Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

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Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby tortymcfly » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:26 pm

Hey people here.
I have a question:
I chose to go to a school on the lower end of T1 with an almost-full scholarship. I got into some T20s and T14s but I didn't want a bunch of debt. I then applied for an additional scholarship which made it so that I'm actually getting paid a little bit to go to law school now, which is amazing. This is not a humblebrag. Although I want to be a lawyer very badly, and have a clear goal and experience for the type of law I wish to practice, (I think) I'm having a really hard time keeping up with my peers. In fact, I'm not sure I can get good enough grades to keep my scholarships, and if I lose them, I will be dropping out, even though it would mean giving up on my dreams.
I talk slightly over average in class, but I make sure I don't talk as much as the gunners, who are actually very smart in our class and whom the professors like and the other students generally tolerate. When I try to study with others, a lot of the time, whoever I'm studying with starts trying to teach me, like they assume they know more or are smarter. I feel like I can't admit when there's something I don't know because everyone else pretends they know everything and it makes me look stupid or underprepared.
I went over an ungraded assignment with a TA, and he told me I had nothing to worry about and that there was no way my work wasn't above median. I then went over another ungraded assignment with an instructor, and he told me that my writing was barely C work at the moment and that it was full of spelling and grammar issues (I used to tutor ESL for about 5 years, so I was very surprised.) He had made a bunch of marks on my paper but none regarding spelling and grammar. Mostly about focusing too much on the type of law the case was about (an area I have 4 years of experience in, unfortunately, and the hypo was full of glaring procedural errors) and not enough on general procedural stuff. He basically said that my experience in that area of law was an impediment to me doing that assignment. I asked what the errors in spelling and grammar were so that I could change them, but he looked at it again and said that maybe there weren't any spelling and grammar issues, but I did not IRAC each paragraph and I need to think more broadly.
I'm in a very selective program that I had to apply for and that gave me extra scholarship money. About half of the 1Ls in this program transfer into the T14 after the 1st year. I'm not planning on doing that, after all, I turned down the T14 for the scholarship money. However, if the T14 is less competitive and I can get an assumption of basic intelligence in my favor there, maybe I should have gone to a T14. The reason I bring this up though is- by my LSAT and UGPA I was expected to be one of the best students in the class, but I seem to be maybe in danger of failing despite trying my best (which I never had to do in undergrad). I feel, from the way they talk to me, like many of the other students assume that this must be the top school I got into off the wait list and that I'm paying full tuition. I just don't understand why it's panning out this way. I know I should assume median, and I'd be fine with median, I just can't fathom how or why I seem to be one of the worst students.
That being said, I haven't got any grades back, so I still have a chance to pull straight As and ride off into the sunset. How can I reign this in?

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:34 pm

You don't have any grades yet. You have no idea how you're going to do on law school exams. Your classmates are all freaking out about maybe failing, too. This is really premature.

(That said, being top of your school's LSAT/GPA doesn't guarantee doing well in school, but still, premature.)

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:42 pm

You seem to be worried about a lot of extraneous issues. If you are "smart" based on UGPA and LSAT, you will know when you "get" the material (note: if you have a high gpa relative to LSAT, you should be more concerned. I don't think UGPA typically means anything for law school success). For every 1L class (probably except con law), you should memorize black letter law and then practice applying it to fact patterns. The procedure of the case or whatever is irrelevant in every class except civ pro. The answers you and your classmates give in class are, again, irrelevant. The cases themselves are typically only relevant on the margins (with the exception of con law).

Do practice tests and think creatively about different arguments that either side could make on the issues. These are also what you should listen for in class - creative, additional points to make. In my experience, if you want to knock criminal law, for example, out of the park then your answer should be (literally) thousands of words strung together in paragraphs that just say "Then P would say A because B" "Then D would say X because Y" You rarely need to prove you're "smart"; you just need to put more words on the page than the other students. When you type a lot of practice exams and review a lot of model answers, the black letter law becomes almost second nature, and you just tailor it to the specific hypo you're given. You don't even really need to memorize it in the flashcard sense. Then, use all of that extra time during the exam to throw more crap at the wall.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby Finch123 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:49 pm

Hello stressed out 1L! You need to relax.

