One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
mscarn23
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:46 pm

One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:54 am

About me


I just completed my first year at a school ranked in the 30-40 range. First semester I received 3 CALI/Book Awards (out of 4 substantive classes) and was ranked first in the class. Second semester I received 3 additional CALI/Book Awards, and was ranked first in the class both for the semester and for the year. I am in the process of applying as a transfer to HYCNP, and am working at a market-paying summer associate position following my 1L year.

I am in no way as informed or plugged in as the many super-contributors on this site (I didn’t use TLS during the school year and will likely stop using it again once my transfer cycle is complete), but found other members’ posts about their 1L experiences to be tremendously helpful as I navigated my own first year. I hope future users will find this post to be as useful going forward as I found Arrow’s guide (among others), which I leaned on at different times for both guidance and motivation.

0L/Choosing a law school


When choosing a law school I decided to take money at a lower ranked school over the 3 lower T-14 options I had, and began the year with an eye towards transferring into the T6. I agree wholeheartedly with the advice that you should never attend a law school that you couldn’t imagine yourself graduating from, and chose my current school based on its location, the scholarship they offered me, and the long-term prospects/reputation of the school. I would be happy graduating from my current school, and as I indicated in my “chance me” thread, I am still undecided about making the jump if I don’t get into Harvard or Yale.

Having said that, I disagree that it hurts to begin the year with transferring in mind. First let me acknowledge that the prospect of crushing debt and unemployment is a great motivator to do well, especially ITE. However in my experience there is a big difference between aiming for the top 10%, and aiming for #1 (thereby giving you more than a snowball’s chance of transferring to HYS). I am good friends with the students ranked #5 and #12 in my class, and they agree that the greatest difference between our results was the single-mindedness with which I approached my studies (a single-mindedness I chalk up to having a specific and tangible goal from day one.). While I was numerically more qualified than most students in my class (my 177 LSAT was likely the highest in my class), and was at an advantage because of it, I think having a much clearer goal than “get good grades so I can find a job” helped push me over the top. Looking back at 1L I am confident that I would have finished in the top 10% without killing myself (see my schedule below), but who knows if I would have finished #1 without a ridiculous amount of work. The desire to transfer justified the amount of work I put in, and although I won’t have a problem graduating from my current school, dreams of the T6 really drove me.

A second reason that having an eye on transferring can be a positive is that it can motivate you to develop strong relationships with your professors early-on. For myself, I went out of my way to speak with professors after class, invite them out to lunch, and send them interesting legal news articles related to their area of expertise. Does this make me a huge gunner? No doubt. Did the majority of classmates think I was a douche for constantly making lunch plans with our professors? Probably. In spite of this I had many professors who (after trying to talk me out of transferring) were excited to write me recommendations when the time came around. I ended up getting 3 very strong letters, and could have gotten 2 or 3 more without hesitation were it not for the fact that I didn’t want to take out a billboard announcing my plans to transfer. I wasn’t sycophantic in my relationships with my professors, and I’m a pretty social person to begin with, but I’m not sure I would have made as much of an effort if I didn’t know I might need a transfer recommendation. The side benefit of course is that if I end up staying at my current school I’m in great position to have these same professors pick up the phone to help me secure a clerkship. They know me well, have seen my work ethic and resulting grades, and if I stay will no doubt feel a sense of pride that I chose to continue my studies with them as opposed to jumping to a higher ranked school. (As an aside, I’m almost a decade out of undergrad, married, and had a successful pre-law school career. It’s possible that my willingness to come off as an uber-gunner, and to devote so much time to getting to know my professors personally, is related to my disconnect from the undergraduate experience.).

0L prep


This is one of the more controversial subjects on TLS, with many (probably most) insisting that it is at best a waste of time, and at worst a recipe for burnout and confusion. While I respect these opinions, and believe them to be valid for many people, I prepped and found it to be useful. During my 0L summer I read whatever 0L prep guides I could find on TLS, read Getting to Maybe, Planet Law School, Law School Confidential, did LEEWS, read Delaney’s Legal Reasoning, the Nutshell guide to law school, and E&Es for almost all of my classes (instead of E&E I did Delaney for Crim and Chemerinsky for Con Law). It was a lot of reading, and although I plan on reading 2 or 3 E&Es this summer, I don’t think it’s necessary to replicate between 1L and 2L year.

