How do I get good 1L grades?

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby SwollenMonkey » Mon May 10, 2010 10:43 pm

LOL!

I see what you did here.

DNA1984
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby DNA1984 » Fri May 14, 2010 4:26 am

The problem is, if you're classes are curved, it doesn't matter how well YOU do, it matters how well/not so well everyone else does. It's a sad way to think about it, but it's the nature of the curve.
To answer your question: I've seen people that study their asses that fall in the median and I've seen people who don't outlines and hardly ever read make it to the top of the class.

I'm at the top 15% (after my first semester, but that is likely going to drop dramatically, haha) and my first semester I read cases (never briefed) only did an outline for a class with a brand new professor so there weren't any outlines - I had really good outlines from my other professors. I spent a few hours every other weekend or so trying to consistently review. I feel that helped me out a lot last semester and it's probably why I feel I didn't perform as well this semester.

All in all, it's a crap shoot... some people are just naturally better at spotting issues, some are really good at retaining a ton of information, and some, no matter how much time/effort they put in, they won't make it to the top of the class. I put in everything I had my first semester and still wasn't able to get higher than 15%. A couple of friends did less work than me and were ranked higher. Once again, a crap shoot.

06132010
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby 06132010 » Fri May 14, 2010 4:28 am

write well.

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troubledjack
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Re:

Postby troubledjack » Sat May 22, 2010 8:25 pm

How do I get good 1L grades?

Get in your prof's head. Every prof expects different things on a law school exam. Some want you to fully explain your reasoning, others care more about how many issues you spot. Try to get your hands on a model answer then practice following that format. If a model answer doesn't exist then go to your prof's office hrs and ask them what they expect.

Don't rely on supplements. Paying attention in class is way more important. Use supplements to review a topic or if you're confused. You aren't taking Contracts....you are taking Contracts by prof X. Every prof emphasizes different topics and some of these topics won't be covered in the supplement.

Read the cases but don't waste too much time briefing. It's more important to get a gist of the case and figure out why it was included in the book.

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A'nold
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Re: Re:

Postby A'nold » Sat May 22, 2010 8:43 pm

troubledjack wrote:How do I get good 1L grades?

Get in your prof's head. Every prof expects different things on a law school exam. Some want you to fully explain your reasoning, others care more about how many issues you spot. Try to get your hands on a model answer then practice following that format. If a model answer doesn't exist then go to your prof's office hrs and ask them what they expect.

Don't rely on supplements. Paying attention in class is way more important. Use supplements to review a topic or if you're confused. You aren't taking Contracts....you are taking Contracts by prof X. Every prof emphasizes different topics and some of these topics won't be covered in the supplement.

Read the cases but don't waste too much time briefing. It's more important to get a gist of the case and figure out why it was included in the book.


100% credited.

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat May 22, 2010 10:16 pm

booyakasha45 wrote:write well.

Boo!

Hi Boo.

nickwar
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby nickwar » Fri May 28, 2010 1:07 pm

I got a Voodoo doll that seemed to do it for me. I recommend you try that.

sophie316
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby sophie316 » Fri May 28, 2010 1:21 pm

Get good at taking exams. I did well and I know that I did not know the material nearly as well as people who I did better than. I'm just really comfortable with exams thanks to the British secondary education system where exams always count for everything.

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carsondalywashere
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby carsondalywashere » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:43 pm

Eremite wrote:
And I read that I can't prepare over summer


This is a lie, perpetrated by the man.

The amount of information and analysis that you are going to be able to put on a piece of paper (or a computer screen) in three hours is finite. And a lot of what you have to learn can be straight up memorized (like the elements of common law murder, or the joinder rules).

I don't regret any of the summer reading that I did.

The corollary of the above prevarication is that you shouldn't begin studying for the test immediately. I have wondered if professors are just trying to make it easier to grade by weeding out the suckers.

It is true. You can cram. You are probably best served by not cramming, because (a) you may not be a good crammer, or (b) everyone else may be better at it than you are. Starting early helped me in my first semester big time.

I would love to hear more on this topic

throwaway2016gjdm
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby throwaway2016gjdm » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:25 am

carsondalywashere wrote:
Eremite wrote:
And I read that I can't prepare over summer


This is a lie, perpetrated by the man.

The amount of information and analysis that you are going to be able to put on a piece of paper (or a computer screen) in three hours is finite. And a lot of what you have to learn can be straight up memorized (like the elements of common law murder, or the joinder rules).

I don't regret any of the summer reading that I did.

The corollary of the above prevarication is that you shouldn't begin studying for the test immediately. I have wondered if professors are just trying to make it easier to grade by weeding out the suckers.

It is true. You can cram. You are probably best served by not cramming, because (a) you may not be a good crammer, or (b) everyone else may be better at it than you are. Starting early helped me in my first semester big time.

I would love to hear more on this topic


Wow. This is one of the most epic necros I've seen. 7 years later. Mind = Blown.

KijiStewart
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby KijiStewart » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:38 am

Scrolling through the comments I didn't see an emphasis on these two points.

