Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby bk1 » Tue May 22, 2012 11:37 pm

Cade McNown wrote:As Richie, Bronte, & others (myself included) have reiterated, there's no one right approach to 1L year. But beware the half-baked advice of those who would have you believe 1L is just a day at the beach. Master the basics, find your approach, stick to it, profit.


This is generally credited. That being said, people ITT (including yourself) write your advice as if it is the be-all end-all to doing well in law school.

I don't think there's any special way to success in law school, but I also don't think that law school itself is all that difficult. But since we're on a forced curve, some people have to be fucked.

User avatar
Cade McNown
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:54 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Cade McNown » Tue May 22, 2012 11:52 pm

bk1 wrote:
Cade McNown wrote:As Richie, Bronte, & others (myself included) have reiterated, there's no one right approach to 1L year. But beware the half-baked advice of those who would have you believe 1L is just a day at the beach. Master the basics, find your approach, stick to it, profit.


This is generally credited. That being said, people ITT (including yourself) write your advice as if it is the be-all end-all to doing well in law school.

I don't think there's any special way to success in law school, but I also don't think that law school itself is all that difficult. But since we're on a forced curve, some people have to be fucked.


Cade McNown wrote:IMO this is garbage advice......


Agree BK, but I think those commenting ITT have taken care to preface their posts as opinions. However, since OP's post falls generally within the 'How to Succeed at 1L' category, I think this is an appropriate place to temper the usual "different strokes for different folks" advice, absent evidence the posters ITT were actually successful. While it's an important point that there's no one correct approach, it would be a disservice to 0Ls to suggest that any old approach will suffice. So I'll just reiterate my main point:

Cade McNown wrote:The number one thing to remember is that you learn law by doing. To the extent that a post is inconsistent with that basic principle, I respectfully dissent.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby bk1 » Wed May 23, 2012 12:02 am

Cade McNown wrote:Agree BK, but I think those commenting ITT have taken care to preface their posts as opinions. However, since OP's post falls generally within the 'How to Succeed at 1L' category, I think this is an appropriate place to temper the usual "different strokes for different folks" advice, absent evidence the posters ITT were actually successful. While it's an important point that there's no one correct approach, it would be a disservice to 0Ls to suggest that any old approach will suffice. So I'll just reiterate my main point:


We agree for the most part. My point is more that while there are things in your post (and others) that convey that it is your opinion, they aren't all that forceful (I can have the opinion that my way is the correct way all the time for other people and it still be an opinion even though it isn't personalized). I agree that not any old approach will do but it is quite possible to get above median by using an old outline and doing a half week of cramming so the range of possible approaches is quite broad.

I do agree that learning by doing was quite effective for me and others (and might be the most effective method generally). As a side note I disagree that one needs to do any learning by doing outside of practice tests. Maybe others find that helpful or maybe that works for other profs, but I found that practice tests and an old outline as a basis for your outline (the latter mainly to save time) could be the minimum for doing decently.

User avatar
Paraflam
Posts: 472
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:09 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Paraflam » Wed May 23, 2012 12:17 am

Tag

User avatar
Campagnolo
Posts: 906
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:49 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Campagnolo » Wed May 23, 2012 12:42 am

Thank you. Tag.

Impending1L
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Impending1L » Wed May 23, 2012 1:13 am

tag

User avatar
ilovesf
Posts: 11804
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby ilovesf » Wed May 23, 2012 5:54 am

There's no magical way to do well. Some things work well for some people, some things work well for other people. Your strategy probably depends upon how much time you're willing to invest. The best advice I'd give, and the most important thing that probably applies to everyone, is to make sure that you're in a good place to get recommendations from professors. You will eventually need one, whether it be to transfer, list them as a reference, etc.

User avatar
justonemoregame
Posts: 1160
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:51 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby justonemoregame » Wed May 23, 2012 8:07 am

tag

User avatar
20130312
Posts: 3842
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:53 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby 20130312 » Wed May 23, 2012 10:47 am

Why post tag when you can just bookmark topics?

