WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:42 pm

elderpisimo wrote:To say that there are no pros to such 0L prep work seems extremely close minded. Luckily, I have read enough guides on TLS to realize that this is a polarizing topic and not feel discouraged by these comments. The biggest pro to all of this 0L prep work is to simply train myself to have a better work ethic and sustain large amounts of reading. My professor's notes will take priority over everything.


Looks like this issue has already been resolved, but I'd just like to say: the limit to getting good grades on law exams isn't really knowing/understanding the material. There's only so much material to study, and once you know it, you know it. It gives you no benefit to over-know stuff that you have time to know during the semester. The 1L curriculum isn't very complicated.

The bottom quartile might have some motivation/understanding issues, but for the most part, the curve is going to turn on how well you deal with the insanity that is learning how to take a law school exam. Part of that is typing speed, part of it is phrasing stuff the way your professor wants, and part of that is not psyching yourself out and stressing yourself out so that you're a frayed bundle of nerves come exam week. So the best law school prep is probably to chill out and have fun, and maybe do some typing classes when you are hungover/have time.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:08 pm

I didn't weigh in on the 0L prep thing originally, but I'll give some thoughts since my old pal JCoug did.

I was working in a low-intensity job pre-LS with lots of time on my hands, and I was anxious to get a start, so I read through the E&Es for my fall classes. I also worked through GTM, LEEWS and Delaney's examsmanship book. So, a moderate amount of 0L prep.

It worked out for me. But like others have said, you can never tell what's sufficient or necessary without going back and doing it differently. I will say that cries from the opposition about confusing yourself when the prof says something contradicting what you've read seem unfounded to me. This is largely because I didn't remember the details of what I'd read well enough 3 months later when I actually learned it from my prof. But, it was kind of nice to have thought about the concepts before so I wasn't hearing them for the first time. Like JCoug says, almost everyone will know the material eventually. I do know, though, that I started practice testing a lot earlier than everyone else, and I don't know how much of that was because of my comfort with the material.

What was definitely more helpful, like others have said, was working on examsmanship instead of substantive material. But this is a little tricky in that you can't really figure out how to take an exam until you know at least a little law. You can abstractly understand concepts like "argue both sides" and "look for forks," but you don't you can't really appreciate what that means until you have a complex fact pattern in front of you and some law to work with. So, with that in mind, I think there is value to something like the following approach: read through the torts E&E, excluding the last two chapters. Read Delaney's book/GTM/LEEWS. And then do the last two chapters of the Torts E&E, which is a great primer on how to take a torts exam. At that point, you'll know enough of the law (at least as the book presents it) to be able to write out answers to the problems he gives you. Then you'll have an inkling of the task before you.

To me, the benefit of that prep isn't learning the substantive material. It's learning how to learn when you're actually in your classes. This is important, because 90% of class discussion/lecture is pretty much worthless. There's no way the digressions upon digressions could ever be useful on an exam. If you have a basic understanding of how you'll be tested on the material, you can have a better filter. Each class session should really produce only about half a page of notes: rules, tests, minor variations thereof, and one or two policy notes.

Now, that's not to say that even this will put you ahead of your classmates by December. They'll still learn all that stuff, eventually. But they'll have to sort through piles of slop to learn it. And by having the right approach from the start, I think you can outline earlier and take practice exams earlier.

Like I said, who knows how much of what I did was actually helpful. Just my experience, and I ended up doing well.

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby notedgarfigaro » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:12 am

TatteredDignity wrote: Each class session should really produce only about half a page of notes: rules, tests, minor variations thereof, and one or two policy notes.


Truest thing ever written on here, except maybe closer to a page depending on the professor. It still astounds me to see people typing out everything said in a class.

Oban
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Oban » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:18 am

I did some 0L prep, mostly whilst riding the train into work every day during 0L summer, I didn't really get hardcore though.

I'd wager the most important kind of 0L prep you could do besides typing speed is learning about law school exams. GTM, Leews and the like. Also, the first thing you should do when class starts is get copies of old exams and start getting tips from 2L/3Ls about the professors peculiar. Almost everyone will know the law, but not everyone will learn or know how to take an exam. My lowest grade 1L was in a class I knew front and back, but I just didn't give the professor what he wanted how he wanted it. Conversely my highest grade came in a class where I spent more time talking with the professor and getting feedback during office hours on my writing/exam questions.

