What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

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shepdawg
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What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby shepdawg » Mon May 09, 2011 1:22 am

I'm tutoring incoming 1Ls (admitted 0Ls) this summer, and I'd like to give an incentive for coming to office hours. I am thinking of giving a "Law school hack of the day," but I need about 35 tips. So, now that you're an experienced law student, what are the top 5 tips for an incoming 1L?




edit:
I have compiled the information into 5 topics so far. I am still compiling the best tips for getting a summer job. Here's what I have so far:
--LinkRemoved--
Last edited by shepdawg on Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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mbusch22
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby mbusch22 » Mon May 09, 2011 1:36 am

Personally, I'd give these 5.

1) Read These Posts:
Arrow's post
MegaTTTron's Post

2) Make sure you can type really fast

3) Make outlines as you go, then make mini outlines.

4)Completely Memorize those outlines for closed and open book exams.

5) Do LEEWs, Read GTM, use Supplements wisely.
Last edited by mbusch22 on Mon May 09, 2011 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

dakatz
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby dakatz » Mon May 09, 2011 1:37 am

1. Get your resume all spruced up, and make some cover letter templates. The 1L job search drops like a bomb right in the preparation time before first-semester finals. If I didn't have to spend so much time typing out cover letters and re-formatting and re-writing my resume, I would have had much more time to actually dedicate to studying.

2. Be consistent and diligent with outlining. It is so easy to get behind, and you don't want to be spending your finals study period outlining when you can be taking practice exams

3. Know your professor's style and get to know what he wants/expects on an exam. You want to tailor you entire approach throughout the semester to what you will actually be tested on come exam time.

4. Be kind and courteous with your classmates. Everyone knows that it is one big competition and it creates enough uneasiness as it is. But it can really be smoothed over when people are helping each other, and not being jerks due to the inherently competitive nature of the whole ordeal. Your classmates are the first group of contacts you will make in your career, so you want to get your reputation in the legal world off on the right foot

5. Contact alumni who go to your school. Don't brown nose or anything, but see if they are willing to chat about the school, their experiences, their careers, etc. This is usually more effective with young lawyers since they keenly remember their law school experience and may have had some of the same professors you will have. Forming a base of casual contacts with alumni can seriously help when you drop names in the search for 1L as well as 2L positions.

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Lawquacious
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Lawquacious » Mon May 09, 2011 1:44 am

Interesting question... I think it is kind of tough to answer because of how individual the student experiences are (e.g. what works for one student in managing law school academically or personally may not work for others). But I'm sure there are plenty of helpful tips...

My biggest tip is don't go to a law school you're not absolutely thrilled about. Or, in other words, take the LSAT three full times unless you nail a top score the first time. But that isn't really relevant to your situation, since it sounds like you will be meeting with admitted students who are already committed.

1) Stay off TLS (pretty much kidding, but it will prob influence some students in wanting to 'transfer up', and this can add pressure).
2) Don't do drugs, especially if you want certain (security clearance) Govt. jobs.
3) Exercise a lot.
4) Drink lots of fluids (kidding.. but its prob good for them lol).
5) Watch movies on the weekends.

O.k. so these are a bit flippant... but maybe some grains of good advice mixed in...

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Grizz
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Grizz » Mon May 09, 2011 1:48 am

1-5. Don't go.

BeenDidThat
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon May 09, 2011 1:54 am

1. Get on a schedule. Doesn't matter what it is. Just make one you think will work well for you. It'll help add some constancy in your life which helps temper the stress that invariably accompanies this new venture.

2. Finals are what matter. Remember when reading cases and going to class that you really only need to remember the key points and the little back-and-forth arguments on hard cases or undecided doctrinal areas.

3. Don't be a workaholic. You're gonna end up working hard anyway. Take some "me" time. Play sports if you do that. Have a few drinks with friends or classmates if you do that. Whatever it is that you do as a hobby, keep doing it. Assuming, of course, that smoking blunts every night is not your hobby. You need your memory. Moderation.

