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

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Master Tofu
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Postby Master Tofu » Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:38 pm

Speaking from personal experience, waiting until the end(even if the end started around Thanksgiving) to outline is ridiculously hard given how much material we cover. I think it is good advice to outline at consistent intervals throughout the year and to get a good grasp of the topic while you're doing it, because that will make it that much more easier when you're coming back at the end of the semester to rehash an entire semester's worth of material.

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Postby lwpat » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:34 pm

I think it is good advice to outline at consistent intervals throughout the year

I agree. You need to start at day one. I used Outliner by Storelaw. Has some minor bugs but it lets you outline as you go. I put what I wanted about each case/topic under one tab and then used the Tools menu to print the outline.

You really also need to make an appointment with each of your professors and go over your exams at the first of next semester. I am surprised how few students actually do this.

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Postby caribelita » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:01 pm

OK...so my finals aren't actually until January 5th - January 13th, and my last day of class was this Friday, but I can already tell that there are a few things I want to do differently next semester:

1) Not taking a word-by-word transcript of each lecture on my computer[although I have yet to figure out an extremely accurate method of determining what's truly important and what's not until I've actually written the notes down].
2) Start outlining earlier.
3) Start practicing with hypos earlier, even if it's just topic-specific hypos instead of the broad/overall hypos given on finals.
4) Look at 2L and 3L class outlines for the same course with the same prof earlier (so that I can get a sense of what the prof REALLY thinks is important for each topic, evidenced by the fact that he/she repeats himself/herself year after year).

Other than that...I'm in the middle of outlining right now, and *hopefully* will start practicing with old exams and hypos by next week or 1 1/2 weeks from now.

Things I'll keep doing that worked for me:
1) Reading E&E (at least for CivPro) throughout the semester as opposed to one long sitting at the end of the semester.
2) Referring to hornbooks and commercial outlines for topics that weren't very clearly explained in class.
3) Occasionally reading the High Court Case Briefs, other than the actual case, when I had other priorities I had to deal with and then going back to the actual case after class and only focusing on the portions of the case that the professor emphasized.

Here's to hoping that finals will go well for me in January!!! Now if only my Christmas break wasn't plagued with study time....grrrr...:(

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Dschinghis Khan
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Postby Dschinghis Khan » Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:51 pm

caribelita, are you at Harvard? If so, I am thrilled to learn that I am not the only person here who didn't start outlining until winter break.

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Postby caribelita » Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:49 pm

D-Khan: Yup, I'm at Harvard, too. What section are you in?

And technically, I guess I "semi" outlined a bit for CivPro and Torts b/c we had mini-assignments throughout the semester (4 in CivPro and 2 in Torts) which forced me to "kind of" outline my class notes. But overall, I don't really consider that to be true outlining. It was more like.... mini-reviewing.

So, the true answer I guess is that yeah, I waited until the end of the this semester to start outlining. :(

Honestly, though, I'm not sure how I would have fit in outlining any earlier. I know several people in my section started a while ago, but for me, there just never seemed to be enough time to start outlining in earnest with all the other readings / assignments that we had to do.

By when are you planning to have your outlines finished?

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Postby Katkins » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:06 am

It's so interesting y'all have finals after break. I couldn't take 3 more weeks of what I've been doing since classes ended. Every minute I wasn't studying, I'd feel like I should be. But then it would be nice to be less rushed for time to cram.

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Postby britt2010 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 2:16 pm

I don't know, I agree with you, Katkins. I studied for ungodly hours just because...what else was I supposed to do? Classes ended Dec 7 and my first exam was Dec 13. Just right.

Actually, thinking about it...I don't think I would have started outlining too soon. Well, at least making a legitimate outline. Perhaps I would have gone back through my notes at midpoints and organized them, but the beauty of outlining all at once, after everything is said and done, is that you get to do this fantastic overview.

There were things that simply weren't connecting for me until the very end.

I will, however, create an "outline" of topics to be covered using the book's TOC or my professor's syllabus in my class notes, so that I can get a better idea/roadmap.

I also don't think it was a bad idea to write a lot of verbatim things, at least for two of my professors. I think it's by professor--I had one who wasn't an expert and was doing the 1L rotation thing--probably could have just imported info from a commercial outline.

The other two are experts. After 3.5 billion years of teaching the subject, they've formed opinions that often differ from cases and some of the "rules." Looking back at my notes and my professors "this is wrong, this should be X" comments was very, very helpful--never would have gotten that from the aids.

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Postby bumpjon » Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:28 pm

I'll figure that out after grades come in. I know that I'll take more practice exams and I'll outline through out the semester. But other than that, I have to see how I did before figuring out what worked and what didn't.

Did anyone here read LSC? I'm going to do that performance evaluation and figure out what needs to change.

