Thanksgiving

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swimmer11
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby swimmer11 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:00 pm

What is the edict of bring an E&E to thanksgiving? I am not joking, and this is not flame. I seriously think I would feel very uncomfortable not being able to at least flip through some study material while watching football with family. I just am neurotic 1L, who believes in quality over quantity, but who also is very neurotic about this first semester.

MinEMorris
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby MinEMorris » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:02 pm

I agree that quality of hours is very important, and that if you're putting in really high quality hours you likely won't have to put in many to be competitive for the top spots in your class. This is why I myself ended up not putting in more than ~40 hours a week, and why I said just because you should be willing to have a crappy work/life balance doesn't mean that you necessarily will have a crappy work/life balance.

The reason you'll hear a lot of stories of people working really long hours and doing poorly in law school is that typically it's an indication that the person is working inefficiently because (s)he doesn't really understand what's important, and therefore as a matter of understanding the subject matter is already behind his or her more efficient working peers. It is certainly not true, however, that working longer magically leads to worse performance. Contrary apparently to the above posters, the two students in my section who were absolutely by far the hardest working students (one of them truly arrived at 6am in the library and left at 10pm, only apparently breaking for meals, like clockwork almost seven days a week) also, based on where they transferred, were the two highest performers in the section. They worked intelligently and efficiently and worked a crap ton. See also, for example, the famous guide from Xeoh, who worked a crazy amount and finished #1 at UCLA. Obviously, throwing anecdotes back and forth doesn't help too much-- I wish for the sake of all law students we had actual empirical data on this stuff.

Also, people are different and need to put in varying amounts of time. Not to toot my own horn, but one of the reasons I was able to cut corners is because I just had a knack for "getting" what the teacher wanted me to understand and what would/wouldn't be relevant to the exam. I didn't take reading notes, and for most lectures my notes were ~9 sentences long. Other people I knew had to spend more time reading the cases, going over class hypos, etc. to get to a comfortable place of understanding the material. Naturally such a person would require working more hours than I did, which again affirms in my mind that there's no magic rule or formula for how much you should work, or how much working is enough. Like I said before, you should be willing to work however much is necessary to feel like your grades will reflect your best efforts, regardless of what that amount is. The number will be different for different people. Looking back on my own experience, I feel I could have done more. In particular, I could have done ~5-10 more hours of practice tests/hypos each week than I did, which likely would have resulted in a bump in my grades and I doubt would have led me to "burn out."

In regards to OP, I'll say it again that I feel it all comes down to where you are on your prep. If you haven't started outlining, I think you would be a fool not to spend most of your break working on school work. If you're relatively far along in outlining and exam prep, you can afford to relax a lot of your break. Again, in any case, good luck to you!

Edit:
What is the edict of bring an E&E to thanksgiving? I am not joking, and this is not flame. I seriously think I would feel very uncomfortable not being able to at least flip through some study material while watching football with family. I just am neurotic 1L, who believes in quality over quantity, but who also is very neurotic about this first semester.


Just IMO, you're better off printing out what you've finished of your outlines and just reading over it again and again rather than flipping through an E&E. I don't know what your prep has been like so far, though. There's an exaggerated reputation surrounding law school and how insane it is, so I think you should be able to convince your family that what you're doing is totally credited.

Also, the Elle Woods comment was golden.

andythefir
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby andythefir » Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:32 pm

Reading through E&E's Friday-Sunday is a terrific compromise because it's a very different kind of work/preparation and it doesn't take up as much RAM as reading a casebook or outlining which means you can have 1 ear to your family.
Think about it like this: 1L is designed to be an immersive experience. You live, eat, sleep law. Now is your chance to do something completely different so that when you get back for the home stretch you are ready in every sense.
As for the work=grades discussion so many people have chilled out 2nd semester and gotten much better grades. Happens every single year. In my case I actually worked substantially less and got way better grades.

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MarcusAurelius
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby MarcusAurelius » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:34 pm

andythefir wrote:Reading through E&E's Friday-Sunday is a terrific compromise because it's a very different kind of work/preparation and it doesn't take up as much RAM as reading a casebook or outlining which means you can have 1 ear to your family.
Think about it like this: 1L is designed to be an immersive experience. You live, eat, sleep law. Now is your chance to do something completely different so that when you get back for the home stretch you are ready in every sense.
As for the work=grades discussion so many people have chilled out 2nd semester and gotten much better grades. Happens every single year. In my case I actually worked substantially less and got way better grades.


