USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

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GouldGirl
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USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby GouldGirl » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:03 pm

I just wrapped up my second year at SC. Gratefully, I have summer associate work in Big Law. While it is true that the Trojan network is awesome it would be misleading to suggest that having above median grades does not open more doors. I think the combination of being a Trojan and my grades is why I got over 5 offers after interviewing at the beginning of 2L. I am sure you know by now that first year performance is critical but in some ways SC is unique in the challenges a 1L faces because our legal writing course is graded which substantially impacts your ability to prepare for the most important part of core courses (exams!). Any 0L/1L is free to inquiry about what I did to reach my goals and other inquiries related to study strategies and things you may consider doing to achieve an academic advantage.

062914123
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby 062914123 » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:32 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GouldGirl
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby GouldGirl » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:48 pm

bee wrote:Thanks for taking questions. How did you prep for exams in general? Did you brief throughout the semester? Did you use commercial outlines? Did you find resources like Getting to Maybe and TLS guides helpful?


I'll send you a PM

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Lincoln
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby Lincoln » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:49 pm

GouldGirl wrote:I just wrapped up my second year at SC. Gratefully, I have summer associate work in Big Law. While it is true that the Trojan network is awesome it would be misleading to suggest that having above median grades does not open more doors. I think the combination of being a Trojan and my grades is why I got over 5 offers after interviewing at the beginning of 2L. I am sure you know by now that first year performance is critical but in some ways SC is unique in the challenges a 1L faces because our legal writing course is graded which substantially impacts your ability to prepare for the most important part of core courses (exams!). Any 0L/1L is free to inquiry about what I did to reach my goals and other inquiries related to study strategies and things you may consider doing to achieve an academic advantage.


There are other schools with graded LRW, including ones with better job placement statistics than USC.

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thesealocust
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:55 pm

What is this I don't even

GouldGirl
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby GouldGirl » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:12 pm

Lincoln wrote:
GouldGirl wrote:I just wrapped up my second year at SC. Gratefully, I have summer associate work in Big Law. While it is true that the Trojan network is awesome it would be misleading to suggest that having above median grades does not open more doors. I think the combination of being a Trojan and my grades is why I got over 5 offers after interviewing at the beginning of 2L. I am sure you know by now that first year performance is critical but in some ways SC is unique in the challenges a 1L faces because our legal writing course is graded which substantially impacts your ability to prepare for the most important part of core courses (exams!). Any 0L/1L is free to inquiry about what I did to reach my goals and other inquiries related to study strategies and things you may consider doing to achieve an academic advantage.


There are other schools with graded LRW, including ones with better job placement statistics than USC.


cool beans!

DorthyMantooth
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby DorthyMantooth » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:20 pm

GouldGirl wrote:
bee wrote:Thanks for taking questions. How did you prep for exams in general? Did you brief throughout the semester? Did you use commercial outlines? Did you find resources like Getting to Maybe and TLS guides helpful?


I'll send you a PM

Would you mind PMing me? I am interested in what you have to say to these questions as well.

Shema
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby Shema » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:36 pm

DorthyMantooth wrote:
GouldGirl wrote:
bee wrote:Thanks for taking questions. How did you prep for exams in general? Did you brief throughout the semester? Did you use commercial outlines? Did you find resources like Getting to Maybe and TLS guides helpful?


I'll send you a PM

Would you mind PMing me? I am interested in what you have to say to these questions as well.


ok!

GouldGirl
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby GouldGirl » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:38 pm

DorthyMantooth wrote:
GouldGirl wrote:
bee wrote:Thanks for taking questions. How did you prep for exams in general? Did you brief throughout the semester? Did you use commercial outlines? Did you find resources like Getting to Maybe and TLS guides helpful?


I'll send you a PM

Would you mind PMing me? I am interested in what you have to say to these questions as well.


Alright, no Problem.

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Ibracadabra
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby Ibracadabra » Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:48 pm

GouldGirl wrote:
bee wrote:Thanks for taking questions. How did you prep for exams in general? Did you brief throughout the semester? Did you use commercial outlines? Did you find resources like Getting to Maybe and TLS guides helpful?


I'll send you a PM

I'm interested in this as well.

