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

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ontopoftheworld

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

Postby ontopoftheworld » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:37 pm

Depressed Gooner wrote:
ontopoftheworld wrote:
twenty wrote: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.


every single word of this is wrong. at least for me. dont take TLS advice too seriously. none of it from actually authenticated top 10% students.
also, cases are SO FUCKING IMPORTANT. so fuck everyone who said to "skim" it. my exams were all basically from the casebooks and I was partly screwed when I didn't read closely. But thank YOU JESUS for giving me the opportunity to transfer to a Top 25 school.



Thanks for the insight! What school did you transfer from and how was the transfer process (grades you had at previous schools, process for transferring)? I just want to keep everything in mind!


I loved absolutely loved my T4 school so I dont want to bash it by putting the name out there. Plus I was one of the very few who transferred to Top 25 and above. It would be obvious who I am since every law student and their mothers use this website. The process sucks considering I had to ask 3-4 professors to write a rec letter and they were all unwilling- mostly because they were deans. They hated seeing students go. I was able to get a solid one from my fave, which helped I reckon. Personal statement, all that same stuff from before with updates, resume, grades. If 16+ years of schooling didnt teach you, it's that GRADES are the ONLY thing that matters. NO MATTER WHAT ANYBODY SAYS. And for grades, you better know your cases and the holding and reasoning and facts that helped reach the conclusion. Never skim anything in law school.

ontopoftheworld

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

Postby ontopoftheworld » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:40 pm

nick417 wrote:These threads pop up every year and really serve zero value. The only secret to success in law school is your ability to write. If you can write effectively and know the basic structure of an argument, you are at a major advantage in law school (since law school exams are written and require an argument structure). Learning to write and argue effectively is not a skill that just happens either, you either have it or you don't 1 L year. If you are in undergrad still, I would suggest taking courses that require you to write or courses that are set up like law courses. At my undergrad, we offered classes in criminal law and con law where the professor taught the course like a law class (read cases and have one big exam based on a long hypo). The better writer you are, the easier law school will be for you.

Outside of writing, simple advice:

How to do well in law school: know the material for each subject.

How do you "know the material": Depends on what type of learner you are. Visual, memorize, chart, flash cards, outline.

What if I don't understand the material: Talk to the person teaching the material (i.e, the professor) they are also the one grading the exam so they should be able to tell you what you need to know and how to answer the exam question.

No magical formulas, no tricks. Pretty basic. Yet, most of the 1Ls are too lazy to put in the time to know the material or are too scared to meet with their professors.

***I can't wait for the responses from law students who did poorly to argue that grading is random because they "knew the material" and met with the professor frequently.


I agree wholeheartedly, until I find the random quiet ones in the back always claiming to have partied in the weekends. That kid who I never thought would even get a B, let alone be the top 25% of the class, got away with not going to professors or participating. Maybe they did other things, but it's still a shock and the grading feels quite random.

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

Postby ontopoftheworld » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:54 pm

twenty wrote:
ontopoftheworld wrote:every single word of this is wrong.


Aside from "don't agonize over cases", what other parts do you think are wrong?


For #2 and #3, youve contradicted yourself and came to a vague conclusion. My conclusion is do your own work. I gathered every "Top 1% student" outline and prior classnotes from upperclassmen. I had them all at hand when I was taking notes since day one. I got lazy and stopped reading cases altogether because of the amazingly written notes and outlines. It is a huge disservice to yourself to depend on others' work at any point in law school. Gotta re-learn it for the finals and bar. Just depend on yourself. As for practice exams, three is enough. Write it out, outline it, issue spot it. No need for more. Just study every single day and finals week will definitely be a piece of cake. I can attest to this.

"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."

- As for this comment...
YES CHILL THE FUCK OUT. I had no chill. I wasnt anyone's competition but everyone was mine. It was a miserable 1L year, but the professors and couple of gems are making me miss 1L year incredibly.
Anyhow, my T4 top 10%ers are definitely getting biglaw jobs in the area. They have so many more opportunities of meeting judges, biglaw interviews, etc. It's amazing what you can do if you just become top 10% anywhere. It may be regional but I am definitely proud of what they have been accomplishing over the summer. Employers dont look at transcripts all the time but they ask the school for Top 10% students' names.

