0L-3L advice you regret taking?

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun May 29, 2011 4:34 pm

rad law wrote:These threads are just shitty collective jerkoff sessions. Different shit works for different people.


Agreed, but threads like this help people see a good range of different methods that have been very successful for people. Compare that to trying to figure out methods from 2Ls and 3Ls at your school, where you're going to be getting advice from some people who might be at median or below along with maybe some people who did well (but it's more difficult to figure out who is who).

non sequitur
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby non sequitur » Sun May 29, 2011 6:46 pm

Briefing cases. It was a colossal waste of time for me. I read the cases, but the only thing I generally extracted from them is the BLL, and maybe to read an illustration of a nuanced area of the law. It definitely kept me from getting burnt out quickly in the semester.

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Grizz
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Grizz » Sun May 29, 2011 7:05 pm

Also I regret TLS.

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beach_terror
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby beach_terror » Sun May 29, 2011 7:37 pm

rad law wrote:Also I regret TLS.

Blasphemy

Hadlendale
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Hadlendale » Sun May 29, 2011 7:58 pm

northwood wrote:Those that went to their professors for advice on exams- did you go there before you took a practice exam, or after your first one so you could have them take a look at your writing style for their exam and then critique it? Did you do this for all of your professors, or just for one or 2?


You should definitely not just go searching for tips without doing something unless your professor specifically never takes practice exams and gives feedback. A lot of professors give out hypos midway through the semester and offer to give you feedback on your answers. You should do at least a few of these. Doing at least one for each class will probably get you a good sense of what your professor wants, though I don't believe it's necessary to do many. I did 2 or 3 of these my first semester and stopped once I got down the general style and formula for LS exams.

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ktg808
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby ktg808 » Sun May 29, 2011 9:01 pm

Tim0thy222 wrote:I'm seeing a fair number of people suggesting that making your own outlines is a waste of time, and that it is better to use someone else's outlines instead.

Maybe this would be obvious to me if I wasn't a 0L, but how do you know that the outlines are good? Where do these outlines come from?



+1

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Kilpatrick
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun May 29, 2011 9:18 pm

You have to know the material well enough to know when the outlines have a mistake. Getting an old outline shouldn't be a substitute for learning the class, it should just help you study for the exam. Going over the outline and checking it is a less time consuming way to review than writing an outline from scratch. I find it helps to have a couple people using the same outline so you can help each other catch mistakes.

As to where to get them, clubs on campus will often have a database of old outlines. Or make friends with 2ls that kept their outlines.

GMVarun
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby GMVarun » Sun May 29, 2011 11:01 pm

ktg808 wrote:Maybe this would be obvious to me if I wasn't a 0L, but how do you know that the outlines are good? Where do these outlines come from?


This is not a bad question. "Good" is a relative term. An outline that may be good for one person, may not work for another. It depends on how you organize information, and the accuracy of the information presented as specifically tailored to your professor. If you are going to rely on others outline, I think you should in the beginning of the term try to collect outlines from various sources, trying to get those as tailored to your professor as possible. Multiple organizations generally keep banks, across years (and information rarely changes). If you can get 5-6 different outlines, generally they will be different enough to figure out which one you want to use.

My approach was to build my own outline, but cross-reference it to 1-2 other ones that I found on a section-by-section basis. I think outlining actually is not that painful, and does not take that much time, if you do it systematically throughout the term, and do not wait until crunch time. Given the lack of feedback you get as a 1L, while of course the focus needs to be on the exam, it felt good being able to create a work-product that combined information in the way that made sense to me, utilizing all the different sources, so towards exam-time i could just have one document that I studied with. The problem I would have encountered with solely using another person's outline is that (1) you may not trust everything, which is not good and (2) it may not incorporate all the sources you necessarily want incorporated.

The criticism of not being able to have time/use an outline on a final seems sorta weird to me, because the sole reason outlining was valuable to me was being able to study with. I generally had memorized my outline before the exam, and had memorized the attack-outline as well (which is definitely I recommend). I think the thing about outlining is that you can't use it as a pure information dump. It is important to go back and organize it into a systematic way that captures the big-picture approach of the course as well as the little-picture stuff. Anyways, I thought I'd just say outlining made sense for me and helped. This was said above, but to reiterate different things work for different people - just keep in mind different approaches, focus on finals, and be flexible to try different approaches if you see that your approach is not working.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby BarbellDreams » Sun May 29, 2011 11:34 pm

rad law wrote:Also I regret TLS.


