Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

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Bucky83
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Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bucky83 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:04 pm

Background: Went to a school ranked 71 (not hard to figure out) and did well. Just transferred to UCLA.

Two weeks into class I had no idea if I was doing enough work and felt unsettled. So I created a Google Doc and started to keep track of the hours I spent doing work outside of class, noting exactly what I was doing. When I started doing work I would punch in, when I stopped I would punch out. I continued through the rest of my first year (727 hours total). I figured 0Ls may find this information useful.

Here is a link to the doc.

I also wrote a blog post with a bit more info.

Feel free to ask any questions.

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Knock
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Knock » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:13 pm

Bucky83 wrote:Background: Went to a school ranked 71 (not hard to figure out) and did well. Just transferred to UCLA.

Two weeks into class I had no idea if I was doing enough work and felt unsettled. So I created a Google Doc and started to keep track of the hours I spent doing work outside of class, noting exactly what I was doing. When I started doing work I would punch in, when I stopped I would punch out. I continued through the rest of my first year (727 hours total). I figured 0Ls may find this information useful.

Here is a link to the doc.

I also wrote a blog post with a bit more info.

Feel free to ask any questions.


Thanks for sharing. It was interesting watching your hours go from relatively stable to increasing significantly as you got closer to finals. Did you have a week without any classes before finals or did you have finals directly after the last week of classes?

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Bronte
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bronte » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:16 pm

So if you were in class about 14 hours a week, you worked about a 40 hours week on average. Good for you. I think I worked more like a 60 hour week (but definitely didn't keep a timesheet), and was very successful. It varies from person to person, but people definitely overwork. People would always be surprised that I was finishing up work at 7 or 8pm during the last month or so.

Bucky83
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bucky83 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:21 pm

Knock wrote:
Bucky83 wrote:Background: Went to a school ranked 71 (not hard to figure out) and did well. Just transferred to UCLA.

Two weeks into class I had no idea if I was doing enough work and felt unsettled. So I created a Google Doc and started to keep track of the hours I spent doing work outside of class, noting exactly what I was doing. When I started doing work I would punch in, when I stopped I would punch out. I continued through the rest of my first year (727 hours total). I figured 0Ls may find this information useful.

Here is a link to the doc.

I also wrote a blog post with a bit more info.

Feel free to ask any questions.


Thanks for sharing. It was interesting watching your hours go from relatively stable to increasing significantly as you got closer to finals. Did you have a week without any classes before finals or did you have finals directly after the last week of classes?

Four days between last class and first final during 1st semester. Six days between during 2nd semester.

Bucky83
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bucky83 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:27 pm

Bronte wrote:So if you were in class about 14 hours a week, you worked about a 40 hours week on average. Good for you. I think I worked more like a 60 hour week (but definitely didn't keep a timesheet), and was very successful. It varies from person to person, but people definitely overwork. People would always be surprised that I was finishing up work at 7 or 8pm during the last month or so.

14 hrs of class first semester, 15 hours second semester. So yeah, total I was putting in around 40/wk and then ramping up as finals got close.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby ndirish2010 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:33 pm

Also did well and my timesheet was nothing like this, this was so interesting to look at haha. I am pretty impressed that you were able to finish by 9-10 every day. During the week before finals I saw the sun rise every day.

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theavrock
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby theavrock » Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:42 pm

As a 0L I've seen everything from people studying 40 hrs a week to 80 hrs a week. What do you think led to you being efficient enough to study in half the time as some?

Omerta
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Omerta » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:50 pm

theavrock wrote:As a 0L I've seen everything from people studying 40 hrs a week to 80 hrs a week. What do you think led to you being efficient enough to study in half the time as some?


Because you're keeping track of your hours, makes you really think about whether you're working. I kept a spreadsheet of my hours first semester and finished in the top 5 students. I stopped second semester and my grades for the semester were ~ top 20%. I know, correlation = causation but I definitely felt like it helped me significantly. I really regret not doing it second semester.

edit: my computer died, so I don't have my old sheet. However, I remember it was around 30-50 hours most week not including class. The most I had during a week was like 92 hours -- the week the final legal writing memo was due.

Bucky83
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bucky83 » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:12 pm

Omerta wrote:
theavrock wrote:As a 0L I've seen everything from people studying 40 hrs a week to 80 hrs a week. What do you think led to you being efficient enough to study in half the time as some?