1) Choose someone you can trust, and take turns at explaining key concepts to each other. You begin to realize where your softs spot are.

2)

When you read a hard case, forget all the distractions. 1) Read it once no highlights no nothing. 2) read a second time to highlight/write notes in margin. 3) Read a third time to brief it yourself. 4) Go to class prepared and hammer the class discussion about it. Profs love when students make smart comments re: tough cases that doesn't paraphrase those useless supplements.

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jaekeem
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby jaekeem » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:18 am

KijiStewart wrote:Scrolling through the comments I didn't see an emphasis on these two points.

1) Choose someone you can trust, and take turns at explaining key concepts to each other. You begin to realize where your softs spot are.

2)

When you read a hard case, forget all the distractions. 1) Read it once no highlights no nothing. 2) read a second time to highlight/write notes in margin. 3) Read a third time to brief it yourself. 4) Go to class prepared and hammer the class discussion about it. Profs love when students make smart comments re: tough cases that doesn't paraphrase those useless supplements.


Reading a case three times strikes me as inefficient. I don't think you need to do that to make good comments either.

Generally speaking, all you need is the rule and the court's general logic. How you apply it is far more important, and I don't think that's easy to intuit just by reading a hard case over and over.

There are exceptions: i.e. the Professor has a fact pattern on a test that closely mimics a convoluted case, in which case the one who truly knows its facts has a distinct advantage. But that's easy to see coming from practice tests (imo).

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:03 am

As to the specific post necro'd - you don't. need. to. do. summer. prep. You just don't.

That said, I don't know anyone who thinks you should wait and cram for a test.

(I also agree that reading each case 3 times is overkill - I get that someone might find it useful but that's going to be a very "know yourself" kind of suggestion.)

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265489164158
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby 265489164158 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:13 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:As to the specific post necro'd - you don't. need. to. do. summer. prep. You just don't.

That said, I don't know anyone who thinks you should wait and cram for a test.

(I also agree that reading each case 3 times is overkill - I get that someone might find it useful but that's going to be a very "know yourself" kind of suggestion.)


I agree that you don't need to do [much] summer prep in terms of reading. I read half of Getting to Maybe.

You DO need to do summer prep in terms of your mindset. Use summer to see family and friends, knowing you will have very little time in the coming months to invest in those relationships (you can reconnect on breaks). Also, use it to get your teeth cleaned, schedule check-ups, do anything that will distract you during the school year. Prepare your SO (if you have one). I had mine read Scott Turow's 1L of a Ride and he felt it really prepared him. Maybe it seems like that is overstating some of the craziness, but not for me. We also set up expectations for who would be responsible for household tasks (mostly him).

The prep work of talking to other law students and reading on here prepared me for how hard I would have to work to succeed. THAT was my biggest summer preparation, accepting the number of hours I would put in (roughly 50 hours / wk to start, 65-70 hours at the worst times). But, putting in the hours early in fall semester set the foundation so that when I did have the unexpected happen (my mother's terminal illness and passing just before finals), I was able to continue on and still perform very well.

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carsondalywashere
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby carsondalywashere » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:19 am

throwaway2016gjdm wrote:
carsondalywashere wrote:
Eremite wrote:
And I read that I can't prepare over summer


This is a lie, perpetrated by the man.

The amount of information and analysis that you are going to be able to put on a piece of paper (or a computer screen) in three hours is finite. And a lot of what you have to learn can be straight up memorized (like the elements of common law murder, or the joinder rules).

I don't regret any of the summer reading that I did.

The corollary of the above prevarication is that you shouldn't begin studying for the test immediately. I have wondered if professors are just trying to make it easier to grade by weeding out the suckers.

It is true. You can cram. You are probably best served by not cramming, because (a) you may not be a good crammer, or (b) everyone else may be better at it than you are. Starting early helped me in my first semester big time.

I would love to hear more on this topic


Wow. This is one of the most epic necros I've seen. 7 years later. Mind = Blown.

In my defense, the thread is stickied in the 1L success thread :lol:

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carsondalywashere
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby carsondalywashere » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:20 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:As to the specific post necro'd - you don't. need. to. do. summer. prep. You just don't.

That said, I don't know anyone who thinks you should wait and cram for a test.

(I also agree that reading each case 3 times is overkill - I get that someone might find it useful but that's going to be a very "know yourself" kind of suggestion.)

That's what I read, but the post I quoted was so unconventional that I felt it warranted discussion

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carsondalywashere
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby carsondalywashere » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:22 am

265489164158 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:As to the specific post necro'd - you don't. need. to. do. summer. prep. You just don't.

That said, I don't know anyone who thinks you should wait and cram for a test.

(I also agree that reading each case 3 times is overkill - I get that someone might find it useful but that's going to be a very "know yourself" kind of suggestion.)


I agree that you don't need to do [much] summer prep in terms of reading. I read half of Getting to Maybe.