I eschewed popular opinion regarding 0L prep for a number of reasons. First, I continued running my business while attending law school, and was working full-time the summer before matriculating. Acclimating myself to juggling a heavy reading load and work was a difficult task, and during the first several weeks of prep I was very flustered trying to multi-task with so many time intensive activities. By the time school came around however, I was used to balancing work, reading, and my everyday “life,” which I think helped me during the first semester. Better to be overwhelmed during the summer than when it actually counts.

Second, as someone who graduated college in the early 2000’s (and had been out of academic life ever since), my brain wasn’t used to retaining as much information as law school required of it. Like finding the work-school-life balance, I think that prepping hard allowed me to work through the retention kinks early-on, as opposed to being confused at school.

Think of it like distance running- if you haven’t run in several years, you’re not going to throw on a pair of New Balances and run the Boston Marathon. At best you’ll make it a few miles, soil yourself, and end up with monster blisters on your feet (and possibly your knees if you try to crawl the rest of the way). People (even your parents) will laugh at you, and the guy at Foot Locker won’t take the sneakers back because they’re stained with the indelible tears of defeat.

Law school is the same sort of thing- if you haven’t gotten yourself ready for first year, you’ll be gasping for breath by the time November comes around. Even if you’re not gasping for breath, it’s very possible that someone like me is running against you, and that his 0L prep has gotten him into ridiculous shape. To put this into the perspective of grades, the difference first semester (when 0L prep was likely most useful) between me and the person ranked #2 in the class was over twice as wide as the difference between #2 and #15. While I ended up with the highest grades both semesters, the lead that I’d opened up after the fall was insurmountable- everyone else was playing for second. (Another parenthetical caveat- I spent almost a decade prior to law school working 70-80 hours a week. I wasn’t going to burn out because of 0L summer, a common criticism with prepping. I will be the first to acknowledge that it’s very possible that putting in a year’s worth of intensive 0L prep and 1L studying will make your face melt off and leave nothing but an exploded body for your parents to weep over. Take my experience and advice with a grain of salt.)

Finally, while it’s foolish to believe you’ll retain very much substance from your prep, having a vague recollection of topics can be helpful when you get to them in your law school classes. One of the difficulties with learning the law (and I admit this is an annoyingly over-used metaphor) is learning to see both the trees for the forest, and the forest for the trees. I found that having a strong roadmap of the subjects going in allowed me to see how different subjects (say Con Law and Property) overlapped, and how topics within these individual subjects related to each other. While it’s possible that I would have ended up with a similar macro-understanding even without prepping, by the time other students had made these connections I was already on to the next topic, with a built-in lead.

Can you complete 1L without prepping, and still compete for top grades? Of course you can- most people do. But for me, 0L prep made sense and seemed to make my year much easier.

1L


This section is probably a bit more interesting to people than my channeling Charlie Sheen, so let’s get right to it- step-by-step. The first thing to do (let’s call this number zero so as not to disrupt my numbering scheme) when you begin the semester, is to find out (whether via syllabus, e-mail to the prof, or speaking to upperclassmen) whether the exam is going to be open or closed-book. The study methods I employed were different depending on which exam type I’d be facing, and the learning curve will be lower if you figure out early which you’ll be tasked with. I’ll discuss my thoughts on the differences between open and closed below, but here are some initial observations.

