How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

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DaydreamBeliever
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How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DaydreamBeliever » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:13 pm

I'm at a decent school and I'm beginning to understand my classes more. But the fact that I'm not at a T14 really holds me back in this economy. I browse this site often and I'm grateful for it because it gives me access to people who I would have never met otherwise and information I would not have been able to receive.

I am 8 weeks into my 1L year. I am taking Torts, Contracts, Civ Pro, and Legal Writing. I really am interested in the law. In some cases, I am having a little trouble with understanding the court's rationale and finding the exact rule. But I am getting better. I have E&Es for all 3 classes and I just picked up LEEWS and Getting to Maybe. I understand it's all about the finals. It's about applying the law to facts and analyzing them the best. I would just like help in the most effective way of doing this.

I have the motivation and the discipline. I would just like your advice on a little structure and guidance. Maybe a weekly study schedule. Any information you guys can give me, I would appreciate it. I didn't come here to just get by. I want to succeed and be the best that I can be and I'm asking for any help which you guys can offer.

Thanks so much

DB

DiscoveryDeadline
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DiscoveryDeadline » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:22 pm

Study until you understand it. There is not much more specific to be said about a study schedule than that. Perhaps more time with the casebook and class notes and less with E&E's, which can lead you astray with idiosyncratic professors. There is no secret, fool-proof method. Outline as you go seems like a good idea that's fairly specific. Perhaps on the weekends.

Try to flip from outlining/reading to practice tests and application of the law as early and intensely as possible. Actually write your practice tests. Don't just convince yourself that the path of least resistance, i.e. lightning round issue-spotting, is going to be enough. It's not.

At least occasionally, i.e. more than your classmates, resist some of the social pressure of LS. You are there to get an education and you are paying handsomely for it.

DaydreamBeliever
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DaydreamBeliever » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:27 pm

Thank you DD.

Do you think its best to spend to allot a specific amount of time to individual subjects.. IE 2 hours on contracts, 2 hours on torts hours on civ pro a night or do you think its better just to work on things as they come?

I'm taking everyone's advice with a grain of salt but I would like to see how those who have been successful have done it so I can try to shape my own opinion

DiscoveryDeadline
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DiscoveryDeadline » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:41 pm

DaydreamBeliever wrote:Thank you DD.

Do you think its best to spend to allot a specific amount of time to individual subjects.. IE 2 hours on contracts, 2 hours on torts hours on civ pro a night or do you think its better just to work on things as they come?

I'm taking everyone's advice with a grain of salt but I would like to see how those who have been successful have done it so I can try to shape my own opinion


I would not plan my studies that rigidly. It might not be a bad idea to have some kind of working framework from a time management standpoint, but remain flexible at all times. Some classes take more time than others, and that varies wildly depending on the student, too.

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kalvano
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby kalvano » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:16 pm

DaydreamBeliever wrote:Do you think its best to spend to allot a specific amount of time to individual subjects.. IE 2 hours on contracts, 2 hours on torts hours on civ pro a night or do you think its better just to work on things as they come?



No, don't do that. Once you understand something, it's not necessary to keep going over it.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:10 pm

I think ITE it is much more important to prepare and have a plan for landing at median (or worse) than it is to land in the top 10%. Those that land in the top 10% will be just fine without a plan for the most part, the rest won't. With that said thee is no magic formula, do whatever works for you in helping you reach what you feel is a comfortable understanding of the law. I always thought law school was 30% hardwork, 10% organization, 30% luck and 30% just pure talent (Hey, some people take a while to understand stuff while others skim the reading and can lecture the timeline of personal jurisdiction). There is no way around the talent and luck factors, they will either be there or they wont. Work hard on the organization and make sure the time you're putting in is efficient. Don't be the kid who says they are in the library everyday till close but actually just sitting there on TLS half the time. D what works for you and for God sakes do not ask your friends in the section what they are doing, that will drive you nuts.

MrAnon
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby MrAnon » Fri Oct 08, 2010 5:14 pm

Much of it is just luck. You can work work work yourself into the top half of the class and maybe into the top 1/3. But you have to be whip smart, a quick writer, an extraordinarily quick thinker, and a master of the material in comparison to your classmates. This is why law school is such a crapshoot for many who think if they just work hard they'll be at the top of the class. 80% of your classmates are also working just as hard. Hard work can carry you through LSAT and help you overcome that 3.0 GPA into a school that impresses mom and dad but after that genes take over and the smartest people in the room win.

