This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

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emkay625
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This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:32 pm

I am paranoid. This is my study plan and I'd appreciate criticism/feedback/thoughts.

1. Do all reading for each of my courses on weekends. LRW on Friday evening, Torts Saturday morning, Crim Saturday afternoon, Contracts Sunday morning. Take Sunday evening off. I read the relevant section of a supplement first to get my bearings, then read the cases. I do highlight in color because I have poor vision and it makes it easier for me to find things if I get called on in class.

2. Do not do a full brief, but for each case, write down the name of the case, the rule, and any super impt facts/reasoning.

3. For each class, arrive about 15 minutes early to class in order to skim the reading and refresh the important points in my brain in case I get called on, and to review.

4. In class, jot down any important notes about the rule(s), and policy arguments the professor brings up, any hypotheticals they mention, and any personal tidbits/opinions that might give insight into what the professor likes and their political leanings.

5. I have about an hour in between each class. In between each one, go to the library and work on my outline for the class that just happened, using my supplement, the mini-brief, and notes from class.

6. At night it is supplement/study aid work. I'm planning to spend an hour and a half (so 4.5 hours) on each of my doctrinal classes each night. Reading my supplements, doing E&Es, CALI lessons, the Law in a Flash cards, and memorizing BLL. Try to come up with hypotheticals. Work on typing and explaining rules and practice them over and over, so all I need to add is applying them/relevant facts. Also a few nights will be spent reading Getting to Maybe and doing LEEWS, further researching policy arguments I can make.

7. After we finish the end of a unit, I'll compare my outline to a commercial outline and an old outline I've gotten from a friend (if I can hopefully find them) and make any needed adjustments.

8. I'm planning to begin practice exams October 15. Each week, I'd like to once outline/spot issues in an exam and compare it to a model answer, and then once actually do (timed) a practice exam. Ask people who've done well and are 2Ls and 3Ls to look at it and compare it to a model answer. I'll save my professor's actual exams (since I only have a few for each one) until end of November/December.

9. During exam time, perfect/condense my outline, ramp up practice exams to 2 full ones a week, memorize outline.

I get home each day about 3:30. After spending about 30 minutes playing with my puppy, I'll start this work at 4, finish by 8:30. Then spend the rest of the evening relaxing - eating dinner, watching television, and taking my dog to the dog park. Shower and go to bed at 11. Wake up and do it again the next day.

Thoughts? What here is good? What is bad? Anything you'd add?

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swc65
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby swc65 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:52 pm

Different systems for diff folks, but honestly, I would kill myself with our system.

My system, go to class, listen, take notes by hand, do an outline towards the last couple of weeks of class, take two-three practice exams for each class-> profit. Ended up top 10-15% @ CCN with mulpt V-5 offers. A couple of buddies of mine did a system similar to yours and ended up top 1%. we're all working at the same firm but i had more fun so i say i win :).

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:58 pm

swc65 wrote:Different systems for diff folks, but honestly, I would kill myself with our system.

My system, go to class, listen, take notes by hand, do an outline towards the last couple of weeks of class, take two-three practice exams for each class-> profit. Ended up top 10-15% @ CCN with mulpt V-5 offers. A couple of buddies of mine did a system similar to yours and ended up top 1%. we're all working at the same firm but i had more fun so i say i win :).


: )

Here's my question - were the other people who were ranked lower than you doing different things than that? To me, that seems to be that what you did would be what the norm would be. So why did you succeed and others did not? Was it an intelligence thing? Do you think you're just a significantly stronger writer? Or was what you were doing more than the others were doing?

Thank you for the help/advice.

dissonance1848
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby dissonance1848 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:04 am

.

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:14 am

dissonance1848 wrote:.


?

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fatduck
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby fatduck » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:15 am

swc65 wrote:My system, go to class, listen, take notes by hand, do an outline towards the last couple of weeks of class, take two-three practice exams for each class-> profit.

this is the credited system, though i don't think hand-taking notes is necessary.

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ilovesf
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby ilovesf » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:17 am

I think people who work this much eventually get burnt out. I say relax early in the semester, and around November 1 start prepping for finals.

dissonance1848
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby dissonance1848 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:18 am

Question: If system is credited, then why doesn't everyone do it (thereby negating the system)?

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:20 am

fatduck wrote:
swc65 wrote:My system, go to class, listen, take notes by hand, do an outline towards the last couple of weeks of class, take two-three practice exams for each class-> profit.

this is the credited system, though i don't think hand-taking notes is necessary.


Same question then. Is this different from what other people are doing? Or are you just smarter/a better writer? What I'm trying to figure out is what sets people apart when so far everyone seems pretty smart and pretty motivated.

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EvilClinton
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby EvilClinton » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:22 am

emkay625 wrote: What I'm trying to figure out is what sets people apart when so far everyone seems pretty smart and pretty motivated.

