Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

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AlanShore
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Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby AlanShore » Sat Jan 26, 2013 10:14 am

So I hate my job. My company is pretty dysfunctional and my job is not demanding at all nd requires little to no effort. Ive been working here for per two years and I am pretty concerned that my thinking, discipline, focus, attention span, etc muscles have atrophied since college.

I recently talked to an ex coworker who left to work for a consulting firm. She acknowledged that the first two or three months of work for her were really tough for her because she wasn't used to focusing and being challenged all day. She's doing great now of course but I won't have a month or two to get used to law school!

Im very concerned that my brain won't be in tip top shape come day one of law school. What can I do between now and August to get myself more ready? I have a lot of free time at my job. Should I read something like the economist for three hour blocks or something? I play strategy board games for fun.. I'm not really talking about OL prep... Jut ways to get my brain ready for the mental skills I'll need to start school again, specifically school that requires hours of reading.

Any tips?

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magp90
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby magp90 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:55 pm

I feel a little bit the same way. I work in a law firm as a paralegal, so my days can range from pretty boring to busy. I went to a very intensive college, and I know law school will be the same (and probably worse). While I'm incredibly happy that I got to work with lawyers during my gap year, I'm nervous that I've got the momentum that I had while I was in college and that I'll be rusty by the time I go back to school.

What I'm pretty much doing is reading pre-law school prep books. Not books about the material, but just about life in law school and I pay more attention to law-related blogs and whatnot. I'm just trying to get excited, because I'm one of those people who will work hard if I'm invested in what I'm doing.

I think if you're worried about keeping up with reading, you could aim to read a book in X amount of time and push yourself. But ultimately, I think it's an issue of attitude over ability. If you're aware of the fact that you'll need to regain that kind of momentum and you set goals for yourself, you'll find a way (hopefully) to work to reach them in a competitive environment.

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iMisto
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby iMisto » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:52 am

I have some of the same concerns.

I know I'll be reading Getting to Maybe at least once before school starts. I also purchased a couple books I'm personally interested in to jump start my long reading habits.

Mag, what books are you reading??

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AlanShore
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby AlanShore » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:30 am

I'm glad, well not glad, but relieved I'm not the only one with this concern! I'm less concerned with my ability to synthesize and analyze as my ability to sit for 3 hours to read. I don't have a strong attention span as it is and being out of school for a few years and out of practice, I need to start working on it!

I think I'll read GTM and maybe another 0L source a couple times but other than that, I will also read some books and practice reading continuously.

Any good books to recommend? I'm in the middle of Drive, which is a book about motivation (it's actually pretty good and was recommended to me by someone in my company's HR division but it's not bad), and the Psychopath Test which I am loving but I forgot it at my mother's house over xmas break UGH, and the Honest Truth About Dishonesty which is fascinating.

I'm looking to get into some fiction though.. I like Murakami a lot.

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bk1
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:40 am

You take finals (for your entire grade) at the end of the semester, not the beginning.

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AlanShore
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby AlanShore » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:14 am

bk1 wrote:You take finals (for your entire grade) at the end of the semester, not the beginning.

I know that but i imagine you could be in a tougher spot if you're struggling for the first couple of months?

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magp90
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby magp90 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:34 am

iMisto wrote:Mag, what books are you reading??


Right now I'm reading 1 L of a Ride by Andrew J. McClurg. I was doing some research on TLS and on Amazon, and it seemed to be the most consistently recommended book to read prior to 1L. What I like most about it so far is that it doesn't encourage you up to take all the short-cuts that are generally tempting to students who may be freaking out about the workload. I think it's setting me up mentally to work hard if I want to do well, which is the best kind of motivation for me (personally).

I'm looking around for other law school-related books, but I'm actually making more of an effort to read the newspaper and keep up on national and global events. I think venturing into politics, etc is a good way of keeping the mind engaged over a long period of time as a story unfolds.

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h_jane_w
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby h_jane_w » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:00 pm

This is a great thread.
I'm in the same position as OP.
Reading Getting to Maybe, will try 1 L of a Ride, thanks for the rec.
Murakami is great.
Read "Mr Penumbra's 24 hour bookstore" you guys will love it
Also currently reading The Art Forger.
New York Times, New York, the New Yorker.
and of course, Ludocab Confessions :)

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rinkrat19
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:13 pm

I can attest that it is a problem. I worked in a fairly mind-numbing job for 9 years, and before that, I never really studied in UG (engineering major: just give me the formulas and my giant calculator and I'll do ok) I didn't figure it out until after first semester finals. I didn't fail or anything, but my grades weren't quite where I wanted them to be. Bad mental habits are a problem, and now I have to be twice as good this term.

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bk1
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:38 pm

AlanShore wrote:
bk1 wrote:You take finals (for your entire grade) at the end of the semester, not the beginning.

I know that but i imagine you could be in a tougher spot if you're struggling for the first couple of months?

You can realistically learn most 1L classes in under a week, if not a few days.

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magp90
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby magp90 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:41 pm

bk1 wrote:
AlanShore wrote:
bk1 wrote:You take finals (for your entire grade) at the end of the semester, not the beginning.

I know that but i imagine you could be in a tougher spot if you're struggling for the first couple of months?

You can realistically learn most 1L classes in under a week, if not a few days.


Maybe, maybe not, but it's not something to bet your life on, I'd imagine.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:03 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:I can attest that it is a problem. I worked in a fairly mind-numbing job for 9 years, and before that, I never really studied in UG (engineering major: just give me the formulas and my giant calculator and I'll do ok) I didn't figure it out until after first semester finals. I didn't fail or anything, but my grades weren't quite where I wanted them to be. Bad mental habits are a problem, and now I have to be twice as good this term.