1) You sound more concerned with how others are perceiving you than your own understanding of the material. Everyone is freaking out early in their first semester of 1L. If you ask questions, people will try to answer them for you to the best of their abilities. Don't get your back up because you feel other people are trying to "teach" you or because you think they're assuming that you didn't have other options for law school. If you find someone's attitude abrasive, just don't study with that person. At this point in the semester, you should be showing up to class, taking good notes, and going to office hours if you have questions. Later in the semester, do a lot of practice tests (in study groups, if you have friends who would be helpful), and then go as a group to office hours to talk through your answers with the prof to ensure you understand the material. If you do that, and have a good outline for the exam, you should be just fine.

2) From what I could glean from what you mentioned re: your professor's feedback, it's possible that you could work on the organization of your essays. Professors don't want to have to search through a lot of text to determine whether you made the points they're looking for, and a big block of text without clear organization might make a professor feel like your grammar or general writing skills are off even if that's not the actual problem. Break up your answers into sub-sections with clear headings so it's easy to see at first glance that you've identified the main points. This will also help you ensure that you have clear opening/closing sentences, etc. Disregard this advice if this prof was your legal writing prof (although organization might still be your issue).

3) I suppose my experience (3L at T14 here) has been different from unlicensedpotato, because I disagree with a lot of what s/he said. First of all, as far as I know, there is no data actually demonstrating a correlation between LSAT score and law school GPA. In fact, I would say that undergrad GPA would be a better indicator, because ultimately law school is just more school. The same study habits you used in undergrad (assuming you put in effort in undergrad) can be applied in law school. If you did well in undergrad, there's no reason you can't use the same skill set you used there to do well in law school. I have not found law school to test is such a foreign way that the study skills I used earlier in life are inapplicable. Second, IMHO, you'd be crazy to just disregard the cases. Perhaps this varies based on the law school, but in my experience, in many classes it's the cases that actually allow you to interpret the law and predict (for the purposes of exams) how a court would rule based on specific fact patterns. I have found that knowing the cases well allows me to identify similar elements in exam hypos and make predictions based on those, e.g. "Here, XXX. In Person v. Person, we similarly saw XXXX. There, the court held blah blah blah. Therefore, I predict that a court here would also hold blah blah blah." Sure, it's important to know the law, but recommending that someone view cases as being only relevant on the margins in every class except con law is - in my experience - just poor advice and likely not helpful if they want to shoot for doing above average. Tortymclfy - if you really actually understand the cases, then you'll understand the law and how to apply it. Note that professors can also typically tell you how important they consider the cases to be, so that can help you determine how best to study. Finally, don't focus on just getting more words on the page than other students in exams. More is not better if those words aren't making any good points. To do well on an exam, read the hypo, then outline (in some detail) an answer that identifies all the issues (with clearly identified sub-sections for each), then flesh out your outline. Structure it around black letter law and use the cases to give substance to your answers and demonstrate an understanding of the nuances. If you're doing it right, if you end up with extra time on an exam, you'll either use that time to proof read your answers or just leave early because you've gotten all the info down that's relevant. If you run out of time, the professor will be able to see the points you were planning on making in the rest of your outline and can give you some credit for demonstrating that you understood the issues even if you didn't have the time to write it all out.

Don't assume that you're smarter than everyone else just because you got into better schools, but also don't let your perceptions of other people's attitudes make you crazy. Stop worrying about what your classmates think and do you.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby elterrible78 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:55 pm

Welcome to 1L, man.

I had a very similar experience, so I get it. I was at a T6, and pretty blown away by everyone around me. I also wondered if I was "getting it" because everyone else seemed to have a much better idea of what was going on than I felt like I did. Although my numbers were both above my school's 75ths, I felt like somehow I just didn't belong. I just graduated in the top 10%.

