Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

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thesteelers
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Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby thesteelers » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:35 pm

Thought we could reflect back on our (so far) 2.5 years in law school for both our own benefit and the benefit of the 2Ls/1Ls/0Ls on this board.

One of my biggest regrets is not socializing with my classmates more. I came in with this "we're all in competition with each other" blinkered vision in 1L and it kept me from socializing with the section. That, and I thought there were a lot of douchebags and just selfish people. Not to say I didn't make any friends - I have a core group of really, really good friends, and I made friends with few upperclassmen as well. But I don't know the majority of my class. Those bonds form in 1L, and if you miss 1L, you're out. Now as a 3L, I've noticed how close everyone else seems to be with each other, and I realize that maybe I should have been less cautious and opened myself up more. Especially since I finally got a job last week (thank fucking god) in my law school's home market - which means my future colleagues for the next few decades will be the people I didn't make friends with in law school.

I wish I had stressed out less over 1L and just worked hard and played hard, without having breakdowns and constantly worrying. I would've had a better time and likely gotten better grades, and just enjoyed being a student more. We all get so caught up (understandably so) in the shit side of law school - the curve, the competition, the menace of unemployment - that we forget to enjoy being a student. I think I could have enjoyed that more. And I wish I hadn't done that stupid 0L prep during the summer before law school because it was completely useless.

I wish I had packed my own lunch every day because goddamn I spent a shit load of money in that overpriced shithole of a cafeteria. I just did the math on 2.5 years worth of expensive lunches and I'm like crying. Pack your lunches, 0Ls.

That's all I got. Look forward to hearing what the other 3Ls on this board have to add.

olive16
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby olive16 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:45 pm

I would have drank more.

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ph14
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby ph14 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:48 pm

Probably spent more time figuring out what exactly I wanted to get out of law school and my legal career and then focus mainly on that and not worry about other stuff. Relatedly, I'd try and focus more on stuff that makes me happy or that I think it important, regardless of the law school attitude towards it.

thegrayman
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby thegrayman » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:27 pm

I would have tried to stress out less as a 1L

Tried being the operative word, holy shit was 1L stressful...

sidhesadie
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby sidhesadie » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:32 pm

Other than never go to law school to start with, which would be my #1 choice:

Pack lunch, agreed.

Minimize loans as much as possible. Like, work a weekend job minimization. Even if non legal. The interest racks up SO FAST.

Study more 1st semester 1L, then study less if I couldn't get into the top 5 in the class. (and I do mean 5, not 5%.) At this point, I'm seeing zero difference in hiring for those who are bottom 50% and those who are top 20%.

target
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby target » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:45 pm

Agreed with figure out what I want to get out of law school and what I want to do.

I would take the LSAT more seriously, a T14 name does carry its students to certain extent. Also, I would consider schools that are closer to home and/or where most of my friends are. I made a lot of friends in law school but sometimes think it would be nice to hang out with my high school/undergrad friends.

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piccolittle
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby piccolittle » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:00 pm

I would have gotten a cat during 1L and actually gone to class during the other years. Also study abroad. I know it's not helpful but that's all I got.

Foosters Galore
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby Foosters Galore » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:41 pm

I played a lot of golf my 3L year, skipped a lot of class, and generally just enjoyed life. Wish I had done that my 1L and 2L years as well because my grades stayed about the same.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:09 am

I too would have socialized with my peers more. It wasn't because I viewed them as competition, just that I commuted into campus from an hour away, had a fiancee / wife, and knew I had a shit-ton of work to do and wasn't about to spend a single second longer at school than I had to. But I didn't appreciate that what they say is true - the legal community is actually pretty small, and you're going to run into people you went to school with (especially if, like me, you went to a regional school and practice in that state) once you get out there.

I say that in hindsight, but I have to add the caveat that on the other hand, I believe that everything had to happen as it did for me to be where I am now, so had I socialized more, maybe I'd have studied less, maybe I wouldn't have aced 1L like I did......

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ph14
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby ph14 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:04 pm

Also, I'd follow the saying "perfect is the enemy of good" (or however it goes).

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ilovesf
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby ilovesf » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:04 pm

not gone

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ph14
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby ph14 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:06 pm

ilovesf wrote:not gone


It's not too late to not be a law school graduate.

ran12
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby ran12 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:22 pm

Foosters Galore wrote:I played a lot of golf my 3L year, skipped a lot of class, and generally just enjoyed life. Wish I had done that my 1L and 2L years as well because my grades stayed about the same.


I actually did play a lot of golf 1L year to get away from law school for a few hours a day and it helped a lot. Been playing more golf and drinking more since 1L and grades have gone up and I've taken mostly tough electives. Enjoying life and studying smart are the way to go. And in all seriousness working on the golf game is pretty important for career trajectory.

