portaprokoss wrote:Frankly, someone who knows 60% of the material and is a good test-taker will most likely get a better grade than someone who knows 100% of the material and is a mediocre test taker. Also, in some classes sub-par students will get top grades because they can type insanely fast.
This is really accurate. You really can't know whether or not you'll be top 10% or median. I would also argue that the method of preparation doesn't matter as much as the rest of this answer suggests. It really depends on your profs. If you tried to follow the method below with my property professor, you would not end up in a good place. However, this method would have been fine for torts.
I also wouldn't suggest to a student not reading the cases. That is a good way to end up very confused halfway through your first semester. The advice that I got appreciated the most and that worked best for me where I used it is: read the cases and otherwise take it easy for the first part of them semester, once you get about 1/2 to 2/3 through start outlining and reviewing a supplement. Take practice tests and trade them with a friend.
portaprokoss wrote:What it takes to get an A differs from person to person. For me, I skim a day's readings for a class in 5-10 min. then read and outline from supplements and do many many multiple choice and short answer questions. I look like a total, insolent, incompetent, slacker moron whenever I get called on because I don't know the facts of the case, but come test-time I am more prepared than most. I skip class if going will mean I'm not well rested and in some classes I stop reading anything but supplements after 2 weeks. I don't use past outlines because I've yet to come across a good one--the value in an outline is making it yourself. If I could go back in a time machine I would do this:
Don't read Getting to Maybe or LEEWS, but use How to do Your Best on Law School Exams instead. Then buy a CD lecture for one class you'll have first semester--use Civ. Pro (Freer), Torts (Finz), Crim (Dressler), or Con Law (Che)--and the corresponding E&E. Do the lectures and the E&E topic by topic and make an outline using the "How to do Your Best on Law School Exams" method. After you finish the CD, E&E, & outline, take 2 or 3 timed practice tests w/ model answers and compare what you have.
The value wouldn't be substantive knowledge, but a taste of what the semester and the first-year experience will be like. What separates the top-10% is time management. I believe that doing this exercise will help you realize that 99% of what the teacher says in class and 99% of what you read out of your casebook is irrelevant, which is the secret to success that we all slowly learn over our first year. Realizing this helps you tune out the BS and focus on what really matters.
I think the above is way over preparing during the summer and way under-preparing during the school year. But again, YMMV.