I think many people were better at "faking it" than I was, and at the end of the day almost everybody was just as lost as I felt. Just hang in there. Like Nony said, you don't even have grades yet, so this is way premature. Things are going to be fine, as long as you don't rest on your laurels and expect your LSAT and GPA are going to get your law school grades for you.

Don't worry about it.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby Wolfie91 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:01 pm

You're way too competitive and have made way too many unfounded assumptions on the rest of your class.

I think you need to speak with your Professor more and get a little bit more grounded. On exams, you write whatever the hell the Professor likes you to write. He's your partner. You cater to him. Study hypos/black letter law in a variety of situations so you aren't caught off guard, but don't assume your Professor is "wrong" when you have meetings with him or her. Don't assume that, just because you got into some better schools, your classmates are dumber than you by default.

Being a closet-gunner is not going to do you any good. I think you need to take a step back and learn that, before you guys take any exams in your law school careers, you're all equals. Your backgrounds don't matter. Your LSAT doesn't matter. Your debt (it will soon) doesn't matter. You're back to square 1 here.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby star fox » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:04 pm

Stop Studying in groups. Work through all the E&E's.

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unlicensedpotato

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:20 pm

Finch123 wrote:Hello stressed out 1L! You need to relax.

1) You sound more concerned with how others are perceiving you than your own understanding of the material. Everyone is freaking out early in their first semester of 1L. If you ask questions, people will try to answer them for you to the best of their abilities. Don't get your back up because you feel other people are trying to "teach" you or because you think they're assuming that you didn't have other options for law school. If you find someone's attitude abrasive, just don't study with that person. At this point in the semester, you should be showing up to class, taking good notes, and going to office hours if you have questions. Later in the semester, do a lot of practice tests (in study groups, if you have friends who would be helpful), and then go as a group to office hours to talk through your answers with the prof to ensure you understand the material. If you do that, and have a good outline for the exam, you should be just fine.

2) From what I could glean from what you mentioned re: your professor's feedback, it's possible that you could work on the organization of your essays. Professors don't want to have to search through a lot of text to determine whether you made the points they're looking for, and a big block of text without clear organization might make a professor feel like your grammar or general writing skills are off even if that's not the actual problem. Break up your answers into sub-sections with clear headings so it's easy to see at first glance that you've identified the main points. This will also help you ensure that you have clear opening/closing sentences, etc. Disregard this advice if this prof was your legal writing prof (although organization might still be your issue).

3) I suppose my experience (3L at T14 here) has been different from unlicensedpotato, because I disagree with a lot of what s/he said. First of all, as far as I know, there is no data actually demonstrating a correlation between LSAT score and law school GPA. In fact, I would say that undergrad GPA would be a better indicator, because ultimately law school is just more school. The same study habits you used in undergrad (assuming you put in effort in undergrad) can be applied in law school. If you did well in undergrad, there's no reason you can't use the same skill set you used there to do well in law school. I have not found law school to test is such a foreign way that the study skills I used earlier in life are inapplicable. Second, IMHO, you'd be crazy to just disregard the cases. Perhaps this varies based on the law school, but in my experience, in many classes it's the cases that actually allow you to interpret the law and predict (for the purposes of exams) how a court would rule based on specific fact patterns. I have found that knowing the cases well allows me to identify similar elements in exam hypos and make predictions based on those, e.g. "Here, XXX. In Person v. Person, we similarly saw XXXX. There, the court held blah blah blah. Therefore, I predict that a court here would also hold blah blah blah." Sure, it's important to know the law, but recommending that someone view cases as being only relevant on the margins in every class except con law is - in my experience - just poor advice and likely not helpful if they want to shoot for doing above average. Tortymclfy - if you really actually understand the cases, then you'll understand the law and how to apply it. Note that professors can also typically tell you how important they consider the cases to be, so that can help you determine how best to study. Finally, don't focus on just getting more words on the page than other students in exams. More is not better if those words aren't making any good points. To do well on an exam, read the hypo, then outline (in some detail) an answer that identifies all the issues (with clearly identified sub-sections for each), then flesh out your outline. Structure it around black letter law and use the cases to give substance to your answers and demonstrate an understanding of the nuances. If you're doing it right, if you end up with extra time on an exam, you'll either use that time to proof read your answers or just leave early because you've gotten all the info down that's relevant. If you run out of time, the professor will be able to see the points you were planning on making in the rest of your outline and can give you some credit for demonstrating that you understood the issues even if you didn't have the time to write it all out.

