After Grades - What did we learn?

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superserial
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby superserial » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:57 pm

apper123 wrote:
Legal Writing

Grade: A-

Method: Mehhhhhh I should have had an A in this course. I got the highest grade in the class on the first memo, and I wrote what I believed to be a good second memo, but then blew off the Statement of Facts portion because I wanted to study for other exams and thought it wouldn't hurt me too much. This cost me an A in the course. I got hammered on my SoF and lost a ton of points there. Whatever. I'll get an A this semester. It's only a 2 credit course.


:roll:

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:58 pm

superserial wrote:
apper123 wrote:
Legal Writing

Grade: A-

Method: Mehhhhhh I should have had an A in this course. I got the highest grade in the class on the first memo, and I wrote what I believed to be a good second memo, but then blew off the Statement of Facts portion because I wanted to study for other exams and thought it wouldn't hurt me too much. This cost me an A in the course. I got hammered on my SoF and lost a ton of points there. Whatever. I'll get an A this semester. It's only a 2 credit course.


:roll:


wat

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chadwick218
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby chadwick218 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:08 pm

apper123 wrote:
superserial wrote:
apper123 wrote:
Legal Writing

Grade: A-

Method: Mehhhhhh I should have had an A in this course. I got the highest grade in the class on the first memo, and I wrote what I believed to be a good second memo, but then blew off the Statement of Facts portion because I wanted to study for other exams and thought it wouldn't hurt me too much. This cost me an A in the course. I got hammered on my SoF and lost a ton of points there. Whatever. I'll get an A this semester. It's only a 2 credit course.


:roll:


wat



The challange is that we all feel as though we should have had A's in certain courses ... curves are incredibly tight ... had I organized my exam a little bit better, then perhaps ...

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:11 pm

I was just saying I knew my SoF was bad, and I didn't put any effort into fixing it. The amount of points I lost on SoF would haev put me #1 in class on the 2nd memo, and I assume that would have given me an A, unless no As were given out, which I suppose is possible.

Snooker
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Snooker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:41 pm

thesealocust wrote:
apper123 wrote:Because law exams don't come naturally to some people.


TITCR. I firmly believe that even if some people 'have it' when they get to LS and others don't, there's nothing that would prevent somebody from learning it. Just don't expect professors to teach it.


Yeah that makes a lot of sense, exam writing is 90% of the game but it's precisely what they don't teach.

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rbgrocio
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby rbgrocio » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:53 pm

I learned that while being prepared for each class is important, you need to make time to study for the final at least once a week. I did very well my first semester, specially given my school's harsh 2.6 curve. However, I wish I had used commercial outlines in addition to my own and that I had studied for the "big day" (the final) every weekend. I would have done even better, or at least I like to think so. That will be this semester's strategy

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sayan
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby sayan » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:05 pm

apper123 wrote:It's worth noting my school doesn't have A+s and curves to a 3.0. Here's my final grades write-up:

Property

This was my least favorite class by far.

Grade: A

Test structure: Closed book. 30 MC questions, some short answer, and 3 essay.


Civil Procedure

My favorite class. Best professor and best quality of classes.

Grade: A

Test structure: Closed book except for tabbed FRCP, and he was generous with what he allowed to be tabbed into the FRCP. 90 % massive issue spotting essays with a few short answers.



Honestly, I was really not nearly as prepared for this course as I should have been. I taught myself joinder and discovery the night before the exam. I lucked out in that I just kinda "got" the course and wrote a better exam than my classmates. I never want to be in the position I was in going into this exam ever again. It was scary.

Torts

Another favorite course of mine, and it was frustrating to get an A- in this course. That was most likely due to getting a B on the midterm, which was 25 % of the course grade. The word limits on the essays (which were very strict) were quite difficult for me to work around. I'm pretty verbose. It was just unnatural to me. This professor demanded less on his answers than most law profs do.



Legal Writing



Do you know ahead of time whether professors give MC exams? If not, do you err on the side of caution with CALI? Would you recommend CALI if you knew the exams were mainly essay/SA based?