Luck.

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:24 am

EvilClinton wrote:
emkay625 wrote: What I'm trying to figure out is what sets people apart when so far everyone seems pretty smart and pretty motivated.

Luck.


This is why I'm afraid. I am not a lucky person.

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fatduck
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby fatduck » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:27 am

emkay625 wrote:
fatduck wrote:
swc65 wrote:My system, go to class, listen, take notes by hand, do an outline towards the last couple of weeks of class, take two-three practice exams for each class-> profit.

this is the credited system, though i don't think hand-taking notes is necessary.


Same question then. Is this different from what other people are doing? Or are you just smarter/a better writer? What I'm trying to figure out is what sets people apart when so far everyone seems pretty smart and pretty motivated.

well, you can't really change how smart you are at this stage in the game. you're assuming that working harder will compensate for intelligence, which i don't really think is the case. you're not gonna beat the test by having the MOST AWESOME AND ACCURATE outline or by memorizing a ton of BLL. the best thing you can do, if you were to add additional work, would be more practice tests/practice problems, which will help you condense the information you've learned into exam responses.

was i smarter than 99% of my classmates? i mean, maybe, but i doubt it. definitely not according to my LSAT score. i think having a relatively stress-free semester and going into finals at 100% energy is underrated.

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:38 am

fatduck wrote:
emkay625 wrote:
fatduck wrote:
swc65 wrote:My system, go to class, listen, take notes by hand, do an outline towards the last couple of weeks of class, take two-three practice exams for each class-> profit.

this is the credited system, though i don't think hand-taking notes is necessary.


Same question then. Is this different from what other people are doing? Or are you just smarter/a better writer? What I'm trying to figure out is what sets people apart when so far everyone seems pretty smart and pretty motivated.

well, you can't really change how smart you are at this stage in the game. you're assuming that working harder will compensate for intelligence, which i don't really think is the case. you're not gonna beat the test by having the MOST AWESOME AND ACCURATE outline or by memorizing a ton of BLL. the best thing you can do, if you were to add additional work, would be more practice tests/practice problems, which will help you condense the information you've learned into exam responses.

was i smarter than 99% of my classmates? i mean, maybe, but i doubt it. definitely not according to my LSAT score. i think having a relatively stress-free semester and going into finals at 100% energy is underrated.


Thank you for the feedback. On average 1L year, how many practice exams did you do for each class?

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:39 am

Other question: any tips for success in LRW? We are graded and curved.

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fatduck
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby fatduck » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:43 am

emkay625 wrote:
fatduck wrote:well, you can't really change how smart you are at this stage in the game. you're assuming that working harder will compensate for intelligence, which i don't really think is the case. you're not gonna beat the test by having the MOST AWESOME AND ACCURATE outline or by memorizing a ton of BLL. the best thing you can do, if you were to add additional work, would be more practice tests/practice problems, which will help you condense the information you've learned into exam responses.

was i smarter than 99% of my classmates? i mean, maybe, but i doubt it. definitely not according to my LSAT score. i think having a relatively stress-free semester and going into finals at 100% energy is underrated.


Thank you for the feedback. On average 1L year, how many practice exams did you do for each class?

varied wildly based on my confidence level. i felt completely lost in crim so i went through like all 10 of the provided practice exams. for others, like property, i think i did 1. i never really sat down and "did a practice exam" like a timed LSAT, you know, i just read through the fact patterns, drafted a rough outline of a response, and (if available) checked my issues/analysis against the model answer.


no fucking clue about LRW. didn't do great either semester. the person who booked my section both semesters talked to the prof after class every day and went to office hours like 8000 times, so there's that.

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ilovesf
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby ilovesf » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:46 am

emkay625 wrote:Other question: any tips for success in LRW? We are graded and curved.

Meet with your TAs and prof as much as possible. This is the one class where talking to the prof pays off the most.

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Pathika
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby Pathika » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:49 am

A few things to keep in mind: Supplements can be dangerous in that, unless they are taught by the professor (and even then they are not 100% safe), the author is probably teaching in a different way than your professor, and what your professor says/does/wants is the only thing that matters. A kid in my Torts class used supplements, on a week before finals, starting going crazy because his supplement talked about several torts we did not talk about in class and he wasn't sure if he should study the extra information just in case. Also, basing an outline an a supplement is a waste of time. Your outline should correspond with what goes on in class, which may not be as neatly organized as your supplement (e.g. my contracts professor went from chapter 9 to 2 to 14 to 18 to 5, etc...).

Second, there is no point in outlining until halfway through, if not later. The point of an outline is to help tie things together and give you the "big picture" view... you can't really know what the big picture is until you have learned a decent amount of info.

