Below median and bewildered

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lobolawyer
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby lobolawyer » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:06 pm

You knew the job was dangerous when you took it (metaphorically). If you're a 1L, which I didn't take time to find out, you didn't know what you were capable of until you received your grades. And it was ill-advised to forgo case study. Somebody has to be below median, so saying that you didn't deserve it makes it seem like you're a self-important whiner. Either way, work harder and smarter (I don't think your approach was smart) and you can do better in the future...or at least the same as you already performed.

HTH

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bceagles182
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:08 pm

The problem here is that you're getting conflicting advice from a bunch of people on the internet who don't know your professors' grading styles or your learning style. Tips on these boards are things that worked for specific people with specific professors.

If you are struggling, the best way to rectify the problem is to meet with your professors from last semester and ask where you went wrong on their exams. Try to get generally useful information (e.g. you missed too many issues, you didn't go into enough detail in analysis, you didn't argue both sides, you misstated the rule, etc.), rather than class specific information (e.g. "you forgot to mention this on this specific problem")

After you have taken their advice into consideration, get practice exams from your new professors, take them early in the semester, and see if they will sit down to discuss your answers. Repeat this until your answers don't suck.

You would be amazed how willing some professors are to help out a motivated, struggling student.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:28 pm

I'm only one data point, but I want to register my disagreement with the YOU MUST READ TEH CASES crowd. Didn't read after the first few weeks, basically followed OP's plan and did very well. As with most things in law school, different strokes.

Plus, it sounds like OP didn't do well because of her exam performance, rather than her prep.

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Hannibal
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Hannibal » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:29 pm

bceagles182 wrote:After you have taken their advice into consideration, get practice exams from your new professors, take them early in the semester, and see if they will sit down to discuss your answers. Repeat this until your answers don't suck.


Why would you take practice exams with new professors and new subjects early in the year?

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bceagles182
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:36 pm

Because if you aren't good at taking exams then you need to give yourself time to improve. You can easily to do this by simply picking problems on subjects that you've already covered. For example, in Civ Pro, you could pick a hypo about personal jurisdicition soon after you have covered it, which for most 1L would be within the first couple of weeks.

As the semester comes closer to the end, it is much harder to get a professor to sit down with you

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Hannibal
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Hannibal » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:49 pm

bceagles182 wrote:Because if you aren't good at taking exams then you need to give yourself time to improve. You can easily to do this by simply picking problems on subjects that you've already covered. For example, in Civ Pro, you could pick a hypo about personal jurisdicition soon after you have covered it, which for most 1L would be within the first couple of weeks.

As the semester comes closer to the end, it is much harder to get a professor to sit down with you


Totally disagree with this. Save these practice exams for the end of the semester, use practice exams on the same subjects you already know from other professors.

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bceagles182
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:53 pm

Hannibal wrote:
bceagles182 wrote:Because if you aren't good at taking exams then you need to give yourself time to improve. You can easily to do this by simply picking problems on subjects that you've already covered. For example, in Civ Pro, you could pick a hypo about personal jurisdicition soon after you have covered it, which for most 1L would be within the first couple of weeks.

As the semester comes closer to the end, it is much harder to get a professor to sit down with you


Totally disagree with this. Save these practice exams for the end of the semester, use practice exams on the same subjects you already know from other professors.



Whatever. My point remains the same. The best way to diagnose and remedy the problem is to seek help from your professors, not the people on this board.

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romothesavior
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:26 pm

0LNewbie wrote:Plus, it sounds like OP didn't do well because of her exam performance, rather than her prep.

This. Reading cases is so overrated. I'd recommend OP does it since she didn't do well, but I hardly ever read for class unless the prof is a hardass, and my grades continue to go up.

lobolawyer wrote:You knew the job was dangerous when you took it (metaphorically). If you're a 1L, which I didn't take time to find out, you didn't know what you were capable of until you received your grades. And it was ill-advised to forgo case study. Somebody has to be below median, so saying that you didn't deserve it makes it seem like you're a self-important whiner. Either way, work harder and smarter (I don't think your approach was smart) and you can do better in the future...or at least the same as you already performed.

