1L second semester – what will you do differently?

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

Postby Hspeaksfriend » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:07 am

Tagging for later. Thanks everyone!

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

Postby togepi » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:36 am

Hspeaksfriend wrote:Tagging for later. Thanks everyone!

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

Postby odoylerulez » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:52 pm

.
Last edited by odoylerulez on Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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5ky
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby 5ky » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:48 pm

odoylerulez wrote:I feel like there's a lot of bad advice in this thread. As someone who's right around top 10 in a class of ~160, here's my advice.

1. Don't brief. This is a timesink, and an easy way to get median pwned.
2. When a lightbulb goes off for you in class, and you have a great idea, DO NOT SPEAK UP. Too many students make this mistake. You're competing with everyone else. If you have a great idea, for the love of god, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.
3. Don't outline from Week 1. You don't understand the course well enough to do that. Everyone I know that briefed/outlined from Week 1 last semester got median pwned or worse. Don't even think about outlining until at least halfway through the semester.
4. If a professor gives a review session, always go. Almost every review session will contain at least one nugget of information that will show up again on the final.
5. Every exam answer you write should be organized differently. Meet with your professor to get a feel for what he or she wants. Some will dock you major points for details, such as spelling mistakes.
6. Ignore the Socratic method. Stressing yourself out over looking good in class is a pretty good way to get median pwned.

And for things TO DO:
1. Do lots of hypos. Always learn to apply the law to new fact scenarios.
2. Read recent judicial opinions and cases in your state. Professors love to steal fact patterns from ongoing/recently decided cases. On my finals, I had two fact patterns that almost felt copied and pasted from decisions not more than a month before the finals.
3. Make your answer unique, but not TOO "out there."
4. Around 25-30% of your time on any given final should be spent organizing your answer. Think, then write. Not the other way around.

That's about it.


protip: success is individualized, and there's not a right and wrong way to do it.

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

Postby Icculus » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:50 pm

odoylerulez wrote:I feel like there's a lot of bad advice in this thread. As someone who's right around top 10 in a class of ~160, here's my advice.

1. Don't brief. This is a timesink, and an easy way to get median pwned.
2. When a lightbulb goes off for you in class, and you have a great idea, DO NOT SPEAK UP. Too many students make this mistake. You're competing with everyone else. If you have a great idea, for the love of god, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.
3. Don't outline from Week 1. You don't understand the course well enough to do that. Everyone I know that briefed/outlined from Week 1 last semester got median pwned or worse. Don't even think about outlining until at least halfway through the semester.
4. If a professor gives a review session, always go. Almost every review session will contain at least one nugget of information that will show up again on the final.
5. Every exam answer you write should be organized differently. Meet with your professor to get a feel for what he or she wants. Some will dock you major points for details, such as spelling mistakes.
6. Ignore the Socratic method. Stressing yourself out over looking good in class is a pretty good way to get median pwned.

And for things TO DO:
1. Do lots of hypos. Always learn to apply the law to new fact scenarios.
2. Read recent judicial opinions and cases in your state. Professors love to steal fact patterns from ongoing/recently decided cases. On my finals, I had two fact patterns that almost felt copied and pasted from decisions not more than a month before the finals.
3. Make your answer unique, but not TOO "out there."
4. Around 25-30% of your time on any given final should be spent organizing your answer. Think, then write. Not the other way around.

That's about it.


You sound delightful.

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

Postby stillwater » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:51 pm

5ky wrote:
odoylerulez wrote:I feel like there's a lot of bad advice in this thread. As someone who's right around top 10 in a class of ~160, here's my advice.

1. Don't brief. This is a timesink, and an easy way to get median pwned.
2. When a lightbulb goes off for you in class, and you have a great idea, DO NOT SPEAK UP. Too many students make this mistake. You're competing with everyone else. If you have a great idea, for the love of god, KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.
3. Don't outline from Week 1. You don't understand the course well enough to do that. Everyone I know that briefed/outlined from Week 1 last semester got median pwned or worse. Don't even think about outlining until at least halfway through the semester.
4. If a professor gives a review session, always go. Almost every review session will contain at least one nugget of information that will show up again on the final.
5. Every exam answer you write should be organized differently. Meet with your professor to get a feel for what he or she wants. Some will dock you major points for details, such as spelling mistakes.
6. Ignore the Socratic method. Stressing yourself out over looking good in class is a pretty good way to get median pwned.