Studying on the weekend is great (it is what I do), but I find I need to take pretty detailed notes if I'm going to remember everything I've read... I read all day Friday (I schedule so I don't have classes on Friday) and Saturday, but by the time Thursday comes around, I have a hard time remembering everything I've read, so going back to my notes is a big help. I've also found I rarely take notes in class because I don't really find it helpful... I prefer to listen to the conversation and, if anything incredibly important comes up, I'll make note of it, but that rarely happens.

But, as has been said before, different strokes... I would really start off with a less is more approach... if you find that doing less than you have proposed isn't working for you, add more... but starting with what you have proposed will cause you to go nuts quickly. Don't be the guy in my class stressing out over everything because you get confused between what the prof says and what the supplement says. Some prof's teach what they believe the law should be, not necessarily what it is, and that'll screw you if you rely on supplements.

ETA: You will most likely need more than 2 full days on the weekend for homework. I'm a relatively quick reader and I can absorb stuff quickly, but with the exception of Torts, most of my classes took about 2 hours of reading per assignment... so if you have class 4 days a week, that's 8 hours per class of reading per week...
Last edited by Pathika on Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:52 am

1) Your schedule is way too rigid. It's great to have a plan and all, but to say in week three, "This is how I'm approaching each day and night of every week for the rest of the semester" is absolutely absurd.

Legal Writing just on Fridays? Umm, not happening when an assignment comes due. On a similar note, there will be stuff that will be significantly harder for you to understand than others. I don't remember your schedule, but estates in property comes to mind. Or personal jurisdiction in torts. Or differentiating all the different types of homicides in crim. To have a "set" schedule isn't going to work when you hit a bump in the road.

All that said, like you, I liked to have a game plan. I would plan out my goals for the week every Sunday night. For instance, (1) update property outline, (2) figure out what the hell happened in contracts the last two weeks, (3) make notecards for crim, (4) finish research for legal writing. This gives you more flexibility.

2) Too many different things going on. CALI, E&E's, Law in a Flash, commercial outlines, briefs, and other supplements? Using this many different things will likely confuse you, as all of them will say relatively the same thing in different ways. Perhaps more importantly, supplements won't always be in line with what your professor says. Remember, your professor is always right. You're infinitely better off doing two things: (1) focus on memorizing the law that you're taught, and (2) figure out the SINGLE best supplement for your course (feel free to ask a professor or a successful upper classman who had that professor).

I strongly think that using that many different materials could be detrimental. Instead, focus your energy.

Here's an admittedly stupid analogy. You are assigned to memorize 50 words, in order, in 50 minutes. Would you learn them in 5 different languages just for the hell of it (thus spending 10 minutes per language)? Or, would you just spend 50 minutes learning the words in one language?

Again, the point I'm trying to make is that you should focus your energy on memorizing the law and its policies. Use your casebook, notes, and a supplement to do this. Add hypos to the mix if your supplement of choice doesn't have them. In all honesty, the law isn't that hard...you don't need that many supplements.

3) You're starting practice exams WAY too early. By October, you'll be roughly halfway through the first semester. Thus, if you look at an exam then, you'll only be able to spot half the issues and the entire point of the exercise is ruined. Instead, do practice hypos on that are narrowly tailored to the subjects you've covered.

If you're hellbent on looking at exams, look at them for structure, not content. What type of exam is it (One long fact pattern? Short answer? Multiple choice? Policy?). How much time is allotted? Is there a word limit? Is it open or closed note? These are all things that can help you gear the way you're studying.

4) Most importantly, figure out what a law school exam is like. Everything you mentioned is substantive. Scribe (I think) made a great point in his thread on how to take exams: so you've taken 20 practice exams and think you "know" the law...does that mean you know how to take a law school exam? No.

Before you delve into all this supplement crap (and your semester gets way busier), do everything you can do master what a law school exam is like. Read Getting to Maybe. Read it again. Read Scribe's post. Read "Eight Tips to Ace Law School Exams." Read everything you can out there throughout the semester (I'm a 2L and still peruse Getting to Maybe sometimes [I'm not intelligent so I need refreshers]).

When you're sitting in lecture, you'll know: "Oh, he's talking about different jurisdictions using different rules. I'll note that and write about both if this issue comes up on the exam. When I use my supplement, I'll make sure to figure out the policy behind each rule, and why one is favored over the other."

THAT is how you want to be thinking during lecture, while you're studying, etc. And if you don't know how to translate that studying/learning into spotting issues/writing coherently on a law school exam, all your work is for nothing. So learn about exams.


I wrote way more than I thought I would, but only because I'd hate to see somebody who seems as committed as you not succeed. Best of luck this semester.
Last edited by AVBucks4239 on Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Pathika
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby Pathika » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:53 am

emkay625 wrote:Other question: any tips for success in LRW? We are graded and curved.


