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

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

Postby Wholigan » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:22 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't sufficient to get great grades.



Fixed that for you. Gunning may not be sufficient to get good grades, but it's sure as hell necessary. Contrary to popular TLS lore, no one slacks off and gets sky high grades. Yeah some might not study "that hard" (put in quotes because not that hard means something totally different to kids at these top law schools than it does to a normal person. No one is doing what a normal person would be considered "not much" work and getting top grades).


Disagree. I am in a similar grade range as the OP. I didn't "slack off" but I highly doubt that I did more work than average in comparison to my classmates. I am definitely not a gunner. Of course I studied very hard in the few weeks before exams, but so did almost everyone else. I didn't bother stressing myself out too much during the first half of the semester. To be honest, I think more than half of OP's regimen would be a waste of time for me, but I am open to the idea that different things work for different people.

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

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:50 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:LOL at people who think there is one way to have success in law school. Gunning isn't sufficient to get great grades.



Fixed that for you. Gunning may not be sufficient to get good grades, but it's sure as hell necessary. Contrary to popular TLS lore, no one slacks off and gets sky high grades. Yeah some might not study "that hard" (put in quotes because not that hard means something totally different to kids at these top law schools than it does to a normal person. No one is doing what a normal person would be considered "not much" work and getting top grades).


I wouldn't call doing what everyone else does gunning. A lot of people who get sky high grades do average amounts of work.

But I'd also say that it doesn't take hard work all semester. I know a guy who gets amazing grades who doesn't really do anything until a month before finals then really guns.

And if you do slack, you can get great individual grades, but you'll be inconsistent. I bet there are some people who can slack, and still pwn exams consistently, I just don't know any.

But I'd agree that some hard work is needed.

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

Postby Renne Walker » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:09 pm

mscarn23 wrote:Hope this helps.

Yes it did! Thank you for your advice regarding OCI.

Now that August is quickly approaching I had a chilling question cross my mind. What if I find myself ranked near the bottom of the class? In the past I have shrugged it off as unlikely, but the truth of the matter is, a quarter of the of the class will fall to the dreaded bottom 25%. In the past I believed that scenario was inconsequential since I would be graduating from a law school in the upper tier of the T-14. As I said, now that August is just a two calendar pages away, those vampire thoughts are turning up the volume on doomsday scenarios―the Vamps so love to provide me something new to worry about―with a loaming +$250K debt, they have lots of ammunition!

I also labored under the belief that there is no class ranking, as such. After all, this is law school and not a bowling league. But after reading that you know your class ranking, the class ranking apparently exists in law school. That is a bit unexpected―during my undergrad, public rankings were disallowed (all I knew was that I had a 3.9).

So my question is really three questions. Are students ranked at most law schools (if so, can a first year low ranking be overcome)? Wouldn’t a strong T-14 school law degree smooth out a less than stellar ranking? Thanks.

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

Postby Verity » Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:26 pm

Renne Walker wrote:
mscarn23 wrote:Hope this helps.

What if I find myself ranked near the bottom of the class? .


Drop out, unless you're going on full scholly, preferably with a stipend and have no other professional experience/options. Pretty sure that's almost universally credited.

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

Postby Renne Walker » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:30 pm

Verity wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
mscarn23 wrote:Hope this helps.

What if I find myself ranked near the bottom of the class? .


Drop out.

Your advice was backed up by a couple of PMs. . . . . they were certainly an awakening! First year is super critical―and here I thought Law School was a marathon and not a sprint. Wrong. One analogy given to me―compare law school to a horse race, except twenty seconds after the race begins they snap a picture and that’s THAT. The rest of the ride is all about not falling off the horse. Perhaps their example was overstated, but now I GET IT. Thx.

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

Postby Bronte » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:29 am

Renne Walker wrote:Your advice was backed up by a couple of PMs. . . . . they were certainly an awakening! First year is super critical―and here I thought Law School was a marathon and not a sprint. Wrong. One analogy given to me―compare law school to a horse race, except twenty seconds after the race begins they snap a picture and that’s THAT. The rest of the ride is all about not falling off the horse. Perhaps their example was overstated, but now I GET IT. Thx.


When people say that "law school is a marathon not a sprint," they're pretty much referring to the first year. They mean to say that you shouldn't overexert yourself early on. There's two semesters. Slow and steady wins the race, etc.

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

Postby MC Southstar » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:37 am

It's kind of crazy to see someone map out the life schedule like that. It's even more crazy that I lived like that first semester (except I basically did nothing but get drunk/be hungover during the weekends).