HTH


Also this. Very sorry to see this situation happen to OP, but let it serve as ample warning to all the special snowflake 0Ls who think they will be top of the class.

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calilaw
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby calilaw » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:30 pm

It astounds me how rigidly some people follow advice found on this website. Every course is different. Every student is different.

The methods promoted on TLS should only be seen as tools. Just like you don't need a wrench for a landscaping project, you might not need supplements (or whatever) for one of your classes. My CivPro professor encouraged the class to take a look at the Glannon text, which closely matched the cases in the casebook. Using it paid off. Meanwhile, my CrimLaw professor took a completely unique approach to that subject and relying on an outside source would have been absolutely foolish.

Same for reading cases. In my Contracts class I read and briefed everything because the professor relied on the Socratic method and I had to have everything ready to go. (however, for the final exam, the briefs were fairly useless). I would recommend always reading the cases, and I highly suggest briefing in the text with colored highlighters (green for facts, etc.). It's just so easy, there's no reason to not do it and if you do need to look back at a case, it's all separated out for you. Whether you actually write anything is something you should decide based on the course.

Oban
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Oban » Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:41 pm

Unfortunately you did not win the lawl skool game. Time to focus on jerbs and life, get drunk, get laid, do the minimum studying and you'll probably end up with the same grades.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:07 pm

calilaw wrote:It astounds me how rigidly some people follow advice found on this website. Every course is different. Every student is different.

The methods promoted on TLS should only be seen as tools. Just like you don't need a wrench for a landscaping project, you might not need supplements (or whatever) for one of your classes. My CivPro professor encouraged the class to take a look at the Glannon text, which closely matched the cases in the casebook. Using it paid off. Meanwhile, my CrimLaw professor took a completely unique approach to that subject and relying on an outside source would have been absolutely foolish.

Same for reading cases. In my Contracts class I read and briefed everything because the professor relied on the Socratic method and I had to have everything ready to go. (however, for the final exam, the briefs were fairly useless). I would recommend always reading the cases, and I highly suggest briefing in the text with colored highlighters (green for facts, etc.). It's just so easy, there's no reason to not do it and if you do need to look back at a case, it's all separated out for you. Whether you actually write anything is something you should decide based on the course.


So whether to read cases is an individual decision, but you would recommend always doing it? Seems inconsistent. Also, who cares whether you can perform in class for the socratic method? Grading is blind.

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calilaw
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby calilaw » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:13 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
calilaw wrote:It astounds me how rigidly some people follow advice found on this website. Every course is different. Every student is different.

The methods promoted on TLS should only be seen as tools. Just like you don't need a wrench for a landscaping project, you might not need supplements (or whatever) for one of your classes. My CivPro professor encouraged the class to take a look at the Glannon text, which closely matched the cases in the casebook. Using it paid off. Meanwhile, my CrimLaw professor took a completely unique approach to that subject and relying on an outside source would have been absolutely foolish.

Same for reading cases. In my Contracts class I read and briefed everything because the professor relied on the Socratic method and I had to have everything ready to go. (however, for the final exam, the briefs were fairly useless). I would recommend always reading the cases, and I highly suggest briefing in the text with colored highlighters (green for facts, etc.). It's just so easy, there's no reason to not do it and if you do need to look back at a case, it's all separated out for you. Whether you actually write anything is something you should decide based on the course.


So whether to read cases is an individual decision, but you would recommend always doing it? Seems inconsistent. Also, who cares whether you can perform in class for the socratic method? Grading is blind.


I said I recommend always reading the cases - that's something so basic I wouldn't even classify it as a "study method" or an "approach" to taking a class. The effort you spend briefing your cases is something you should adjust according to the class. In some classes, they don't matter or can be distilled into a one-sentence rule. In other courses a professor may want you to distinguish facts.

