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A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
lawschoolbound13
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Postby lawschoolbound13 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:46 pm

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Last edited by lawschoolbound13 on Thu Jun 23, 2016 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FSK
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby FSK » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:49 pm

Found someone to talk me out of going to law school. Gotten work experience.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby Capitol_Idea » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:57 pm

I wish I had followed TLS more closely and posted about my chances- I peobably would've been more confident in my application and fought for scholarship money.

jimmywho
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby jimmywho » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:01 pm

Get into a solid workout routine

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twenty
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby twenty » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:03 pm

Yes, I wish someone had told me to chill the fuck out. Seriously. Either the material (to you) will be brutally hard, at which point there's no use exhausting yourself worrying about it months before you start law school, or the material will be laughably easy, at which point worrying about it months in advance and getting yourself worked up over nothing.

I also wish someone had told me that grades don't matter. If you did what TLS recommended, you're either going to a T13 school, or a lower-ranked school on a full ride. If you picked the former, you'll very likely get biglaw, and your grades don't really matter unless you're at the very low end of the spectrum. If you picked the latter, you very likely won't get biglaw, and then what matters is your networking ability, your preexisting contacts, your interviewing skills, and probably a lot of other things that aren't grades. The decisions you make long before your first day of class are far, far more important than whether or not you're ranked in the top third or the bottom 70th.

edit> also, don't bang other law students.

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goldenflash19
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby goldenflash19 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:06 am

Travel and see as much as you can.

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Other25BeforeYou
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby Other25BeforeYou » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:51 am

I wish I'd worked for another year or three and retaken the LSAT.

In terms of preparing for law school, I wish I'd read more fiction to prepare for the fact that I wasn't going to feel like reading any for the next three years.

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:30 pm

Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon May 11, 2015 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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twenty
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby twenty » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:35 pm

It seems like a combination of neurotic type-A personalities, peoples' newly-discovered alcoholism, having classes with all the same folks and studying in the same areas for 8 hours a day, etc. creates the "law school goggles" type effect. But even after the fog wears off, you're still in a small section in the same assigned seats with the same people sitting around you. ;)

To more directly answer your question, "yes."

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NoBladesNoBows
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby NoBladesNoBows » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:59 pm

Last edited by NoBladesNoBows on Mon May 11, 2015 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:05 pm

FYI - I read nothing but the thread title

Two chicks at the same time.

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chuckbass
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby chuckbass » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:10 pm

jimmywho wrote:Get into a solid workout routine

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rinkrat19
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:19 pm

Found a better engineering job where I could get the experience I needed to take the PE exam, and be in management by now, saving myself 3 years and $250,000.

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AreJay711
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby AreJay711 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:27 pm

Lived in California. I probably won't ever get the chance now :(

law-school-hacker
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby law-school-hacker » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:32 am

Maybe law school is a terrible choice -- don't know where you are going. I wish somedays I had done engineering as well (I am a practicing law now.) Think hard about not going unless you have concrete reasons why and have actually talked to real practicing lawyers.

But if you are headed to law school for sure, frankly, "relax and read books" is terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible advice in this job market.

OK, you are not supposed to review casebook materials in advance -- I agree with that, not helpful, and who knows if you will have the right case books for your classes.

But where did you hear that you were not supposed to prepare in advance at all? Some law schools will tell you that, too, and not to lookbut when they do it pisses me off.

Imagine 2 worlds (yes, this is f'ing pedantic, but it helps):

World 1: Fun relaxing 0L summer, paper umbrellas in drinks, and terrible 1L summer after getting mediocre grades, scrambling for work and 2L summer jobs, and years of stress in trying to find a job and pay off loans and...

OR

World 2: Less fun 0L summer, Coors Light once a week or something crappy to drink, and less long-term stress because you are top 10% and have actual job prospects. Still the normal stress of life, but you have a job and real academic achievement to be proud of.

OK? You are making choices now, this summer, about your future law school success. Not doing anything is a choice.

Now, to be fair, even if you work and prepare 0L summer, World 2 is not guaranteed. You might still get bad grades, sure. It is all probabalistic. But make the odds a bit more in your favor.

Unsolicited advice: before you head off to school, maybe even now, go find a couple of people who got As in law school and ask what they did the summer before. If you need to find complete strangers, find a couple of law firms in your town and keep looking until you see "magna cum laude" or "Order of the Coif" in the profile.

Take their advice over even mine but definitely over unnamed people on TLS who tell you to chill. They don't know you, and you don't know how their own advice turned out for them (they are free to update their responses and respond to me).

I only learned after graduation how many people prepared the summer before law school. I prepared a little bit and had the law school game explained to me (hint: it is more than what administrators and law professors tell you it is; don't take them purely at face value, and DEFINITELY don't brief a single case.)

One of my classmates, who did his best to appear to be a beer drinking lout but was in the top 10 (not top 10%, top 10), had actually prepared massively before law school. (We found out when Planet Law School II came out -- my classmate gave all his thanks to Atticus Falcon for helping him prepare in advance to crush it in law school.)