I basically stopped reading for class almost all of second semester and only studied right before exams. My grades were worse (but still top 1/3). I'm still convinced that how much I studied during the semester had no bearing on my grades though. For example, first semester I got a really good grade in the class that I never knew wtf was going on and only read for 50-75% of the classes.

I find that as long as you grasp the material by the time exams come up, you're fine. I'm still convinced that how well I did in each class was correlated with how similarly the professor and I think through the subject (except the exams that weren't so subjective where success was more formulaic).

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

Postby grash » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:56 am

MC Southstar wrote:It's kind of crazy to see someone map out the life schedule like that. It's even more crazy that I lived like that first semester (except I basically did nothing but get drunk/be hungover during the weekends).

I basically stopped reading for class almost all of second semester and only studied right before exams. My grades were worse (but still top 1/3). I'm still convinced that how much I studied during the semester had no bearing on my grades though. For example, first semester I got a really good grade in the class that I never knew wtf was going on and only read for 50-75% of the classes.

I find that as long as you grasp the material by the time exams come up, you're fine. I'm still convinced that how well I did in each class was correlated with how similarly the professor and I think through the subject (except the exams that weren't so subjective where success was more formulaic).


I think that's a huge part of the game. It doesn't just make you attack the problems correctly, it also gives you an idea of what kind of problems are likely to arise on the test. Once I realized that the name of the game was getting inside the professor's head, my grades improved markedly. Still had to work hard, though.

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

Postby MyPseudonym » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:58 am

Hey, OP, quick question. If you do transfer, how is your wife going to feel about having to pick up and move after just one year, or is she just going to stay behind? You've mentioned that you have a strong marriage, and have been together awhile, and I just wonder if you feel you could maintain the same schedule and effort if you two weren't living together.

Of course, maybe you could find a friend to keep her company while you're away... ;)

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

Postby thecilent » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:53 am

MyPseudonym wrote:of course, maybe you could find a friend to keep her company while you're away... ;)

? Random

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

Postby upfish » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:02 pm

thecilent wrote:
MyPseudonym wrote:of course, maybe you could find a friend to keep her company while you're away... ;)

? Random


Reminds me of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjZR1Rjj_p0

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

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:07 pm

....
Last edited by BruceWayne on Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby NarwhalPunter » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:16 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
Wholigan wrote:Disagree. I am in a similar grade range as the OP. I didn't "slack off" but I highly doubt that I did more work than average in comparison to my classmates. I am definitely not a gunner. Of course I studied very hard in the few weeks before exams, but so did almost everyone else. I didn't bother stressing myself out too much during the first half of the semester. To be honest, I think more than half of OP's regimen would be a waste of time for me, but I am open to the idea that different things work for different people.


Apparently you didn't read my post. What I was saying is that you will have to gun, work hard as hell, grind, whatever the hell you want to call it, to do well. You will not do well without working very hard. There's this contingent of posters on here that like to say that plenty of people do well without working hard--they're dreaming. You may not have to work as hard as the OP, but you will have to work your ass off to do well. Whereas, unfortunately, you can work extremely hard and still not do well. You're not going to be able to slack off and then pull top 10 percent grades. That's just not how it works. And for the record doing moderate work during the semester and then pulling off 12 hour study days at the end does still count as working your ass off--even though people try to make it seem like it isn't.


This is spot on. It's misleading how some people on here trumpet that they made top grades without "working hard." Putting in 55-60 hours a week in the month before finals is still harder work than 98% of the population puts in on anything, ever. Just because you didn't go full retard and put in 80 hours a week doesn't mean that you're Stephen Hawking and coasted to the top 5% on the sheer strength of your own genius with minimal effort.

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

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:28 pm

NarwhalPunter wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
Wholigan wrote:Disagree. I am in a similar grade range as the OP. I didn't "slack off" but I highly doubt that I did more work than average in comparison to my classmates. I am definitely not a gunner. Of course I studied very hard in the few weeks before exams, but so did almost everyone else. I didn't bother stressing myself out too much during the first half of the semester. To be honest, I think more than half of OP's regimen would be a waste of time for me, but I am open to the idea that different things work for different people.


Apparently you didn't read my post. What I was saying is that you will have to gun, work hard as hell, grind, whatever the hell you want to call it, to do well. You will not do well without working very hard. There's this contingent of posters on here that like to say that plenty of people do well without working hard--they're dreaming. You may not have to work as hard as the OP, but you will have to work your ass off to do well. Whereas, unfortunately, you can work extremely hard and still not do well. You're not going to be able to slack off and then pull top 10 percent grades. That's just not how it works. And for the record doing moderate work during the semester and then pulling off 12 hour study days at the end does still count as working your ass off--even though people try to make it seem like it isn't.


