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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Br3v
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:16 pm

Yeah my take is that reading ahead just can't hurt (which considering you guys are fresh from the LSAT know =/= can help)

Scenario 1) you learn stuff your prof doesn't teach.
This just means you wasted your time but considering the opportunity cost of a rising 1L in the summer is roughly 0, it just means instead of binge watching True Detective or something you learned torts.

Scenario 2) I say you can learn things "different" than your prof teaches, but your average student is able to adapt to your profs preferences. You've done so your entire life.


Scenario 3) you waste money because you don't read the supplements you bought.
This is the most likely scenario but regardless, you may be able to use them during the school year anyways. If not you have some extra books in your room to look smart.

I really can't think of another negative.

The positive of course is that you learn some material early, potentially allowing you to shift your semesters schedule forward and use your time towards the end of the semester to practice exams. (Again, your fresh from the LSAT and can see their are a lot of conditional statements in that, some out of your control, so take it for what it's worth.)


If I were talking to rising 1L me I would say read some books by the pool.

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North
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby North » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:01 am

Br3v wrote:If I were talking to rising 1L me I would say read some books by the pool.

Agree

(Paging my bro First offense for disagree)

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jkpolk
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jkpolk » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:17 am

Learn what your prof teaches you. No more and no less. The substantive part of law school is easy so it is impossible to get a jump on the curve.

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First Offense
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby First Offense » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:16 am

North wrote:
Br3v wrote:If I were talking to rising 1L me I would say read some books by the pool.

Agree

(Paging my bro First offense for disagree)

Responding. I'm of the opposite mind. Learning the law is not the hard part, but everyone does shit differently.

Heat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Heat » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:24 am

polkij333 wrote:Learn what your prof teaches you. No more and no less. The substantive part of law school is easy so it is impossible to get a jump on the curve.


This is not me calling you out by any means, but comments like this make me wonder exactly how skewed this TLS group is when it comes to the curve. I feel that the substantive law was often really easy, but I don't think that was a common sentiment. People didn't spend hundreds of hours in the library 1L year improving their typing speed or doing every essay they could find on the internet. I think the average law student feels that learning the law to the extent necessary for the test, is not that easy.

I'd also like to add from personal experience that while I thought learning the law was easy, I can safely say I only learned what I felt I needed to know for the test. Had I been willing to put in more hours to learn the subtleties of the law, I'm confident my grades could have improved. The diminishing returns of such an endeavor just were not appealing to me. I just don't memorize things easily. I think that having worked as a 0L I could have learned a lot more broad points early which would have allowed me to learn more specific stuff during the semester without adding significant study time. So it definitely depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are as a test taker and a student.

daleearnhardt123
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:29 am

Heat wrote:
polkij333 wrote:Learn what your prof teaches you. No more and no less. The substantive part of law school is easy so it is impossible to get a jump on the curve.


This is not me calling you out by any means, but comments like this make me wonder exactly how skewed this TLS group is when it comes to the curve. I feel that the substantive law was often really easy, but I don't think that was a common sentiment. People didn't spend hundreds of hours in the library 1L year improving their typing speed or doing every essay they could find on the internet. I think the average law student feels that learning the law to the extent necessary for the test, is not that easy.

I'd also like to add from personal experience that while I thought learning the law was easy, I can safely say I only learned what I felt I needed to know for the test. Had I been willing to put in more hours to learn the subtleties of the law, I'm confident my grades could have improved. The diminishing returns of such an endeavor just were not appealing to me. I just don't memorize things easily. I think that having worked as a 0L I could have learned a lot more broad points early which would have allowed me to learn more specific stuff during the semester without adding significant study time. So it definitely depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are as a test taker and a student.


0Ls: observe as the humble bragger ("HBer") above makes an absolute fool of him/herself

1. HBer says "learning the law was easy for me"
2. HBer says "I only learned what I needed to know for the exam"
3. HBer says "if I had studied more, I could've done better"

edit: just to drive the point home ->. At OGI, the interviewers will not exactly eat up the whole "ya I'm at/beneath median, but that's because I only learned what I had to learn for the exam!" Shtick. I mean, it doesn't even make sense in its own right. Unless you're getting A+s you have NOT learned everything you could for the exam.

