What NOT to do in your first year of law school

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NOTxeoh
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby NOTxeoh » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:24 am

Okay - not troll - and this is an Alt. I have spoken to a mod. I am obviously trying to conceal my identity while giving real advice. Not advice, just warnings.

Right - like I said - not doing practice exams was really stupid. It goes against TLS wisdom. But I read about doing practice exams and GTM and LEEWS so many times that I somehow thought it wouldn't be a problem because I was aware of the problem. I should have just worded myself better by stating: Being very aware of what to do will not help you. Is this retarded advice? Why, yes. But I imagine SOME others might fall into that trap. Like I said, I really loved law school and found it so interesting I didn't want to do what actually counted.

Half-assing GTM and LEEWS wasn't helpful. Glancing over practice exams and outlining answers did not help me.

I'm not trying to get anyone banned and I am not trying to get banned either. I understand people might want to joke around about it and that's fine because it might DISCOURAGE people to end up like me.

Law school comes at a huge risk and as an incoming student with 1L being super important, your job is to minimize risk. My only 2 cents is that not all the risk is financial and making a commitment - I discussed this with a close friend as "taking the plunge" - RX for one year and one year only.

For the LSAT, i got adderall like a college kid. With the RX, I literally have unlimited. It was/is a terrible idea and I have a long road ahead to get over it. Yes, Xanax was the sleeping drug. I stopped because I ran out after exams (I still tapered because I did my research). I used a combination of melatonin, benadryll and weed to sleep after that. Then I got RX-ed for something like it and now I am RX-ed for Xanax and the thing like it.

Again, this isn't really about me. I 100% plan on getting off all the pharms. I am just shooting out the only warning I don't want ignored for 1L's:

1. Adderall is not a cure all. It might not help you. It might actually be hugely detrimental when you are staring at an exam Q you did not plan for and are not flexible enough to adjust and move on. While I definitely do not suggest getting it illegally, it may be an EVEN WORSE idea to get it legally because of the supply.

2. Adderall also can be extremely addicting. Not like heroin - I am going to die addicting - but like how am I going to read 50 pages tonight if I don't use this. I think you would need some serious self control to not "double dip" or "triple dip" when the memo is coming around or during finals. I personally know of but did not join 3-4 students in my section alone that had an Adderall pool (they did not know I was on it). Your doctor gets paid to push Adderall. If you don't have fucking ADD your entire life, do not start use it.

2. Someone...might say...if you are on Adderall and can't sleep or have extreme anxiety, get on another drug. This is what leads to getting your situation from worse to fucked.

3. Even if I got awesome grades and landed a sweet 1L summer job - I would probably continue to use the drugs to make sure my performance is at its peak. I would probably still hate myself and post the same post and just omit that I got good grades.

My overall conclusion is 1.) somehow I still fucked up with grades; 2.) now i'm facing a much bigger problem than money and grades and jobs - and I am praying to God that it isn't going to be a long-term problem; 3.) please take my advice and avoid the pharms at all cost if you do not need them

If any mods want me to stop, I will stop. I will take questions and answers just from my personal experience and in the effort to dissuade a fresh batch of students from using this shit.

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Sapientia
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby Sapientia » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:29 am

drmguy wrote:
Sapientia wrote:
drmguy wrote:
t14fanboy wrote:If not troll, could you clarify what you meant about TLS making you complacent about exam taking? Every 1L guide on TLS seems to drive in that honing that skill is the most important thing you can do...

It depends on you. Honestly, there is no better tip than it depends on you/your professor. Some people(me) just don't benefit from doing practice exams over and over. I would hope that after 4 years of college you would know what works best for you. Repeat whatever works best for you.

EDIT...This is why I NEVER suggest a specific supplement or method.


What do you do? If you don't take practice exams, what do you do to prepare?

Just curious. I did well, and to study for exams I memorized my outlines and took a ton of practice exams. I don't know how else I would have studied.

I learn by reading explanations(THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU DO AS WELL). Therefore, doing practice exams doesn't help me as much as reading model answers. Tons of people suffer in law school by adopting other people's study methods and they shouldn't do that. Step one, know how you learn. Step two, know what your professor wants. Example-I already said I learn by reading explanations. Step 1 done. Next, I found out exactly what my professors wanted. One taught class verbatim from a hornbook so I outlined the hornbook. One taught verbatim from the textbook so I outlined the textbook. The last was strictly lecture so I outlined lecture.

