Is it too early to freak out?

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Apple Tree
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Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Apple Tree » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:56 pm

So we are past our mid point in the semester and I'm totally not where I had hoped to be in terms of preparing for exams. I find myself in this constant panic mood and blaming myself for not working hard enough. For outlines, except for one class where I'm cauthgt up, I'm only half way done of the materials we covered. It takes me a long time to finish outline for one chapter but I can't seem to speed it up because I have to read supplements, the book, and notes to process the information. I haven't read GTM, nor have I done much CALI. I have taken like 3 practice exams, but that's it. And of course there's new material that piles on every day and the cases (esp contracts and civpro) seem to be getting longer as the semester goes along.

I know this is kind of irrational, but am I doomed? Will I have enough time to catch up on outline and practice questions? Is there some strategy that I can utilize to speed up my study?

EDIT: The practice exams are midterms my professors posted for us to do at this point. I'm saving the old exams until later. But doing these practice exams made me realize how much I suck at legal analysis: wasting time on not important issues, having trouble finding the line between doing thorough analysis and rambling on, etc. This is the thing that stresses me out the most. I feel like I should be doing a lot more practice questions to practice on my legal analysis, but after outlining and reading for new materials I just don't have much time left.
Last edited by Apple Tree on Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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ph14
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:58 pm

Apple Tree wrote:So we are past our mid point in the semester and I'm totally not where I had hoped to be in terms of preparing for exams. I find myself in this constant panic mood and blaming myself for not working hard enough. For outlines, except for one class where I'm cauthgt up, I'm only half way done of the materials we covered. It takes me a long time to finish outline for one chapter but I can't seem to speed it up because I have to read supplements, the book, and notes to process the information. I haven't read GTM, nor have I done much CALI. I have taken like 3 practice exams, but that's it. And of course there's new material that piles on every day and the cases (esp contracts and civpro) seem to be getting longer as the semester goes along.

I know this is kind of irrational, but am I doomed? Will I have enough time to catch up on outline and practice questions? Is there some strategy that I can utilize to speed up my study?


It sounds like you're already ahead of the game. Keep on grinding and you'll be fine!

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cinephile
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby cinephile » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:00 pm

I'm always a fan of freaking out. I think it's a totally healthy way to deal with stress - one giant freak out rather than let it fester.

But seriously, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

kaiser
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby kaiser » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:00 pm

Taking practice exams this early is a dumb idea. You are wasting valuable tests that should be used down the homestretch when you know close to all the material, and are actually in a position to simulate a real exam as you prep for the real thing.

The fact that you are halfway through outlining the material thus far puts you well ahead of most people, who won't get started outlining until it is too late.

I never did GTM or much CALI myself, and got A's in most first semester classes. I think you are freaking yourself out more than you need to. You sound like you are very much ahead of the game, so don't feel behind (and hold off on those practice tests!!)

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ph14
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:06 pm

kaiser wrote:Taking practice exams this early is a dumb idea. You are wasting valuable tests that should be used down the homestretch when you know close to all the material, and are actually in a position to simulate a real exam as you prep for the real thing.

The fact that you are halfway through outlining the material thus far puts you well ahead of most people, who won't get started outlining until it is too late.

I never did GTM or much CALI myself, and got A's in most first semester classes. I think you are freaking yourself out more than you need to. You sound like you are very much ahead of the game, so don't feel behind (and hold off on those practice tests!!)


My school hasn't said anything about CALI. What is it and how can I check it out?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:07 pm

Relax. Without having ever met you, having just read this post, I can guess that burn-out will be the biggest threat to your success.

If anything, you are too on top of things. I actually found it valuable to outline the material in the week or two before finals; it allows you to contextualize the material, and makes it fresh in your mind, and you know where all the information was when you have to look things up.

Apple Tree
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Apple Tree » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:11 pm

I feel better now. I was so stressed out because it seems like everyone in my class is on top of things and I just didn't feel like I was.

ph14 wrote:
kaiser wrote:Taking practice exams this early is a dumb idea. You are wasting valuable tests that should be used down the homestretch when you know close to all the material, and are actually in a position to simulate a real exam as you prep for the real thing.

The fact that you are halfway through outlining the material thus far puts you well ahead of most people, who won't get started outlining until it is too late.

I never did GTM or much CALI myself, and got A's in most first semester classes. I think you are freaking yourself out more than you need to. You sound like you are very much ahead of the game, so don't feel behind (and hold off on those practice tests!!)


My school hasn't said anything about CALI. What is it and how can I check it out?

CALI is a website where you can view lectures on specific topics and do practice questions (mostly mc) to see if you have a grasp on the BLL. I haven't used it much but I heard the answers given could be different from what your professor taught.

http://www.cali.org

You should be able to get the password from your school library.

shock259
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby shock259 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:20 pm

Keep on plugging away. Only 1.5 more months to go. Anxiety is natural. It's a sign you are taking it seriously. Definitely a good thing.

