No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

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Exeter
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No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby Exeter » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:33 am

Bottom 1/3 at t20 - lucky enough to have a job - clueless as to what I am doing wrong

Got first semester grades and they are low - I am lost as to what to do.

I find myself spending countless hours in the library reading my class assignments and supplements - I am usually the first person in / last person out and I attend all classes.
I take notes on my readings and supplements but I feel like I am doing this wrong.
I feel like I have gone about law school studying in all the wrong ways. Can any students here provide information on the best ways to study? Should I just focus on the big picture per assignment?

My apologies for the vague post but I am exhausted and pretty much frustrated beyond belief.

sillyboots
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby sillyboots » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:25 am

First, I'm sorry to hear about your results especially given the amount of effort you've put in. It sucks, but don't let it get you down or defeat you, because really it's all crap in the end.

Anyway, I think the first and best course of action is to meet with your professors to discuss your tests once they become available. I think that will be more enlightening than anything anyone says in this thread. Ultimately, it will likely come down to you either 1) didn't properly understand the material and the teacher pointing out what a proper understanding would have been will show you what's faulty with your approach to grasping the material or 2) you understood the material simply didn't understand the call of the question or how to go about writing the exam, in which case getting an explanation as to how a teacher would want you to approach the exam will be enlightening.

The only tidbit of advice I'll give outside of that is that at least for me I've always found it helpful to keep my eye on *understanding* the material as opposed to knowing it. Do I not only know the relevant law, but do I understand why it's the case (i.e. do I have a keen general sense of the underlying policies of the laws? do they all more or less make sense given what we've learned?)? I usually take it to heart if I can't answer a question the professor poses to me/someone else/the class, and take it as an indication that there's a gap in my understanding that I need to fix. Feeling at the end of the semester that you "understand" the law in that area as opposed to the feeling that you've memorized a series of seemingly independent rules is a really advantageous thing IMO.

Also note that all of this could come down to your exam-writing style. I'm sure that I beat out some other students in a couple of my courses that knew/understood the law in the subject much better than me just because I respected the heck out of the facts. I was amazed even looking at sample exams from the past year, how much time people spent regurgitating laws and legal principles instead of harping hard on the facts. I think concentrating on being as creative and deep as possible in your analysis as opposed to getting the law right will get your further in the end.

Finally, don't forget that if you made all the supreme court justices sit for a TTTT first year constitutional law class, a handful of them would get Cs. The curve sucks, and your relative position to other people isn't always an indication of your own prowess.

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traehekat
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby traehekat » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:19 am

how much did you practice actually writing exams?

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Always Credited
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby Always Credited » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:07 pm

Exeter wrote:Bottom 1/3 at t20 - lucky enough to have a job - clueless as to what I am doing wrong

Got first semester grades and they are low - I am lost as to what to do.

I find myself spending countless hours in the library reading my class assignments andsupplements - I am usually the first person in / last person out and I attend all classes.
I take notes on my readings and supplements but I feel like I am doing this wrong.
I feel like I have gone about law school studying in all the wrong ways. Can any students here provide information on the best ways to study? Should I just focus on the big picture per assignment?

My apologies for the vague post but I am exhausted and pretty much frustrated beyond belief.


I struck the parts of your post that have no bearing whatsoever on your grades. "Hours spent" "taking notes" on "cases" is not going to distinguish you from the pack. Here's the basic lawschool flowchart of win:

STEP 1: Do one of the following:
a) Put the Black Letter Law of a course into an outline of your own, and fill it in with your professor's own policy/nuances/bullshit views that you pick up in class. This doesn't need to be taken from cases - 99% of the time, supplements not only work but are preferred.
b) Use an old (as recent as possible) outline from your professor, check that the BLL is there, and then use all the time you'd otherwise spend making your own outline memorizing this outline and applying the rules from that outline in class. Again, fill in professor's bullshit as needed.

STEP 2: Do one of the following:
a) If your professor has practice tests available, begin taking these in November. At the same time, begin (continue) memorizing the BLL of the course - however you do this is up to you. I like index cards. Take all available practice tests. Knowing the law is worthless unless you also know how to apply it in an organized, timely, and accurate fashion.
b) If your professor does NOT have practice tests available, make sure your outline is completely memorized. You *should* do this anyway, but shit happens. Save your ace in the hole of memorizing an outline cold for when there's no tests out there. In addition, take 1-2 practice tests on the subject from anywhere else. Use them only for the purpose of recognizing your own weaknesses in applying the law and for organizational purposes, NOT for a preview of what's to come on your own exam.

