UVA Law Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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vamedic03
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:43 pm

I'm going to avoid the majority of this conversation, but I do have a small 2 cents to add:

If you're a 1L, and you choose to do journal try outs, I have four pieces of advice:

1) When you pick which journals to try out for, take the time to scan a couple articles from each journal. Pick the journals whose subject matter you find most interesting and try out for those journals. Don't buy into the hype about certain secondary journals being more prestigious than others - the people who circulate those rumors tend to be people on certain journals. You might here about certain W&L rankings for law journals - this ranking system isn't about prestige, rather, its about number of citations - don't let that be a factor in your decision making. The reason that I suggest that you find a journal whose subject matter interests you is because, when you do a cite check, you'll be spending a lot of time with a very narrow range of material and it helps if you have some level of interest in the subject matter.

2) Anytime you have to use the bluebook for anything, look at the specific rule that applies to the source in question and make sure you follow that rule. Do this for every single citation. This will keep you from missing little things - which, in the end, do make a difference (if you don't catch it, you have to hope that your articles editor or executive editor catches it).

3) Don't half ass the try out. Prepare yourself to spend the entire weekend on it and get little sleep. While your odds of writing on to Law Review are small, and depend on many factors, they are still better than nothing. It's a great opportunity and you should really give it your all.

4) If you're concerned about the work load of a journal, a good proxy for work load (since, as you will learn during OGI - never believe what someone else tells you about workload) is the number of times a year a journal is published. This can range from LR's 8 times per year to JLP & VJIL's 4 times per year to VASE and VELJ's twice per year. [not positive on the actual number on the last two]

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YCrevolution
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby YCrevolution » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:00 pm

..

josette
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby josette » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:28 am

This forum is a tad discouraging. I feel as if I'm already behind in studying for Law School exams, choosing 1L electives, finding a summer job, trying out for a journal, and -hahaha - I'm still an undergraduate, but accepted to start at UVA next summer. Your advice is welcome, but it seems to boil down to: get the best grades you possibly can while appearing not to care, so that people don't call you a suckup/gunner. Puuulllleeeze, someone say something cheerful about studying law at UVA.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby bgdddymtty » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:46 am

josette wrote:This forum is a tad discouraging. I feel as if I'm already behind in studying for Law School exams, choosing 1L electives, finding a summer job, trying out for a journal, and -hahaha - I'm still an undergraduate, but accepted to start at UVA next summer. Your advice is welcome, but it seems to boil down to: get the best grades you possibly can while appearing not to care, so that people don't call you a suckup/gunner. Puuulllleeeze, someone say something cheerful about studying law at UVA.

It's better here than everywhere else. :shock:

josette
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby josette » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:02 am

I'll buy a softball glove and show up.

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skers
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby skers » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:10 am

I'm headed to Charlottesville at the beginning of next week. I have a day to spend there. What should I check out to get a good feel of the area?

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jawsthegreat
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby jawsthegreat » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:12 am

josette wrote:This forum is a tad discouraging. I feel as if I'm already behind in studying for Law School exams, choosing 1L electives, finding a summer job, trying out for a journal, and -hahaha - I'm still an undergraduate, but accepted to start at UVA next summer. Your advice is welcome, but it seems to boil down to: get the best grades you possibly can while appearing not to care, so that people don't call you a suckup/gunner. Puuulllleeeze, someone say something cheerful about studying law at UVA.


^^^^^ Doesn't get it.

005618502
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:49 am

How high (% wise) do you have to be to grade onto LR?

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vanwinkle
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:55 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:How high (% wise) do you have to be to grade onto LR?

There are 25 spots reserved for grade-on. Assuming a 360-person class, that's right around top 7% or so.

005618502
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:03 am

vanwinkle wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:How high (% wise) do you have to be to grade onto LR?

There are 25 spots reserved for grade-on. Assuming a 360-person class, that's right around top 7% or so.


Wow so top 10% doesnt cut it, suprising. I guess that makes sense

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:03 am

vanwinkle wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:How high (% wise) do you have to be to grade onto LR?

There are 25 spots reserved for grade-on. Assuming a 360-person class, that's right around top 7% or so.[/quote

I'm still confused as to exactly what GPA is top 10 percent; is it 3.6 or 3.7?

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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:05 am

BruceWayne wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:How high (% wise) do you have to be to grade onto LR?