Don't assume that you're smarter than everyone else just because you got into better schools, but also don't let your perceptions of other people's attitudes make you crazy. Stop worrying about what your classmates think and do you.




For the love of god, please do not leave a law school exam early. Even if it has a tight word limit, you can always rework what you said to fit more in

But yes, the best thing you can do right now is ignore what other students are doing or saying. All that matters is your performance on the final. Do everything academic with that in mind.

And yeah I definitely wouldn't study in groups. This sounds tacky but I particularly wouldn't do it at a lower-ranked school. That sounds unbelievably toxic.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby tortymcfly » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:33 pm

Hey so without revealing too much- yes. The one where the professor said I was not doing well was LWR. I am not saying that he is wrong... he didn't even write the hypo. I honestly believe there must be something wrong with my work if he's saying it's that bad. I know I'm going wrong somewhere and I just want to make it better. By the way, I am only a little above median for UGPA, although I know I'm capable of good grades because after I transferred to university from Community College, I got all As. Those were harder classes and that was obviously more recent. I am significantly over 75th for LSAT. I know that all means nothing now, I just thought they would correlate more. I feel like I'm "getting it" in the sense that I'm learning a lot, and the stuff I say in class generally gets positive reactions from the professor. I'm good on my feet and I feel better about the exam classes than I do about LWR. I also know that most of my classmates are just as intelligent as I am or more, (I'm definitely not implying I think I'm better than they are). I just always feel like I've been pegged in my class as a person who tries their best but isn't that smart, and it gets to me quite a lot, to be honest, because I have been raised to correlate intelligence (real or perceived) with self worth.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby saugello@gmail.com » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:37 pm

I know it's a minor point, but people often try explain things to schoolmates because it helps to understand new concepts. It's kind of a test of one's own comprehension. Of course, it's important to do so with respect and not be condescending about it. But I wouldn't take it personally. I've been on the giving and receiving end of this. It's completely normal, and you should try it too.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby JCougar » Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:38 pm

It seems like you are basing this primarily on what one law professor said when he or she clearly didn't spend a ton of time really evaluating your work.

There's a good chance your law professor never actually practiced law, so maybe he/she has no idea what the answer would be in real life. That's one of the problems with trying to predict your grades in law school. The material is somewhat subjective, so the right answer is whatever your law professor says it is, whether it's actually right or not. If you have a lazy and or stupid professor, you're pretty much screwed.

But in that case, it's just one class. You might do just fine in your other ones.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:29 pm

I agree with most of what has been said here. A few extra points:

(1) While writing is incredibly important to the practice of law, writing skills aren't actually THAT important to law school grades, especially in the beginning. Most of your 1L grades will be determined based on your ability to issue spot during a 3-4 hour test. Of course, you are spotting those issues in writing, so you have to be able to articulate your point in a way that is understandable, but your tests will not be evaluated in the same way that writing assignments are evaluated. The day after submitting my 1L crim final, I went back and re-read it. The writing was so bad that I almost cried -- there were typos, incomplete sentences, references to the plaintiff when I meant defendant, etc. I got an A in the class because the analysis was solid.

(2) It sounds like you are probably an ok writer anyway, and if you aren't you have time to learn and change.