Image

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Pretzel_Logic
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby Pretzel_Logic » Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:56 pm

I've left school for my grandparents every year on the Tuesday before and come back on Saturday (I'm a 3L). My dad (son of these grandparents) is also a lawyer and so the family knows I have to spend a good chunk of time outlining and people really only come over on Thursday. I also don't have wireless internet there so that does wonders for my productivity by itself. Well, and Grandma food and change of scenery.

I'm at a regional and most people leave. However, my hometown is 500 miles away and if I didn't have a ton of relatives just 70 miles up the road, I'd stay at school (my parents and sibling come here and then we stay home for Christmas). Honestly, you just have to weigh the pros and cons of how much travel time you have at stake, how much studying you have to do, and how you feel after you see family. My family is awesome all around so I always feel recharged after a visit, but I know that's not the case for a lot of people. As I've gone through school I've realized that there are a lot of pros to just getting out of town, even if for a day, and even though I love where I live. FWIW.

(Also, I promise you won't fail if you take Thanksgiving day off. Really.)

dreakol
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby dreakol » Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:09 pm

lol jfc

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bjsesq
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby bjsesq » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:07 pm

Your willingness to go home reflects your willingness you be outside the top 1/4. Shape up.

071816
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby 071816 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:08 pm

If you take any time off of studying for Thanksgiving break, you are completely fucked and will most likely end up significantly below median.

09042014
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby 09042014 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:10 pm

chimp wrote:If you take any time of for Thanksgiving break, you are completely fucked and will most likely end up significantly below median.


If you have tickets, I'd give them away to someone in your section for free. That way you get a double bonus. You do better because you studied another 8-10 hours (easily hte difference between an A- and B+) and someone else does worse.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:10 pm

MinEMorris wrote:I agree with SKW, the bottom line is that it depends on where you are prep-wise.

Also, I don't want to come off as one of those militant people that treats 1L like it's judgment day, but I really think it's in your best interest to not believe that you're entitled to a healthy work/life balance in 1L. As frustrating and uncertain as 1L is, it really is a miraculous opportunity to potentially open up virtually every legal career path to yourself through just 8 months of hard work. Unless you're absolutely certain you want to work in an area of law that won't require strong grades to get a foot through the door out of law school, I dare say that it's irrational not to put your heart and soul into 1L. There are of course limits to this (e.g. if a family member gets in a serious accident, obviously forget about law school), but for the most part I think you just need to bite the bullet and accept that this 8 months of your life is quite possibly the most career bang you will ever get for your effort buck. If, for example, you get mediocre grades in 1L and later decide that you would like to work in one of the places that generally require really strong first year grades to get a foot in the door (i.e., top government positions, big law, etc.), you will likely have to work much harder and for a lot more time than you could ever invest into 1L to get in a position to have that opportunity. Even people I know who got really strong grades and decided to do something where grades were much less relevant (e.g. public defender) didn't seem to regret how hard they worked to get their grades. For one thing, choosing such a career path in the face of other opportunities really shows, even to yourself, how committed you feel toward that path. It also eradicates any insecurity you might otherwise have had about why you didn't outperform in law school/have the same opportunities as some of your peers (of course, I don't think anyone should be insecure about things like that, but it's natural to experience to some degree).

All of that being said, I think it's very possible to have a strong work-life balance in 1L and still do well. I personally averaged about ~40 hours a week of solid lawschool related work (including class time and readings) and finished top 5% at a T30 (frankly, I was pushing it and in some ways got lucky-- if I could go back again, I feel I would work harder). But there were periods of time where I was pulling more like 80 hours a week, or dedicated a holiday break to getting work done, and I think one of the advantages I had during those times is that the stress didn't cut as deeply into me as it did my peers because I didn't feel I was being deprived of anything I was entitled to/"should" have at that point in my life. Point is, I think the prudent thing to do is just to expect of yourself that you will work as hard you need to get grades that reflect your best efforts, and if that means working holidays or having a crappy work-life balance in general, understand that it's appropriate, worthwhile, and time-limited. I hope that helps and doesn't come off as hardass advice.

Anyway, good luck to you and I hope you get to eat some turkey!


+1,000,000. you can sleep when you're dead. i know a group of about five people who left the library on Thanksgiving to eat and drink together. they all finished first semester well below median.
Last edited by FattyMcFatFat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

071816
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby 071816 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:12 pm

Pretzel_Logic wrote:(Also, I promise you won't fail if you take Thanksgiving day off. Really.)

Disclaimer: This is completely incorrect.

