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

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Madi57
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby Madi57 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:47 am

I just want to throw this out there for this conversation. My good friend and I finished #1 & #3. We were separated by .02 GPA (so if #3 had one A- turn into an A, he would have jumped both #2 and #1 to be at the top). Both of us were certaintly not gunners by any stretch and we took the same approach, more or less. We both treated law school esentially as a 9-6 job. I personally did not work past 8pm once during the semster, and had enjoyable nights with my non law-school g/f every night. Additionally, I worked very few hours on the weekends, until finals of course. Further, we had time to have fun and actually enjoy life, play bball, go out on the weekends, etc. We did all of this in moderation and did take law school very seriously. What I think we did best was just focus on school when we had to, and not get distracted when it was time to work. My only point here is simply that there is no one way of being at the top of your class; some #1's will put in 100+ weeks, but this is not a prerequisite to be #1.

I think the frustrating aspect of this website, and why I dont frequent it much, is the utter confidence of advice-givers. These few people, treated as dieties on this website, say things like "you must" and "you cant" if you want #1 (as opposed to say #5). In my opinion, thats just not how it works; not all #1's did or did not do those things. I think its clear that I dont want to give any advice here, but Ill leave one tired cliche: find your own path.

(Also note this may be different for higher-ranked schools; ours is Top 20).


&
somethingdemure wrote:
MyPseudonym wrote: Until a person who is number 1 in his or her class (and this board probably has a fair number of them) can step up and say they did it without working extremely hard, that they did what all of those who are "comfortably near the top of the class" did, then there really is no point in bringing it up.


Now, there's some truth to the idea that working harder will, on average, produce better results. There's some truth to the idea that hundreds of other factors go into law school success too.

I know a couple people who worked as hard as OP did, including 0L prep. One did rather well, the other ended up below median. The sample size is tiny, so I'm in no way suggesting that working too hard can lead to bad grades, just that your belief that working as hard as OP is a "blueprint" to success is flawed.

I'm not convinced that anyone's substantive 0L prep led to better grades than they could have gotten without it. Obviously, OP thinks differently, and really anyone's guess could be accurate.

And just in case anyone believes your ludicrous premise that being #1 is vastly different from being #4, I'd just like to chime in. #1 and #4 will likely be separated by hundredths of a GPA point. It can be the difference of one fraction of one grade, and it's simply preposterous to suggest that fractions of a grade are always, or even usually, indicative of a vastly superior approach to law school.

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

Postby glewz » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:09 am

mscarn,

The guide you put together is really top notch, so don't let critical opinions detract too much from the praise your post obviously deserves. When you post 1L course/test-taking strategy, you inevitably receive differing views, as high-performing students employed unique methods to achieve their successes.

Anyways, GL on whatever you're doing this summer, and thank you once more for your perspective.

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

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:34 am

Re: the minimal difference between #1 and #4, I'm sure that's usually the case. But based on my knowledge of my own gpa, that of the person ranked #2, and that of someone just outside the top 10%, #2 was closer to falling outside the top 10% than of catching me. Maybe doing as much a I did would have brought that person within .01 of me, maybe it would have propelled him/her past me, maybe destroying the equilibrium of work-life balance would have resulted in a median finish. There's no way of knowing.

The whole point of my last post was that if finishing @ #2 is good enough for you, then not killing yourself 1L year isn't necessary if you have the other requesites for success. You might finish first, you might not, but you'll be happy either way- this is fine and there's nothing wrong with being #2, #5, or #50.

But if you're going to be pissed at yourself for not putting in your best effort when #2 pops up on your transcript, then the question still remains- do you want to have finished behind someone because of an element outside your control (brains, luck, whatever), or because you spent every Sunday working on your fantasy football team instead of studying

Different people have different goals, and I feel as though mine didn't allow me to hang my fortunes on the .01 that usually separates people at the top. If I don't end up transferring, and I end up getting a clerkship that my relationships with profs and top 5% grades would have gotten me, then maybe the extra work won't be worth it. If I don't end up transferring, and I get a job that top 10% grades, my pre-law resume, my interviewing skill, and my ability to wear a suit would have gotten me, then maybe building up my IM softball skills would have been a better way to spend my Saturdays.

