1L second semester – what will you do differently?

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icecold3000
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1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:22 am

Now that grades are coming in and the second semester of law school starts soon, I am trying to figure out what I will do differently and what I will continue. I would love to hear thoughts from others on how they plan to adjust for second semester.

As for me, here is a short list of things I hope to change:

1. Prioritize LRW - This class always seemed to be on the back burner, but if there is one grade that cannot be explained off to employers, it is LRW.

2. Avoid study groups - Probably the most worthless use of time for my first semester; it's like the blind leading the blind. This maybe different for others, but I am a lone wolf type learner.

3. Avoid formal study sessions with the 2L/3L TAs - these one hour long time sinks always devolved into one or two people asking basic questions which could easily be found in the case book/ E&E.

4. Come to school and start working at 8/8:30 every day - Last semester I had a few days where class did not start until late morning. I never really got into a set routine for waking up/going to bed at the same time.

5. Designate the weekday hours from 6-8 pm as me time (not study time) - not sure if this is possible, but I am going to try.

6. Designate Saturday morning as practice exam time - Obviously won't be able to do this until we have covered some ground in class.

What about you?

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mattviphky
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby mattviphky » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:42 am

read more, fuck around less. The biggest thing I need to do is NOT take my laptop to class. Benefits of not bringing my laptop would be that I have to read more (I wouldn't be able to cop out with online case brief), and I would actually take notes in class. I never brought my computer into a classroom in undergrad, and I always paid attention and took notes. I did no such thing in law school. I'm just going to leave the thing in my locker before I go to class.

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icecold3000
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:07 pm

I did my class/case notes in a spiral note book and it was a hot mess. Not helpful at all when it came time to studying for exams. I was thinking about bringing the laptop to class this semester — haven't made up my mind yet. I see how it would be tempting to just bring up the online case brief instead of preparing one.

SportsFan
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:14 pm

Still no grades back yet, but I think I'll be spending a bit less time reading and a bit more time looking up case briefs, and I'll start outlining earlier. Last semester I started a little after halfway through October, and so the first 3 weeks of November were miserable since I started practice tests and was still catching up on my outlining. I wanna start outlining after like 3-4 weeks so I won't have as much of a crush of work at the end of the semester.

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dextermorgan
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby dextermorgan » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:24 pm

The only thing that I will change is my way of taking notes. My note taking evolved over the course of the semester, and hit it's peak efficiency at the end. I'm interested in seeing what it's like to have an entire semester with efficient notes.

I already avoided the hypo-cirlcejerk that was group studying and formal "review sessions."

Edit: Oh, and I'm going to read ahead more consistently so I can be finished with course reading earlier. It sucked to have professors that wanted us to still learn new shit while we were studying for exams.

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icecold3000
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:28 pm

dextermorgan wrote:The only thing that I will change is my way of taking notes. My note taking evolved over the course of the semester, and hit it's peak efficiency at the end. I'm interested in seeing what it's like to have an entire semester with efficient notes.

I already avoided the hypo-cirlcejerk that was group studying and formal "review sessions."

Edit: Oh, and I'm going to read ahead more consistently so I can be finished with course reading earlier. It sucked to have professors that wanted us to still learn new shit while we were studying for exams.


What was the method to peak efficiency in note taking?

midwesTT
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby midwesTT » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:37 pm

just turn your internet off and take notes on your computer.

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dextermorgan
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby dextermorgan » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:37 pm

icecold3000 wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:The only thing that I will change is my way of taking notes. My note taking evolved over the course of the semester, and hit it's peak efficiency at the end. I'm interested in seeing what it's like to have an entire semester with efficient notes.

I already avoided the hypo-cirlcejerk that was group studying and formal "review sessions."

Edit: Oh, and I'm going to read ahead more consistently so I can be finished with course reading earlier. It sucked to have professors that wanted us to still learn new shit while we were studying for exams.


What was the method to peak efficiency in note taking?