First, I liked to do my reading assignments directly following that day of classes. Not a groundbreaking bit of insight, but because some people like to do all their reading over the weekend, or read right before class, I think it’s worth mentioning. For example, if my Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule looked like: Contracts @ 9, Civ Pro @ 11, Torts @ 2, I would attend class on Monday and then go home and do Wednesday’s reading for Contracts, Civ Pro, and Torts that afternoon. I would read these assignments to completion, regardless of what time I ended up finishing. Once again, this doesn’t sound like much of an insight, but my “system” relied on making a schedule and sticking to it- regardless of whether or not I felt like slogging through another 30 pages of Property on a Friday evening. I tried to treat reading like a job, not putting down the books until I was done with all of the assignments whether it was a Monday night, or in advance of a long weekend.

Next, I think it’s necessary during the first week or two of class to go through the tedious process of properly briefing a case (i.e. writing out the appellate history, taking down all the facts, etc. - there are probably a thousand threads explaining how to do this so I won’t waste time explaining it here). This isn’t because you really get much from it (at least not much that will matter to you come final’s), but rather because professors like to screw with people during the first few weeks by forcing them to recite back minutiae. Come exam time it isn’t likely to matter to your Torts professor that the case you studied was remanded because of an erroneous jury instruction, or that the plaintiff was a widow and the judge likely felt bad for her- all (s)he’s going to care about is the rule of law and the basic facts of the case (which make it possible for you to analogize the case law to a new fact situation). While the details may therefore seem useless because class participation doesn’t count for anything (unless the professor specifically says otherwise), I think making a strong effort during the first weeks of class will give you a good reputation with the professor, which as noted above will help if/when you need to get a letter of recommendation. Getting top grades in a class will secure you a decent letter of rec, but getting top grades and developing a strong personal relationship will score you an excellent one. Professors want to help students who are engaged in their class and who are willing to play by the rules that they establish early-on. Once again, I’m someone who prefers to err on the side of caution. I have no idea if my personal relationships will be worth a damn when it comes time to weigh my transfer application against everyone else’s, but I don’t think they’ll will hurt.

During the hours between classes, I would work on my outlines for each class which didn’t meet that day, so that I was getting a little bit of each class every day. This meant that I didn’t get to hang out in the student lounge and small-talk, but in my opinion this was a sacrifice worth making. My schedule both semesters happened to work out so that some days I finished around lunchtime. On these days I would start my schedule in the same manner- read my assignments for the next classes, and outline the classes which hadn’t met that day (once again working until all of the work that needed to be accomplished was finished). If this was accomplished before 7pm (as it often was on these short days), I would spend an extra few hours tweaking outlines or memorizing flashcards (see below). Once again, I never deviated by giving myself a shorter work-day; while I might end up going 7am-9pm, I never shut it down at 4pm just because I’d breezed through a couple of assignments- there was always more work to be done.

Because I outlined and completed my assignments every day, my weekends were completely free to work with supplements. Because I had already read the E&Es (though I did thumb through them again during the semester as needed), most of my supplement work involved either an array of supplements or close reading of a single supplement if the author of the casebook had written one (i.e. we used the Dressler casebook for Crim, so I used his “understanding criminal law” book as the exclusive supplement for that class. For Civ Pro, our book had no partner supplement, so I gathered up as many resources as I could find, eventually using the student’s guide to the FRCP, Richard Freer’s book, glannon, and acing civil procedure.).

What I endeavored to do was read the supplement in advance of the week’s reading and lecture, so that I could outline the broad strokes over the weekend, fill it in with specific cases as I read them, and then update it during class (this updating involved both cutting out superfluous information that the prof didn’t end up covering, and supplementing information which I’d failed to outline. The latter situation almost never occurred- I took maybe 5 pages of in-class notes per class, per semester, because I had already covered everything in my outline before class. This was helpful both because I wasn’t scrambling to write down everything that the prof said, and because during class discussions I knew exactly where we were headed and could absorb whatever new knowledge the professor was throwing out there without trying to get my bearings at the same time. Some students recommended using an old student-made outline keyed to the class for just this reason, but I found that my absorption was much better when I started from scratch.).

I also listened to the sum and substance and law school legends audio tapes for all of my classes (usually during my daily run), and watched the bar bri videos towards the end of the semester (I’m not a bar bri rep or anything, but if you sign up for their program, your login allows you access to their commercial outlines, and a pretty awesome set of lectures by people like Richard Freer (Civ Pro) and Chemerinsky (Con Law)). These were helpful for big picture stuff, but it’s honestly hard to say whether I could have done without them or not.