Whoa whoa lets not say things we cant take back here. You're one of the people that knocked some sense into me and kept me sane during fall semester.

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Grizz
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Grizz » Sun May 29, 2011 11:50 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:
rad law wrote:Also I regret TLS.


Whoa whoa lets not say things we cant take back here. You're one of the people that knocked some sense into me and kept me sane during fall semester.


For realz? How so?

schooner
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby schooner » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:58 pm

Does anyone here have regrets / advice about approaching professors, visiting office hours, asking for letters, etc?

Also, does anyone think that being on Law Review was not the best use of your time? I mean, doesn't a great GPA speak for itself when you're job-hunting (for a law firm job)?


By the way, many of the posters here cautioned against spending too much time briefing cases or outlining for the sake of outlining. That advice makes a lot of sense - you're not creating a pretty outline to turn in at the end, and case minutiae won't be tested. LEEWS gives similar recommendations.

That's why this caught my eye as I was reading Law Preview testimonials by GW students. If rereading and briefing every single case is the official advice offered by Law Preview, I would be even more skeptical about the net value of this program.

Briefing was really scary. Knowing what I needed to do in advance allayed a lot of my fears and helped me be really prepared for class. I followed Law Preview's advice and briefed every case and read every case twice. It really helped. I was so prepared for class that I was able to really listen to the professor and didn't have to take tons of notes trying to get down every word. This enabled me to do focus on the bigger concepts the professor was trying to highlight. I did very well my first year and was hired as an intern at a federal court for the summer. I would recommend Law Preview to anyone who wants a head start in being ready for law school.

—Katharine M., George Washington University Law School, Class of 2008

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Kilpatrick
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Kilpatrick » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:27 pm

schooner wrote:Does anyone here have regrets / advice about approaching professors, visiting office hours, asking for letters, etc?

Also, does anyone think that being on Law Review was not the best use of your time? I mean, doesn't a great GPA speak for itself when you're job-hunting (for a law firm job)?


By the way, many of the posters here cautioned against spending too much time briefing cases or outlining for the sake of outlining. That advice makes a lot of sense - you're not creating a pretty outline to turn in at the end, and case minutiae won't be tested. LEEWS gives similar recommendations.

That's why this caught my eye as I was reading Law Preview testimonials by GW students. If rereading and briefing every single case is the official advice offered by Law Preview, I would be even more skeptical about the net value of this program.

Briefing was really scary. Knowing what I needed to do in advance allayed a lot of my fears and helped me be really prepared for class. I followed Law Preview's advice and briefed every case and read every case twice. It really helped. I was so prepared for class that I was able to really listen to the professor and didn't have to take tons of notes trying to get down every word. This enabled me to do focus on the bigger concepts the professor was trying to highlight. I did very well my first year and was hired as an intern at a federal court for the summer. I would recommend Law Preview to anyone who wants a head start in being ready for law school.

—Katharine M., George Washington University Law School, Class of 2008


Being prepared for class is a good thing. I always made sure I understood what we were going to talk about for the day so I could pay attention and pick out the important things the professor said. But this definitely didn't mean reading cases twice and briefing them. Sometimes this just meant skimming the case. Especially some of the modern SCOTUS cases that are like 100 pages long with every justice writing a separate opinion. No way in hell was I going to read all of that even once.

I also think "Katharine M." is immediately discredited by bragging about being an intern, like that's any kind of accomplishment at all.

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beach_terror
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby beach_terror » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:35 pm

Kilpatrick wrote:I also think "Katharine M." is immediately discredited by bragging about being an intern, like that's any kind of accomplishment at all.

Yeah working for a federal court 1L summer isn't any sort of accomplishment.

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solotee
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby solotee » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:49 pm

Advice I regret not getting:

After first semester, over winter break, mentally prepare yourself for hell 2nd semester. I wish I would have taken a few days to prepare somewhat of a strategy over 2nd semester instead of coming in blind :/

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Bronte
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Bronte » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:23 pm

Very interesting how much TLS has moved against self-made outlines. I did five things (and I'm not bragging, these things consumed my life and took me to the verge of sanity) and did very well at a T10:

(1) I skimmed Getting to Maybe before law school.
(2) I read almost every case taking notes in the margins and highlighting the issue, primary reasoning, and holding(s). I went to almost every class and took copious notes.
(3) I outlined every class from scratch as if my outline were going to be published. I very minimally used supplements.
(4) I took every available practice test from my professor (except classes where there were an absurd amount). If there were no practice tests (e.g., new professor), I invented hypos. I otherwise did not take many hypos.
(5) I participated in a small study group of close friends. This was about three four hour sessions for each class. We usually went through our outlines quickly and then discussed hypos. We didn't talk about other shit.

