Below median and bewildered

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:56 pm

sillyboots wrote:beta blockers are a class of drugs that are sometimes taken on the underground to reduce performance anxiety. Basically, they stop your fight-or-flight response, AFAIK.


I don't think taking beta blockers on the underground is recommended or prudent...

Adverse drug reactions associated with the use of beta blockers include: nausea, diarrhea, bronchospasm, dyspnea, cold extremities, exacerbation of Raynaud's syndrome, bradycardia, hypotension, heart failure, heart block, fatigue, dizziness, alopecia (hair loss), abnormal vision, hallucinations, insomnia, nightmares, sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction and/or alteration of glucose and lipid metabolism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_blocker

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Advice Dog
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Advice Dog » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:10 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Advice Dog wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:
Advice Dog wrote:Law school grading is pretty random because it's incredibly difficult to make meaningful distinctions between 100 exams that all say essentially the same thing in slightly different ways. Plus, many professors are lazy. It's another reason why law school is a joke. First semester of 1L, my GPA was just under median. Second semester GPA was somewhere like top 5%. Didn't change a thing about the way I studied, except perhaps did less of it.

lol law school.


I don't want to derail this thread into this same old argument again. Just know that your depiction of grading as "random" is wrong. It probably makes some sense for the exams clusterd tightly between the top quarter and the bottom quarter. However, there is a clear difference in quality between the best exams, mediocre exams, and the bad ones. This accounts for students who consistently snag the best grades (the ones who just "get it"), which wouldn't be possible if it were truly random.

/derail


At a good school full of smart people who all know what's going on, a relatively "easy" test is going to generate a large pool of substantially similar looking exams. Sure, you can parse the A's from the C's (or whatever the bottom of the curve is at the school), but you're going to have a ton of similar "good" exams that have to lumped into the A-, B+, B categories.

Most of my professors did not use a rubric. Most did not use short answers. Lengthy issue spotters and policy questions invite frivolous and inconsistent distinctions by lazy professors after weeding out the really good and really bad exams.


Bitter? I wouldn't immediately call a professor lazy because they use lengthy issue spotters. Nor would I assume that they are arbitrary because they do not use a rubric.


Not bitter. I have good grades and a good job, so I suppose law school did its job. But I'm fortunate; it was more luck than skill, as is the nature of law school. I have no doubt that people who wrote better exams than me got worse grades. I just see law school for what it is -- a dog and pony show.

Also, if you read what I wrote, I'm not calling all professors who write issue spotters lazy. Rather, I'm saying that when lazy professors use issue spotters and policy questions, it invites arbitrary distinctions.

truevines
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby truevines » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:56 pm

sillyboots wrote:beta blockers are a class of drugs that are sometimes taken on the underground to reduce performance anxiety. Basically, they stop your fight-or-flight response, AFAIK.


Beta-blockers are good for presentations or interviews, both OCI and callbacks.

I tried beta-blockers on my moot-court argument, OCI interviews, and callbacks. They fully stopped my fight-or-flight responses. I spoke more slowly than I usually did; I was softer than normal. I also found that my thinking slowed down a bit. In other words, I was nicer but dumber when I was on beta-blockers. That helped my oral argument because I spoke and thought more slowly than usual and thus made my statements more clear. That also made me more friendly during interviews.

I doubt beta-blockers would help me during exams by slowing down my thinking and maybe typing speed. In any event, you should try beta-blockers several times and observe your responses to them before the real game.

wildhaggis
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby wildhaggis » Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:50 pm

I haven't read through all of the previous posts, so I'm not sure if the OP is still looking for advice or not, but here goes...

I think you're probably over-thinking the whole "art" of exam-taking. Just like people get bogged down in the unnecessary aspects of cases and end up misguided around exam time as to what is expected of them, plenty of people get bogged down in LEEWS and GTM and whatever else. While GTM is a good starting point, and even a good framework to have when thinking about a law exam, it can definitely over-complicate exam-taking if one tries to adhere to their formula too much. For God's sake, I once saw a guy outlining GTM. Hopefully I don't need to point out that that is absolutely ridiculous.

