After Grades - What did we learn?

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edcrane
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby edcrane » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:39 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:"Exhausting the facts" and "exploring every possible path" are way more oversimplified than the approach I'm advocating.

You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.


The intentional part is key. If you're looking for every possible point of ambiguity instead of the shots your professor has teed up for you, there's a good chance you'll end up whacking around in the no-point bushes.

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apper123
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby apper123 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:42 am

edcrane wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:"Exhausting the facts" and "exploring every possible path" are way more oversimplified than the approach I'm advocating.

You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.


The intentional part is key. If you're looking for every possible point of ambiguity instead of the shots your professor has teed up for you, there's a good chance you'll end up whacking around in the no-point bushes.


Yeah, and professors often leave subtle hints with facts. I think my favorite (using the word "favorite" sarcastically) is when there is some detail added that seems to have absolutely no relevance to the fact pattern. It's just weird that it's in there. Then I start asking myself, "why the HELL would he put that in there?" and looking for an angle. The problem is some professors intentionally put those red herrings in there to waste your time, but I think they are far and few between. I think it's more likely that it was intentionally placed there to point you towards some caveat or logical leap in the law.

270910
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 270910 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:45 am

edcrane wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:"Exhausting the facts" and "exploring every possible path" are way more oversimplified than the approach I'm advocating.

You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.


The intentional part is key. If you're looking for every possible point of ambiguity instead of the shots your professor has teed up for you, there's a good chance you'll end up whacking around in the no-point bushes.


I don't think any of this is wrong per se - I just don't know how useful it is. In my experience looking at my exams, my grades, other's exams, and others grades, people aren't failing to achieve their desired levels of performance because they analyze the wrong facts. People do a LOT wrong on law school exams, I just don't think 'over analyzing things that don't call for it' is the real danger we need to collectively decipher and warn people about.

Really not trying to be antagonistic, or even disagree with what y'all are saying. Just kind of suggesting it's not as material (haw haw, meta!) as some other advice / discussion threads could be. which isn't a reason not to have it or say it, but i know there will probably be zillions of 0Ls reading it so i wanted to at least register my concurrence : P

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prezidentv8
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:48 am

disco_barred wrote:
edcrane wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:"Exhausting the facts" and "exploring every possible path" are way more oversimplified than the approach I'm advocating.

You definitely need to explore multiple paths when a fact was intentionally made ambiguous. If you really know the BLL, you develop a sense for it.


The intentional part is key. If you're looking for every possible point of ambiguity instead of the shots your professor has teed up for you, there's a good chance you'll end up whacking around in the no-point bushes.


I don't think any of this is wrong per se - I just don't know how useful it is. In my experience looking at my exams, my grades, other's exams, and others grades, people aren't failing to achieve their desired levels of performance because they analyze the wrong facts. People do a LOT wrong on law school exams, I just don't think 'over analyzing things that don't call for it' is the real danger we need to collectively decipher and warn people about.

Really not trying to be antagonistic, or even disagree with what y'all are saying. Just kind of suggesting it's not as material (haw haw, meta!) as some other advice / discussion threads could be. which isn't a reason not to have it or say it, but i know there will probably be zillions of 0Ls reading it so i wanted to at least register my concurrence : P


I'll toss this out there - I think throwing in the kitchen sink works well on policy and essay questions.

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vanwinkle
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:51 am

apper123 wrote:Yeah, and professors often leave subtle hints with facts. I think my favorite (using the word "favorite" sarcastically) is when there is some detail added that seems to have absolutely no relevance to the fact pattern. It's just weird that it's in there. Then I start asking myself, "why the HELL would he put that in there?" and looking for an angle. The problem is some professors intentionally put those red herrings in there to waste your time, but I think they are far and few between. I think it's more likely that it was intentionally placed there to point you towards some caveat or logical leap in the law.

One of my professors was getting so many questions by mid-semester last fall that he actually took half a class to talk to us about what to expect on the exam. He told us, rather bluntly, that absolutely every single sentence in the test was there for one of 3 reasons: Either 1) it's an important fact, 2) it's a red herring, or 3) it's for humor or filler. A big important part of success is figuring out parts are the important facts and spending your time on those.

The funny thing is that for about half an hour he explained absolutely everything, so very bluntly, about how to succeed in his class, and yet there was still a wide spread of grades that came out.

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 270910 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:54 am

vanwinkle wrote:The funny thing is that for about half an hour he explained absolutely everything, so very bluntly, about how to succeed in his class, and yet there was still a wide spread of grades that came out.


you do realize they curve this shit, right?

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vanwinkle
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:58 am

disco_barred wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:The funny thing is that for about half an hour he explained absolutely everything, so very bluntly, about how to succeed in his class, and yet there was still a wide spread of grades that came out.

you do realize they curve this shit, right?