Another important thing I’d recommend is a real mindblower- make sure you go to class and actually pay attention. My friends pointed out that I probably could have gotten away with not going to class, since I didn’t really take notes and was doing the work regardless of whether I might get called on, but I disagree. I think there is something very useful about going to class, forcing your brain to engage the material, making sure that you can follow exactly where the prof is going and why, and of course verifying that whatever you took from the supplements lines up with what the prof is teaching. I will admit that attending every class (at my school they don’t give you a gold star on your transcript for perfect attendance, but maybe at yours they will) served to distance me further from the majority of my classmates. So many people either skip class entirely, or sit in class and daydream, g-chat, or play videogames. This makes absolutely no sense to me- you’re paying big money for tuition, and basically mortgaging your future for a law degree. Even if you’re on a full-ride, you’re setting aside three years of earning potential to go to school. You’re likely hoping that after graduation you will get a big law job that will force you to sit at a desk and pay attention for between fifty and eighty hours a week. If you can’t summon the determination to get yourself out of bed, into the classroom, and to pay attention for fifteen hours of class a week, what makes you think that things will be any different once you graduate and get a job? Maybe you’ll figure out how to turn it on once you get there, but it seems like modern big-law attrition rates don’t really favor people who can’t stay awake at their desks.

Ending that rant, let’s run a quick breakdown regarding the difference between open and closed book exams; for closed book exams I didn’t make an outline, while for open book I made detailed outlines- crazy right? For closed book exams, instead of an outline, I made lots and lots of flash cards. The first flash card in a series would have the case name, and all of its facts (for some classes we were required to know who wrote the opinion, what year it was, and so-forth, so the cards would obviously include this info as well), its rule and its holding. This information would be supplemented by whatever useful additional info I pulled from the supplements (how the case might have advanced the law, etc.). Subsequent flashcards would have whatever ancillary material might be attached to the case (restatement provisions, specific rule formulations taken from the case, etc.), so that I basically had an outline which was in flashcard form. I would make these flashcards each day as I read, memorizing them during the outlining time I set aside for that class. Because I stayed regimented, the overall burden was relatively low compared to what it could have been (con law, for example, was a beast of a class, with over 120 cases. If I had tried to memorize this much during finals I would have been overwhelmed, whereas learning 10 or so a week wasn’t that big a deal.).

Once again, like my other tips, I acknowledge this might have been a bit extreme. For at least 3 of my exams I didn’t end up having my raw score curved at all (which seems sort of unfair since I never got a 100 on an exam), meaning that I would likely have received the same score even if I’d been slightly less… intense… in my preparations. In contracts for example I ended up with a raw score of 192/200 (which netted me a 96), while the guy who finished behind me had a raw score of 175/200 (which resulted in a 95 after the curve). My math isn’t great but it seems like in this case I didn’t get curved at all, while he got almost 10 points on the back-end. I guess most schools aren’t willing to fail people, meaning that someone in my position can wind up screwing themselves out of the benefit of a curve by far outpacing everyone else.

For open book exams, I spent a lot more time really organizing things, researching the more obscure areas of the law, and pre-drafting answers. In Civ Pro for example, guess what? There’s going to be a question on subject matter jurisdiction, there’s going to be one on personal jurisdiction, and there’s going to be an Erie question. There’ll be joinder, res judicata, amendment to pleadings- you get the point. The facts are going to be different in your exam hypos, but you can draft model answers for yourself which will save you time on the actual exam. Even if you’re not allowed to bring canned answers in with you, writing them out in advance will help make their reproduction automatic once the actual exam rolls around. Our exam software had a word count, and across 8 substantive exams I produced an average of 2,700 words an hour. On a 3-hour exam this translated to 8,100+ word essays, which wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t both know the law cold and have articulately drafted statements of it ready. Having the ability to spot the issue, kick it to autopilot in terms of what the law is, and follow this up by the actual “heavy lifting” of applying law to fact-pattern will give you more time to either search your outline or draft a well composed response when the oddball question does happen to pop up.