(3) I personally don't think that group study is useful until you have at least a basic understanding of the issues you are studying (which will not happen until the end of the semester).

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby haplotype » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:28 pm

Finch123 wrote:First of all, as far as I know, there is no data actually demonstrating a correlation between LSAT score and law school GPA. In fact, I would say that undergrad GPA would be a better indicator, because ultimately law school is just more school.


Empirically, these conjectures are false. Undergrad GPA is a decent predictor of 1L GPA; LSAT alone is a better predictor of 1L GPA (likely because the LSAT is far more standardized than people's undergrad classes); the best predictor is a combination of LSAT and UGPA. See: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/your-score/ ... erformance.

OP, take a chill pill. Based on what you've said, you're one of the smarter people in your class, and as long as you focus on what actually matters--learning the rules, parsing exam fact patterns, and spotting and analyzing the issues in them--NOT getting bogged down in the factual and procedural details of the cases you're assigned for reading--you should do fine.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby Boltsfan » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:34 pm

When I was in law school, I remember feeling like I didn't know anything about my classes and was going to fail until about a week or two before the finals period, when everything would "click" into place. This happened every semester including 3L. I graduated summa. My point is that if you don't feel like you get it yet, don't freak out; you're not the only one. A lot of these classes won't come together until you finish your outline and start taking practice exams.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:03 pm

Boltsfan wrote:When I was in law school, I remember feeling like I didn't know anything about my classes and was going to fail until about a week or two before the finals period, when everything would "click" into place. This happened every semester including 3L. I graduated summa. My point is that if you don't feel like you get it yet, don't freak out; you're not the only one. A lot of these classes won't come together until you finish your outline and start taking practice exams.


This is a really good point -- you won't understand anything and then you'll just "get it" if you've been putting the work in. That's why people on here are saying don't worry about what other people are doing/saying; your classmates almost certainly don't "get it" either.

FWIW -- I suspect what separates average students from good ones are that the good ones keep working to prepare even after it clicks in. It will suck taking a ton of practice exams after you think you already know it but will pay off on the final. In my experience almost all students think they "know it" when they are going into the final.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:51 pm

Boltsfan wrote:When I was in law school, I remember feeling like I didn't know anything about my classes and was going to fail until about a week or two before the finals period, when everything would "click" into place. This happened every semester including 3L. I graduated summa. My point is that if you don't feel like you get it yet, don't freak out; you're not the only one. A lot of these classes won't come together until you finish your outline and start taking practice exams.


Bolded part was the same for me. Didn't happen again after first quarter, though (probably cuz I became confident in my mad skillz).

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:15 pm

OP, relax. What you described is 1L in a nutshell. You have no idea who will do well until your grades come out. Although, I would listen to your LRW professor. Because he is the one who gives you your grade. Truthfully, LRW is pretty useless. Don't do it the "correct" way. Just do it the way he wants it done. That's all that matters.

unlicensedpotato wrote:For the love of god, please do not leave a law school exam early. Even if it has a tight word limit, you can always rework what you said to fit more in


I've left nearly every exam I've ever taken early. Many of them, I left over an hour early. Has never hurt my grades.

And yeah I definitely wouldn't study in groups. This sounds tacky but I particularly wouldn't do it at a lower-ranked school. That sounds unbelievably toxic.


I also recommend not studying in groups at this point. Maybe when you're close to finals. But not this early on. It's a waste of time. But the idea that it's going to be toxic because you're at a non-t14 school is ludicrous.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby Burlington4174 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:34 pm

lawman84 wrote:OP, relax. What you described is 1L in a nutshell. You have no idea who will do well until your grades come out. Although, I would listen to your LRW professor. Because he is the one who gives you your grade. Truthfully, LRW is pretty useless. Don't do it the "correct" way. Just do it the way he wants it done. That's all that matters.

unlicensedpotato wrote:For the love of god, please do not leave a law school exam early. Even if it has a tight word limit, you can always rework what you said to fit more in


I've left nearly every exam I've ever taken early. Many of them, I left over an hour early. Has never hurt my grades.