CvilleRunner
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby CvilleRunner » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:38 am

First Offense wrote:
North wrote:
Br3v wrote:If I were talking to rising 1L me I would say read some books by the pool.

Agree

(Paging my bro First offense for disagree)

Responding. I'm of the opposite mind. Learning the law is not the hard part, but everyone does shit differently.


As I mentioned above, I totally bought into the idea of learning substantive law ahead of school. I can tell you that I don't think it helped me that much simply because it didn't really stick without context. I got the same or very similar grades for classes that I prepared for as the classes that I didn't.

That being said - I think do whatever makes you feel like you are going to be best prepared. You will see a lot of people tell you to take time off and relax before law school and if that is what you need to come into law school feeling prepared and well-rested, then great! Do that! If you are sitting at home worrying about learning the substantive law (which I actually think was challenging to understand, or to understand the way you need to for exams) then get some hornbooks and read through them. Worst case scenario is you waste some summer evenings reading law books, but I don't think you are in danger of doing WORSE on an exam because you read a supplement ahead of time. But I think the worst thing you can do is sitting at home wondering if you should be doing more to prepare - just do whatever you need to do to feel as ready as you can.

And as a piece of unsolicited advice, I recommend thinking about what you'll do outside of law school and classes to keep yourself sane. For me it was working out and for others it might be going to breweries or knitting - anything. Just make sure your whole life isn't going to be studying this fall.

WahooLaw24
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby WahooLaw24 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:47 am

CvilleRunner wrote:
First Offense wrote:
North wrote:
Br3v wrote:If I were talking to rising 1L me I would say read some books by the pool.

Agree

(Paging my bro First offense for disagree)

Responding. I'm of the opposite mind. Learning the law is not the hard part, but everyone does shit differently.


As I mentioned above, I totally bought into the idea of learning substantive law ahead of school. I can tell you that I don't think it helped me that much simply because it didn't really stick without context. I got the same or very similar grades for classes that I prepared for as the classes that I didn't.

That being said - I think do whatever makes you feel like you are going to be best prepared. You will see a lot of people tell you to take time off and relax before law school and if that is what you need to come into law school feeling prepared and well-rested, then great! Do that! If you are sitting at home worrying about learning the substantive law (which I actually think was challenging to understand, or to understand the way you need to for exams) then get some hornbooks and read through them. Worst case scenario is you waste some summer evenings reading law books, but I don't think you are in danger of doing WORSE on an exam because you read a supplement ahead of time. But I think the worst thing you can do is sitting at home wondering if you should be doing more to prepare - just do whatever you need to do to feel as ready as you can.

And as a piece of unsolicited advice, I recommend thinking about what you'll do outside of law school and classes to keep yourself sane. For me it was working out and for others it might be going to breweries or knitting - anything. Just make sure your whole life isn't going to be studying this fall.


Though I fall on the side of don't do 0L substantive prep, all of this is credited. Especially the last paragraph. Very much the last paragraph. Well said CVilleRunner.

Heat
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Heat » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:23 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:
Heat wrote:
polkij333 wrote:Learn what your prof teaches you. No more and no less. The substantive part of law school is easy so it is impossible to get a jump on the curve.


This is not me calling you out by any means, but comments like this make me wonder exactly how skewed this TLS group is when it comes to the curve. I feel that the substantive law was often really easy, but I don't think that was a common sentiment. People didn't spend hundreds of hours in the library 1L year improving their typing speed or doing every essay they could find on the internet. I think the average law student feels that learning the law to the extent necessary for the test, is not that easy.

I'd also like to add from personal experience that while I thought learning the law was easy, I can safely say I only learned what I felt I needed to know for the test. Had I been willing to put in more hours to learn the subtleties of the law, I'm confident my grades could have improved. The diminishing returns of such an endeavor just were not appealing to me. I just don't memorize things easily. I think that having worked as a 0L I could have learned a lot more broad points early which would have allowed me to learn more specific stuff during the semester without adding significant study time. So it definitely depends on what your strengths and weaknesses are as a test taker and a student.