This is spot on. It's misleading how some people on here trumpet that they made top grades without "working hard." Putting in 55-60 hours a week in the month before finals is still harder work than 98% of the population puts in on anything, ever. [size=150]Just because you didn't go full retard and put in 80 hours a week doesn't m

LOL EXACTLY!

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

Postby Borhas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:29 pm

^ lol, BS

50-60 work week a couple times a year is not working hard... that 98% figure is only compared to other students (maybe), pretty much every job requires a week of hard every now and then. Hell, as a grocery store produce clerk I had to put in 60 hours a week once during the summer when the freezers at the store busted.

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

Postby NarwhalPunter » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:38 pm

Let me get this straight. You'd worked 60 hours in a week once in your entire life before law school. Because of this, you'd say that putting in those kind of hours at least four weeks in a row (at minimum), twice a year is not hard work.

Gotcha.

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

Postby Dany » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:44 pm

NarwhalPunter wrote:Let me get this straight. You'd worked 60 hours in a week once in your entire life before law school. Because of this, you'd say that putting in those kind of hours at least four weeks in a row (at minimum), twice a year is not hard work.

Gotcha.

That's not what he said.

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

Postby Borhas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:09 pm

NarwhalPunter wrote:Let me get this straight. You'd worked 60 hours in a week once in your entire life before law school. Because of this, you'd say that putting in those kind of hours at least four weeks in a row (at minimum), twice a year is not hard work.

Gotcha.


You got pretty much all of it wrong

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

Postby NarwhalPunter » Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:30 pm

Borhas wrote:
NarwhalPunter wrote:Let me get this straight. You'd worked 60 hours in a week once in your entire life before law school. Because of this, you'd say that putting in those kind of hours at least four weeks in a row (at minimum), twice a year is not hard work.

Gotcha.


You got pretty much all of it wrong


My apologies. I guess you were saying that one time you had to log 60 hours at a low level job. Because some people have to put in similar time once in a blue moon, having to do it for 4+ weeks in a row, multiple times a year is not hard work.

Is that better? Because you're still completely wrong.

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

Postby Borhas » Sun Jun 19, 2011 7:03 pm

oh I see

ok... how about it's not working THAT hard (though I'd argue that people that work 50-60 hour weeks for a 3-4 months of the year, but basically slack off the rest of the year aren't working hard, relative to the majority of the population.)

I was focused on 98% aspect. Almost every sort of work involves hectic periods. A student could get by with working 50-60 hours a week the month before finals and slack off huge the rest of the year. My produce clerk example shows that even people that have to work 40 hours a week still have times where they experience an uptick. But, those people also work harder than students do, through the rest of the year.

now kindly STFU

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

Postby NarwhalPunter » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:11 pm

Borhas wrote:oh I see

ok... how about it's not working THAT hard (though I'd argue that people that work 50-60 hour weeks for a 3-4 months of the year, but basically slack off the rest of the year aren't working hard, relative to the majority of the population.)

I was focused on 98% aspect. Almost every sort of work involves hectic periods. A student could get by with working 50-60 hours a week the month before finals and slack off huge the rest of the year. My produce clerk example shows that even people that have to work 40 hours a week still have times where they experience an uptick. But, those people also work harder than students do, through the rest of the year.

now kindly STFU


Your post would be credited if top students actually slacked off huge the entire semester before kicking in some effort before finals. This doesn't happen. Can people pass and get median pwned by doing it that way? Sure. Nobody denies that. But we're talking about people at the top of the class.

Top grades almost always require hard work. Not sure why this idea draws such vehement resistance from a few on this board.
Last edited by NarwhalPunter on Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Chupavida » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:12 pm

.
Last edited by Chupavida on Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:58 pm

Chupavida wrote:Actually, there are top students who do that. The harsh reality is that more than anything, exams test raw mental horsepower. This guide could stop at "I got a 177 on the LSAT." You can acquire the requisite working knowledge of the material, familiarity with the idiosyncrasies of your individual professors, and facility with law school exams generally with far less effort than the OP invested. Anything beyond that is in god's hands.


