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

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

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:47 am

theturkeyisfat wrote:question for OP (or anyone else who can help): how do you find the "sweet spot" between reading quickly and making sure you're comprehending everything and also taking adequate notes?

i didn't really do regular textbook reading in college, so i didn't learn this as well as i should have. and when i do read and am not cramming, i find that i usually spend too much time focusing on notes and asking myself questions, to the point where i proceed really slowly. i assume this is one of the things you figured out during your 0L summer, and i'd appreciate any advice you have about this.

thanks!


Im curious about this too. My college 'reading' mostly consisted of only reading sentences that featured a bolded word

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

Postby lakerfanimal » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:18 pm

To OP, did you just buy the LEEWS textbook, or did you go to the class/do the audio thing? Thanks a bunch once again!

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

Postby starchinkilt » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:34 pm

NYC Law wrote:
theturkeyisfat wrote:question for OP (or anyone else who can help): how do you find the "sweet spot" between reading quickly and making sure you're comprehending everything and also taking adequate notes?

i didn't really do regular textbook reading in college, so i didn't learn this as well as i should have. and when i do read and am not cramming, i find that i usually spend too much time focusing on notes and asking myself questions, to the point where i proceed really slowly. i assume this is one of the things you figured out during your 0L summer, and i'd appreciate any advice you have about this.

thanks!


Im curious about this too. My college 'reading' mostly consisted of only reading sentences that featured a bolded word


I usually read a case brief online before I read a case to get a general overview of the facts/situation/rule. Then when I was reading the actual case, I was able to get through it without stumbling over what was actually going on.

09042014
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:39 pm

LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't necessary nor sufficient to get great grades.

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

Postby Voltaire » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:50 pm

lakerfanimal wrote:To OP, did you just buy the LEEWS textbook, or did you go to the class/do the audio thing? Thanks a bunch once again!

Just go buy the audio program on amazon, and then sell it on amazon when you're done. I made money doing LEEWS.

Unless you have a life and don't want to sit through an 8 hr lecture.

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

Postby starchinkilt » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:54 pm

Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't necessary nor sufficient to get great grades.


+1. Top 10% guaranteed with one grade missing, will be top 5% (highest school will officially rank you here) barring total fuck up. After two hours of reading for the next day, it was video game/work out/drinking time for the rest of the day. Only hunkered down about a month before finals. LOL at work/reading on the weekends with college/nfl football in the fall and soccer/baseball in the spring.

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

Postby Holly Golightly » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:00 pm

Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't necessary nor sufficient to get great grades.

Pssssst. Someone ask DF about his best grade this semester.

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

Postby dresden doll » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:11 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't necessary nor sufficient to get great grades.

Pssssst. Someone ask DF about his best grade this semester.


I'm hoping it was Con Law.

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

Postby Holly Golightly » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:23 pm

dresden doll wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't necessary nor sufficient to get great grades.

Pssssst. Someone ask DF about his best grade this semester.


I'm hoping it was Con Law.

I learned this semester that you can do well in conlaw while going to class less than half the time.

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

Postby starchinkilt » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:30 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:I learned this semester that you can do well in conlawany class while going to class less than half the time.

keg411
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby keg411 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:31 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't necessary nor sufficient to get great grades.

Pssssst. Someone ask DF about his best grade this semester.


I'm hoping it was Con Law.

I learned this semester that you can do well in conlaw while going to class less than half the time.


I should have tried that.

mscarn23
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:42 pm

Ok, let's try to respond to a few questions...

First, re: recommendations I agree that taking the position of "I'm interested in academia" isn't a winner for everyone, but if it makes sense in your situation I think it can be a potent approach to take.

Re: LEEWS, I just did the audio program and found it to be pretty decent. You can listen to it on your own pace, while at the pool, and can always go back and repeat sections if you're in the mood. As others have mentioned you should be able to sell it on amazon and make your money back.

With case reading, the advice about reading a case brief prior to the opinion is very credited. I didn't do this, but having run through a case with this method just now, I like it. It seems to focus your attention on to what's important, and have a handle on the judge's perspective from the get-go. Another interesting tip that one of my profs gave me was to read the dissent first in any case that has one. This will force you to read the majority more critically and improve your legal reasoning because you'll be on the lookout for particular flaws.

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

Postby Borhas » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:34 am

Voltaire wrote:Unless you have a life and don't want to sit through an 8 hr lecture.


srsly, wtf is wrong is with people....




If this was ANY field of academia that really warranted an in depth study requiring over 40 hours a week, sure go ahead genius, study your nuts off and think of new theories and designs

but this is the law... almost none of the nuances people fret about are going to mean shit at the job

at best it gives you a glimpse of life as a firm associate (then again, maybe not)... but why spend an extra year of your life doing that? Hell, it might mean you burn out at year 3 instead of year 5... that's about 200k of lost profits.

But whatever, y'all keep doing what you do, only people hurt are the soon to be 1L's who are going to try ever harder to get to a piece of a pie... but that pie doesn't get bigger just because everybody wants it more... it's just that everybody is left hungrier and less satisfied than they would have been otherwise.