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Postby chris0805 » Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:25 pm

1) I would work out more
2) I would go surfing more
3) I would try harder to stay good on my promise that I'd be fine with Bs or B+s... I thought I'd be fine with them (and I probably will be), but then Exams hit and I get all competitive and whatnot... I'm gonna try harder to be "above" that kind of stuff next term

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Postby GodSpeed » Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:24 pm

I'd got to Torts. Fuck.

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Postby dat_raw_n_tellect » Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:21 am

I feel such a connection to all of you lol!! 1Ls kick arse!

I would do a lot of the same things everyone has mentioned...however, I think I will be able to answer this question better AFTER I get grades.

The only thing I would like to add is to be careful which outside books you use. For example, my Torts professor did not like the way Gilberts explained something for proximate cause. When did we find this out????????: Two days before the exam. Luckily, I hadn't touched Gilberts and stuck to E&E, Understanding Torts, and hornbooks.

Also, I find that your professor's definition of "negligence" or whatever could be different from someone else's...so be careful of incorporating phrases into your answers that have not been uttered by your professor.

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Postby Shields932 » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:26 am

1. Go to the gym
2. Review Civil Procedure A LOT MORE than I did throughout the year.
3. Not stress so much about preparing for class. (knowing the black letter law is so much more important in the end)

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Postby optimusbjork » Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:18 am

Things I Would Do Differently

I would start outlining very early rather than a week after Thanksgiving. God, that sucked. Bigtime.

I would spend a lot more time reading in the library after classes.

I would ask questions in class and quit worrying about being a gunner.

I would have taken our first memo more seriously and not assumed I'd make a decent grade because, "hey, I'm an English major."

I would have bought E&Es for *all* of my classes and actually read them along with the casebooks.

I would have used my financial aid more wisely and perhaps paid my rent a few months in advance.

I would have sighed a little louder when that jerk asked yet another question that had nothing to do with the lecture...because obviously he didn't get the hint the first time.

Things I would NOT do differently:

Miss the weekly bar review because I had Contracts the next morning at 9 and KNEW I would not get up in time if I had gone out the night before.

Make sure I read the assignments so I could honestly say I was prepared for each class.

Not let my "mature" age get in the way of making some really great friends.

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Postby Katkins » Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:40 pm

Impressive on skipping bar review... I'm going to have to make that decision re: my 8 a.m. Friday class next semester. Sigh. I lived the good life this fall w/ no classes 4 days a week... it's payback time.

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Postby orangeswarm » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:33 am

Yea, I was in the same boat having to skip the Thursday night bar fiascoes. Next semester will be worse.............I have class at 7:45 (I didn't even know they started before 8am) :shock:

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Postby NewHere » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:18 am

7.45?! Wow!

I just learned I will have classes at 8 and I thought that was bad...

Sorry, Paul.

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Postby sbjohnsn » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:10 pm

Things I will change:
- Start outlining earlier. No more starting to outline in week 7 :/
- Make more concise briefs
- Highlight my book
- Go to office hours more

Things I will still do:
- Brief every case
- Take copious class notes

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Postby SeekingHeight » Mon Dec 24, 2007 10:34 pm

I'd like to add that, as an individual on the verge of studying law, I've found this thread extremely helpful. Keep it coming. ;]

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Postby Katkins » Tue Dec 25, 2007 3:20 am

New, CLS scheduled 2 different sections for 8 a.m. classes? (I assume, since you're not in mine). That's just unnecessary.

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Postby NewHere » Tue Dec 25, 2007 9:39 pm

Yes, Kat, isn't it?! One of them on Friday, also. Oh, my. Yours too?

I'm trying to look at it from the bright side, which is that most of the afternoons will be completely free, but jee, it's early.

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Postby Katkins » Tue Dec 25, 2007 10:21 pm

Mine, too. Goodbye Bar Review :(

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Postby dssinc » Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:03 am

You two are folding way too easily. Please take these next few days to reconsider your commitment to the bar.

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Postby GodSpeed » Thu Dec 27, 2007 2:58 am

I wont hang out with law school students. they all pretty much suck.

I will try to get that hot nurse's number
I still wont go to class
I will wont take notes

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Postby RTR10 » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:54 pm

Things I will keep doing
1. My weekly reviews
2. Creating ridiculous outlines with flowcharts and checklists and reviews and table of contents and tabs
3. My 2 person study group
4. Using Crunchtime and High Court Case Summaries (best study aids out there)

Things I will be doing differently
1. Get rid of internet and cable at home so I will study more at the law school
2. Talk to professors more often
3. Read the notes of the cases
4. Utilize the librarians
5. Have at least 3 solid days of strictly hypos before each exam (no outlining during that time)

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Postby Katkins » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:05 pm

You're really getting rid of the internet in your home? Whew, that's dedication.

Good to see you posting! :D

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