Am I missing something?

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thomas7669
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Am I missing something?

Postby thomas7669 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:18 am

After the first few days of being stressed, I realized that all my classes are so far is just reading cases and extracting general principles and applications of black letter law, to a certain set of facts. These cases will build on eachother giving different application of the same law for a different set of facts. Come exam time I will be given a fact pattern where I have to apply the law to a different set of facts from the ones we covered in class. From here all I have to do is apply the law, using the application of the law in the cases we covered in class, as a guide. From here I should make sure I argue both sides, providing an analysis and ultimately choose which one is right. If time allows it and it is applicable I should throw in policy discussion.

Now I understand that the cases we are covering now are probably relatively simple. Still I want to know now if this is generally true. I am asking because if this is true, I dont understand why a supplement would be necessary unless there is something you just cant grasp by reading the casebook or asking the professor.

Of course I realize as a new student I probably dont know what I dont know. So I want to find out now if this is true, or if I should lean more on supplements?

Miller32
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby Miller32 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:01 am

Supplements aren't absolutely necessary. A lot of people like them because they clearly lay out the black letter law, which may be helpful for confusing areas of the class. Also a lot of times the supps will have practice problems and whatnot, and those can be really helpful too.

As a 1L I always thought it was nice to have supps to improve my outlines and make sure I was on the right track.

grovevilleroad
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby grovevilleroad » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:11 am

I feel the same way. Am I lost/missing something or is this just a lot easier than everyone made it seem?

presidentk1
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby presidentk1 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:14 am

same thing here

felt like it was all just hyped up for no reason...

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ben4847
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby ben4847 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:16 am

thomas7669 wrote:After the first few days of being stressed, I realized that all my classes are so far is just reading cases and extracting general principles and applications of black letter law, to a certain set of facts. These cases will build on eachother giving different application of the same law for a different set of facts. Come exam time I will be given a fact pattern where I have to apply the law to a different set of facts from the ones we covered in class. From here all I have to do is apply the law, using the application of the law in the cases we covered in class, as a guide. From here I should make sure I argue both sides, providing an analysis and ultimately choose which one is right. If time allows it and it is applicable I should throw in policy discussion.

Now I understand that the cases we are covering now are probably relatively simple. Still I want to know now if this is generally true. I am asking because if this is true, I dont understand why a supplement would be necessary unless there is something you just cant grasp by reading the casebook or asking the professor.

Of course I realize as a new student I probably dont know what I dont know. So I want to find out now if this is true, or if I should lean more on supplements?


You've got it precisely correct. Now, if you feel you've got it all without supplements, then good for you.

You ask what part of the equation you are missing though. Answer: Your classmates who are taking the same class and same exam and will be graded on a curve against you.

shock259
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby shock259 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:35 am

Law school is mostly overhyped. Do what you feel you need to do to understand the material. Do lots of practice tests. Win.

truevines
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby truevines » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:45 am

thomas7669 wrote:After the first few days of being stressed, I realized that all my classes are so far is just reading cases and extracting general principles and applications of black letter law, to a certain set of facts. These cases will build on eachother giving different application of the same law for a different set of facts. Come exam time I will be given a fact pattern where I have to apply the law to a different set of facts from the ones we covered in class. From here all I have to do is apply the law, using the application of the law in the cases we covered in class, as a guide. From here I should make sure I argue both sides, providing an analysis and ultimately choose which one is right. If time allows it and it is applicable I should throw in policy discussion.

Now I understand that the cases we are covering now are probably relatively simple. Still I want to know now if this is generally true. I am asking because if this is true, I dont understand why a supplement would be necessary unless there is something you just cant grasp by reading the casebook or asking the professor.

Of course I realize as a new student I probably dont know what I dont know. So I want to find out now if this is true, or if I should lean more on supplements?


Law is never too hard. What's killing people is the curve.

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deadpoetnsp
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby deadpoetnsp » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:48 am

The problem is precisely what the OP mentioned: it is not too difficult. But it is not too difficult not just for OP, but for everyone in the class. So you have dozens of people compressed into a forced grade distribution.

Of course professors will justify grades and talk about raw points per issue, etc. But if you meet them to discuss your grade they will not be able to tell you why you got what you got, other than the standard platitudes: spot more issues, analyze more, blah blah.

Gorki
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby Gorki » Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:31 pm

deadpoetnsp wrote:The problem is precisely what the OP mentioned: it is not too difficult. But it is not too difficult not just for OP, but for everyone in the class. So you have dozens of people compressed into a forced grade distribution.

Of course professors will justify grades and talk about raw points per issue, etc. But if you meet them to discuss your grade they will not be able to tell you why you got what you got, other than the standard platitudes: spot more issues, analyze more, blah blah.


