Median-Pwned at t-20

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fadedsunrise
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Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby fadedsunrise » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:59 pm

Yes, yes, one of those people again. :lol:

I'm not ready to drop out just yet, because my debt will only be 20k if I stick out the year and then decide. I got, as the thread title suggests, median(or slightly below) pwned. I've spent the first 2 weeks of the semester so far being fairly distracted and more trying to figure out what is wrong than diving straight into working hard the exact same way I used to.

What I did last semester: Read for each class in about 3-4 hrs a week while taking notes. Took decent notes in class, all without computer. Started outlining perhaps too late (Mid October for 1 class, early November for the other 2 BLL classes), took tons of practice tests(which had no sample answers) for one class, and hardly any for the others. Went over these tests with an equally confused study group, ended up not having time to run them by our professor. More or less made my own outlines, with the exception of one class where I really liked the structure of an old outline and took all the headings/subheadings off of it. Barely used a contracts supp. for a week when my study group was confusing me more than helping.

What I got last semester: Without going into exact grades, I got my lowest grade in that class I took tons of practice tests for. The classes I took no practice tests for I got higher grades. The class with the highest grade (civ pro) I did maybe half the reading and 100% made my own outline, which meant that I had to do the most synthesizing at the end between re-phrasing portions of the FRCP to fit together with class notes and examples.

What I think is wrong: I'm not that organized of a writer, and I probably did a lot of nervous brain dumping, I don't write well in the analytical sense? (Took a lot of creative writing, and my business classes cared next to nothing about structure). I only have one exam back right now(the rest are being processed), but there was more than one point deduction for excessive brain dumping. Haven't set up meetings with the other two professors yet.

What I'm currently doing, with some reservations: I gave up my reading while taking notes. I book brief or don't take notes at all. At the end of each week I've been throwing the notes onto the computer, and I imagine I'll have a monthly reorganization to slowly put the structure of the outline together, plus to review. I'll probably start looking into supplements that test individual sections by next week, and practice tests from the professors by another month? I'll do the writing assignments much earlier, and actually meet with the writing professor.

This leaves me a lot more sanity than before, as far as law school no longer feels like its taking over my life and sapping my sleep (I have about 1.5 hrs to commute, both ways, 5 days a week, due to personal reasons) by making me work all my waking hours. I might actually go out to bar review this semester. But I'm worried, given that one thread about someone who completely shirked reading the casebook and didn't do better until she read, that this will only make me do much worse, instead of any better.

Although fwiw, the 3l tutor I met with suggested that I was sinking if not ungodly hours, too much time into class preparation and to cut down to 1 hr per class, before class. Not sure if I'm doing it right, based on his suggestions.

Finally, I don't want to drop out of law school just yet because even though I felt socially isolated (due partly to my commuting life) and overworked last semester, law is fascinating and I have many nerdy moments being excited by the intricacies. I also enjoyed what pro bono projects I've done so far. While I wasn't SURE this was the career for me before I started, now I find myself hard pressed to consider anything else as a better fit.

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Lacepiece23
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:41 pm

fadedsunrise wrote:Yes, yes, one of those people again. :lol:

I'm not ready to drop out just yet, because my debt will only be 20k if I stick out the year and then decide. I got, as the thread title suggests, median(or slightly below) pwned. I've spent the first 2 weeks of the semester so far being fairly distracted and more trying to figure out what is wrong than diving straight into working hard the exact same way I used to.

What I did last semester: Read for each class in about 3-4 hrs a week while taking notes. Took decent notes in class, all without computer. Started outlining perhaps too late (Mid October for 1 class, early November for the other 2 BLL classes), took tons of practice tests(which had no sample answers) for one class, and hardly any for the others. Went over these tests with an equally confused study group, ended up not having time to run them by our professor. More or less made my own outlines, with the exception of one class where I really liked the structure of an old outline and took all the headings/subheadings off of it. Barely used a contracts supp. for a week when my study group was confusing me more than helping.

What I got last semester: Without going into exact grades, I got my lowest grade in that class I took tons of practice tests for. The classes I took no practice tests for I got higher grades. The class with the highest grade (civ pro) I did maybe half the reading and 100% made my own outline, which meant that I had to do the most synthesizing at the end between re-phrasing portions of the FRCP to fit together with class notes and examples.

What I think is wrong: I'm not that organized of a writer, and I probably did a lot of nervous brain dumping, I don't write well in the analytical sense? (Took a lot of creative writing, and my business classes cared next to nothing about structure). I only have one exam back right now(the rest are being processed), but there was more than one point deduction for excessive brain dumping. Haven't set up meetings with the other two professors yet.

