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 ), 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.