I have a bit of a different/maybe crazy strategy: I've been getting ahead in the reading and outlines. So I've finished my reading and outlines for 3 of my 4 classes. I will continue to tweak and supplement them as classes continue, but they are all "good" on the past material.

For the next 1.5 months, I'll be furiously taking practice exams. I've found quite a bit from other schools with model answers, although it's been hard to come by. Main goal here is to practice 1) issue spotting, 2) writing BLL quickly and concisely, 3) analyzing and not being conclusory. Hopefully it will help me have nerves of steel when the actual exam comes around. I can also pick up on any problem areas sooner rather than later (and go back to hornbook/classnotes/whatever).

I also am going to look through some exam supplements. On my short list right now are: Acing series, exam pro series, CALI lessons, and a multiple choice supplement for my contracts class.

My only fear is losing some of the nuances/particularities that professors stressed during class time. I plan to thoroughly review class notes a few days before to put me back into that mindset.

*crosses fingers*

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ph14
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:21 pm

shock259 wrote:Keep on plugging away. Only 1.5 more months to go. Anxiety is natural. It's a sign you are taking it seriously. Definitely a good thing.

I have a bit of a different/maybe crazy strategy: I've been getting ahead in the reading and outlines. So I've finished my reading and outlines for 3 of my 4 classes. I will continue to tweak and supplement them as classes continue, but they are all "good" on the past material.

For the next 1.5 months, I'll be furiously taking practice exams. I've found quite a bit from other schools with model answers, although it's been hard to come by. Main goal here is to practice 1) issue spotting, 2) writing BLL quickly and concisely, 3) analyzing and not being conclusory. Hopefully it will help me have nerves of steel when the actual exam comes around. I can also pick up on any problem areas sooner rather than later (and go back to hornbook/classnotes/whatever).

I also am going to look through some exam supplements. On my short list right now are: Acing series, exam pro series, CALI lessons, and a multiple choice supplement for my contracts class.

My only fear is losing some of the nuances/particularities that professors stressed during class time. I plan to thoroughly review class notes a few days before to put me back into that mindset.

*crosses fingers*


How did you possibly have time for this?

shock259
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby shock259 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:51 pm

Haha. I'm not really sure. I go out at least 1 night a week. Usually 2. I do generally spend the rest of my time studying, though. My gf lives far away and I live by myself. I stopped playing videogames. I'd say I'm pretty motivated. I think my school generally assigns less reading than most, too. That probably helps.

I also don't read the casebook that intently, so it doesn't take that long. I just read it for the bll or other important facts related to why the holding came out the way it did. I don't brief either, just do 3-4 sentences on the basic facts, holding, and why. I spend a lot more time in the supplements. I've been using the E&E's, emanuel's, and the occasional hornbook (although usually I find unnecessary).

Again, this is just a combination of what I've gleaned from a ton of the TLS "how to succeed" threads. Can't really vouch for its efficiency yet. I'm sure I'm overstudying. But my goal is to be able to look back and know that I at least gave it my 100%.

My school doesn't cold call much either, which is nice. Only one class really. I usually review the reading for like 15-20 minutes before class (because I read it anywhere from a few weeks to a month or so ago). It's painful at times, but I don't really care too much.

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ph14
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:55 pm

shock259 wrote:Haha. I'm not really sure. I go out at least 1 night a week. Usually 2. I do generally spend the rest of my time studying, though. My gf lives far away and I live by myself. I stopped playing videogames. I'd say I'm pretty motivated. I think my school generally assigns less reading than most, too. That probably helps.

I also don't read the casebook that intently, so it doesn't take that long. I just read it for the bll or other important facts related to why the holding came out the way it did. I don't brief either, just do 3-4 sentences on the basic facts, holding, and why. I spend a lot more time in the supplements. I've been using the E&E's, emanuel's, and the occasional hornbook (although usually I find unnecessary).

Again, this is just a combination of what I've gleaned from a ton of the TLS "how to succeed" threads. Can't really vouch for its efficiency yet. I'm sure I'm overstudying. But my goal is to be able to look back and know that I at least gave it my 100%.

My school doesn't cold call much either, which is nice. Only one class really. I usually review the reading for like 15-20 minutes before class (because I read it anywhere from a few weeks to a month or so ago). It's painful at times, but I don't really care too much.


Still, that's pretty superhuman. I feel pretty on top of things simply by having an up to date outline and staying up on my readings haha. I guess i'm going to have to step it up now that we're getting closer to finals.

berkeleykel06
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby berkeleykel06 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 10:58 pm

shock259 wrote:Keep on plugging away. Only 1.5 more months to go. Anxiety is natural. It's a sign you are taking it seriously. Definitely a good thing.

