Memo Woes

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TheFutureLawyer
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Memo Woes

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:35 pm

Fuck. 2nd memo due this weekend, and I'm maybe halfway through the research/outlining phase of it. Also, I probably got the worst or nearly worst grade on my first memo (I really procrastinated on it very badly). I haven't procrastinated on this one so much, but it is going excruciatingly slow it seems, and while researching and reading through cases that turn out to not be all that relevant, an hour seems like eternity. Mind if I ask any of you how long you typically spent on a memo (specifically this is draft 1 of 3 that is graded, which is actually pretty awesome)? Also, I have a midterm next week which I have not seriously started studying for.

target
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby target » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:20 am

first, keep inhaling and exhaling, that will calm you down a bit. different ppl have diff memo, therefore will spend diff amount of time on it.

then, you still have time to work on it since it's only wed night. when is it due exactly? Sat night? sun night? Work on it diligently the next two days-ish, then study for your exam.

YOU CAN DO IT MAN!

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law4vus
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby law4vus » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:22 am

GW?

They need to outlaw horses in CA. And fuck Volvo.

shoeshine
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby shoeshine » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:24 am

30 hours on a 12 page memo including research (used about 7 cases in the actual memo).

I suck at citations though. I literally spent 1/4 of the time looking shit up in the blue book

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beach_terror
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby beach_terror » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:26 am

TheFutureLawyer wrote:and while researching and reading through cases that turn out to not be all that relevant, an hour seems like eternity

Use the Lexis case briefs if they're available for the cases you're reading, that speeds it up/helps throw out irrelevant cases. Also, speed read them to start with. Separate them into relevant, irrelevant, and check again later piles. If nothing else, it'll at least make you feel like you're getting somewhere. Also, try to approach it as a "real lawyer" thing. Law school is over the top theoretical, getting to do some semi-practicable stuff can be interesting if you approach it the right way.

Hang in there.

zomginternets
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby zomginternets » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:49 am

I found that in LRW, your grade is directly proportional to your effort. Severe procrastination = lowest grade. Early start, lots and lots of draft editing, spending hours reading the law and finding a really good case to use = highest grade. I can't accurately recall the number of hours that I spent on my memo and brief (probably >80-100 hours for the brief), but it did win 2nd best brief in the entire class.

Unfortunately, LRW rewards the nerds who are really into memo writing and the topic given (more so than the substantive class anyway). I suspect that the root cause of your bad grade may be your lack of enthusiasm.

Of course, remember that the strategy that gets you the highest grade in LRW is totally useless in practice since you don't get months to write one memo/brief, so maybe you got the winning long-run strategy.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:01 am

law4vus wrote:GW?

They need to outlaw horses in CA. And fuck Volvo.


gravity cars ftl!

random5483
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby random5483 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:08 am

I spent about 20-25 hours on my only graded memo each semester, including research. Our LRW professor did have us each bring in a related case or two, about two weeks after the memo was handed out. I used those cases as a spring board to do my research. All in all, I probably spent 5-6 hours doing research, 8ish hours writing my memo and 8ish hours of proof-reading and editing. I wrote my memo the weekend before the memo was due and spent the next day editing it. I think I printed out 8+ paper drafts of my memo during the editing process. I booked the class both semesters.


Key to doing well in LRW classes:

1. Know what your professor wants: I spoke to my professor extensively during office hours to discuss my earlier ungraded memos (which all sucked because I was too lazy to spend much time on them). My professor was nice enough to tell me how I could improve my ungraded memos. With those suggestions, I tailored my graded memo to the exact standard she wanted.

2. Have perfect grammar: Grammatical errors are easy places to dock points.

3. Have perfect bluebooking: I was always good at bluebooking. Bluebooking errors is another easy way to lose points.

4. Do enough research: You need enough research to make a decent argument. Don't go overboard on the research, but make sure you have enough to cover all your basis. I used WestLaw headnotes/syllabi to determine which cases were worth reading. Do not read every related case, unless you truly have tons of time.

5. Follow the assigned format: Every LRW professor requires some kind of format. In exams we use IRAC. Often, in objective memos, they want CREAC(C). Follow the format your professor wants. Do not deviate from it. This sort of falls within the first suggestion.