But if I don't end up transferring, or getting the clerkship, or the job, or whatever else I'm driving towards, it won't be because I didn't give my full effort. At the end of the day, that's all I can really ask for.

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rocon7383
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby rocon7383 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:50 am

mscarn, thanks for taking the time to do this. I'm envious of your willingness to put in this amount of man-hours and plan on doing my best to replicate it. :shock:

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

Postby Holly Golightly » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:01 am

Dear OP, despite not agreeing with your approach, I really respected you until these last few posts about HAVING to finish #1. Please stop.

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

Postby Giddy-Up » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:34 am

Holly Golightly wrote:Dear OP, despite not agreeing with your approach, I really respected you until these last few posts about HAVING to finish #1. Please stop.


I agree with this point.

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

Postby theturkeyisfat » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:56 am

Giddy-Up wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:Dear OP, despite not agreeing with your approach, I really respected you until these last few posts about HAVING to finish #1. Please stop.


I agree with this point.


He just wants to be the best. What's wrong with that?

Should LeBron tell himself that making it to the Finals and winning the title are "pretty much the same thing?"

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

Postby Holly Golightly » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:58 am

theturkeyisfat wrote:
Giddy-Up wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:Dear OP, despite not agreeing with your approach, I really respected you until these last few posts about HAVING to finish #1. Please stop.


I agree with this point.


He just wants to be the best. What's wrong with that?

Should LeBron tell himself that making it to the Finals and winning the title are "pretty much the same thing?"

Shit like this makes me want to bang my head against the wall. NO, THOSE ARE NOT THE SAME THING.

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

Postby Kilpatrick » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:05 pm

theturkeyisfat wrote:
Giddy-Up wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:Dear OP, despite not agreeing with your approach, I really respected you until these last few posts about HAVING to finish #1. Please stop.


I agree with this point.


He just wants to be the best. What's wrong with that?

Should LeBron tell himself that making it to the Finals and winning the title are "pretty much the same thing?"


This analogy makes no sense. LeBron would've actually gotten a tangible reward if he'd won a ring. He would've gotten thousands of dollars in bonus money, not to mention the probable increased endorsements.

The only thing OP gets by being #1 vs. #2 (or really anywhere else in the top 5%) is a nice feeling of accomplishment.

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rocon7383
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby rocon7383 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:07 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
theturkeyisfat wrote:
Giddy-Up wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:Dear OP, despite not agreeing with your approach, I really respected you until these last few posts about HAVING to finish #1. Please stop.


I agree with this point.


He just wants to be the best. What's wrong with that?

Should LeBron tell himself that making it to the Finals and winning the title are "pretty much the same thing?"

Shit like this makes me want to bang my head against the wall. NO, THOSE ARE NOT THE SAME THING.


I see where you're coming from but who cares. If his motivation is "being #1", so be it. This doesn't mean others can't reach the top of their class with the same mindset.

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Flips88
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby Flips88 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:10 pm

Yeah, the sports analogies aren't the best. At best, it's like a marathon where you could come in 1st or 3rd or 5th depending on how hard you want to push your body to its breaking point. But there's not a huge difference between getting gold and bronze in law school, except the self-satisfaction that you got the gold.

23402385985
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby 23402385985 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:24 pm

I think there would have been less bitching and annoying crap in this thread if the OP had titled it: "How I Was Ranked #1" or something.

I'm sure a lot of people took umbrage to the post as a definitive guide, when it was never meant to be such.

Oh well.

The OP's approach is inspiring and I am trying to replicate it as much as possible.

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

Postby thecilent » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:06 pm

The approach is good, but don't say shit like this is a blueprint for being #1 not top 5%. Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? No one guns for #1 only, cause that's insane and there is too much luck and shit for anyone to even come close to guaranteeing number 1. And like others have said, there have been #1s who don't have an approach similar to this so wtf

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

Postby Borhas » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:06 pm

joncrooshal wrote:I think there would have been less bitching and annoying crap in this thread if the OP had titled it: "How I Was Ranked #1" or something.