STEP 3: Lulz at how you spend 50% less time studying and yet improved your grades dramatically. Drink heavily and fornicate for 2 days.


If you're at GW, feel free to PM me for more detailed advice on the courses and professors. But this is really what you should do. Any more than this and you're unnecessarily over complicating things and wasting time. Any less and you're probably doing it wrong.

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ben4847
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:13 pm

You have a job? Are you a 1L or a 2L?

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St.Remy
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby St.Remy » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:20 pm

Always Credited wrote:
Exeter wrote:Bottom 1/3 at t20 - lucky enough to have a job - clueless as to what I am doing wrong

Got first semester grades and they are low - I am lost as to what to do.

I find myself spending countless hours in the library reading my class assignments andsupplements - I am usually the first person in / last person out and I attend all classes.
I take notes on my readings and supplements but I feel like I am doing this wrong.
I feel like I have gone about law school studying in all the wrong ways. Can any students here provide information on the best ways to study? Should I just focus on the big picture per assignment?

My apologies for the vague post but I am exhausted and pretty much frustrated beyond belief.


I struck the parts of your post that have no bearing whatsoever on your grades. "Hours spent" "taking notes" on "cases" is not going to distinguish you from the pack. Here's the basic lawschool flowchart of win:

STEP 1: Do one of the following:
a) Put the Black Letter Law of a course into an outline of your own, and fill it in with your professor's own policy/nuances/bullshit views that you pick up in class. This doesn't need to be taken from cases - 99% of the time, supplements not only work but are preferred.
b) Use an old (as recent as possible) outline from your professor, check that the BLL is there, and then use all the time you'd otherwise spend making your own outline memorizing this outline and applying the rules from that outline in class. Again, fill in professor's bullshit as needed.

STEP 2: Do one of the following:
a) If your professor has practice tests available, begin taking these in November. At the same time, begin (continue) memorizing the BLL of the course - however you do this is up to you. I like index cards. Take all available practice tests. Knowing the law is worthless unless you also know how to apply it in an organized, timely, and accurate fashion.
b) If your professor does NOT have practice tests available, make sure your outline is completely memorized. You *should* do this anyway, but shit happens. Save your ace in the hole of memorizing an outline cold for when there's no tests out there. In addition, take 1-2 practice tests on the subject from anywhere else. Use them only for the purpose of recognizing your own weaknesses in applying the law and for organizational purposes, NOT for a preview of what's to come on your own exam.

STEP 3: Lulz at how you spend 50% less time studying and yet improved your grades dramatically. Drink heavily and fornicate for 2 days.


If you're at GW, feel free to PM me for more detailed advice on the courses and professors. But this is really what you should do. Any more than this and you're unnecessarily over complicating things and wasting time. Any less and you're probably doing it wrong.


Just as a side note, this is generally good advice for OP but it doesn't hold true for everyone. It doesn't really work in T10 or T6 where pretty much everyone can perfectly regurgitate the outline with the prof's opinions on command, you'll have to do more than that for a grade above median.

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BruceWayne
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:31 pm

St.Remy wrote:Just as a side note, this is generally good advice for OP but it doesn't hold true for everyone. It doesn't really work in T10 or T6 where pretty much everyone can perfectly regurgitate the outline with the prof's opinions on command, you'll have to do more than that for a grade above median.


LOL but it would work at Cornell and GULC? And I assume from the T6 thing it would work better at Michigan than NYU? LOL

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spacepenguin
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby spacepenguin » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:56 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
St.Remy wrote:Just as a side note, this is generally good advice for OP but it doesn't hold true for everyone. It doesn't really work in T10 or T6 where pretty much everyone can perfectly regurgitate the outline with the prof's opinions on command, you'll have to do more than that for a grade above median.


LOL but it would work at Cornell and GULC? And I assume from the T6 thing it would work better at Michigan than NYU? LOL


Notice he said 'or'. Notice also that his list isn't entirely exhaustive. But whatever.

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Always Credited
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby Always Credited » Thu Jan 19, 2012 2:05 pm

Damn, good thing I don't go to a T10 lawlskool then - all those dudes who scored 2 points higher than me on the LSAT would perfectly regurgitate that law right into my face and drop me from top 10% to bottom 10% in a heartbeat.


Look, if you're at a particular law school then generally you're smart enough to compete with the other people at that law school. If you're in the bottom 1/4, 1/3, whatever, of that class it probably isn't because you just aren't smart enough - its because you did something fundamentally wrong that others did right.

Usually this mistake can be cured by following what I posted above. Obviously I can't specifically diagnose a problem unique to a particular individual at a particular school facing differing levels of intellectual competition over the internet. I can give a generalized answer to a broad question, and that answer will be true at every school.