This. You can have a class that just clicks... You will walk in thinking you know it all and get median. You can have a class you struggle with forever and walk in feeling doomed and get an A-.

The curve crushes.

thomas7669
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby thomas7669 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:48 pm

But how you then explain the people that do well in all their classes? If it was truly just down to the luck of the curve, then it should be very unlikely somebody gets all B+ to As their 1l year.

I guess what I am asking is, what separates those who consistently do well from everybody else?

I think it might be somewhat easier for students in my class to stand out since all of my exams this semester are closed book and supposedly really difficult(even more so than regular law school exams), leading to a more natural curve. Then again I am sure all the smart ones are thinking the same thing.

I plan on just getting the E and E series for my classes just for a big picture perspective(and the practice questions) after I cover a topic. Hopefully I dont get median pwned(or worse)

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:07 pm

thomas7669 wrote:But how you then explain the people that do well in all their classes? If it was truly just down to the luck of the curve, then it should be very unlikely somebody gets all B+ to As their 1l year.

I guess what I am asking is, what separates those who consistently do well from everybody else?

I think it might be somewhat easier for students in my class to stand out since all of my exams this semester are closed book and supposedly really difficult(even more so than regular law school exams), leading to a more natural curve. Then again I am sure all the smart ones are thinking the same thing.

I plan on just getting the E and E series for my classes just for a big picture perspective(and the practice questions) after I cover a topic. Hopefully I dont get median pwned(or worse)


I think I mentioned this recently in another post, but I think its simply a matter of talent combined with crazy intense preparation and luck. Maybe some people take a different view, but I think some people just have a knack for tests. Everyone is going to study very hard - some people will just figure out what's important and what isn't much sooner. I knew one dude was in trouble when he had a 60 page outline he was working off of - too much buddy, way too much, you have to simplify, which is a perplexing concept given the huge volume of material you cover. Prepare as hard as you can (I never worked harder on anything in my life than I did my 1L year, seriously), then leave it to the fates.

For what its worth, I never used supplements like hornbooks or whatever - who the hell has time to read all that extra crap when just reading the textbook for class was time consuming enough? I only used a multiple choice supplement for Property, all other core classes were just the textbooks, maybe a good other person's outline for reference - but still always made my own. Oh - old exams, I did look at old exams once my outline was done. That was key in certain classes where the professor wanted very particular language. To each their own I guess.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:45 pm

The reason the curve works despite 90% of the class understanding the material is that most of the class stinks at taking law school exams. That's why, as others have said, you have to take practice exams -- particularly with a group of people with whom you can review them.

Or, to go more directly to the OP's question... maybe you do just "get it." Everyone on TLS gets all mad when people try to say what I'm about to say, but some people are simply "smarter" in a law school sense than most other people in their class. Everyone is within the margin of error for GPA and LSAT, you say? That's fine, but that doesn't mean everyone's brain is equally wired to work in the way law school requires. The people I know in the top 5%... you knew they would be there. They intuitively understand the points OP laid out, and they can type fast, and they poured their brain into the exam, and they won.

ambiTTTTion
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby ambiTTTTion » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:34 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:The reason the curve works despite 90% of the class understanding the material is that most of the class stinks at taking law school exams. That's why, as others have said, you have to take practice exams -- particularly with a group of people with whom you can review them.


TITCR

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quiver
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby quiver » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:48 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:The reason the curve works despite 90% of the class understanding the material is that most of the class stinks at taking law school exams. That's why, as others have said, you have to take practice exams -- particularly with a group of people with whom you can review them.
I agree about taking practice exams but I don't think you have to go over them in a study group. This is a classic "different people learn differently" situation though. I never studied with another person and did pretty well while there was a group who always studied together and all four of them were in the top 10%. Just depends on your learning style and your group of people.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:57 am

quiver wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:The reason the curve works despite 90% of the class understanding the material is that most of the class stinks at taking law school exams. That's why, as others have said, you have to take practice exams -- particularly with a group of people with whom you can review them.
I agree about taking practice exams but I don't think you have to go over them in a study group. This is a classic "different people learn differently" situation though. I never studied with another person and did pretty well while there was a group who always studied together and all four of them were in the top 10%. Just depends on your learning style and your group of people.


I'm glad you did well doing practice tests alone, but I posit that you would have done better reviewing at least a few exams with a group. I started off alone. The problem is, you can't see what you're missing when you do it alone. I don't see how to compensate for that problem without outside help.

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EvilClinton
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby EvilClinton » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:47 am

grovevilleroad wrote:I feel the same way. Am I lost/missing something or is this just a lot easier than everyone made it seem?

LOL. 1Ls are so cute.