The final thing, before I get into my finals prep, is to suggest that you eat well and work out during 1L year. First of all, love it or hate it, people who look better are going to do better at OCI. I’m not telling you to complete P-90X first semester, to shell out money for that rhinoplasty you’ve always wanted, or to drop 30lbs. Rather I’m suggesting you put enough into your physical well-being that you don’t end up catching a glance of yourself five minutes before your first interview and wondering who the hell’s staring back at you from the mirror. If you’re looking good, you’re going to be more confident, you’re going to fill out your suit better, and subconsciously the interviewer is going to find you more appealing.

Also, keeping yourself in shape keeps you sharper mentally, keeps you healthy (i.e. minimizes the chance that you’re going to catch a nasty illness right around finals), and will make you feel happier in general. Working out is a great stress-reliever and as a 1L you’re going to need stress relief. The same goes for eating right. I’m not saying you need to be cooking up gourmet stuff everyday, but by the same token a daily pizza delivery ain’t ideal either. Eat an occasional salad, go to the gym for a run a few times a week, and you’re going to end up being mentally and physically sharper come exam time.

To cap it off, here’s how my non-finals schedule basically shook out for a given day (I basically stuck with a 7am to 7pm schedule every day, Monday-Friday).

7am wake up, high-protein breakfast
8am head to school
9am class 1
10am outline class 4 (or memorize flashcards if closed book)
11am class 2
12pm work on LRW crap
1pm class 3
2pm read for class 1
3:30pm read for class 2 (or memorize flashcards if closed book)
5pm read for class 3
7pm gym
8:00pm dinner
11pm sleep

Here’s what a general Saturday-Sunday looked like-

8am wake up, make breakfast
9am class 1 (or 3) supplement/flashcard work
12pm lunch
1pm class 2 (or 4) supplement/flashcard work
3pm gym
4:30pm class LRW work
7pm dinner/drinks
11pm sleep

So those are the broad strokes of it- I basically put in ~70 hours or so of weekly study time for the semester (including time in class), which I think was a pretty reasonable number. Not quite as crazy as things could have gone, but enough to stay pretty busy, get a good grasp on the material, leave room for hitting the gym, and going to sleep early. Most of all never skipping a day helped make my life tolerable for finals.

Final Exams


In my case, I had done such consistent work at the beginning of the semester that finals weren’t that huge a deal. Some of my friends were crying about pulling all-nighters, exhausting themselves with 3 hours of sleep a night, and basically running on fumes by the time exams were over- not me. I had my outlines done (or flashcards memorized), which allowed me to focus my time on actually taking practice exams and getting my fingers into shape for all the typing I was about to do. Step number 1 is to get every old exam that your professors have available. I would recommend doing this ASAP, and looking through the exam well in advance of finals (though I wouldn’t recommend actually taking an exam until you’ve finished with your outlines) to get an idea for what the prof’s style of testing is. This should help you with outlining and/or memorization, and with paying attention in class (are there certain topics that the prof always seems to weight heavily in his/her exams?) Some profs won’t release old exams until the end of the semester (for the same reason that I don’t recommend taking practice exams until you’ve learned all the material- people see they don’t know what’s on the old exam, they get overwhelmed, and their confidence is shot.), but other than badgering upperclassmen for copies of their old exams I’m not sure what you can do to work around this.

Next, locate other exams well in advance of the exam period. You can never have too many exams to practice with, so grab fifteen or twenty if you can find them (in other words, find and print out more exams than you could possibly go through during the exam period). http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=122453 provides a list of exams from the T100 schools, and even though most of them are password protected there are a few which you can access. I found that most of my profs only offered one or two old exams, which was insufficient for my requirements. What I sought to do was find other exams which seemed comparable in what they were testing on (fact patterns, writing style, actual substantive content), and then to take these exams as well. While I could have accessed other exams at my own school, they’re kept in hard copy which would have required a lot more time than scrolling through exams online which could be done whenever a free bit of time presented itself. Collect exams well in advance of your reading week, so that you’re not wasting time searching for old tests when you should be taking practice exams.