Never read any of my suggestions as guidelines for you to follow. The only information you should ever get from my posts on how to do well in law school is to know yourself and know what your professors want.
Moral of the story is know yourself and know your professors.

There is no mechanical method to mastering law school.


Right on.

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I.P. Daly
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby I.P. Daly » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:38 am

NOTxeoh,

Your comments about your experience with Adderall are extremely insightful and helpful.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck this semester, and I hope you have a relaxing and productive summer.

NOTxeoh
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby NOTxeoh » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:42 am

As to what I spent all my f-ing time on. I literally memorized cases and knew every detail. For the class I did the worst in, I can probably still reel of 10 cases in order and their holdings. It just wasn't on the exam. Only one case was. I was heavily faded from the drugs near the end. I still know every Pennoyer case. It just was not on the exam. 2/3 of our exam was based on what we went over on the 2nd to last day of class.

I know I didn't get the lowest grade because I called my professor who explained that he was getting fired and had to use another exam and was sad that it was me that got that grade. He said he would petition for my grade but at that time, I received all my grades back and was only just hovering above median. It would have required the full faculty know my situation, name, and to vote in order to bump up my grade... what... .33?

Point being, shit happens in law school all the time. There are bigger problems in life. I hope there are A LOT more Xeoh's than me - in terms of work ethic and just doing it the old-fashioned and respectable way. Though doing this might seem harder, especially when a bunch of idiots are trying to take short cuts, it'll pay off at least in one way in the long run.

I am done here and will no longer respond to questions or posts.

PinkRevolver
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby PinkRevolver » Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:43 am

0_0 says this sheltered 0L from the burbs.....next year's gonna be verrrry interesting.

mirodh
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby mirodh » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:40 am

FWIW OP, I nailed median 1st semester, bottom 25% 2nd semester, then 1st semester 2L hit top-10% (obviously not cumulative; note: all of these classes were on the same curve applied 1L, no seminars etc.). I just landed a Summer Associate job...It really can and does turn around. I am someone who learns by doing, I finally just figured shit out.

That being said; seminar papers seriously made/are making me consider adderall; I am thinking that 1 here or there when a huge deadline is coming up can't hurt, any thoughts on "binge-adderalling?" As long as you don't become addicting and allow it to re-hardwire your brain, can it be managed and still be an effective tool?

EMZE
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby EMZE » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:54 am

Adderall is a medication Rx'd to children. So is methamphetamine (see medicine named Desoxyn). It isn't going to fuck you up. It's more psychologically addictive than anything. Just like OP said, about how it always becomes where you feel like you aren't doing your best work without it. Thats where it sucks you in.

But unless you are taking more than 80mg or so a day (this is a huge dose for most) it really ain't too bad. Or if you are banging it, but then you're already fucked. It's nothing like opiate withdrawls where you shit yourself and your skin crawls, or benzo withdrawls where you can have seizures. You just get grumpy/tired.

NOTxeoh
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby NOTxeoh » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:04 am

mirodh wrote:FWIW OP, I nailed median 1st semester, bottom 25% 2nd semester, then 1st semester 2L hit top-10% (obviously not cumulative; note: all of these classes were on the same curve applied 1L, no seminars etc.). I just landed a Summer Associate job...It really can and does turn around. I am someone who learns by doing, I finally just figured shit out.

That being said; seminar papers seriously made/are making me consider adderall; I am thinking that 1 here or there when a huge deadline is coming up can't hurt, any thoughts on "binge-adderalling?" As long as you don't become addicting and allow it to re-hardwire your brain, can it be managed and still be an effective tool?


The only problem I see with this is...this is how I started. Since this is a post about just how fucking unethical and pathetic I am: I wrote a ton of papers for undergraduates in between college and law school for fun and $. I wrote a 30+ page honors thesis for someone and used two XR adderalls. That was my first time using it and I felt like my brain was unlocked. I crammed that thing out in 2 days.

This made me think it would help me during the LSAT, which it really, really did not. When I finally had the courage to trust myself, I scored 10+ pts higher.

Adderall is like any other drug and varies from person to person. I'm sure a lot of you have used ecstasy and you are not instantly addicted to it. Also, a lot of it just depends on if you have an addictive personality. Know yourself.