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:13 pm

sayan wrote:
Do you know ahead of time whether professors give MC exams? If not, do you err on the side of caution with CALI? Would you recommend CALI if you knew the exams were mainly essay/SA based?


1st question: Yes. I knew the structure of every exam going in. The only thing that caught me off guard were the short answer questions on CivPro. Had no idea those were coming. They were structured true/false, but if you answered false, you had to explain why. Most of the questions were false. It wasn't a problem for me.

2nd and 3rd questions: Those are two really good questions, and I'm not sure of the answer. For CivPro I did no CALI because I knew there were no MC on the exam. I tried to do a few, but I didn't find them useful to me. This might also be because Glannon was such a good supplement.

However, I did all the CALI lessons for Property because of the MC heavy component of the exam. But I must say the lessons I learned through CALI were extremely useful on the essay portion of the exam. I would probably recommend CALI no matter what the exam structure is. If you find it isn't working out for you or helping you progress, then just move on to something else, but at least give it a shot.

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sayan
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby sayan » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:18 pm

apper123 wrote:
sayan wrote:
Do you know ahead of time whether professors give MC exams? If not, do you err on the side of caution with CALI? Would you recommend CALI if you knew the exams were mainly essay/SA based?


1st question: Yes. I knew the structure of every exam going in. The only thing that caught me off guard were the short answer questions on CivPro. Had no idea those were coming. They were structured true/false, but if you answered false, you had to explain why. Most of the questions were false. It wasn't a problem for me.

2nd and 3rd questions: Those are two really good questions, and I'm not sure of the answer. For CivPro I did no CALI because I knew there were no MC on the exam. I tried to do a few, but I didn't find them useful to me. This might also be because Glannon was such a good supplement.

However, I did all the CALI lessons for Property because of the MC heavy component of the exam. But I must say the lessons I learned through CALI were extremely useful on the essay portion of the exam. I would probably recommend CALI no matter what the exam structure is. If you find it isn't working out for you or helping you progress, then just move on to something else, but at least give it a shot.


Thanks for the response. Did the professor discuss the format himself or did you have to look up old exams? If the latter, how do you know whether the exam format is a fair representation of future exams?

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:19 pm

sayan wrote:
apper123 wrote:
sayan wrote:
Do you know ahead of time whether professors give MC exams? If not, do you err on the side of caution with CALI? Would you recommend CALI if you knew the exams were mainly essay/SA based?


1st question: Yes. I knew the structure of every exam going in. The only thing that caught me off guard were the short answer questions on CivPro. Had no idea those were coming. They were structured true/false, but if you answered false, you had to explain why. Most of the questions were false. It wasn't a problem for me.

2nd and 3rd questions: Those are two really good questions, and I'm not sure of the answer. For CivPro I did no CALI because I knew there were no MC on the exam. I tried to do a few, but I didn't find them useful to me. This might also be because Glannon was such a good supplement.

However, I did all the CALI lessons for Property because of the MC heavy component of the exam. But I must say the lessons I learned through CALI were extremely useful on the essay portion of the exam. I would probably recommend CALI no matter what the exam structure is. If you find it isn't working out for you or helping you progress, then just move on to something else, but at least give it a shot.


Thanks for the response. Did the professor discuss the format himself or did you have to look up old exams? If the latter, how do you know whether the exam format is consistent or not?


All professors discussed the format. I did not have any practice exams available from my professor for Property. For CivPro, the professor said the test would "more or less" be the same as his past ones, which was a hint that something might be off.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:10 pm

.
Last edited by Lawl Shcool on Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 8:32 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RVP11
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:00 pm

thesealocust wrote:Damn, TLS is cleaning up this semester :shock:


Eagerness to rush to an Internet forum to share your grades rises exponentially once your GPA hits 3.5+, I'm sure.

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Kohinoor
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:01 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Damn, TLS is cleaning up this semester :shock:


Eagerness to rush to an Internet forum to share your grades rises exponentially once your GPA hits 3.5+, I'm sure.

cr

legends159
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby legends159 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:35 pm

I guess since people can't gloat in person (b/c that'd be taboo) it's cool to do so over the web.

but seriously, there's good advice here especially from those who don't go to the fancy schools because different tiers of schools have different grading and exam styles.

