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

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

Postby Skyblaze » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:59 pm

A puppy!? :shock: Why on earth did you get a puppy right when you're about to start 1L!? Take it back!

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

Postby JCFindley » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:13 pm

Skyblaze wrote:A puppy!? :shock: Why on earth did you get a puppy right when you're about to start 1L!? Take it back!


Who bought a puppy? I missed that...

Though, NOTHING on Earth can de-stress you like a puppy. I think the increase in work will be more than offset by the benefits a puppy will give.

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

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:17 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:I'm a 1L just finished my first week at a T40. I chose the school (full ride+stipend scholarship) over a couple T14s with money, for various reasons and now I'm trying to figure out a study method to make sure I do well.

My plan so far:

1. I'm reading everything and briefing the cases. Reading the footnotes with a fine toothed comb, and making notes of everything the professor mentions in class.
2. For each class I have a single document of reading notes and in class notes, that I'm editing and keeping up to date (bolding terms with a definition).
3. For each class i have a three ring binder with my notes to refer to.
4. I limited myself to one well-reviewed supplement for each class (usually the one recommended by prof).

I'm planning to assemble the material for each doctrinal class (Crim, Civ pro, Contracts, Torts), and at the semester take what will be an excess of information (probably 200 or so pages of notes for each class) and distill it down to a shorter version (maybe 40-50 pages) that I can work with as I study. I think all of my exams are going to be closed book. A number of professors have already said the final is majority applying law to fact rather than black letter law, although the latter is crucial and you need to know that cold.

My impressions of law school:

-some people have obviously read supplements, and are referring to concepts from much later in the semester. but these people aren't necessarily that sharp.
-everyone seems to be working very hard: harder than I would have thought. I'm planning to work 60-65 hours a week--which I did last week--but I'm not the only one.
--the tone of the class completely changed once classes started. A lot of comments about the curve and really obvious ass-kissing of the professor. someone said to me and a couple others that all grades determine is the first job, and after that they're irrelevant. at first I thought this was just an ignorant comment, but then it occurred to me that it might be strategic.
--having said all that, I like the classes so far. the other students are not bad, and some are very smart. I'm glad i made this choice, but also feel some pressure since I know that grades will mean a lot.

If you're not using reverse psychology, you're not trying.

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

Postby LazinessPerSe » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:18 pm

And in this moment I realized that all 1Ls are the same and none of them trust advice given. 60-65 hours a week? I can only imagine what the hell you did with your time.

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

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:56 pm

LazinessPerSe wrote:And in this moment I realized that all 1Ls are the same and none of them trust advice given. 60-65 hours a week? I can only imagine what the hell you did with your time.

If it's 60 to 65 hours a week on top of class, then fuck, my advice is of no use.

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bk1
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby bk1 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:59 pm

All I can say is:

The parties are advised to chill. -Kozinski

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

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:34 am

LazinessPerSe wrote:And in this moment I realized that all 1Ls are the same and none of them trust advice given. 60-65 hours a week? I can only imagine what the hell you did with your time.


No comprende.

Class is 15 hrs a week. Reading is 2 hrs per class meeting. Budget 5-8 hours for editing notes , a few hours to prepare for moot court stuff and in-class quizzes, and there you go.

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

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:04 am

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
LazinessPerSe wrote:And in this moment I realized that all 1Ls are the same and none of them trust advice given. 60-65 hours a week? I can only imagine what the hell you did with your time.


No comprende.

Class is 15 hrs a week. Reading is 2 hrs per class meeting. Budget 5-8 hours for editing notes , a few hours to prepare for moot court stuff and in-class quizzes, and there you go.

Class = 15 hours
Reading/Regular Assignments = 1.5 hours per class max, so 22.5 hours (I mean, come the fuck on, I read at talking speed, you are all smarter than I am [I'm TTT as fuck in terms of natural intelligence], and this is as long as it takes so long as you're not derping around on the internet the entire time).
Other Studying = 8-10 hours (again, max, and this is pushing it)

Total = 45.5-47 hours.

Do you guys understand how hard December will be compared to this?

swimmer11
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby swimmer11 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:17 am

Then would some of you 2-3L's mInd shedding some light onto your 1L winning gameplan?

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

Postby fatduck » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:22 am

swimmer11 wrote:Then would some of you 2-3L's mInd shedding some light onto your 1L winning gameplan?

before thanksgiving

- do readings / take brief notes on readings
- go to class
- chill the fuck out

after thanksgiving

- outline
- figure out what the professor likes to see on an exam (e.g., practice exams, office hours, talk to successful 2Ls)
- victory

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bk1
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:32 am

fatduck wrote:
swimmer11 wrote:Then would some of you 2-3L's mInd shedding some light onto your 1L winning gameplan?

before thanksgiving

- do readings / take brief notes on readings
- go to class
- chill the fuck out

after thanksgiving

- outline
- figure out what the professor likes to see on an exam (e.g., practice exams, office hours, talk to successful 2Ls)
- victory


This.