It was really more about the organization of the notes than anything. Instead of having separate notes for class notes and "briefs", I started arranging a single note for each subject with the BLL, class notes, and how the cases affected the BLL. It saves a lot of time because it essentially puts it in an outline format to begin with.

zanzbar
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby zanzbar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:51 pm

Starting tomorrow I am going to go through a copy of LEEWS over the last week and a half of winter break, I got it at the end of the summer, but never really started. I will be more diligent in outlining, probably try to outline 1-2 classes every weekend. I devoted too much time to one class, and didn't start outlining until early November in 1 class, and in another I never really outlined just created a frankenoutline from a number of different outlines I found on the internet 2 days before the final. Hopefully by being more diligent in outlining I will be able to take some practice tests since I didn't take a single one last semester. So in short, be extremely less lazy.

JG7773
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby JG7773 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:01 pm

dextermorgan wrote:
icecold3000 wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:The only thing that I will change is my way of taking notes. My note taking evolved over the course of the semester, and hit it's peak efficiency at the end. I'm interested in seeing what it's like to have an entire semester with efficient notes.

I already avoided the hypo-cirlcejerk that was group studying and formal "review sessions."

Edit: Oh, and I'm going to read ahead more consistently so I can be finished with course reading earlier. It sucked to have professors that wanted us to still learn new shit while we were studying for exams.


What was the method to peak efficiency in note taking?

It was really more about the organization of the notes than anything. Instead of having separate notes for class notes and "briefs", I started arranging a single note for each subject with the BLL, class notes, and how the cases affected the BLL. It saves a lot of time because it essentially puts it in an outline format to begin with.


Would you mind sending a page or two over to me via e-mail? My format was horrendous, so I am looking for anything that could help!

swoozie
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby swoozie » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:17 pm

1) Get to practice tests earlier. Didn't reach them until the reading period, don't want to do that again.
2) Actually follow any supplements I have during the semester instead of trying to cram them in at the end.
3) Take notes on computer instead of handwriting them. I wrote most of my notes this semester, then switched over to typing at the end of the semester. I found out I basically take the same notes, but one of these methods takes me way longer. :P

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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby SportsFan » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:25 pm

dextermorgan wrote:
icecold3000 wrote:
dextermorgan wrote:The only thing that I will change is my way of taking notes. My note taking evolved over the course of the semester, and hit it's peak efficiency at the end. I'm interested in seeing what it's like to have an entire semester with efficient notes.

I already avoided the hypo-cirlcejerk that was group studying and formal "review sessions."

Edit: Oh, and I'm going to read ahead more consistently so I can be finished with course reading earlier. It sucked to have professors that wanted us to still learn new shit while we were studying for exams.


What was the method to peak efficiency in note taking?

It was really more about the organization of the notes than anything. Instead of having separate notes for class notes and "briefs", I started arranging a single note for each subject with the BLL, class notes, and how the cases affected the BLL. It saves a lot of time because it essentially puts it in an outline format to begin with.

Yeah, I got better at organizing my notes like that by the end of the semester, and it was definitely handy.

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icecold3000
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:48 pm

zanzbar wrote:Starting tomorrow I am going to go through a copy of LEEWS over the last week and a half of winter break, I got it at the end of the summer, but never really started. I will be more diligent in outlining, probably try to outline 1-2 classes every weekend. I devoted too much time to one class, and didn't start outlining until early November in 1 class, and in another I never really outlined just created a frankenoutline from a number of different outlines I found on the internet 2 days before the final. Hopefully by being more diligent in outlining I will be able to take some practice tests since I didn't take a single one last semester. So in short, be extremely less lazy.


Let me know how LEEWS works out. The reviews are always mixed. I have always been curious but don't want to spend the money.

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icecold3000
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:59 pm

swoozie wrote:1) Get to practice tests earlier. Didn't reach them until the reading period, don't want to do that again.
2) Actually follow any supplements I have during the semester instead of trying to cram them in at the end.
3) Take notes on computer instead of handwriting them. I wrote most of my notes this semester, then switched over to typing at the end of the semester. I found out I basically take the same notes, but one of these methods takes me way longer. :P


I plan on following (1) and (2) here. The more practice tests the better, but I save the professor's actual tests until the end of the semester. Also definitely learned more from the supplements (mainly hornbooks written by the case book authors) than the actual case books.

