Who is at the bottom of the class?

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:12 pm

northwood wrote:remember its still very early in the semester. most law school students in their first semester feel like they dont know whats going on, let alone have an idea as to how a proper exam answer will look like

relax.



If everything depends on OCI, and that is heavily decided by first year grades, then I can't relax. :cry:

Where is that thread with top students giving out advice?

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northwood
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby northwood » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:33 pm

iMisto wrote:
If everything depends on OCI, and that is heavily decided by first year grades, then I can't relax. :cry:

Where is that thread with top students giving out advice?


it only matters if you want big law.

i mean, yes grades are important- and you need to do as well as you can, but you can get a job without doing oci. ( maybe not big law)

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spleenworship
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:27 am

emkay625 wrote:
spleenworship wrote:IMO if you have been reading any success guides and/or TLS it is impossible to score in the bottom 10% without mitigating factors (appendicitis during exam, dog died just before exam, etc.). Other than that? No really much to say. Those people will be very similar to the middle 80% of the class.


Can you be more specific? What pieces of advice/TLS dogma did you find to be true - about either exams or about studying for law school in general.


Getting to Maybe and Lazy's Guide.

Try to relax. Around the middle of the semester you'll know enough law to take practice tests and get a feel for them. Until then, try not to worry.

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:29 am

Thank you.

Another question. How do you find time to take practice exams?

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northwood
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby northwood » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:32 am

i did them early saturday mornings and early during the day. Towards the end of the semester, you cut out partying and replace it with studying. time management is crucial.

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:46 am

northwood wrote:i did them early saturday mornings and early during the day. Towards the end of the semester, you cut out partying and replace it with studying. time management is crucial.


I see. And at that point you know what an exam looks like, I take it? Do professors give you examples, or do you rely on 2Ls/3Ls for exam guides, outlines, etc. ?

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northwood
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby northwood » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:07 pm

some professors have old exams on file in the law library, others dont. I had one professor who gave us only 1 old practice exam at the second last dayof class to do ( and he had a closed book exam)

2Ls and 3Ls may have outlines, and there could be some sort of organization that you pay money for that has an outline bank for you to use as you wish. your casebook gives you a nice structure for an outline if you make it yourself ( which is a good idea) and augment with supplements

when in doubt, ask your prof

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:05 pm

northwood wrote:some professors have old exams on file in the law library, others dont. I had one professor who gave us only 1 old practice exam at the second last dayof class to do ( and he had a closed book exam)

2Ls and 3Ls may have outlines, and there could be some sort of organization that you pay money for that has an outline bank for you to use as you wish. your casebook gives you a nice structure for an outline if you make it yourself ( which is a good idea) and augment with supplements

when in doubt, ask your prof


dis bitch don't even knows what a casebook is.

In all seriousness though.. are these assigned by the professor? Do you purchase supplements after learning which books you've been assigned? Do professors suggest supplements?

How the hell do you get the hang of this stuff in 1 tiny semester? :shock:

Gorki
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby Gorki » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:37 pm

iMisto wrote:
dis bitch don't even knows what a casebook is.

In all seriousness though.. are these assigned by the professor? Do you purchase supplements after learning which books you've been assigned? Do professors suggest supplements?

How the hell do you get the hang of this stuff in 1 tiny semester? :shock:


Casebooks are the equiv of your required text in UG. It will be the basis of almost all of your reading in 1L outside of Civ Pro (you will learn the Fed. Rules of Civ. Pro). A lot of profs have favorite supplements, but some utterly despise them. Even if they despise them, you can still ask TLS when you get your text if other TLSers have had success matching a Casebook to a particular supplement.

How do you get a hang of it in 1 semester?

Well the reality is that is what separates the top 10%, 25%, 50%, and bottom of the class. 1L is basically a huge flame imo. The students that recognize this early on and game the law school culture system, win. Profs will lecture policies and history whilst fielding gunner Qs. Then you have an exam that includes next to none of that.

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:41 pm

Gorki wrote:
iMisto wrote:
dis bitch don't even knows what a casebook is.