And for things TO DO:
1. Do lots of hypos. Always learn to apply the law to new fact scenarios.
2. Read recent judicial opinions and cases in your state. Professors love to steal fact patterns from ongoing/recently decided cases. On my finals, I had two fact patterns that almost felt copied and pasted from decisions not more than a month before the finals.
3. Make your answer unique, but not TOO "out there."
4. Around 25-30% of your time on any given final should be spent organizing your answer. Think, then write. Not the other way around.

That's about it.


protip: success is individualized, and there's not a right and wrong way to do it.


this. i used what was essentially just a more dedicated model of my undergrad mode: "looking at it." I half-assedly made some outlines but this just seems to work for me. I wouldn't recommend it but it just comes down to knowing the law and (gasp!) the application part, which I think is very much a skill people have a harder time accounting for.

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

Postby Birdnals » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:13 pm

Things to do differently
1. Create my own outlines for all my classes, update every other Friday or so to keep ideas fresh in mind (did this for my two best classes, used other people's outlines for worst class)
2. Workout more
3. Go to professors office hours more to make sure I am getting everything/get hints on what they want on exams/find important
4. Read law review articles and such professors have written on subject (did this for one class, was by far my best grade)
5. Do attack outline/answers for every class (did it for one class, again by far my best grade)
6. Use more supplements at end of semester to draw everything together.


Things to do the same
1. Get to school at 7:30, leave around 4:00-5:00, take as close to zero work home as possible. Treating law school like a job was what kept me sane/productive.
2. Read cases/do notecard outlines. I know lots of people don't agree, but personally I learn best from active reading of cases/notes at end.
3. Spend one night every weekend (besides from pre-exam cramming month) drinking with HS/college friends to get time away from law school bubble.
4. Do exam prep with same 2 other guys. We met almost every day for a month for at least an hour to do practice exam questions/go over answers. Kept me busy/ on topic but sane. All three of us did extremely well so good guys to bounce ideas off of.

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

Postby odoylerulez » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:14 pm

Birdnals wrote:Things to do differently
1. Create my own outlines for all my classes, update every other Friday or so to keep ideas fresh in mind (did this for my two best classes, used other people's outlines for worst class)
2. Workout more
3. Go to professors office hours more to make sure I am getting everything/get hints on what they want on exams/find important
4. Read law review articles and such professors have written on subject (did this for one class, was by far my best grade)
5. Do attack outline/answers for every class (did it for one class, again by far my best grade)
6. Use more supplements at end of semester to draw everything together.


Things to do the same
1. Get to school at 7:30, leave around 4:00-5:00, take as close to zero work home as possible. Treating law school like a job was what kept me sane/productive.
2. Read cases/do notecard outlines. I know lots of people don't agree, but personally I learn best from active reading of cases/notes at end.
3. Spend one night every weekend (besides from pre-exam cramming month) drinking with HS/college friends to get time away from law school bubble.
4. Do exam prep with same 2 other guys. We met almost every day for a month for at least an hour to do practice exam questions/go over answers. Kept me busy/ on topic but sane. All three of us did extremely well so good guys to bounce ideas off of.


That's really smart. I might have to steal that idea.

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

Postby stillwater » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:17 pm

odoylerulez wrote:
Birdnals wrote:Things to do differently
1. Create my own outlines for all my classes, update every other Friday or so to keep ideas fresh in mind (did this for my two best classes, used other people's outlines for worst class)
2. Workout more
3. Go to professors office hours more to make sure I am getting everything/get hints on what they want on exams/find important
4. Read law review articles and such professors have written on subject (did this for one class, was by far my best grade)
5. Do attack outline/answers for every class (did it for one class, again by far my best grade)
6. Use more supplements at end of semester to draw everything together.


Things to do the same
1. Get to school at 7:30, leave around 4:00-5:00, take as close to zero work home as possible. Treating law school like a job was what kept me sane/productive.
2. Read cases/do notecard outlines. I know lots of people don't agree, but personally I learn best from active reading of cases/notes at end.
3. Spend one night every weekend (besides from pre-exam cramming month) drinking with HS/college friends to get time away from law school bubble.
4. Do exam prep with same 2 other guys. We met almost every day for a month for at least an hour to do practice exam questions/go over answers. Kept me busy/ on topic but sane. All three of us did extremely well so good guys to bounce ideas off of.


