NYC Law wrote: FantasticMrFox wrote: romothesavior wrote:
ogurty wrote:Once you get above a certain threshold of hard work, you'll see diminishing returns on more work. Obviously if you slack, you're at a disadvantage, and if you uber-gun, you'll probably do better, but there are people who worked 2x harder than I did and got worse grades, and I know people who worked less than me and did better.
In my experience, the correlation between work and grades is pretty weak inside the high/low extremes.
What's the other variable then? Luck? I'm guessing that efficiency is actual difference between the outliers and the consistent correlation, though. I know I've done useless all-nighters before because I can't focus for more than an hour.
Sometimes it seems that way from TLS; like you're just throwing 200 equally sized marbles into a funnel. One has to come out first, but there's no specific characteristic of the marble making it happen. Or kind of like those who make it big in the stock market, and how its usually just consistent good luck.
I want to respond to this and add my comments to the other top students. I ended up ranked 3rd in my class at a T2, and took the OP's general strategy but toned down about two levels. I gunned maybe 75% as hard, read supps and did goofy amounts of reading as a OL, consuming anything I could get my hands on.
First, what is spot on about the OP is the mentality. The people who are saying "yeah well I worked kinda hard and ended up top 25% at a good school," you aren't playing the same kind of game. (I'm talking about Michigan and Columbia.) At a lower T1 and T2+, there is the very real motivation that if you do not excel, you are risking your financial future. The best way to not have crushing debt hang over your head with a worthless degree and thus the inability to pay off your debt is to set your sights from the beginning.
You are not in law school to go out drinking. This does not mean you cannot make friends + chill once or twice a week, but you should devote 97% of you life to law school for the first year. It's not even that bad: 4 months, a month off, and 4 more months. Everything should be aimed at law school: i.e. exercising, eating well, maintaining stable relationships, and even taking time off when appropriate.
Second, it is true that there are ALWAYS some people who work super hard and don't do that well (i.e. fall outside the top 10% but still stay above, say, top 40% if they are actually working at a T1/T2). What differentiates them is not luck: luck may come into play when you're splitting hairs on a B+/A-. What differentiates people is the ability to perform on a 3 hour law school exam. Plain and simple. I know that there are some people in my class who I did better than on exams but who are nonetheless "smarter" than me. Some are more conversant, some have much more life experience and other areas of knowledge, and some know more about the law itself.
What separates people is the ability to type out the answer to your law school exams; you are tested on output and not on your understanding of the law. To that end, if you read the same insane amount of material as the OP, but aren't skilled at expressing and applying your knowledge as the professor expects to the facts of the exam, you wouldn't end up #1. You would probably end up top 10%, but there's a big difference. Thus "test-taking prep" like LEEWs and GTM (as aside from substantive stuff like E&E), while not cure-alls, are critical. I also read every guide on TLS, and added them all up in a bank in my head, picking and choosing test taking strategies and concepts as they became suitable to my particular professors.
In addition to the work ethic, the OP is also clearly an excellent test-taker as seen by the 177. Many people simply get too nervous on exams and make dumb mistakes; a few people use the nervousness to work quickly and thoroughly.