In all seriousness though.. are these assigned by the professor? Do you purchase supplements after learning which books you've been assigned? Do professors suggest supplements?

How the hell do you get the hang of this stuff in 1 tiny semester? :shock:


Casebooks are the equiv of your required text in UG. It will be the basis of almost all of your reading in 1L outside of Civ Pro (you will learn the Fed. Rules of Civ. Pro). A lot of profs have favorite supplements, but some utterly despise them. Even if they despise them, you can still ask TLS when you get your text if other TLSers have had success matching a Casebook to a particular supplement.

How do you get a hang of it in 1 semester?

Well the reality is that is what separates the top 10%, 25%, 50%, and bottom of the class. 1L is basically a huge flame imo. The students that recognize this early on and game the law school culture system, win. Profs will lecture policies and history whilst fielding gunner Qs. Then you have an exam that includes next to none of that.


Ok. So I must learn how to game the law school system... which is what I feel like I'm trying to do now.

Do Prof. like/dislike gunners? I wouldn't want to annoy a professor before I take the only exam that matters.

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The Platypus
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby The Platypus » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:08 pm

iMisto wrote:
Do Prof. like/dislike gunners? I wouldn't want to annoy a professor before I take the only exam that matters.


Grading is anonymous. Doesn't matter.

sidhesadie
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby sidhesadie » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:25 pm

The Platypus wrote:
iMisto wrote:
Do Prof. like/dislike gunners? I wouldn't want to annoy a professor before I take the only exam that matters.


Grading is anonymous. Doesn't matter.


Yes, don't waste time trying to make your prof like you (I mean, don't be a jerk, either, on general principles) because grading is anonymous, so the prof won't be able to do what they do in undergrad "Oh, Sadie didn't quite get this question, but I know she understands it because she said it correctly in class, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here".

No. There is no benefit of the doubt based on your class activities. Going to class is so you can figure out what your professor thinks is important and make sure you say it on the exam somewhere.

Supplements may or may not be useful. I only used the Con Law one first semester 1L (Our prof was using a new book, but was clearly still teaching from chemerinsky, so that supplement was helpful for following the prof, because the prof wasn't really following the book.)
I didn't use any others. Did very well. Used a bunch of supplements second semester. Felt like I did amazing. Did not do as well. Still fine, but not as good as first semester. In hindsight it's because I felt like I understood the law better, so I paid less attention to the prof.

You don't just need to know the law, you need to know your prof's idea of the law. That's another reason why trying to take practice exams too early is really not going to be helpful.
If you don't understand what your prof thinks about an area of the law, go to office hours and ask him/her to explain the concept. (don't ask what they think about it, they will tell you they don't have an opinion, but they're lying.)

Sigh. that's all I've got. Good luck!

hawkeye22
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby hawkeye22 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:35 pm

Gorki wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
I've noticed when reading over high scoring exams that they will give my specific answer, but then they will say things like "But if the facts were this or this, or you interpreted the question this way then..." and they will go on a 5 page spiel about what things would be like under alternate circumstances ON TOP of what I said. They're getting all the points I'm getting from my brief answer and then loading the exam up with extra and getting points for that too.


Word to the wise, but this is definitely not a golden standard. At my school profs fucking hated it when students started adding facts. I can see their point, its easy to add shit to make the problem easier for yourself. But the prof worded the exam in a certain way to see how well you understood specific issues. Reinterpreting the question can be credited though, unless you write a 6 page argument as to why an accidental collision is an assault or something stupid.


To get a high grade you need to be insightful and articulate different interpretations of the facts that you have. I think it is rarely, if ever, helpful to add facts, but very helpful to discuss the ambiguity that is presented.

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:57 pm

hawkeye22 wrote:
Gorki wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:
I've noticed when reading over high scoring exams that they will give my specific answer, but then they will say things like "But if the facts were this or this, or you interpreted the question this way then..." and they will go on a 5 page spiel about what things would be like under alternate circumstances ON TOP of what I said. They're getting all the points I'm getting from my brief answer and then loading the exam up with extra and getting points for that too.


