1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

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jjlaw
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1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby jjlaw » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:23 am

Is anyone feeling paralyzed in their second semester? I think the reality of my grades just hit me last week, and since then, I haven't been able to do any real work. My grades hovered around median, and I applied to a ton of nonprofits and local judges, but so far, I have only heard back from 5 total. Who knows if I'll get any of them? I've also applied to three different fellowships/scholarships and gotten rejected from all of them. Our memo is due next week, and I have ZERO motivation.

I worked my ass off last semester, and I ended up getting the worst grades out of all of my study group. When I first got my grades back, I was determined to find other/better ways to study this semester. But in reality, when I come home after class, I don't want to do anything. And I've been sleeping 10 hours a day because I hate having to get up and think about doing work. This is a complete 180 from last semester when I would get up at 6am every day.

Anyone else feeling this way? 2L's, 3L's -- any advice?

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traehekat
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby traehekat » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:57 am

Try a new strategy. I wouldn't have motivation to get up out of bed just to keep doing the same things that landed me at median last semester either. If you figure what went wrong and what you need to do different, that should motivate you to put that plan into action.

Median isn't a great spot to be, but it's not somewhere you can't recover from, like bottom 20% or something. Figure out what went wrong, work hard/smart, and try to get into that top third range. I don't know what school you go to but hopefully that'll give you a fighting chance at OCI. Keep it all in perspective - it doesn't matter what your grades were if you end up with just ONE offer, so keep moving toward that goal.

shock259
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby shock259 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:28 pm

Mix up your schedule. Work out when you come home from the law school. Read some blogs to motivate yourself to study. Write "top 10%" on your wall and look at it every day. Eliminate distractions (video games, TV, whatever).

Also, I applied to over 200 judges and heard back from probably 30. Don't feel bad. Just keep on going.

jjlaw
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby jjlaw » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:08 pm

Thanks, guys. I'm at a T2, so I'm hoping at least Top 20% by the end of this year. I was hoping to get at least Top 1/3 last semester. I saw my professors from last semester. Basically I screwed myself by misreading a question on one of the exams, otherwise I would have gotten an A in that class. For the other exams, my prof's just said I didn't spot enough sub-issues, which I'm still trying to figure out what that means.

With job applications and the memo, I just feel like I'm drowning this semester. I have no clue what's going on in two of my classes. On most nights, I feel like I'm just struggling to get by with the reading for the next day, so I have no time or motivation to review any of the material covered so far.

09042014
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:11 pm

Reported for bigotry against the paraplegic and tetraplegic.

Sandro
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby Sandro » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:17 pm

Yea. But I'm paralyzed because I know exactly what I have to do, it just sucks. :(

Metaread
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby Metaread » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:49 pm

I'm feeling paralyzed. GPA 3.275, and my school's median is 3.3. FML. I can improve this semester, I think, but I don't feel like I really have a chance.

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crossarmant
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby crossarmant » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:41 am

I'm in the same boat, but I actually did pretty well. I don't know, the idea that I have to do even better this semester and the desire to not do any kind of work is just all consuming. It doesn't help that the general consensus about the courses this semester is that they're more confusing as to how we'll be tested. I'm just stressing, especially since I want to transfer.

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danget bobby
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby danget bobby » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:29 am

jjlaw wrote:I worked my ass off last semester

I'm with ya; sigh. I worked way too hard for my grades. It sucks knowing you worked harder than most of the people that outperformed you. On the other hand, while I did just about the best that I could, in hindsight I made some glaring mistakes that need to be corrected.

Younger Abstention
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby Younger Abstention » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:14 am

I felt like this too after first semester before I got my grades back, as I felt I had failed and going on was pointless. When I got them back, I was top 20%, which wasn't exactly where I wanted to be and I kept beating myself up over one low grade, but it was good enough to give me the motivation to continue. If I was below top third, I honestly don't know how I would have gone on with any enthusiasm.

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SilverE2
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby SilverE2 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:22 am

Younger Abstention wrote:I felt like this too after first semester before I got my grades back, as I felt I had failed and going on was pointless. When I got them back, I was top 20%, which wasn't exactly where I wanted to be and I kept beating myself up over one low grade, but it was good enough to give me the motivation to continue. If I was below top third, I honestly don't know how I would have gone on with any enthusiasm.


Great advice bro.