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

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:13 am

Is it normal to look at an exam (for another school) and be terrified? It looks fucking hard, even with a full semester's worth of knowledge (granted I have mostly been looking at 2003 Civ Pro exams for Columbia). I aknowledge this is a stupid question, but I just need reassurance to get over this terror.

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

Postby starchinkilt » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:29 am

NYC Law wrote:Is it normal to look at an exam (for another school) and be terrified? It looks fucking hard, even with a full semester's worth of knowledge (granted I have mostly been looking at 2003 Civ Pro exams for Columbia). I aknowledge this is a stupid question, but I just need reassurance to get over this terror.


Yup, exams are so professor specific, don't worry. I looked at exams from other sections at my school and they even covered different info.

mscarn23
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:44 am

I think that's a reasonable reaction. In my post, I mention the importance of getting a hold of one of your prof's exams early and then trying to find other exams that appear to test similar things. I found (even during 2nd semester) that some exams I found in the exam database continued to read like rejected James Joyce manuscripts or something- they made absolutely no sense to me because they were testing on completely different things than I had been learning.

Assuming you're an 0L, you don't have any substantive knowledge yet, so everything is going to look like Greek to you. I've gone through lots of exams from lots of schools, and they're all pretty much the same level of difficulty (in my opinion). This does illustrate why I don't recommend taking any practice exams during the semester until you've got a really good handle on the material. That sense of dread you're feeling would be much more suffocating if this were a month into the semester.

It's understandable that you'd want to see a "real" law school exam (I'll confess to sneaking a peek last summer as well, which will probably surprise no one), but I would suggest just getting one of those exam prep books/programs, and sticking to what's in there. If I remember correctly they will provide you with the law you need to answer the question, as well as model answers (and not so model answers so you can compare). Once the semester starts, and you get your mitts on an old exam or two for your prof, then you should go back to the database and find other exams that test similarly to your prof (I.e if your torts class just covers negligence, don't spend your time on exams that are centered around intentional torts. If your contracts class is common-law focussed, don't download a bunch of questions about the UCC.).

imjustjoking22
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby imjustjoking22 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:23 am

...you're pretty much my hero.

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

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:37 am

Thanks! I guess I'll break down and get LEEWS

mscarn23
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:50 pm

Yeah, I think it's worth the couple of bucks- Miller's examples are silly and overly simplistic, but it's a good first step, and much more effective than going through old final exams at this stage in the game.

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

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:14 pm

What do you think are the biggest pitfalls on an exam?

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

Postby Verity » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:09 pm

What's the best way to get into a professor's head, in your opinion? This is mostly regarding what s/he wants on the exam. We've all heard that law school is about knowing how to exam well, and knowing what each professor wants is the difference between an A and a B+.

mscarn23
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:13 pm

Pitfalls...

1. Multiple choice. Like I mentioned, they're looking for the best answer- not the right answer, and profs usually don't make their old multiple choice questions available. In a class where multiple choice is worth half the grade, this can kill you.

2. Too obvious issues. Sometimes you will get so fixated on uncovering the "hidden" issue that you'll overlook the obvious ones. This almost happened to me on a contracts question, and it was only thanks to my blowing through exams fast and going over my work again that I caught it.

3. Overthinking issues. The flip side is "finding" the hidden issues and wasting time on them when they don't really exist. This can go towards knowing the prof- if (s)he doesn't pay attention to details, and makes an arithmetic mistake in calculating damages, mention it but don't invent 30 variations on what you're reading into it.

4. Timing. Keep an eye on the point totals- profs don't necessarily put the most weighty questions first. You don't want to spend 2 hours killing the first question, only to discover it's worth 1/3 of the grade on a 3-hour exam.

5. Answer the question. This goes hand-in-hand with some of the others, but be sure you're actually answering the question posed. Profs will often put many more issues into an exam than you could hope to answer, and then narrow the focus in the question stem. Don't ignore what's asked of you.

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

Postby skrillo » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:24 am

Verity wrote:What's the best way to get into a professor's head, in your opinion? This is mostly regarding what s/he wants on the exam. We've all heard that law school is about knowing how to exam well, and knowing what each professor wants is the difference between an A and a B+.

1. Use their terminology and phrasing as much as possible. Most professors have quirky idioms and turns of phrase they like to use. You should use those too.
2. Discover and memorize the cases they talk about at length. Most of my professors had a handful of cases they obviously REALLY liked. Either because they represented splits in the law between jurisdictions, or because they provide a particularly clear or unique perspective on some point of law. Be able to throw these case names in your answer, or analogize a fact pattern to these cases.
3. For questions that lean toward policy, know your professor's opinions and ideological slant. You don't have to agree with them, in your head or in your answer, but you should include and fairly represent the ideological opinion they hold. In fact, fairly representing it and then presenting a compelling counter-argument might be your best bet.

mscarn23
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:03 pm

The above advice is good. I would add that you should pay attention to how your prof teaches the class in deciding how to frame your answer. Does (s)he like to poke and prod around subjects (does the prof constantly respond to your answer by adding or changing facts?), or is (s)he looking for the "right" answer before moving to the next subject? Even though there is no "right" answer on exams, you don't want to annoy the latter prof by meandering around an answer for 3,000 words, getting all misty-eyed and philosophical.

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

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:08 pm

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Last edited by BruceWayne on Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.




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