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

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

Postby xyzbca » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:56 pm

sanetruth wrote:What i'm saying is that I think some of his time could safely have been allocated towards a social life, which in turn breeds connections, at little to no cost to his performance. The benefit that he gets out of that re-allocation is worth it. Would you rather be #1 without any friends/connections? Or top 5/10% with? And who is to say he even would have dropped from #1 if he networked a little bit?

To convey to 0Ls that networking is not important would be misguided.

BUT OP DIDN'T EVEN SAY THAT! This all started because I was trying to see how much time (if any) he did allocate to socializing, because he left it out on his schedules.


I attend a similarly ranked school to OP, followed a similar schedule and had similar results (my school doesn't give individual ranks but my GPA is closer to the traditional summa cutoff at my school than to the traditional magna cutoff).

I don't mean to speak for OP --and hopefully he'll correct me if I'm wrong-- but people that put in this kind of work can't just flip a switch and coast a little. While it would be nice to think that top 10% with a social experience vs. #1 is an actual choice that somebody can reasonably make, I don't think it works that way.

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

Postby Rooney » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:11 pm

180

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

Postby Rooney » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:13 pm

cinephile wrote:Thanks for the guide, look forward to following it in a couple of months!


Your 'tar is AWESOME
(sorry for not being relevant to the thread...)

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ak13
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby ak13 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:00 pm

Whenever I get tired or lazy, it's time to come back and read the OP. Motivation, FTW.

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

Postby FeelTheHeat » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:05 pm

I'm printing this post out, blowing it up, framing it, and slapping it in front of my work desk.

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

Postby mr_toad » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:20 pm

I'd like to list all the reasons why I respect this guide, but someone this disciplined isn't drooling for others' accolades. Well done. I too will be putting this in a place to review monthly as a guide to what you can do if you're willing to go full balls to the wall but with purpose.

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2011Cycle
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby 2011Cycle » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:29 pm

Hey, OP... I tip my avatar to you!

I am on your plan 100%

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

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:34 pm

Thanks for all the responses and for reading (or at least browsing) what I had to say. I’ll respond to the couple of questions that I noticed.

First, it was my undergrad GPA that shut me out of T6 to begin with, which is why I decided that I should devote myself to working so diligently in law school. As an undergrad I had a much different outlook than I do now… I was rush chair of my fraternity, worked at Abercrombie, and spent my spare time reaping the benefits associated with those activities. School was not at the top of my list. I started working, realized how difficult it is to run a successful business, and by accident developed a work ethic that has stuck with me.

Second, as to networking, this is an ongoing argument I have with one of my good friends from law school. He suggested that I was doing myself a huge disservice by not branching out more, while I argued that by befriending a small number of students (who happened to all end up at the top of the class) I was maximizing my limited networking time. I guess my thought is that (with all due respect to my classmates who didn’t do as well and who are probably awesome either because of or in spite of this) I focused my energy on networking with people who could be of most benefit to my legal network. Put into context, my buddies from college are all cool guys, and we have a great time together, but they’re not going to help get me in the door with a federal judge or a prestigious law firm, because that’s not the kind of thing they’re into.

For me, this made things easy going in. I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful wife, so I wasn’t going to be chasing women. I’m lucky enough to have a group of friends from college and high school who are really fun, cool, interesting individuals, so I didn’t need to find a new group of besties. That left me with the goal of meeting a small number of people who were motivated to excel, and who could put up with my single-mindedness (it’s not surprising that the people who could tolerate my constant discussion of the law ended up near the top of the class.).

While I didn’t go out during the week very often, I hung out during the hours I’d scheduled for dinner, having a few drinks, hanging out- normal people stuff. The conversations often centered around the law (much to my wife’s displeasure), but in terms of creating a limited network I think it worked.

Lastly, I think that networking this summer (and my belief/hope during the school year that I’d score a summer associate position to begin with) has more than made up for whatever opportunities I lost by focusing on schoolwork during the semester. As it stands, I’m very friendly with three of the top students at my school, and have created a network of 10 more highly motivated/qualified young attorneys by virtue of my summer position. Adding into the mix the professors I’ve become close with and the attorneys I’m drawing into my web this summer (in spite of how I might come off after detailing my gunning ways, I have never been described as socially awkward), I think things look pretty good from a professional networking perspective.