The most important suggestion is the first. My memos were not great. However, they were tailored to my professor. She loved comparative language in the analysis and detailed explanatory paragraphs. I made sure my memo had both.

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kalvano
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby kalvano » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:27 pm

zomginternets wrote:I found that in LRW, your grade is directly proportional to your effort.



Really? Because I found it was completely random and entirely dictated by what the professor had for breakfast.

zomginternets
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby zomginternets » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:20 pm

kalvano wrote:
zomginternets wrote:I found that in LRW, your grade is directly proportional to your effort.



Really? Because I found it was completely random and entirely dictated by what the professor had for breakfast.



lol. I should probably clarify that matching your LRW teacher's subjective whims on argument and sentence structure is strongly correlated to grade as well, but I think that could be lumped under the "effort" of discovering what the teacher really wants. That, and face time w/ the prof outside of class, since our LRW assignments were not anonymously graded. So yeah basically, factor in ass-kissing as part of the effort.

While there's a bit of randomness (i.e. who gets the A+ versus who gets the A), I don't think it's quite as random as you suggest.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:39 pm

shoeshine wrote:30 hours on a 12 page memo including research (used about 7 cases in the actual memo).

I suck at citations though. I literally spent 1/4 of the time looking shit up in the blue book


Yeah, I was wondering how many cases you guys have found (you're GW too right?). The way I've been procrastinating is telling myself I need more and more cases...yeesh. What a treat this is...

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kalvano
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby kalvano » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:54 pm

zomginternets wrote:While there's a bit of randomness (i.e. who gets the A+ versus who gets the A), I don't think it's quite as random as you suggest.


My conclusion is founded on the fact that my friend and I turned in almost exactly the same paper, down to cases and arguments, and we got different grades.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:00 pm

Naked Dude wrote:
shoeshine wrote:30 hours on a 12 page memo including research (used about 7 cases in the actual memo).

I suck at citations though. I literally spent 1/4 of the time looking shit up in the blue book


Yeah, I was wondering how many cases you guys have found (you're GW too right?). The way I've been procrastinating is telling myself I need more and more cases...yeesh. What a treat this is...


lol @ treat. Also, for our class anyway, we went over in class about 7 different cases we had found (all together). I'm guessing for the memo I'm going to need like 15 or so.

Also, to the guy saying we needed to kiss-ass, grading is blind over here.

I also heard that LRW used to be ungraded up until a couple of years ago, and I thought that is way better.

Also, the memo is seriously cutting into midterm study time. And booze time (by eliminating it altogether this weekend). That shit is fucked up.

edit: oh yeah, to anyone out there, but especially GW students, wondering how much, if at all, you are delving into:
1) the mechanics of the gravity car
2) public policy / legislative intent

I don't think I'm going into either (for draft 1 at least), but a few people have been talking about how they've gone into one or the other or both.

shoeshine
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby shoeshine » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:08 pm

Naked Dude wrote:
shoeshine wrote:30 hours on a 12 page memo including research (used about 7 cases in the actual memo).

I suck at citations though. I literally spent 1/4 of the time looking shit up in the blue book


Yeah, I was wondering how many cases you guys have found (you're GW too right?). The way I've been procrastinating is telling myself I need more and more cases...yeesh. What a treat this is...


Not GW....ungraded LRW over here though. We are starting to talk about memo 3 which will have at least 12 cases I am told. I have no clue why or how we could use 12 cases.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:45 pm

shoeshine wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:
shoeshine wrote:30 hours on a 12 page memo including research (used about 7 cases in the actual memo).

I suck at citations though. I literally spent 1/4 of the time looking shit up in the blue book


Yeah, I was wondering how many cases you guys have found (you're GW too right?). The way I've been procrastinating is telling myself I need more and more cases...yeesh. What a treat this is...


Not GW....ungraded LRW over here though. We are starting to talk about memo 3 which will have at least 12 cases I am told. I have no clue why or how we could use 12 cases.


Damn. I would love ungraded LRW...boy would I.