4. Try to relax. It will be stressful, but you can only control what you can control. Do your best, fuck the rest.

5. It's not as bad as people say it is.

random5483
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby random5483 » Mon May 09, 2011 1:55 am

1. Stay Healthy (exercise, healthy food, vitamins, etc).
2. Spend time over the summer or during the first 2-3 months of law school figuring out what jobs you might want to apply for. Waiting till December is a bad idea as you will get hit with finals and likely want a break after finals (I delayed till January....bad idea).
3. Don't overstudy early on. Keep up with the readings and outline updates, but don't go overboard. Most of the top students I know did not study all day till the last month or so (I don't go to a T14 school so maybe this is different there).
4. Around a month before finals start actively working on practice essay problems and compare them to model answers (preferrably your professors).
5. Around a month before finals start taking practice multiple choice questions (MCQ) even if your final is 100% essay. Practice MCQs will help you solidify your understanding of the law, even for essay only exams. However, more useful if final has MCQs as well.
6. Network. I did not do this the first semester. Meet professors during office hours. Go to networking events. Do informational interviews. Talk to the career center once they let you (won't be for a few months). Also, make friends with your classmates. I did all of this the second semester, but I did not do much the first semester. I wish I had been more proactive earlier.
7. Take a day off each week till the last few weeks of the semester. Outside of memo weeks/finals, I always took either a Saturday or a Sunday off. It kept me from getting overworked.



Disclaimer: Some of the above advice might be specific to me. Overall though, I hope it helps.

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camelcrema
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby camelcrema » Mon May 09, 2011 1:59 am

Incoming 1L tag. Thanks for the tips!

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Kilpatrick
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Kilpatrick » Mon May 09, 2011 2:02 am

1. Learn to take exams
2. Focus on exams from day one. Don't be afraid to look stupid in class because you get called on and don't know some useless factoid like the plaintiff's hair color.
3. Related - don't waste your time doing things like quintuple highlighting cases
4. Don't study in the law school library
5. If you insist on talking in class, don't volunteer more than 2-3 times a week. More than this and everyone hates you and the people at the top of the class will feel less bad about making fun of you when your in class gunning only gets you median grades.

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Ty Webb
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Ty Webb » Mon May 09, 2011 2:23 am

Kilpatrick wrote:1. Learn to take exams
2. Focus on exams from day one. Don't be afraid to look stupid in class because you get called on and don't know some useless factoid like the plaintiff's hair color.
3. Related - don't waste your time doing things like quintuple highlighting cases
4. Don't study in the law school library
5. If you insist on talking in class, don't volunteer more than 2-3 times a week. More than this and everyone hates you and the people at the top of the class will feel less bad about making fun of you when your in class gunning only gets you median grades.


This human has it figured out.

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risktaker
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby risktaker » Mon May 09, 2011 2:28 am

tagging. Thanks.

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Charles Barkley
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Charles Barkley » Mon May 09, 2011 2:31 am

rad law wrote:1-5. Don't go.


This.

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starchinkilt
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby starchinkilt » Mon May 09, 2011 2:41 am

rad law wrote:1-5. Don't go.


This. But if you do go, then this.

Kilpatrick wrote:1. Learn to take exams
2. Focus on exams from day one. Don't be afraid to look stupid in class because you get called on and don't know some useless factoid like the plaintiff's hair color.
3. Related - don't waste your time doing things like quintuple highlighting cases
4. Don't study in the law school library
5. If you insist on talking in class, don't volunteer more than 2-3 times a week. More than this and everyone hates you and the people at the top of the class will feel less bad about making fun of you when your in class gunning only gets you median grades.


Also, as far as exams are concerned, use the facts. A good exam answer is one you couldn't have pre-written. It isn't about regurgitating the law; apply the facts to the law. A grader should be able to reconstruct the question/fact pattern because you referenced every fact.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon May 09, 2011 3:30 am

Kilpatrick wrote:1. Learn to take exams
2. Focus on exams from day one. Don't be afraid to look stupid in class because you get called on and don't know some useless factoid like the plaintiff's hair color.
3. Related - don't waste your time doing things like quintuple highlighting cases
4. Don't study in the law school library
5. If you insist on talking in class, don't volunteer more than 2-3 times a week. More than this and everyone hates you and the people at the top of the class will feel less bad about making fun of you when your in class gunning only gets you median grades.


