For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby thexfactor » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:02 pm

What is the biggest difference between college and ls?

Also, do you think the difference between HS and college is greater or less than the difference between college and law school?

Thanks

Soulofheaven8
Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:29 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby Soulofheaven8 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:31 pm

The biggest difference is that in law school, you can't just go to class, do all the assigned readings, and expect to come out with an A. You really have to go above and beyond what is assigned. Merely "doing all the work" won't cut it.

The difference between LS and college is far, far greater than that between college and HS.

User avatar
crystalhawkeye
Posts: 757
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby crystalhawkeye » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:35 pm

This could be really useful. May I have some more, please?

User avatar
spanktheduck
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:23 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby spanktheduck » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:50 pm

In law school I have to actual do the reading and study....

User avatar
crystalhawkeye
Posts: 757
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby crystalhawkeye » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:52 pm

spanktheduck wrote:In law school I have to actual do the reading and study....

How about grammar? Is that important?

Snooker
Posts: 360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:50 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby Snooker » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:58 pm

I know successful lawyers with awful spelling/grammar, they just write it off as "that's what I have secretaries for".

I figure this works well for international lawyers, a Spanish language / Mandarin language grad in a place like Colombia or Beijing can't cost more than $2,000/yr to employ, while the associate is being compensated $250,000. (at least this is true of Beijing)

User avatar
thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby thexfactor » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:04 pm

Snooker wrote:I know successful lawyers with awful spelling/grammar, they just write it off as "that's what I have secretaries for".

I figure this works well for international lawyers, a Spanish language / Mandarin language grad in a place like Colombia or Beijing can't cost more than $2,000/yr to employ, while the associate is being compensated $250,000. (at least this is true of Beijing)


man.. I hope my mandarin skills will help me in my job search out of LS.

What about time? how much free time do you guys usually have?

M_Cool
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:28 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby M_Cool » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:09 pm

For me, college was easier than high school. Most of the courses in undergrad are just broad survey's (at least for a social science degree like me) and so really easy to study for at the last minute. Law school, on the other hand, can be very very specific.

If I was to give advice to people going into 1L I wouldn't say "make sure you do all the readings and go above and beyond" though. I'd say be smart about what you are studying, don't get caught up with trivial points of law that won't be on the test, and relax. Say it with me again: study smart. It is so easy to put hours and hours and hours into the most useless information in law school. Don't get tricked into doing it. Stay on point.

User avatar
Arrow
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby Arrow » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:10 pm

Haha in law school you can still not study and do well...then network your way to get awesome jobs. For some this is obviously harder. There's always a few people who don't study, ditch classes even, and get top 15%. If your school curves to 5% A's, people suddenly have a diff opinion. If your school curves to 30% A's, studying = overrated.

For me college and law school is about the same. Obviously you study different things, but I was an engineer, so I studied just about the same amount. The curve was equally rough for engineering so it's all about the same.

I feel like going above and beyond is what students feel like they should be doing, but this has always rang true in high school and college if you wanted straight A+'s (though it wasn't needed to get that lol). The key is to study the right thing, not studying more. The hard part is figuring out what that "right thing is." Some people are either talented or stumble on that thing by accident and get A's. Others go above and beyond and try to cover everything out of panic lol.

User avatar
MTal
Posts: 854
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby MTal » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:17 pm

The cost.

reverendt
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:56 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby reverendt » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:19 pm

In law school there's no sparknotes....you can't wikipedia your way into the final. There is Examples and Explanations and a few other study aides, but you still have to do ALL your reading, and THEN use the study aides to reinforce what you've read.
Then you have to make sure you understand it all. There's WAY more information per course than there is in undergrad, and for the exam, you're thrown into a situation where you're not told what information applies, you have to figure out which information applies and then apply it correctly.

User avatar
rayiner
Posts: 6184
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:43 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby rayiner » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:25 pm

Arrow wrote:For me college and law school is about the same. Obviously you study different things, but I was an engineer, so I studied just about the same amount. The curve was equally rough for engineering so it's all about the same.


As an engineer who will hopefully be a 1L in the next year or two, I would like to ask you a couple of questions if you don't mind.