I think it helps to look at things this way, assuming we're talking about the traditional issue-spotter. For all of your classes, make a list of the law you learned in class as discrete causes of action that one party could bring against another in any given factual scenario. Make sure you have each cause of action written down as a test with steps that need to be satisfied before a party can be successful in bringing that cause of action. These causes of action are all you need to know for any class. When you sit down and read the fact patterns on your exams, write down all of the parties. Every single issue on the exam will flow out of the interactions between the parties in the fact pattern, and they all have to come from the causes of action you learned about in class. Organize your test according to legal disputes between parties (i.e. Tom v. Jim, or Alice v. Dale), because every issue has to come from some kind of potential legal conflict arising from the fact pattern. Under each legal dispute heading, say who might sue who for what, and go through the test, making the arguments you would expect both sides to make if they were actually arguing in front of a judge, and point out the likely outcome given the cases you've studied in class without being too conclusory. Write the test like you were writing a memorandum to a supervising attorney who wants to know who can sue who for what in a given factual scenario, and what they can expect to hear in court.

HTH

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I.P. Daly
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby I.P. Daly » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:06 pm

wildhaggis wrote:For God's sake, I once saw a guy outlining GTM.
HTH


Once you're in law school long enough, you automatically start outlining newspaper articles and blog posts...

What is the rule in this TMZ column???

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zeth006
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby zeth006 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:35 am

smittytron3k wrote:Also, my general opinion is that supplements are largely useless (the BLL is not that hard, generally) and that detailed class notes are incredibly, incredibly important (especially to the extent that they signal the issues that the professors consider to be most important), but that clearly is not received wisdom on this site and YMMV.



Starting to realize this more and more. It seems to me supplements are useful only when the prof likes to hide the ball. That's where they fill in any BLL gaps. Bought the E&E for evidence but finding it's just good for review.

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zeth006
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby zeth006 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:40 am

NYC Law wrote:Didn't see that extra conflict pairs part. Yeah, never ever ever do what isn't asked in the question. You can get creative with that stuff when it asks to 'address all claims', but always look at and closely follow the directions.



Might explain why I did alright in a class I thought I'd failed. Prof on his essays hinted at the specific issues he wanted us to address, but went ahead and said "and any other issues that may arise from doing XYZ." Even gave us 2 hours to work on them even though the hypos weren't that long.

LawMan20
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby LawMan20 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:43 am

zeth006 wrote:
smittytron3k wrote:Also, my general opinion is that supplements are largely useless (the BLL is not that hard, generally) and that detailed class notes are incredibly, incredibly important (especially to the extent that they signal the issues that the professors consider to be most important), but that clearly is not received wisdom on this site and YMMV.



Starting to realize this more and more. It seems to me supplements are useful only when the prof likes to hide the ball. That's where they fill in any BLL gaps. Bought the E&E for evidence but finding it's just good for review.


This is definitely the way to go. Anyone that reads full chapters of E&E's or other supplements before going over the material in class is misguided. Every class I've taken either has more or less than the E&E or other supplements, but never the same. Supplements should be used solely to clear up misunderstandings or to gain a better understanding of material that isn't completely clear.

markymark
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby markymark » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:59 pm

Peg wrote:I worked really, really hard last semester, but I thought I was working "smart". Instead of focusing on the casebook readings, I focused on the BLL. I read my professors' law review articles to pick their mind, figure out what they were interested in, and learn their biases. I took good notes in class. I used supplements like LEEWS and GTM. I didn't go out and socialize - didn't attend a single bar review. Pretty sure half my section doesn't know who I am, in fact. I looked at past exams and sample responses to those exams. I did practice exams and compared my responses.

I even used a supplement that very few others in my class knew about, which had been recommended to me by a 2L in the top 10%, and I felt like I aced my exams. Almost nothing in those exams surprised me or seemed impossible. I was very calm and focused during my exams (beta-blockers), and I thought my answers were creative and showed sophisticated application of basic doctrine, like Glannon preaches.

But I also got my 7 hours of sleep each night. I didn't feel burned out. I felt invigorated, and I felt I was using my time efficiently.

I ended up below median. Not even at median, below median.

I have appointments to meet my professors today and on Monday and go over the exams, but I have spent the last few days full of grief. Grief is the only word that can describe what I'm going through. I did not deserve to be below median with the way I worked, I did everything right. I have been crying so much that my eyes hurt. It does not make sense. I've been going over my study method last semester in detail and I just don't know where I went wrong. My study plan seemed savvy and not the sort of mindless grinding that most hard-working 1Ls go through.

None of my mentors or my friends know what kind of grades I got. I am too ashamed to face them. I cannot talk about this with anyone in real life. Just thinking of the words "below median" is still unbelievable to me right now. In my worst nightmares I did not expect that.

Am I stupid? Is law school just not for me?



This is sad and just wrong.

chewy
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby chewy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:23 pm

Your fight or flight sense can help you on the exam. It can increase focus.




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