You're essentially saying not to try hard in law school, whether youre in top tier or lower tier. With that mindset, I dont know how you even got to law school. If youre happy being average, then be. Don't give advice to actually become average and be satisfied with it.
Dean's list, teaching fellow, law review, etc. All amazing things to achieve in law school that makes it a whole package of experience. I want that so I am going to work for it. Dont be lazy in law school and dont you ever be satisfied with a B. Push yourself and attempt everything- but have a good attitude while youre doing it. Everyone's in it and it's good to be on the good side of people :)

I think maybe worrying so much about grades got me to where I am today.
If you're thinking of improving/transferring, don't NOT worry. Do worry. Let that worry turn you into a productive eager ambitious student. Just dont piss people off.

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

Postby GreenEggs » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:00 pm

The whole "grades don't matter if you want to do PI" I think is one of the worst flames on TLS. It's far from reality, and is just false.
Last edited by GreenEggs on Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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twenty

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

Postby twenty » Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:55 pm

It seems like you're trying to shoehorn your contention now because you didn't actually read my initial post. Conversely, I'm not going to spend a lot of time explaining why a lot of your post(s) are wrong, but I will point out that this:

Do worry


is borderline destructive. Law students have absolutely no business worrying more than they already do. Who knows, maybe you would have gotten even better grades if you hadn't burned out by exams and miserable the entire year.

The sad part is, the highlight of your posting is how excited you are to be paying sticker at a top 25 school and having great grades at your old school. For all the stomach lining you've lost, (and are now advocating that other people lose), someone could take the LSAT slightly more seriously than you apparently did, and be in the same exact place without feeling like they have to spend the entire year fretting over grades they don't have as much control over as they'd like.

I'm not advocating that people slack off or not study. I'm advocating that law students not bleed themselves out in a dirty bathtub when they get an unexpected B- in con law that keeps them from top x% and [insert whatever scholastic or career goals you want]. The school you go to, and the conditions under which you attend, matter exponentially more than your grades.

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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 » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:18 pm

ontopoftheworld wrote:I agree wholeheartedly, until I find the random quiet ones in the back always claiming to have partied in the weekends. That kid who I never thought would even get a B, let alone be the top 25% of the class, got away with not going to professors or participating. Maybe they did other things, but it's still a shock and the grading feels quite random.

Partying is not inconsistent with doing well on law school exams, nor is it necessary to talk to professors or participate in class to do well (in fact, people often mistakenly focus on being prepared to answer questions in class rather take an exam).

ontopoftheworld

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

Postby ontopoftheworld » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:21 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
ontopoftheworld wrote:I agree wholeheartedly, until I find the random quiet ones in the back always claiming to have partied in the weekends. That kid who I never thought would even get a B, let alone be the top 25% of the class, got away with not going to professors or participating. Maybe they did other things, but it's still a shock and the grading feels quite random.


Partying is not inconsistent with doing well on law school exams, nor is it necessary to talk to professors or participate in class to do well (in fact, people often mistakenly focus on being prepared to answer questions in class rather take an exam).



Yes and it is repeatedly surprising that people I never knew existed in our section became top 25% and up. They truly look like they cant give a fuck and give the ditziest answers when cold called. It's like they didn't want to be there, yet they were apparently amazing at what they did. And had fun doing it (by the looks of their social life). Meanwhile, I was always worried and never had any fun..

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

Postby ontopoftheworld » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:26 pm

twenty wrote:It seems like you're trying to shoehorn your contention now because you didn't actually read my initial post. Conversely, I'm not going to spend a lot of time explaining why a lot of your post(s) are wrong, but I will point out that this:

Do worry


is borderline destructive. Law students have absolutely no business worrying more than they already do. Who knows, maybe you would have gotten even better grades if you hadn't burned out by exams and miserable the entire year.