If everyone had all the answers, and they all got the same score, what would there be left to curve?

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mac.empress
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby mac.empress » Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:34 am

vanwinkle wrote:
sanpiero wrote:legal writing should be pass/fail

My legal writing is pass/fail, and while this is great for my GPA, it also means my legal writing skills are continuing to suck as I continue to not give a shit about anything more than minimal effort. A graded LRW class would've made last semester insanely more difficult, but it also would've actually made me a better writer.


This.

solidsnake
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby solidsnake » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:25 am

Fuck that; I'd still take the pass/fail lrw.

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RVP11
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:55 am

...
Last edited by RVP11 on Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kohinoor
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Kohinoor » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:11 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:The funny thing is that for about half an hour he explained absolutely everything, so very bluntly, about how to succeed in his class, and yet there was still a wide spread of grades that came out.

you do realize they curve this shit, right?

If everyone had all the answers, and they all got the same score, what would there be left to curve?


I was in that class. Even if everyone had the same knowledge re: how the guy structured his exams, each person's knowledge of Ks was still going to probably be on a curve. FWIW I'm one of the few who didn't think the taught the course particularly well.

And you and I both know that a professor would get seriously questioned if he gave anything close to all of his students B+. Everyone who'd be otherwise destined for LR would raise a stink.

Clearly you weren't in the class of KA, where the B+ is said to be an unstoppable force.

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Snooker » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:21 pm

I am starting to worry that this term's exams will be too easy and I will just get curvepwned. Last semester's exams were just ridiculously hard. You had to apply some real legal reasoning, it wasn't just a matter of who could type the longest exam. This time it seems the questions are much easier and don't require much of an understanding. (looking at past exams)

Time to go out and network with mid size or even --- small! --- firms with my current GPA and forestall the impending doom that is The Curve.

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Snooker » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:22 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:The funny thing is that for about half an hour he explained absolutely everything, so very bluntly, about how to succeed in his class, and yet there was still a wide spread of grades that came out.

you do realize they curve this shit, right?

If everyone had all the answers, and they all got the same score, what would there be left to curve?


It is not uncommon that on a 100 point scale, 98 = A+ 97+ A 96 = A- 95 = B+.

270910
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 270910 » Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:34 pm

Snooker wrote:It is not uncommon that on a 100 point scale, 98 = A+ 97+ A 96 = A- 95 = B+.


wtf are you smoking, yes it is. I've never heard of a curve winding up even close to that tight.

snooker you're just coming out of left field half the time you post...

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:28 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Snooker wrote:It is not uncommon that on a 100 point scale, 98 = A+ 97+ A 96 = A- 95 = B+.


wtf are you smoking, yes it is. I've never heard of a curve winding up even close to that tight.

snooker you're just coming out of left field every single time you post...

FTFY.

eth3n
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby eth3n » Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:07 pm

Snooker wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:The funny thing is that for about half an hour he explained absolutely everything, so very bluntly, about how to succeed in his class, and yet there was still a wide spread of grades that came out.

you do realize they curve this shit, right?

If everyone had all the answers, and they all got the same score, what would there be left to curve?


It is not uncommon that on a 100 point scale, 98 = A+ 97+ A 96 = A- 95 = B+.


How would you even know this?

adb989
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby adb989 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:23 pm

TLS was very helpful in my application and preparation process for school, so I wanted to give some feedback on what I’ve learned after my 1st year in the hopes that this will help someone else (although much of this has already been said in other posts). I am currently ranked # 2 in my class and have a 3.93 GPA at a second tier (albeit highly competitive) school.

First off, in my opinion you do not have to be a genius (I’m certainly not) or spend an exorbitant amount of time studying in order to be at the top of the class. The one “natural” talent that you can bring to law school that will give you a significant advantage is an ability to write well. Otherwise, we are all on fairly equal footing.

You do need to know the material. That includes the rules and some basic facts about the cases. But the real distinction comes in application of the rules/cases to a new fact pattern. In order to do that well you need to practice. Therefore, in my opinion, the number one most important thing to do in order to perform well on an exam is to take actual practice exams under real conditions. You don’t even have to have mastered all the rules or the cases before you start taking practice exams. You’ll pick up a fair amount of rule/case-based knowledge as you practice. When you are doing tests, make sure you write out the entire test and do not look at an answer or discuss it with anyone until you have done it yourself.

The next most important thing you need to know is your Professor’s style. If the Professor likes concise and to the point answers, then that’s what you need to focus on. If they go off on philosophical tangents about certain aspects of the law, then give them that. If they really focus on facts in each case, then make sure to recite all relevant facts in your answer and apply them to the law. If they focus on a particular case in class, then make sure to cite it on the exam. You can pick up these queues from how the Professor teaches the class.