Because you're keeping track of your hours, makes you really think about whether you're working. I kept a spreadsheet of my hours first semester and finished in the top 5 students. I stopped second semester and my grades for the semester were ~ top 20%. I know, correlation = causation but I definitely felt like it helped me significantly. I really regret not doing it second semester.

edit: my computer died, so I don't have my old sheet. However, I remember it was around 30-50 hours most week not including class. The most I had during a week was like 92 hours -- the week the final legal writing memo was due.

I think Omerta is on point here. When I kept track of time I was very conscious of what I was doing. I wasn't on Facebook, TLS, or Sporcle. I was doing work. If I wanted to take a break I clocked out. People may spend 80 hrs/wk in the library but it is unlikely they are actually doing that much work.

Also, doing this you'll have some time for life outside law school which will keep you fresh enough to last the whole semester. The balance will obviously be different for everyone. I recommend trying to get into a routine and tinkering with it until you find your groove.

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NYC Law
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby NYC Law » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:54 pm

Thank you for introducing me to sporcle.

missinglink
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby missinglink » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:09 pm

..
Last edited by missinglink on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bronte
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bronte » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:53 am

I think one of the big mistakes people make is to goof around while they "study" and to not really get to work until late at night. They tell themselves they're more efficient at night, but I think really they're just procrastinators. If you need to take an hour to work out during the day, that's one thing. But otherwise if you work nonstop all day, you can have the whole evening to relax, even during finals, and you can get to bed by eleven or twelve. If you get in the habit of working late at night but then have to get up for class early, you're also putting yourself under undue physical strain.

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thecilent
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby thecilent » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:19 am

How are you this compulsive and still only managed to get into loyola

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autocorrect
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby autocorrect » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:22 am

Bronte wrote:I think one of the big mistakes people make is to goof around while they "study" and to not really get to work until late at night. They tell themselves they're more efficient at night, but I think really they're just procrastinators. If you need to take an hour to work out during the day, that's one thing. But otherwise if you work nonstop all day, you can have the whole evening to relax, even during finals, and you can get to bed by eleven or twelve. If you get in the habit of working late at night but then have to get up for class early, you're also putting yourself under undue physical strain.



This is me. I'm a 0L and I know I need to change before school starts.


thanks OP. I really like the idea of keeping a time sheet, I'm going to give it a go. But I already know that Sporcle site is going to waste more of my time that keeping a time sheet will save.

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Bronte
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bronte » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:42 am

Set reasonable goals though. It's very easy to burn out, especially by second semester. I basically used a keep it simple strategy. Just fundamentals of academics and work ethic. I went to every class and paid attention the whole time, I read what I was supposed to read, but quickly without overemphasizing the cases (especially the facts), and made detailed outlines from scratch starting about halfway through the semester. Took a lot of practice tests towards the end of the semester. Used supplements lightly, mostly only after I started outlining, and barely at all second semester. Had a small study group (only three to four people), and we strictly worked, no bullshitting.

People try to use brute force and gimmicks to do well. It's mostly a failed strategy I think. But there's different learning styles as well.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:53 am

Bucky83 wrote:
Omerta wrote:
theavrock wrote:As a 0L I've seen everything from people studying 40 hrs a week to 80 hrs a week. What do you think led to you being efficient enough to study in half the time as some?


Because you're keeping track of your hours, makes you really think about whether you're working. I kept a spreadsheet of my hours first semester and finished in the top 5 students. I stopped second semester and my grades for the semester were ~ top 20%. I know, correlation = causation but I definitely felt like it helped me significantly. I really regret not doing it second semester.

edit: my computer died, so I don't have my old sheet. However, I remember it was around 30-50 hours most week not including class. The most I had during a week was like 92 hours -- the week the final legal writing memo was due.

I think Omerta is on point here. When I kept track of time I was very conscious of what I was doing. I wasn't on Facebook, TLS, or Sporcle. I was doing work. If I wanted to take a break I clocked out. People may spend 80 hrs/wk in the library but it is unlikely they are actually doing that much work.

Also, doing this you'll have some time for life outside law school which will keep you fresh enough to last the whole semester. The balance will obviously be different for everyone. I recommend trying to get into a routine and tinkering with it until you find your groove.


Sporcle? You calling people out? lol....

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Gamecubesupreme
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:29 am

Jesus Christ, I don't think I spent more than 20 hours a week even during exam periods...