I have a bit of a different/maybe crazy strategy: I've been getting ahead in the reading and outlines. So I've finished my reading and outlines for 3 of my 4 classes. I will continue to tweak and supplement them as classes continue, but they are all "good" on the past material.

For the next 1.5 months, I'll be furiously taking practice exams. I've found quite a bit from other schools with model answers, although it's been hard to come by. Main goal here is to practice 1) issue spotting, 2) writing BLL quickly and concisely, 3) analyzing and not being conclusory. Hopefully it will help me have nerves of steel when the actual exam comes around. I can also pick up on any problem areas sooner rather than later (and go back to hornbook/classnotes/whatever).

I also am going to look through some exam supplements. On my short list right now are: Acing series, exam pro series, CALI lessons, and a multiple choice supplement for my contracts class.

My only fear is losing some of the nuances/particularities that professors stressed during class time. I plan to thoroughly review class notes a few days before to put me back into that mindset.

*crosses fingers*


You are a crazy mother. I hope you make law review to make all that worth it, because that's a grotesque waste of energy if you don't.

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ph14
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:00 pm

berkeleykel06 wrote:
shock259 wrote:Keep on plugging away. Only 1.5 more months to go. Anxiety is natural. It's a sign you are taking it seriously. Definitely a good thing.

I have a bit of a different/maybe crazy strategy: I've been getting ahead in the reading and outlines. So I've finished my reading and outlines for 3 of my 4 classes. I will continue to tweak and supplement them as classes continue, but they are all "good" on the past material.

For the next 1.5 months, I'll be furiously taking practice exams. I've found quite a bit from other schools with model answers, although it's been hard to come by. Main goal here is to practice 1) issue spotting, 2) writing BLL quickly and concisely, 3) analyzing and not being conclusory. Hopefully it will help me have nerves of steel when the actual exam comes around. I can also pick up on any problem areas sooner rather than later (and go back to hornbook/classnotes/whatever).

I also am going to look through some exam supplements. On my short list right now are: Acing series, exam pro series, CALI lessons, and a multiple choice supplement for my contracts class.

My only fear is losing some of the nuances/particularities that professors stressed during class time. I plan to thoroughly review class notes a few days before to put me back into that mindset.

*crosses fingers*


You are a crazy mother. I hope you make law review to make all that worth it, because that's a grotesque waste of energy if you don't.


Nah, better to give it your best shot and walk away short than the other way around.

shock259
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby shock259 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:17 pm

^^ That's my goal. To be honest, my self-esteem will probably plummet if I'm stuck at median. But better to be there and have tried than to not have tried and ended up (presumably) lower.

At least this is how I justify it to myself. :P

Anyway, don't let me scare you. 90% of my classmates haven't started outlining yet. And I'm sure some of those people will do better than me.

One thing I forgot to mention before was that I also did a bunch of 0L prep, which probably helps with the synthesis of the material/big picture. E&E's, GTM, LEEWS, some hornbooks, Delaney, etc.

berkeleykel06
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby berkeleykel06 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:30 pm

ph14 wrote:
Nah, better to give it your best shot and walk away short than the other way around.


I don't think working ridiculous amounts is the same thing as giving it your best shot.

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crossarmant
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby crossarmant » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:40 pm

I'm in the same boat, I've done most everything that this site has suggested in terms of staying on top of the game and feel comfortable with a lot of the concepts but I am still freaking out.

I've read the E&Es over and over to keep myself fresh with all of the concepts, 2 of my 3 outlines are done, we have hypothetical discussions in class regularly, I got one of the few A's on my only midterm, started using hornbooks to accompany my casebook/E&E approach, but I just can't shake this feeling that I'm missing something. This feeling that despite my efforts, there is some kind of glaring issue with what I've been doing. I feel like I should start taking practice exams by now, but there's still about half a semesters worth of material that we haven't covered and I feel that it would be a waste of tests.

I can definitely feel ya, it's this terrifying feeling where you feel like you're not where you should be. Granted, I don't go to a T14, so competition and preparedness of my classmates may not be as high as yours depending on where you are.

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quiver
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby quiver » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:47 pm

kaiser wrote:Taking practice exams this early is a dumb idea. You are wasting valuable tests that should be used down the homestretch when you know close to all the material, and are actually in a position to simulate a real exam as you prep for the real thing.

The fact that you are halfway through outlining the material thus far puts you well ahead of most people, who won't get started outlining until it is too late.

I never did GTM or much CALI myself, and got A's in most first semester classes. I think you are freaking yourself out more than you need to. You sound like you are very much ahead of the game, so don't feel behind (and hold off on those practice tests!!)
This is exactly what I would have posted if I got here first. The advice about practice tests is especially credited.

