If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

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GreenEggs

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby GreenEggs » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:39 am

I wonder how much is school specific, I've seen posts about exams at some random TTTs where there exams had a question entirely about something small that was covered for only a few minutes in class, or topics that they read in the casebook but never talked about in class. I never had anything remotely like that, so I don't know if some professors just don't care.
Last edited by GreenEggs on Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kinky John

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Kinky John » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:11 am

Best thing you can do is keep your head down. Ignore what everyone else is doing, don't compare yourself to others, do what works for you, try to be a good person, keep your goals in mind, etc. Try to find a small group of non-toxic people to hang out with (tip: they tend to not be K-JDs) but be friendly with everyone. Bear in mind that everyone feels unsure of their ability. Be mindful of how the things you say and do are going to affect others (e.g. don't discuss grades).

Basically, don't be neurotic and avoid situations/environments that breed neuroticism.
Last edited by Kinky John on Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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politibro44

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby politibro44 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:41 pm

Kinky John wrote:Best thing you can do is keep your head down. Ignore what everyone else is doing, don't compare yourself to others, do what works for you, try to be a good person, keep your goals in mind, etc. Try to find a small group of non-toxic people to hang out with (tip: they tend to not be K-JDs) but be friendly with everyone. Bear in mind that everyone feels unsure of their ability. Be mindful of how the things you say and do are going to affect others (e.g. don't discuss grades).

Basically, don't be neurotic and avoid situations/environments that breed neuroticism.


I recently finished my first year and strongly second this advice.

foregetaboutdre

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby foregetaboutdre » Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:54 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Pointing to cases are a good way to earn quick points.

Proximate Cause - "Plaintiff will argue X HARM was a foreseeable consequence of Defendant's Y ACTION because (reasons). Plaintiff will also argue that ANALOGOUS CASE held X HARM to be a foreseeable consequence of Y ACTION."

Second sentence is usually worth another point. I wouldn't go out of my way to memorize cases though.


I think citing cases occasionally on exams makes sense too. Most 1L classes you'll go over one topic in class (e.g. easements) and read like three cases about it. If you get an exam with an easement question, it's likely it will be in some way similar to a case you've read. Thus, make your point/apply the rule and maybe throw in the case name (CASE) after the rule.

If you don't know the case or it will take you all day to find it on your outline just skip it. Citing cases may get you a couple of points here and there, but it's not going to be a substantial part of your exam.


My advice.... Do many practice problems (these are even more helpful imho than outlines) AND if you get good grades first semester don't let up. I had a minor fall off.

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Joscellin

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Joscellin » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:26 pm

1) Abandon the idea that any given answer is "right" or "wrong," learn to discuss in the margins.

2) Sit somewhere that you can focus in class and avoid distractions. Absorbing is more important than frantically scribbling info

3) Don't be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear or you don't understand. If you don't want to ask in class (or you're constantly asking... don't be that guy), then ask after class, in office hours, or in an email. Alternatively, talk it over with friends and see if you can hash through it together.

4) Take good notes. We weren't allowed to have laptops in class, so all of mine were by hand, but I would have preferred that anyway.

5) Pay attention to things the professor likes. In many of my classes, there were themes that were woven throughout (For example, in Property the professor liked to talk about 'those who control property control people.' Weaving that into my exam, I'm convinced, helped me to do as well as I did).

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twenty

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby twenty » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:28 pm

1) I would have stopped trying to read every goddamn word in the casebook. By late 1L, I was skimming cases (sometimes in class while being simultaneously cold called :D ), and as a 2L, I didn't even buy the casebooks. Whenever I got called on, I'd just say "Oh, sorry Prof X. I didn't bring my book to class today" and he'd/she'd get the picture pretty fast. Anyway. I read too much as a 1L, and I probably needed to read about a fourth of what I actually ended up reading.

2) I would have been more selective about which outside outlines I read. Some outlines that look really good (i.e, have 50+ pages, nice charts, and italics around case names) are absolute garbage. Some outlines that look really horrible (i.e, typos, huge block quotes that don't seem to matter) are actually incredibly valuable. I'd say in order:

Outline of the class by your own professor (I had a prof that did this, it was great) > outline by a former student of the professor > outline by a student who used your casebook > commercial outline > everything else.

The first two are the only two I would rely on. I see too many people relying on outlines by other students with the same casebook. This is okay, but kind of dangerous, and a good way to accidentally miss things your professor really cares about (twist! these things are worth points on the exam.)