What I'm currently doing, with some reservations: I gave up my reading while taking notes. I book brief or don't take notes at all. At the end of each week I've been throwing the notes onto the computer, and I imagine I'll have a monthly reorganization to slowly put the structure of the outline together, plus to review. I'll probably start looking into supplements that test individual sections by next week, and practice tests from the professors by another month? I'll do the writing assignments much earlier, and actually meet with the writing professor.

This leaves me a lot more sanity than before, as far as law school no longer feels like its taking over my life and sapping my sleep (I have about 1.5 hrs to commute, both ways, 5 days a week, due to personal reasons) by making me work all my waking hours. I might actually go out to bar review this semester. But I'm worried, given that one thread about someone who completely shirked reading the casebook and didn't do better until she read, that this will only make me do much worse, instead of any better.

Although fwiw, the 3l tutor I met with suggested that I was sinking if not ungodly hours, too much time into class preparation and to cut down to 1 hr per class, before class. Not sure if I'm doing it right, based on his suggestions.

Finally, I don't want to drop out of law school just yet because even though I felt socially isolated (due partly to my commuting life) and overworked last semester, law is fascinating and I have many nerdy moments being excited by the intricacies. I also enjoyed what pro bono projects I've done so far. While I wasn't SURE this was the career for me before I started, now I find myself hard pressed to consider anything else as a better fit.


Um I'm sorry to be a dick I read your post, but whats the point? Are you asking what you should be doing to get better or just sharing your anecdote. Sorry just a little confused to be honest.

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Gamecubesupreme
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:44 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:
fadedsunrise wrote:Yes, yes, one of those people again. :lol:

I'm not ready to drop out just yet, because my debt will only be 20k if I stick out the year and then decide. I got, as the thread title suggests, median(or slightly below) pwned. I've spent the first 2 weeks of the semester so far being fairly distracted and more trying to figure out what is wrong than diving straight into working hard the exact same way I used to.

What I did last semester: Read for each class in about 3-4 hrs a week while taking notes. Took decent notes in class, all without computer. Started outlining perhaps too late (Mid October for 1 class, early November for the other 2 BLL classes), took tons of practice tests(which had no sample answers) for one class, and hardly any for the others. Went over these tests with an equally confused study group, ended up not having time to run them by our professor. More or less made my own outlines, with the exception of one class where I really liked the structure of an old outline and took all the headings/subheadings off of it. Barely used a contracts supp. for a week when my study group was confusing me more than helping.

What I got last semester: Without going into exact grades, I got my lowest grade in that class I took tons of practice tests for. The classes I took no practice tests for I got higher grades. The class with the highest grade (civ pro) I did maybe half the reading and 100% made my own outline, which meant that I had to do the most synthesizing at the end between re-phrasing portions of the FRCP to fit together with class notes and examples.

What I think is wrong: I'm not that organized of a writer, and I probably did a lot of nervous brain dumping, I don't write well in the analytical sense? (Took a lot of creative writing, and my business classes cared next to nothing about structure). I only have one exam back right now(the rest are being processed), but there was more than one point deduction for excessive brain dumping. Haven't set up meetings with the other two professors yet.

What I'm currently doing, with some reservations: I gave up my reading while taking notes. I book brief or don't take notes at all. At the end of each week I've been throwing the notes onto the computer, and I imagine I'll have a monthly reorganization to slowly put the structure of the outline together, plus to review. I'll probably start looking into supplements that test individual sections by next week, and practice tests from the professors by another month? I'll do the writing assignments much earlier, and actually meet with the writing professor.

This leaves me a lot more sanity than before, as far as law school no longer feels like its taking over my life and sapping my sleep (I have about 1.5 hrs to commute, both ways, 5 days a week, due to personal reasons) by making me work all my waking hours. I might actually go out to bar review this semester. But I'm worried, given that one thread about someone who completely shirked reading the casebook and didn't do better until she read, that this will only make me do much worse, instead of any better.

Although fwiw, the 3l tutor I met with suggested that I was sinking if not ungodly hours, too much time into class preparation and to cut down to 1 hr per class, before class. Not sure if I'm doing it right, based on his suggestions.

Finally, I don't want to drop out of law school just yet because even though I felt socially isolated (due partly to my commuting life) and overworked last semester, law is fascinating and I have many nerdy moments being excited by the intricacies. I also enjoyed what pro bono projects I've done so far. While I wasn't SURE this was the career for me before I started, now I find myself hard pressed to consider anything else as a better fit.


