How do I get good 1L grades?

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

Postby Dania » Sun May 18, 2008 1:20 pm

NewHere wrote:Another vote in favor of reading cases. I'm not arguing it's impossible to get good grades without reading cases, but if you do read them during the semester, it will help enormously come exam time. In your outline, you can summarize them in one or two sentences, and since you've read them, those sentences will conjure up the entire story in your mind. Having read cases means that once the exam is there, you'll read the hypo and automatically think "Oh, this aspect is like THIS case!" and "That element is exactly like THAT case!" etc. and you'll be able to incorporate the cases in your analysis.

There are other ways of writing a good analysis, and if you can do it by reading hornbooks, then more power to you. But reading cases does give you background and depth.


I completely agree! Reading the cases before class and then hearing what the professor focuses on in class can really help you anticipate the types of issues that will come up on the exam.

Also, the best way to become a better writer is by reading. Sometimes students will have the same raw score on an essay exam, but one will get the higher grade because of the structure and quality of his or her writing. I think reading the cases really helped me figure out how to analyze issues and helped me maximize my time on the exam by taking a systematic approach to writing it. Some classes, like Con Law and Civ Pro, can have a very messy analysis. I think reading the cases in those courses really helped me.

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

Postby Dania » Sun May 18, 2008 1:27 pm

muchoconfused wrote:
Sometimes I would create my own outline and sometimes I would edit outlines I received from high performing 2Ls and 3Ls.


How do I obtain such a thing?


Within the first two weeks of school I figured out who received top grades and reached out to them for help. I would try to stick to people who had the same professors as me. But, I did get a really good outline for one class from someone with a different proffessor (but same book) and it saved me a lot of time and energy. I only had to make minor edits.

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

Postby lishi » Sun May 18, 2008 1:31 pm

Are 2L's usually generous with things like this?? I feel like there would be 2L's or 3L's that don't want to share. And then how do you go about asking?? Do you just go up and say "Can I have your outlines"?? Do you offer to pay for them?

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

Postby Dania » Sun May 18, 2008 1:41 pm

I usually got the help when I asked for it. A few people blew me off, but whatever. Usually when I talked to 2Ls or 3Ls they would casually say something like, "let me know if you ever need anything". I would just ask then if they would be willing to share any notes or review materials with me. I got two really great outlines by sending an email explaining that I was having a hard time with the subject and how I heard that he/she did really well in the class and would like to see their outline so that I could set mine up similarly. I think 3Ls were more generous with their materials than 2Ls. I would NEVER pay. I was also able to borrow flashcards, E&Es, and hornbooks for almost every class. I'm happy I didn't buy them because I rarely used them.

FLS08
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby FLS08 » Sun May 18, 2008 5:22 pm

If you haven't already read it, this article is fantastic:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/success- ... chool.html

Obviously each person's particular study method will depend on what works best for them, but most of the main ideas in the article are spot-on.

Master Tofu
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby Master Tofu » Sun May 18, 2008 8:33 pm

Are 2L's usually generous with things like this?? I feel like there would be 2L's or 3L's that don't want to share. And then how do you go about asking?? Do you just go up and say "Can I have your outlines"?? Do you offer to pay for them?



There are usually outlines flowing around somewhere in the upper-classmen's inbox. I don't think you should go up to a random 2L/3L and ask for outlines, but instead go through the 2Ls/3Ls that you know(student advisors, old friends, etc.) and ask if they can find something for you. Chances are very likely that if they don't have what you need, they can find someone who does.

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

Postby Eremite » Mon Jun 02, 2008 4:53 pm

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.

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

Postby orangeswarm » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:23 pm

I did LEEWS and read Law School Confidential and Getting to Maybe the summer before 1L. I think if I hadn't done that, my grades would not have turned out nearly as good as they did.

On top of that, I rarely briefed cased, but did read them. I cut and pasted briefs from Lexis so I had enough if I needed to be called on in class. Most of my time was spent reading supplements, going over problems, and anything else I could think of to prepare me for the exams.

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

Postby orangeswarm » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:40 pm

Someone (I think NYU1L maybe) posted some very good information on getting good grades in LS. Anyone have the link? I tried searching to post it on this thread but can't seem to find it.

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

Postby phillyphanatic » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:16 pm

Paul, did you take an in-class LEEWS course or did you buy the materials and and do it on your own time? I think Law School Confidential talks about an actual course during the fall and then I saw someone selling their LEEWS CD's on TLS so I'm trying to figure out which is the better option if I decided to take the LEEWS.

