Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

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let0927
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Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby let0927 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:55 am

I didn't perfect my studying until this past summer and I actually booked a class! The remaining of the past year, I barely passed some classes and I had a C average. The trick is, there are three things to focus on. The main thing is the rules that you pull from the cases. The second thing is what issues does this rule(s) apply to in the case and in general. The third thing is how does the rule apply to the issue and other similar issues. Those are the key things. If you focus on one of those, you will most surely pass but not by much. If you focus on two, you will probably make B's but if you understand all three and apply them correctly, You'll make A's.

The other trick is, on exams, you get the bulk of your points from application of the rules so if you cannot remember the rule that applies to the issue, make one up and then apply it correctly and you will get 90% of the points available.

Also, when the professor is lecturing or teaching, don't bother taking many notes, you should have most of what he has to say in your notes from reading. Focus only on hypotheticals and variations on the hypotheticals only.

Some basic things that will give you a boost:

1. Prima facie ( pronounced Prime-a faisha mostly but there are other variations) are the elements of the rule such as for a battery the prima facie elements are intent, harmful or offensive contact, and causation. That is the rule that you will apply to an issue such as in an instance when a guy hits a girl in the face with his fist. You will go through all of the elements individually and the issue will be whether the actions of the man was a battery. When analyzing on a test or in lrw, most professors prefer the IRAC analysis. Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion. The analysis will look something like this:

(Issue) The issue in this instance is whether the man committed a battery. (Rule) The elements of a battery are intent, harmful or offensive conduct, and causation. (Analysis) When the man knowingly hit the woman in the face, he showed intent because he did it on purpose or he was substantially certain harmful or offensive conduct would result and the actions caused the harm. (Conclusion) Therefore, there was a battery.

2. If you don't feel like reading, there are websites online that offer several briefs of the most popularly covered 1L cases in each subject. I use Lawnix.com, ecasebriefs.com, and 4lawschool.com. I try to find the brief on all the websites and take down my own brief. Then I'll go to lexis and look at the headnotes, which are the rules of the case, and then look at the overview. I started this in the second semester and did way better doing it this way. The only reason the professors want you to read is because of condition. Trust me, only the brightest kids of the brightest can pull all they need only from the casebooks, the rest of us need shortcuts because we don't want to study all of the time. At least know the facts really well in case you get called on but if you get called on early, you probably will not get called on later that semester.

3. The easy simple way to brief: briefs are only a way for you to quickly find the main things in the case quickly for studying and when you get called on. My briefs in the fall took me like 20 minutes to do, after I started taking the briefs from the sites, It took less than 5. Mine look like this:

Facts: A line or two about the basic facts.
Issue: The issue in the case.
Rule: The rule applied.
Analysis: How it was applied.
Conclusion:
Discussion: if any variances or hypos I think of, I put it here.

4. Hornbooks, E and E's, and Treatises. Buy them!! especially if the professor makes one. They break down the information into digestible formats. That was the other thing I would do aside from those cases, read them in my free time. A lot of professors will provide the chapters to read in the syllabus. My advice on this is start reading them early on and keep pace rather than trying to cram the reading at the end of the semesters. I would read them while working out or (TMI) put them in the bathroom.

5. Outlines. Get them from whoever you can and use them to make your own. Making your own outline from scratch is good but it’s not the most efficient way. If you make your own, most of the time you take making it is wasted in making it and you lose study time. The professors will discourage you from doing that but they just want you to go through the same hell they went through. You may not believe it at the beginning regardless of whether the professor says so or not but the stuff taught in each course is the same stuff taught across the country because of the multi-state bar exam, so most outlines will look similar. The one thing I did do was compare the outlines to the syllabus in each class so that I was not doing studying more than necessary and so that I may need to find another section that that particular outline may not have had. I outlined first semester and it was horrible.

6. The buzz around the school. Try to ignore the masses, they are the average and will be in the middle. You have valuable insight now from me that I wish I had a year ago. I know that if I knew then what I know now, I know I would have been at least top 20 in the class.

IthacaIsWet
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby IthacaIsWet » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:32 pm

let0927 wrote:The other trick is, on exams, you get the bulk of your points from application of the rules so if you cannot remember the rule that applies to the issue, make one up and then apply it correctly and you will get 90% of the points available.


Note: This varies VASTLY by professor. If you make up the wrong rule with some professors, they'll probably be harsher then if you guess at it and come close.

Also, when the professor is lecturing or teaching, don't bother taking many notes, you should have most of what he has to say in your notes from reading. Focus only on hypotheticals and variations on the hypotheticals only.


This may or may not be terrible advice, depending on the student. My notes tended to be substantive and summarized, and I did well. Others who spend more time briefing or notating in books may have the basics there, but by focusing on the substantive things the professor says in class, you learn how HE(or SHE) likes it phrased and what they consider important. I wrote down very very few hypotheticals because they're only good for helping to grasp the concept that first time, and didn't help me study at the end of the semester,

When analyzing on a test or in lrw, most professors prefer the IRAC analysis. Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion. The analysis will look something like this:

(Issue) The issue in this instance is whether the man committed a battery. (Rule) The elements of a battery are intent, harmful or offensive conduct, and causation. (Analysis) When the man knowingly hit the woman in the face, he showed intent because he did it on purpose or he was substantially certain harmful or offensive conduct would result and the actions caused the harm. (Conclusion) Therefore, there was a battery.


