Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

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steve_nash
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby steve_nash » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:51 am

I would think that the people who populate law school are representative of the people who populate law firms. Time to make some friends. I would try to give these people a chance, because I'm sure there's at least one person there who feels the same way you do. Law school can be a very lonely and depressing place, but having friends who are going through the same thing you are helps.

Anyway, I don't think study groups are that great, as they can be a huge time drain. I like to target super successful people to take practice exams with, and they're easier to find after first semester. The discussion of analysis on exams helped me, more so than discussing cases or whatever normal study groups do.

Ignatius J. Reilly
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby Ignatius J. Reilly » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:09 pm

There is nothing wrong with studying alone. I tried using a study group once and it was a waste of time. I understand everybody is different, but I would have done significantly worse my 1L year if I would have stayed with a study group. If you study alone, you get a lot more accomplished much quicker, which leaves you more time to relax and get your mind off of law school.

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condor
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby condor » Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:51 am

^

of course ignatius j. reilly would say that. law school = a confederacy of dunces

social isolation can be for the best as LS exerts a powerful pressure towards conformity. the pressure ain't all bad though. I feel a lot more disciplined now.

hollister catalog comparison is way off, in my experience at least. just demonstrates how counterculture is conditioned by the culture it's supposedly countering. but there is a strong unifying theme, as of a catalog written but neither read nor distributed.

For example, this statement would be off-putting in another context but is typical of LS instrumentality:
steve_nash wrote:II like to target super successful people to take practice exams with, and they're easier to find after first semester.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:11 pm

I didn't read this entire thread, so my appologies if this post is redundant:

I'm a firm believer in study groups in law school, and I am an incredibly awkward person, socially. Part of the reason I forced myself to do it was to become more comfortable socializing with people in general/law school types in particular. I grew up quite poor, parents were restaurant people, yadda yadda: I had a really tough time adjusting to the *type* of socializing/people in law school. I think my experiences with my study group probably will make the whole networking thing at least a little more feasible for me, though it is still going to be really tough.

Also, my study group was a group of 5 people (including myself) who had world views and personalities that I'm generally completely incompatible with. I had an incredibly religious person, two kinda-preppy types, and a non-trad who is more focused on the public service side of things. Working with this group of people was a good learning experience for me, they consistently challenged my world view and how it framed my approach to the law, and I feel like I did much, much better in 1L because of it. We all also approached the studying process in a much different way, which meant we all brought things to the table in the group that the others had missed.

So yeah, take that for what its worth, but I am positive that I would not have been as successful as I was in 1L had I not surrounded myself with people that I formerly wouldn't have been able to stand. On top of that, I ended up being quite good friends with all of them, which has made me far less judgmental in general. I realize that most people don't need these additional benefits, but I figured I would point them out.

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GodSpeed
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby GodSpeed » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:53 pm

I suggest you do what has worked for you. Law school isn't magic or supernatural. If you learn better on your own, do it on your own.
The worst thing I did in law school was ask/listen to other students. every single 1L was just as clueless as me and none of them knew me and how I learn better than I did.

Example: Imagine you're trying to learn how to multiply.

I learn best by learning the basic element or principal. What is multipication, then applying it in practice problems over an over again. So I'll learn the principal of multipication and do a lot of practice problems. I knew that, instead I went to study groups. Stupid. In undergrad, it was formuals and doing practice problems. In law school its black letter law + practice problems. (I don't read cases)

Other people learn best by just sitting around and bouncing ideas around. They'll get into study groups and say "well, what if that 5 was a 6, then what happens?" "what if there is a decimal?" "what if you had two digets?" In law school, that is changing change facts of the case and discuss what, if anything, the difference would be in the holding/ruling. They'll compare different cases applying the same rule. Not my bag.

My sister is a memorizer. to give a dumb but simple example, she'd rather memorize the mutlipication table. I'd rather learn what multiplying is and do a bunch of practice problems. FYI- this probably won't work well in law school. You can't really memorize every single hypothetical situation.

anyway, there are million ways to learn. Do what works best for you.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby pleasetryagain » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:04 pm

TLS is a pretty selective sample. I would think that most people ITT saying study groups suck are saying so because they are usually the smartest guy/gal in the study group and are slowed down by them.

laws555
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby laws555 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:05 pm

During first semester, I was scared that I was the only one not in a study group. Seemed that every kid had a set group. Well, I am glad they had such a fun time. If it is not your thing, DON'T DO IT. Frankly, I think reading your outline and other materials is the way to go, not listening to some girl/boy whine about what they don't understand.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:44 pm

laws555 wrote:During first semester, I was scared that I was the only one not in a study group. Seemed that every kid had a set group. Well, I am glad they had such a fun time. If it is not your thing, DON'T DO IT. Frankly, I think reading your outline and other materials is the way to go, not listening to some girl/boy whine about what they don't understand.


"I don't understand X" rarely came up in my study group. When it did, it was because no one in the group understood whatever it was. By the time we worked through it, we all understood it.

Not all study groups are made equally. As it turns out, everyone that was in my more intense 2nd semester group ended up right near the top of the class. I have no doubt that the group played a part in that.

But yeah, study groups aren't for everyone. I would suggest that you try it, and don't be shy about bowing out if it isn't for you in the end. My groups didn't have "fun"--that isn't what we were there to do.

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Marmot
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby Marmot » Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:40 pm

We just have crim right now, so I don't plan on looking for a study group. My main concern is exam review, and my TA is the best source for guidance there. If I were to do so I'd probably just find a couple fellow students working before class and ask 'em. The folks in my section are friendly enough, anyway, once you pierce the Seattle (n)ice bit and the whole not-knowing-anyone anxiety. It's only like high school if you care.

snotrocket
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby snotrocket » Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:48 pm

If you have this much distaste for relating to people who differ from you, then you're going to have a miserable existence as a lawyer.

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biggamejames
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby biggamejames » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:27 pm

I never did a study group, and it worked out okay for me. I think they're overrated, anyways.

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bobjr
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Re: Going It Alone (or Life Without Study Groups)

Postby bobjr » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:09 pm

I never used study groups, and I did very well. Study groups seem to me to be a total waste of time-- I would always see people in them sitting around before class saying, "well what do you guys think the holding in this case was." ...this is not the way to prepare for exams-- you should be preparing for the exams all semester, not for class. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't brief the assigned cases (you should, so that you know whats going on in class), but it does mean that it you shouldn't sit around listening to what 5 other assholes think the case meant before you go to class.




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