That's really smart. I might have to steal that idea.


I did this for 2 of my classes. One because the professor was a total black box and his law review articles pretty much delivered for me on 20% of the exam (maybe more). The other because he had some weird notions of assumption of risk and had written widely on it. It is just a great starting point for getting in their mind a little, especially if it is topically relevant.

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

Postby Birdnals » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:30 pm

the prof I did it for hadn't written specifically on the subject, but had brought in ideas from a few of her articles throughout the class. I looked up the articles/skimmed through them while taking study breaks.

On the exam I just added a few extra lines to each question about policy implications and brought in the theme of her articles. I'm meeting with her next week to go over exam, but I am almost positive that is why I got an A+ instead of an A.

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sportsaholic763
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby sportsaholic763 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:33 pm

Interested in hearing this.

Would people say that simply listening to the professor's recommendations for supplements/strategies could save tons of time and money over the course of a class?

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

Postby manofjustice » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:34 pm

Going to live in the present more.

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

Postby manofjustice » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:41 pm

sportsaholic763 wrote:Interested in hearing this.

Would people say that simply listening to the professor's recommendations for supplements/strategies could save tons of time and money over the course of a class?


Supplements should not be the go-to, but if you're struggling a bit getting clear on things, then you should use them.

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

Postby Blue Ivy » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:47 pm

Tag

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

Postby odoylerulez » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:53 pm

manofjustice wrote:
sportsaholic763 wrote:Interested in hearing this.

Would people say that simply listening to the professor's recommendations for supplements/strategies could save tons of time and money over the course of a class?


Supplements should not be the go-to, but if you're struggling a bit getting clear on things, then you should use them.


I think this is something that completely depends on the student.

A lot of students don't have the necessary time or intellectual firepower to fully comprehend cases as given in a casebook, at least at first. For some, I highly recommend using a supplement first, then turning to the casebook. A couple students with higher GPAs than me only read supplements before class, actively attacked the cases themselves during class, and then synthesized notes after class. For some, that approach just works really well. Of course, these students repeatedly tanked on cold calls, but it's pretty rare for a professor to factor cold calls into grades.

I was actually attempted to use this approach for this semester, but I'm still somewhat skeptical about it. For some, though, a level of dependence on the supplements really works out.

Of course, this isn't ideal for the actual practice of law, but for some, I'm sure it's a better approach in terms of improving grades.

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

Postby stillwater » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:15 pm

Supplements are my religion. I read all the cases but for the last month I ditch the casebook. I didn't open a casebook ONCE in the closing month of school other than to finish whatever assignments were assigned. I found it hilarious kids were in the library studying for civpro by rereading the cases. Huge time sink with little reward. There are just some supplements that are so good that as long as your professor isn't a total weirdo it should be spot-on.

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

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:19 pm

manofjustice wrote:
sportsaholic763 wrote:Interested in hearing this.

Would people say that simply listening to the professor's recommendations for supplements/strategies could save tons of time and money over the course of a class?


Supplements should not be the go-to, but if you're struggling a bit getting clear on things, then you should use them.


No.

How one should use supplements depends on the class, the professor, and the student. I've gotten As and A+s in classes where I pretty much just taught myself from the supplement and then I've had classes where a supplement would just be beyond useless because the professor had a very particular way of teaching things.

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

Postby marlborofillet » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:02 am

odoylerulez wrote:2. Read recent judicial opinions and cases in your state. Professors love to steal fact patterns from ongoing/recently decided cases. On my finals, I had two fact patterns that almost felt copied and pasted from decisions not more than a month before the finals.


Have others had success with this?

I imagine it would be a time-dump, as your chance of actually hitting the right case is limited and a court's analysis will often be conclusory, misleading.

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

Postby SportsFan » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:53 pm

So far I feel like I've done less work this semester. Haven't really been reading cases as much as skimming them and reading briefs online. Need to start outlining like ASAP though...