Law school isn't about knowing the law, it's about writing exams that each professor wants/likes. Whoever figures that the fastest or lucks into just knowing how to do it wins 1L and lawschool.

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Unoriginalist
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Unoriginalist » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:24 pm

Alright, I'm in the process of digging my way through this thread, and have seen a couple places mentioned early on, but I have a brief visit in a few weeks, and was curious where the best places to eat are?

Also, any suggestions for what one should do during a visit? Haha, I'm kinda lost!

Thanks for all the info provided in this thread, though, all!

Oban
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Oban » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:07 pm

I think I've seen some pretty glum looking students moping around the last few days(presumably 1Ls) so grades must all be out now.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:37 pm

Oban wrote:I think I've seen some pretty glum looking students moping around the last few days(presumably 1Ls) so grades must all be out now.


Yep, and they have cutoffs.

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Birdnals
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Birdnals » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:10 am

Unoriginalist wrote:Alright, I'm in the process of digging my way through this thread, and have seen a couple places mentioned early on, but I have a brief visit in a few weeks, and was curious where the best places to eat are?

Also, any suggestions for what one should do during a visit? Haha, I'm kinda lost!

Thanks for all the info provided in this thread, though, all!


Sorry for the long delay, guess this question got missed.

I am a big fan of the hill. Great Italian food, not too far from campus if you are driving. My favorite is probably Guido's Pizzeria, but Anthoninos is awesome as well. If you have no car then Fitz's in the delmar loop is pretty solid.

Ask admissions if they can set you up with some 1L's to take you around. I know they did this for some other kid this semester and he seemed to have a pretty solid time and came out with us to the bars the nights he was here.

Also, both the schlafly and anheuser busch brewery tours are awesome. If I was you, I would visit during the weekend of February 9th. Mardi Grads, second largest after New Orleans.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:55 pm

Jesus... the 10, 15, 20, and 25%iles skyrocketed for our class.

Come on 2Ls, was totally counting on you to salvage my poor fall semester by beating up on the lazy 3Ls in class. Either way... ouch

ETA: yeah Colleen, recall that message. Say it ain't so.

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romothesavior
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:59 pm

+1 to Birdnals' recs, I'll also suggest City Coffeehouse and Creperie in Clayton for breakfast, if you stay in Clayton. And +1 to Mardi Gras weekend.

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goldeneye
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby goldeneye » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:03 pm

How does the curve work after 1L anyways?

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby notedgarfigaro » Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:31 pm

romothesavior wrote:Jesus... the 10, 15, 20, and 25%iles skyrocketed for our class.

Come on 2Ls, was totally counting on you to salvage my poor fall semester by beating up on the lazy 3Ls in class. Either way... ouch

ETA: yeah Colleen, recall that message. Say it ain't so.


hah, saw those 3L cutoffs and did a double take, especially with the 89.00 dean's list required for the semester.

goldeneye wrote:How does the curve work after 1L anyways?


grades for each class have to be +/- .5 of the mean of the students in that class. So if everyone on law review is in your class...you're still properly fucked, but your grade will be slightly higher because the mean will be higher.

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soccerfreak
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby soccerfreak » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:19 pm

romothesavior wrote:Jesus... the 10, 15, 20, and 25%iles skyrocketed for our class.

Come on 2Ls, was totally counting on you to salvage my poor fall semester by beating up on the lazy 3Ls in class. Either way... ouch

ETA: yeah Colleen, recall that message. Say it ain't so.

I hope they don't do a recall, because ours plummeted.

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goldeneye
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby goldeneye » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:27 pm

notedgarfigaro wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Jesus... the 10, 15, 20, and 25%iles skyrocketed for our class.

Come on 2Ls, was totally counting on you to salvage my poor fall semester by beating up on the lazy 3Ls in class. Either way... ouch

ETA: yeah Colleen, recall that message. Say it ain't so.


hah, saw those 3L cutoffs and did a double take, especially with the 89.00 dean's list required for the semester.

goldeneye wrote:How does the curve work after 1L anyways?


grades for each class have to be +/- .5 of the mean of the students in that class. So if everyone on law review is in your class...you're still properly fucked, but your grade will be slightly higher because the mean will be higher.


so what exactly is the strategy then?

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soccerfreak
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby soccerfreak » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:44 pm

soccerfreak wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Jesus... the 10, 15, 20, and 25%iles skyrocketed for our class.

Come on 2Ls, was totally counting on you to salvage my poor fall semester by beating up on the lazy 3Ls in class. Either way... ouch

ETA: yeah Colleen, recall that message. Say it ain't so.

