If I could do my first semester over again...

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strawberrysmoothie
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby strawberrysmoothie » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:14 pm

underdawg wrote:
don't rainbow color highlight if you want to have any friends


Best advice yet.


TITCR. I tried this for about a week and had to stop. Most pointless and unnatural exercise ever. I continued to brief, but certainly not that way.

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sintona
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby sintona » Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:40 pm

Great thread. Thanks everyone.

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thanksfornothing
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby thanksfornothing » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:45 pm

sintona wrote:Great thread. Thanks everyone.

Awesome tips.

Mark71121
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Mark71121 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:40 pm

something that may or may not have been mentioned:

look at old exams as early as possible, but not simply for the "practice." look at what the prof tests on. i spent half a semester agonizing over BLL when the final ended up being 90% policy. huge waste of time.

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steve_nash
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby steve_nash » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:39 am

Mark71121 wrote:something that may or may not have been mentioned:

look at old exams as early as possible, but not simply for the "practice." look at what the prof tests on. i spent half a semester agonizing over BLL when the final ended up being 90% policy. huge waste of time.


on the flip side, one of my professor's old exams were entirely issue spotters. his final? entirely policy. by and large, however, the above answer is credited.

nkrienke32
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby nkrienke32 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:11 am

Stupid question: What does it mean to "brief" a case?

Slimpee
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Slimpee » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:37 am

nkrienke32 wrote:Stupid question: What does it mean to "brief" a case?


Not a stupid question. I'd like to know as well.

The Agitator
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby The Agitator » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:43 am

Basically just summarize in your own words. Read Law School Confidential. Ignore most of it - it overhypes things a lot - but pay attention to the parts where it describes what you will basically be doing day to day in law school (e.g. briefing cases, Socratic method). It's pretty accurate in that respect.

Mark71121
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Mark71121 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:54 pm

steve_nash wrote:
Mark71121 wrote:something that may or may not have been mentioned:

look at old exams as early as possible, but not simply for the "practice." look at what the prof tests on. i spent half a semester agonizing over BLL when the final ended up being 90% policy. huge waste of time.


on the flip side, one of my professor's old exams were entirely issue spotters. his final? entirely policy. by and large, however, the above answer is credited.



haha ouch. that mustve been a pleasant surprise

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General Tso
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby General Tso » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:55 pm

total newb question - whats the difference between policy and BLL and issues?

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98234872348
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby 98234872348 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:59 pm

swheat wrote:total newb question - whats the difference between policy and BLL and issues?


Short answer... Issues that are presented by ambiguities/contradictions in BLL often force judges to make decisions based on what policy implications that their judgments will have.

That's about all I've got.

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BradyToMoss
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby BradyToMoss » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:03 pm

swheat wrote:total newb question - whats the difference between policy and BLL and issues?


BLL/Issues are the traditional exam question, and often account for most if not all the points on the exam. They will often be asked by using a dense fact pattern which will ask you to analyze a situation that has issues in all kinds of different areas of the law. Your job is to spot these issues, analyze them, and properly resolve them.

A policy question is similar to the liberal arts questions you may have had in Undergrad. It may put you in the position of a senator's aide, a clerk for a judge, or just ask you to evaluate the policy arguments for and against a certain issue in the law. Law and economics, utilitarian discussions, and notions of justice, fairness and idealism will be brought into the discussion. Professors will often have a policy essay worth fewer points than the issue spotter, or some will award points for weaving policy arguments into the issue spotter question.

The important thing is to figure out ahead of time what type of questions your professor is likely to use on the exam, and prepare for the exam accordingly.

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steve_nash
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby steve_nash » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:16 pm

Mark71121 wrote:
steve_nash wrote:
Mark71121 wrote:something that may or may not have been mentioned:

look at old exams as early as possible, but not simply for the "practice." look at what the prof tests on. i spent half a semester agonizing over BLL when the final ended up being 90% policy. huge waste of time.


on the flip side, one of my professor's old exams were entirely issue spotters. his final? entirely policy. by and large, however, the above answer is credited.



haha ouch. that mustve been a pleasant surprise


yep. :evil:

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edcrane
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby edcrane » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:16 pm

BradyToMoss wrote:
swheat wrote:total newb question - whats the difference between policy and BLL and issues?