I care about performing in class when called on because I don't want to look like an unprepared dumbass, and I have minimum standards for myself.

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Hannibal
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Hannibal » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:18 pm

I don't know about yall, but my CivPro professor wanted us to cite to specific cases he assigned on the exam. Sometimes we needed to distinguish or analogize to the facts of the cases we cited (e.g. J. Mcintyre Machinery). If I hadn't read the cases and just read the E&Es I would have been fucked come exam time.

rjl
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby rjl » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:48 pm

Hannibal wrote:I don't know about yall, but my CivPro professor wanted us to cite to specific cases he assigned on the exam. Sometimes we needed to distinguish or analogize to the facts of the cases we cited (e.g. J. Mcintyre Machinery). If I hadn't read the cases and just read the E&Es I would have been fucked come exam time.


Don't most E&E's discuss the main cases, though?

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ilovesf
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby ilovesf » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:51 pm

rjl wrote:
Hannibal wrote:I don't know about yall, but my CivPro professor wanted us to cite to specific cases he assigned on the exam. Sometimes we needed to distinguish or analogize to the facts of the cases we cited (e.g. J. Mcintyre Machinery). If I hadn't read the cases and just read the E&Es I would have been fucked come exam time.


Don't most E&E's discuss the main cases, though?

...no, like 2 or 3

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Hannibal
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Hannibal » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:53 pm

rjl wrote:
Hannibal wrote:I don't know about yall, but my CivPro professor wanted us to cite to specific cases he assigned on the exam. Sometimes we needed to distinguish or analogize to the facts of the cases we cited (e.g. J. Mcintyre Machinery). If I hadn't read the cases and just read the E&Es I would have been fucked come exam time.


Don't most E&E's discuss the main cases, though?


Not all of them. He assigned a few cases just to illustrate principles. Also the E&Es is pretty outdated, especially on venue.

smittytron3k
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby smittytron3k » Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:34 am

eta: here's the guide i referenced earlier in this thread. worth a read if you have time. this guy basically seems like the polar opposite of you and it's probably worth trying to understand this approach, because it will help you make sense of law school exams:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=164177&p=4723246&hilit=+exam#p4723246

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romothesavior
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby romothesavior » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:32 am

calilaw wrote:I said I recommend always reading the cases - that's something so basic I wouldn't even classify it as a "study method" or an "approach" to taking a class.

I don't read very much, and I have good grades. 0LNewbie doesn't seem to read much either and he has great grades. So it may be basic, but some students can skip it.

I am convinced that most students who are intelligent and know how to write a law school exam answer how their professor wants it can learn the material in a few weeks and do well on the exam. I have seen it over and over again, both from firsthand knowledge and watching my friends do it. Reading cases in detail isn't necessary or sufficient for good grades. Given enough time with old outlines and good supplements, it is not hard to learn the material for a lot of classes (especially 1L classes like Torts and Con Law) from scratch in about two weeks. The fact that we have to pay tons of money to learn this stuff from these "distinguished" and "learned" professors and then play the exam game is kind of a joke.

Peg
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Peg » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:38 am

Thanks everyone, for trying your best to give me advice.

I think this thread, like a lot of threads on TLS, show that there's no one way to do it. My method worked for some people; it did not work for me. I'm not sure what method works for me, and now I realize I have to figure it out and master it during a much tougher, more competitive semester. I'm scared, but I'll have to make myself feel braver by tomorrow morning. I set the alarm for 6 AM. Hopefully I will figure something out.

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calilaw
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby calilaw » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:06 am

romothesavior wrote:
calilaw wrote:I said I recommend always reading the cases - that's something so basic I wouldn't even classify it as a "study method" or an "approach" to taking a class.

I don't read very much, and I have good grades. 0LNewbie doesn't seem to read much either and he has great grades. So it may be basic, but some students can skip it.