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underdawg
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby underdawg » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:56 pm

JPU wrote: I read something on here about a guy who: when he was the last person in the library at night he would see it as a small victory and use it for extra motivation. I used this idea all the time and just worked my tail off.

lol

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dresden doll
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby dresden doll » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:09 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:Damn, TLS is cleaning up this semester :shock:


Eagerness to rush to an Internet forum to share your grades rises exponentially once your GPA hits 3.5+, I'm sure.


<3

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:14 pm

JPU wrote: I read something on here about a guy who: when he was the last person in the library at night he would see it as a small victory and use it for extra motivation. I used this idea all the time and just worked my tail off.


I often left the lib at 4 AM during finals, and I was never the last person to leave. However, I also got to the library at like 3 PM every day and slept in until 11-12.

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JPeavy44
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby JPeavy44 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:24 pm

JPU wrote:I am a bit hesitant to post this for anonymity reasons, but TLS has been invaluable so far and I feel compelled to contribute and pass along some knowledge.

TTT School with a 2.6-2.7 median and up to a 4.3. We don't get letter grades but rather a number for each class that corresponds to a gpa spot (ex: 3.7 instead on A-).

Legal Writing - 4 Credits
Grade: 4.3 (high grade in class)

This was my toughest class. I was on the class average for the first memo and was absolutely terrified of the class pulling down my gpa. As a result I logged in an unreal amount of hours on the long memo and probably went through maybe 6-7 drafts/revisions before it was done. The best advice I can give for LW is listening to what the prof says when they talk about the memo and using that information as much as possible. Our second memo was "open" but the prof mentioned several cases during class discussions and I made sure to use these cases, almost exclusively. Also I wanted to make sure I got all the "easy" points, so I made extra sure that my grammar, citations, and structure were as perfect as possible. Honestly, I was blown away when I got this grade and to date it is my highest achievement academically.

Contracts - 3 Credits
Grade: 4.1

It was a closed book 30 MC, 1 issue spotter, and 5 short answer format. Final was out of left field, I ended up only writing like 1500 words for the issue spotter and was absolutely sure that I had failed it. This was super depressing because I had the high score on the midterm and felt like I had squandered my best chance at booking a class. Hooray for the curve because apparently everyone else got rocked by essays. Perfect example of not being able to gauge how you did on an exam.

As for my approach to class, the prof used powerpoint slides and I made my outline exclusively using the wording on the slides and as a result did not use any supplements for the course. I did all the available practice tests with maybe 3 under test conditions. The old tests were all 2 essays with an allotted time of an hour each. I would just separate them and treat it as 2 different practice tests. So I guess I never did a "full" practice test but a lot shorter tests. I liked this because it gave me the chance to review my work while it was still fresh without going over a whole new fact pattern.

Civ Pro - 3 Credits
Grade: 4.3 (1/3 chance at getting the high grade award, will find out in a few weeks)

The exam was a 8 hour take home "performance test". Very interesting test format and more practice focused than the normal essay format. The only way to prepare was to do old exams since it was such a new way of being tested. I did maybe like 4 practice tests (approx 4 hours each) with a full arsenal of the outline I made, rule charts that our study group made, a couple old out-lines, the old model answers and the frcp book. Since it was a take home format you could do a lot of work ahead of time to maximize the 8 hour window. I had my room set for battle before I went to bed and had food pre-purchased for the next day. I used the old model answers rule statements when I could and paid very close attention to the format of the answer.

I used the Glannon E&E throughout the semester and found it very helpful and convenient. The practice problems after each chapter really do a good job of reinforcing the material. The TA also hosted review sessions over the last 2 months of the semester which were great for making my own outline and getting questions answered.

Criminal Law - 3 Credits
Grade: 4.2

It was a closed book exam with MC, short answer, and a long essay. The short answer were more fill-in oriented but extremely difficult, probably the hardest part of the test. I loved the prof and his style of teaching. He recommended using the Understanding Criminal Law supplement but I ended up misplacing it sometime in the middle of the semester and never found it. It really wasn't very helpful as the prof conveyed all the information very clearly and used notes on the dry erase board. It was impossible to not pay attention in class and it was a class I would look forward to attending every week. I really cannot say enough how good of a prof I had.