There are 25 spots reserved for grade-on. Assuming a 360-person class, that's right around top 7% or so.[/quote

I'm still confused as to exactly what GPA is top 10 percent; is it 3.6 or 3.7?


Wont that vary depending on how the grades are distributed between students?

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vanwinkle
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:08 am

BruceWayne wrote:I'm still confused as to exactly what GPA is top 10 percent; is it 3.6 or 3.7?

It's not exactly fixed. The curve is set to 3.3, but each year there'll be minor variation in where the lines are drawn on total GPAs because each cycle the grading distribution is just a little different than the one before it. Top 10% is nearly always in the 3.6x range, though, and LR is going to be 3.7x or above.

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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:11 am

vanwinkle wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:I'm still confused as to exactly what GPA is top 10 percent; is it 3.6 or 3.7?

It's not exactly fixed. The curve is set to 3.3, but each year there'll be minor variation in where the lines are drawn on total GPAs because each cycle the grading distribution is just a little different than the one before it. Top 10% is nearly always in the 3.6x range, though, and LR is going to be 3.7x or above.


Its so hard to think that reaching that level is THAT difficult. I mean in UG anyone with a functioning brain and great work ethic can get a 3.7x or better. Im not saying i dont think its as hard as everyone makes it out to be, because i completely believe it is just as hard as people make it out to be....its just hard to understand. I mean, i guess the level of competition is MUCH higher and people are thinking less of getting drunk and partying, and more about focusing on studies to do well.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:19 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:I'm still confused as to exactly what GPA is top 10 percent; is it 3.6 or 3.7?

It's not exactly fixed. The curve is set to 3.3, but each year there'll be minor variation in where the lines are drawn on total GPAs because each cycle the grading distribution is just a little different than the one before it. Top 10% is nearly always in the 3.6x range, though, and LR is going to be 3.7x or above.


Its so hard to think that reaching that level is THAT difficult. I mean in UG anyone with a functioning brain and great work ethic can get a 3.7x or better. Im not saying i dont think its as hard as everyone makes it out to be, because i completely believe it is just as hard as people make it out to be....its just hard to understand. I mean, i guess the level of competition is MUCH higher and people are thinking less of getting drunk and partying, and more about focusing on studies to do well.



I'm going to come out and say something that isn't often said on here, and frankly until grades come out it means nothing, but.....TLS somewhat overstates the number of people in law school that are really going all out. Quite honestly there are a ton of people in all my classes who constantly, and I mean constantly G-chat. People go out A LOT (even at this point in the year) and a lot of people miss a good deal of classes. People are constantly playing softball and people have time for "drama" etc. I say all of that to say, although I'm sure it's very hard to be top 10 percent; but this nirvana level of studiousness that a lot of people describe on here just doesn't seem that pervasive here to me.

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vanwinkle
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:21 am

AssumptionRequired wrote:Its so hard to think that reaching that level is THAT difficult. I mean in UG anyone with a functioning brain and great work ethic can get a 3.7x or better.

1) Law school is NOT like UG. If you prep for a law school exam like you prepped for UG, you will end up below median. Law school requires more.

2) Everything is graded on a curve. You're being graded against your peers. The problem is that your peers are people with functioning brains and good work ethics, so you can't just do well, you need to do more well than them.

Law school is a totally different animal than UG. And trust me, reaching a GPA that high in law school is damned near impossible. There are those who do it, but they're far outnumbered by those who tried their best and fell short.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:26 am

vanwinkle wrote:
AssumptionRequired wrote:Its so hard to think that reaching that level is THAT difficult. I mean in UG anyone with a functioning brain and great work ethic can get a 3.7x or better.

1) Law school is NOT like UG. If you prep for a law school exam like you prepped for UG, you will end up below median. Law school requires more.

2) Everything is graded on a curve. You're being graded against your peers. The problem is that your peers are people with functioning brains and good work ethics, so you can't just do well, you need to do more well than them.

Law school is a totally different animal than UG. And trust me, reaching a GPA that high in law school is damned near impossible. There are those who do it, but they're far outnumbered by those who tried their best and fell short.



This really depends on the major you had in UG. Frankly for the typical law school student (who majored in poli sci, English, History etc.) it does require a lot more. But for those people who were majoring in things like Math, Chemistry, Microbiology, Physics, even the harder Economics and Accounting programs it's not an increase. It's not as hard to grasp either.