I vastly preferred CRAC. Conclusion, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion:

"D likely battered V. Battery is committed when there is offensive contact, intent, and causation. Here, D leaned over and punched V in the face, which will likely be viewed as intent. The punch resulted in physical contact which was harmful to V, and D's actions directly cause his fist to come into contact with V's face. Thus, D likely battered V."

It probably seems awkward to state your conclusion first and last, but it tells them what your bottom line is, tells them you know the rule, demonstrates that you can apply the law to the facts, and then wraps it all in a nice package at the end. It worked well for me.

2. If you don't feel like reading, there are websites online that offer several briefs of the most popularly covered 1L cases in each subject. I use Lawnix.com, ecasebriefs.com, and 4lawschool.com. I try to find the brief on all the websites and take down my own brief. Then I'll go to lexis and look at the headnotes, which are the rules of the case, and then look at the overview. I started this in the second semester and did way better doing it this way. The only reason the professors want you to read is because of condition. Trust me, only the brightest kids of the brightest can pull all they need only from the casebooks, the rest of us need shortcuts because we don't want to study all of the time. At least know the facts really well in case you get called on but if you get called on early, you probably will not get called on later that semester.

3. The easy simple way to brief: briefs are only a way for you to quickly find the main things in the case quickly for studying and when you get called on. My briefs in the fall took me like 20 minutes to do, after I started taking the briefs from the sites, It took less than 5. Mine look like this:

Facts: A line or two about the basic facts.
Issue: The issue in the case.
Rule: The rule applied.
Analysis: How it was applied.
Conclusion:
Discussion: if any variances or hypos I think of, I put it here.


I absolutely disagree. Read for class. Every day. it sucks, and it's dense, but I swear the two secrets to law school are reading and attendance. Online case briefs can not and should not replace actual reading on your own. When you read and struggle with the cases, and try and figure out the holding yourself, you'll find that it makes more sense when you then go out an use a canned brief.

I stopped briefing on my own about a month or two into law school. But I always read and made sure I understood what the hell I was supposed to be reading before I went and got the canned briefs.

6. The buzz around the school. Try to ignore the masses, they are the average and will be in the middle. You have valuable insight now from me that I wish I had a year ago. I know that if I knew then what I know now, I know I would have been at least top 20 in the class.


This might be the best advice. Seriously, fuck what your classmates are saying and doing. The guy in the library 24/7 isn't studying any better than you are. The girl with a stack of supplements isn't more prepared than you are. The person panicking about not being ready isn't doing anything other than stressing everyone out.

Do your own thing. Do your reading. Go to class. Get enough sleep. Hang out and have a beer with your friends. Chill the fuck out. Law School is overwhelming, but it's a marathon and not a sprint. Stay steady, and keep your pace. Don't freak out and burn out.

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby Tim0thy222 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:01 pm

Am I reading this right that you had a C average, and are now on TLS giving the tricks to doing well? I think it's great that you are considering what you could have done better, but since you still have a C average and have not actually tested these "tricks" yet, how do we know they work?

This reminds me of a guy I know who is twice divorced, treated both his wives terribly, and is now a marriage counselor. Shouldn't you have proven your advice works before you share it?

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northwood
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby northwood » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:14 pm

thanks for the help!

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let0927
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby let0927 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:05 pm

This was not intended to be a guide for law school by no means. Yes I have a C average but after I learned all of this, I have since received two A's, a high B and one of the A's was tops in the class. And reading is preferential. The highest and most recent grades I received have come when I did not read at all but went to class and paid attention and followed the tips that I provided. The truth is, everyone else is reading the same material that you are and in that case, you will need special insight to put you ahead of those because some people are better at reading than others. If 100-300 1L's all read the same material, they will all do differently based on how well they understand the material.

And I have tested my "theories" which began in January and continue today. If you do not agree with me, move on but no need to bash someone and compare them to a crappy husband because of my honesty.

anonymcoffee
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby anonymcoffee » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:09 am

the biggest issue I have with TLS is the constant advice to do all of your own outlines. I totally agree with you in just getting a good outline and adding stuff to it, taking practice tests, and just reading over the material. My best exam grades were for classes I didn't have time to do my own outline and used old classmates' and my notes. God, I wasted so much time putting stuff I already knew in a nice little format and not actually learning anything. I shouldn't have changed what I did in undergrad.

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Tim0thy222
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby Tim0thy222 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:19 am

let0927 wrote:This was not intended to be a guide for law school by no means. Yes I have a C average but after I learned all of this, I have since received two A's, a high B and one of the A's was tops in the class. And reading is preferential. The highest and most recent grades I received have come when I did not read at all but went to class and paid attention and followed the tips that I provided. The truth is, everyone else is reading the same material that you are and in that case, you will need special insight to put you ahead of those because some people are better at reading than others. If 100-300 1L's all read the same material, they will all do differently based on how well they understand the material.