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gdane
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby gdane » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:42 pm

thesteelers wrote:Thought we could reflect back on our (so far) 2.5 years in law school for both our own benefit and the benefit of the 2Ls/1Ls/0Ls on this board.

One of my biggest regrets is not socializing with my classmates more. I came in with this "we're all in competition with each other" blinkered vision in 1L and it kept me from socializing with the section. That, and I thought there were a lot of douchebags and just selfish people. Not to say I didn't make any friends - I have a core group of really, really good friends, and I made friends with few upperclassmen as well. But I don't know the majority of my class. Those bonds form in 1L, and if you miss 1L, you're out. Now as a 3L, I've noticed how close everyone else seems to be with each other, and I realize that maybe I should have been less cautious and opened myself up more. Especially since I finally got a job last week (thank fucking god) in my law school's home market - which means my future colleagues for the next few decades will be the people I didn't make friends with in law school.


I think this is what I would have done differently. I spent all 1L holed up in a cubby in the library. Yea it worked out, but at the same time a lot of my classmates had wayyy more fun than I did during 1L. I've made a lot of friends this past year from doing volunteer stuff, being part of my schools public interest group, and from journal, but 1L was definitely not as fun as the last year has been.

hiima3L
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby hiima3L » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:50 am

In order of importance:

I would have studied differently 1L year. I would have never read the case books and would have just relied on outlines, paying close attention in class, and taking practice tests. I can't believe the amount of time I wasted reading cases that are easily condensed into 1-3 lines. I did just as well/better (in big, curved classes) as a 2L/3L with dramatically less work.

I would have taken the write-on seriously and tried to get onto LR. I had no idea how important it was until well into 2L year, really. Relatedly, I wouldn't have taken such an involved role on my secondary journal.

I would have networked a shit load more. I hardly met any attorneys in the city where I went to school (and ultimately want to return).

I wouldn't have taken bar classes for the sake of taking bar classes. What a redundant waste of time.

Peg
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby Peg » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:05 am

I would've socialized more and not been such a recluse. I really didn't like the people and kept to myself a lot, and they all thought I was this hermit or something. I was literally the polar opposite in college and high school, but I just didn't like the personalities and the atmosphere in law school. So now my future colleagues are going to have this impression that I'm a reclusive, un-sociable person and it's a little too late to change that. Like the OP said, all the bonds and cliques are pretty much set in 1L year.

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Summerz
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby Summerz » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:15 am

My friend screwed up her OCI chances by taking her 24 hour exam with a 103° temp.

Honestly, if you are feeling ill, don’t be bashful ….reschedule… especially if OCI is important to you.

Gorki
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Re: Fellow 3Ls: what would you have done differently?

Postby Gorki » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:32 pm

Realized "bar prep" classes are usually a joke and just another academic psychobabble. Take classes you are (a) interested in, or (b) classes where you'll have access to lots of practice exams or other study guides (AKA, do not take Prof A's seminar on the local jurisdiction's zoning scheme with a racehorse final, just don't.)

Lowered my expectations as to post-grad options a lot sooner than I have.

Realized that its all just a game really: some will win, many will lose. We all just have to keep on living after its all over and make due.

Skipped more classes during 2L (I never missed any until 3L). Basically miss all classes unless the professor/school mandates a certain attendance rate. You won't be sorry.

Wish I had a much better idea of what I wanted out of LS when starting back in 2011 other than "do well and work in a big firm or government agency." I am doing my honest best now to explain this to prospective law students: would you be happy working at a misdemeanor/ID/plaintiff's mill? If no, then avoid LS for now... It is always waiting for you, but once you start you are stuck.

Spent less time with law students and more time with family and true friends (law students may fit in this category). Really once you graduate the socializing is over, and for the most part many law students are pretty shallow.

Do not waste your 1L worrying about your social status amongst these people. See the above.

At the risk of saying "not gone to law school," I will say future readers of this thread have to really do their footwork before going to law school. You are entering what has become an insanely business-oriented profession and law school is stuck in the same theoretical and abstract "training" scheme that it has used since Harvard employed the casebook method way back when. If your school doesn't do well in OCI, you will basically be using salesperson skills to get and hold a job. Very few employers will care about your award winning LRW brief, etc.

Take a lot of externships, as many as you can. People here have some merit in hating on them for being "you pay to work? lol!" but the alternative is some useless lecture about stuff that you just learn from commercial supplements any ways. Do externships, clinics, public sector internships, ANYTHING that you can apply towards course credit. You can meet real attorneys this way, and can keep a vibe as to whether that type of an organization is really a place you'd like to work at in the future.

Take a few pass/fail classes. By the time you are eligible to take classes this way (usually second half of 2L and 3L only) your grades do not matter so much anyway as the ship for grade-centric jobs has more or less sailed (OCI and Clerk hiring). . . The ordinary non-biglaw employer won't give a damn about a few "P" grades, if they look at your transcript at all.

That is all.




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