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autocorrect
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby autocorrect » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:21 am

Bronte wrote:Set reasonable goals though. It's very easy to burn out, especially by second semester. I basically used a keep it simple strategy. Just fundamentals of academics and work ethic. I went to every class and paid attention the whole time, I read what I was supposed to read, but quickly without overemphasizing the cases (especially the facts), and made detailed outlines from scratch starting about halfway through the semester. Took a lot of practice tests towards the end of the semester. Used supplements lightly, mostly only after I started outlining, and barely at all second semester. Had a small study group (only three to four people), and we strictly worked, no bullshitting.

People try to use brute force and gimmicks to do well. It's mostly a failed strategy I think. But there's different learning styles as well.


I don't know if your implying that keeping a timesheet is a gimmick; I don't think it is. Even if it didn't make me more efficient when studying it's still useful to know where one's time is going.

But yeah, I bet most people who start a timesheet will stop tracking themselves after a day or two, so then it'd be useless. It seems like taking practice tests is the only thing across the board people recommend, the rest just varies on the individual .

Bucky83
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bucky83 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:57 am

thecilent wrote:How are you this compulsive and still only managed to get into loyola

An aversion to debt.

Bucky83
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bucky83 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:58 am

Kobe_Teeth wrote:
Bucky83 wrote:
Omerta wrote:
theavrock wrote:As a 0L I've seen everything from people studying 40 hrs a week to 80 hrs a week. What do you think led to you being efficient enough to study in half the time as some?


Because you're keeping track of your hours, makes you really think about whether you're working. I kept a spreadsheet of my hours first semester and finished in the top 5 students. I stopped second semester and my grades for the semester were ~ top 20%. I know, correlation = causation but I definitely felt like it helped me significantly. I really regret not doing it second semester.

edit: my computer died, so I don't have my old sheet. However, I remember it was around 30-50 hours most week not including class. The most I had during a week was like 92 hours -- the week the final legal writing memo was due.

I think Omerta is on point here. When I kept track of time I was very conscious of what I was doing. I wasn't on Facebook, TLS, or Sporcle. I was doing work. If I wanted to take a break I clocked out. People may spend 80 hrs/wk in the library but it is unlikely they are actually doing that much work.

Also, doing this you'll have some time for life outside law school which will keep you fresh enough to last the whole semester. The balance will obviously be different for everyone. I recommend trying to get into a routine and tinkering with it until you find your groove.


Sporcle? You calling people out? lol....


Hahaha. I am not going to name names.

Bucky83
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby Bucky83 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:11 am

autocorrect wrote:
Bronte wrote:Set reasonable goals though. It's very easy to burn out, especially by second semester. I basically used a keep it simple strategy. Just fundamentals of academics and work ethic. I went to every class and paid attention the whole time, I read what I was supposed to read, but quickly without overemphasizing the cases (especially the facts), and made detailed outlines from scratch starting about halfway through the semester. Took a lot of practice tests towards the end of the semester. Used supplements lightly, mostly only after I started outlining, and barely at all second semester. Had a small study group (only three to four people), and we strictly worked, no bullshitting.

People try to use brute force and gimmicks to do well. It's mostly a failed strategy I think. But there's different learning styles as well.


I don't know if your implying that keeping a timesheet is a gimmick; I don't think it is. Even if it didn't make me more efficient when studying it's still useful to know where one's time is going.

But yeah, I bet most people who start a timesheet will stop tracking themselves after a day or two, so then it'd be useless. It seems like taking practice tests is the only thing across the board people recommend, the rest just varies on the individual .

Completely agree with Bronte about reasonable goals. It is way too easy to go overboard the first few weeks.

Regarding the timesheet, different strokes. I am sure that part of the reason I did well was because of my compulsive nature that led to using the timesheet, rather than merely using the timesheet. I felt that it was helpful for me and I think can be a valuable tool for others, especially given the amount of Type-A's in law school (and more specifically, TLS).

awarunn
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby awarunn » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:30 pm

I think you probably did more harm than good in this thread by unleashing sporcle on these poor promising law students.

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NYC Law
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:32 pm

awarunn wrote:I think you probably did more harm than good in this thread by unleashing sporcle on these poor promising law students.


two days and I've already memorized every country. Oceania was a bitch though.

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brose
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby brose » Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:19 am

the OCD girl in me wants to total up time spent for each class and see if they're relatively the same. I never thought of this idea, will probably use it.

missinglink
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Re: Did well during 1L, kept a timesheet of my studying

Postby missinglink » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:59 pm

I know it's cliche, but the best advice is to work smarter, not harder.

Long hours aren't necessarily the way to smart studying for everyone.




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