How hard is it to do well in law school?

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SHANbangs
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How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby SHANbangs » Mon May 10, 2010 9:29 pm

I take it law school is pretty hard regardless of where you go. Lots of people on these boards are saying that you can't make big law without being in the top 30 percent of your class, especially if you're not T-14. How hard is it to make top 30 percent? What is the correlation between the amount of work you put in (provided you study efficiently) and the ranking you get in your class? Or are grades just a crapshoot?

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Mon May 10, 2010 9:37 pm

Most likely it's considerably tougher than using the 'search' function on the website. That could be a troubling sign for you.

SHANbangs
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby SHANbangs » Mon May 10, 2010 9:44 pm

Apparently, inexperienced TLS posters are not allowed posting questions if there's already an answer hidden somewhere in the forum's archives.

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General Tso
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby General Tso » Mon May 10, 2010 9:46 pm

depends on the individual

the essential skills are:
-great memory
-analytical mind
-strong writing skills
-fast typer
-work ethic

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pleasetryagain
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby pleasetryagain » Mon May 10, 2010 9:54 pm

General Tso wrote:depends on the individual

the essential skills are:
-great memory
-analytical mind
-strong writing skills
-fast typer
-work ethic


so get to work on your typing skills.

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A'nold
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby A'nold » Mon May 10, 2010 9:59 pm

General Tso wrote:depends on the individual

the essential skills are:
-great memory
-analytical mind
-strong writing skills
-fast typer
-work ethic


Credited. And also, the answer is VERY HARD, if the property exam I took today is any indication......

Weez
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Weez » Mon May 10, 2010 9:59 pm

This is a pretty subjective question but I think what you're asking is, "Can I study a ton and be in the top 30%?"

Not necessarily. From all accounts, law school is much more about knowing how to think than memorizing facts. Being that they teach you how to think when you get there, it's hard to say how you'd do now, regardless of your success in undergrad. Also keep in mind, most of your law school classmates will have done well in undergrad. The ones who didn't probably rocked the LSAT and you should watch out for them even more. 99% of people in your class will be studying a ton. Those are the people you're competing against. How well you apply what you've learned will determine your success in relation to how well they will apply it.

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solotee
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby solotee » Mon May 10, 2010 10:09 pm

Kobe_Teeth wrote:Most likely it's considerably tougher than using the 'search' function on the website. That could be a troubling sign for you.


A fresh perspective can't hurt :wink:

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Mon May 10, 2010 10:20 pm

SHANbangs wrote:Apparently, inexperienced TLS posters are not allowed posting questions if there's already an answer hidden somewhere in the forum's archives.



660 posts ago I made the same mistakes and didn't learn my lesson until I received a bunch of smart-ass comments. Your ego will repair itself, I promise.

Renzo
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Renzo » Mon May 10, 2010 10:21 pm

You have a 50% chance of beating median.

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General Tso
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby General Tso » Mon May 10, 2010 10:21 pm

pleasetryagain wrote:
General Tso wrote:depends on the individual

the essential skills are:
-great memory
-analytical mind
-strong writing skills
-fast typer
-work ethic


so get to work on your typing skills.


You joke, but it actually is very important. Being able to type 40-50 wpm is almost a necessity to keep up with the pack. I typed 5500 words on my Torts exam in about 3.5 hours. Typing more doesn't necessarily equal better grades, but there's a strong correlation between typing more and (1) deeper analysis (2) wider breadth of issues.

also LOL @ those suckers trying to handwrite their exams. Good luck doing 5000+ words by hand in 3 hours. That + professors will be turned off if your handwriting is sloppy.

Renzo
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Renzo » Mon May 10, 2010 10:25 pm

General Tso wrote:
You joke, but it actually is very important. Being able to type 40-50 wpm is almost a necessity to keep up with the pack. I typed 5500 words on my Torts exam in about 3.5 hours. Typing more doesn't necessarily equal better grades, but there's a strong correlation between typing more and (1) deeper analysis (2) wider breadth of issues.

I am old, so I type slow (35-40 wpm). I don't think it has hurt my grades, but there have definitely, absolutely, positively, been exams where I had more to say than I was able to type in the allotted time.

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trialjunky
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby trialjunky » Thu May 13, 2010 7:24 am

Oh, they let you use the computer for your exams?!!?

legalized
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby legalized » Thu May 13, 2010 12:02 pm

trialjunky wrote:Oh, they let you use the computer for your exams?!!?


I'm rubbing my hands with glee. I type 80 wpm on a bad day. *smiling*

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ConMan345
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby ConMan345 » Thu May 13, 2010 12:05 pm

Renzo wrote:You have a 50% chance of beating median.

Not knowing how well you'll do doesn't mean it's like a flipping a coin, right?

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liquidsword
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby liquidsword » Thu May 13, 2010 12:14 pm

General Tso wrote:
pleasetryagain wrote:
General Tso wrote:depends on the individual

the essential skills are:
-great memory
-analytical mind
-strong writing skills
-fast typer
-work ethic


so get to work on your typing skills.