I am convinced that most students who are intelligent and know how to write a law school exam answer how their professor wants it can learn the material in a few weeks and do well on the exam. I have seen it over and over again, both from firsthand knowledge and watching my friends do it. Reading cases in detail isn't necessary or sufficient for good grades. Given enough time with old outlines and good supplements, it is not hard to learn the material for a lot of classes (especially 1L classes like Torts and Con Law) from scratch in about two weeks. The fact that we have to pay tons of money to learn this stuff from these "distinguished" and "learned" professors and then play the exam game is kind of a joke.


Detailed readings are often a waste of time, I agree. But I'd recommend to most people at least a cursory reading of each case, so you know the basic "what happened and why." I think it's possible to get a good grade in a course but fail to understand the subject in depth (the rationale behind the rules, etc), much of which can be gained from reading the cases themselves. Does that matter in the long run? Maybe [probably] not. But if I'm paying incredible sums of money for a legal education, I'd like to learn as much as possible. And perhaps a deeper understanding will help cement concepts you'll need to remember for the bar exam.

I do take issue with your statement about "students who are intelligent," which implies some are not. All of my peers are exceptionally intelligent, yet by virtue of the curve many received C's. It's not about intelligence; it's about selecting whatever methods work for you (and the courses you're taking) and forcing yourself to study when you would rather be doing other things.

nStiver
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby nStiver » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:08 am

I.P. Daly wrote:A really efficient way to approach reading cases is to enter the case citation in Lexis or West and review the headnotes first. The research companies have already found the black letter law for you. You can simply copy and paste the BLL from the headnotes into your outline.

Once you know the rule, you can quickly read the case to see how the court applied the rule to a particular set of facts.


That is an excellent idea. I don't know why I haven't been doing that all along. Props to you sir/ma'am

nStiver
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby nStiver » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:02 am

calilaw wrote:I do take issue with your statement about "students who are intelligent," which implies some are not. All of my peers are exceptionally intelligent, yet by virtue of the curve many received C's. It's not about intelligence; it's about selecting whatever methods work for you (and the courses you're taking) and forcing yourself to study when you would rather be doing other things.


Thats what makes law school so damn hard, is everyone is so fucking smart.

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sunynp
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby sunynp » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:19 am

nStiver wrote:
calilaw wrote:I do take issue with your statement about "students who are intelligent," which implies some are not. All of my peers are exceptionally intelligent, yet by virtue of the curve many received C's. It's not about intelligence; it's about selecting whatever methods work for you (and the courses you're taking) and forcing yourself to study when you would rather be doing other things.


Thats what makes law school so damn hard, is everyone is so fucking smart.

What makes law school so hard is the mandatory curve. I love being around smart people for school and for work, so much better than undergrad. ( though it does attract more d- bags.)

As for op, I hope she returns after she talks with her professors. I would like to know where she went wrong in her prep and what she does differently.

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Ludo!
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby Ludo! » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:36 am

Peg wrote:Thanks everyone, for trying your best to give me advice.

I think this thread, like a lot of threads on TLS, show that there's no one way to do it. My method worked for some people; it did not work for me. I'm not sure what method works for me, and now I realize I have to figure it out and master it during a much tougher, more competitive semester. I'm scared, but I'll have to make myself feel braver by tomorrow morning. I set the alarm for 6 AM. Hopefully I will figure something out.


Waking up at 6am on a Saturday? This is not going to help you get above median. You've gotta start working smarter, not crazier.

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sunynp
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Re: Below median and bewildered

Postby sunynp » Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:18 am

Peg: I wish you the best. I think maybe you need to try to calm down a little bit. There is nothing you can do about your past grades. Please talk to your professors and let us know what they say. Also, I think you need to do something about your stress levels, just go for a walk or go to a couple of movies. You might also try to make friends at school for moral support. Try to stop being ashamed of what you did, you worked hard. Just really try to understand that hard work does not equal automatic success. As everyone has said, you need to work smarter, more effectively.

Maybe you need to look at lazy's guide to doing well?

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=162799#p4681543




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