To add to the idea of preparing for exams from day 1:
1) Look at recent past exams for your professor before school starts (or within the first week of class). There are a variety of ways you can be tested and you should approach each class with a mindset of preparing the best way possible for that exam.
Example: First semester I had an all MC test, a con law test that was more like a history test than an issue spotter, and a more typical issue spotter. Each required a different approach in what you should focus on in class, how you should study during the week, and how you should get ready to take each exam.
2) Go to the professors' office hours. Seriously. Go early in the semester and try to set a goal for going every week (even if you don't end up doing that). It will help you get a better feel for the professor and what he or she wants. It will force you to think of good questions to ask during office hours and thus force you to hunt for the ambiguities in the material you are covering (and guess what? The tests will usually focus on ambiguities in the law.)
3) Set a goal for never getting behind in the reading. You should try to stay ahead (if only a day or two). If you are behind in the reading by the time your memo is due in legal research, you will most likely never get caught back up adequately and finals prep will be all the more hellish.
4) Review the material as you go (whether it is through outlining, organizing your class notes, or just rereading your class notes). Don't wait until the end up the semester to try to reteach yourself what you learned in the first few weeks.
5) Force yourself to talk early in the semester, especially if you aren't comfortable with it. No one likes a gunner who has to say something multiple times in a class, but talking early will remove some of the nerves of doing it later on. Don't feel the need to keep it up, but talking early will make it less nerve-wracking to do it later.

As an aside, I actually like studying in the library; it makes me be way more efficient. But that's just a personal preference.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Lawl Shcool » Mon May 09, 2011 5:03 am

!) Read and brief the cases but know they are only examples of how the law is applied. In the end it's about applying the law on a hypothetical fact pattern not memorizing cases.

2) Memorize your outlines before the exam even if it's open book.

3) Try to make some friends at school and don't be afraid to go out once in awhile. That being said, it's not undergrad and your there to work.

4) Take practice exams. Take practice exams. Take practice exams. Take practice exams. Take practice exams. Take practice exams. Take practice exams. Take practice exams. Take practice exams.

5) Update your resume and cover letter before 1L starts.

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Moxie
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Moxie » Mon May 09, 2011 7:26 am

1. Update resume and cover letter before 1L starts.

2. Take everything you read on TLS with a grain of salt - everyone here thinks they know everything, but that's obviously not true considering only a small minority of users are even in LS.

3. Don't judge yourself based on how often/hard other people are studying. Your classmates will be stunningly inefficient at studying for LS exams (but you probably won't be much better)

4. Start practice exams a month beforehand.

5. Network with whoever possible before coming to LS and during first semester (UG alumni now at law firms, LS alums in firms you're interested in, etc.) Even a small connection can give you a huge bump up in looking for 1L or 2L summer employment, and people are usually willing to help you.

5b.
BeenDidThat wrote:It's not as bad as people say it is.


Edit: 6. Law students aren't nearly as smart as they think they are/know anything. Since you're an incoming law student, you fall within this category.

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wesker
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby wesker » Mon May 09, 2011 7:42 am

1) make sure you're learning the material as it's taught, don't leave something until the last minute and try to figure it out - I studied for some classes one day before the exams and still got As because I had been learning the material throughout the semester

2) avoid supplements unless you've already been to office hours and still don't understand something

3) big outlines are worthless, save for con law... if it's more than 20pgs, you've just got notes typed up into a single document

4) workout, do something physical or you're going to be miserable and blow up like a balloon

5) get sleep, don't be one of those people sitting in the library never getting sleep... it f
does you no good

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Sogui
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Sogui » Mon May 09, 2011 8:06 am

1) Take diligent class notes. They are your window into the mind of the person who will be deciding your grade.

2) Don't rely on supplements unless the professor is awful or you just don't understand something even after office hours.

3) Outlines are useful for refreshing yourself on the material, not necessarily on the final result. If your outline surpasses 50 pages you are over-doing it. No timed exam will ever require more detail than could be captured in <50 pages. Bringing a summarized outline in for the exam is probably even better, with your long outline as backup.

4) PRACTICE TIMING! Take old tests, even if you already reviewed them, under TIMED CONDITIONS. Practice being able to put out as much as you can in a limited time. This was under-emphasized to me. If you exercise poor time management or spend too much time flipping through notes or your book, someone else in the room who is just as smart as you has 2 more paragraphs in his answer. The vast majority of exam answers will not have significant differences in quality of analysis, so an easy way to set yourself apart is simply by getting MORE ANALYSIS DONE! Of course don't ramble or beat a dead horse, but issue spotters are designed by nature to have more issues than you have time to cover, being fast and effective let's you cover more issues with more depth and makes your exam very hard to put anywhere but at the right end of the curve.