However, the basics are necessary but not always sufficient - what is sufficient depends on the individual circumstances, and that kind of help cannot be given here. Harvard probably requires a high level of analysis than GW to do well. But that doesn't change the basics which will (especially for 1L) almost always keep you in at least the top half of the class.

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johansantana21
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby johansantana21 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:16 pm

St.Remy wrote:
Always Credited wrote:
Exeter wrote:Bottom 1/3 at t20 - lucky enough to have a job - clueless as to what I am doing wrong

Got first semester grades and they are low - I am lost as to what to do.

I find myself spending countless hours in the library reading my class assignments andsupplements - I am usually the first person in / last person out and I attend all classes.
I take notes on my readings and supplements but I feel like I am doing this wrong.
I feel like I have gone about law school studying in all the wrong ways. Can any students here provide information on the best ways to study? Should I just focus on the big picture per assignment?

My apologies for the vague post but I am exhausted and pretty much frustrated beyond belief.


I struck the parts of your post that have no bearing whatsoever on your grades. "Hours spent" "taking notes" on "cases" is not going to distinguish you from the pack. Here's the basic lawschool flowchart of win:

STEP 1: Do one of the following:
a) Put the Black Letter Law of a course into an outline of your own, and fill it in with your professor's own policy/nuances/bullshit views that you pick up in class. This doesn't need to be taken from cases - 99% of the time, supplements not only work but are preferred.
b) Use an old (as recent as possible) outline from your professor, check that the BLL is there, and then use all the time you'd otherwise spend making your own outline memorizing this outline and applying the rules from that outline in class. Again, fill in professor's bullshit as needed.

STEP 2: Do one of the following:
a) If your professor has practice tests available, begin taking these in November. At the same time, begin (continue) memorizing the BLL of the course - however you do this is up to you. I like index cards. Take all available practice tests. Knowing the law is worthless unless you also know how to apply it in an organized, timely, and accurate fashion.
b) If your professor does NOT have practice tests available, make sure your outline is completely memorized. You *should* do this anyway, but shit happens. Save your ace in the hole of memorizing an outline cold for when there's no tests out there. In addition, take 1-2 practice tests on the subject from anywhere else. Use them only for the purpose of recognizing your own weaknesses in applying the law and for organizational purposes, NOT for a preview of what's to come on your own exam.

STEP 3: Lulz at how you spend 50% less time studying and yet improved your grades dramatically. Drink heavily and fornicate for 2 days.


If you're at GW, feel free to PM me for more detailed advice on the courses and professors. But this is really what you should do. Any more than this and you're unnecessarily over complicating things and wasting time. Any less and you're probably doing it wrong.


Just as a side note, this is generally good advice for OP but it doesn't hold true for everyone. It doesn't really work in T10 or T6 where pretty much everyone can perfectly regurgitate the outline with the prof's opinions on command, you'll have to do more than that for a grade above median.


LOL yeah, and people at schools below the T10 like Vandy, Cornell, all are mentally challenged.

Exeter
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby Exeter » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:49 pm

I believe my exam writing is what killed me. Would anyone be willing to take a peek at my exams and give me some feedback.

keg411
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby keg411 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:53 pm

Exeter wrote:I believe my exam writing is what killed me. Would anyone be willing to take a peek at my exams and give me some feedback.


Talk to your profs. They are the ones who know what they were looking for on the exams. Not us.

crazyblink653
Posts: 196
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby crazyblink653 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:54 pm

Exeter wrote:I believe my exam writing is what killed me. Would anyone be willing to take a peek at my exams and give me some feedback.


if you haven't already, you should read "getting to maybe."

nStiver
Posts: 388
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby nStiver » Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:26 am

Always Credited wrote:
Exeter wrote:Bottom 1/3 at t20 - lucky enough to have a job - clueless as to what I am doing wrong

Got first semester grades and they are low - I am lost as to what to do.

I find myself spending countless hours in the library reading my class assignments andsupplements - I am usually the first person in / last person out and I attend all classes.
I take notes on my readings and supplements but I feel like I am doing this wrong.
I feel like I have gone about law school studying in all the wrong ways. Can any students here provide information on the best ways to study? Should I just focus on the big picture per assignment?

My apologies for the vague post but I am exhausted and pretty much frustrated beyond belief.