1) Have you found law school grading to be as random as people say? Is the randomness overblown because most LS students just aren't used to being graded on a strict curve?

2) What is this "hiding the ball" I keep hearing about? Is it where the professor emphasizes certain topics in class but tests on something else? How do you find the ball? In my engineering classes, professors would do this a lot, but if you read the textbook you were pretty sure to have your bases covered. Does that still work in LS?

3) How have you, and maybe other engineers you know, handled the level of reading/writing? Do you find yourself at a disadvantage because you didn't spend four years in college writing 20 pages a week?

joonix
Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:15 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby joonix » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:31 pm

I think if you had a difficult major in college, such as a science, you'd be used to having to study every day (rather than just the night before the test) and do extra work to keep up and do well. I've had exposure to both science and liberal arts, and in liberal arts it's amazing how you can get A's by doing so little work sometimes. (I'm not a 1L, these are just observations)

greatfool
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:24 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby greatfool » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:31 pm

Not a 1L but isn't this question pretty dependent on major/what you studied?

Like the engineer says is about the same, social science major says its way harder.

Since when can you just do the reading and show up for class and make A's in college? At my school that was a recipe for a B, unless you're a natural genius with the subject.

awesomepossum
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 12:49 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby awesomepossum » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:40 pm

rayiner wrote:
Arrow wrote:For me college and law school is about the same. Obviously you study different things, but I was an engineer, so I studied just about the same amount. The curve was equally rough for engineering so it's all about the same.


As an engineer who will hopefully be a 1L in the next year or two, I would like to ask you a couple of questions if you don't mind.

1) Have you found law school grading to be as random as people say? Is the randomness overblown because most LS students just aren't used to being graded on a strict curve?

2) What is this "hiding the ball" I keep hearing about? Is it where the professor emphasizes certain topics in class but tests on something else? How do you find the ball? In my engineering classes, professors would do this a lot, but if you read the textbook you were pretty sure to have your bases covered. Does that still work in LS?

3) How have you, and maybe other engineers you know, handled the level of reading/writing? Do you find yourself at a disadvantage because you didn't spend four years in college writing 20 pages a week?



I'm an engineer as well (PhD EE). I'm at Michigan now.

1) I can't really answer this because I only have one grade so far. I actually did better than I expected in my one class, and I was FEARING this grade above all others. Who knows. I definitely worked though so I guess I got what I deserved.

2) I think that you need to understand beyond what is simply taught in class, but different people have different opinions on this. In my short experience the best way to understand the material is to take in what was taught in class and combine that with supplements. Simply reading the textbook (which is a casebook) isn't a good way to go about really learning for the tests. By the time test time came around, I barely studied the casebook. Fortunately for law school 1L courses there are a LOT of books out there to help you. There are books full of questions and answers, books with outlines etc etc. I recommend reading "getting to maybe" for some preliminary stuff on how to study for law school and do law school exams. Additionally upperclassmen will have good ideas on how to study for each prof. Different profs will give different exams. Multiple choice, open book, closed book, short essays, take home essays etc etc.

3) The reading/writing is no big thing. I think it's actually easier than science/engineering because the material is a lot easier to take in. It is harder than social sciences etc etc classes in college though because there is SO MUCH MORE material. Law school material isn't HARD per se. There is just so much stuff to take in though. A simply insane QUANTITY of reading.

User avatar
Arrow
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby Arrow » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:42 pm

rayiner wrote:
Arrow wrote:For me college and law school is about the same. Obviously you study different things, but I was an engineer, so I studied just about the same amount. The curve was equally rough for engineering so it's all about the same.


As an engineer who will hopefully be a 1L in the next year or two, I would like to ask you a couple of questions if you don't mind.

1) Have you found law school grading to be as random as people say? Is the randomness overblown because most LS students just aren't used to being graded on a strict curve?

2) What is this "hiding the ball" I keep hearing about? Is it where the professor emphasizes certain topics in class but tests on something else? How do you find the ball? In my engineering classes, professors would do this a lot, but if you read the textbook you were pretty sure to have your bases covered. Does that still work in LS?

3) How have you, and maybe other engineers you know, handled the level of reading/writing? Do you find yourself at a disadvantage because you didn't spend four years in college writing 20 pages a week?