5) Work every practice exam and look at model answers in-depth. How did the "models" allocate their time, how much did they manage to write for each answer, what type of arguments did they make, what cases did they cite for certain issues and how did they use those cites to advance their argument. There is a ton to learn from model answers if you read them carefully and look for patterns and commonalities.

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straxen
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby straxen » Mon May 09, 2011 8:29 am

1. Do whatever works for you re: outlining, practice exams, study approach, briefing, notetaking, supplements, etc.--no one thing is absolutely essential

2. Don't worry what everybody else is doing and just generally chill out. (Corollary to the chilling-out rule: Have a life outside law school, and avoid centering your social life too much around other law students)

Really 1-2 are the big ones, but...

3. Whenever possible, figure out what your professor wants and do that

4. When reading cases, focus on the rule and the reasoning, gloss over the facts and procedural history unless absolutely relevant

5. You probably won't, but get the job stuff done early
Last edited by straxen on Mon May 09, 2011 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

jkay
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby jkay » Mon May 09, 2011 8:37 am

j/k...no one in law school smokes weed.
Last edited by jkay on Tue May 10, 2011 12:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Borhas
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Borhas » Mon May 09, 2011 8:47 am

1. Be genuinely good person, while that's always important, it's especially important when you taken into account the fact that you'll be around the same group of people on a daily basis for over a year.

2. Work efficiently, taking good notes or carefully reading may not be that useful in some classes. First thing you do is look up the model exams for your professors, look at the model answers and figure out what to focus on. This will seem strange at first, on account of the learning curve involved, but once you get an idea of how to understand legal arguments you can use this to cut out a lot of extra work. Reward yourself for efficient work. Take a smoke break, eat a bon bon, whatever floats yer boat.

3. Health is wealth, good food, exercise, and sleep.

4. Don't buy new books if you can avoid it

5. Apply to summer jobs asap

Headybrah
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Headybrah » Mon May 09, 2011 9:42 am

read for languages in cases that would allow you to apply the law broadly then come up with your own hypos and see how far you can stretch the law to fit the new situation of the facts.

forty-two
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby forty-two » Mon May 09, 2011 11:14 am

1. Be nice to everyone. Share notes, share outlines, and just be a good person. The legal community is small, and it's good to be known as a genuine and likable person.

2. Figure out what your professor wants to see on an exam. Sooooo many students zone out when professors start talking about these things. But since every prof grades differently, you should know if yours wants case analogies, rule statements, conclusions, lots of issues with a little analysis, fewer issues with a lot of analysis, whether your prof will read outlines and bullet points if you run out of time on a particular question but still have a few points to make, and, if there will be a policy question on the exam, what the heck policy means to your prof.

3. If your outlines are more than 3 or 4 pages, make a table of contents that doubles as a checklist. A 50 page outline is perfectly manageable during an exam if you have a three page table of contents because you'll probably just use the checklist for most of the test, but if you want to see something in more detail or look up a case to analogize or a policy point that your professor made, you can flip to the right page and find what you need very quickly.

4. Get to know 2Ls and 3Ls. They're usually very helpful and they like to give away their old outlines and study aids and talk about what specific professors want to see and how they grade.

5. Don't be the person who studies too much in the beginning and gets burned out by the time exams roll around. Work hard, but take time to sleep and go out/hang out with friends, especially for the first few months of school.
Last edited by forty-two on Mon May 09, 2011 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cinephile
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby cinephile » Mon May 09, 2011 11:25 am

As an incoming 1L, I really appreciate this thread.

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Cupidity
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Re: What are the top 5 tips you would give an incoming 1L?`

Postby Cupidity » Mon May 09, 2011 11:44 am

1) Don't Panic
2) Supplement at the end of the semester, not the beginning. Many of my friends did poorly because they learned too many irrelevant things from supplements, they can be dangerous and misleading if you don't already know what your professor finds important.
3) Start preparing your job applications in September and October, by the time November rolls around you will be too busy with LRW and finals, then next thing you know its January and you've missed the bus.
4) Score easy points on exams. While the meat of the torts question might be whether or not there was causation, neglecting to mention duty, breach, and damages will get you a B at best, even if your analysis of the complex portion is brilliant.
5) Have Fun.




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