Um I'm sorry to be a dick I read your post, but whats the point? Are you asking what you should be doing to get better or just sharing your anecdote. Sorry just a little confused to be honest.


I think he was demonstrating what a nervous brain dump looks like.

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ManOfTheMinute
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:45 pm

Lacepiece23 wrote:Um I'm sorry to be a dick I read your post, but whats the point? Are you asking what you should be doing to get better or just sharing your anecdote. Sorry just a little confused to be honest.


Screw law school, you should be a counselor or psychologist!

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seahawk32
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby seahawk32 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:53 pm

Taking practice exams is money *if* you know how to take a law school exam. I skimmed your post, so you may already plan on doing this, but meet with professors, see what's wrong with your answers, and adjust. Skim the book Getting To Maybe. If you can get your hands on old student exams that received A's (don't break any honor code your school may have, but professors will sometimes distribute old A exam answers), study those responses, paying close attention to the structure of those responses and the depth at which the student analyzes issues.

shock259
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby shock259 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:23 am

Skimmed, but you need to get model answers for practice tests. Otherwise you're just stumbling around in the dark.

Also, study groups are pretty worthless IMO.

Good luck next semester.

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3|ink
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby 3|ink » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:35 pm

shock259 wrote:Also, study groups are pretty worthless IMO.

This^1,000,000,000,000

ninereal
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby ninereal » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:39 pm

I thought study groups were useful. Just depends on how you operate, I guess.

andythefir
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby andythefir » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:05 pm

Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

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3|ink
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby 3|ink » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:07 pm

andythefir wrote:Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

The latter doesn't exist because the smart people think they're better off keeping what they know to themselves rather than helping other gunners gun.

ninereal
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby ninereal » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:15 pm

3|ink wrote:
andythefir wrote:Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

The latter doesn't exist because the smart people think they're better off keeping what they know to themselves rather than helping other gunners gun.


Not all smart people are totally self-interested douchebags.

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dood
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby dood » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:26 pm

i got way better grades (median to straight As) by reverting back to doing shit the way i was used to, as opposed to all the bs advice u find in how to books, websites, and this forum. my point is - sometimes the best way to study is what ur most familiar with.

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3|ink
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby 3|ink » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:32 pm

ninereal wrote:
3|ink wrote:
andythefir wrote:Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

The latter doesn't exist because the smart people think they're better off keeping what they know to themselves rather than helping other gunners gun.


Not all smart people are totally self-interested douchebags.

Then they're not very smart.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:40 pm

3|ink wrote:
ninereal wrote:
3|ink wrote:
andythefir wrote:Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

The latter doesn't exist because the smart people think they're better off keeping what they know to themselves rather than helping other gunners gun.


Not all smart people are totally self-interested douchebags.

Then they're not very smart.


Your TAR and comment screams arrogance. (put this comment into a box, rationalize comment, rationalize box, continue believing you're right)

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3|ink
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby 3|ink » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:49 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Your TAR and comment screams arrogance. (put this comment into a box, rationalize comment, rationalize box, continue believing you're right)

wut

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ndirish2010
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby ndirish2010 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:41 am

3|ink wrote:
andythefir wrote:Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

The latter doesn't exist because the smart people think they're better off keeping what they know to themselves rather than helping other gunners gun.


The latter does exist, you just have to be at the right school and friends with the right people.

Shockingly, andythefir and I are at the same school.

keg411
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby keg411 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:15 am

ndirish2010 wrote:
3|ink wrote:
andythefir wrote:Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

The latter doesn't exist because the smart people think they're better off keeping what they know to themselves rather than helping other gunners gun.


The latter does exist, you just have to be at the right school and friends with the right people.

Shockingly, andythefir and I are at the same school.


The latter existed at my 1L school and I was part of it. Incredibly, incredibly helpful.

shock259
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby shock259 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:30 pm

I'm sure there are some good study groups. I still think it would be pretty hard to find one 1L, though. I don't know how you would go about trying to discern who is going to do well and who isn't. It's really the blind leading the blind and you don't have any idea how anyone is going to do on the tests. Additionally, study groups can be a huge time sink (and a deceptive one at that). You'll think you are studying a lot, but it is usually pretty inefficient. You'll come home tired, but you haven't will have really learned much.

Just my experiences. I know there are lots of success stories, though (like the ones above). Just seems like a gamble to me, and one that usually doesn't pay off.