Word to the wise, but this is definitely not a golden standard. At my school profs fucking hated it when students started adding facts. I can see their point, its easy to add shit to make the problem easier for yourself. But the prof worded the exam in a certain way to see how well you understood specific issues. Reinterpreting the question can be credited though, unless you write a 6 page argument as to why an accidental collision is an assault or something stupid.


To get a high grade you need to be insightful and articulate different interpretations of the facts that you have. I think it is rarely, if ever, helpful to add facts, but very helpful to discuss the ambiguity that is presented.


Mmm.... which gives you more to write about, correct?

I'm also very interested in the strategy rayiner mentioned.. answering the question in a way that allows you to continue moving/typing. Do you guys try various methods before exam day?

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Mick Haller
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby Mick Haller » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:46 pm

sidhesadie wrote:Yes, don't waste time trying to make your prof like you (I mean, don't be a jerk, either, on general principles) because grading is anonymous, so the prof won't be able to do what they do in undergrad "Oh, Sadie didn't quite get this question, but I know she understands it because she said it correctly in class, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here".


Well, buttering up the profs will not help with grades, but many people on TLS have had success getting summer jobs through professor connections.

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Icculus
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby Icculus » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:55 pm

iMisto wrote:Alright, then I'll definitely pick that up.

Rayiner is secretly a TLS god, huh?


Edit: and apparently a very bored 4L.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby Mick Haller » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:32 pm

Icculus wrote:
iMisto wrote:Alright, then I'll definitely pick that up.

Rayiner is secretly a TLS god, huh?


Edit: and apparently a very bored 4L.


There aren't many people like him on TLS who are willing to help scared 0L and 1L students like OP. I wouldn't antagonize him.

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:32 pm

Icculus wrote:
iMisto wrote:Alright, then I'll definitely pick that up.

Rayiner is secretly a TLS god, huh?


Edit: and apparently a very bored 4L.


Ouch...

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Icculus
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby Icculus » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:10 pm

iMisto wrote:
Icculus wrote:
iMisto wrote:Alright, then I'll definitely pick that up.

Rayiner is secretly a TLS god, huh?


Edit: and apparently a very bored 4L.


Ouch...


I think he would admit this as he attended the NU dean town hall. And I say this with love and respect as he helped me through my bidding process and has been immensely valuable overall in my law school experience.

Edit: Did you miss the part where I called him a god?

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hume85
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby hume85 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:22 pm

rayiner wrote:
lesananas wrote:I was in the bottom of my class because I didn't work quickly enough - I was overly cautious on exams and wanted to write perfect essays. Consequently I often didn't finish the exam (more so than other people who didn't finish the exam). In classes where the prof gave the exam breakdown,I would score in the A- range on the essays I did finish. So no, I'm not 'dumber.' I also finished 2nd year with honors. Yes, the 2L curve is easier, but honors amounts to about top 1/3, which means I did relatively better. I did not get any smarter. I just stopped correcting typos on exams.


On the flip side, I misspelled "possession" 17 times on my crim exam and did well. Am I smarter for guessing the professor would care more about the word count than spelling or grammar? Of course not.

I know people who did poorly because they answered the question they were asked in the classic persuasive writing format you learned in high school and college. There are people who took LRW too seriously and tried to use a rigorous LRW format on exams instead of the fast-and-loose style that gets you the most points. None of these people are dumb, they just didn't realize how the game was played until too late.

I'd say most of the bottom 20% of the class is composed of people like this. That said, on any given exam its easily possible to be bottom 1/3 even if you end up top 1/3 overall. The curve is much tighter than you think.


What percentage of the class do you think makes exam mistakes like the ones you listed?