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

Postby orangeswarm » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:14 pm

I just did it on my own time. The only reason I did that is because I found it for $20 on ebay. IMO, I would do whatever is cheaper. The information learned in LEEWS isn't really earth shattering stuff when you look back over it after a semester of LS (or even a few months for that matter), but it does give you a heads up on what to expect from finals and ONE WAY to prepare for them (i.e. I didn't follow their method exactly). By knowing what to expect at the end, you will be more focused and can better prepare during the semester. Just my two cents.

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

Postby phillyphanatic » Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:47 pm

Ok, thanks for the advice. That's exactly what I wanted to hear.

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

Postby Eremite » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:20 pm

By knowing what to expect at the end, you will be more focused and can better prepare during the semester. Just my two cents.


Credited. I did a lot of summer reading. The typical fare: Aceing Your First Year of Law School, Getting to Maybe, and Estrich's How to Get into Law School, a long with the Nutshell books, which did not help me personally, and the E&E books, which are dope. I think that was a big help, particularly on my first exam. When the test is on, it is not a good time to try to figure out a law school test. I think that is why I performed well on my first exam, because some of my classmates knew the material, but know so much how argue both sides and how important it was to write fast.

Also, if you don't type at least 60 wpm (and your school tests on the computer) you need to get some typing software. You don't lose points for what you get wrong, so it helps to be the person that talked about everything.

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

Postby SwollenMonkey » Mon May 10, 2010 6:11 pm

Dania wrote:It is really different for each person. I was in the top 7% after the first semester of law school. I have only received one grade from spring semester (the one I just finished) and it was the highest possible grade. I arrived to school at 9 AM and worked until 9PM every night. I worked 8-12 hour days on the weekends. Sometimes I worked more if there was a paper due or during the reading period before exams. I also took breaks from school as needed. I usually slacked of for two weeks each semester. I read almost every case. Sometimes I would create my own outline and sometimes I would edit outlines I received from high performing 2Ls and 3Ls. I met with professors regularly. I only used supplements here and there for difficult concepts. I used my reading period to take past exams from professors. I don't find it useful to take the exams under the exact exam conditions. I spot every issue on the practice exams and make sure I can complete a thorough analysis. If professors agreed to go over practice exams with me, then I would start the exams during the last month of the semester. I did not work in a study group during the semester. During reading period I was with one partner for about 12 hours a day. We reviewed concepts, memorized things together, and took practice exams together. We did not have the same professors, but we were studying the same subjects. I think this was good because we weren't in direct competition in classes. I am not suggesting that this is the best way for you to succeed, but it worked very well for me and I really enjoyed my first year of law school.


I will keep this schedule in mind. Great work!

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon May 10, 2010 6:21 pm

Eremite wrote:Also, if you don't type at least 60 wpm (and your school tests on the computer) you need to get some typing software. You don't lose points for what you get wrong, so it helps to be the person that talked about everything.

Just...no.

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

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Mon May 10, 2010 6:23 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:
Dania wrote:It is really different for each person. I was in the top 7% after the first semester of law school. I have only received one grade from spring semester (the one I just finished) and it was the highest possible grade. I arrived to school at 9 AM and worked until 9PM every night. I worked 8-12 hour days on the weekends. Sometimes I worked more if there was a paper due or during the reading period before exams. I also took breaks from school as needed. I usually slacked of for two weeks each semester. I read almost every case. Sometimes I would create my own outline and sometimes I would edit outlines I received from high performing 2Ls and 3Ls. I met with professors regularly. I only used supplements here and there for difficult concepts. I used my reading period to take past exams from professors. I don't find it useful to take the exams under the exact exam conditions. I spot every issue on the practice exams and make sure I can complete a thorough analysis. If professors agreed to go over practice exams with me, then I would start the exams during the last month of the semester. I did not work in a study group during the semester. During reading period I was with one partner for about 12 hours a day. We reviewed concepts, memorized things together, and took practice exams together. We did not have the same professors, but we were studying the same subjects. I think this was good because we weren't in direct competition in classes. I am not suggesting that this is the best way for you to succeed, but it worked very well for me and I really enjoyed my first year of law school.


I will keep this schedule in mind. Great work!