Edit: May as well just list what I did last semester, and what I plan on doing this semester. Maybe some 0L will remember my post, and watch as I either improve or crash and burn. :lol: I'm barely above median now so could definitely go either way.

Last semester:
Read all the cases, took basic notes on them, and tried to stay 2-3 days ahead in every class. Started outlining around the 7th/8th week of class, and had my outlines up to date with where we were in class by the 11th week. Started doing practice tests around the 11th week. Didn't use any supplements outside of the E&E for civ pro.

This semester:
Skimming the casebooks, mostly just reading briefs online and copying the rules into my notes. Have supplements for all my classes, and plan to read them as I outline the relevant sections. Starting to outline right now (5th week of classes), and going to try to get my outlines up to date in ~3 weeks, then start doing practice tests. I don't have a lot of old exams from my own professors so I'm going to try doing a bunch from other professors.

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Mack12
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby Mack12 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:38 am

Hspeaksfriend wrote:Tagging for later. Thanks everyone!

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

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:18 pm

Bumping a helpful thread from a year or two ago.

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

Postby White Dwarf » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:28 pm

1. Find a schedule and stick to it - this is the big one. When I could stick to a schedule for a week or two at a time, things went well, but I kept getting derailed. I should have made more of an effort to get acclimated to city-life early on. Also, I had way too much wasted time where I wasn't studying, or really relaxing, or doing anything worthwhile.

2. Work harder - Early in the semester I didn't really know what I was doing. Later in the semester, I was completely burned out. There were 3 or 4 days during finals where I accomplished little-to-nothing at all. The libraries here are a cluster-f***, and I didn't find a good, consistently-open place to study until the last week of finals. I kept winding up crammed in some random 87-degree workplace next to an Asian kid who couldn't go 5 seconds without sniffling. I also did very few practice exams, and never worked on my typing speed, which came back to bite me.

3. Start gearing-up for finals earlier - I basically worked lock-step with the syllabus, and didn't feel like I had enough time during finals to do all the things I wanted. I finished my Civ Pro outline less than 24 hours before the test, and didn't do any practice exams. Some of that is lazyness (see #2), some of it was poor scheduling.

4. Stop being intimidated - all but one grade has come in, and I did fine/well in all of them so far. I let myself get psyched-out by how lousy I was in class, and basically resigned myself to being median.

Overall, I just didn't feel like I did my best, or even close to it. I'm going to take it as a learning experience, and make it happen this semester.

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joeycxxxx09
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby joeycxxxx09 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:30 pm

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

Postby jrass » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:41 pm

My grades improved about 20% or so second semester, and all I did differently was take more days off. Every week or two I just wouldn't feel like going to class or doing any school work, and I think relaxing on these days instead of grinding through ultimately makes you better during the 2 weeks that count. Of course, everyone's personality is different, and some people could go 18 hours a day 7 days a week, and never lose their focus. The important thing to do is to listen to your mind and your body, and treat them well so they won't screw you during exams.

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

Postby SunnySinceWhen » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:59 am

I only have one grade back, although I am happy with that grade, so here goes nothin'.

Will do:
    1. Go to office hours regularly.
    2. Start work at the same hour every morning.
    3. Read ahead further (one full week should do it if my reading notes are decent and I review them before class).
    4. Study in a quiet, low-stress place off campus more often.
    5. Stick to E&Es plus what the professor recommends. I picked up a few other supplements for very cheap last semester, then used them every weekend but didn't find them hugely helpful.
    6. Talk to 2Ls/3Ls about the class and the prof's exam topic preferences earlier in the semester. This obviously includes getting outlines. I didn't start in earnest until the third week of October, which was way too late.
    7. Acquire a social life and a boyfriend (okay, that one's aspirational).

Will keep doing:
    1. Avoiding study groups. I met with people twice over the semester and didn't learn enough to make it worth my while.
    2. Revising my notes every week. (I'm still torn on the paper/computer question, and at least one of my profs bans computers.)
    3. Making my own outlines from scratch.
    4. Taking practice tests starting in mid-November, a couple weeks before reading period.
    5. Typing answers to E&E questions with a timer running in the background. It helped me get into exam mode, I think.

Supplements seemed useful for understanding the broad strokes, but one prof had a distinctly different approach to the material and all of them went into a few areas in much more depth.




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