You joke, but it actually is very important. Being able to type 40-50 wpm is almost a necessity to keep up with the pack.


On a few school visits, I counted a considerable number of students in 1L classes typing solely with their index fingers. I was amazed.

Tautology
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Tautology » Thu May 13, 2010 12:23 pm

ConMan345 wrote:
Renzo wrote:You have a 50% chance of beating median.

Not knowing how well you'll do doesn't mean it's like a flipping a coin, right?


Without any other knowledge about the person, all you can say is that they have a ~50% chance of beating median (there is a possibility that they are the median law student if there are an odd number of students in the class, or tied with the median, so it's not quite 50%). In that sense, it's like flipping a coin, but if we knew more about the person, and the other people at his school, we could probably modify that number. Predicting the future though still includes a lot of chance.

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Bosque
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Bosque » Thu May 13, 2010 10:23 pm

Bah. Typing fast is not going to help you as much as you think. Heck, half of my exams this year had word/page limits. You should focus on getting out the stuff that matters, not just throwing out anything that comes to mind. It is much better to have a structured, focused answer than one which is twice as long and rambles incoherently.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby OperaSoprano » Thu May 13, 2010 10:27 pm

Renzo wrote:
General Tso wrote:
You joke, but it actually is very important. Being able to type 40-50 wpm is almost a necessity to keep up with the pack. I typed 5500 words on my Torts exam in about 3.5 hours. Typing more doesn't necessarily equal better grades, but there's a strong correlation between typing more and (1) deeper analysis (2) wider breadth of issues.

I am old, so I type slow (35-40 wpm). I don't think it has hurt my grades, but there have definitely, absolutely, positively, been exams where I had more to say than I was able to type in the allotted time.


You are not old, and neither am I, but I also type slowly. I didn't think it had hurt me until yesterday. Basically this just means we have to make every word count.

Renzo
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby Renzo » Fri May 14, 2010 9:40 pm

Bosque wrote:Bah. Typing fast is not going to help you as much as you think. Heck, half of my exams this year had word/page limits. You should focus on getting out the stuff that matters, not just throwing out anything that comes to mind. It is much better to have a structured, focused answer than one which is twice as long and rambles incoherently.

I'm not saying typing fast is a substitute for planning well and being concise. If I had to pick, I'd prefer to write well over writing fast, but I'd really prefer both.

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mallard
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby mallard » Fri May 14, 2010 9:43 pm

Well, you'll be up against a few hundred people who are, by all objective measures, about as smart as you, many of whom will be working ten- or twelve-hour days, and all of whom have also asked this question.

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1ferret!
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby 1ferret! » Fri May 14, 2010 11:08 pm

of course concise analysis will get the better grade, but being able to type fast as well as mastering the analysis will give you the edge over those with either/or. being able to get to all the issues rather than only the important ones will get you past the people who know what to do but can't keep up with the speed. I do alright, but only "finished" one exam this semester, which makes me suspect that I missed something rather than assuming that there were just abnormally few issues. Speed counts.

imchuckbass58
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Fri May 14, 2010 11:21 pm

General Tso wrote:
You joke, but it actually is very important. Being able to type 40-50 wpm is almost a necessity to keep up with the pack. I typed 5500 words on my Torts exam in about 3.5 hours. Typing more doesn't necessarily equal better grades, but there's a strong correlation between typing more and (1) deeper analysis (2) wider breadth of issues.

also LOL @ those suckers trying to handwrite their exams. Good luck doing 5000+ words by hand in 3 hours. That + professors will be turned off if your handwriting is sloppy.


So, my property professor claims to have done actual statistical analysis of exams from previous years, to see if exam length and grades were correlated at all.

He claims, that with minor exceptions, there is absolutely no correlation. Basically, he says if the exam is abnormally short, the student generally gets a bad grade because they just missed huge issues or had nothing to say. But supposedly he gave As to the same proportion of average-length exams as he did above-average-length exams.

Maybe it's his grading idiosyncracies, but I thought it was interesting.

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cendien
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby cendien » Fri May 14, 2010 11:49 pm

imchuckbass58 wrote:So, my property professor claims to have done actual statistical analysis of exams from previous years, to see if exam length and grades were correlated at all.

He claims, that with minor exceptions, there is absolutely no correlation. Basically, he says if the exam is abnormally short, the student generally gets a bad grade because they just missed huge issues or had nothing to say. But supposedly he gave As to the same proportion of average-length exams as he did above-average-length exams.

Maybe it's his grading idiosyncracies, but I thought it was interesting.


This is interesting, but I don't think it means much if the study only included one professor. Not saying its wrong - I just don't think you can make the claim without a larger sample.

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1ferret!
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Re: How hard is it to do well in law school?

Postby 1ferret! » Fri May 14, 2010 11:50 pm

FWIW, last year my civ pro professor had two handwritten essays that received As




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