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sunynp
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby sunynp » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:58 am

Maybe you are slightly depressed? Maybe some therapy will help. You might be disappointed about your hard work not translating to the grades you expected to get. One of the problems with the extreme guides on this site, is that the following guide of a successful student doesn't guarantee success. In fact, I've often wondered if the people who wrote those guides would have done just as well without working so extremely. It isn't clear to me that they didn't just get law school and would have performed really well without the grind.

I think you need to get out and do things even if you don't feel like it. There must be some fun thing you enjoy that involves getting out of the house and out of school. Go for walks if nothing else. Go to the movies with a friend. Go out for bar review. Don't think you need to work all the time everyday.

Maybe you are just burned out. When I have been burned out, one thing I do is take mandatory study breaks, every 30 minutes. I get up, walk around, get a drink or do something else for at least 5 minutes. Anything that gets me up from my desk and into a different environment. I know that sounds extreme, but the trick is to take a break well before your brain is tired.

The other thing I do is limit my total hours of studying at a time. When I was really burned out, I would study at most 2 hours and then stop. Sometimes even less. I had to discipline myself to take breaks and to walk away from my books when my alotted time was up.

Read lazy's guide on here. I think that might be a way to go.

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Cupidity
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby Cupidity » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:30 am

How did you study

marmot8
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby marmot8 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:42 am

Cupidity wrote:How did you study


I'm in a similar boat and looking for recommendations regarding how to study. Last semester, I waited too long to outline and I got caught up in perfecting them in lieu of taking, and really understanding, practice exams. I feel like I sometimes just took them to take them, almost just to see if I spotted issues- writing cogently, under pressure, was completely different. Therefore, I want to understand the material and be able to apply it earlier so that my last couple of weeks are just practice exams.

Last semester I typed my notes for most classes and that was that. I would review them sporadically, but basically just when in class and I thought of a connection to an earlier topic. This semester I'm hand-writing for all and then typing/reorganizing them into OneNote the next day, which seems to be great review. I plan on starting to outline off of the computer notebook around Spring Break. The extra step takes a decent amount of time, but I feel like I'm learning from it. However, my question is: would my time be better spent going directly from hand-written notes to an outline? I plan to read the supplements more closely this semester and integrate them into either my computer notebook now or my outline later, but don't know the best plan of attack.

Hope this all makes sense- thanks all!

Seminole_305
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby Seminole_305 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:13 am

It's not about the law you know (although you should know the law) but it is how you analyze the law.

Ways to get at least a B or better. Organize your answer, write good analysis, and when available at a sentence or two about policy.

LawMan20
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby LawMan20 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:16 am

Seminole_305 wrote:It's not about the law you know (although you should know the law) but it is how you analyze the law.

Ways to get at least a B or better. Organize your answer, write good analysis, and when available at a sentence or two about policy.


Yea but knowing all of the law cold is a huge advantage, irrespective of what type of exam it is. If it's closed book, then you will sound like you know a lot more than people who don't have all of the law down cold. And if it's open book, then knowing the law cold just gives you more time to type out your analysis. So, in a sense, a lot of it is about knowing the law. And, suprisingly, many people won't know the all of the law perfectly on the day of the exam.

LawMan20
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby LawMan20 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:18 am

marmot8 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:How did you study


I'm in a similar boat and looking for recommendations regarding how to study. Last semester, I waited too long to outline and I got caught up in perfecting them in lieu of taking, and really understanding, practice exams. I feel like I sometimes just took them to take them, almost just to see if I spotted issues- writing cogently, under pressure, was completely different. Therefore, I want to understand the material and be able to apply it earlier so that my last couple of weeks are just practice exams.

Last semester I typed my notes for most classes and that was that. I would review them sporadically, but basically just when in class and I thought of a connection to an earlier topic. This semester I'm hand-writing for all and then typing/reorganizing them into OneNote the next day, which seems to be great review. I plan on starting to outline off of the computer notebook around Spring Break. The extra step takes a decent amount of time, but I feel like I'm learning from it. However, my question is: would my time be better spent going directly from hand-written notes to an outline? I plan to read the supplements more closely this semester and integrate them into either my computer notebook now or my outline later, but don't know the best plan of attack.

Hope this all makes sense- thanks all!


