Starting to doubt myself

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Gus Fring
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Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:50 am

Starting to doubt myself

Postby Gus Fring » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:04 am

I attend a T10. I did poorly on my midterms and I'm getting bad grades in my legal writing course. This is the first time in my life I've given full effort in school without successful results. I'm starting to think I don't belong and maybe I shouldn't have attended law school. Finals are a few weeks away and I don't feel confident. I've followed the advice on TLS, such as reading getting to maybe, and the supplement recommendations, however I feel like my classmates intellects are beyond my own.

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Nagster5
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am

Re: Starting to doubt myself

Postby Nagster5 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:12 pm

Gus Fring wrote:I attend a T10. I did poorly on my midterms and I'm getting bad grades in my legal writing course. This is the first time in my life I've given full effort in school without successful results. I'm starting to think I don't belong and maybe I shouldn't have attended law school. Finals are a few weeks away and I don't feel confident. I've followed the advice on TLS, such as reading getting to maybe, and the supplement recommendations, however I feel like my classmates intellects are beyond my own.


I did terribly (B- range) on both of my midterms and ended up roughly top 5% after 1L. Use the midterms to figure out what you're doing wrong (talk to the prof if you didn't get feedback), and just focus on studying and doing your best. You're way too early in the process to be freaking out, especially if you're at a T10, since your margin of error is pretty large. Honestly a little bit of fear will serve you well, a lot of people who thought they walked on water crashed and burned after first semester because they thought they could get by without putting in the work. I on the other hand, was terrified by my midterm performances into studying like a madman. Outline diligently, take practice exams, and have confidence.

Even if your classmates are way smarter than you and this isn't impostor syndrome (it is), you can still get As by working hard and preparing diligently. Law school exams are only a very rough proxy for intelligence, so it doesn't really matter much if your classmates are smarter. Most of the performance is figuring out how to take them and preparing properly. If you can, get a 2/3L who did well 1L to look at your midterm/practice exam answers and critique them.

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pancakes3
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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Starting to doubt myself

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:26 pm

1) bad LSW grades are very fixable. go talk to your prof.

2) Go talk to your other profs too.

3) Your intellect isn't at issue here. The material isn't that hard, and not much separates you from the person next to you. The problem with grading is entirely with the forced curve. Don't let LS grading get in your head about your intellect/ability.

4) The flip side of that coin is that effort in doesn't correlate perfectly with grades out. Perfect effort does not yield perfect results. You have to muddle your way through the muck that is 1L year and "get" what exactly it is that profs want out of you. Someone explained 1L year like getting acquainted with a city. You can do 0L prep and download a bunch of maps and study it. You can get help from TLS and all sorts of other ppl as you're walking through the streets but nothing really helps in the same manner as just you walking through the city yourself.

tomwatts
Posts: 1697
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Starting to doubt myself

Postby tomwatts » Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:00 pm

pancakes3 wrote:Someone explained 1L year like getting acquainted with a city. You can do 0L prep and download a bunch of maps and study it. You can get help from TLS and all sorts of other ppl as you're walking through the streets but nothing really helps in the same manner as just you walking through the city yourself.

That "someone" was paraphrasing a speech by (Harvard Dean) Christopher Columbus Langdell in 1886. Seriously. People have been saying this about law school for as long as there has been law school. So it's probably true.

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slurp
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:59 pm

Re: Starting to doubt myself

Postby slurp » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:58 pm

I went frow low-tier on my first memo draft to top 20% on the actual graded rewrite. Correcting mistakes and following your professor's lead is easy to do, but surprisingly not everyone in the class does this.

I got one middle tier and one lower tier on midterm type of assignments, supposed to get another back this week. It's no big deal if you lower tier right now. Hopefully your professors/fellows/TAs are giving you good feedback on these assignments to go off of.

I know a person in my section who freaked out after getting a lower tier score, instead of taking advantage of the page of notes the professor left. Being able to handle criticism to your advantage or seek help is something everyone is capable of but has to choose to actually do. There isn't much that's separating you from the top and middle, and from my experience, professors are willing to throw you a bone or two if you go to office hours and genuinely show you want to learn.

Like McGregor's motto, "Win or Learn."




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