Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

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doctoroflaw91
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Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby doctoroflaw91 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:10 pm

Hi all,
I just received my final grades from 1L and was pleasantly surprised, as I am sitting in the Top 5% of the class. I achieved these grades by holding a study schedule that was, by most standards, probably ridiculous. From the beginning of school until the end, I was up at 5:30 to exercise and get to school to work before class, worked in between classes, and then finally went home at 9 PM.

My question is: How do I maintain this performance for the current semester? The academic affairs session that I attended the other day seemed to suggest that everyone is going to work even harder this semester, and that those that did superbly the fall semester probably will not do as well the second semester.

This seems unlikely to me, given that it seems like people are still burned out from the previous semester. Can any 2Ls or 3Ls shed some light on this? I'm wondering if I am going to have to go even more crazy to hold my spot in the class, as I am strongly considering transferring for the fall.

Many thanks as always.

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gdane
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby gdane » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:14 pm

Do what you did first semester dude. You might drop a bit, you might not. But, just keep doing what you did.

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Gamecubesupreme
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:16 pm

No need to fix something that's not broken.

doctoroflaw91
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby doctoroflaw91 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:17 pm

gdane wrote:Do what you did first semester dude. You might drop a bit, you might not. But, just keep doing what you did.



I suppose, based on what they were saying, that I was toying with dropping from As to Cs. I would have no qualms with small adjustments like As to A-s, etc.

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Nelson
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby Nelson » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:21 pm

doctoroflaw91 wrote:My question is: How do I maintain this performance for the current semester? The academic affairs session that I attended the other day seemed to suggest that everyone is going to work even harder this semester, and that those that did superbly the fall semester probably will not do as well the second semester.

This is not at all true in my experience. People in the middle of the class tend to shift around some, but people at the very top stayed there. If you got grades that good, you "get" law school exams. You'll probably stay there even if you slack off some this semester.

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gdane
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby gdane » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:21 pm

You're not going to drop that far. If you did that well then you understood how to take a law school exam. A half letter drop is possible, but a two letter drop is very unlikely. Just take it easy and do what you did.

doctoroflaw91
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby doctoroflaw91 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:32 pm

gdane wrote:You're not going to drop that far. If you did that well then you understood how to take a law school exam. A half letter drop is possible, but a two letter drop is very unlikely. Just take it easy and do what you did.



Biggest goal: Take it easy.

Seriously, I find it hard to take time for myself, and from a mental health standpoint, that is not a good thing.

arklaw13
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby arklaw13 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:32 pm

I did extremely well and wondered about this too. People have told me that generally the students at the very top tend to stay around there. The people within the top 10% for example, might shuffle around a bit so that some move up to top 5%, while some top 5% people drop to top 10%. On the whole, though, most of the changes tend to happen lower in the class. Most of the big grade drops that do happen probably occur due to complacency.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby brotherdarkness » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:37 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

doctoroflaw91
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby doctoroflaw91 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 5:03 pm

brotherdarkness wrote:So long as you don't let your performance get to your head, you'll be fine this semester. From my own experience, the notion that people learn how to take exams and will work much harder during the second semester is flame. I did just as well the second semester as I did the first semester, without putting in extra effort. That said, I had a similar schedule as OP.


I am keeping the schedule as well because it works for me. I do far better work in the morning and early evening than I do after 9 PM. My "me time" happens while I am exercising or doing yoga in the mornings and when I get home at night.

olive16
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby olive16 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:41 pm

I know a few people who were near the top of their class after first semester that dropped significantly during their second semester. Here's the scary part -- they claim to have done everything exactly the same second semester. Such is the nature of a curved law school exam.

Generally, people do about the same. Some people will do a little better, and some will do a little worse. Remember, though, that your second semester will count for 50% of your 1L GPA. Thus, your GPA can increase (or decrease) a lot.

doctoroflaw91
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby doctoroflaw91 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:28 pm

olive16 wrote:I know a few people who were near the top of their class after first semester that dropped significantly during their second semester. Here's the scary part -- they claim to have done everything exactly the same second semester. Such is the nature of a curved law school exam.

Generally, people do about the same. Some people will do a little better, and some will do a little worse. Remember, though, that your second semester will count for 50% of your 1L GPA. Thus, your GPA can increase (or decrease) a lot.



What constitutes "significant"?

olive16
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby olive16 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:59 pm

A drop of .2 or more.

cdelgado
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby cdelgado » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:07 pm

FWIW, I was worried about this as well.

I ended up taking nearly the same study method and actually dropped in GPA (very minimal, like .01) but increased my ranking.

At the end, just give it your all and keep doing what you're doing. And don't let the grades get to your head. Be humble and thankful and respect your classmates.

fanlinxun
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby fanlinxun » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:19 pm

I would highly recommend going to your first semester professors and going through your exams with them. I was ranked really well after my first semester and I still went to professors to see how I could have done better. After you get their feedback, you should keep up (or even increase) your vigorous study efforts and make an effort to apply what they told you. I know people who suffered tremendous grade drops after the first semester and people who figured things out. You don't want to be the former and you don't want the latter to catch up to you. In the grand scheme of things it is only a couple more months of pushing yourself to the max. After that you will likely be able to coast the rest of the way and still keep your grades up. Rankings change much less after the first year.

shock259
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Re: Had a great 1L Fall. Now what?

Postby shock259 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:16 pm

My GPA dropped a bit after second semester, but my class ranking rose.

Anyway, others have said, just do what you did. You can probably do a little less and do just as well. But people aren't really going to be gunning any harder than they did first semester. If anything, I found that a lot of my friends were demoralized and put in a lot less effort second semester.




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