Third, a word on multiple choice. I had several classes which utilized multiple choice (a few which counted for 50% of the exam grade), and of course professors don’t put their old multiple choice questions online. I assume this is because they don’t like to re-write new questions each year, but maybe there’s a less lazy reason than this that I just can’t think of. In any case, for classes where multiple choice was going to be tested, I bought “The Glannon Guide,” the “Questions & Answers” book, “Siegel’s,” and “Emanuel’s,” (I THINK these are all the multiple choice books out there, though if anyone knows of others please let me know). I did every question in these books, and unsurprisingly I performed very well on multiple choice sections come exam time. I never bothered with going through the process of timing myself while doing multiple-choice questions, and would usually just answer the question in my head and then verify it was correct (as opposed to filling out a scantron and then checking all of my answers), though this may not work for everyone.

A good hint that I saw in someone else’s guide was to front-load studying so that you’re working hard on your last exam from day 1. Like the semester itself, final exams are a marathon, and by the end most people are dragging ass and don’t feel like studying (or their brains are just too burned out to be effective). By scheduling study time for your last final at the beginning of your reading week (assuming you have one), you’re getting a huge leg up on the competition. First semester, the only substantive class I didn’t CALI/Book was my first exam. My grades increased on each subsequent exam, which I doubt was true for most people. I’m sure this was partially the result of my getting over opening-day nerves, but I’m sure it also had to do with my performing at a consistently high level from first exam to last, while other people tapered off as the days went on. Remember- law school exams are graded on a set curve. The worse other people do the better your grades will be (and the worse you’ll need to do to get top grades. See also my whining about not benefitting from the curve in several of my classes.)

With regards to actual exam-taking advice, there isn’t much that I can offer that hasn’t already been written a thousand times. Law school requires you to read cases, remember the facts of these cases, understand the law or rule from the cases, and then apply this law to a hypothetical situation. Boiling the process down into these simple terms should make clear what writing a good exam requires- spotting the “issue” (i.e. the fact pattern in the hypo that relates to a rule of law that you’ve studied) and then applying the law to it. By knowing the general facts of every case you’ve read, you can spot an issue, explain how it is similar to a previous case, explain how it is different from a previous case, and then make a recommendation about how the court will/should rule.

With those tips in mind, I basically ran the same general schedule as I did during the semester (i.e. law stuff from 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week), allocating an even number of hours between each class (when taking into account the entire exam period). I broke my schedule up so that (especially towards the beginning of the reading period) I bounced between subjects, and between essay and multiple choice questions, so I wouldn’t get bored. Also, on exam days I would usually stop studying at around 3pm to relax, watch a movie, and catch my breath (I probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing this if I hadn’t worked so hard over the semester). A basic schedule during reading week and early in the exam schedule (by the time the 3rd and 4th exams run around there aren’t many subject left to split your time between) would look like this:

7am wake up/breakfast
8am Torts multiple choice/essay
9am Contracts essay/multiple choice
10am Civ pro multiple choice/essay
11am Crim essay/multiple choice
12pm lunch
1pm multiple choice (for whatever my first scheduled exam was)
2pm essay (for whatever my second scheduled exam was)
3pm Gym
4pm multiple choice (for whatever my second scheduled exam was)
5pm flashcard work
6pm essay (for whatever my first scheduled exam was)
7pm dinner/drinks
11pm bed

Exam day schedule

6am wake up/breakfast
7am get to school
8am exam
12pm lunch
1pm gym
2pm essay/multiple choice for following exam
3pm- relax until bed.