0Ls: observe as the humble bragger ("HBer") above makes an absolute fool of him/herself

1. HBer says "learning the law was easy for me"
2. HBer says "I only learned what I needed to know for the exam"
3. HBer says "if I had studied more, I could've done better"

edit: just to drive the point home ->. At OGI, the interviewers will not exactly eat up the whole "ya I'm at/beneath median, but that's because I only learned what I had to learn for the exam!" Shtick. I mean, it doesn't even make sense in its own right. Unless you're getting A+s you have NOT learned everything you could for the exam.


I'm not humble bragging. My grades were good, I know my grades were good, I've said in this topic my grades were good. I think every single person in the law school can get better grades if they put in more time. I have never seen anyone advocate for sitting in a room and memorizing every detail that could possibly be tested on every subject prior to exams. If spending more time and memorizing every detail is paramount, why doesn't everyone take a full year off prior to law school and just memorize the hornbooks? Anyone capable of getting into UVa is capable of memorizing every single doctrine to the extent necessary to get an A+ given enough time and determination.

My point (and the point of others in this thread who have said it repeatedly) is you are taking an exam, you learn what you think will be useful on the exam so that you can spend your other time making connections to professors, alumni, and most importantly your classmates. My "humble brag" was that I didn't sit in a dark room for hours on end memorizing things to get 1 extra point here or there and neither did most of my classmates because we are intelligent enough to know that the connections we made and life experiences outweigh those extra points. Judging by your need to make snarky comments, I would guess you didn't figure that out and your time spent in the dark room was not very successful. Your asshole commentary is both unappreciated and unproductive.

Quick edit: The actual point of those lines in my initial point was to start a discussion as to whether or not it is the case that people are finding substantive law difficult to understand prior to the exam and if so what advice would be better than start learning it before hand. This post was mostly a tangential defense as to my phrasing.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby plenipotentiary » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:39 pm

daleearnhardt123 wrote:[At OGI, the interviewers will not exactly eat up the whole "ya I'm at/beneath median, but that's because I only learned what I had to learn for the exam!" Shtick. I mean, it doesn't even make sense in its own right. Unless you're getting A+s you have NOT learned everything you could for the exam.


You totally misread that statement. I think it's pretty clear that he meant that he learned what he had to learn TO DO WELL ON the exam. Why else would he be giving advice to incoming law students? Do you think people who did poorly on their exams and struck out at OGI often post on TLS encouraging other people to do what they did?

For the record, I actually have seen pre-law school studying hurt someone's grades. Burnout and complacency are both real.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:23 pm

plenipotentiary wrote:
For the record, I actually have seen pre-law school studying hurt someone's grades. Burnout and complacency are both real.


Equally, I don't think anyone has suggested or even hinted that a 0L should read to the point of burnout, or that they can learn enough to go in comfortable in their new-found knowledge and become complacent.

While I don't think reading legal stuff is necessary over the summer, if I was asked to recommend a subject to read on it would be torts and to cover the intentional torts and the negligence standard. Those are about the most straightforward concepts, they should be a big part of every 1L torts course, and you would get a decent understanding from the Abraham supplement I mentioned earlier.

Still you're probably better spending your time reading the guides to 1L success on here.

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Yardbird
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Yardbird » Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:58 am

albanach wrote:
plenipotentiary wrote:
For the record, I actually have seen pre-law school studying hurt someone's grades. Burnout and complacency are both real.


Equally, I don't think anyone has suggested or even hinted that a 0L should read to the point of burnout, or that they can learn enough to go in comfortable in their new-found knowledge and become complacent.

While I don't think reading legal stuff is necessary over the summer, if I was asked to recommend a subject to read on it would be torts and to cover the intentional torts and the negligence standard. Those are about the most straightforward concepts, they should be a big part of every 1L torts course, and you would get a decent understanding from the Abraham supplement I mentioned earlier.

Still you're probably better spending your time reading the guides to 1L success on here.
If you had GE White, you would never say negligence is straightforward.

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plenipotentiary
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby plenipotentiary » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:47 am

albanach wrote:
Equally, I don't think anyone has suggested or even hinted that a 0L should read to the point of burnout, or that they can learn enough to go in comfortable in their new-found knowledge and become complacent.

While I don't think reading legal stuff is necessary over the summer, if I was asked to recommend a subject to read on it would be torts and to cover the intentional torts and the negligence standard. Those are about the most straightforward concepts, they should be a big part of every 1L torts course, and you would get a decent understanding from the Abraham supplement I mentioned earlier.