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

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:35 am

You guys need to accept the fact that law school really isn't that hard until finals month. You seem to think, "OMGesus I need to be doing all this shit cause this is lawl school." No. No. No.

It's really not that hard. Stay on top of your shit. If you don't understand something, figure it out now. Go to class. Take good notes. Go out. Make friends. God damnit people LIVE.

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

Postby emkay625 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:05 am

Skyblaze wrote:A puppy!? :shock: Why on earth did you get a puppy right when you're about to start 1L!? Take it back!


I call him a puppy....he's really not any more. He's a year and a half. And he's wonderful. I wouldn't give him up for anything in the world.

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

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:22 am

AVBucks4239 wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:
LazinessPerSe wrote:And in this moment I realized that all 1Ls are the same and none of them trust advice given. 60-65 hours a week? I can only imagine what the hell you did with your time.


No comprende.

Class is 15 hrs a week. Reading is 2 hrs per class meeting. Budget 5-8 hours for editing notes , a few hours to prepare for moot court stuff and in-class quizzes, and there you go.

Class = 15 hours
Reading/Regular Assignments = 1.5 hours per class max, so 22.5 hours (I mean, come the fuck on, I read at talking speed, you are all smarter than I am [I'm TTT as fuck in terms of natural intelligence], and this is as long as it takes so long as you're not derping around on the internet the entire time).
Other Studying = 8-10 hours (again, max, and this is pushing it)

Total = 45.5-47 hours.

Do you guys understand how hard December will be compared to this?


All I'm doing in addition to the readings, briefing cases, little moot court projects/quizzes is outlining for each class from the beginning. I think doing this along the way will make finals easier. Once I've done what I'm supposed do I'm not doing anything more. Maybe after I have more experience briefing/reading I can do this all faster, but in the meantime I'd rather over prepare than do a sloppy job outlining or lazy job reading and then be screwed at the end. In terms of living life, my view is that these two sixteen week blocks of time (fall/spring) will determine a lot and I don't want to shortchange myself. I will be pissed if I don't end up with big law/mid law or something solid.

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

Postby quiver » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:49 am

I agree with what everyone else has said but I'll add my two cents anyway. In my experience, doing well in law school boils down to 3 steps:

1) find out what you need to know
2) learn what you need to know
3) practice

Obviously, different methods work for different people and different professors. The key aspect of studying smart is not wasting time on stuff you don't need to know for the exam (hence step one above). There are several ways to do this. I always look at my professors' past exams before the first day of class to see what areas they stress and the format of their exam. Do they only care about BLL or do they ask policy questions too? Is it all issue spotter or do they throw in multiple choice? What areas do they stress the most? Past exams usually answer these questions. Obviously you don't know the law for the class yet so you won't know any of the answers, but the main point is to just find out what's on the exam and, because of that, what you need to focus on all semester. Another way to find this stuff out is to just ask the professor. Sometimes they'll be helpful and sometimes they'll blow you off. It may be worth the shot though. Asking 2Ls and 3Ls who had had your professor (and ideally did well) are also a great resource.

The second step is pretty straightforward. Based on what you learned in step 1, learn that stuff. For example, if the professor tells you exactly how to approach a certain problem in class, then there's no need to read supplements on that problem. This step is all about efficiency; if you just study nonstop throughout the semester I'm sure you'll find everything you need to know but you wasted a bazillion hours doing it (and also created an outline that is a bazillion times longer than needed). This step is also a huge judgment call. Sometimes cases will work best, sometimes supplements, sometimes just taking good class notes will be enough. This is why the first step is so key IMO.

The third step is pretty straightforward as well: take practice exams. I usually started doing isolated questions about a month before the exam then ramped up to doing full exams by the time I had to take the actual exam. This is mostly personal preference; do whatever gets you prepared to take a full exam by your professor when exam time rolls around.


Anyone feel free to PM me if you have any follow-up questions or if you want a detailed version of my study method.

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

Postby JCFindley » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:57 am

AVBucks4239 wrote:You guys need to accept the fact that law school really isn't that hard until finals month. You seem to think, "OMGesus I need to be doing all this shit cause this is lawl school." No. No. No.

It's really not that hard. Stay on top of your shit. If you don't understand something, figure it out now. Go to class. Take good notes. Go out. Make friends. God damnit people LIVE.


That IS actually my concern; it just seems pretty easy. If it is in fact this easy why do people stress like they do? I realize it is WAY early in the game but if I think it is easy maybe I am missing something. This thought is not inducing any stress, but it is making me look around to see what else I might be doing or what I might be missing.

