Seperating good from great students?

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6lehderjets
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Seperating good from great students?

Postby 6lehderjets » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:20 am

I see good chunk of students at my school, doing about the same things: reading the casebook, working on hypos, and outlining. But if everyone is putting in work, what is that seperates the average student from the great student? Is it sheer intelligence or do the students who usually end up at the top work on more hypos than everyone else or do they memorize their outlines or do something I not seeing...

I've read most of the guides on TLS, multiple times, but considering how anal retentive law students are I'm definitely not the only one. So what is that you see/know the great students do that the misguided hard-working median students fails to do?

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northwood
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Re: Seperating good from great students?

Postby northwood » Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:30 am

what others do is irrlevant to you. YOu need to do what works best for you to help you master the information as best as possible. The best students find the most issues and raise arguments for each side. They also pick up information that their professors stress and try if possible to put that into their responses.

Practice problems and hornbooks help you learn those skills and clarify cloudy areas. IF you do these you should go visit your professor to see if your response matches what they want to see in an answer.


Once you have started doing this, forget and ignore what your classmates are doing.

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DCDuck
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Re: Seperating good from great students?

Postby DCDuck » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:05 am

I noticed that it tends to divide between the students who can, and the students who cannot, spell "separate" correctly.

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Broseidon
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Re: Seperating good from great students?

Postby Broseidon » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:36 am

Typing speed is one of the many non-substantive factors that separate the pack. Also, the one thing you'll learn as you gear up for finals is that law school exams are not about simply knowing the information (like it was in UG). It's about applying--taking one side, analyzing its strength and weaknesses then comparing it to opposing arguments and finally saying why the side you took is stronger. The students who are able to see subtle nuances in this process get the better grades.

For example, at most law schools, by the end of the semester everybody will be able to spot a battery issue on a torts exam. It's the level of depth of your analysis that separates you and creates the curve. Why should a battery claim succeed? Why could it fail? Which outcome is more likely and why? Why isn't the opposite outcome likely? Is there a hidden, specific sub-issue that may change all of this? Was there a red herring? The median grade won't get past the first two questions.

Most students (the median and below) focus too much on making that outline. But everybody is going to have one and if the exam is open book, you might as well consider that outline to be useless (as everybody will have that information, so any points on the exam that are pulled from an outline (think I/R in IRAC) are negated by the fact that all students will get those points. The fact-specific inquiries and analyses are what get you above median. The reason why not everybody can do this well? Simple. We were never trained to take exams like that. Most students spend too much time on BLL and don't realize that the points are all in the A part of IRAC.

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northwood
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Re: Seperating good from great students?

Postby northwood » Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:44 am

Broseidon wrote:Typing speed is one of the many non-substantive factors that separate the pack. Also, the one thing you'll learn as you gear up for finals is that law school exams are not about simply knowing the information (like it was in UG). It's about applying--taking one side, analyzing its strength and weaknesses then comparing it to opposing arguments and finally saying why the side you took is stronger. The students who are able to see subtle nuances in this process get the better grades.

For example, at most law schools, by the end of the semester everybody will be able to spot a battery issue on a torts exam. It's the level of depth of your analysis that separates you and creates the curve. Why should a battery claim succeed? Why could it fail? Which outcome is more likely and why? Why isn't the opposite outcome likely? Is there a hidden, specific sub-issue that may change all of this? Was there a red herring? The median grade won't get past the first two questions.



this, plus i think how you organize your resposne also plays a part. For instance does your professor want all of the issues in one spot, and then remedies at the end? or does your professor want you to talk about each issue and conclude with remedies ( if applicable) before going on to the next issue
Granted, some professors wont care,but for the ones that do, you dont want them to be thinking " what is the remedy/ compensation? Or how could person A be eligible for this if the bigger issue is something else? OR why are you talking about being in a 60/40 state for the first half of your response,but then if its a if the person is contributory negligent at all they get nothing here ( this could create confusion in their mind perhaps).. so i would talk to your prof about that when you go meet with them.

ksllaw
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Re: Seperating good from great students?

Postby ksllaw » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:31 am

I asked about this too (a few months ago) in my very first thread post in this forum section:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=191262
What Traits Separate the Top Law Students from the Rest?

The thread didn't go so well for a variety of reasons and some people's obscene comments were eventually deleted. But a few posters offered some useful perspective at the time. It may be worth taking a look at, but I think there's some overlap here as well (with comments about typing speed).

I wonder about typing speed. Is it really typing speed were thinking about? Or is it thinking speed? Or both?

I can imagine a situation where one who may be typing slower is doing so because he or she is thinking slower. Perhaps their actual typing speed is fast (at least as fast as others in the class) when typing something they already have in mind. In that case, it would be just a matter of executing the function. But if one doesn't know what they want to write or how they wish to articulate it, then that can slow the typing down (i.e., thinking of word choice, coming up with the form of the argument, etc.).

Just thought I'd throw that out there as a point of discussion. Exam taking skills were also discussed tangentially in another thread I started on law school grading here (that you may want to take a look at):

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=193818
Is Law School Grading Arbitrary?

This general cluster of topics is something I'm trying to learn more about myself (verifying and double-checking ...triple-checking, heh heh :D - just wanting to be accurate and sure of these things from reputable sources - facts about law school exams, grading, etc.). I think it's interesting that Broseidon says, "We were never trained to take exams like that." Law exams do sound kind of unique in a lot of ways.




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