Still you're probably better spending your time reading the guides to 1L success on here.


So, as it happens, I read the Abraham’s Torts supplement the summer before law school (and again before 1L finals) and I B+ed Torts. Maybe reading Abraham’s supplement would be great if you lucked out and happened to get Abraham as your Torts professor (but maybe not, given Abraham's infamous B+ curve). My best first semester grade was in Civ Pro and I literally did not understand what the words “civil procedure” meant on the first day of law school.

While doing a small amount of 0L prep did not lead to burnout or complacency in my case, absolutely all of it was a complete waste of time.

Gunners are gonna gun, and I know that many of the people reading this will ignore me and insist on wasting their time, mostly because they don't understand that soon enough free time will become a very precious commodity. But honestly, the most useful thing I learned during the summer before law school was how to play Settlers of Catan.

Want to do some 0L prep? Get in shape. Get your mind right. Get a hobby.

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Yardbird
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Yardbird » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:14 am

plenipotentiary wrote:
albanach wrote:
Equally, I don't think anyone has suggested or even hinted that a 0L should read to the point of burnout, or that they can learn enough to go in comfortable in their new-found knowledge and become complacent.

While I don't think reading legal stuff is necessary over the summer, if I was asked to recommend a subject to read on it would be torts and to cover the intentional torts and the negligence standard. Those are about the most straightforward concepts, they should be a big part of every 1L torts course, and you would get a decent understanding from the Abraham supplement I mentioned earlier.

Still you're probably better spending your time reading the guides to 1L success on here.


So, as it happens, I read the Abraham’s Torts supplement the summer before law school (and again before 1L finals) and I B+ed Torts. Maybe reading Abraham’s supplement would be great if you lucked out and happened to get Abraham as your Torts professor (but maybe not, given Abraham's infamous B+ curve). My best first semester grade was in Civ Pro and I literally did not understand what the words “civil procedure” meant on the first day of law school.

While doing a small amount of 0L prep did not lead to burnout or complacency in my case, absolutely all of it was a complete waste of time.

Gunners are gonna gun, and I know that many of the people reading this will ignore me and insist on wasting their time, mostly because they don't understand that soon enough free time will become a very precious commodity. But honestly, the most useful thing I learned during the summer before law school was how to play Settlers of Catan.

Want to do some 0L prep? Get in shape. Get your mind right. Get a hobby.
Spending some time at the driving range wouldn't hurt. Golf is great for networking and I wish I had a decent swing down before this summer. The judge I'm interning for invited me to be a 4th in his weekly game with two other judges and I had to turn him down (for now) because I had never played anything but mini golf.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:58 am

plenipotentiary wrote:So, as it happens, I read the Abraham’s Torts supplement the summer before law school (and again before 1L finals) and I B+ed Torts. Maybe reading Abraham’s supplement would be great if you lucked out and happened to get Abraham as your Torts professor (but maybe not, given Abraham's infamous B+ curve). My best first semester grade was in Civ Pro and I literally did not understand what the words “civil procedure” meant on the first day of law school.


You're surely not saying that reading the supplement actually hurt you? Just that your time could probably have been better spent relaxing, which most people seem to agree on. But most people seem to agree that some 0Ls will want to read some legal stuff, and I was trying to point those who do in a direction that might be at least a little useful.

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I said a 0L would be better spending time reading guides to 1L if they really want to be reading something. I recommended Torts, because I cannot think of any other 1L subject where you can be certain of what a large part of the course will contain, and where the topics are pretty understandable because the concepts are familiar. I don't think you could pick up a book on CivPro and just get it. K and Crim courses can both focus on wildly different things. Whereas every Torts court really has to spend a big chunk of the time on the intentional torts and negligence.

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chem
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby chem » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:05 am

plenipotentiary wrote:
albanach wrote:
Equally, I don't think anyone has suggested or even hinted that a 0L should read to the point of burnout, or that they can learn enough to go in comfortable in their new-found knowledge and become complacent.

While I don't think reading legal stuff is necessary over the summer, if I was asked to recommend a subject to read on it would be torts and to cover the intentional torts and the negligence standard. Those are about the most straightforward concepts, they should be a big part of every 1L torts course, and you would get a decent understanding from the Abraham supplement I mentioned earlier.