One big thing is to know what the law school game is before you arrive. Frantically doing the reading and briefing cases, etc. -- these. There is lots of advice here on TLS and elsewhere. I have a stake in that game so I won't say more, but there is a right and wrong way to prepare for law school (if you read one book, read Planet Law School II; it is too long in many places, but it is brutally honest about the law school game).

Also, totally disagree that grades don't matter. Even at the top 13 law schools (with the exception of maybe the top 3), you need decent grades to get Big Law. And if you are not top 13, then top grades are the only way you will get Big Law (if that's your goal).

So in my case, what would I have done differently? Prepared more. I was top 10% and got good clerkships but a few more As and I would have been feeder clerk.

Weirdly, grades follow you a long time. Bad or mediocre grades might be washed away by great work experience (IF, and it's a big IF you still managed to land a good job after law school). But great grades? You are always given the benefit of the doubt when interviewing for new jobs, whether you deserve it or not (because law practice is much, much more than good law school grades).

Anyway, hope that helps. Sorry to take a nasty dump on the "relax" parade.

Larry

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:02 am

Planet Law School is one of the worst books I've ever read.

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bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby bjsesq » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:03 am

Been a better husband/father and vowed to remain active in the kids' lives more than I ended up being.

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chuckbass
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby chuckbass » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:04 am

Larry, do you know Mike?

Scott

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AreJay711
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:10 am

You're either the kind of person who: obsesses over shit or not, will do well in law school or not, is happy or not. Maybe there's some correlation, but I doubt there's much causation.

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Fiero85
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby Fiero85 » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:13 am

MarkinKansasCity wrote:FYI - I read nothing but the thread title

Two chicks at the same time.


:lol:

scottidsntknow wrote:Larry, do you know Mike?

Scott


And more :lol:

Jason

law-school-hacker
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby law-school-hacker » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:27 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Planet Law School is one of the worst books I've ever read.


Why?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:31 am

law-school-hacker wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Planet Law School is one of the worst books I've ever read.


Why?

Seriously needs an editor, paranoid/conspiracy theory-ish (specifically with the "profs hide the ball and don't want you to learn!!!!!!" rhetoric - don't chalk up to malice what can be attributed to ignorance/incompetence), preys on 0L fears, acts as though it contains deep! secrets! no one! else! will! tell! you!, suggests spending a TON of time and money on stuff that's completely unnecessary. To the extent it makes clear that the exam is all that matters and addressing how to work towards the exam, that's fine. You could cut a good 500 pp with no loss, though.

law-school-hacker
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Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby law-school-hacker » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:34 am

Fiero85 wrote:
MarkinKansasCity wrote:FYI - I read nothing but the thread title

Two chicks at the same time.


:lol:

scottidsntknow wrote:Larry, do you know Mike?

Scott


And more :lol:

Jason


Ha. Why can't that happen during law school?

And who is Mike?

law-school-hacker
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby law-school-hacker » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:44 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
law-school-hacker wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Planet Law School is one of the worst books I've ever read.


Why?

Seriously needs an editor, paranoid/conspiracy theory-ish (specifically with the "profs hide the ball and don't want you to learn!!!!!!" rhetoric - don't chalk up to malice what can be attributed to ignorance/incompetence), preys on 0L fears, acts as though it contains deep! secrets! no one! else! will! tell! you!, suggests spending a TON of time and money on stuff that's completely unnecessary. To the extent it makes clear that the exam is all that matters and addressing how to work towards the exam, that's fine. You could cut a good 500 pp with no loss, though.


OK, I agree on editing and tone. I wouldn't have written it quite like that, or quite as much, or quite as bitter.

Still, I don't get why you think the effort and expense "completely unnecessary"? He's talking about buying $1000 in supplements, tops (LEEWS is what $200? Each E&E or Gilberts/Emanuels $50-$80 x 6?), and yet we are talking about students who are heading off to school hopefully not paying sticker, but still leaving school with 6 figure debt. A drop in the bucket, and worth it if you do well.

I also take your point that much of his advice is available elsewhere (as a purveyor of such advice, I would know), but there is such a morass of advice out there, I feel like PLS, with its (perhaps too) strident tone, cuts through that and reaches students. Better than Law School Confidential's "hey, eat breakfast the morning of exams! But I have no advice on how to ace the exam itself!"

And no, I am not Atticus Falcon.

Could I turn this around and ask, what did you do to ace law school? What sources did you consult? How did you know what to do right? Was it easy to come by this advice?

If you buy PLS and it's a waste of whatever it costs new, like $30, fine. But if it helps people do the right things to get As instead of Bs, what's the harm? I don't see how the cost of a single book is exactly "preying" on 0Ls.

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bjsesq
TLS Poet Laureate
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:02 am

Re: What do you wish you would have done prior to law school?

Postby bjsesq » Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:47 am

Isn't using someone's borderline irrational fears to coax them into purchasing your product the epitome of preying on them? The fact that it's 30 bucks is irrelevant.




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