I'd put them straight into an outline and memorize these outlines throughout the semester. That way when a month before exams rolls around you don't have to spend a lot of time outlining/memorizing, and you can take a ton of practice exams.

Edit: Also, if you do the readings and pay attention in class, I recommend taking it easy on the supplements, unless you're using them to clear up something that you don't understand (but, even in that case, office hours are probably better). Most of the time, supplements will have a lot of useless material that your teacher doesn't cover, and even the stuff your teacher does cover will probably be explained differently.
Last edited by LawMan20 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

Seminole_305
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby Seminole_305 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:20 am

LawMan20 wrote:
Seminole_305 wrote:It's not about the law you know (although you should know the law) but it is how you analyze the law.

Ways to get at least a B or better. Organize your answer, write good analysis, and when available at a sentence or two about policy.


Yea but knowing all of the law cold is a huge advantage, irrespective of what type of exam it is. If it's closed book, then you will sound like you know a lot more than people who don't have all of the law down cold. And if it's open book, then knowing the law cold just gives you more time to type out your analysis. So, in a sense, a lot of it is about knowing the law. And, suprisingly, many people won't know the all of the law perfectly on the day of the exam.


I agree, I was just pointing out the thing that separates the median from those above is their organization and analysis. I know a lot of people who knew the law better than me last semester, but did worst because they couldn't articulate what they knew.

marmot8
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby marmot8 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:18 pm

LawMan20 wrote:
marmot8 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:How did you study


I'm in a similar boat and looking for recommendations regarding how to study. Last semester, I waited too long to outline and I got caught up in perfecting them in lieu of taking, and really understanding, practice exams. I feel like I sometimes just took them to take them, almost just to see if I spotted issues- writing cogently, under pressure, was completely different. Therefore, I want to understand the material and be able to apply it earlier so that my last couple of weeks are just practice exams.

Last semester I typed my notes for most classes and that was that. I would review them sporadically, but basically just when in class and I thought of a connection to an earlier topic. This semester I'm hand-writing for all and then typing/reorganizing them into OneNote the next day, which seems to be great review. I plan on starting to outline off of the computer notebook around Spring Break. The extra step takes a decent amount of time, but I feel like I'm learning from it. However, my question is: would my time be better spent going directly from hand-written notes to an outline? I plan to read the supplements more closely this semester and integrate them into either my computer notebook now or my outline later, but don't know the best plan of attack.

Hope this all makes sense- thanks all!


I'd put them straight into an outline and memorize these outlines throughout the semester. That way when a month before exams rolls around you don't have to spend a lot of time outlining/memorizing, and you can take a ton of practice exams.

Edit: Also, if you do the readings and pay attention in class, I recommend taking it easy on the supplements, unless you're using them to clear up something that you don't understand (but, even in that case, office hours are probably better). Most of the time, supplements will have a lot of useless material that your teacher doesn't cover, and even the stuff your teacher does cover will probably be explained differently.


thanks for the advice. any other perspectives?

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:27 pm

LawMan20 wrote:
marmot8 wrote:
Cupidity wrote:How did you study


I'm in a similar boat and looking for recommendations regarding how to study. Last semester, I waited too long to outline and I got caught up in perfecting them in lieu of taking, and really understanding, practice exams. I feel like I sometimes just took them to take them, almost just to see if I spotted issues- writing cogently, under pressure, was completely different. Therefore, I want to understand the material and be able to apply it earlier so that my last couple of weeks are just practice exams.

Last semester I typed my notes for most classes and that was that. I would review them sporadically, but basically just when in class and I thought of a connection to an earlier topic. This semester I'm hand-writing for all and then typing/reorganizing them into OneNote the next day, which seems to be great review. I plan on starting to outline off of the computer notebook around Spring Break. The extra step takes a decent amount of time, but I feel like I'm learning from it. However, my question is: would my time be better spent going directly from hand-written notes to an outline? I plan to read the supplements more closely this semester and integrate them into either my computer notebook now or my outline later, but don't know the best plan of attack.

Hope this all makes sense- thanks all!


I'd put them straight into an outline and memorize these outlines throughout the semester. That way when a month before exams rolls around you don't have to spend a lot of time outlining/memorizing, and you can take a ton of practice exams.