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Ludo!
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby Ludo! » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:12 pm

I sort of disagree with some of the above. I think you can take one or two hours to eat on Thanksgiving day as long as you're putting in at least 12 to 14 hours of studying the rest of the time

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:14 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:I sort of disagree with some of the above. I think you can take one or two hours to eat on Thanksgiving day as long as you're putting in at least 12 to 14 hours of studying the rest of the time


Says the 1L who stays in the library while you eat your fat face off.

071816
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby 071816 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:15 pm

FattyMcFatFat wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:I sort of disagree with some of the above. I think you can take one or two hours to eat on Thanksgiving day as long as you're putting in at least 12 to 14 hours of studying the rest of the time


Says the 1L who stays in the library while you eat your fat face off.

huh

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Ludo!
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby Ludo! » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:18 pm

FattyMcFatFat wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:I sort of disagree with some of the above. I think you can take one or two hours to eat on Thanksgiving day as long as you're putting in at least 12 to 14 hours of studying the rest of the time


Says the 1L who stays in the library while you eat your fat face off.


I'm a 3l. I'm just saying if you don't care about making top 5% or something and just wanna be above median, you can eat for a couple hours

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Tom Joad
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:19 pm

You guys are really scaring me. I planned on treating myself to eating alone in my apartment instead of in the library on Thanksgiving, but maybe not anymore.

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bjsesq
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby bjsesq » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:20 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:
FattyMcFatFat wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:I sort of disagree with some of the above. I think you can take one or two hours to eat on Thanksgiving day as long as you're putting in at least 12 to 14 hours of studying the rest of the time


Says the 1L who stays in the library while you eat your fat face off.


I'm a 3l. I'm just saying if you don't care about making top 5% or something and just wanna be above median, you can eat for a couple hours


It's a risk. Just have friends or family bring some in.

bigbang
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby bigbang » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:21 pm

Wow, you guys are seriously scaring me. Most people here seem to be going back for Thanksgiving, and I didn't think it was such a big deal. Reconsidering now... but personally, I just want to be median and not in the bottom 10% so I hope going back won't kill me!

071816
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby 071816 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:21 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:
FattyMcFatFat wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:I sort of disagree with some of the above. I think you can take one or two hours to eat on Thanksgiving day as long as you're putting in at least 12 to 14 hours of studying the rest of the time


Says the 1L who stays in the library while you eat your fat face off.


I'm a 3l. I'm just saying if you don't care about making top 5% or something and just wanna be above median, you can eat for a couple hours

I would recommend just skipping the meal entirely. The tryptophan will hinder your ability to end up even in the top 1/3.

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bjsesq
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby bjsesq » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:22 pm

bigbang wrote:Wow, you guys are seriously scaring me. Most people here seem to be going back for Thanksgiving, and I didn't think it was such a big deal. Reconsidering now... but personally, I just want to be median and not in the bottom 10% so I hope going back won't kill me!


Everyone wants to be at least median. Some are willing to sacrifice a bit to get there. Where will you be when it is all said and done?

09042014
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby 09042014 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:23 pm

bigbang wrote:Wow, you guys are seriously scaring me. Most people here seem to be going back for Thanksgiving, and I didn't think it was such a big deal. Reconsidering now... but personally, I just want to be median and not in the bottom 10% so I hope going back won't kill me!


What surprised me, is that several people claimed they were going back. But never left. I don't know if it was a psych out, but damn.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:23 pm

chimp wrote:
FattyMcFatFat wrote:
Ludovico Technique wrote:I sort of disagree with some of the above. I think you can take one or two hours to eat on Thanksgiving day as long as you're putting in at least 12 to 14 hours of studying the rest of the time


Says the 1L who stays in the library while you eat your fat face off.

huh

You can eat and study at the same time, and that is exactly what you should do.

071816
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby 071816 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:24 pm

Just remember: When you are eating, sleeping, and spending time with your family, others are studying hard.

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FattyMcFatFat
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby FattyMcFatFat » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:25 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
bigbang wrote:Wow, you guys are seriously scaring me. Most people here seem to be going back for Thanksgiving, and I didn't think it was such a big deal. Reconsidering now... but personally, I just want to be median and not in the bottom 10% so I hope going back won't kill me!


What surprised me, is that several people claimed they were going back. But never left. I don't know if it was a psych out, but damn.


I sort of understand it though. I mean, legal hiring is horrible. You gotta do what you gotta do. If that means psyching classmates out then so be it.

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Tom Joad
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Re: Thanksgiving

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:26 pm

I just really feel like a little break from studying will make me more efficient when I get back to the books in a few hours.




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