HOWEVER… I think that the main criticism of my rigid schedule is not that I limited my professional network (even though some people may have framed it that way), but rather that it doesn’t leave room for anything but work. And in that, I absolutely agree. The flaw with my schedule, and even my networking utilization, is that it reads like something one of Ayn Rand’s protagonists would have developed. All sharp lines and utility, no room or time for any of the things that ‘normal’ people consider fun. It’s a very fair criticism, and one that I have no answer to. My year was extremely utilitarian, and while I actually enjoyed it quite a bit (for those of you who haven’t been in the workforce, savor this time. Even though I put in crazy hours, it was a relief from the working world.), I can’t say it’s for everyone. If I didn’t have the other pieces of my life in place (i.e. a wife and friends) I would probably feel worse about this, but the hand I was dealt entering law school already happened to be pretty decent.

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2011Cycle
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby 2011Cycle » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:38 pm

mscarn23 wrote:Thanks for all the responses and for reading (or at least browsing) what I had to say. I’ll respond to the couple of questions that I noticed.

First, it was my undergrad GPA that shut me out of T6 to begin with, which is why I decided that I should devote myself to working so diligently in law school. As an undergrad I had a much different outlook than I do now… I was rush chair of my fraternity, worked at Abercrombie, and spent my spare time reaping the benefits associated with those activities. School was not at the top of my list. I started working, realized how difficult it is to run a successful business, and by accident developed a work ethic that has stuck with me.

Second, as to networking, this is an ongoing argument I have with one of my good friends from law school. He suggested that I was doing myself a huge disservice by not branching out more, while I argued that by befriending a small number of students (who happened to all end up at the top of the class) I was maximizing my limited networking time. I guess my thought is that (with all due respect to my classmates who didn’t do as well and who are probably awesome either because of or in spite of this) I focused my energy on networking with people who could be of most benefit to my legal network. Put into context, my buddies from college are all cool guys, and we have a great time together, but they’re not going to help get me in the door with a federal judge or a prestigious law firm, because that’s not the kind of thing they’re into.

For me, this made things easy going in. I’m lucky enough to have a beautiful wife, so I wasn’t going to be chasing women. I’m lucky enough to have a group of friends from college and high school who are really fun, cool, interesting individuals, so I didn’t need to find a new group of besties. That left me with the goal of meeting a small number of people who were motivated to excel, and who could put up with my single-mindedness (it’s not surprising that the people who could tolerate my constant discussion of the law ended up near the top of the class.).

While I didn’t go out during the week very often, I hung out during the hours I’d scheduled for dinner, having a few drinks, hanging out- normal people stuff. The conversations often centered around the law (much to my wife’s displeasure), but in terms of creating a limited network I think it worked.

Lastly, I think that networking this summer (and my belief/hope during the school year that I’d score a summer associate position to begin with) has more than made up for whatever opportunities I lost by focusing on schoolwork during the semester. As it stands, I’m very friendly with three of the top students at my school, and have created a network of 10 more highly motivated/qualified young attorneys by virtue of my summer position. Adding into the mix the professors I’ve become close with and the attorneys I’m drawing into my web this summer (in spite of how I might come off after detailing my gunning ways, I have never been described as socially awkward), I think things look pretty good from a professional networking perspective.

HOWEVER… I think that the main criticism of my rigid schedule is not that I limited my professional network (even though some people may have framed it that way), but rather that it doesn’t leave room for anything but work. And in that, I absolutely agree. The flaw with my schedule, and even my networking utilization, is that it reads like something one of Ayn Rand’s protagonists would have developed. All sharp lines and utility, no room or time for any of the things that ‘normal’ people consider fun. It’s a very fair criticism, and one that I have no answer to. My year was extremely utilitarian, and while I actually enjoyed it quite a bit (for those of you who haven’t been in the workforce, savor this time. Even though I put in crazy hours, it was a relief from the working world.), I can’t say it’s for everyone. If I didn’t have the other pieces of my life in place (i.e. a wife and friends) I would probably feel worse about this, but the hand I was dealt entering law school already happened to be pretty decent.


Selah, my friend, Selah!

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driftwood6
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby driftwood6 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:18 pm

mscarn23 wrote:The flaw with my schedule, and even my networking utilization, is that it reads like something one of Ayn Rand’s protagonists would have developed. All sharp lines and utility, no room or time for any of the things that ‘normal’ people consider fun.


Hank Rearden would be proud. Thank you for this.

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

Postby notanumber » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:20 pm

Dude. If you come to YLS next year, please tell me that you'll chill out a bit ;)

But seriously, this is a great perspective and congratulations on your accomplishments.

kehoema2
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby kehoema2 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:28 pm

Thanks

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

Postby brose » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:54 pm

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


Can you answer this? lol

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

Postby NYC Law » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:57 pm

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


Can you answer this? lol


Judging from OP's intensity, I'm guessing all of them (even the non-law school related ones).

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swilson215
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Re: Guide to 1L Success from someone ranked #1.