The sad part is, the highlight of your posting is how excited you are to be paying sticker at a top 25 school and having great grades at your old school. For all the stomach lining you've lost, (and are now advocating that other people lose), someone could take the LSAT slightly more seriously than you apparently did, and be in the same exact place without feeling like they have to spend the entire year fretting over grades they don't have as much control over as they'd like.

I'm not advocating that people slack off or not study. I'm advocating that law students not bleed themselves out in a dirty bathtub when they get an unexpected B- in con law that keeps them from top x% and [insert whatever scholastic or career goals you want]. The school you go to, and the conditions under which you attend, matter exponentially more than your grades.


Yeah take LSAT again and again. You too will be that mid 30 year old person in the midst of young, eager 20s group of students. You do you!
Also, Im very excited to take easy 2L classes like contract drafting and prosecution workshop classes to get a really good GPA at my new school. A window of opportunities behold. I can be top 1% in my old school and it still wouldnt match with this. I dont have to worry about curves and having 4-5 horserace finals ever again.
Let me gloat- I have one real final and the rest are workshops. 2L is going to be a blast. 4.3 is what I expect.

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

Postby Nebby » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:43 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:The whole "grades don't matter if you want to do PI" I think is one of the worst flames on TLS. It's far from reality, and is just false.

BigLaw hopefuls on tls are generally oblivious and think PI jobs are easily attainable backups in case they're no offered

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

Postby GreenEggs » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:09 am

Nebby wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:The whole "grades don't matter if you want to do PI" I think is one of the worst flames on TLS. It's far from reality, and is just false.

BigLaw hopefuls on tls are generally oblivious and think PI jobs are easily attainable backups in case they're no offered


I actually see it being posted more by law students who want to get PI gigs. Some places not asking for transcripts has turned into "grades don't really matter for public interest work"
Last edited by GreenEggs on Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby JGMotorsport » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:53 am

Ill throw out something that raised my GPA from a 3.0 to a 3.5, atleast in part:

Example:
Punitive damages require a claimant to demonstrate through clear and convincing evidence that defendant acted with an evil mind, and her conduct was reprehensible over and above that in the commission of a tort. To demonstrate an evil mind blah blah. Reprehensible conduct may include blah blah.

What to do: number elements and factors in the rule, make your analysis correspond to the numbers. The above becomes:

Punitive damages require a claimant to demonstrate (1) through clear and convincing evidence (2) defendant acted with an evil mind, and (3) her conduct was reprehensible over and above that in the commission of a tort. To demonstrate an evil mind (1)blah (2) blah. Reprehensible conduct may include (1) blah (2) blah.

Not saying this is some trick, but I believe this is why I got 2 As and an A- second semester bumping my usual B+ due to ease of reading.

(1) Clear and Convincing Evidence
Blah blah

However, blah blah

Thus, blah blah.

(2) Defendants Evil Mind
Blah blah

However, blah blah because blah.

Thus, Defendant likely acted with the requisite evil mind.

(3) Conduct
Blah blah

However, blah blah

Thus, it is likely blah blah.

Seems trivial, but remember your professors have to read 50+ of essentially the same paper, make yours flow and easy to follow.

On issue spotters, spot all of the issue sand create headers, once you've spotted 10-15, it's a horse race fill in the IRAC for each until you run out of time. Some professors give extra points merely for spotting the issue, could be helpful for when you run out of time.

If they give you 3 hours to take an exam, spend 3 hours taking the exam.

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

Postby nick417 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 10:08 am

ontopoftheworld wrote:
nick417 wrote:These threads pop up every year and really serve zero value. The only secret to success in law school is your ability to write. If you can write effectively and know the basic structure of an argument, you are at a major advantage in law school (since law school exams are written and require an argument structure). Learning to write and argue effectively is not a skill that just happens either, you either have it or you don't 1 L year. If you are in undergrad still, I would suggest taking courses that require you to write or courses that are set up like law courses. At my undergrad, we offered classes in criminal law and con law where the professor taught the course like a law class (read cases and have one big exam based on a long hypo). The better writer you are, the easier law school will be for you.