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Icculus
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby Icculus » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:28 pm

hume85 wrote:
rayiner wrote:
lesananas wrote:I was in the bottom of my class because I didn't work quickly enough - I was overly cautious on exams and wanted to write perfect essays. Consequently I often didn't finish the exam (more so than other people who didn't finish the exam). In classes where the prof gave the exam breakdown,I would score in the A- range on the essays I did finish. So no, I'm not 'dumber.' I also finished 2nd year with honors. Yes, the 2L curve is easier, but honors amounts to about top 1/3, which means I did relatively better. I did not get any smarter. I just stopped correcting typos on exams.


On the flip side, I misspelled "possession" 17 times on my crim exam and did well. Am I smarter for guessing the professor would care more about the word count than spelling or grammar? Of course not.

I know people who did poorly because they answered the question they were asked in the classic persuasive writing format you learned in high school and college. There are people who took LRW too seriously and tried to use a rigorous LRW format on exams instead of the fast-and-loose style that gets you the most points. None of these people are dumb, they just didn't realize how the game was played until too late.

I'd say most of the bottom 20% of the class is composed of people like this. That said, on any given exam its easily possible to be bottom 1/3 even if you end up top 1/3 overall. The curve is much tighter than you think.


What percentage of the class do you think makes exam mistakes like the ones you listed?


Reviewing my exams and talking to class mates, most people I know basically forgot all rules of grammar and spelling when writing and focussed just on speed.

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iMisto
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby iMisto » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:32 pm

I'm curious as to what this "fast-and-loose style" consists of....

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby crumpetsandtea » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:38 pm

sidhesadie wrote:Yes, don't waste time trying to make your prof like you (I mean, don't be a jerk, either, on general principles) because grading is anonymous, so the prof won't be able to do what they do in undergrad "Oh, Sadie didn't quite get this question, but I know she understands it because she said it correctly in class, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here".

No. There is no benefit of the doubt based on your class activities. Going to class is so you can figure out what your professor thinks is important and make sure you say it on the exam somewhere.

TBF, one of my professors explicitly states in his class policies that he can choose to bump/deduct peoples grades afterwards based on their demonstration of knowledge RE: the material in class. It's a legal writing class, not a doctrinal one.
Icculus wrote:I think he would admit this as he attended the NU dean town hall.

Was that only for the free food though? I was showing a prospective student around and I was tempted to force him to go with me just so we could get free food.

Instead we went to Yolk and I paid for both of us. Sigh.

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spleenworship
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby spleenworship » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:54 pm

Mick Haller wrote:
sidhesadie wrote:Yes, don't waste time trying to make your prof like you (I mean, don't be a jerk, either, on general principles) because grading is anonymous, so the prof won't be able to do what they do in undergrad "Oh, Sadie didn't quite get this question, but I know she understands it because she said it correctly in class, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt here".


Well, buttering up the profs will not help with grades, but many people on TLS have had success getting summer jobs through professor connections.



This is true. I like to talk with them and ask questions outside of class. That way I'm not a gunner, but I'm hopefully seen as smart and eager so that I can get good letters of recommendation or similar come job-hunting time (or if you want to transfer and are top-10%... I wasn't, but 1/10 of the people reading this will be, so keep that in mind).

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northwood
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Re: Who is at the bottom of the class?

Postby northwood » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:30 pm

its week 3?? maybe?? The best way to figure out what your professor wants, and how they want you to present it to them is to talk to them about the clas and visit their office hours. While they wont come out and tell you how to take an exam, if you come to them with questions from thereading and class notes and ask insightful questions about how it would apply in real life- they may give you the answer and imbedded in that answer a hint about the exam. Whne you do take a practice exam ( and do this in november) ask to have hte professor go over it with you to see if your analysis is on track,. That would be a big hint.

If you are really confused/ worried about exam prep now, most schools have an academic advisor who specializes in taking that school's exams, and will offer valuable insight as to what each professor is looking for on their tests, and may have access to old exams/ hypotheticals for you to utilize. Since you are not talking to the professor directly, but rather through an intermediary who has presumably known and worked with the professor for many years, you may walk into a treasure trove of valuable information.

TLDR ( too long, didnt read) the more work you do to help yourself, the more willing a professor may be to help you.




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