Not sure about (3).

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:26 pm

Advice from a 3L who has done well:

Maybe the most important thing to keep in mind moving on from your first semester is that professors and classes are different and there is typically no one-size-fits-all approach you can do to ace all your classes. Be flexible in your approach, depending on the class. First semester is hard because it's so difficult to find out what works best for you and then there is a tendency that when you find something that worked for one class, you assume it will work for all classes. Maybe, but maybe not. Talk to 2Ls and 3Ls who did well in a class to figure out if there are particular quirks about each professor you will be taking next semester. Look at a recent past exam when the semester begins (if available) to simply get a feel for the layout of the test. See if there is any supplements or outlines from your school that are a must have for the class. (And keep in mind that for some professors who teach a course in a more "unique" way supplements might not be as helpful.)

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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby FranklinSims » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:25 am

icecold3000 wrote:Now that grades are coming in and the second semester of law school starts soon, I am trying to figure out what I will do differently and what I will continue. I would love to hear thoughts from others on how they plan to adjust for second semester.

As for me, here is a short list of things I hope to change:

1. Prioritize LRW - This class always seemed to be on the back burner, but if there is one grade that cannot be explained off to employers, it is LRW.

2. Avoid study groups - Probably the most worthless use of time for my first semester; it's like the blind leading the blind. This maybe different for others, but I am a lone wolf type learner.

3. Avoid formal study sessions with the 2L/3L TAs - these one hour long time sinks always devolved into one or two people asking basic questions which could easily be found in the case book/ E&E.

4. Come to school and start working at 8/8:30 every day - Last semester I had a few days where class did not start until late morning. I never really got into a set routine for waking up/going to bed at the same time.

5. Designate the weekday hours from 6-8 pm as me time (not study time) - not sure if this is possible, but I am going to try.

6. Designate Saturday morning as practice exam time - Obviously won't be able to do this until we have covered some ground in class.

What about you?


I really like your #6 change for the Spring semester. I have seen this work for students who earned top grades. Some of them transferred, others negotiated scholarship money and others landed top firm jobs in their second year. However, I do not think that it is so obvious that you wont be able to start this until some ground is covered in class. In fact, I think that it is a mistake to to wait for the professor or class to cover an area before you do. There are far too many great resources available to be as reliant on professors this Spring as you were last fall. As law school students we cannot be afraid to teach ourselves the law. As quiet as it is kept certain of your peers are learning the law in advance of the class so that they can begin taking practice exams far earlier. Some of them work with private tutors that assist them in taking the syllabus and getting weeks ahead of their class so that they can begin writing exams during the early part of the semester instead of writing briefs. The approach to do this is unorthodox but doable. Depending on what classes you are taking this spring there are certain supplements I would recommend you give a try. Essentially what I am recommending is to get ahead of your class with the aid of the right supplements so that you can focus your preparation on the exam instead of class.

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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby emkay625 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:43 am

1. Do not buy 50 million supplements. Just get the E&E for each course and whatever the professor recommends. (I bought between 6 and 10 supplements for each class. No joke).
2. Actually execute a plan. I had grand intentions that did not come to fruition - intended to do 8 timed practice exams for each class and didn't, only did 1. Intended to finish outlining by Thanksgiving, did not finish each outline until the day before the exam. This semester I want to actually hold myself accountable.
3. Get drunk more and actually go to bar review. (I didn't go to a single one. I have a job and I work at least 20 hours each week, sometimes more, and I have to travel about 3 weekends each month. I still could have easily made the time to go to at least a few social events, and I'd like to this semester).