And yeah I definitely wouldn't study in groups. This sounds tacky but I particularly wouldn't do it at a lower-ranked school. That sounds unbelievably toxic.


I also recommend not studying in groups at this point. Maybe when you're close to finals. But not this early on. It's a waste of time. But the idea that it's going to be toxic because you're at a non-t14 school is ludicrous.


Unless you have received an A on every single exam you left early, you have know idea whether doing so impacted your grades. Advising students to leave an exam early is objectively bad advice for 95% of law students 95% of the time. Leaving early really is unjustifiable unless, perhaps, an exam is all multiple choice and you want to avoid second guessing yourself.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:42 pm

Um, I'd take what the LRW prof is saying with a bit more gravity than what a lot of other posters are saying. That shit matters a lot and it sounds like you're injecting your "background" in law into your writing.

Also, grammatical errors aren't always about spelling. It can be sentence structure, passive voice, or just plain bad paragraph composition. Spelling is the lowest threshold.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby lavarman84 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:11 pm

Burlington4174 wrote:
lawman84 wrote:OP, relax. What you described is 1L in a nutshell. You have no idea who will do well until your grades come out. Although, I would listen to your LRW professor. Because he is the one who gives you your grade. Truthfully, LRW is pretty useless. Don't do it the "correct" way. Just do it the way he wants it done. That's all that matters.

unlicensedpotato wrote:For the love of god, please do not leave a law school exam early. Even if it has a tight word limit, you can always rework what you said to fit more in


I've left nearly every exam I've ever taken early. Many of them, I left over an hour early. Has never hurt my grades.

And yeah I definitely wouldn't study in groups. This sounds tacky but I particularly wouldn't do it at a lower-ranked school. That sounds unbelievably toxic.


I also recommend not studying in groups at this point. Maybe when you're close to finals. But not this early on. It's a waste of time. But the idea that it's going to be toxic because you're at a non-t14 school is ludicrous.


Unless you have received an A on every single exam you left early, you have know idea whether doing so impacted your grades. Advising students to leave an exam early is objectively bad advice for 95% of law students 95% of the time. Leaving early really is unjustifiable unless, perhaps, an exam is all multiple choice and you want to avoid second guessing yourself.


I have received an A on every single non-multiple choice exam that I left early.

I have no issues getting exams done within the time constraints and don't need to go back through it. I know what I know. I'm not going to second guess my answers. Is it arrogant? Sure. But it works for me. People need to do what works for them.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:48 am

pancakes3 wrote:Um, I'd take what the LRW prof is saying with a bit more gravity than what a lot of other posters are saying. That shit matters a lot and it sounds like you're injecting your "background" in law into your writing.

Also, grammatical errors aren't always about spelling. It can be sentence structure, passive voice, or just plain bad paragraph composition. Spelling is the lowest threshold.


Yeah, I'm actually surprised that no one else called out the, "I have experience in this kind of law," stuff. By and large, the people struggling the most in my class are the ones who had "experience" with some area of the law and already think they know it cold, so they don't bother learning the ambiguities and nuances in the case law.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:52 am

lawman84 wrote:
I also recommend not studying in groups at this point. Maybe when you're close to finals. But not this early on. It's a waste of time. But the idea that it's going to be toxic because you're at a non-t14 school is ludicrous.


From my LS experience, I think group studying is likely to be toxic at most schools. But I don't think it's crazy to say that the pressure on the average student is significantly higher at a T50 than HYS. I know lots of people (who are perfectly qualified to work as attorneys) at strong regional law schools who are completely screwed as far as the job hunt goes because of low 1L grades.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby unlicensedpotato » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:57 am

lawman84 wrote:
I have received an A on every single non-multiple choice exam that I left early.