If I could start over, I wouldn't touch that shit, especially for your seminar paper w/ the SA looming in the background. You have to pretty much be at your best for your SA, too right? What if you decide you'd like to use it then?

Just don't get a script, no matter what. That's all I would really recommend.

To EMZE: I do not know what banging it means. I am not even close to 80 mg but my doctor literally went from 5 mg to 10 mg to 15 mg to 30 mg in under 9 months. As I stated earlier, I know about the benzo withdrawals first hand. I just can't see how someone who is faced with ass tons of work can avoid finding adderall not psychologically addictive...

But maybe it is just me. This shit being RX'd to children just makes me fucking sad.

EMZE
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby EMZE » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:18 am

Don't take this the wrong way man, but your dose is still pretty low at 30mg if that is XR. The physical dependence isn't there for amps, not like other Sched. II meds. Yeah, psychological dependence sucks, but I guess that all is relative. If people have never messed with anything else, they might be much more vulnerable to falling prey.

Regardless, your point is 100% valid. I just think you might be stressing it more than you need to regarding the dependence on speed. Also, xanax is a garbage drug for getting down off amp. Klonopin is a million times better because it has a 12-18 hour half life, whereas xanny bars stop working in an hour.

Banging em is shooting them IV. Good way to fill the heart with talc.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:20 am

drmguy wrote:I learn by reading explanations(THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU DO AS WELL). Therefore, doing practice exams doesn't help me as much as reading model answers. Tons of people suffer in law school by adopting other people's study methods and they shouldn't do that. Step one, know how you learn. Step two, know what your professor wants. Example-I already said I learn by reading explanations. Step 1 done. Next, I found out exactly what my professors wanted. One taught class verbatim from a hornbook so I outlined the hornbook. One taught verbatim from the textbook so I outlined the textbook. The last was strictly lecture so I outlined lecture.

Never read any of my suggestions as guidelines for you to follow. The only information you should ever get from my posts on how to do well in law school is to know yourself and know what your professors want.
Moral of the story is know yourself and know your professors.

There is no mechanical method to mastering law school.

This is one of the more spot-on posts I've read in a long time, especially the bold.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:35 am

NOTxeoh wrote:As to what I spent all my f-ing time on. I literally memorized cases and knew every detail. For the class I did the worst in, I can probably still reel of 10 cases in order and their holdings. It just wasn't on the exam. Only one case was. I was heavily faded from the drugs near the end. I still know every Pennoyer case. It just was not on the exam. 2/3 of our exam was based on what we went over on the 2nd to last day of class.

This is pretty much contrary to the majority of the recommended advice on TLS.

Scribe wrote:Read your cases, try to decipher rules from them. Write down SOME notes as you read them, but there’s no need to brief fully.

Mscarn23 wrote:I think it’s necessary during the first week or two of class to go through the tedious process of properly briefing a case (i.e. writing out the appellate history, taking down all the facts, etc. - there are probably a thousand threads explaining how to do this so I won’t waste time explaining it here). This isn’t because you really get much from it (at least not much that will matter to you come final’s), but rather because professors like to screw with people during the first few weeks by forcing them to recite back minutiae. Come exam time it isn’t likely to matter to your Torts professor that the case you studied was remanded because of an erroneous jury instruction, or that the plaintiff was a widow and the judge likely felt bad for her- all (s)he’s going to care about is the rule of law and the basic facts of the case (which make it possible for you to analogize the case law to a new fact situation).

Talon wrote:Should you brief cases? No. Having a good case brief may help you answer cold calls more quickly, but that won’t affect your grade at all, since grading is blind. The exam will not ask you questions like “what was the procedural history of Hawkins v. McGee?” Writing case briefs wastes time; you should easily be able to get through a cold call simply by writing things like “procedural history” in the margins of your casebook when appropriate – there is no need to type anything up.

That being said, do not ignore the facts of the cases. To prepare for exam questions that directly involve a particular case, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of that case to write a good answer. So, even though you shouldn’t be briefing for class, you should still try to understand the details of each case.

Arrow wrote:Since cases are generally not specifically tested, do not waste too much time reading the casebook. I only used the casebook for the relevant black letter law it sometimes held. I almost always skipped reading the notes that came after the cases (unless there was black letter law in the notes section).


