Two 1L tips

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Person
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Two 1L tips

Postby Person » Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:45 pm

I came to law school to get a job. So my advice is from the perspective of getting a job. There are some great posts on TLS that help you do prepare for exams and do really well on them. That is the most important thing, obviously, almost no matter what your goal from law school. But here are the two things that I did that really helped me get a job at OCI.

1) If you have something intelligent to say in class, say it. Stay really engaged and interact. Doing this I managed to get bumped on three of my four doctrinal course exams first semester. In two of those, my bumps on the exam actually turned into a bump in grade (i.e. B+ to A-), in the other class I was half a point away from a bump. Also, my Profs then took an interest in me and helped me get a job 1L summer. Both the elevated GPA and interesting summer work were important to my getting a job through OCI.

The caveat is that it really has to actually be intelligent. People who just open their mouths all the time get no love. The good new is that you are at law school and so you definitely have intelligent things to say, just don't be a gunner.

2) Meet people in law. Don't "network" in that horrible slimy way where you are angling for a job or whatever, but do get to know lawyers in the city at every chance you get. I guess be genuinely interested in them and their advice, not what they can do for you. Particularly in summer after 1L year, meet some friends of friends who are at firms. For example, I met a 2L, who introduced me to an alum who worked at a non-profit. We would get a beer or coffee occasionally, and then before OCI he introduced me to a friend of his that worked at a firm. That guy introduced me to three other people at three other firms that I got to know. I met a number of people in similar ways. I didn't interview with all of their firms, but I did interview with a number.

It worked well for me. I had 16 OCI interviews, and by the time I interviewed I knew people at six of those firms. I got callbacks from four firms total--and all four were firms at which I knew someone, and one of them gave me an offer. This is not a coincidence. I knew none of these people before the summer after my 1L year. I would not have a job if I did not know some people.

The secret to this is that most of the associates at firms fucking love to help out students and most of them are great people. It seems intimidating at first, but it is easier than you think.

The caveat here is that you can't polish a turd. You need to be someone that the contact is willing to give an wholehearted endorsement to, and that generally means good grades and a decent personality. Consentrate on grades for sure

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savagedm
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby savagedm » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:45 pm

Solid tips. I am presently just trying to get to know everyone around my school and their friends, etc. This sounds a lot like how that is turning out. It's like an explosion when you start to meet people, you get to know their friends and their friend's friends, like a giant web being formed. I have not had this experience really anywhere else, but law students seem to just want to get to know each other. It's like a Fraternity almost haha

cavebat2000
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby cavebat2000 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:58 pm

Right on. I was terrified of raising my hand in class at first out of fear of being labeled a gunner but I have discovered that is mostly BS. Maybe not everyone, but most of your fellow students will appreciate an intelligent contribution be it a question, comment, or answer.

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savagedm
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby savagedm » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:32 pm

cavebat2000 wrote:Right on. I was terrified of raising my hand in class at first out of fear of being labeled a gunner but I have discovered that is mostly BS. Maybe not everyone, but most of your fellow students will appreciate an intelligent contribution be it a question, comment, or answer.


Gunners are not people who raise their hand when they have a question. They are people who waste the class by making moot points and taking 5 minutes to do 30 seconds of thinking.

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Lonagan
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby Lonagan » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:34 pm

Reading this board makes it seem like there are gunners hiding behind every bush. In my experience at least it is not like this.

I have found Mark Twain's advice handy: Speak because you have something to say, not because you have to say something. Same thing for asking. Talking in law school is fine, just don't be an idiot.

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Stanford4Me
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby Stanford4Me » Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:46 pm

Play flag football

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annapavlova
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby annapavlova » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:41 pm

Same - I got participation bumps in 3 of my classes during 1L which seriously affected ranking. I made a point to say at one thing every two classes, and went to the Prof's office hours a time or two. I think you can keep it pretty low-key and still benefit from participation options.

thrillerjesus
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby thrillerjesus » Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:49 pm

How do you know that you got bumped? Forgive the ignorance, I'm only 6 weeks in. Do you get to see your letter grade on the final separately from your course grade?