I have no issues getting exams done within the time constraints and don't need to go back through it. I know what I know. I'm not going to second guess my answers. Is it arrogant? Sure. But it works for me. People need to do what works for them.


Uh yeah, obviously if you have literally straight As then you can probably leave early. OP is concerned about finishing below median. I think it would be helpful advice generally to stay through the exam and keep working on it, and particularly for someone in OP's position.

The post I was responding to was essentially saying, "yeah, if you finish early you can proofread or just leave if you want." Clearly most people should not be leaving their first LS exam early. I mentioned this above, but in my experience every single person thought they "crushed" their fall 1L finals. Plenty of those people left early and then did not get A's.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:46 am

unlicensedpotato wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
I also recommend not studying in groups at this point. Maybe when you're close to finals. But not this early on. It's a waste of time. But the idea that it's going to be toxic because you're at a non-t14 school is ludicrous.


From my LS experience, I think group studying is likely to be toxic at most schools. But I don't think it's crazy to say that the pressure on the average student is significantly higher at a T50 than HYS. I know lots of people (who are perfectly qualified to work as attorneys) at strong regional law schools who are completely screwed as far as the job hunt goes because of low 1L grades.

Grades do and don't matter more at the strong regionals. If you want biglaw, yes, as always, 1L grades are crucial. But a lot of people at strong regionals aren't aiming for biglaw, and in those cases factors other than grades are much more important. You could argue that the atmosphere at a T14 is going to be more toxic because strivers are going to strive. I think it's all really school dependent (people in my lower T1 were lovely).

All that said, group studying is often not helpful, but at this point mostly because it's the blind leading the blind.

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Re: Why am I the worst law schooler when I was supposed to be the best?

Postby lavarman84 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:48 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
unlicensedpotato wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
I also recommend not studying in groups at this point. Maybe when you're close to finals. But not this early on. It's a waste of time. But the idea that it's going to be toxic because you're at a non-t14 school is ludicrous.


From my LS experience, I think group studying is likely to be toxic at most schools. But I don't think it's crazy to say that the pressure on the average student is significantly higher at a T50 than HYS. I know lots of people (who are perfectly qualified to work as attorneys) at strong regional law schools who are completely screwed as far as the job hunt goes because of low 1L grades.

Grades do and don't matter more at the strong regionals. If you want biglaw, yes, as always, 1L grades are crucial. But a lot of people at strong regionals aren't aiming for biglaw, and in those cases factors other than grades are much more important. You could argue that the atmosphere at a T14 is going to be more toxic because strivers are going to strive. I think it's all really school dependent (people in my lower T1 were lovely).

All that said, group studying is often not helpful, but at this point mostly because it's the blind leading the blind.


Same here. It's a pretty laid back environment. People have concerns about jobs because the hiring tends to happen later on in 3L year or after graduation since most people aren't doing biglaw. However, it isn't something that people project onto others or something that motivates them to try and sabotage others.

In fact, the one person that I'd describe as toxic is one of the top students in the class who had a biglaw SA and has a clerkship locked up.

unlicensedpotato wrote:
lawman84 wrote:
I have received an A on every single non-multiple choice exam that I left early.

I have no issues getting exams done within the time constraints and don't need to go back through it. I know what I know. I'm not going to second guess my answers. Is it arrogant? Sure. But it works for me. People need to do what works for them.


Uh yeah, obviously if you have literally straight As then you can probably leave early. OP is concerned about finishing below median. I think it would be helpful advice generally to stay through the exam and keep working on it, and particularly for someone in OP's position.

The post I was responding to was essentially saying, "yeah, if you finish early you can proofread or just leave if you want." Clearly most people should not be leaving their first LS exam early. I mentioned this above, but in my experience every single person thought they "crushed" their fall 1L finals. Plenty of those people left early and then did not get A's.


Staying can be counterproductive if it leads you to doubt your answers. That's why I've never done it. I don't know what will work for OP. Thought I'd give another perspective.



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