Take a deep breath, stop focusing on the cases so much, and memorize the rules. Only think about the cases in the abstract. For example, for CrimLaw, don't think, "Well, if X, Y, and Z happens, then it's a burglary." Instead, think "Burglary is [insert elements]. What facts from this case applied to those elements made this a burglary?" That's what you'll need to do on an exam. Not cite holdings.

the lantern
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby the lantern » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:08 am

I did pretty much the opposite of everything OP said and I did quite well.

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Corsair
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby Corsair » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:12 am

..

NOTxeoh
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby NOTxeoh » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:24 am

heh i have changed up my gameplan - a lot - hopefully it works out

but like i've said over and over again i'm just hoping this will be maybe helpful for an entering 1L who is considering doing something he/she might really regret.

as inspirational some of the good advice is, and as helpful/practical it is, i just felt there should be some balance for someone who royally fucked up.

try not to be me. realize there is a chance though if you do a series of stupid shit.

okay i am certainly done here.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby FryBreadPower » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:28 am

Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?

mirodh
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby mirodh » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:32 am

FryBreadPower wrote:Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?


TL;DR: Read it or gtfo, what the hell are you on an internet forum for if you don't have time to kill?

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FryBreadPower
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby FryBreadPower » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:34 am

mirodh wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?


TL;DR: Read it or gtfo, what the hell are you on an internet forum for if you don't have time to kill?


Meh. Sometimes TLS is like a book or magazine that you aren't very into reading. You flip through hoping to find some pics/gifs that you can use to construct the general plot, more or less.

Anyways after having read the OP I find the post about GTM/LEEWS/reading advice/exam threads on TLS a bit odd. I have actually found them insanely useful and feel like I have a good foundation when it comes to approaching final exams before having even begun my 1L year.

mirodh
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby mirodh » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:38 am

FryBreadPower wrote:
mirodh wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?


TL;DR: Read it or gtfo, what the hell are you on an internet forum for if you don't have time to kill?


Meh. Sometimes TLS is like a book or magazine that you aren't very into reading. You flip through hoping to find some pics/gifs that you can use to construct the general plot, more or less.

Anyways after having read the OP I find the post about GTM/LEEWS/reading advice/exam threads on TLS a bit odd. I have actually found them insanely useful and feel like I have a good foundation when it comes to approaching final exams before having even begun my 1L year.


Although I hope you knock 1L out of the park, I can't help but point out the irony...Don't let these be your famous last words, I am sure many felt confident going into 1L year, only about 1/2-2/3 will feel confident coming out of 1L (assuming a decent school).

Edited for typing fail.

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PARTY
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby PARTY » Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:10 am

.
Last edited by PARTY on Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sunynp
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby sunynp » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:45 am

mirodh wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:
mirodh wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?


TL;DR: Read it or gtfo, what the hell are you on an internet forum for if you don't have time to kill?


Meh. Sometimes TLS is like a book or magazine that you aren't very into reading. You flip through hoping to find some pics/gifs that you can use to construct the general plot, more or less.

Anyways after having read the OP I find the post about GTM/LEEWS/reading advice/exam threads on TLS a bit odd. I have actually found them insanely useful and feel like I have a good foundation when it comes to approaching final exams before having even begun my 1L year.


Although I hope you knock 1L out of the park, I can't help but point out the irony...Don't let these be your famous last words, I am sure many felt confident going into 1L year, only about 1/2-2/3 will feel confident coming out of 1L (assuming a decent school).

Edited for typing fail.

+1 You can't even begin to evaluate how good the advice is until you are in school and take exams. If you need people to tell you to focus on what the professor wants to hear on your exam, then maybe you've learned something.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby FryBreadPower » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:15 pm

sunynp wrote: +1 You can't even begin to evaluate how good the advice is until you are in school and take exams. If you need people to tell you to focus on what the professor wants to hear on your exam, then maybe you've learned something.


Obviously I'm not carrying it to the extreme. I just meant to say, I wonder how I would have succeeded if I hadn't spotted little tidbits of super important advice in some of the "Do Well in 1L" threads (e.g. focus on taking practice exams as early as possible, always focus on applying law to facts). I'm not necessarily saying I would have gotten caught up in the memorize-and-regurgitate method that will absolutely destroy you, but I would have been more hesitant to shy away from it had I not read thread after thread here that told me otherwise.

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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby EMZE » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:38 pm

FryBreadPower wrote:
mirodh wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?