Wrap-up


So that’s basically how I spent my 1L year. In a nutshell, I recommend prepping pretty hard during the summer before, and treating school like a 12-hour a day job, 7-days a week. Befriend your profs early, so that you will have people that know you well when/if you earn the grades to attempt a transfer (or if you’re not interested in transferring, so that you’ll have people willing and able to get you that dream clerkship. Likewise, if you strike out landing a summer associate position you’ll be in good shape to at least get an RA position for the summer.). During the semester read supplements and outline the week prior to class, and for closed book exams start memorizing from day 1. Get copies of your profs old exams early in the semester, and scour around for other exams which test in a similar fashion, so that you have a big bank of questions come finals time. Get as many multiple choice questions as you can, because multiple choice can be tricky, and be sure to do this well in advance of finals.
Last edited by mscarn23 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
NYC Law
Posts: 1569
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 3:33 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:56 am

The anticipated guide is finally out :D

Thank you and congrats, You were born and bred for success.

User avatar
JordynAsh
Posts: 370
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:20 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby JordynAsh » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:03 am

Wish I had this as a 1L. Congrats on winning lawl school and good luck with your transfer apps!

Giddy-Up
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:36 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby Giddy-Up » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:13 am

I think you did more work in your first month of law school then I did in 4 years. Nicely done, hell of a work ethic.

User avatar
Verity
Posts: 1253
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:26 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby Verity » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:17 am

I didn't notice any sex in that schedule.

But thanks for the guide, very helpful!

BeenDidThat
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby BeenDidThat » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:17 am

So in-depth. And I think the length and depth of your guide demonstrates an important part of exam-taking quite well.

BeenDidThat
Posts: 704
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:18 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby BeenDidThat » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:18 am

Verity wrote:I didn't notice any sex in that schedule.

But thanks for the guide, very helpful!


You missed this part:


7am wake up, high-protein breakfast
8am head to school
9am class 1
10am outline class 4 (or memorize flashcards if closed book)
11am class 2
12pm work on LRW crap
1pm class 3
2pm read for class 1
3:30pm read for class 2 (or memorize flashcards if closed book)
5pm read for class 3
7pm gym
8:00pm dinner
8:30pm-10:30pm SECS
11pm sleep

What the hell else do you think was going on for those three hours?

User avatar
Gemini
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:23 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby Gemini » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:52 am

Intense advice, but really useful at the same time. As a gunner, I find you strangely likeable. :lol:

Thanks!

mscarn23
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:46 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:58 am

Oh yeah, I would suggest sex a minimum of 3x a week, and a maximum of 5, in order to keep everything limber.

User avatar
joemoviebuff
Posts: 788
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:51 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby joemoviebuff » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:59 am

TTIRTMI.

User avatar
NYC Law
Posts: 1569
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 3:33 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:00 am

Would you recommend the Property E&E? I'm scared to read that one over summer since the amazon reviews say some of the info is incorrect.

nickwar
Posts: 145
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:03 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby nickwar » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:01 am

Well done -- I had a tendency to attribute getting the top grade in a class to luck before I read your post. Very impressive and inspiring.

User avatar
brose
Posts: 648
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:05 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby brose » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:23 am

When you say nutshell, which one? I see like 5 on Amazon - 2 that are related to law school success in general.

User avatar
Borhas
Posts: 4862
Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby Borhas » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:29 am

nickwar wrote:Well done -- I had a tendency to attribute getting the top grade in a class to luck before I read your post. Very impressive and inspiring.


about 5-10% of students go that route from my experience, and obviously not all of them can be #1 (though being #1 seems to require this sort of devotion)

I don't recommend it as a general rule, it encourages a race to the bottom... and this sort of lifestyle isn't for just 1 year... once you get hooked on that A-train you wanna keep riding... then one day you're 28 living in a NYC box wondering where all the time went.

User avatar
sundance95
Posts: 2123
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby sundance95 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:35 am

Thanks very much for sharing.

mscarn23
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:46 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:38 am

Yeah, property can be very hit-or-miss in terms of supplements. I was lucky in that we used Sprankling's textbook, so I relied mostly on his understanding property law book. There were several areas of black-letter law where the E&E conflicted with Sprankling, so I obviously deferred to the info he gave (likewise it goes without saying that you should always take your prof's statement on what the law is as the primary source, with anything else as a minority view). I still thought that for purpose of thinking through different hypos it was worth getting, even if I found myself disagreeing with the results.

