Law School Geniuses?

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uvabro
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Law School Geniuses?

Postby uvabro » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:10 pm

So my roommate studies maybe 30-40 minutes per day on average. I only care because he always blasts shit like computer games unless I yell at him so I never get to study unless I'm at school. He claims that's all it takes him to master the material. I've never talked about the actual material w him or anything, but everybody else studies at least 2-3 hours per day, and takes notes/outlines. Is it possible some people can just skim through the stuff, and learn it all at a high level? I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and still could use more time to compose outlines/read supplements.

09042014
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:14 pm

uvabro wrote:So my roommate studies maybe 30-40 minutes per day on average. I only care because he always blasts shit like computer games unless I yell at him so I never get to study unless I'm at school. He claims that's all it takes him to master the material. I've never talked about the actual material w him or anything, but everybody else studies at least 2-3 hours per day, and takes notes/outlines. Is it possible some people can just skim through the stuff, and learn it all at a high level? I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and still could use more time to compose outlines/read supplements.


You can learn any law class in three solid days of gunning if you have a good old outline someone else made.

He might not do so well in classes.

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jkpolk
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby jkpolk » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:20 pm

uvabro wrote:So my roommate studies maybe 30-40 minutes per day on average. I only care because he always blasts shit like computer games unless I yell at him so I never get to study unless I'm at school. He claims that's all it takes him to master the material. I've never talked about the actual material w him or anything, but everybody else studies at least 2-3 hours per day, and takes notes/outlines. Is it possible some people can just skim through the stuff, and learn it all at a high level? I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and still could use more time to compose outlines/read supplements.


lol

portaprokoss
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby portaprokoss » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:21 pm

I know a guy that 1) did no finals prep ever, 2) took no notes, 3) only did readings the day after class (if they seemed interesting when the class discussed it) . . . SCOTUS clerk.

badaboom61
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby badaboom61 » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:28 pm

I did nothing other than read the cases through and take some random notes in the margins, so probably no more than an hour per class, up until three weeks before finals. Then I started outlining / reading supplements, so probably put in 5-6 hours of studying a day, then crammed 10 -12 hours a day the week before exams. Finished easily in the top quarter at a T10, and I'm no law school genius.

It's really not so much volume of study as it is having your eye on the prize (the exam) and directing all efforts towards that and nothing else.

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thesealocust
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby thesealocust » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:39 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
uvabro wrote:So my roommate studies maybe 30-40 minutes per day on average. I only care because he always blasts shit like computer games unless I yell at him so I never get to study unless I'm at school. He claims that's all it takes him to master the material. I've never talked about the actual material w him or anything, but everybody else studies at least 2-3 hours per day, and takes notes/outlines. Is it possible some people can just skim through the stuff, and learn it all at a high level? I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and still could use more time to compose outlines/read supplements.


You can learn any law class in three solid days of gunning if you have a good old outline someone else made.

He might not do so well in classes.


+1.

if you think 60 hours of week mastering 1L material per week isn't enough, then you have absolutely no idea what you're doing and are throwing shit at the wall.

Granted, it takes effort to learn what matters and what doesn't plus what techniques to use to approach classes with maximum efficiency... but it's nowhere near 60 hours per week.

Of course, that doesn't mean slacking is good either. But "learning the law" isn't actually what you're tested on or very difficult in and of itself.

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SuperCerealBrah
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby SuperCerealBrah » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:42 pm

uvabro wrote:So my roommate studies maybe 30-40 minutes per day on average. I only care because he always blasts shit like computer games unless I yell at him so I never get to study unless I'm at school. He claims that's all it takes him to master the material. I've never talked about the actual material w him or anything, but everybody else studies at least 2-3 hours per day, and takes notes/outlines. Is it possible some people can just skim through the stuff, and learn it all at a high level? I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and still could use more time to compose outlines/read supplements.


I don't think it takes a particularly smart person to master the material in most law school courses. The material is just not that difficult to master imo. However, learning and practicing how to master the exams is a different story.

uvabro
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby uvabro » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:52 pm

SuperCerealBrah wrote:
uvabro wrote:So my roommate studies maybe 30-40 minutes per day on average. I only care because he always blasts shit like computer games unless I yell at him so I never get to study unless I'm at school. He claims that's all it takes him to master the material. I've never talked about the actual material w him or anything, but everybody else studies at least 2-3 hours per day, and takes notes/outlines. Is it possible some people can just skim through the stuff, and learn it all at a high level? I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and still could use more time to compose outlines/read supplements.