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby bk1 » Wed May 23, 2012 10:52 am

InGoodFaith wrote:Why post tag when you can just bookmark topics?


I see what you did there (informing people of the bookmark feature). I'm not really gonna judge people for not knowing the bookmark feature since I just found out this week about the bump feature (hint: it's next to the bookmark button in threads that you make) from a user with only 10 posts.

heeloftar
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:45 am

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby heeloftar » Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am

Something I learned (the hard way) - Don't feel obligated to stay in a study group after it outlives its usefulness. People will still be your friends. If not, they're petty and not worthy of friendship anyways.

jim-green
Posts: 808
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:55 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby jim-green » Wed May 23, 2012 11:03 am

Tag, thanks!

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Bronte » Wed May 23, 2012 11:37 am

bk1 wrote:We agree for the most part. My point is more that while there are things in your post (and others) that convey that it is your opinion, they aren't all that forceful (I can have the opinion that my way is the correct way all the time for other people and it still be an opinion even though it isn't personalized). I agree that not any old approach will do but it is quite possible to get above median by using an old outline and doing a half week of cramming so the range of possible approaches is quite broad.

I do agree that learning by doing was quite effective for me and others (and might be the most effective method generally). As a side note I disagree that one needs to do any learning by doing outside of practice tests. Maybe others find that helpful or maybe that works for other profs, but I found that practice tests and an old outline as a basis for your outline (the latter mainly to save time) could be the minimum for doing decently.


Maybe my post above qualifies as what you're describing, i.e., one that states that it's just one approach but then presents itself as the only solution. There is one part of my post that I do consider to be "truth" rather than "personalized" and that's that you should avoid trying to "hack" law school or use some fringe approach that involves not reading the cases at all and not going to class. Short of that, however, there is a broad range of effective approaches: from strictly using old outlines and supplements to a more traditional approach like I used.

In the end, as many including myself have said on this forum before, a substantial portion of your 1L GPA is outside your control. Innate intelligence (of a very particular type) and innate mental stamina (of a very particular type) are a immutable traits that I believe explain a large portion of the variation in law school grades. Then there's randomness introduced by the idiosyncrasies of what material appears on the test, how you perform on test day, and the inherent imprecision of grading issue spotters.

Like you said, in the end, the curve isn't going anywhere. But I'm sure the 0Ls reading this thread are hoping their peers don't read TLS.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18426
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby bk1 » Wed May 23, 2012 11:56 am

Bronte wrote:Maybe my post above qualifies as what you're describing, i.e., one that states that it's just one approach but then presents itself as the only solution. There is one part of my post that I do consider to be "truth" rather than "personalized" and that's that you should avoid trying to "hack" law school or use some fringe approach that involves not reading the cases at all and not going to class. Short of that, however, there is a broad range of effective approaches: from strictly using old outlines and supplements to a more traditional approach like I used.

In the end, as many including myself have said on this forum before, a substantial portion of your 1L GPA is outside your control. Innate intelligence (of a very particular type) and innate mental stamina (of a very particular type) are a immutable traits that I believe explain a large portion of the variation in law school grades. Then there's randomness introduced by the idiosyncrasies of what material appears on the test, how you perform on test day, and the inherent imprecision of grading issue spotters.

Like you said, in the end, the curve isn't going anywhere. But I'm sure the 0Ls reading this thread are hoping their peers don't read TLS.


I definitely agree with all of this. Especially that there really isn't any shortcut (or hack as you call it) to doing well in law school. Though I think people could get away without actually reading the actual case opinions and do well. Maybe people could not go to class and do well though my suspicion is that people who don't ever go to class won't do well for the same reason they don't ever go to class (laziness).