Best of luck next semester OP

andythefir
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby andythefir » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:46 am

shock259 wrote:I'm sure there are some good study groups. I still think it would be pretty hard to find one 1L, though. I don't know how you would go about trying to discern who is going to do well and who isn't. It's really the blind leading the blind and you don't have any idea how anyone is going to do on the tests. Additionally, study groups can be a huge time sink (and a deceptive one at that). You'll think you are studying a lot, but it is usually pretty inefficient. You'll come home tired, but you haven't will have really learned much.

Just my experiences. I know there are lots of success stories, though (like the ones above). Just seems like a gamble to me, and one that usually doesn't pay off.

Best of luck next semester OP


My advice would be that it's true that some study groups are time sinks if they meet every week and try to muddle through the class week to week-that's not the kind of study group I'm talking about. If you wait until just before finals and insist everyone come to the table with a synthesis of the class then it will take a day at most and be more than worth it.

While it's true you won't see any benefit from working with someone who has no idea what's going on, the fact is if you're at a t-20 most of your peers are going to be pretty smart. Every student will probably get 90-95% of the class, it's those remaining fine holes in your knowledge that are the difference between median and top of the class. It's been my experience even non-law review get a handful of these very fine points, and if you get 2-3 people together they can often get all of them.

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ndirish2010
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby ndirish2010 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:10 pm

andythefir wrote:
shock259 wrote:I'm sure there are some good study groups. I still think it would be pretty hard to find one 1L, though. I don't know how you would go about trying to discern who is going to do well and who isn't. It's really the blind leading the blind and you don't have any idea how anyone is going to do on the tests. Additionally, study groups can be a huge time sink (and a deceptive one at that). You'll think you are studying a lot, but it is usually pretty inefficient. You'll come home tired, but you haven't will have really learned much.

Just my experiences. I know there are lots of success stories, though (like the ones above). Just seems like a gamble to me, and one that usually doesn't pay off.

Best of luck next semester OP


My advice would be that it's true that some study groups are time sinks if they meet every week and try to muddle through the class week to week-that's not the kind of study group I'm talking about. If you wait until just before finals and insist everyone come to the table with a synthesis of the class then it will take a day at most and be more than worth it.

While it's true you won't see any benefit from working with someone who has no idea what's going on, the fact is if you're at a t-20 most of your peers are going to be pretty smart. Every student will probably get 90-95% of the class, it's those remaining fine holes in your knowledge that are the difference between median and top of the class. It's been my experience even non-law review get a handful of these very fine points, and if you get 2-3 people together they can often get all of them.


This is so true, talking out the entire class a couple of days before the final with someone you know has put the effort in and gets it really helps a lot. Did that for Fed Courts and Admin this semester w/ great results.

kryptix
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby kryptix » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:52 am

ndirish2010 wrote:
3|ink wrote:
andythefir wrote:Study groups during the semester with knuckleheads who don't know the material themselves: useless
Study groups at the end of the semester with smart people where everyone has finished their outlines and the group goes over the entire class: incredibly useful

The latter doesn't exist because the smart people think they're better off keeping what they know to themselves rather than helping other gunners gun.


The latter does exist, you just have to be at the right school and friends with the right people.

Shockingly, andythefir and I are at the same school.


Regardless of how smart you think the people are, I've found that doing practice exams by yourself is rather useless because without model answers (I haven't had a class with model answers since first semester 1L), its really hard to find which issues you consistently miss and there will be some without a second voice. That said I work full time and don't have time for a study group during the semester.

z0rk
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Re: Median-Pwned at t-20

Postby z0rk » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:35 pm

I think the biggest takeaway from this thread is that you should find a method of studying that works best for you. If taking notes while reading made you feel comfortable with the materials then I would caution that you give it a second thought. If note taking while reading is something out of your comfort zone then figure out what works for you.

There are two key objectives you should be addressing in order to achieve success: 1.) You need to absorb the materials the way that works best for you,and 2.) you need to practice and perfect application of legal concepts to unique facts. Whether you examine E&E's, take practice exams, or discuss hypos with friends, you won't be successful if you don't practice the application of law to facts. Some in this thread are bashing the concept of study groups. It didn't work for them, but I did very well with a study group. We all prepared and studied on our own, took the exams on our own, and then came together to discuss answers and work through issues. This helped because it allowed me to see how different people approach problems, how they spot issues, and what things I missed. Those who flame the concept of study groups may suggest a different method of practicing application of law to facts, and I don't doubt the efficacy of that method. The bottom line is, do what works FOR YOU and make sure you are comfortable with the materials.




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