LittleTree
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby LittleTree » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:19 pm

Can't you post the answers to questions in the thread? I feel like that makes more sense.

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kwais
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby kwais » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:23 pm

this is the worst.

KingFish
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby KingFish » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:39 pm

LittleTree wrote:Can't you post the answers to questions in the thread? I feel like that makes more sense.

I'll PM you.

GouldGirl
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby GouldGirl » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:47 pm

LittleTree wrote:Can't you post the answers to questions in the thread? I feel like that makes more sense.


You are right

Commercial outline/Exam Prep -
Commercial outlines are not nearly as helpful as past outlines from students that recently took the specific course you are in. This is because such an outline consist of both black letter law and the specific cases reviewed in the course you are in. In my case, because I worked with a tutor I was directed to particular commercial materials after he reviewed my syllabus. And I think that is the most important thing to remember; commercial material best for your course depends on how you professor is addressing the course. Sometimes someone who has seen your course before has a better picture of what commercial outlines would be best for the specific course. Also we would use the past outlines to get a better since as to the scope and direction of the course so that we could get ahead of the class and begin outlining and taking practice exams mid way through the semester. This way, I was able to go to office hours before my peers and got more time with the professor and detailed feedback on exams I had written and reviewed with my tutor prior. The professor's feedback helped me to further tailor my writing to the professors expectations. Getting to office hours in advance is better because you find that closer to the exam date professors are swamped with student inquiries and become more close lipped and more general in their responses than earlier in the semester when they have more time to sit with one student instead of the mob at the door around exams. Someone smarter than me could do this on their own but I admit I felt more secure working with someone knowledgeable.

Essentially a study approach that gets you to developing exam writing skills, exam practice and review with your professor gives you the biggest advantage for competitive grades

Briefing -
I was usually ahead in my briefing. However, I also used commercial briefs to supplement my class case reading. My tutor introduced me to a method of reading a commercial brief before reading the actual casebook pages so that reading wasn't as tedious. This saved me tons of time and is probably what allowed me to have enough time to outline so far in advanced (as a 1L case reading is super time consuming so anything to save time here is a real value). In my first semester I was reluctant to take on this approach fully because I wrongly viewed it as a short cut that would maybe hurt me. However, when I more fully adopted the approach in my second semester my grades actually improved. Please note that I am not saying not to read cases but what I am saying is that if reading two pages ( a commercial brief) will shave off a few hours of reading time and leave you more time to focus your attention on activities that will develop exam skills then it is something you may want to take advantage of.

GTM/TLS
Getting to may is a staple in any library of a serious 1L. I actually adopted many of the approaches detailed by a TLS "cult celebrity" called Arrow. Although he is writing for T2 audience in hopes of transferring to a T1 I found his suggestions great because they are centered around preparing for exams.

GouldGirl
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby GouldGirl » Sat Jun 01, 2013 10:49 pm

KingFish wrote:
LittleTree wrote:Can't you post the answers to questions in the thread? I feel like that makes more sense.

I'll PM you.


LOL...those type of comments is why I love TLS. loved that KingFish!

071816
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby 071816 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:54 am

kwais wrote:this is the worst.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby RodneyRuxin » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:28 am

OP: I'm taking all questions about getting good grades!

A: how do you get good grades?

OP: I'll PM you.

WTF

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J-e-L-L-o
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby J-e-L-L-o » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:58 pm

I've only been on TLS for about 2 years and poast quality is seriously going downhill

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NYC2012
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby NYC2012 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 2:29 pm

1. How competitive are your classmates?
2. Do you think doing well on the LSAT correlates to having good 1L grades? I guess you probably don't know the LSAT scores of your fellow classmates so this might be a dumb question.
3. You mentioned you had a tutor - how did you find them? What was their experience/background like?

GouldGirl
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby GouldGirl » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:39 pm

NYC2012 wrote:1. How competitive are your classmates?
2. Do you think doing well on the LSAT correlates to having good 1L grades? I guess you probably don't know the LSAT scores of your fellow classmates so this might be a dumb question.
3. You mentioned you had a tutor - how did you find them? What was their experience/background like?