User avatar
lisjjen
Posts: 1242
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:19 am

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby lisjjen » Wed May 23, 2012 12:18 pm

northerncali9 wrote:1. Reading/briefing cases is a waste of time for exam preparation purposes (the only utility it really serves is having a pretty highlighted/tabbed book to show off to other 1L's).
2. Don't listen to a word anyone other than the professor says during lecture.
3. Make friends with smart upperclassmen and get outlines/scripts from them for all of your classes.
4. Take all the practice exams available on reserve for your classes (multiple times).
5. Make every effort to clarify concepts with professors during office hours instead of consulting E&E's (still look at E&E's, but only for review purposes). In my experience, even professors that were often unclear or went off on tangents during lecture were surprisingly very helpful during office hours.


QFT. A couple of things I would add.

Take notes with the exam in mind. Write down the name of EVERY case and make sure you get the rule - you'll learn to listen for it. Then when you go back over your notes during outlining, look up every case and make sure you understood it the way you think you did. If you misunderstood it, fix it in your outline.

Also, making my own flash cards has done wonders for me.

ETA: bar review is fun, but you'll come to realize how exhausted binge drinking will make you. Not just the next day. The kind of hangover you get from bar review lasts for two days, sometimes three. You'll be amazed how much more time you have to study if you don't go.

User avatar
specialsnowflake
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:48 am

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby specialsnowflake » Wed May 23, 2012 12:25 pm

tag

User avatar
R86
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby R86 » Wed May 23, 2012 1:21 pm

:D

User avatar
Scaliable
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Scaliable » Wed May 23, 2012 1:47 pm

I think every poster commenting after OP should be required to state their 1L GPA and/or class rank. Although OP titled this thread "Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L," ITT TLSers preach from their respective soapboxes various 1L philosophies without ever authenticating their viewpoints with any stamp of success. As a result, ITT we have an attempted TLS content submission turned clusterfuck, which tens of 0Ls have thought prudent to 'tag' because they can't tell the difference between good advice and utter bullshit.

I pine for the good ol' days when the only people posting content to TLS were Ken and Superstars like G.T.L.Review. Put up or shut up I say.

So I'll shut up now.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed May 23, 2012 1:48 pm

tag, thanks delusional

User avatar
R86
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:03 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby R86 » Wed May 23, 2012 2:20 pm

Scaliable wrote:As a result, ITT we have an attempted TLS content submission turned clusterfuck, which tens of 0Ls have thought prudent to 'tag' because they can't tell the difference between good advice and utter bullshit


Right. Thus the need to 'tag' the thread for future reference, to be looked at again when we've got a better understanding and are better able to pick apart what's been offered and maybe glean some useful advice.

Personally, as a new-to-the-game 0L, I enjoy having myriad perspectives to read through/learn from. I'm new here, but I much prefer the diversity of TLS that I see today to the 2-guys-preaching-gospel scenario you’re pining for.

lobolawyer
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby lobolawyer » Wed May 23, 2012 2:29 pm

Scaliable wrote:I think every poster commenting after OP should be required to state their 1L GPA and/or class rank. Although OP titled this thread "Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L," ITT TLSers preach from their respective soapboxes various 1L philosophies without ever authenticating their viewpoints with any stamp of success. As a result, ITT we have an attempted TLS content submission turned clusterfuck, which tens of 0Ls have thought prudent to 'tag' because they can't tell the difference between good advice and utter bullshit.

I pine for the good ol' days when the only people posting content to TLS were Ken and Superstars like G.T.L.Review. Put up or shut up I say.

So I'll shut up now.


Top 10% post 1L, using an approach similar to what was proffered by Cade.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Bronte » Wed May 23, 2012 2:44 pm

Scaliable wrote:I think every poster commenting after OP should be required to state their 1L GPA and/or class rank. Although OP titled this thread "Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L," ITT TLSers preach from their respective soapboxes various 1L philosophies without ever authenticating their viewpoints with any stamp of success. As a result, ITT we have an attempted TLS content submission turned clusterfuck, which tens of 0Ls have thought prudent to 'tag' because they can't tell the difference between good advice and utter bullshit.