My outline was just my condensed and cleaned up class notes. I did a few practice tests but due to way exams were spaced out Crim kind of got the short end of the stick in regards to the practice tests. In the end I was very comfortable with the material and am looking forward to getting the exam back and going over it to see where I was missing stuff or getting things wrong.

Torts - 3 Credits
Grade: 4.1

It was a closed book MC and long essay format. The essay was pretty straight forward so I am guessing that the MC separated the pack. I had extra time at the end and tried to inject policy arguments to bolster my analysis, but it was probably a waste of time since most of what I wrote about was the economic impact of litigation for corporations and how the cost is passed onto the consumer but the issues did not involve any products liability. I also realized right after that I should have discussed a minor issue but overall I was happy with what I put down.

I played around with a few different outline formats (flow chart vs. standard bullets) and in the end went with a normal bullet format. I also used the Understanding Torts supplement (recommended by the prof) and found that it was pretty helpful. I referred to it a lot when putting together my own outline. I had a great prof in this class too and as a result had a lot of good class notes.

-

Some general advice:

Read TLS's guide to succeeding in law school. I discovered TLS during my first week of school and these guides were unbelievably helpful and crucial to my success so far. These boards are full of great information on how to attack the law school monster. It sounds cliche but you really just need to find what works for you. I experimented with a few different tactics but in the end found that doing my own briefs for class worked best for me and it allowed me to engage in class discussions and sort out the useful information from what the prof would say about a particular case or theory.

I also lived, breathed, and slept law school for the entire semester and plan on doing the same this time around. I am still young and do not have many obligations outside of school so it was not hard for me to dive in head first. I am a naturally very competitive person and the idea of working towards a class rank was very appealing and motivating for me. I read something on here about a guy who: when he was the last person in the library at night he would see it as a small victory and use it for extra motivation. I used this idea all the time and just worked my tail off.

Study groups. I personally had a core group of 2 others that I studied with all the time and another 2 or 3 that would be around sometimes. We would sit in the normal area of the library at a big table instead of getting a private room to minimize small talk and were generally pretty focused. It was helpful to me for a few reasons: 1) It was nice having people around who were also working hard, knowing others were studying always triggered my wanting to study 2) During finals prep it was great to have people to go over old exams with and 3) outlining. We did not make group outlines per se but definitely collaborated for each class making our own. Also we shared outlines and outlines we got from older students. Having this access to multiple structuring of the same concepts made sure that our own personal outlines did not have any "holes" in them.

Hopefully I can have a repeat performance in the 2nd semester and tackle the next law school obstacle: transferring.


Wow dude...impressive, good job

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JazzOne
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby JazzOne » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:43 pm

Is anyone actually reading this thread for advice? Or is this just a big circle jerk?

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thesealocust
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby thesealocust » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:47 pm

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lawl Shcool
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Lawl Shcool » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:54 pm

JazzOne wrote:Is anyone actually reading this thread for advice? Or is this just a big circle jerk?


I think it will be valuable for 0L's looking to gain some insight on what to expect and different ways to attack school.

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Cavalier
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Cavalier » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:55 pm

I read this thread as a 0L as well.

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:58 pm

JazzOne wrote:Is anyone actually reading this thread for advice? Or is this just a big circle jerk?


I read every page of this thread for advice as a 0L.

And I felt it only fair to give back. I'll also be rereading for supplement recommendations for my classes next semester.

Snooker
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Snooker » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:06 pm

I read it too and think it is helpful, but there's a wide variety of things people are doing and not a real coherent strategy. It doesn't seem like there's any one particular super strategy for rocking the first semester. We've heard of 4.0's from every strategy from hornbooking everything, to doing nothing but reading cases, to doing nothing but problems. GPA/LSAT still seems much more important for predicting how well someone will do, than any particular strategy that a student followed. There's even law professors out there saying that doing practice exams doesn't seem to affect how well students perform on the actual exam.




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