The only thing I regret not doing, to actually answer the OP, is preparing for the 1L job search before the school year started. I let myself get really stressed out second semester, which is stupid (especially since you should have sent out all your 1L applications by Christmas).

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NYC Law
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby NYC Law » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:36 pm

solotee wrote:Advice I regret not getting:

After first semester, over winter break, mentally prepare yourself for hell 2nd semester. I wish I would have taken a few days to prepare somewhat of a strategy over 2nd semester instead of coming in blind :/


Elaborate plz

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JamMasterJ
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:38 pm

YourCaptain wrote:here's pro 0l advice: either stay at your job and save money, find a decent summer job, or relax and kick back.

make sure to purchase your casebooks & hornbooks/whatever and stick them in the trunk of your car so that you "kind of" feel like you've done 0l prep.

I haven't read past pg 1 and assume that you've moved past this, but would your recommendation 0L prep-wise be the same to someone going to school in two months as someone going in a little over a year? My job's pretty low key/simpleminded and I'll have a bunch of time after I get my apps in. Do you all think it's still a big waste of time for someone with a ton of time to waste?

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Moxie
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby Moxie » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:39 pm

solotee wrote:Advice I regret not getting:

After first semester, over winter break, mentally prepare yourself for hell 2nd semester. I wish I would have taken a few days to prepare somewhat of a strategy over 2nd semester instead of coming in blind :/


Then what the heck did you spend all winter break doing?

smittytron3k
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby smittytron3k » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:52 pm

One thing I regret is taking law school too seriously first semester. I regret this for a few reasons:
(1) It didn't help my grades. I ended up doing a lot of unnecessary work, getting confused by useless minutiae, and missing the forest for the trees. Above a certain threshold of work and knowledge, the skills that put you ahead on exams are not really things you can get by reading supplements or memorizing every little squib in the casebook.
(2) I burned out early, was stressed out, and didn't really have the energy to be on the top of my game for finals.
(3) I really didn't make a ton of friends. I decided that I was comfortable with some friends that I had going into law school and my fiancee, who lives cross-country. While these people have all been incredible, I really do think a lot of the people in my section are cool, interesting people and I regret not getting to know them better.

Honestly, I may have just been lucky, but I saw dramatically better results when I worked a few hours a day (no supplements, no briefing, just reading cases, underlining them, and scribbling things in the margins), got 7-8 hours of sleep, worked out, watched lots of basketball, and played lots of angry birds. Obviously I had to step it up when finals rolled around or when I had deadlines for LRW, but at least when those times came I had the energy and focus to deal with them.

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solotee
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby solotee » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:26 am

NYC Law wrote:
solotee wrote:Advice I regret not getting:

After first semester, over winter break, mentally prepare yourself for hell 2nd semester. I wish I would have taken a few days to prepare somewhat of a strategy over 2nd semester instead of coming in blind :/


Elaborate plz


I killed first semester, but I was mentally prepared for the grind first semester. During winter break I just completely forgot about law school. I didn't even order the second semester books until first week of second semester.

Well, I took my first semester success for granted. I didn't realize the success was the result of hard work and mental preparation for an intense semester. Needless to say, everything went wrong second semester, and I think I just burned out.

However, I'm still waiting for one grade, which can mean the difference between being in the top 10% or not.

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NYC Law
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Re: 0L-3L advice you regret taking?

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:29 am

solotee wrote:
NYC Law wrote:
solotee wrote:Advice I regret not getting:

After first semester, over winter break, mentally prepare yourself for hell 2nd semester. I wish I would have taken a few days to prepare somewhat of a strategy over 2nd semester instead of coming in blind :/


Elaborate plz


I killed first semester, but I was mentally prepared for the grind first semester. During winter break I just completely forgot about law school. I didn't even order the second semester books until first week of second semester.

Well, I took my first semester success for granted. I didn't realize the success was the result of hard work and mental preparation for an intense semester. Needless to say, everything went wrong second semester, and I think I just burned out.

However, I'm still waiting for one grade, which can mean the difference between being in the top 10% or not.


Man that's rough, sorry to hear it. What did your mental preparation consist of?




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