Remember, the key to being at the top of your class is doing well in ALL of your classes. You’ll see some students acing some exams and getting Bs and Cs in others. That’s likely because they have the same test taking strategy in every class. The only way to do well in every class is to adapt your test taking style. Writing a long winded epic of an answer will look thorough and brilliant to one teacher and like you just threw in the kitchen sink b/c you didn’t understand the question to another. For example, I knew my Civ Pro teacher loved large rule sections at the beginning of every answer so I wrote out boiler-plate for every pertinent rule in the class. If I had done that for torts I would have bombed the test, because he hated long rules w/o application to the facts.

Other minor things: if you can, know the case names. Teachers will always say, you don’t have to know the case names, just describe what the case said or state the pertinent facts. That may be true, but I think citing cases by name shows a slightly deeper understanding of the material and also makes your writing more concise. Remember, your Professor will probably be tired and irritated from grading all the earlier exams by the time they get to yours, so you need to stand out and show that you really know everything about the material. Throwing in some humor can also help.

Another minor point, don’t get hung up on IRAC, especially if you find it is dragging you down or causing you to focus more on form over substance. While IRAC is necessary in your legal writing class, writing an exam is a TOTALLY different thing. I’m a fairly creative writer and when I tried to use IRAC, my answers came out forced and I missed a lot issues. If you’ve read “Getting To Maybe”, which I highly recommend, you’ll see that a good exam answer will lead you in a lot of different directions. You don’t have time to waste on IRAC. That being said, you should make sure that your answer does at least spot issues, state rules and have analysis/conclusions somewhere.

Also, this is really personal preference, but don’t feel like you have to spend a lot of time outlining before writing the exam. I was more effective reading the question twice, thinking a bit about it and then just writing the answer out. I know other people did better with an outline. Figure out what works best for you by taking lots of practice tests.

What you do not have to focus on (and almost everyone spends way to much time on this) is class participation. Grades are almost entirely based on the exam, so don't feel like you need to memorize every detail about a case or have a brief prepared before class. I have not briefed a single case in law school thus far and don't feel like I've missed out on anything. All of my time in class is focused on figuring out what the teacher thinks is important, writing down key rules and plugging them into an outline that I keep up to date throughout the class. Most of the time, when I got called on in class I could barely answer the questions and looked pretty stupid, but I'm not really too worried about that now. If you want to make up some points in terms of class participation the easy way, just send the teacher an email after class with a really good observation or question.

A final tip in terms of preparing for class: know what/why you are reading a case before you read it and only focus on those aspects of the case. There will be a lot of extraneous information/facts in each case, but the Professor only really cares about the single rule and supporting facts that it is intended to teach. Students in my class focused on these miniscule details that were totally irrelevant to the case and the class. Those were usually the same people who totally missed the point of the question on an exam. Stay focused. You have A LOT to remember so try not to waste your time with extra crap.

Good luck!

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 270910 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 3:01 pm

This is a good thread, and I'm sure there are a lot of nervous 0Ls out there right now + 1Ls who might have more things to add upon reflection.

The only thing I feel like I've learned after second semester is that it really is crucial to focus on your professor - their take on the issues, what they emphasis, etc. Commercial study aids can help if you miss the basics, and can be great to ground you first semester in the study of the law (or second semester in the study of wtf the constitution is). But going to and paying attention in class = TCR.

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby Allitigator » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:03 pm

Tagged.

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sayan
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby sayan » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:41 pm

disco_barred wrote:This is a good thread, and I'm sure there are a lot of nervous 0Ls out there right now + 1Ls who might have more things to add upon reflection.

The only thing I feel like I've learned after second semester is that it really is crucial to focus on your professor - their take on the issues, what they emphasis, etc. Commercial study aids can help if you miss the basics, and can be great to ground you first semester in the study of the law (or second semester in the study of wtf the constitution is). But going to and paying attention in class = TCR.


Do you find merit in recording lectures and then writing down certain times during the lecture where you think the professor is saying something important so you can reference it later verbatim? Or do you think it's better to just write down what the prof is saying and hope that you capture the essential message?

270910
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 270910 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:45 pm

sayan wrote:
disco_barred wrote:This is a good thread, and I'm sure there are a lot of nervous 0Ls out there right now + 1Ls who might have more things to add upon reflection.

The only thing I feel like I've learned after second semester is that it really is crucial to focus on your professor - their take on the issues, what they emphasis, etc. Commercial study aids can help if you miss the basics, and can be great to ground you first semester in the study of the law (or second semester in the study of wtf the constitution is). But going to and paying attention in class = TCR.


Do you find merit in recording lectures and then writing down certain times during the lecture where you think the professor is saying something important so you can reference it later verbatim? Or do you think it's better to just write down what the prof is saying and hope that you capture the essential message?