3) Actually, number 2) is stupid. Don't outline; take good notes and far more importantly, go over past exams. Reading past exams is a really good way to make sure you understand the law. Taking past exams is a really good way you don't fall into the "I think I understand what I'm doing..." trap. If you find yourself consistently writing things that get you no points, well, now you know. Rinse and repeat.

4) Finally, I would have told myself to chill the fuck out. If you listened to TLS' advice, you're either going to a regional school with a very large scholarship, or you're going to a very top law school. If it's the former, your grades don't matter because you're not getting biglaw either way, so really, who cares if you get Bs. A lot of employers aren't even going to look at your transcripts anyway. If it's the latter, UPenn and up are putting, what, 75%+ of their class in biglaw/A3? And that's not counting the people who self-select out into PI/government? Unless you are literally the very bottom of your class (or, alternatively, the very top), no one cares except you. I wish I hadn't spent so much goddamn time worrying and fretting over grades which have had absolutely zero impact on what kind of job I can get post-grad.

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby TEM » Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:36 pm

politibro44 wrote:
Kinky John wrote:Best thing you can do is keep your head down. Ignore what everyone else is doing, don't compare yourself to others, do what works for you, try to be a good person, keep your goals in mind, etc. Try to find a small group of non-toxic people to hang out with (tip: they tend to not be K-JDs) but be friendly with everyone. Bear in mind that everyone feels unsure of their ability. Be mindful of how the things you say and do are going to affect others (e.g. don't discuss grades).

Basically, don't be neurotic and avoid situations/environments that breed neuroticism.


I recently finished my first year and strongly second this advice.

Same. It's okay to be excited about your first A, but be smart about who you share it with/when you share it.

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Nebby » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:18 pm

I'd start lifting weights at the beginning of 1L instead of 2L. I lost a solid year of prime training time

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RSN

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby RSN » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:31 pm

To all soon to be 1Ls reading this thread, the variety of strategies advocated for here should reassure you, not intimidate you (which is a little what happened to me at this time last year). There is no one right method for any of this. Spend time first semester figuring out how you best absorb the material, and don't worry much about what anyone else is doing.
Last edited by RSN on Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kcdc1

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby kcdc1 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:32 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Pointing to cases are a good way to earn quick points.

Proximate Cause - "Plaintiff will argue X HARM was a foreseeable consequence of Defendant's Y ACTION because (reasons). Plaintiff will also argue that ANALOGOUS CASE held X HARM to be a foreseeable consequence of Y ACTION."

Second sentence is usually worth another point. I wouldn't go out of my way to memorize cases though.

Analogical reasoning is bullshit. I'm pretty sure it's a logical fallacy. Cut that shit and spend your time shoehorning the facts into every exception.

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RSN

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby RSN » Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:54 pm

kcdc1 wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Pointing to cases are a good way to earn quick points.

Proximate Cause - "Plaintiff will argue X HARM was a foreseeable consequence of Defendant's Y ACTION because (reasons). Plaintiff will also argue that ANALOGOUS CASE held X HARM to be a foreseeable consequence of Y ACTION."

Second sentence is usually worth another point. I wouldn't go out of my way to memorize cases though.

Analogical reasoning is bullshit. I'm pretty sure it's a logical fallacy. Cut that shit and spend your time shoehorning the facts into every exception.


Nope. Do what your professor likes. Read the model answers. If they want analogies to cases you read, then do that. If they want you to spot every way the facts meet the exceptions to the rule, then do that. If you're lucky, most of them will want the same thing. It's of course not going to be super clear what they're looking for, even from reading the model answers, but that's typically the best way to figure it out. But don't adhere to one style of analysis just because it seems right. Figure out what they want, and do it.

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PeanutsNJam

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby PeanutsNJam » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:35 pm

Arguing from precedential case law is a logical fallacy?

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Nebby » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:45 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Arguing from precedential case law is a logical fallacy?

No u

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Kinky John

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Kinky John » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:46 pm

for example PnJ is toxic don't hang out with him
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L_William_W

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby L_William_W » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:46 pm

Before my 1L year, I was under the mistaken belief that things like class participation and homework count towards your grade (like in undergrad). The only thing that matters is your grade on the finals (and if your school has it, the midterm). If it's an essay exam, raise and resolve EVERYTHING. For example, in my 1L contracts class, there was a fact pattern in which the contract didn't adhere to the statute of frauds. Rather than to mention that on the essay, I skipped over that issue since I didn't believe that it was relevant to the fact pattern. In addition, issue spotting and doing a decent analysis counts more than the actual conclusion.