Postby swilson215 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:09 pm

wow, great advice! thanks!

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

Postby crossingforHYS » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:14 pm

thanks for sharing---I want to tranfer so this will help!

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 6:23 pm

I think the nutshell was "introduction to the study and practice of law."

When I leave the office tonight I'll throw up an inventory of the supplements that I purchased in case anyone is interested.

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

Postby tothePAIN » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:40 pm

I, for one, would appreciate the list of supplements that you purchased.

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

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Jun 07, 2011 6:43 pm

So your recipe for success as a first year law student begins with obtaining an LSAT score of 177, attending a law school where your LSAT is significantly above median, being highly organized and motivated by a burning need to prove yourself worthy of a top 6 law school & studying like you were the last person admitted to the class with the lowest LSAT & GPA. I suspect the ten years of maturing work experience also helped. In short, be brilliant, be focused, work hard.

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

Postby 23402385985 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:15 pm

mscarn23 wrote:I think the nutshell was "introduction to the study and practice of law."

When I leave the office tonight I'll throw up an inventory of the supplements that I purchased in case anyone is interested.


Very much interested, for sure. I just started working on my first E&E for summer reading (about 50 pages in) and would love to see what you used over the course of the year.

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

Postby mscarn23 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:12 pm

Alright, so here’s a listing of the supplements that I used during 0L/1L year. I'm just sort of throwing these in here as I dig through them, so I apologize for the lack of a discernible order and the various punctuation I'm employing.

Prep:

LEEWS
Delaney “how to do your best on law school exams”
Delaney “learning legal reasoning”
Getting to Maybe
Planet Law School II
Law School Confidential
Guerrilla tactics for getting the legal job of your dreams…
Nut Shell “introduction to the study and practice of law”
Emanuel’s First Year Questions & Answers (I didn’t actually read this as prep however it has a rundown on every subject so I thought it fit best here. It has multiple choice and short answer questions that make nice reviews)
E&E- Torts, Civ Pro, Property, Contracts, Con Law (I’d forgotten I read the E&E as well as Chemerinsky).
Chemerinsky “Principles and Policies”
Delaney’s “Learning Criminal Law” (this book was interesting, but I think the E&E might have been more useful in retrospect).

Torts:

Emanuel CrunchTime
Questions & Answers
Gilbert Law Summaries written by Marc Franklin (we used his text book)
The Glannon Guide (learning through multiple choice questions)

Criminal Law:

Understanding Criminal Law written by Josh Dressler (we used his text book)
Questions & Answers
The Glannon Guide (learning through multiple choice questions)

Civil Procedure:

Questions & Answers
Siegel’s Civil Procedure
Acing Civil Procedure
A Student’s Guide to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Emanuel’s CrunchTime
Contracts:
Emanuel’s CrunchTime

Property:

Understanding Property Law written by John Sprankling (we used his text book)
Siegel’s Property
Questions & Answers
Constitutional Law:
Siegel’s Con Law
Questions & Answers
Chemerinsky “Principles and Policies”

Legal Writing:

I didn’t enjoy legal writing, and didn’t put very much time into it (it was by far my worst grade), however in preparation for Harvard’s write-on I bought Eugene Volokh’s “Academic Legal Writing.” Unfortunately Harvard’s write-on took place during my first week of work, so I wasn’t able to put very much time into the competition. I think I read on the TLS write-on thread that Volokh recommends spending about 16 hours a day doing the write-on (no idea if this is true or not, as I have yet to read his book)- I spent 4 hours a day at most and was happy just to finish the thing on time. If I manage to miraculously write-on (have faith when I say the odds are extremely long) I will certainly update everyone on my (lack of) a technique for doing so.

Various housekeeping matters:

Canadian Wolf- when you put it like that, it does sound a bit obvious.
Notanumber- if I manage to get into YLS, I will think about dialing it down a notch.
2011cycle- I guess I’m not the only one who knows what it takes to sell real estate.
Driftwood- if I told you I recently acquired a first edition of Atlas Shrugged, would that make me more, or less likeable in your opinion?

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

Postby lakerfanimal » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:21 pm

Thanks a bunch!

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

Postby 23402385985 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:32 pm

mscarn -- Would you recommend just reading the E&Es for your first semester class (IE leave off Con Law if you have it spring semester) and reading the remainder over winter?

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

Postby NarwhalPunter » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:48 pm

You are an absolute beast.

Congrats on a job well done. You must also have an exceptionally loving and tolerant wife to put up with that kind of schedule. Wow.

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

Postby northwood » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:58 pm

You are a beast OP.
Thanks for the tips! Good luck on your next endeavor




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