Outside of writing, simple advice:

How to do well in law school: know the material for each subject.

How do you "know the material": Depends on what type of learner you are. Visual, memorize, chart, flash cards, outline.

What if I don't understand the material: Talk to the person teaching the material (i.e, the professor) they are also the one grading the exam so they should be able to tell you what you need to know and how to answer the exam question.

No magical formulas, no tricks. Pretty basic. Yet, most of the 1Ls are too lazy to put in the time to know the material or are too scared to meet with their professors.

***I can't wait for the responses from law students who did poorly to argue that grading is random because they "knew the material" and met with the professor frequently.


I agree wholeheartedly, until I find the random quiet ones in the back always claiming to have partied in the weekends. That kid who I never thought would even get a B, let alone be the top 25% of the class, got away with not going to professors or participating. Maybe they did other things, but it's still a shock and the grading feels quite random.



I understand what you mean. However, doesn't that support my argument about your ability to write? If you understand a basic argument structure and can clearly and effectively argue a point, you can mask a lot of your deficiencies. Think about it, if you sound smart and make logical conclusions, even if you don't know the material, you can appear smarter and it could help your grade.

The people at the top of my law class were all good writers. When you mix good writing with knowledge of the topic, you are almost guaranteed an A.

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

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:53 pm

DCfilterDC wrote:
Nebby wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:The whole "grades don't matter if you want to do PI" I think is one of the worst flames on TLS. It's far from reality, and is just false.

BigLaw hopefuls on tls are generally oblivious and think PI jobs are easily attainable backups in case they're no offered


I actually see it being posted more by law students who want to get PI gigs. Some places not asking for transcripts has turned into "grades don't really matter for public interest work"

It's just that PI is a really big tent. My law school state's PD is a good one (they hire nationally) and they literally never ask for/look at applicants' transcripts and never ask about grades - they really don't care. But I agree that's not going to be the case for a lot of employers. Even so, I think most PI applicants *are* better served getting as much pertinent experience as they can, rather than focusing only on grades (not that experience and grades are mutually exclusive, but if one believed they were and was making that choice).

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

Postby BigZuck » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:02 pm

Nebby wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:The whole "grades don't matter if you want to do PI" I think is one of the worst flames on TLS. It's far from reality, and is just false.

BigLaw hopefuls on tls are generally oblivious and think PI jobs are easily attainable backups in case they're no offered

What do you mean by "BigLaw hopefuls" here Nibbles? Do you mean rando no tar sub 100 posts folk?

I don't see regs saying that PI is easily attainable, and they definitely aren't saying its a backup.

Also I think you two are painting PI with a pretty broad brush here. Of course some highly care about grades, some not at all. Firms can be like that too. Life is complicated, embrace some nuance my dudes.

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

Postby Nebby » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:28 pm

BigZuck wrote:
Nebby wrote:
DCfilterDC wrote:The whole "grades don't matter if you want to do PI" I think is one of the worst flames on TLS. It's far from reality, and is just false.

BigLaw hopefuls on tls are generally oblivious and think PI jobs are easily attainable backups in case they're no offered

What do you mean by "BigLaw hopefuls" here Nibbles? Do you mean rando no tar sub 100 posts folk?

I don't see regs saying that PI is easily attainable, and they definitely aren't saying its a backup.

Also I think you two are painting PI with a pretty broad brush here. Of course some highly care about grades, some not at all. Firms can be like that too. Life is complicated, embrace some nuance my dudes.

I assume all rando no tar sub100 are biglaw hopefuls :twisted:

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

Postby z0mbiecatz1234 » Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:12 pm

If I could do last year over, I would have not only pushed through times I was tired more to study a couple more hours, read a little more, etc., but I would absolutely have done more networking. I did not take enough advantage of beginning to establish relationships with attorneys. It would probably help me a bit more right now with my job search if I had. I would recommend meeting with as many attorneys for coffee or lunch as often as you can (maybe even once a month!). The more attorneys you meet and connect with from the town you want to end up in the better. Good luck!



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