Not even a little. That would be comically overkill. I know a few people who recorded all lectures possible and listened to them, it didn't do a hell of a lot of good. You can wind up obsessed.

The real key is learning how to take a law school exam and applying law to fact. The point I was trying to make was that obsession with hornbooks can be dangerous, not that obsession on listening to every lecture 8 times will cause your hair to glow bright yellow and let you shoot fireballs from your eyes.

Also, referencing what was said in class verbatim will never get you points. Law school exams have very little to do with memorization, except in so much as you won't get any points if you haven't learned the law. It's all about analysis, which takes creativity and thinking on your feet. You will not have "encountered the answers" to any of the problems on your exam prior to taking your exam.

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby 98234872348 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:55 pm

disco_barred wrote:
sayan wrote:
disco_barred wrote:This is a good thread, and I'm sure there are a lot of nervous 0Ls out there right now + 1Ls who might have more things to add upon reflection.

The only thing I feel like I've learned after second semester is that it really is crucial to focus on your professor - their take on the issues, what they emphasis, etc. Commercial study aids can help if you miss the basics, and can be great to ground you first semester in the study of the law (or second semester in the study of wtf the constitution is). But going to and paying attention in class = TCR.


Do you find merit in recording lectures and then writing down certain times during the lecture where you think the professor is saying something important so you can reference it later verbatim? Or do you think it's better to just write down what the prof is saying and hope that you capture the essential message?


Not even a little. That would be comically overkill. I know a few people who recorded all lectures possible and listened to them, it didn't do a hell of a lot of good. You can wind up obsessed.

The real key is learning how to take a law school exam and applying law to fact. The point I was trying to make was that obsession with hornbooks can be dangerous, not that obsession on listening to every lecture 8 times will cause your hair to glow bright yellow and let you shoot fireballs from your eyes.

Also, referencing what was said in class verbatim will never get you points. Law school exams have very little to do with memorization, except in so much as you won't get any points if you haven't learned the law. It's all about analysis, which takes creativity and thinking on your feet. You will not have "encountered the answers" to any of the problems on your exam prior to taking your exam.

Not to mention many professors prohibit recording of their lectures.

pasteurizedmilk
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:27 pm

rbgrocio wrote:I learned that I didn't get the book award I wanted and that someone who is always unprepared to class, looks like he is high all the time and does not seem to care about crap got one.

hmmmm. I think we go to the same school.

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ChattTNdt
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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby ChattTNdt » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:43 am

pasteurizedmilk wrote:
rbgrocio wrote:I learned that I didn't get the book award I wanted and that someone who is always unprepared to class, looks like he is high all the time and does not seem to care about crap got one.

hmmmm. I think we go to the same school.


Hey, I'm not high ALL the time!

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Re: After Grades - What did we learn?

Postby soaponarope » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:21 pm

270910 wrote:
sayan wrote:
disco_barred wrote:This is a good thread, and I'm sure there are a lot of nervous 0Ls out there right now + 1Ls who might have more things to add upon reflection.

The only thing I feel like I've learned after second semester is that it really is crucial to focus on your professor - their take on the issues, what they emphasis, etc. Commercial study aids can help if you miss the basics, and can be great to ground you first semester in the study of the law (or second semester in the study of wtf the constitution is). But going to and paying attention in class = TCR.


Do you find merit in recording lectures and then writing down certain times during the lecture where you think the professor is saying something important so you can reference it later verbatim? Or do you think it's better to just write down what the prof is saying and hope that you capture the essential message?


Not even a little. That would be comically overkill. I know a few people who recorded all lectures possible and listened to them, it didn't do a hell of a lot of good. You can wind up obsessed.

The real key is learning how to take a law school exam and applying law to fact. The point I was trying to make was that obsession with hornbooks can be dangerous, not that obsession on listening to every lecture 8 times will cause your hair to glow bright yellow and let you shoot fireballs from your eyes.

Also, referencing what was said in class verbatim will never get you points. Law school exams have very little to do with memorization, except in so much as you won't get any points if you haven't learned the law. It's all about analysis, which takes creativity and thinking on your feet. You will not have "encountered the answers" to any of the problems on your exam prior to taking your exam.


"You will not have encountered the answers to any of the problems on your exam prior to taking your exam"


I disagree. I've encountered most of the answers to my exams prior to taking them... in K's, the teacher had around 6 of her past exams/model answers on Lexis. One of her long fact patterns is always on contract formation and the UCC. Just about every contract formation question had the same issues, same problems, but with diff facts. I memorized every single issue in said problem (UCC 2-205, 2-207, 2-206, Offer, Acceptance, etc... and used the same exact language she would use. Literally, the same exact language. I did the same thing for Torts. I received an A+ in torts. (I do not know my K grade, but I feel as though I did pretty good).

The only test I encountered with some weird curve balls was Civ Pro.




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