071816
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby 071816 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:51 pm

Taking practice exams so early is a huge waste of time.

shock259
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby shock259 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:59 pm

berkeleykel06 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
Nah, better to give it your best shot and walk away short than the other way around.


I don't think working ridiculous amounts is the same thing as giving it your best shot.


Agreed. I don't think it is the work in itself that is going to help. But I'm not working for the sake of working. I'm working to get prepared. The work is a byproduct, and I don't see how it is harmful in any way. I know my limits and I'm not going to burn out.

If have you have any critiques of my study plan, let me know.

Kimberly
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Kimberly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:14 am

shock259 wrote:^^ That's my goal. To be honest, my self-esteem will probably plummet if I'm stuck at median. But better to be there and have tried than to not have tried and ended up (presumably) lower.

At least this is how I justify it to myself. :P

Anyway, don't let me scare you. 90% of my classmates haven't started outlining yet. And I'm sure some of those people will do better than me.

One thing I forgot to mention before was that I also did a bunch of 0L prep, which probably helps with the synthesis of the material/big picture. E&E's, GTM, LEEWS, some hornbooks, Delaney, etc.


Considering that I am a total gunner (much like I imagine you are), that I plan on having some time off before I matriculate, and I am from a science background (therefore no real basis for the legal world), I would be VERY interested in hearing your 0L study strategy. Can you expand on this?

r6_philly
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:15 am

chimp wrote:Taking practice exams so early is a huge waste of time.


Not if the guy has already learned all the BLL in the course.

I am no where near though, so it would be a huge waste of my time. :mrgreen:

r6_philly
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:20 am

Kimberly wrote:
Considering that I am a total gunner (much like I imagine you are), that I plan on having some time off before I matriculate, and I am from a science background (therefore no real basis for the legal world), I would be VERY interested in hearing your 0L study strategy. Can you expand on this?


I don't know what he did, but here is what I feel that would benefit someone from a science background: learn about econ and policy. I finished a MPA with emphasis on econ/finance before law school, and so far it's been worth all the time for me. Law and Econ is big, and policy is everywhere. Mastering those concepts will make the reading and following a lot easier.

Kimberly
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Kimberly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:27 am

r6_philly wrote:
Kimberly wrote:
Considering that I am a total gunner (much like I imagine you are), that I plan on having some time off before I matriculate, and I am from a science background (therefore no real basis for the legal world), I would be VERY interested in hearing your 0L study strategy. Can you expand on this?


I don't know what he did, but here is what I feel that would benefit someone from a science background: learn about econ and policy. I finished a MPA with emphasis on econ/finance before law school, and so far it's been worth all the time for me. Law and Econ is big, and policy is everywhere. Mastering those concepts will make the reading and following a lot easier.


You don't happen to have publication rec's do you? I would be very open to "Econ for Idiots" etc. I do have some policy experience but not theoretical concepts. Is there any utility in learning general info for contracts, torts, civ pro, etc? Would there be 0L type resources for this sort of thing?

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Lasers
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby Lasers » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:33 am

yeah, i'm stressing out a lot as well. i feel so unprepared.

i've got outlines from students that did well in my classes and have been editing and adding to them. i've only now started to actually study off of them, and am beginning to commit things to memory. i have also used supplements to bolster my understanding of material, and have made sure important issues from my class notes are included in the outlines (they usually already are).

i haven't taken any practice exams yet, and i was afraid i was already behind in this regard, but i'm glad to see most people are saying it's too early to do so.

for the next few weeks, i will just continue to edit and polish the outlines while memorizing and committing them to memory little by little. i think i'll line up the practice exams about three weeks before finals so i have time to take them under real conditions and then analyze which areas i need to improve most on.

r6_philly
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Re: Is it too early to freak out?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:34 am

Kimberly wrote:You don't happen to have publication rec's do you? I would be very open to "Econ for Idiots" etc. I do have some policy experience but not theoretical concepts. Is there any utility in learning general info for contracts, torts, civ pro, etc? Would there be 0L type resources for this sort of thing?


People are going to feel different about this, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. If you want to ease into law school subjects, start with civ pro. You can read an intro to procedures book (I didn't I happen to know a bit about the legal process). All the casebooks don't really ease you into the legal process, so if you have trouble even figuring out what's going on during the first 3 weeks - once you get behind it's really hard to catch up and get ahead. You can read E&E and hornbooks for the other subjects, but I don't find it necessary. Contracts is a bit dense if you don't really have any business experience, but properties and torts I find manageable because the principles are more or less common sense and based on established value systems (save for the econ arguments, which really depends on which professor you get).

As for econ, macro and micro. There are always econ/efficiency arguments on either side of opinions, so getting a good grasp on econ principles would be beneficial. I'd just go to a campus book sale or something and try to pick up cheap intro econ textbooks. My UG econ textbooks were great, I even reused them for my grad econ class.




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