I hope they don't do a recall, because ours plummeted.

Oh wow, just saw that she actually did recall it...really hope that's not a sign ours will be recalled as well.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:58 pm

soccerfreak wrote:
soccerfreak wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Jesus... the 10, 15, 20, and 25%iles skyrocketed for our class.

Come on 2Ls, was totally counting on you to salvage my poor fall semester by beating up on the lazy 3Ls in class. Either way... ouch

ETA: yeah Colleen, recall that message. Say it ain't so.

I hope they don't do a recall, because ours plummeted.

Oh wow, just saw that she actually did recall it...really hope that's not a sign ours will be recalled as well.


None of the #s changed. The only change was that she accidentally said "3Ls, class of 2014" and she corrected that.

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby notedgarfigaro » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:59 pm

goldeneye wrote:
notedgarfigaro wrote:
goldeneye wrote:How does the curve work after 1L anyways?


grades for each class have to be +/- .5 of the mean of the students in that class. So if everyone on law review is in your class...you're still properly fucked, but your grade will be slightly higher because the mean will be higher.


so what exactly is the strategy then?


uh, there's not really a strategy other than avoiding Fed Jur like the plague. Take the classes you want to take with the professors you know/hear are really good. Also try to avoid having more than 3 exams/semester if you can.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:01 pm

notedgarfigaro wrote:
goldeneye wrote:
notedgarfigaro wrote:
goldeneye wrote:How does the curve work after 1L anyways?


grades for each class have to be +/- .5 of the mean of the students in that class. So if everyone on law review is in your class...you're still properly fucked, but your grade will be slightly higher because the mean will be higher.


so what exactly is the strategy then?


uh, there's not really a strategy other than avoiding Fed Jur like the plague. Take the classes you want to take with the professors you know/hear are really good. Also try to avoid having more than 3 exams/semester if you can.


I avoided fed jur until next year to preserve my GPA because of advice like this, and now I really regret it. Check it Drobak's distribution, it's crazy. No way Law is that generous next year.

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby notedgarfigaro » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:07 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:I avoided fed jur until next year to preserve my GPA because of advice like this, and now I really regret it. Check it Drobak's distribution, it's crazy. No way Law is that generous next year.


Image

tracy77
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby tracy77 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:11 pm

How's WUSTL's perspective for biglaw or law firms in general?
In addition, how will you compare WUSTL with ND, GWU, USC, BU, BC and UMN?

Thanks!

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goldeneye
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby goldeneye » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:12 pm

what are the alternative to these exams? papers?

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dietcoke0
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby dietcoke0 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:16 pm

tracy77 wrote:How's WUSTL's perspective for biglaw or law firms in general?
In addition, how will you compare WUSTL with ND, GWU, USC, BU, BC and UMN?

Thanks!


http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=washu&show=NALP

Play with that

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:18 pm

notedgarfigaro wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:I avoided fed jur until next year to preserve my GPA because of advice like this, and now I really regret it. Check it Drobak's distribution, it's crazy. No way Law is that generous next year.


Image


I want to be angry, but this gif just won't let me.

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notedgarfigaro
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby notedgarfigaro » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:27 pm

goldeneye wrote:what are the alternative to these exams? papers?


papers (mostly seminars), take home exams (I don't count those as exams), practical classes like pre-trial (pre-trial is easily the least amount of effort per credit out there, and P/F to boot).

Also, there are a few 4 credit classes floating around that combined with weekend courses and journal pad your credits without adding noticeably to your workload. Fedtax with Block was 4 credits last semester, and it was lighter in terms of reading load than 2 of my 3 credit classes. I heard that Osgood is teaching it next year, so that would be pretty cool as well (I'd love to see how he links the American tax system to medieval England common law). Note that a decent # of the weekend courses have corporations as a pre-req.

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:53 pm

dietcoke0 wrote:
tracy77 wrote:How's WUSTL's perspective for biglaw or law firms in general?
In addition, how will you compare WUSTL with ND, GWU, USC, BU, BC and UMN?

Thanks!


http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=washu&show=NALP

Play with that


That's not a really good method of comparing those schools, because GWU cheats, and is gaming their numbers with their school-funded "jobs" that they put 15% of the class in. Not sure if any of the other schools do the same.

WUSTL's placement is basically on par with all the above, except USC might be a tick better--choosing between those schools is more of a matter of personal fit.




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