1. For the most part it does not "feel" overwhelmingly competitive. It is Southern Ca so the people are a bit more relaxed in their approach. I think some of it has to do with the thought that because you are at USC law and it has a prominent hold in the LA market specifically there is a bit of ease in peoples overall approach. This is not to say that there are no gunners at USC or that grades don't matter as much to students. Generally there is such a clueless aspect to being a 1L that insecurity is abound and people compensate for this in a myriad of ways. What you want to avoid is being so anxious that you loose focus of keeping your head on the goal (having a strategy that works for you to get to exam writing as soon as possible...aka having and exam approach to your courses. GTM is a great start to formulating such a plan). The students at SC are serious about doing well. But the reality is that there are only so many A's to go around. After the first semester (during Spring) there is a class students take that did not do as well in the fall semester. There are students in that class that certainly were not expecting to be in it. Sometimes gunners or people that everyone thought was going to do well first semester. This class helps people become better exam writers and really tightens the curve for the Spring semester. My point is that having an exam focused approach to studying and preparing for your courses pays off especially in first semester, fall, when everyone is more or less trying to figure things out and no one really knows where they stand. I exploited this opportunity in the fall but I did notice that my competitive edge closed in quite a bit Spring semester. To some extent as well the attitude is more somber after fall grades. Reality settles in. People come back with a greater awareness and a bit less at ease.

2. Your LSAT question is not a dumb one. Honestly, I am not sure how predictable the LSAT is in terms of grades. I remember several people shocked at their grades when they looked at them through the lens of their LSAT score. My LSAT score was high but honestly had I not addressed law school as I did I would not have figured out a model of success in time enough to do well in 1L. I think there is a greater correlation between students that take advantage of wisdom from GTM, 2L or 3L peers that did well and other law school prep type programs. It really comes down to being informed enough not to make mistakes with the use of your time because there is just not enough time in law school. The clearer you are about how law school really works the better able you are to avoid pitfalls that lead to poor performance on exams. It is really about outlook and understanding how to translate what happens in lecture and in the reading into skills that build exam skills. (i.e. what GTM describes as recognizing the forks in the road and what is expected from your professors in terms of legal analysis. Understanding this expectation helps to keep your attention on developing skills that enhance your exam performance instead of being distracted by doing things that many of your peers "think" generates high performance.)

3. The tutor was recommended to me by an upper-classman who had worked with him during the Spring semester after a less than stellar fall semester. She regretted not having worked with him earlier during the fall semester because her grades improved that Spring but had she known to approach her courses that way in the fall her class standing would have been even higher. It can be a hard choice to make because it is easy to think that you can do it on your own (and a lot of people can and do)... I just did not want to take the chance considering the huge sticker on SC Law. I was impressed by his knowledge of specific USC courses and the professor's expectations for exams. It was also nice that several of his former students were in Big Law after 2L. I found that he models his approach off of many of the information I read in GTM before starting 1L. It was nice having someone guide me through actually apply GTM but admittedly a lot of TLSers do it on their own and with study groups and do amazingly well. It was just that study groups did not work for me and I wanted greater security. I think the key is to do what works for you, your goals and with the way you learn best.

rmorris87
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby rmorris87 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:54 pm

What exactly are you defining as "biglaw". V10? V15? V20? V50? This would be of help to many in contextualizing your initial post. Thanks OP!


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thesealocust
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:04 pm

rmorris87 wrote:What exactly are you defining as "biglaw". V10? V15? V20? V50? This would be of help to many in contextualizing your initial post. Thanks OP!


There's no hard and fast definition of biglaw, but every firm in the V100 and probably every firm in the AmLaw 100 / NLJ 250 would be considered biglaw, as well as some that don't make those lists.

rmorris87
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby rmorris87 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:39 pm

Anything that pays 160k starting is biglaw. 135k is considered midlaw. That being said, V70 or V80 firms are not paying 160k, so they wouldn't exactly be considered biglaw.

rad lulz
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Re: USC 2L @ Big Law taking questions on getting top grades

Postby rad lulz » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:43 pm

rmorris87 wrote:Anything that pays 160k starting is biglaw. 135k is considered midlaw. That being said, V70 or V80 firms are not paying 160k, so they wouldn't exactly be considered biglaw.

Lol wat




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