Like H&G said, two blocks of four months each just isn't that long in the big scheme of things. It really isn't that long to maintain a moderate shifting to high ops tempo.

I do go out and hang with people in my section and am quite involved in my public interest scholars program which has a large social aspect. When it comes down to it though, it's been a long time since I went out and stayed out past ten anyway. I don't watch TV except Auburn football and Sunday night Fox (Family Guy/American Dad.) I do exercise every day. I have been married long enough were I vaguely remember what sex is so it is not like I am cutting that out. The fact is I have been working between 40 and 60 hours a week as long as I can remember so with no job it seems pretty natural to fill that gap with good study habits assuming we know what those are. (Which, is what many of us 1Ls ITT are trying to determine now while it is early in the game.)

I think the 1Ls on here ARE hearing yall, at least I know I am. I don't think anyone is stressing out here but rather just looking for ways to effectively use our time.

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

Postby stargazin » Sun Sep 02, 2012 11:10 am

This is how I feel as well. After all the 1L horror stories, people saying that it's like full time undergrad PLUS a full time job, I was pleasantly surprised and don't see it that way at all. When I was in undergrad, I was in a major that had big group projects for almost every single class, and group projects were hell on wheels. You meet ten thousand times a semester and accomplish nothing because nobody can decide on anything, including when to have the next meeting, and even after the group finally decides on something, someone will always decide they don't like it and schedule another meeting to lobby the group to do something else, because everyone wants THEIR idea to be accepted in the end, then repeat steps 1-3 ad nauseum. Oh, and you have to rate each other at the end based on meeting attendance and how you contributed to the group, so you have to go to every. single. group meeting. So far, law school and doing some reading on your own time seems like a dream to me right now.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:09 pm

stargazin wrote:This is how I feel as well. After all the 1L horror stories, people saying that it's like full time undergrad PLUS a full time job, I was pleasantly surprised and don't see it that way at all. When I was in undergrad, I was in a major that had big group projects for almost every single class, and group projects were hell on wheels. You meet ten thousand times a semester and accomplish nothing because nobody can decide on anything, including when to have the next meeting, and even after the group finally decides on something, someone will always decide they don't like it and schedule another meeting to lobby the group to do something else, because everyone wants THEIR idea to be accepted in the end, then repeat steps 1-3 ad nauseum. Oh, and you have to rate each other at the end based on meeting attendance and how you contributed to the group, so you have to go to every. single. group meeting. So far, law school and doing some reading on your own time seems like a dream to me right now.


Yea, wait until you have to write your memo and outline courses at the same time of the semester, which also happens to be the point where professors assign more reading per night. Shit gets real. It's not unmanageable, but it's definitely not a "dream."

swimmer11
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby swimmer11 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:06 pm

This is just why I am so confused. It seems as though almost all of the success in law school articles seem to stress to outline from day one, to memorize your outline just as early, and to work hard as fuck from the first day to the last day. Now, all of this advice is saying wait to outline until after Thanksgiving or in the beginning of November and to chill out. Can someone clear up this discrepancy for me please?

P.s: Every 1L that is posting in this thread and the many more that are lurking greatly appreciate all of the advice.

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

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:14 pm

swimmer11 wrote:This is just why I am so confused. It seems as thought almost all of the success in law school articles seem to stress to outline from day one, to memorize your outline just as early, and to work hard as fuck from the first day to the last day. Now, all of this advice is saying wait to outline until after Thanksgiving or in the beginning of November. Can someone clear up this discrepancy for me please?

P.s: Every 1L that is posting in this thread and the many more that are lurking greatly appreciate all of the advice.


Yeah, as a .02L I can't see what possible downside there could be to outlining from day 1, provided that you don't overdo it and burn out, and are willing to sacrifice the leisure time. From what I can gather, there are infinity things one could possibly do for a given class (many many supplements, etc.) but if you learn the black letter law from class by rote, and you practice applying law to fact, and you consult the prof/a supplement for issues you don't understand, what else is there?

also, i'm not sure all the people commenting here saying "chill out" are necessarily top 10%. What I'm looking to do is to have the best possible chance of grading on to law review. So I'm trying to set up a rigorous study plan, and I'm here to get feedback from 2L/3Ls if there is something bad or even just obviously flawed about what I have in mind.

nonprofit-prophet
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Re: This is my plan....thoughts and advice requested.

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:19 pm

swimmer11 wrote:This is just why I am so confused. It seems as thought almost all of the success in law school articles seem to stress to outline from day one, to memorize your outline just as early, and to work hard as fuck from the first day to the last day. Now, all of this advice is saying wait to outline until after Thanksgiving or in the beginning of November. Can someone clear up this discrepancy for me please?