I don't think it takes a particularly smart person to master the material in most law school courses. The material is just not that difficult to master imo. However, learning and practicing how to master the exams is a different story.

granted, about half is spent reading supplements that normally just reiterate what i already know, and adding to my outlines. i also work slow by always listening to music or radio over headphones because it prevents burn out if I'm never 100 percent in law school mode.

aces
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby aces » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:03 pm

I did no more than a combined six to eight hours a week (and often less than that) for my doctrinal classes until a month or so before exams and finished in the top quarter of my T6, and I'm not much sharper than my peers. I hustled in that last month, including outlining, doing practice exams, and meeting with a study group to go over old exams. But there were two classes in which I estimate I did read less than half of the assigned case reading and still did OK on the exams (B+ and A-; two of my weaker grades but still decent). Old outlines help tremendously-- professors don't generally change their doctrinal classes that much. Also, every professor teaches classes differently and you need to learn their spin on things, to the point where commercial outlines can border on being actively deleterious in some cases.

I never got this "study 10 hours a day" stuff. The vast majority of the minutia in cases will be irrelevant by the time of the exam and virtually all of the important stuff will be discussed in class anyways. You're honestly better off spending your time trying to become a better writer (for example, spending lots of time/energy on LRW even if it's pass/fail or weighed less than doctrinal classes) than reading every footnote or every case or going through multiple supplements or whatever you're spending that time on.

I do get the impression that my weak work ethic might become a problem when I start work, but the pressure of deadlines usually motivates me enough to get stuff done.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:28 pm

thesealocust wrote:But "learning the law" isn't actually what you're tested on or very difficult in and of itself.

What is?

rad lulz
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby rad lulz » Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:59 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
thesealocust wrote:But "learning the law" isn't actually what you're tested on or very difficult in and of itself.

What is?

Exam ability.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:40 pm

rad lulz wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
thesealocust wrote:But "learning the law" isn't actually what you're tested on or very difficult in and of itself.

What is?

Exam ability.

so, writing a decent outline and practice testing?
That's what I was banking on

Mount Elbrus
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby Mount Elbrus » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:36 am

JamMasterJ wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
thesealocust wrote:But "learning the law" isn't actually what you're tested on or very difficult in and of itself.

What is?

Exam ability.

so, writing a decent outline and practice testing?
That's what I was banking on


Writing an outline is not necessary - synthesizing the material is. An outline is an effective tool for many. Personally, I learned best from listening to Audio CDs - I went to school at night and spent a good 2.5 hours each day in the car commuting between home - work - school - home. There is not much to distract you when you are sitting in the car all alone and it got to the point where I could not help but memorize the CDs. The CDs are much better for upper level, code specific classes. While there is a lot of variation in Torts, Contracts etc - there is far less variation in classes like Secured Transactions, Commercial Paper, Bankruptcy etc. I never took notes in class - again it worked for me because I was able to clearly listen to the instructor. If you can get an old outline it should work well, but it should be from someone who took the same class with the same instructor - getting a generic one is not nearly as good.

In the beginning of your study (1st and perhaps 2nd Semester), timed practice exams are key. Just so that you have gone through the mechanics of reading a large fact pattern, figuring out how to attack, and seeing how fast the time disappears. As you move on, timed exams may not be as important. Rather, looking at practice questions and, if available, model answers is likely sufficient.

I graduated in 2011 - Number 3 of ~340 students with 9 awards for highest grade in a particular course. I did this while working 40+ hours a week, raising a family and having a relatively good social life. Granted I graduated from a lower T1 where my numbers were significantly above the 75th percentile for both LSAT and GPA (couldn't turn down the scholarship).

As others have mentioned, the key is quality of studying - not quantity. The material is not difficult, the volume of material is. You cannot synthesize until you have built up a minimal level of material. You don't need to spend hours understanding what causation is - you will likely understand it in 5-10 minutes. You will need to spend a bit more time to get into the nuances of how attenuated the harm can be and still satisfy proximate cause and so on.

Jimbo_Jones
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby Jimbo_Jones » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:49 pm

uvabro wrote:So my roommate studies maybe 30-40 minutes per day on average. I only care because he always blasts shit like computer games unless I yell at him so I never get to study unless I'm at school. He claims that's all it takes him to master the material. I've never talked about the actual material w him or anything, but everybody else studies at least 2-3 hours per day, and takes notes/outlines. Is it possible some people can just skim through the stuff, and learn it all at a high level? I put in 10 hours a day, 6 days a week and still could use more time to compose outlines/read supplements.



For all you know, he could be grossly overstating his ability. You won't find out if he's a genius until after you get your exam grades back. He may think he's mastered the material, but his professor may think otherwise.

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cinephile
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby cinephile » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:16 pm

Mount Elbrus wrote: Personally, I learned best from listening to Audio CDs


Where do you find audio law supplements? I consider myself an auditory learner too and outside of taped classes, I don't know where else to look.

Mount Elbrus
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby Mount Elbrus » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:37 pm

Check out "Sum and Substance" and "Law School Legends"

zomginternets
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Re: Law School Geniuses?

Postby zomginternets » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:29 am

[Insert brag about how I didn't read for 3 years and CALIed law school]




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