I'm sure a lot of people took umbrage to the post as a definitive guide, when it was never meant to be such.

Oh well.

The OP's approach is inspiring and I am trying to replicate it as much as possible.


people don't dislike the OP

people dislike the idea of the OP

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

Postby thecilent » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:11 pm

joncrooshal wrote:I think there would have been less bitching and annoying crap in this thread if the OP had titled it: "How I Was Ranked #1" or something.

I'm sure a lot of people took umbrage to the post as a definitive guide, when it was never meant to be such.

Oh well.

The OP's approach is inspiring and I am trying to replicate it as much as possible.

Hae fun replicating a personal approach thy worked for one person; I'm sure you'll be #1 too

mscarn23
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:31 pm

Voila. Thread title changed to better reflect the intention of my original post, and to reflect the comments and passions of the forum. Hopefully this minor alteration will dispel the idea that there is a single means of success, and that I'm slinging my little 'guide' as representative of that method.

And I don't know whether being #1 versus #5 makes any difference when it comes to getting jobs (having just eaten lunch with the managing partner of my firm, and having discussed the issue, I tend to think it doesn't make any difference once you land the interview), but I was led to believe it was a difference-maker in transferring. Given how little I know about the transfer process (beyond what is written on this board- i.e. all that matters are law school grades and rank), maybe this belief is way off, but it was with that in mind that I approached the year. As I discussed early-on, I wouldn't have been so hell-bent on finishing first if I didn't think it would be integral to my ability to transfer.

Anyway, I hope the title change helps to refocus the discussion a bit.

09042014
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:33 pm

What kind of raging TTT's rank their students?

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NYC Law
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:37 pm

I really don't get why everyone is giving OP shit, everything he's said is pretty reasonable. And I don't know why you wouldn't gun for #1, even if you fall short you'll probably be better off than if you just aimed for 'good'. It's like shooting for a 180, you probably won't get it, but you'll do better than if you just aimed for a 160.

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thecilent
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby thecilent » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:39 pm

^ stop giving nyc a bad rep

09042014
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby 09042014 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:45 pm

How do you even shoot for number 1? Law school is like golf. While you are in competition with people, it's only really in indirect competition. Nothing you do has any effect on other people, and vise versa.

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esq
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby esq » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:46 pm

7 to 7, whew.

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NYC Law
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:50 pm

Desert Fox wrote:How do you even shoot for number 1? Law school is like golf. While you are in competition with people, it's only really in indirect competition. Nothing you do has any effect on other people, and vise versa.


Don't golfers still shoot to be first? Yeah you can't affect anyone else, but you can give it your best shot to do whatever to be 1st.
Too many analogies ITT.

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

Postby Corwin » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:54 pm

Giddy-Up wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:Dear OP, despite not agreeing with your approach, I really respected you until these last few posts about HAVING to finish #1. Please stop.


I agree with this point.

What your problem? The OP was under no obligation to share his methods; him doing so is a courtesy and you should be respectful regardless of whether you agree with his viewpoint. Further, if you read the OP and the OP's subsequent posts, it's clear that he is a genuine and well meaning person. You both will fine life much more enjoyable if you assume good faith in the people you meet.

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theturkeyisfat
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby theturkeyisfat » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:07 pm

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.

skrillo
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Re: One approach to 1L success from someone ranked #1.

Postby skrillo » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:34 pm

Nightrunner wrote:I HATE to chime in here, but I feel that I must: am I really the only person ITT who thinks "I'm top 5%" and "I booked 75% of my classes" will produce substantively different opportunities, especially w/r/t transferring and/or clerking?

If so, my bad. If not, then why are y'all ignoring that in the spiteful rebuttals?
You are correct. The difference between #1 student and top 5% is marked in the clerkship and transferring arenas. No question. As for firm jobs, at most T1 schools, it's negligible.




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