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RVP11
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby RVP11 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:29 am

BruceWayne wrote:Quite honestly there are a ton of people in all my classes who constantly, and I mean constantly G-chat.


Definitely agree that TLS overstates how many people are busting their ass in law school. A lot of people treat it like undergrad.

FWIW, I and many others G-chatted through 1L and still did very well. Some made LR. I wouldn't base much on in-class behavior.

I believe 3.65 is a rough estimate of top 10%.
Last edited by RVP11 on Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:31 am

RVP11 wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:Quite honestly there are a ton of people in all my classes who constantly, and I mean constantly G-chat.


Definitely agree that TLS overstates how many people are busting their ass in law school. A lot of people treat it like undergrad.

FWIW, I and many others G-chatted their way through 1L and still did very well. Some made LR. I wouldn't base much on in-class behavior.


And I definitely believe that. But I think that that previous poster was getting the idea that people are hyper nerds and in this state of law school nirvana--some are but many people treat it just like college.

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RVP11
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby RVP11 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:34 am

FWIW I also G-chatted way more, and paid less attention in class in spring semester, only to do better on exams. If G-chat time is correlated to exam success, I will be shattering the curve in two weeks.

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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby 005618502 » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:30 pm

RVP11 wrote:FWIW I also G-chatted way more, and paid less attention in class in spring semester, only to do better on exams. If G-chat time is correlated to exam success, I will be shattering the curve in two weeks.


Haha thats awsome that worked for you, were you chatting about law related (or LS related items) or the drinking venue for that evening

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jawsthegreat
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby jawsthegreat » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:07 pm

AssumptionRequired wrote:
RVP11 wrote:FWIW I also G-chatted way more, and paid less attention in class in spring semester, only to do better on exams. If G-chat time is correlated to exam success, I will be shattering the curve in two weeks.


Haha thats awsome that worked for you, were you chatting about law related (or LS related items) or the drinking venue for that evening


When gchatting in class you do not gchat about class.

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bgdddymtty
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby bgdddymtty » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:50 pm

BruceWayne wrote:This really depends on the major you had in UG. Frankly for the typical law school student (who majored in poli sci, English, History etc.) it does require a lot more. But for those people who were majoring in things like Math, Chemistry, Microbiology, Physics, even the harder Economics and Accounting programs it's not an increase. It's not as hard to grasp either.

I think that this is entirely wrong. Most people may think that the sciences are "harder" than law, but that's not the point. In virtually everything you do (at least as an undergrad) in any of the disciplines that you mentioned, you're trying to find the correct answer. In law school, however, there is almost never a correct answer! Even for those few times when there is one correct outcome on a given question, success on a law school exam rests far more on "showing your work" than on actually arriving at that answer.

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gladiator
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby gladiator » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:50 pm

Contrary to intuition, amount of time spent studying/not going out has a low correlation to grades in law school. A large chunk is innate ability which unfortunately you won't really know if you have or not until you get your grades back.

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BruceWayne
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Re: UVA 2L taking questions

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:09 pm

bgdddymtty wrote:
BruceWayne wrote:This really depends on the major you had in UG. Frankly for the typical law school student (who majored in poli sci, English, History etc.) it does require a lot more. But for those people who were majoring in things like Math, Chemistry, Microbiology, Physics, even the harder Economics and Accounting programs it's not an increase. It's not as hard to grasp either.

I think that this is entirely wrong. Most people may think that the sciences are "harder" than law, but that's not the point. In virtually everything you do (at least as an undergrad) in any of the disciplines that you mentioned, you're trying to find the correct answer. In law school, however, there is almost never a correct answer! Even for those few times when there is one correct outcome on a given question, success on a law school exam rests far more on "showing your work" than on actually arriving at that answer.


Whether or not there is only one right answer in those disciplines (which for the record would contribute to difficulty not lessen it) it is much more intellectually demanding to come up with that answer than it is to do what you are doing on a law school exam. Figuring out the correct answers in multivariable calculus, thermodynamics, or Biochemistry is simply on an entirely different playing field than the first year legal curriculum. As I saw raynier post once, the material in law school isn't difficult. It's the forced curve and competing against people of similair intellectual aptitude that generates the difficulty. And frankly, showing your work in law school is just a way of saying: "argue both sides" or "show why this rule applies" etc. Showing your work is a huge part of higher level math: that's the whole point of the insanely complex proofs required in subjects like topology.




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