FranklinSims
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby FranklinSims » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:49 am

Most students are talking about how they will outline differently or take notes differently (which is really the same concept because these notes ultimately morph into an outline). The outline is as over rated as briefing cases. Both are an orthodox waste of time. My rule is to spend 90% of the semester doing things that reflect some skill or tool that is useful for nailing exams. Outlines are basically long-hand summaries of class. They are far too long to put on an exam. To perform well on an exam you need analysis and lots of it. Dump the outline for what I call an exam approach or an exam skeleton/"cheat" sheet. This is basically a formula for each area of law that is fair game to be tested on the exam. It is great because once you determine what area of the law the exam question relates to all you have to do is type in the pre-written features of your exam approach then fill in the analysis based on the details of the fact pattern. Students who use this approach type longer exams with fuller analysis and the exam flows because so much of it is already written an organized within the skeleton. This approach takes the guess work out and helps student develop a big picture view of the law the earns more points on an exam.

The reason students are focusing on writing better outlines this spring is because they believe that if they had written a better outline, read more cases, briefed more cases or took better notes they would have performed better on the exam. That is hog-wash. I have seen students with no outlines, very brief briefs, and spares notes out perform traditional students time and time again. Remember that as a 1L you are in a race against the clock and the last thing you need is a study approach that slows you down.

Basically, an outline is a tool for learning the law (although a rather tedious one) whereas an exam approach/skeleton/cheat sheet is a tool for writing an actual exam.

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20130312
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby 20130312 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:53 am

Tagging this to read and add to later.

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dingbat
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:39 am

mattviphky wrote:The biggest thing I need to do is NOT take my laptop to class.

This. I will also start outlining earlier.


FranklinSims wrote:Basically, an outline is a tool for learning the law (although a rather tedious one) whereas an exam approach/skeleton/cheat sheet is a tool for writing an actual exam.
I both agree and disagree. I prepared 3 things for my exams:
1) "skeleton/cheat sheet" - 3-5 pages that basically functioned as a check list per topic of what I should be looking for. Each issue was kept to a bear minimum (e.g. Mens Rea: Wilful, knowing, Reckless, Negligent). If I recalled exactly what the word or phrase meant, great, I could keep writing, if not, I looked it up in:
2) "traditional" outline - 25-30 pages giving a brief description of every item in the skeleton/cheat sheet. It was basically 1 above, but with details. Couldn't remember the difference between Reckless and Negligent? Here's a description. Note that I didn't index the outline, instead I used tabs, so I could find the topic and open it to the right page instantly
3) Case Briefs - I briefed every case, maximum of 1 page, but usually closer to half a page each. This too was tabbed for quick reference. Just about every issue on the exam had similarity to a case that was covered. Couldn't remember liability of a fellow drag racer? Look it up. Couldn't remember at what point a third-party supplier becomes liable for A&A? Find a similar case. Note that for classes where the teacher said s/he wanted us to cite cases, I also created a "cheat sheet" listing every case and a one line synopsis of what it was about, so I wouldn't have to waste time finding the case or memorizing all of them

This combination meant that I didn't waste any time unnecessarily, while at the same time having everything at my fingertips, in case memory failed me. I'm really glad I did it that way and wish I hadn't thought of organizing it like that until the last minute, so that I wasn't rushing to get my materials perfected and could have spent more time studying them.

Note that for a closed book exam, obviously I wouldn't have access to these materials. Instead I created a 3 page memorization sheet that was chock full of checklists, mnemonics and key issues/arguments. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to memorize it all, which is something I'll remedy next semester

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20130312
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby 20130312 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:23 am

Things to do differently
  • Start outlining on week 1
  • Visit the profs during office hours to clear up concepts, rather than staring at the casebook for hours on end until it made sense
  • Buy supplements and actually read the ones that I do buy
  • Put a little more effort into LRW (but honestly, not that much more)
  • Not brief a single case. What a giant waste of time. If on call, have the canned brief already pulled up on Google
  • In classes where there's no laptop allowed, go back and transfer notes from notebook to computer within a day or two. After a couple days, I have no idea what I even wrote
  • Not refresh the online grade reporting system every day after my last final
  • Don't talk to anyone about the final. Can only make you feel worse
  • To prepare for closed book exams, do a ridiculous amount of hypos and PTs and rewrite outline at least twice

Things to do the same
  • Avoid study groups
  • Avoid the library (when possible)
  • Hit up the gym regularly
  • Go out every weekend until ~6 weeks before finals
  • Get outlines from successful 2Ls that had the same profs
  • Be on TLS constantly


Finally, this line is ON POINT:

FranklinSims wrote:The reason students are focusing on writing better outlines this spring is because they believe that if they had written a better outline, read more cases, briefed more cases or took better notes they would have performed better on the exam. That is hog-wash.