Lol hell no. Law school doesn't work that way. Disciplines like physics, engineering, chemistry etc. work that way. In those disciplines some people are able to comprehend the subject and some aren't. That's just the way it is. In law everyone in the classroom understands the material. The way some people get higher grades is that they 1. Work their ass off to learn every nuance and every argument available. They research the professors tastes etc.2. They type extremely fast and 3. They know exactly what it is that the professor wants. 4. They write well. Too much of what is needed to do well on a law school exam is related to effort for you to just show up to class and then the exam and ace it. I know several people at the very very top of the class here at my top 10--ALL of them work INCREDIBLY HARD. And frankly it's common knowledge that everyone on the law review here works stunningly hard, frankly I underestimated the work ethic that people could have before I got here. I've never seen anything like it--it's unreal--especially the law review students. A lot of people think that they can work hard before they come to law school (myself included) but there's a certain level of work ethic that most people just cannot will themselves to (basically to the level of the OP).

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

Postby VA Politco » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:05 pm

Look, this dude worked super duper hard. And he was ranked #1 at the end of the year, which is awesome. A few things to remember for incoming 1Ls (in my opinion):

1. Being smart (yes everyone in law school is smart, but some people, like the OP, are smarter than others) gets you a hell of a lot farther than working hard. If I was in the top 1/3 of students in terms of time/work invested, I'd be surprised, but, at a similarly ranked school as OP, I'm in the top 7%. I honestly believe that almost everyone who ranked ahead of me is naturally smarter (e.g. did better on the LSAT) than me, AND they worked harder. You can work your ass off, but in my opinion, it comes down to whether you understand what you are learning and can figure things out on your own.

2. Learning what your professor wants you to learn and then say on an exam is the most important part of class and exams. I think reading E&Es before classes start is a TERRIBLE idea. In the eight non-writing classes I took this year, I had two professors who specifically recommended chapters from the E&E. In those two classes, I read the entire E&E and it helped a lot. In the other 6 classes, the E&E was generally not very helpful at all, and in some cases it was "wrong" when compared to what the professor wanted me to learn. You have enough substantive law to learn when classes start, and you shouldn't waste your time learning things your professor doesn't want you to know.

3. The OP is in a rare situation for an incoming 1L: married with several years between UG and 1L. He doesn't need to spend as much time socializing as most 1Ls to find a support structure. Regardless of what several people have said in this thread, law school isn't solely about grades. If you can't built friendships and relationships in addition to doing well in school, you're in trouble for the rest of your life no matter how well you do.

4. Working hard is great. Working SMART is much more important. Your professors want you to know what they are teaching you. Reading hornbook after hornbook and studying things professors haven't and won't mention isn't worth your time. All that matters in 1L is learning what your professor wants to see on an exam, and then figuring out the best and most accurate way to write that exam.

More things about my particular situation: I adopted a puppy at the end of September, I dated somewhat second semester, I went to every single bar review and generally went out for dinner every Friday and out to the bars on either Friday or Saturday. In the fall I spent 6 Saturdays at football games, I played three seasons of intramural sports, and I did some pro bono work.

The point of this post is to demonstrate what you can do and still be in the top 10% of your class. You don't have to kill yourself to do it, but you do need to work hard. I was able to work hard and have a social life, and I honestly think if I had studied a little bit hard, at most I would have ended the semester around top 5%. I think the people ahead of me are smarter than me and "get" law school more than me, and no amount of work is going to put me ahead of them. Now if they all transfer to better schools....

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

Postby VA Politco » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:07 pm

Lol hell no. Law school doesn't work that way. Disciplines like physics, engineering, chemistry etc. work that way. In those disciplines some people are able to comprehend the subject and some aren't. That's just the way it is. In law everyone in the classroom understands the material. The way some people get higher grades is that they 1. Work their ass off to learn every nuance and every argument available. They research the professors tastes etc.2. They type extremely fast and 3. They know exactly what it is that the professor wants. 4. They write well. Too much of what is needed to do well on a law school exam is related to effort for you to just show up to class and then the exam and ace it. I know several people at the very very top of the class here at my top 10--ALL of them work INCREDIBLY HARD. And frankly it's common knowledge that everyone on the law review here works stunningly hard, frankly I underestimated the work ethic that people could have before I got here. I've never seen anything like it--it's unreal--especially the law review students. A lot of people think that they can work hard before they come to law school (myself included) but there's a certain level of work ethic that most people just cannot will themselves to (basically to the level of the OP).


At my school, everyone has plenty of time to finish their exams. Maybe it's different at other schools, but typing speed is vastly overrated.

And I disagree in the strongest way with your assertion that everyone in the room understands the material. There are many people in my class who can do nothing more than regurgitate what they read, but if you change the facts they fall apart. Some of these people get good grades by working extremely hard, and some of these people fall apart on exams.

I do agree that a lot of people work very hard, but as I said earlier, being in the top 10% isn't necessarily about insanely hard work...




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