BLL/Issues are the traditional exam question, and often account for most if not all the points on the exam. They will often be asked by using a dense fact pattern which will ask you to analyze a situation that has issues in all kinds of different areas of the law. Your job is to spot these issues, analyze them, and properly resolve them.

A policy question is similar to the liberal arts questions you may have had in Undergrad. It may put you in the position of a senator's aide, a clerk for a judge, or just ask you to evaluate the policy arguments for and against a certain issue in the law. Law and economics, utilitarian discussions, and notions of justice, fairness and idealism will be brought into the discussion. Professors will often have a policy essay worth fewer points than the issue spotter, or some will award points for weaving policy arguments into the issue spotter question.

The important thing is to figure out ahead of time what type of questions your professor is likely to use on the exam, and prepare for the exam accordingly.


Agreed. Some people think that because policy questions are more akin to liberal arts questions, it is sufficient to "bullshit" the answers (i.e., not prepare specifically for the policy portion of the exam). This is, I think, a bad approach, unless you are extraordinarily skilled at off the cuff policy. The better approach is to look at the policy mentioned in the casebook and in class, and look at law review articles cited in the textbook. Using this information, you can prepare canned policy points for your outline which you can easily copy into your answers.

Edit: I should add that the fact that policy accounts for fewer of the points in a given exam should not dissuade you from putting your all into preparation. Sometimes substantive legal questions will be so simple that most of the curve will be decided on answers to policy questions. So don't ignore this stuff. It's important.

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steve_nash
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby steve_nash » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:28 pm

edcrane wrote:
BradyToMoss wrote:
BLL/Issues are the traditional exam question, and often account for most if not all the points on the exam. They will often be asked by using a dense fact pattern which will ask you to analyze a situation that has issues in all kinds of different areas of the law. Your job is to spot these issues, analyze them, and properly resolve them.

A policy question is similar to the liberal arts questions you may have had in Undergrad. It may put you in the position of a senator's aide, a clerk for a judge, or just ask you to evaluate the policy arguments for and against a certain issue in the law. Law and economics, utilitarian discussions, and notions of justice, fairness and idealism will be brought into the discussion. Professors will often have a policy essay worth fewer points than the issue spotter, or some will award points for weaving policy arguments into the issue spotter question.

The important thing is to figure out ahead of time what type of questions your professor is likely to use on the exam, and prepare for the exam accordingly.


Agreed. Some people think that because policy questions are more akin to liberal arts questions, it is sufficient to "bullshit" the answers (i.e., not prepare specifically for the policy portion of the exam). This is, I think, a bad approach, unless you are extraordinarily skilled at off the cuff policy. The better approach is to look at the policy mentioned in the casebook and in class, and look at law review articles cited in the textbook. Using this information, you can prepare canned policy points for your outline which you can easily copy into your answers.

Edit: I should add that the fact that policy accounts for fewer of the points in a given exam should not dissuade you from putting your all into preparation. Sometimes substantive legal questions will be so simple that most of the curve will be decided on answers to policy questions. So don't ignore this stuff. It's important.


credited. i totally did this for my policy exam and did well on it. i copied out of the book and cited to it.

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a.williams
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby a.williams » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:15 am

steve_nash wrote:
credited. i totally did this for my policy exam and did well on it. i copied out of the book and cited to it.


Another 0L question. When you site to stuff like policy issues or cases in an exam, do you have to provide full blue book citations or is it more like, "in X, Y states that ..."

Mark71121
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Mark71121 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:17 am

a.williams wrote:
steve_nash wrote:
credited. i totally did this for my policy exam and did well on it. i copied out of the book and cited to it.


Another 0L question. When you site to stuff like policy issues or cases in an exam, do you have to provide full blue book citations or is it more like, "in X, Y states that ..."


doesn't need to be fancy at all. you're going to be typing like a madman. any reference to the case or whatever will be sufficient. i usually just put it in parenthesis or say as seen in xxxxxxx, ........

asaunde2
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby asaunde2 » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:20 am

This might be just a little off topic but, about these casebooks that cost $150- if you decide to make notes in the margins, highlight, etc., as some people advocate, does that mean that you can no longer sell them back to the bookstore at all (even for the fraction of its original cost that they apparently will give you)? Can you get them used in the first place?