What about studying for the LSAT and even teaching it before law school? Wouldn't that help prepare your mentality for 1L?

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suralin
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby suralin » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:16 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:I can attest that it is a problem. I worked in a fairly mind-numbing job for 9 years, and before that, I never really studied in UG (engineering major: just give me the formulas and my giant calculator and I'll do ok) I didn't figure it out until after first semester finals. I didn't fail or anything, but my grades weren't quite where I wanted them to be. Bad mental habits are a problem, and now I have to be twice as good this term.


What about studying for the LSAT and even teaching it before law school? Wouldn't that help prepare your mentality for 1L?


I was thinking this too, but as an 0L, I didn't want to be way off base.

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bk1
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby bk1 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:54 pm

magp90 wrote:Maybe, maybe not, but it's not something to bet your life on, I'd imagine.

Of course not, but working at a dull job isn't going to make learning 1L doctrinal classes that much harder. The material covered in core law school classes is not very complex.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:00 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:I can attest that it is a problem. I worked in a fairly mind-numbing job for 9 years, and before that, I never really studied in UG (engineering major: just give me the formulas and my giant calculator and I'll do ok) I didn't figure it out until after first semester finals. I didn't fail or anything, but my grades weren't quite where I wanted them to be. Bad mental habits are a problem, and now I have to be twice as good this term.


What about studying for the LSAT and even teaching it before law school? Wouldn't that help prepare your mentality for 1L?

Sure, if you do it right, it could definitely help get you back on track. I studied half-assed for 7 weeks and was happy with my score. (So in reality, I should've taken another year to do it right.)

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magp90
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby magp90 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:11 pm

In addition to all of the above, just reading briefs (SCOTUS or otherwise), etc that are available online also helps to attune the mind to the language and style you may come across.

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20130312
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:19 pm

bk1 wrote:
magp90 wrote:Maybe, maybe not, but it's not something to bet your life on, I'd imagine.

Of course not, but working at a dull job isn't going to make learning 1L doctrinal classes that much harder. The material covered in core law school classes is not very complex.

This. You'll be okay OP. I also worked in a mindless job for 2 years before law school. Honestly, there was a transition period where I actually had to learn how to think critically again, but as noted above you'll be fine as long as you get your shit together by the time finals roll around.

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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby bsmit86 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:22 pm

You'll probably be fine OP. You mainly just have to get used to reading because you'll be reading around 30-100 pages a night depending on what law school you go to. You can read Getting to Maybe and other prep books, but I would stop about a month before law school starts. Once you get into law school, all you'll be reading is law. Keep reading, but read something that interests you. Personally, I read the Game of Thrones series right before law school after I had read Getting to Maybe and American Courts.

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AlanShore
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby AlanShore » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:27 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm more concerned about my ability to sit and read 100 pages than my ability to analyze, etc. I should start reading more!

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rinkrat19
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:35 pm

AlanShore wrote:Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm more concerned about my ability to sit and read 100 pages than my ability to analyze, etc. I should start reading more!

lol, I'm the opposite. I can read 500 pages at a stretch recreationally, but trying to glean any meaning from 5 pages of Marshall yammering about federalism or Scalia dissenting about anything puts me right to sleep. And I literally mean to SLEEP.
(some classes are much better than others.)

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20130312
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby 20130312 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:47 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Scalia dissenting about anything puts me right to sleep

Not a dissent, but tell me Scalia's opinion in Gonzales v Carhart doesn't keep you awake at night

*shivers*

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rinkrat19
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:50 pm

InGoodFaith wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Scalia dissenting about anything puts me right to sleep

Not a dissent, but tell me Scalia's opinion in Gonzales v Carhart doesn't keep you awake at night

*shivers*

We haven't gotten there yet in class...but yes.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby Scotusnerd » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:51 pm

I think reading SCOTUS opinions is helpful in a number of ways. I felt like it helped me at the beginning of last semester. Mostly, being fresh, figuring out a routine and living a balanced life is the best preparation you can make for law school.

Budget out time as best you can with your limited knowledge of lawl school. Get time to exercise and time to eat decently. That'll go a long way over a lot of your classmates when the crunch hits. Most of them will peter out because they can't sustain the studying hours.

Getting to Maybe has a SHITTON of useful info in it.

Get moved in and squared away. Make sure your new home doesn't have ANY surprises left for you. Nothing beats going to school and coming home to discover that your water heater exploded/the wall is moldy/your cat got out through the exposed pipework you didn't call about/your is flooded because the dishwasher died/etc...

Make sure you can take care of yourself. I know personal hygeine seems basic, but you would be AMAZED at how gross people look near the end when they think they don't have time for a shave and a shower. You'll be working with these people down the road, and looking like a scuzzy-ass undergrad is not a good impression. Especially since random attorneys and (if you go to a good school) judges wander in and out of the building. You don't wanna be the hippie reject of the group when the Honorable Grand High Poobah of the 69th Circuit Court of Appeals rounds the corner. He hires from this school.

Go out and meet people. Have a social life outside of law school (seriously). Find stuff that interests you and find a group that does it. Social recluses are getting less and less hireable.

Good luck!

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bk1
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:01 am

^wut

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20130312
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Re: Mindless job.. Preparing my brain for law school/thinking?

Postby 20130312 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:07 am

bk1 wrote:^wut

Scotusnerd;dr




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