1L second semester – what will you do differently?

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

Postby BrazilBandit » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:53 am

Also tagging, but the short answer is everything...

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m27
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Re: 1L second semester – what will you do differently?

Postby m27 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:41 pm

(1) More office hours. I only started to go 2-3 weeks before finals, but the 30 minutes/hour spent with the professor was extremely worthwhile. I went with questions prepared, listened carefully to the way they worded their answers, and copied that into my outline.

(2) Read more of their scholarship (if it's relevant to the course). I only started to do this towards the end of finals unfortunately. For example, my ConLaw professor is a standing buff and published several articles about it. Unsurprisingly, we had a standing essay on our final. Memorizing his arguments and some of the quotes he used probably contributed to my A, although he didn't mention such things in the model answer.

In sum, I want to get into the mind of my professors more. Memorizing the law and learning how to take a law school exam is only 2/3 of the battle; and the other 1/3 (getting into the professor's mind) can be the difference between an A- and an A since most students don't take the time to do this.

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

Postby BaileyJohnson » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:37 pm

FranklinSims wrote: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.


Disclaimer: 1L at TTT

I have to reiterate this. I briefed first week of school, then I only book briefed. I skipped unnecessarily long cases, and used quimbee for summaries of every case. I used one supplement to learn each class, and then one supplement to practice for each class (usually Glannon guide or something with multiple choice). I didn't make one outline. Instead I got 3-4 old outlines from top students and went through it and made sure I could teach someone else everything in it. If I looked through the outline and didn't fully understand something, I would go back and learn it.

The most important thing I did though, IMO. I took a few hours and just wrote out everything I knew about topics or concepts. For example, 2-207, I wrote out how it works, why we have it and how it would apply to specific facts. Do all of this without anything in front of you. If you can't do it without looking at notes or a book, go back and learn that stuff until you can. Rinse and repeat.

Next semester I just want to take more practice tests and work on organization. I think I missed out on some A+ because of my lack of organization.

I'm in the top 3% after 1st semester.

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

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:26 pm

Do the same:
- actually brief only for the first few weeks, and then pull everything from online case briefs
- look at a minimum of one final per class the first week or two of class to orient my brain into only thinking about important stuff
- keep in mind the forest in addition to the trees, because doing so is vital for exams. it's important to know the trees -- rule against perpetuities, erie doctrine, etc. - but without a big-picture mindset you will get stuck on an exam.

Do differently:
- be more social. i'm a social person but didn't meet a lot of people first semester. on the other hand, there probably was a correlation with me spending all my time studying and being rewarded with high grades.
- read cases faster. while i pulled my briefs from online i took forever to read.

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

Postby DCfilterDC » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:34 pm

It's funny to hear some people say they wish they didn't go to TA sessions. If anything I regret not going to them more, I started mid-way through the semester and they ended up being far and away the best thing I did for studying.

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

Postby dabigchina » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:49 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:It's funny to hear some people say they wish they didn't go to TA sessions. If anything I regret not going to them more, I started mid-way through the semester and they ended up being far and away the best thing I did for studying.

My ta's ranged from meh to aggressively bad. One useful thing was going to them to discuss mandatory practice exams.

Ultimately they had no bearing on my grade and I should have just used the time to work out/sleep.

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

Postby Hand » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:52 pm

dabigchina wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:It's funny to hear some people say they wish they didn't go to TA sessions. If anything I regret not going to them more, I started mid-way through the semester and they ended up being far and away the best thing I did for studying.

My ta's ranged from meh to aggressively bad. One useful thing was going to them to discuss mandatory practice exams.

Ultimately they had no bearing on my grade and I should have just used the time to work out/sleep.

We don't have TAs except for LRW. I would definitely not have gone to their sessions if we did, but then again I didn't go to office hours with the prof either, and the prof I actually expect to be capable of explaining shit.

ETA I do plan on going to office hours at least at some point or other this semester. Then again I had that aspiration last semester as well, and that didn't happen. Beyond that, still waiting on grades, so we'll see how last semester's approach turned out.

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

Postby DCfilterDC » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:54 pm

dabigchina wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:It's funny to hear some people say they wish they didn't go to TA sessions. If anything I regret not going to them more, I started mid-way through the semester and they ended up being far and away the best thing I did for studying.

My ta's ranged from meh to aggressively bad. One useful thing was going to them to discuss mandatory practice exams.

Ultimately they had no bearing on my grade and I should have just used the time to work out/sleep.


I guess it also depends on what the TA sessions are like. One of mine was useless, but the other 2, the professors instructed the TAs what to review and it was surpassingly helpful because it complemented the class. I guess it helps me more because I wouldn't do anything with that time anyway.

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

Postby dabigchina » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:57 pm

Hand wrote:
dabigchina wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:It's funny to hear some people say they wish they didn't go to TA sessions. If anything I regret not going to them more, I started mid-way through the semester and they ended up being far and away the best thing I did for studying.

My ta's ranged from meh to aggressively bad. One useful thing was going to them to discuss mandatory practice exams.

Ultimately they had no bearing on my grade and I should have just used the time to work out/sleep.

We don't have TAs except for LRW. I would definitely not have gone to their sessions if we did, but then again I didn't go to office hours with the prof either, and the prof I actually expect to be capable of explaining shit.

ETA I do plan on going to office hours at least at some point or other this semester. Then again I had that aspiration last semester as well, and that didn't happen. Beyond that, still waiting on grades, so we'll see how last semester's approach turned out.


I guess ultimately it's personal preference, because I never got much out of going to office hours either.

I had one professor who was a total rockstar in class but absolutely sucked in office hours. He could never understand why students were confused. I got so frustrated with him I sort of stopped going to all office hours.

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Hikikomorist
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Postby Hikikomorist » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:01 pm

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Last edited by Hikikomorist on Sun Apr 10, 2016 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby DJM » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:03 pm

Same
- wake up early and go on a run everyday
- avoid study groups
- get outlines from 2Ls that did well in the class (but make my own first)
- get the prof recommended supplements
- keep up with readings
- keep on book briefing the cases
- internet off in class

Different
- follow along with supps throughout the quarter
- keep up with outlining (every friday afternoon)
- follow along with supplements
- start practice exams earlier
- no TV during the day
- take better notes
- make my outline before I read the 2Ls outlines
- get my profs to review one of my PTs for each class
- office hours more often

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

Postby CountingBlue » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:34 pm

1) Spend more time on the black letter of the law. Tests were open notes and I figured I could just look up the relevant law for details, but I ended up wasting a lot of time. Also in at least one problem I missed a point entirely because my broad understanding of a rule was not sufficient for me to realize it applied to the fact pattern.

2) Keep focused on lecture notes as starting point to all other studying. Extraneous knowledge is an obstacle to a clear/clean answer come exam time.




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