Good luck with that.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon May 10, 2010 6:27 pm

lishi wrote:Are 2L's usually generous with things like this?? I feel like there would be 2L's or 3L's that don't want to share. And then how do you go about asking?? Do you just go up and say "Can I have your outlines"?? Do you offer to pay for them?

The Student Bar Association (student government) here maintains an outline bank. You can just go on their website and download prior outlines from your professor, if one is available. The bank is so popular that tenured professors often have a half-dozen or more outlines posted.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon May 10, 2010 6:31 pm

This is going to sound really backwards, but that's the idea: I waited until after class discussion and then read the cases.

This is not a learning style that would work for everyone. However, I really cannot fucking understand what a lot of judges are saying; some of them are truly terrible. But if I take notes in class, and then go back and look over the case keeping the class discussion in mind, I can go, "Oh, this is what this means." It gives me the same comprehension of the case in a lot less time.

Besides, it doesn't matter what you know during class. It only matters what you know during the final.

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

Postby SwollenMonkey » Mon May 10, 2010 6:33 pm

vanwinkle wrote:This is going to sound really backwards, but that's the idea: I waited until after class discussion and then read the cases.

This is not a learning style that would work for everyone. However, I really cannot fucking understand what a lot of judges are saying; some of them are truly terrible. But if I take notes in class, and then go back and look over the case keeping the class discussion in mind, I can go, "Oh, this is what this means." It gives me the same comprehension of the case in a lot less time.

Besides, it doesn't matter what you know during class. It only matters what you know during the final.


So what happens if you are asked about a case during lectures? Do you pass?

Leeroy Jenkins
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon May 10, 2010 6:35 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:So what happens if you are asked about a case during lectures? Do you pass?

Learn the art of bs.

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

Postby vanwinkle » Mon May 10, 2010 6:36 pm

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:So what happens if you are asked about a case during lectures? Do you pass?

Learn the art of bs.

Pretty much TCR. Also, if your prof goes through people in alphabetical order, you can figure out which day you'll get called on and just read for that day.

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

Postby romothesavior » Mon May 10, 2010 6:38 pm

vanwinkle wrote:This is going to sound really backwards, but that's the idea: I waited until after class discussion and then read the cases.

This is not a learning style that would work for everyone. However, I really cannot fucking understand what a lot of judges are saying; some of them are truly terrible. But if I take notes in class, and then go back and look over the case keeping the class discussion in mind, I can go, "Oh, this is what this means." It gives me the same comprehension of the case in a lot less time.

Besides, it doesn't matter what you know during class. It only matters what you know during the final.


This isn't a backwards idea at all (at least not to me). This has actually been my strategy throughout most of undergrad. I usually am able to keep up just fine with the class discussion (much to my classmates frustration, since I never do the reading and I usually grasp it just as well as the people who did it). The discussion then helps me when I go back to read the material later, since I already know what the important points to look for were.

A lot of people say to retain the study habits you have always succeeded with. It has always worked for me, and it works for vanwinkle, so hopefully it will work for me in law school!

270910
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Re: How do I get good 1L grades?

Postby 270910 » Mon May 10, 2010 6:46 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:I will keep this schedule in mind. Great work!


2 fuckinig years?

Image

PSA: That person worked a ton of hours AND got good grades. Not got good grades BECAUSE of the ton of hours. For the love of God, the key to 1L year isn't 12 hour/day study sessions.

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

Postby Jarndyce » Mon May 10, 2010 7:05 pm

I am definitely in the minority in my school, but one thing that has definitely helped me (and I am in the top 5% of my class) is outlining during class. I know that sounds weird, but I come into class having already got what I feel was the point of the case written in my own words. I then change it to fit what I get out of class, arrange it in the order that seems best, and pack it away. That way, while everyone else is working on outlining late in the semester, I am studying my outline and learning/ memorizing it with note cards, supplements, etc. Worked for me... probably wouldn't work for some people or some classes.

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

Postby yeff » Mon May 10, 2010 9:04 pm

disco_barred wrote:
SwollenMonkey wrote:I will keep this schedule in mind. Great work!


2 fuckinig years?

Image

PSA: That person worked a ton of hours AND got good grades. Not got good grades BECAUSE of the ton of hours. For the love of God, the key to 1L year isn't 12 hour/day study sessions.


LULZ

If only the OP could let us know how 1L and 2L went. Too bad they haven't been on TLS since August 26th, 2008.




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