The hard part is that everyone will understand it exactly like you do and you are graded on a curve. If it seems easy to you that means that it seems easy to 90% of your classmates. In a curved law school issue spotter exam the difference between a top 5% paper and a median paper could be spotting just one minor issue or remembering the last element of a 7 factor balancing test. Pray that the classes get harder. Pray that your classmates start to fall behind. Pray that you understand the subject just a little bit better than most student and that your typing skills are superior to those in your section. Otherwise, you are screwed..welcome to law school.

sheD
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby sheD » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:44 am

I would say that being at the top of the curve in terms of how many words you can write during the exam can be very important if those words are high-quality analysis. Tight word-limit exams eliminate this advantage though.

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quiver
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby quiver » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:36 am

TatteredDignity wrote:
quiver wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:The reason the curve works despite 90% of the class understanding the material is that most of the class stinks at taking law school exams. That's why, as others have said, you have to take practice exams -- particularly with a group of people with whom you can review them.
I agree about taking practice exams but I don't think you have to go over them in a study group. This is a classic "different people learn differently" situation though. I never studied with another person and did pretty well while there was a group who always studied together and all four of them were in the top 10%. Just depends on your learning style and your group of people.


I'm glad you did well doing practice tests alone, but I posit that you would have done better reviewing at least a few exams with a group. I started off alone. The problem is, you can't see what you're missing when you do it alone. I don't see how to compensate for that problem without outside help.
Most of the practice exams had model answers; I don't think going over them in a group would have added anything. If there were no model answers, group review probably would have been better.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:52 pm

quiver wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:
quiver wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:The reason the curve works despite 90% of the class understanding the material is that most of the class stinks at taking law school exams. That's why, as others have said, you have to take practice exams -- particularly with a group of people with whom you can review them.
I agree about taking practice exams but I don't think you have to go over them in a study group. This is a classic "different people learn differently" situation though. I never studied with another person and did pretty well while there was a group who always studied together and all four of them were in the top 10%. Just depends on your learning style and your group of people.


I'm glad you did well doing practice tests alone, but I posit that you would have done better reviewing at least a few exams with a group. I started off alone. The problem is, you can't see what you're missing when you do it alone. I don't see how to compensate for that problem without outside help.
Most of the practice exams had model answers; I don't think going over them in a group would have added anything. If there were no model answers, group review probably would have been better.


Fair.

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Bronte
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby Bronte » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:29 pm

It's all about the curve. There are definitely people who just "get" law school. There are also people who think they get law school and find out different. Just put your nose down and do it.

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kekepania
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby kekepania » Thu Aug 30, 2012 5:21 am

TatteredDignity wrote:The reason the curve works despite 90% of the class understanding the material is that most of the class stinks at taking law school exams. That's why, as others have said, you have to take practice exams -- particularly with a group of people with whom you can review them.

Or, to go more directly to the OP's question... maybe you do just "get it." Everyone on TLS gets all mad when people try to say what I'm about to say, but some people are simply "smarter" in a law school sense than most other people in their class. Everyone is within the margin of error for GPA and LSAT, you say? That's fine, but that doesn't mean everyone's brain is equally wired to work in the way law school requires. The people I know in the top 5%... you knew they would be there. They intuitively understand the points OP laid out, and they can type fast, and they poured their brain into the exam, and they won.



Do you think this ability to do well in law school translates to being a successful lawyer? Are those who have brains that are wired the way law school requires still able to become a successful lawyer?

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sunynp
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby sunynp » Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:52 am

I wish 0Ls and 1Ls really understood the brutality of the curve before they started school. There was a post recently by someone who didn't even realize that there are a very limited numbers of As to be given out. My impression is that people think they understand the curve but assume they will be on the right side of it because, for the most part, they are pretty smart and are good students. People are shocked when grades come out.

This isn't reality. Look around your classroom and realize only a handful of people are getting As. Realize that half of you will be below median. Unless you are at a top school, those people are, for the most part, going to struggle for employment.


As for the people who "get it", I think they probably make excellent lawyers. There is a partner at my firm who graduated number 3 in his class at Harvard and never really did any work at all ( according to partners who were his classmates). He truly just understands stuff instantly. I don't know how else to explain it. He is an amazing lawyer.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Am I missing something?

Postby reasonable_man » Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:03 am

EvilClinton wrote:
grovevilleroad wrote:I feel the same way. Am I lost/missing something or is this just a lot easier than everyone made it seem?

LOL. 1Ls are so cute.

The hard part is that everyone will understand it exactly like you do and you are graded on a curve. If it seems easy to you that means that it seems easy to 90% of your classmates. In a curved law school issue spotter exam the difference between a top 5% paper and a median paper could be spotting just one minor issue or remembering the last element of a 7 factor balancing test. Pray that the classes get harder. Pray that your classmates start to fall behind. Pray that you understand the subject just a little bit better than most student and that your typing skills are superior to those in your section. Otherwise, you are screwed..welcome to law school.



This sounds about right to me.




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