JAMNjo
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby JAMNjo » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:27 am

You also have to remember that everyone else is asking for advice, everyone else is buying E & Es and doing "all the right things." After having just completed my first year of law school, i have come away with the following conclusion. Yes, i stressed about the other gunners and worried i wasn't doing enough. I made time to go out with friends, see movies, i exercised every day, made time to cook fun meals. I HAD A LIFE. Come grades time, i was top 10% at a T 30 school. I am convinced that, regardless of how much certain people do, there will be certain others who just "have it." What i mean is this, some people just have a natural, almost intuitive-like intelligence when it comes to law school. At my school, all of the top people in my section, for the most part (the people who CALI) are married, have spent some time out of school, had careers, etc. People with real world experience, who weren't necessarily more book smart, but they had already evolved an "it" that made them successful. Of course there are exceptions, but don't stress if you dont do the best your first year. We always think "what could i have done differently?" but sometimes at such competitive institutions, it isn't so much about what a person does wrong, as it is what the other high achievers have that can't be outdone by more studying, etc.

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ChattelCat
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby ChattelCat » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:04 pm

asaunde2 wrote:This might be just a little off topic but, about these casebooks that cost $150- if you decide to make notes in the margins, highlight, etc., as some people advocate, does that mean that you can no longer sell them back to the bookstore at all (even for the fraction of its original cost that they apparently will give you)? Can you get them used in the first place?


it definitely cuts down on resale value but people will buy them - go look at used listings on Amazon or Half.com to get an idea of what they re-sell for. I'm not a big highlighter type of person so I only wrote in pencil in a couple of mine and sold them back for around $100 each.

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El Orance
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby El Orance » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:07 pm

asaunde2 wrote: Can you get them used in the first place?


Yes. In fact, if you get called on and haven't done the reading it's helpful to have stuff pre-highlighted :)

Merriweather
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Merriweather » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:16 pm

i would never have listened to leews

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Cole S. Law
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby Cole S. Law » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:24 pm

El Orance wrote:
asaunde2 wrote: Can you get them used in the first place?


Yes. In fact, if you get called on and haven't done the reading it's helpful to have stuff pre-highlighted :)


Yeah, I got a used textbook that was owned by a multiple highlighter disciple. It will be a nice insurance policy if I'm ever unprepared.

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steve_nash
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby steve_nash » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:03 pm

a.williams wrote:
steve_nash wrote:
credited. i totally did this for my policy exam and did well on it. i copied out of the book and cited to it.


Another 0L question. When you site to stuff like policy issues or cases in an exam, do you have to provide full blue book citations or is it more like, "in X, Y states that ..."


i never, ever did proper citations.

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steve_nash
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Re: If I could do my first semester over again...

Postby steve_nash » Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:06 pm

JAMNjo wrote:You also have to remember that everyone else is asking for advice, everyone else is buying E & Es and doing "all the right things." After having just completed my first year of law school, i have come away with the following conclusion. Yes, i stressed about the other gunners and worried i wasn't doing enough. I made time to go out with friends, see movies, i exercised every day, made time to cook fun meals. I HAD A LIFE. Come grades time, i was top 10% at a T 30 school. I am convinced that, regardless of how much certain people do, there will be certain others who just "have it." What i mean is this, some people just have a natural, almost intuitive-like intelligence when it comes to law school. At my school, all of the top people in my section, for the most part (the people who CALI) are married, have spent some time out of school, had careers, etc. People with real world experience, who weren't necessarily more book smart, but they had already evolved an "it" that made them successful. Of course there are exceptions, but don't stress if you dont do the best your first year. We always think "what could i have done differently?" but sometimes at such competitive institutions, it isn't so much about what a person does wrong, as it is what the other high achievers have that can't be outdone by more studying, etc.


I remember one of my professors, after I met with him to discuss the exam (which I had done well on), told me something very similar. I didn't believe him at the time, but the more I think about it, the more I'm starting to believe it.




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