P.s: Every 1L that is posting in this thread and the many more that are lurking greatly appreciate all of the advice.


I tried outlining from day 1 first semester and I had a hard time seeing the big picture initially. One of the benefits of outlining is working out the kinks and finding the areas you need to learn more about/clarify. It's hard to do that if you don't have a decent command of the material before you start outlining. I think it's going to depend on personal preferences though.

For second semester, I kept up with my reading throughout the semester and blocked off the last 5 weeks of the semester for outlining. I spent a little more than 1 week on each class. I outlined like crazy and made a case summary document. I made sure that the last class I outlined was my first final, so that I seamlessly transitioned from outlining into exam taking. I took 2 practice exams a day leading up to each exam. usually, that ended up being about 4 days of exam prep before the first exam and then breaks of 2-4 days between exams (depending on my exam schedule).

My first semester grades were good (well inside top 10%), but my second semester grades were over a 4.0. I really think the difference came from waiting to outline so that I could better identify my weak spots. When you have to put concepts into your own words, you really recognize what you know and what you don't know. Also, outlining later on gives you the advantage of seeing how early concepts fit together with concepts taught later in the course

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

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:30 pm

swimmer11 wrote:This is just why I am so confused. It seems as though almost all of the success in law school articles seem to stress to outline from day one, to memorize your outline just as early, and to work hard as fuck from the first day to the last day. Now, all of this advice is saying wait to outline until after Thanksgiving or in the beginning of November and to chill out. Can someone clear up this discrepancy for me please?

P.s: Every 1L that is posting in this thread and the many more that are lurking greatly appreciate all of the advice.

I don't think you'll find a guide on here that says outline from day one.

The emphasis at the start of the semester is to stay on top of everything, don't ever fall behind, and make sure you're grasping the material (i.e., if you don't understand something from casebook/lecture, consult a supplement).

As mentioned above, the downside of outlining from day one is that you'll be wasting time. If you start outlining now, I promise you, later in the semester you'll be going back and revising the hell out of it, almost to the point that you'll be re-writing it. So don't waste your time.

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

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:28 pm

AVBucks4239 wrote:
swimmer11 wrote:This is just why I am so confused. It seems as though almost all of the success in law school articles seem to stress to outline from day one, to memorize your outline just as early, and to work hard as fuck from the first day to the last day. Now, all of this advice is saying wait to outline until after Thanksgiving or in the beginning of November and to chill out. Can someone clear up this discrepancy for me please?

P.s: Every 1L that is posting in this thread and the many more that are lurking greatly appreciate all of the advice.

I don't think you'll find a guide on here that says outline from day one.

The emphasis at the start of the semester is to stay on top of everything, don't ever fall behind, and make sure you're grasping the material (i.e., if you don't understand something from casebook/lecture, consult a supplement).

As mentioned above, the downside of outlining from day one is that you'll be wasting time. If you start outlining now, I promise you, later in the semester you'll be going back and revising the hell out of it, almost to the point that you'll be re-writing it. So don't waste your time.


Im not sure what the difference is between note taking and outlining. I'm taking notes and bolding things like definitions. I'm assuming that my final outline will be like 20% the size of my notes.

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

Postby fatduck » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:33 pm

Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Im not sure what the difference is between note taking and outlining. I'm taking notes and bolding things like definitions. I'm assuming that my final outline will be like 20% the size of my notes.

the value of outlining, in my opinion, is that it is a process of organizing, condensing, and reviewing the material you've learned throughout the semester, in view of the exam. i didn't start outlining until the last week of class, at which point i understood what i needed to know for the exam, so my outlines (and the process, which is just as valuable as the final outline) were extremely exam-focused.

that's just not possible in like, week 2 of the semester.

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

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:12 pm

fatduck wrote:
Hutz_and_Goodman wrote:Im not sure what the difference is between note taking and outlining. I'm taking notes and bolding things like definitions. I'm assuming that my final outline will be like 20% the size of my notes.

the value of outlining, in my opinion, is that it is a process of organizing, condensing, and reviewing the material you've learned throughout the semester, in view of the exam. i didn't start outlining until the last week of class, at which point i understood what i needed to know for the exam, so my outlines (and the process, which is just as valuable as the final outline) were extremely exam-focused.

that's just not possible in like, week 2 of the semester.

This. Outlining is taking everything you know from your casebook, lecture notes, and supplement notes and putting it into one condensed document that is tailored towards answering an exam question. The more you understand the "big picture" of a course, the more easily you are able to discern what is and is not relevant for the exam.

Don't be upset if you don't know what this is now, because you shouldn't. Like I said a few posts ago, a light should go off later in the semester. For me, in contracts (since that's how this thread started), that was after we covered §2-207.

Give it time. Don't panic.




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