You DO need to do summer prep in terms of your mindset. Use summer to see family and friends, knowing you will have very little time in the coming months to invest in those relationships (you can reconnect on breaks). Also, use it to get your teeth cleaned, schedule check-ups, do anything that will distract you during the school year. Prepare your SO (if you have one). I had mine read Scott Turow's 1L of a Ride and he felt it really prepared him. Maybe it seems like that is overstating some of the craziness, but not for me. We also set up expectations for who would be responsible for household tasks (mostly him).

The prep work of talking to other law students and reading on here prepared me for how hard I would have to work to succeed. THAT was my biggest summer preparation, accepting the number of hours I would put in (roughly 50 hours / wk to start, 65-70 hours at the worst times). But, putting in the hours early in fall semester set the foundation so that when I did have the unexpected happen (my mother's terminal illness and passing just before finals), I was able to continue on and still perform very well.

Awesome advice, thank you

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:26 am

Yeah, I should have said that you don't need to legal/subject matter prep. Whatever emotional/psychological prep you need is a different thing.

WalkingContradiction
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby WalkingContradiction » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:19 pm

carsondalywashere wrote:
265489164158 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:As to the specific post necro'd - you don't. need. to. do. summer. prep. You just don't.

That said, I don't know anyone who thinks you should wait and cram for a test.

(I also agree that reading each case 3 times is overkill - I get that someone might find it useful but that's going to be a very "know yourself" kind of suggestion.)


I agree that you don't need to do [much] summer prep in terms of reading. I read half of Getting to Maybe.

You DO need to do summer prep in terms of your mindset. Use summer to see family and friends, knowing you will have very little time in the coming months to invest in those relationships (you can reconnect on breaks). Also, use it to get your teeth cleaned, schedule check-ups, do anything that will distract you during the school year. Prepare your SO (if you have one). I had mine read Scott Turow's 1L of a Ride and he felt it really prepared him. Maybe it seems like that is overstating some of the craziness, but not for me. We also set up expectations for who would be responsible for household tasks (mostly him).

The prep work of talking to other law students and reading on here prepared me for how hard I would have to work to succeed. THAT was my biggest summer preparation, accepting the number of hours I would put in (roughly 50 hours / wk to start, 65-70 hours at the worst times). But, putting in the hours early in fall semester set the foundation so that when I did have the unexpected happen (my mother's terminal illness and passing just before finals), I was able to continue on and still perform very well.

Awesome advice, thank you


At the same time, you're going to law school not Siberia. You don't need to put your family and friends on hold. You'll be busy and even if you are working 50 hours a week from the start, I definitely worked more at my full time job and had plenty of time to see friends and talk to family. You'll be busy. You'll work hard. But keep up your interests, join clubs, stay social. These things remind you about why you did the crazy thing and decided to go to law school in the first place and this reminder will help you maintain motivation.

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crumb cake
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby crumb cake » Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:20 am

Just spend a couple of days early in the semester reading through a full outline from a 2L/3L one or twice. The handful of hours it takes to do that will be better than anything you do in the summer, and it will provide you with a decent mental framework for the material.

cavalier1138
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:14 am

crumb cake wrote:Just spend a couple of days early in the semester reading through a full outline from a 2L/3L one or twice. The handful of hours it takes to do that will be better than anything you do in the summer, and it will provide you with a decent mental framework for the material.


I would actually strongly advise against this. I generally don't recommend looking at anyone else's outline until you're well into the semester (if at all), but reading a full outline at the beginning of 1L is more likely to be confusing than anything else.

No one in 1L has a "head start". Your best use of time in the first few weeks is figuring out what you need to do to actually be prepared for class.

we'rebothmenofthelaw
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby we'rebothmenofthelaw » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:08 am

Get a study group. Pool some of the busy work, get some social/emotional support, and get practice making legal arguments with each other. Get questioned, question others, figure out your strengths and weaknesses, and learn together. Also eat snacks, get beers, and meet each other's partners or friends. It will make 1Lmuch more fun and bring your grades up.

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Thelaw23
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby Thelaw23 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:37 am

I may be going against the grain here, but I am actually taking the time the past month or two to get myself into a stress-less zen mode. Not much going out, not much drinking or socializing, just working, working out, and watching shows/movies after work. Normally I am always for socializing/binge-drinking/going out, but I feel like this is a great way to prepare me for all the networking/dealing with people/stress/drama that might come with law school. (Not to mention prepping my liver)

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taxman14
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby taxman14 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:01 am

Thelaw23 wrote:I may be going against the grain here, but I am actually taking the time the past month or two to get myself into a stress-less zen mode. Not much going out, not much drinking or socializing, just working, working out, and watching shows/movies after work. Normally I am always for socializing/binge-drinking/going out, but I feel like this is a great way to prepare me for all the networking/dealing with people/stress/drama that might come with law school. (Not to mention prepping my liver)


Doing the same haha

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NYC2012
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby NYC2012 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:27 am

I really have to intervene and advise everyone not to join a study group, it is horrible advice. It might feel good and comfortable to do it because you have no idea what you're doing, but it's the biggest waste of time, ends up being a social thing, and it's basically the blind leading the blind. The key things to doing well 1L: 1) Read E&Es 2) Outline early and continuously update/cut down your outline 3) Don't have a social life the month leading up to finals




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