metallica lyrics that support gunning.

To the commuter, I'm pretty sure LEEWS comes in audio cd's, could be useful for your commutes.


I wouldn't recommend LEEWS during a commute, unless you are on a train/subway and have the primer in front of you (even then I think I would be a little distracted). The audio CDs involve a lot of stopping and starting, examining things in the primer, etc.

If you really want to do listen to something law related, I think the podcast Life of a Law Student is pretty solid.

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Matteliszt
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby Matteliszt » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:24 pm

beach_terror wrote:"Don't stop for nothing, its full speed or nothing. I am taking down whatever is in my way". Gotta love Metallica lyrics that support gunning.

To the commuter, I'm pretty sure LEEWS comes in audio cd's, could be useful for your commutes.



Hard to work really, since it requires paying attention to the primer as well.

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beach_terror
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby beach_terror » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:27 pm

Matteliszt wrote:
beach_terror wrote:"Don't stop for nothing, its full speed or nothing. I am taking down whatever is in my way". Gotta love Metallica lyrics that support gunning.

To the commuter, I'm pretty sure LEEWS comes in audio cd's, could be useful for your commutes.



Hard to work really, since it requires paying attention to the primer as well.


Oh, didn't know that oops. I'm waiting until everything gets going to break into all that stuff. Just LSC, GTM, and of course TLS articles until the bloodbath begins.

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traehekat
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby traehekat » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:28 pm

skoobily doobily wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:
skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I thought this may help you understand what being a gunner entails:

Courtesy of urbandictionary.com:

I raise my hand just to tell my life experiences. I think I am smart but really have no life skills besides being a bigot and asshole. My opinion is the only one that counts. I am pretty sure I have been everywhere in the world. I am smarter and know more than my professors. I am in the bottom of my class. For some reason the teachers still call on me even though they know only my stupid opinion is going to come out.

The bolded part is one of the key elements.... Trust me, you do not want to be a gunner! I know a few!


I wouldn't call that a universal trait of a gunner, which is a fairly vague term to begin with. It's only a problem if you make it a problem grocio!


This is the only thing I will say about this, because I think it is a silly discussion anyway. Gunning is just a term. It can be interpreted in a lot of different ways, and thus it kind of loses its clear definition after a while. Just use common sense and decency throughout your practices at law school, and you will be fine. This means respecting your classmates and professors by not constantly offering your opinion ever 10 minutes in class. If someone loses notes, lend them yours. If someone isn't understanding something, help them out. Don't act like a pompous ass. Don't be a show off, either. Don't rip pages out of hornbooks at the library. In other words, COMMON SENSE.

Studying very hard, which may or may not be termed as gunning by some, doesn't exactly fall under the category of indecent. Nor does this thread.

There. Now continue.

EDIT: Still think you should change the OP subject to avoid incendiary replies.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby SwollenMonkey » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:49 pm

What are you guys doing for outlines?

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rbgrocio
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby rbgrocio » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:49 pm

Matteliszt wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:
skoobily doobily wrote:Me, Matte, and Stanford have been toying with starting a gunner thread for a couple of weeks now. I decided something of this nature would a lot more useful and helpful, but I left the title the same just because I wouldn't know what else to call it.

Also, I define setting up study schedules the week before orientation, having already picked out a date to start taking practice tests, and picking out my own corner of the library to study the week before orientation as gunning :D



I thought this may help you understand what being a gunner entails:

Courtesy of urbandictionary.com:

I raise my hand just to tell my life experiences. I think I am smart but really have no life skills besides being a bigot and asshole. My opinion is the only one that counts. I am pretty sure I have been everywhere in the world. I am smarter and know more than my professors. I am in the bottom of my class. For some reason the teachers still call on me even though they know only my stupid opinion is going to come out.

The bolded part is one of the key elements.... Trust me, you do not want to be a gunner! I know a few!



Please leave us alone unless you are actually contributing to something re:studying.



:lol: :lol: :lol:

My contribution, as a 2L, was that most of what you guys are doing is useless at this point. But since you obviously have already talked yourselves into reading ALL these books that are going to help little, if at all... I guess there is nothing else to say.
Last edited by rbgrocio on Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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traehekat
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby traehekat » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:50 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:What are you guys doing for outlines?


Like, formating or scheduling?

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inchoate_con
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby inchoate_con » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:53 pm

Here's a quick intro for OneNote, and how I use it for law school. It's totally over the top, but I'm an organizational freak with too much time….

From the example below, I have three notebooks (Civ Pro, Contracts, and Property - red box)

I have selected chapter three, which lists reading topics, cases, major points, etc. This is the current screen. The yellow box contains the pages within this section. These pages are for notes, briefs, outlines, etc. You can create pages as you type with wiki links ([[…] ]) The green box is the search function that searches this entire notebook (or all notebooks) with an option like word (ctrl+F) for each page.

Another feature I like is linking to webpages. At D(e), those link to Fed P. Civ. P. Rules. Currently, I'm adding links to supplements, which will go next to topics. It may appear disorganized, but it is not. The outline comes together quickly.

I'll have to create a tutorial to explain the "really" useful functions for drag and drop outlining, searching and tagging briefs, linking to outlook (tasks and emails created from OneNote),and numerous other options. By the way, I created this with OneNote.

--ImageRemoved-- (LinkRemoved)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

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go4hls
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby go4hls » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:55 pm

Image

I sense we are moving close to a situation where a full-fledged flame war over the definition of gunner and/or why gunners never win. This would be sad because I actually like the idea of this thread, and hope it doesn't degenerate into a flame war.

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skoobily doobily
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Re: The Gunner Thread

Postby skoobily doobily » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:55 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:What are you guys doing for outlines?


My plan is to, every saturday, take all of my notes from class and all of my case summaries + notes from supplements, sift out the extraneous information and compile them into a master outline. Then start trimming them down as I take practice tests.

Edit: as far as formatting, I think i'm going to taking everything in via onenote and then transcribing as a master outline to a word document.
Last edited by skoobily doobily on Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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