I got the highest grade in our version of LRW, and it really came down to one thing: desire. My school is P/F with the top person in the class getting Honors. It wasn't so much that I wanted Honors, but that I wanted to do well in the class. Most people treated the class as a formality rather than a necessity. You will realize that legal writing is one of the most important classes you take because you will do a lot of legal writing and you will submit a writing sample to every employer you send a resume to. Just put the same amount of time and effort into your LRW that you do your other classes and you should be fine. Just treat it like another doctrinal class that matters... and learn the Blue Book.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:57 am

emkay625 wrote:Other question: any tips for success in LRW? We are graded and curved.

Here's a useful thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=192067

Here's my post from said thread:

I CALI'd Legal Writing and Research and wrote some tips in my Guide for 1L success. Some of this references back to other parts of the post, so it might be worth the read: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=189333

XVII. Acing Legal Writing
I think by far the biggest myth on TLS is that Legal Writing is a crapshoot. I think it's the exact opposite--it's the one class you have most control over your grade. Of course this is what everybody thinks, leading to a groupthink of a pretty gunnerish attitude.

That said, there are certain things you should be doing to ace legal writing:

1) Write the way your professor tells you. This is by far the most important thing. If your LWR professor hates what students use "phrase x," never use that phrase. If he/she doesn't want a bunch of legal jargon, don't use it. So many people go against their professor's words, it's hard to believe.

2) Don't procrastinate. I already covered this, but it's worth re-emphasizing. Start the assignment a day or two after you get it. Revise, revise, revise.

3) Use your professor's grade sheet. Most legal writing classes have two papers due fall semester. Usually, you will write a draft for the first paper and you will get a grade sheet/comments back from your professor. KEEP THIS AND USE IT. What is he/she looking for with your analysis? How many points does he/she give for citations? What writing attributes is he/she focusing on? My professor's grade sheet broke down into 5 main parts (Format, Writing, Organization, Analysis, Citations). I revised my paper just looking at one of those over and over (meaning that I looked just at my organization for an entire revision, just citations on an entire revision, etc.).

4) Your citations should be perfect. The Bluebook is the worst thing that will ever happen to you in law school. That said, learn it and make your citations as perfect as possible. Review them no less than 4-5 times. I actually reviewed them completely separate from my papers (meaning I would edit my draft not even looking at the citations, then go back through and only look at the citations).

5) Go to office hours. I've probably been to office hours a total of 10 times in my life outside of legal writing. That said, I was in my legal writing professor's office hours twice a week when assignments were almost due. She'll either help you out or eventually get sick of seeing you and help you out. It's a win-win.

6) Less is always more. The most brilliant writers, not just legal writers, say the most with the least amount of words. The example my TA used was the Gettysburg Address. That speech is so incredibly profound, addresses so many complex issues, yet it less than 300 words. That's obviously a hard thing to match, but you should always be trying to say as much as possible with as few words as possible. The less it takes you to say something, the more you can actually say.

But, legal writing takes time and effort. Never underestimate an assignment. Start your writing early, start your research even earlier, and never procrastinate.

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LazinessPerSe
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby LazinessPerSe » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:28 am

Long story short, you're going to end up ODing on Adderall/Vyvanse if you keep this schedule.

It's been said, but +1 to waiting until at least Nov. 1 to start exam-prepping. Take it easy - this is a marathon, not a sprint. 1 hour of work in November is worth 4-5 hours of clueless, misguided attempts at outlining now. I can't speak for every law school, but I just read/outlined/practiced from the E&Es and transferred from T4 to T1. Casebooks are very overrated and I literally see no point in belaboring a rule that you can read in 1 sentence and then practice all the different ways it can be thrown at you.

In the end you're going to overwork yourself first semester. Just try and realize that you can coast through Sept-Oct and really get busy in Nov and be #1. Or you can murder yourself for 3 months. Your call.

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 1:41 am

Thank you all very much for the criticism and advice! Keep it coming.

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emkay625
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby emkay625 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 2:40 am

AVBucks4239 wrote:1)

Legal Writing just on Fridays? Umm, not happening when an assignment comes due. On a similar note, there will be stuff that will be significantly harder for you to understand than others. I don't remember your schedule, but estates in property comes to mind. Or personal jurisdiction in torts. Or differentiating all the different types of homicides in crim. To have a "set" schedule isn't going to work when you hit a bump in the road.



Thank you for your very detailed response!

To clarify, I know I can't do my LRW assignments on just Friday evenings. I meant the reading for LRW. Sorry for not being clear.

mbuckner
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby mbuckner » Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:20 am

I'm only a 0L, but mid-October seems awfully early to take practice exams. Just my opinion. As a 0. L.

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JCFindley
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby JCFindley » Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:28 am

Just tagging along for the ride......

BTW, I am a 1L with a somewhat similar plan (though not quite as intense and broad.)

Thanks, for all the input.......

JC




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