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kalvano
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby kalvano » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:09 am

TheFutureLawyer wrote:edit: oh yeah, to anyone out there, but especially GW students, wondering how much, if at all, you are delving into:
1) the mechanics of the gravity car
2) public policy / legislative intent



Pretty sure this is an honor code violation at most schools with graded LRW.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:14 am

kalvano wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:edit: oh yeah, to anyone out there, but especially GW students, wondering how much, if at all, you are delving into:
1) the mechanics of the gravity car
2) public policy / legislative intent



Pretty sure this is an honor code violation at most schools with graded LRW.


First, snitches get stitches. Second, not even close to an honor code violation, at my school anyway. "Student may discuss legal theories and analytical approaches with other first year students during any stage of the writing assignment." Just can't talk about specific cases and whatnot.

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law4vus
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby law4vus » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:54 am

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
kalvano wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:edit: oh yeah, to anyone out there, but especially GW students, wondering how much, if at all, you are delving into:
1) the mechanics of the gravity car
2) public policy / legislative intent



Pretty sure this is an honor code violation at most schools with graded LRW.


First, snitches get stitches. Second, not even close to an honor code violation, at my school anyway. "Student may discuss legal theories and analytical approaches with other first year students during any stage of the writing assignment." Just can't talk about specific cases and whatnot.


Yeah, we're good on that. My LRW teacher almost stressed talking to each other as much as we can just as long as we fall short of sending each other our drafts to edit.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:14 pm

law4vus wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:
kalvano wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:edit: oh yeah, to anyone out there, but especially GW students, wondering how much, if at all, you are delving into:
1) the mechanics of the gravity car
2) public policy / legislative intent



Pretty sure this is an honor code violation at most schools with graded LRW.


First, snitches get stitches. Second, not even close to an honor code violation, at my school anyway. "Student may discuss legal theories and analytical approaches with other first year students during any stage of the writing assignment." Just can't talk about specific cases and whatnot.


Yeah, we're good on that. My LRW teacher almost stressed talking to each other as much as we can just as long as we fall short of sending each other our drafts to edit.


Hey, mind if I ask how much you or anyone you know is getting into secondary sources? So, to determine how a gravity car might or might not be considered a vehicle, are you looking at the mechanics of it? Looking at the legislative intent or any other articles?

goodolgil
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby goodolgil » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:24 pm

I wouldn't recommend secondary sources for a memo, unless it's something like a Restatement or language from a major treatise (e.g., Prosser on Torts) that judges actually quote from. Definitely no need (or use) for law review articles, etc...

shock259
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby shock259 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:39 pm

Odd. My honor code is that you can't talk to anyone about it or show a draft to anyone, minus the prof and TAs.

shoeshine
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby shoeshine » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:59 pm

shock259 wrote:Odd. My honor code is that you can't talk to anyone about it or show a draft to anyone, minus the prof and TAs.

I have heard things similar to this but the honor code at my school is much more liberal with LRW since it is ungraded. It just basically says you can't plagiarize. I feel bad for you suckers with graded lrw.

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kalvano
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby kalvano » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:06 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
kalvano wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:edit: oh yeah, to anyone out there, but especially GW students, wondering how much, if at all, you are delving into:
1) the mechanics of the gravity car
2) public policy / legislative intent



Pretty sure this is an honor code violation at most schools with graded LRW.


First, snitches get stitches. Second, not even close to an honor code violation, at my school anyway. "Student may discuss legal theories and analytical approaches with other first year students during any stage of the writing assignment." Just can't talk about specific cases and whatnot.



Jealous. I'm done with LRW and still jealous.

zomginternets
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby zomginternets » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:56 pm

shoeshine wrote:
shock259 wrote: I feel bad for you suckers with graded lrw.


It's awesome if you do really well. 8)

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SilverE2
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Re: Memo Woes

Postby SilverE2 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:41 pm

Ugh, fucking legal research. I spent 4 hours today finding cases for my brief in reference to some contract law, then discovered that I could have found all of those cases in about 30 seconds by using Lexis to tell me all of the cases in a state that fall under a subsection of the UCC. I wanted to kill myself.




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