DaydreamBeliever
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DaydreamBeliever » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:02 pm

Thank you very much Kalvano, Barbell & Mr. Anon.


And you're right. I understand that a lot of it is due to luck and raw talent. So maybe I asked the question wrong. I want to be able to grasp the material to the best of my ability. I don't want any tips, tricks or shortcuts. Just straight up advice on how to prepare for these last 8 weeks.

bigben
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby bigben » Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:13 pm

Read each case 3 times.

Miniver
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby Miniver » Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:04 pm

...
Last edited by Miniver on Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jdubb990
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby jdubb990 » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:09 am

You only have 4 classes? Do you work also?

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nealric
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:45 am

Read each case 3 times.


Terrible idea.

DaydreamBeliever
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DaydreamBeliever » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:36 pm

jdubb990 wrote:You only have 4 classes? Do you work also?


Pardon me

Torts 4 credits
Civil Procedure 4 credits
Contracts 3 credits
Legal Reading, Research & Writing 2 credits
Legal Methods 2 credits


But I didn't count the 2 credit classes

DaydreamBeliever
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DaydreamBeliever » Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:36 pm

nealric wrote:
Read each case 3 times.


Terrible idea.


Why do you say this is a terrible idea?

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MrKappus
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby MrKappus » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:01 pm

Take practice exams starting in late Oct. Go over them w/ the prof (if he/she seems open to it), or go over w/ ONE friend you think is smart. Avoid study groups. People cluster together to feel better about exam stress, but groups are an incredibly inefficient way to do PT's.

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nealric
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:41 pm


Why do you say this is a terrible idea?


Because a 5 page case generally contains only 3-4 sentences worth of material you actually need to know for the exam. Your time is much better spent reading supplements or outlining.

DaydreamBeliever
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DaydreamBeliever » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:48 pm

Thanks Nealric & MrKappus

I agree about study groups. They seem more about social gathering than actual accomplishment.


Any particular advice about a specific class.

IE a certain supplement to study for Contracts, or a better way to memorize all the possible rules necessary to properly file suit

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MrKappus
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby MrKappus » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:07 pm

DaydreamBeliever wrote:Thanks Nealric & MrKappus

I agree about study groups. They seem more about social gathering than actual accomplishment.


Any particular advice about a specific class.

IE a certain supplement to study for Contracts, or a better way to memorize all the possible rules necessary to properly file suit


Professors are, for the most part, an approachable bunch. You should ask your prof if he/she recommends a particular K's supp. That class is instructor-driven. I took it, booked it, and never opened the E&E...because it just didn't focus on what my prof cared about. Regarding your second question, unless it's a closed book Civ Pro exam (which would suck incredibly), you shouldn't really be focused on "memoriz[ing]" anything. Again, just procure your prof's past exams and you'll be fine. I subscribe less to the "luck" theory than some of the posters in this thread, but only to the degree that "luck" favors the prepared. The raw talent part's somewhat credited, but you'd be surprised how many law students go into exams w/o ever having taken a full practice test. Doing so can help you stack the "odds" in your favor.

DaydreamBeliever
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby DaydreamBeliever » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:20 pm

MrKappus wrote:
DaydreamBeliever wrote:Thanks Nealric & MrKappus

I agree about study groups. They seem more about social gathering than actual accomplishment.


Any particular advice about a specific class.

IE a certain supplement to study for Contracts, or a better way to memorize all the possible rules necessary to properly file suit


Professors are, for the most part, an approachable bunch. You should ask your prof if he/she recommends a particular K's supp. That class is instructor-driven. I took it, booked it, and never opened the E&E...because it just didn't focus on what my prof cared about. Regarding your second question, unless it's a closed book Civ Pro exam (which would suck incredibly), you shouldn't really be focused on "memoriz[ing]" anything. Again, just procure your prof's past exams and you'll be fine. I subscribe less to the "luck" theory than some of the posters in this thread, but only to the degree that "luck" favors the prepared. The raw talent part's somewhat credited, but you'd be surprised how many law students go into exams w/o ever having taken a full practice test. Doing so can help you stack the "odds" in your favor.