1. While others are found it to be random. I do not, but that's also perhaps because I have done well. The randomness does frustrate people because of the curve. If you're towards the outliers, it's less random. People who get A's tend to get A's in all their classes is what I've seen. When you're in the B range, the difference between a B+/B/B-/C+ is usually just a few points on a test, but makes a difference in ranking on GPA. It's really not random, but what makes it seem random and adds to the mystique of law school is how professors hide the ball. Professors are often too vague (or just do not know) how to explain to students how to consistently get A's. They tell them to spot the issues and analysis which leaves students baffled. Honestly it's not random at all. Tests are graded like essays, and there is a subjective element. Teachers generally do use rubrics and I have heard many students frustrate over why they got only 5 points on an analysis. Rather than thinking they themselves aren't up to par (and denigrate themselves), the "random" concept will always return.

2. Hiding the ball is just being vague and ambiguous. Only half of my professors actually do this. All of them say they don't but do it to some extent. The problem with law itself is that the answer is sometimes "maybe" and this adds to the mystique of law school. I think of hiding the ball as hiding what the black letter law is. You can ask a question in office hours and the professor won't answer but ask what you think it is. Other students think of it as not giving out sample exams, sample answers, or not answering certain questions (but undergrad professors do this too).

3. We're at a disadvantage in writing, but at an advantage for analysis. It sort of balances out. Analysis = better grades on exams. Employers also tend to favor engineers a bit more. While I've personally done well on exams, I do bad in legal writing =\

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby underdawg » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:34 pm

i go to class and do the readings

User avatar
spanktheduck
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2007 4:23 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby spanktheduck » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:53 pm

crystalhawkeye wrote:
spanktheduck wrote:In law school I have to actual do the reading and study....

How about grammar? Is that important?


Only for memos, for the tests I'm golden with things like "In law school I have to actual." :wink:

User avatar
thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby thexfactor » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:56 pm

spanktheduck wrote:
crystalhawkeye wrote:
spanktheduck wrote:In law school I have to actual do the reading and study....

How about grammar? Is that important?


Only for memos, for the tests I'm golden with things like "In law school I have to actual." :wink:


haha thats good because I was looking over my old blue book exams in college and i noticed so many grammar and spelling mistakes.

kiwislug
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:05 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby kiwislug » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:17 pm

Arrow wrote: I think of hiding the ball as hiding what the black letter law is. You can ask a question in office hours and the professor won't answer but ask what you think it is. Other students think of it as not giving out sample exams, sample answers, or not answering certain questions (but undergrad professors do this too).



This is probably a moronic question but are "black letter law" and "common law" the same thing?

User avatar
Arrow
Posts: 169
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:58 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby Arrow » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 pm

No. Common law is generally referred to judge made law. Sometimes people use it as the original English law, others use it to mean "general" law.

Black letter law is broader. It includes all that we really imagine as law. It includes common law, statutes, rules, etc.

kiwislug
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:05 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby kiwislug » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:47 pm

tnx Arrow

User avatar
crystalhawkeye
Posts: 757
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:00 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby crystalhawkeye » Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:56 pm

spanktheduck wrote:
crystalhawkeye wrote:
spanktheduck wrote:In law school I have to actual do the reading and study....

How about grammar? Is that important?


Only for memos, for the tests I'm golden with things like "In law school I have to actual." :wink:

Ha, gotcha. I've noticed similar errors in my blue books, dychen. Makes me wonder how I passed sometimes.

User avatar
cqphan89
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 6:45 pm

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby cqphan89 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:00 pm

bump... this is great. :)

User avatar
thexfactor
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:40 am

Re: For 1L's: What is the biggest diff between College and LS

Postby thexfactor » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:24 pm

crystalhawkeye wrote:
spanktheduck wrote:
crystalhawkeye wrote:
spanktheduck wrote:In law school I have to actual do the reading and study....

How about grammar? Is that important?


Only for memos, for the tests I'm golden with things like "In law school I have to actual." :wink:

Ha, gotcha. I've noticed similar errors in my blue books, dychen. Makes me wonder how I passed sometimes.

lol.. if you try to read the stuff out loud you would of thought it was written by a 10 year old.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AT9, Google [Bot] and 12 guests