Also, take your work seriously. Do not look at Instagram while you're in con law class. Do not worry about joining school clubs (wait until you become acclimated to the school). Study your ass off. Of course, getting wasted on Friday nights is ok, but during all other times, live in the school library. And you have to be careful since in some schools, you have to maintain a certain GPA in your 1L year or you'll get a dismissal notice.

Redfactor

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Redfactor » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:58 pm

I would have used flashcards for rule statements. I would have studied a lot more law exam examples, not for their legal analysis but rather for how to construct a law school exam that looks like a high-scoring exam. (We were 'assured' by profs that it wasn't the style but rather the content that mattered. But when I changed my style of writing exams mimicking structure from some models my grades improved significantly.) Finally I would have made my outline with the sole purpose of tackling exam fact patterns. By that I mean organized by rules/exceptions rather than cases and the only facts you need to remember about a case are the ones that prompted the court do rule the way it did. An outline doesn't need to be longer than 20 pages.

Oh and I would have never case briefed. It's a giant time suck, IMO.

WheninLaw

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby WheninLaw » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:03 pm

Not purchased books and chilled the fuck out.

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bobbypin

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby bobbypin » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:21 pm

Take your classes seriously. Really learn the material for the bar classes. Even if the exam is open book, open note, study like it isn't. Bar study you will thank law school you for the leg up. Plus, you don't want to try to learn secured trans in 2 days from a bar prep course. My eyes glazed over. I can't tell you an attachment from perfection. I'm sure it's important to know that....
Last edited by bobbypin on Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Depressed Gooner

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Depressed Gooner » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:06 am

LetsGoMets wrote:To all soon to be 1Ls reading this thread, the variety of strategies advocated for here should reassure you, not intimidate you (which is a little what happened to me at this time last year). There is no one right method for any of this. Spend time first semester figuring out how you best absorb the material, and don't worry much about what anyone else is doing.


Yea, this thread has shown me that there are so many different methods for success (as well as different definitions of success) and I think it is going to benefit me a lot during 1L. Love all the different perspectives!

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Depressed Gooner

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Depressed Gooner » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:11 am

L_William_W wrote:Before my 1L year, I was under the mistaken belief that things like class participation and homework count towards your grade (like in undergrad). The only thing that matters is your grade on the finals (and if your school has it, the midterm). If it's an essay exam, raise and resolve EVERYTHING. For example, in my 1L contracts class, there was a fact pattern in which the contract didn't adhere to the statute of frauds. Rather than to mention that on the essay, I skipped over that issue since I didn't believe that it was relevant to the fact pattern. In addition, issue spotting and doing a decent analysis counts more than the actual conclusion.

Also, take your work seriously. Do not look at Instagram while you're in con law class. Do not worry about joining school clubs (wait until you become acclimated to the school). Study your ass off. Of course, getting wasted on Friday nights is ok, but during all other times, live in the school library. And you have to be careful since in some schools, you have to maintain a certain GPA in your 1L year or you'll get a dismissal notice.


Luckily, I have a pretty large scholarship with very realistic stipulations which makes me very happy, but yes, i am already creating a library schedule for myself :lol: :lol:

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Depressed Gooner

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby Depressed Gooner » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:13 am

Thank you, all! This thread is everything I could ask for, and more! You guys are great! Keep em coming... :D :D

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twenty

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby twenty » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:23 am

Oh, also, it's a huge pain reselling books. If you're dumb and you feel like you can't law school without tons of books piled around you, at least rent. I preferred used books to new. Some nice person will have already gone through and color highlighted all the relevant parts.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:27 am

twenty wrote:Oh, also, it's a huge pain reselling books. If you're dumb and you feel like you can't law school without tons of books piled around you, at least rent. I preferred used books to new. Some nice person will have already gone through and color highlighted all the relevant parts.

It's really not. abebooks.com - free shipping label and you can offload all your books at once (none of this selling to individuals through Amazon or half.com or whatever).

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby ticklemesilly » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:35 am

Do tons of E&E questions. Dedicate a few precious days before exams solely to doing them.

Also, make sure to organize your responses on essay questions, come exam time. Don't regurgitate everything you know into some giant lump of a paragraph. Neatly order subjects into small paragraphs, and give them a nice underlined heading or subsections if necessary. Italicize important things. Make it easier for the professor to follow what you are saying, and the professor will be generous. Make it hard, and the professor isn't exactly going to bend over backwards to understand you. After all, it's blind grading, on a curve, and the professors have got 80 other exams to parse through.
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GreenEggs

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Re: If I Could Go Back to 1L I Would Have....

Postby GreenEggs » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:35 am

Would've also just used supplements from reserves at the library
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