Thank you so much for this.

Our Civ Pro test is closed book but we can bring in our copy of the FRCP and write in the ledgers so I want to make sort of like a road map of every possible thing that could happen with a case going to trial and kind of have it memorized in my head so I at least know where to look in my FRCP

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:26 pm

MrKappus wrote:
DaydreamBeliever wrote:Thanks Nealric & MrKappus

I agree about study groups. They seem more about social gathering than actual accomplishment.


Any particular advice about a specific class.

IE a certain supplement to study for Contracts, or a better way to memorize all the possible rules necessary to properly file suit


Professors are, for the most part, an approachable bunch. You should ask your prof if he/she recommends a particular K's supp. That class is instructor-driven. I took it, booked it, and never opened the E&E...because it just didn't focus on what my prof cared about. Regarding your second question, unless it's a closed book Civ Pro exam (which would suck incredibly), you shouldn't really be focused on "memoriz[ing]" anything. Again, just procure your prof's past exams and you'll be fine. I subscribe less to the "luck" theory than some of the posters in this thread, but only to the degree that "luck" favors the prepared. The raw talent part's somewhat credited, but you'd be surprised how many law students go into exams w/o ever having taken a full practice test. Doing so can help you stack the "odds" in your favor.


Any advice for trying to take as many old exams for a professor who only has 3-4 in the last decade (none with sample answers) and things have changed some in the last 10 years (con law)? Professor likes to concentrate on development of the law (esp how things currently are and how things might be in the future).

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MrKappus
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby MrKappus » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:41 pm

^ That's tougher. Especially in a class as potentially broad as con law, where you'll basically be learning about whatever the prof's interested in (since the subject itself has so many possible avenues of study). Obviously you'll want to "save" the 3-4 for closer to exam time, when you've learned most of the course's material and can get the most out of the PT. Aside from that, the next best thing to the prof's tests are old exams from other profs. Although you won't get the experience of answering the prof's hypos, you'll still obviously benefit quite a bit from spotting issues, thinking about them, and making arguments. Also, I'm not sure how approachable your prof is, but nearly all of mine were OK w/ going over model answers. Obviously don't bring him/her a 10 page essay, but a succinct outline of an answer to a hypo, w/ proper feedback, can become a "model" answer of sorts that gives you a glimpse of the issues the prof thinks are important. Full disclosure: my grade in con law did not start w/ "A", so I'm probably not the right guy to ask about how to do well in it. Stupid con law. Good luck.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:44 pm

MrKappus wrote:^ That's tougher. Especially in a class as potentially broad as con law, where you'll basically be learning about whatever the prof's interested in (since the subject itself has so many possible avenues of study). Obviously you'll want to "save" the 3-4 for closer to exam time, when you've learned most of the course's material and can get the most out of the PT. Aside from that, the next best thing to the prof's tests are old exams from other profs. Although you won't get the experience of answering the prof's hypos, you'll still obviously benefit quite a bit from spotting issues, thinking about them, and making arguments. Also, I'm not sure how approachable your prof is, but nearly all of mine were OK w/ going over model answers. Obviously don't bring him/her a 10 page essay, but a succinct outline of an answer to a hypo, w/ proper feedback, can become a "model" answer of sorts that gives you a glimpse of the issues the prof thinks are important. Full disclosure: my grade in con law did not start w/ "A", so I'm probably not the right guy to ask about how to do well in it. Stupid con law. Good luck.


Thanks! The advice is much appreciated. Time to try and find some comparable old exams from other professors.

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kalvano
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby kalvano » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:56 pm

I can't imagine the hell of a closed-book Civ Pro exam.

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MrKappus
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby MrKappus » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:59 pm

kalvano wrote:I can't imagine the hell of a closed-book Civ Pro exam.


+1. That's truly ridiculous.

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nealric
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Re: How can I prepare myself so that I will land in the top 10%

Postby nealric » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:20 pm

[quote] I can't imagine the hell of a closed-book Civ Pro exam. [/quiote]

Really?

I barely looked at my outline for my CivPro exam. At least for my exam, you pretty much had to have things memorized to finish in time.




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