I struck the parts of your post that have no bearing whatsoever on your grades. "Hours spent" "taking notes" on "cases" is not going to distinguish you from the pack. Here's the basic lawschool flowchart of win:

STEP 1: Do one of the following:
a) Put the Black Letter Law of a course into an outline of your own, and fill it in with your professor's own policy/nuances/bullshit views that you pick up in class. This doesn't need to be taken from cases - 99% of the time, supplements not only work but are preferred.
b) Use an old (as recent as possible) outline from your professor, check that the BLL is there, and then use all the time you'd otherwise spend making your own outline memorizing this outline and applying the rules from that outline in class. Again, fill in professor's bullshit as needed.

STEP 2: Do one of the following:
a) If your professor has practice tests available, begin taking these in November. At the same time, begin (continue) memorizing the BLL of the course - however you do this is up to you. I like index cards. Take all available practice tests. Knowing the law is worthless unless you also know how to apply it in an organized, timely, and accurate fashion.
b) If your professor does NOT have practice tests available, make sure your outline is completely memorized. You *should* do this anyway, but shit happens. Save your ace in the hole of memorizing an outline cold for when there's no tests out there. In addition, take 1-2 practice tests on the subject from anywhere else. Use them only for the purpose of recognizing your own weaknesses in applying the law and for organizational purposes, NOT for a preview of what's to come on your own exam.

STEP 3: Lulz at how you spend 50% less time studying and yet improved your grades dramatically. Drink heavily and fornicate for 2 days.


If you're at GW, feel free to PM me for more detailed advice on the courses and professors. But this is really what you should do. Any more than this and you're unnecessarily over complicating things and wasting time. Any less and you're probably doing it wrong.


I like the way you think man. I ended up doing worse than I would have liked, but I know it's just because I half assed it in the practice exam department. It really is an entirely different animal from what most of us spend the semester doing.

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Blindmelon
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby Blindmelon » Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:06 pm

Don't worry yourself crazy. In 1L me and a friend of mine didn't do as well as we wanted (worked like crazy ended up at median). I didn't really change a ton study-habit-wise - I probably worked less second semester, but I spent time talking to professors, reviewing my old exams and focusing a lot more on practice exams/making checklists for tests instead of preparing outlines. 1st semester I spent a ton of time outlining, etc. but I realized its not how I learn - you need to figure out what you do well and what you don't - I realized I rushed thoughts and didn't organize answers well and sort of vomited arguments on paper - after figuring this out and identifying it I did much, much better.

Also - law school is about getting a job not getting great grades. Do your best next semester, then try to hustle a job. 2L and 3L are when you can completely turn your grades around by taking easy classes and working harder while everyone else slacks off - my grades are much, much better than 1L 1st semester when I considered dropping out.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby Lawl Shcool » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:11 pm

St.Remy wrote:Just as a side note, this is generally good advice for OP but it doesn't hold true for everyone. It doesn't really work in T10 or T6 where pretty much everyone can perfectly regurgitate the outline with the prof's opinions on command, you'll have to do more than that for a grade above median.


This is not true, at all.

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thesealocust
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:32 pm

Drop out of law school.

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romothesavior
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:33 pm

spacepenguin wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
St.Remy wrote:Just as a side note, this is generally good advice for OP but it doesn't hold true for everyone. It doesn't really work in T10 or T6 where pretty much everyone can perfectly regurgitate the outline with the prof's opinions on command, you'll have to do more than that for a grade above median.


LOL but it would work at Cornell and GULC? And I assume from the T6 thing it would work better at Michigan than NYU? LOL


Notice he said 'or'. Notice also that his list isn't entirely exhaustive. But whatever.

Its still a retarded post.

Also don't even get started with Bruce Wayne and his reading skills. Are you aware of his qualifications? He only missed one question on reading comprehension on his LSAT!

Renzo
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby Renzo » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:21 pm

spacepenguin wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
St.Remy wrote:Just as a side note, this is generally good advice for OP but it doesn't hold true for everyone. It doesn't really work in T10 or T6 where pretty much everyone can perfectly regurgitate the outline with the prof's opinions on command, you'll have to do more than that for a grade above median.


LOL but it would work at Cornell and GULC? And I assume from the T6 thing it would work better at Michigan than NYU? LOL


Notice he said 'or'. Notice also that his list isn't entirely exhaustive. But whatever.


BruceWayne never misses an opportunity to be offended by NYU, even if he needs to misunderstand or imagine a statement to get there.

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romothesavior
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Re: No idea what to do - bottom 1/3 - T20 - any advice

Postby romothesavior » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:27 pm

Renzo wrote:BruceWayne never misses an opportunity to be offended by NYU, even if he needs to misunderstand or imagine a statement to get there.

But come on guys! Aren't you aware of his qualifications??? The dude is a master reader!




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