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worldtraveler
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby worldtraveler » Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:43 am

I got a good letter of recommendation specifically because of my participation in one class. I spoke maybe once a week. I also haven't noticed too many "gunners" in the traditional sense, although apparently one section at Berkeley had a bunch. Class participation is good, just in moderation.

Person
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby Person » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:11 am

thrillerjesus wrote:How do you know that you got bumped? Forgive the ignorance, I'm only 6 weeks in. Do you get to see your letter grade on the final separately from your course grade?



One professor emailed me before the exam and told me I was going to get a bump. The other two told me after the fact when I went to talk to them about my exam.

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20160810
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby 20160810 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:55 am

Class participation won't take you from a C to an A, but I did have a class where it took me from a probable A- to an A+, and when it comes to your LS GPA, every little bit helps. One or two A-s can be the difference between top-10% and top third.

Don't gun, but professors like people who participate and engage with the material. Don't just wave your hand around like a chimp and monopolize the class, but if they ask for volunteers/responses and you have a good answer, go for it. Developing relationships with profs is useful for getting post-1L RA jobs, letters of rec, and jobs. One of my profs singlehandedly got me the callback I'm going to in about 3 hours, just by picking up the phone on my behalf. Profs are, on balance, really interesting/cool people who are happy to help, but if you don't make the effort because you're afraid of being labeled a "gunner," you'll never get that help.

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savagedm
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby savagedm » Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:42 pm

SBL wrote:Class participation won't take you from a C to an A, but I did have a class where it took me from a probable A- to an A+, and when it comes to your LS GPA, every little bit helps. One or two A-s can be the difference between top-10% and top third.

Don't gun, but professors like people who participate and engage with the material. Don't just wave your hand around like a chimp and monopolize the class, but if they ask for volunteers/responses and you have a good answer, go for it. Developing relationships with profs is useful for getting post-1L RA jobs, letters of rec, and jobs. One of my profs singlehandedly got me the callback I'm going to in about 3 hours, just by picking up the phone on my behalf. Profs are, on balance, really interesting/cool people who are happy to help, but if you don't make the effort because you're afraid of being labeled a "gunner," you'll never get that help.


simple formula, stay quiet week 1 and 2, if by then you know who the gunners are then you know how far to take things. If you don't know who they are and you have been actively "participating" in class, you probably are the gunner.

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DukeCornell
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby DukeCornell » Tue Oct 05, 2010 3:36 pm

savagedm wrote:
SBL wrote:Class participation won't take you from a C to an A, but I did have a class where it took me from a probable A- to an A+, and when it comes to your LS GPA, every little bit helps. One or two A-s can be the difference between top-10% and top third.

Don't gun, but professors like people who participate and engage with the material. Don't just wave your hand around like a chimp and monopolize the class, but if they ask for volunteers/responses and you have a good answer, go for it. Developing relationships with profs is useful for getting post-1L RA jobs, letters of rec, and jobs. One of my profs singlehandedly got me the callback I'm going to in about 3 hours, just by picking up the phone on my behalf. Profs are, on balance, really interesting/cool people who are happy to help, but if you don't make the effort because you're afraid of being labeled a "gunner," you'll never get that help.


simple formula, stay quiet week 1 and 2, if by then you know who the gunners are then you know how far to take things. If you don't know who they are and you have been actively "participating" in class, you probably are the gunner.


Ha!

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annapavlova
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Re: Two 1L tips

Postby annapavlova » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:38 pm

thrillerjesus wrote:How do you know that you got bumped? Forgive the ignorance, I'm only 6 weeks in. Do you get to see your letter grade on the final separately from your course grade?


Depends on the class. One class I know I got bumped because I saw my exam grade (B+) but my registered grade was A-. The other, I did the five specific things required to get a 1/3 grade bump so I assumed. The other, I got an email saying my participation grade was an "A" (vs. a "C" or "F"), and the course policies said an "A" participation grade would earn you a 1/3 grade bump.

Just look into what you have to do, and hit that bare minimum ;).




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