Still you're probably better spending your time reading the guides to 1L success on here.


So, as it happens, I read the Abraham’s Torts supplement the summer before law school (and again before 1L finals) and I B+ed Torts. Maybe reading Abraham’s supplement would be great if you lucked out and happened to get Abraham as your Torts professor (but maybe not, given Abraham's infamous B+ curve). My best first semester grade was in Civ Pro and I literally did not understand what the words “civil procedure” meant on the first day of law school.

While doing a small amount of 0L prep did not lead to burnout or complacency in my case, absolutely all of it was a complete waste of time.

Gunners are gonna gun, and I know that many of the people reading this will ignore me and insist on wasting their time, mostly because they don't understand that soon enough free time will become a very precious commodity. But honestly, the most useful thing I learned during the summer before law school was how to play Settlers of Catan.

Want to do some 0L prep? Get in shape. Get your mind right. Get a hobby.


One of the truest things ever said. This attitude should apply in law school too after 1L. Once you turn associate, you will cringe at how much time you threw away not having fun

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North
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby North » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:14 am

Okay I think that's enough of this edition of the TLS 0L prep debate

WahooLaw24
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby WahooLaw24 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:53 am

Does anyone know if Law Review invites have already gone out? I think they went out right around this time last year. I realize they said they'd come out before 7/12, so there's still plenty of time. This is just me being antsy. :D

Also, what's the historical cut-off, about a 3.73-3.75?

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Yardbird
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Yardbird » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:58 am

WahooLaw24 wrote:Does anyone know if Law Review invites have already gone out? I think they went out right around this time last year. I realize they said they'd come out before 7/12, so there's still plenty of time. This is just me being antsy. :D

Also, what's the historical cut-off, about a 3.73-3.75?
I think the cut-off is around there, I definitely won't be grading on or Virginia-planning on lol. The LRW prof I'm Dillard-ing for mentioned on Monday that VLR should be coming out "soon." I'm going to interpret that as by tomorrow or Monday.

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Br3v
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:51 pm

North wrote:Okay I think that's enough of this edition of the TLS 0L prep debate


Agreed, though it was marginally better than 0L cellphone service prep

lookingin
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby lookingin » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:40 pm

WahooLaw24 wrote:Does anyone know if Law Review invites have already gone out? I think they went out right around this time last year. I realize they said they'd come out before 7/12, so there's still plenty of time. This is just me being antsy. :D

Also, what's the historical cut-off, about a 3.73-3.75?


I just got a voicemail inviting me to join :)

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sundance95
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:44 pm

shadowofjazz wrote:
WahooLaw24 wrote:Does anyone know if Law Review invites have already gone out? I think they went out right around this time last year. I realize they said they'd come out before 7/12, so there's still plenty of time. This is just me being antsy. :D

Also, what's the historical cut-off, about a 3.73-3.75?
I think the cut-off is around there, I definitely won't be grading on or Virginia-planning on lol. The LRW prof I'm Dillard-ing for mentioned on Monday that VLR should be coming out "soon." I'm going to interpret that as by tomorrow or Monday.

Just FYI, your LRW prof has no direct knowledge of when VLR will be announced.

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Br3v
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Br3v » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:49 pm

lookingin wrote:
WahooLaw24 wrote:Does anyone know if Law Review invites have already gone out? I think they went out right around this time last year. I realize they said they'd come out before 7/12, so there's still plenty of time. This is just me being antsy. :D

Also, what's the historical cut-off, about a 3.73-3.75?


I just got a voicemail inviting me to join :)


Congrats!

WahooLaw24
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby WahooLaw24 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:52 pm

Yeah, I should have been about 2 hours more patient lol.

lookingin
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby lookingin » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:53 pm

Br3v wrote:
lookingin wrote:
WahooLaw24 wrote:Does anyone know if Law Review invites have already gone out? I think they went out right around this time last year. I realize they said they'd come out before 7/12, so there's still plenty of time. This is just me being antsy. :D

Also, what's the historical cut-off, about a 3.73-3.75?


I just got a voicemail inviting me to join :)


Congrats!


Thanks!




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