And I have tested my "theories" which began in January and continue today. If you do not agree with me, move on but no need to bash someone and compare them to a crappy husband because of my honesty.


ok, i admit the analogy, and what i said in general was a bit harsh. i apologize for that. i was just trying to get at what made your advice valuable, and i think i see it now.

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evilxs
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby evilxs » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:48 am

Mad props on booking the class, this advice is similar to what I do and it works well for me. It is all about application to make the difference from B+ to the A range.

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shepdawg
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby shepdawg » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:03 pm

It would be really easy to book one class if you neglect all of your other classes and study hard for one. Not the best strategy in my opinion.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:09 pm

I know this makes me sound like an asshole, and someone sort of said it already, but if you have a C average, you really don't have any good advice for anyone to follow. Even a blind squirrel eventually gets a nut.

To paraphrase, you said to "don't read and just go to class," which is horrible advice. If this worked for you, it was sheer coincidence and luck, because I guarantee you the people in your school with the A averages read the materials assigned before every class.

"And reading is preferential." No, it is what you should do if you are going to be a good lawyer.

"[S]ome people are better at reading than others." Yes.

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vamedic03
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:23 pm

I wouldn't trust OP's advice for many reasons, but amongst others:

(1) OP's advice is internally inconsistent:

(a) He advises against taking notes when the professor is lecturing. Why? Because he says that those are in your notes from reading, yet

(b) He advises against reading, and

(c) He states: "only the brightest kids of the brightest can pull all they need only from the casebooks."

(2) OP's suggestion that "the stuff taught in each course is the same stuff taught across the country because of the multi-state bar exam, so most outlines will look similar" is wrong. Professors don't care about what's on the bar exam and there is substantial variation between classes at a given school, let alone across the country.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby YourCaptain » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:11 pm

This is horrifically bad advice.

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let0927
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby let0927 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:32 pm

Again, if you don't like the advice, move on. This is from my point of view. I did book a class and in the rest of them made high B's and A's. Studying is subjective to the person. If this advice does not work for you then try something different. There is no need for name calling. No where in my statement did I say,"this is the only way to study, all other ways do not work." I have been honest and revealed my G.P.A. Why don't some of the haters be honest and reveal their class standing or whether they are even law students. Before you judge, prepare to be judged.

And I never said that I don't read and just go to class. I said, if you don't like to read or don't want to read, there are other alternatives. I use a combination of both. The fact of the matter is you are graded on the final exam only. Whether or not the test is open note is up to your school. Mine are not. That may help sway some of the confusion. Also, I have used several outlines gathered from across the internet and they have helped tremendously. Professors teach from textbooks, textbooks are published by professors who want the textbooks bought, the A.B.A. regulates all of the curricula across the country as far as accredited law schools go. If you are going to an institution that is not setting you up to pass the bar, that is your loss. My school teaches practicality and has had on average the highest bar passage rate in my state. It may not be Harvard, but I wouldn't want to go to Harvard. Not everyone can/will go to a top tier school and not everyone wants to. Every law school serves a purpose in our society.
Last edited by let0927 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grizz
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby Grizz » Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:35 pm

let0927 wrote:Again, if you don't like the advice, move on. This is from my point of view. I did book a class and in the rest of them made high B's and A's. Studying is subjective to the person. If this advice does not work for you then try something different. There is no need for name calling. No where in my statement did I say,"this is the only way to study, all other ways do not work." I have been honest and revealed my G.P.A. Why don't some of the haters be honest and reveal their class standing or whether they are even law students. Before you judge, prepare to be judged.

If you don't want critiques, don't post on the internet.

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vamedic03
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:12 am

let0927 wrote:Again, if you don't like the advice, move on. This is from my point of view. I did book a class and in the rest of them made high B's and A's. Studying is subjective to the person. If this advice does not work for you then try something different. There is no need for name calling. No where in my statement did I say,"this is the only way to study, all other ways do not work." I have been honest and revealed my G.P.A. Why don't some of the haters be honest and reveal their class standing or whether they are even law students. Before you judge, prepare to be judged.

And I never said that I don't read and just go to class. I said, if you don't like to read or don't want to read, there are other alternatives. I use a combination of both. The fact of the matter is you are graded on the final exam only. Whether or not the test is open note is up to your school. Mine are not. That may help sway some of the confusion. Also, I have used several outlines gathered from across the internet and they have helped tremendously. Professors teach from textbooks, textbooks are published by professors who want the textbooks bought, the A.B.A. regulates all of the curricula across the country as far as accredited law schools go. If you are going to an institution that is not setting you up to pass the bar, that is your loss. My school teaches practicality and has had on average the highest bar passage rate in my state. It may not be Harvard, but I wouldn't want to go to Harvard. Not everyone can/will go to a top tier school and not everyone wants to. Every law school serves a purpose in our society.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Helpful/insightful Advice for Your 1L

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:17 am

lol




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