Pre-write your answers and you'll be golden. Attack outlines saved my ass.

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MrSparkle
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby MrSparkle » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:23 pm

Don't have my grades yet, but based on nothing, I think I'm in the range of average to wannabe/fail-gunner.

I'll use treatises by the casebook authors over E&Es next semester. Only use E&E for problems and not BLL summaries, which sometimes vary/use diff terminology the prof doesn't use.

I'll use case summary books as well.

I'll not get Q&As...too easy and basic late in the semester.

I'll take more practice tests. I took 20-30 and still felt unprepared.

I'll take fewer practice tests. Into the first week of finals I burned out and just stopped studying.

I'll go to the gym/bar review/find a gf

SandScale004
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby SandScale004 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:53 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:Things to do differently
[*]Don't talk to anyone about the final. Can only make you feel worse


This is singularly the best advice you said. I completely agree. I walked out of one exam and went out to lunch with people where we started talking about it. As they stated the issues, I started to feel sick because I missed all 3 that they talked about. I got a great grade in that class, so now I'm thinking maybe I was right and they were wrong :)

I'm planning on re-thinking my whole strategy. I have 4 out of 5 grades back and did well in all my classes (although I am most nervous about the one grade I haven't gotten back yet).

Same:
- do the readings before class, it helped me see where we were going before we got there
- note taking: I'm one of those people that writes down everything the teacher says, always have been, don't think I can stop now. But at the end of every week, I reviewed my notes (handwritten - laptops weren't allowed in 2 of my main classes) and then typed them up, into a much abbreviated form. This was golden for when it came time to make my outlines. I know this isn't for everyone, but it's what works for me
- keep the 3-5 page "attack" sheet, with key topics and cases (I think for each class, I had 15-25 key words with cases listed under them, it's all I looked at the morning of my tests, I then was able to recreate this in the first 5 minutes of my close-book exams. It was golden, helped so much.)
- use E&Es ->can't believe how much it helped clarify issues I was struggling with from the teacher's explanations


Different:
- make briefs WAY shorter
- start outlining earlier (thought I had a good grasp on this, but then hit a wall in November and didn't start outlining for exams until our reading week, I wasted so much time where I could have actually been taking PT)
- don't make 3 versions of each outline (outline from my notes @ 20-30 pages, outline from an E&E @ about 60 pages, short outline 3-5 pages), it was probably a bit of overkill :lol:
- buy E&Es earlier than 3 days before the start of my first final (in my defense, I did not know what an E&E was until then)
- read the E&E throughout the semester rather than in the 3 days leading up to the exam (did this for 2 exams, it was a nightmare, the E&Es were extremely helpful, but what a waste of time. I think it would have been WAY easier to study had I gotten to solely review the material, not re-learn through the E&E)
- take more practice exams (flaw ->see above about wasting my time reading the E&E)
- focus on the issues I had trouble with: in each subject, I often never saw a certain issue during the practice exams and lo and behold, I missed the very same issue on the test (walked out and realized I missed it 5 minutes after the exam ended - soooo angry)
- NEVER talk with others about grades or issue spotting b/c it just freaks you out (just b/c they saw an issue does not mean they were right!)
- not sure about study groups: not really my style and did the best on the test where I told my study group I was too busy and just did my own thing
- LASTLY, actually study prior to the three days leading up to my exam. While this worked well enough for my grades, it was completely exhausting and stressful

sparty99
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby sparty99 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:13 am

noyhing

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laxbrah420
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby laxbrah420 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:19 am

Im thinking about getting an iPad/tablet for class and a keyboard. Not because of any features or portability, but because since you can only have 1 app open at once, it's harder to get distracted.




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