Provided you have a good supplement (or just a good understanding from the case book) for the law you'll be using in your universe of property/torts/etc., I think coming across sources that present different conclusions or rules can be helpful. It makes you engage the law much more actively, instead of passively memorizing rules which can sometimes tend to happen. Seeing how different jurisdictions reach conclusions, or supplements recommend approaching a problem, can give you a clearer understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the view put forward by your own "jurisdiction."

User avatar
downing
Posts: 272
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:03 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby downing » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:40 am

Thanks a million for this. Will revise already-perfect formula to suit my habits and manner of thinking and apply it to my upcoming 1L experience.
Last edited by downing on Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
FantasticMrFox
Posts: 592
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby FantasticMrFox » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:42 am

tag! will read later :P thank you :D

User avatar
downing
Posts: 272
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:03 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby downing » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:48 am

With such a busy schedule it looks like it may have been challenging to make friends and/or attend social gatherings. Did you find that your focus and drive on a singular target diminished the importance of being part of the social web (not counting meeting with professors) that may have otherwise been interesting?

Would you consider doing an AMA for Reddit? (just out of curiosity; not a mod or anything)

pookie
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:29 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby pookie » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:08 pm

This is great! Thanks! :D

User avatar
sanetruth
Posts: 358
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:26 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby sanetruth » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:10 pm

downing wrote:With such a busy schedule it looks like it may have been challenging to make friends and/or attend social gatherings. Did you find that your focus and drive on a singular target diminished the importance of being part of the social web (not counting meeting with professors) that may have otherwise been interesting?

Would you consider doing an AMA for Reddit? (just out of curiosity; not a mod or anything)


Was going to ask a similar thing. Based on the schedule, it looks as though you allocated almost no time towards socializing with other people. (the only time i noticed it mentioned was your saturday schedule).

I feel like such a lack of social exposure would be detrimental not just to your mental health, but also to your career. Am I missing something?

User avatar
NYC Law
Posts: 1569
Joined: Thu May 26, 2011 3:33 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:10 pm

sanetruth wrote:
downing wrote:With such a busy schedule it looks like it may have been challenging to make friends and/or attend social gatherings. Did you find that your focus and drive on a singular target diminished the importance of being part of the social web (not counting meeting with professors) that may have otherwise been interesting?

Would you consider doing an AMA for Reddit? (just out of curiosity; not a mod or anything)


Was going to ask a similar thing. Based on the schedule, it looks as though you allocated almost no time towards socializing with other people. (the only time i noticed it mentioned was your saturday schedule).

I feel like such a lack of social exposure would be detrimental not just to your mental health, but also to your career. Am I missing something?


Worked out well for Xeoh (#1 at UCLA, no socializing)

User avatar
Gemini
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:23 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby Gemini » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:11 pm

NYC Law wrote:
sanetruth wrote:
downing wrote:With such a busy schedule it looks like it may have been challenging to make friends and/or attend social gatherings. Did you find that your focus and drive on a singular target diminished the importance of being part of the social web (not counting meeting with professors) that may have otherwise been interesting?

Would you consider doing an AMA for Reddit? (just out of curiosity; not a mod or anything)


Was going to ask a similar thing. Based on the schedule, it looks as though you allocated almost no time towards socializing with other people. (the only time i noticed it mentioned was your saturday schedule).

I feel like such a lack of social exposure would be detrimental not just to your mental health, but also to your career. Am I missing something?


Worked out well for Xeoh (#1 at UCLA, no socializing)


Is that the trick? :lol:

IS there any #1 out there who DID socialize?

User avatar
The Gentleman
Posts: 670
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:25 am

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby The Gentleman » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:12 pm

Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing this.

User avatar
FantasticMrFox
Posts: 592
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby FantasticMrFox » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:13 pm

Your level of discipline is very humbling to lazy me




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot] and 2 guests