TL;DR: Read it or gtfo, what the hell are you on an internet forum for if you don't have time to kill?


Meh. Sometimes TLS is like a book or magazine that you aren't very into reading. You flip through hoping to find some pics/gifs that you can use to construct the general plot, more or less.

Anyways after having read the OP I find the post about GTM/LEEWS/reading advice/exam threads on TLS a bit odd. I have actually found them insanely useful and feel like I have a good foundation when it comes to approaching final exams before having even begun my 1L year.


Not that I know any better as a 0L, but that is exactly what OP is saying hurt him, that attitude. Who knows, it may work for you.

adonai
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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby adonai » Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:43 pm

FryBreadPower wrote:
mirodh wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?


TL;DR: Read it or gtfo, what the hell are you on an internet forum for if you don't have time to kill?


Meh. Sometimes TLS is like a book or magazine that you aren't very into reading. You flip through hoping to find some pics/gifs that you can use to construct the general plot, more or less.

Anyways after having read the OP I find the post about GTM/LEEWS/reading advice/exam threads on TLS a bit odd. I have actually found them insanely useful and feel like I have a good foundation when it comes to approaching final exams before having even begun my 1L year.

I did all of the above and read xeoh and arrows guide everyday over the summer. Read more exam books and everything, even finished a couple E&Es. Got one of the top grades on one of my midterms. Ended up slightly above median 1L. Please don't believe you have it down, or even think you are close to having it down. By the end of the semester, everyone more or less will know what to do and you have to just do it better than them. Like someone said before, you can only minimize the risk through your studies but the curve is what ultimately determines everything. I had your exact attitude, had some proof to show for it, but got OWNED in the end all because of the curve. It also didn't help that my school decided to implement an inaugural exam taking curriculum that 95% of 1Ls signed up for. Lots of things will be out of your control.

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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby alicrimson » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:54 pm

adonai wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:
mirodh wrote:
FryBreadPower wrote:Got halfway through OP and knew instantly this would turn into a shitstorm. Any one want to TL;DR for me?


TL;DR: Read it or gtfo, what the hell are you on an internet forum for if you don't have time to kill?


Meh. Sometimes TLS is like a book or magazine that you aren't very into reading. You flip through hoping to find some pics/gifs that you can use to construct the general plot, more or less.

Anyways after having read the OP I find the post about GTM/LEEWS/reading advice/exam threads on TLS a bit odd. I have actually found them insanely useful and feel like I have a good foundation when it comes to approaching final exams before having even begun my 1L year.

I did all of the above and read xeoh and arrows guide everyday over the summer. Read more exam books and everything, even finished a couple E&Es. Got one of the top grades on one of my midterms. Ended up slightly above median 1L. Please don't believe you have it down, or even think you are close to having it down. By the end of the semester, everyone more or less will know what to do and you have to just do it better than them. Like someone said before, you can only minimize the risk through your studies but the curve is what ultimately determines everything. I had your exact attitude, had some proof to show for it, but got OWNED in the end all because of the curve. It also didn't help that my school decided to implement an inaugural exam taking curriculum that 95% of 1Ls signed up for. Lots of things will be out of your control.


My school is implementing that system next year and I am so glad to be c/o 2014. That is not what I want to go against.

Anyways, I thought I would chime in on the adderall usage. Adderall, like any other medication, should not be abused but for those who need it (actually medically need it. not "I tricked my doctor into giving it me" need it.), it is invaluable. I know was diagnosed with ADHD somewhere around kindergarten. I haven't used my meds for most of undergrad but decided senior year that I'd like to re-up again. It was an extremely wise choice and I am so glad that I made this decision. At times I have been tempted to double dose to get more things done but this is not a good road to go down. If you have a script, use it the way its supposed to be used and you won't have problems. Don't sell it to classmates and think before you act. If you follow directions, you likely won't have withdrawals or problems. Be honest with your psychiatrist. If you are having side effects, say something. Withdrawals should not be a problem. I know I can go off of mine for days or weeks.

notxeoh, this really wasn't directed towards you. It was more or less for some 0L with a legitimate adderall prescription who is reading this post and suddenly feels like her life is over. I hope you get the help that you need and thank you for this honest, insightful thread.

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Re: What NOT to do in your first year of law school

Postby shbe0701 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:40 am

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