Edit: Also, if you do the readings and pay attention in class, I recommend taking it easy on the supplements, unless you're using them to clear up something that you don't understand (but, even in that case, office hours are probably better). Most of the time, supplements will have a lot of useless material that your teacher doesn't cover, and even the stuff your teacher does cover will probably be explained differently.


disagree. I used supplements to bring in additional info for my exam. Helped a ton.

thesteelers
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby thesteelers » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:34 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:I felt like this too after first semester before I got my grades back, as I felt I had failed and going on was pointless. When I got them back, I was top 20%, which wasn't exactly where I wanted to be and I kept beating myself up over one low grade, but it was good enough to give me the motivation to continue. If I was below top third, I honestly don't know how I would have gone on with any enthusiasm.


Image

jjlaw
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby jjlaw » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:16 pm

Cupidity wrote:How did you study


I'm starting to realize some of the mistakes I made last semester and have thought about ways to remedy them. I'd be open to more suggestions or corrections.

1. Last semester, I read ahead for the sake of reading ahead. I don't think I truly figured out what I was trying to get out of the cases. I was always just looking for the BLL, not focusing on the material facts.

This semester, I'm keeping up with the reading, but not by choice, only by virtue of there being more pages to read per class. I am also not spending tons of time briefing cases, except for ConLaw. This is partly because my other two prof's don't want us to cite cases in the exam, and because I find it much more efficient to brief in the book and take any relevant notes about the cases in class. Instead of focusing solely on the BLL, I'm going to place more emphasis on the material facts in case they come up in fact patterns.

2. Last semester, I outlined throughout the semester, but I couldn't find a way to effectively apply the law. It was like I was going through the motion of outlining, but not really learning the material inside and out. I also didn't have my outline memorized, which is probably why I couldn't spot the sub-issues. I didn't actually start practicing with the E&E's until around Thanksgiving. While I did all available practice exams, for one class, my prof didn't have any past exams on file. And the other class, my prof was out of town during reading period, so I couldn't ask her about my answers. My grades reflected this.

This semester, my classes are more practice problem-oriented, so hopefully that will help me in terms of applying the law and learning it early on, rather than having to seek out resources like the E&E. All of my prof's this semester also have a healthy amount of past exams on file, so I plan on taking full advantage of those starting after Spring Break. I am also laying off on the supplements this semester, unless I don't understand something and am too lazy to go to office hours, although I will probably go to office hours before going to the supplement.

3. Last semester, my study group was super disorganized. I felt like the secretary/dictator of the group whenever I tried to get us together. I was always prepared for the study groups even though they weren't always prepared.

This semester, I'm thinking of ditching the study group altogether. Given the chaos that came with organizing study sessions last semester, it's almost like I studied alone anyway. Does anyone have suggestions about this? Studying gets really lonely sometimes, which is why I put up with the study group last semester, so I could at least have some human interaction. That's one reason I don't really want to ditch it, but on the other hand, I just don't think it's effective for me.

Overall, I think the subject matter of the courses this semester combined with the emphasis on practice problems given by professors will ultimately help me improve and spot my weaknesses earlier on in the semester. I also want to know my outlines backwards and forwards come exam time, even though all of my exams are open-book. I will also take more time to relax, but after I hand in this memo.

Did I miss anything?

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alicrimson
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby alicrimson » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:34 pm

For study groups, I found meeting once a week about half way through the semester to just kick around hypos/go over exam answers the month before exams was clutch. I studied occasionally in groups but mostly it was me by myself or studying near my s.o., who wasn't in my section, but whose presence was enough to cut down on the isolation factor.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:39 pm

alicrimson wrote:For study groups, I found meeting once a week about half way through the semester to just kick around hypos/go over exam answers the month before exams was clutch. I studied occasionally in groups but mostly it was me by myself or studying near my s.o., who wasn't in my section, but whose presence was enough to cut down on the isolation factor.


I had a similar experience. I joined a study group in the beginning of the semester, but didn't find it helpful. I studied by myself/near my SO and met with another student 3 weeks before the exam to go over exam answers. I had two days between my first and second exam and spent half of each day going over exam answers with 2 other students. Worked well for me.

ap1987
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Re: 1L - 2nd Semester - anyone feeling paralyzed?

Postby ap1987 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:44 pm

Yup. Skipped a few classes this week. Hopefully it doesn't come back to bite me in the ass. I've been kind of depressed. I feel better about my understanding of the substance of the courses I'm taking this semester than last semester though.




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