I pine for the good ol' days when the only people posting content to TLS were Ken and Superstars like G.T.L.Review. Put up or shut up I say.

So I'll shut up now.


I don't remember these good ol' days when only Ken and G.T.L. Rev. (random reference anyone?) posted content. It's also kinda hard to discern what you're upset about. Tagging? People posting their opinions about how to succeed in 1L year? The OP posting "content" instead of ... I don't know what?

I guess I can understand that you want people to give credentials with their advice (otherwise, your thoughts seem to be all over the place). Obviously the reason people don't do that is that it comes off as bragging. I think you kinda just have to read the advice and consider whether it rings true.

User avatar
PutSumGravyOnIt
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:44 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby PutSumGravyOnIt » Wed May 23, 2012 3:04 pm

tag

User avatar
Scaliable
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby Scaliable » Wed May 23, 2012 3:07 pm

Bronte wrote:
Scaliable wrote:I think every poster commenting after OP should be required to state their 1L GPA and/or class rank. Although OP titled this thread "Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L," ITT TLSers preach from their respective soapboxes various 1L philosophies without ever authenticating their viewpoints with any stamp of success. As a result, ITT we have an attempted TLS content submission turned clusterfuck, which tens of 0Ls have thought prudent to 'tag' because they can't tell the difference between good advice and utter bullshit.

I pine for the good ol' days when the only people posting content to TLS were Ken and Superstars like G.T.L.Review. Put up or shut up I say.

So I'll shut up now.


I don't remember these good ol' days when only Ken and G.T.L. Rev. (random reference anyone?) posted content. It's also kinda hard to discern what you're upset about. Tagging? People posting their opinions about how to succeed in 1L year? The OP posting "content" instead of ... I don't know what?

I guess I can understand that you want people to give credentials with their advice (otherwise, your thoughts seem to be all over the place). Obviously the reason people don't do that is that it comes off as bragging. I think you kinda just have to read the advice and consider whether it rings true.


By "content" I meant articles, stickies, or long advice posts that act like stickies, as opposed to ordinary threads. I picked G.T.L. Rev. because he's the de facto clerkship expert around here, but maybe Arrow would have been a better example. Anyway, I meant only to point out that it's hard to take a thread like this seriously without knowing the speakers, and I'm highly skeptical of 0Ls' ability to distinguish advice that "rings true" from advice that blowhorns false.

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L

Postby delusional » Wed May 23, 2012 3:21 pm

Scaliable wrote:I think every poster commenting after OP should be required to state their 1L GPA and/or class rank. Although OP titled this thread "Things I wish I'd understood as a rising 1L," ITT TLSers preach from their respective soapboxes various 1L philosophies without ever authenticating their viewpoints with any stamp of success. As a result, ITT we have an attempted TLS content submission turned clusterfuck, which tens of 0Ls have thought prudent to 'tag' because they can't tell the difference between good advice and utter bullshit.

I pine for the good ol' days when the only people posting content to TLS were Ken and Superstars like G.T.L.Review. Put up or shut up I say.

So I'll shut up now.

First of all, the purpose of this thread was to do something that I hadn't seen done before. Rather than discussing what habits worked for me, I tried to focus on universal, axiomatic mechanics of studying law that I was not aware of before 1L. Even if we accept that only super successful students should be posting, there wasn't much advice like this available, and it's better than nothing.
Second of all, your logic is flawed and also does not apply to this topic. People who killed 1L might have some idea what they were doing right... or they might not. They've never done poorly, so they don't necessarily know what sets their work apart, and if they do they are still less likely to understand the alternatives. Someone who did not do well but consciously altered his/her methods in the middle of 1L is likely to have more useful advice in that regard.
I also welcome you to substantively critique the opening post - in fact, I welcomed it in the opening post.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest