badfish wrote:It is best not to worry too much about this shit until you have to.
This might be fine if law students began law school in the right direction. But most do not.
Everyone reading this is very smart. A few are very, very smart. And a handful are very, very, very smart. Just about any of us could take a given set of instructions, even highly complex ones, and figure out a solid solution (sorry for the fecal allusion) within a nine-month deadline.
This is not law school. Just ask any 2L or 3L what the atmosphere is in March and April, and ask the question, "Is this right?" Why are super-smart people so utterly clueless all of a sudden? Mostly, it's because they have no idea whether they're doing the right thing or not. Most are not. Note-taking until your fingers are numb, case briefing, brown-nosing, color coding--you've got to be kidding!--all of these are ways in which law students spin their wheels until the cloud of toxic fumes is practically choking everyone. Those all worked in high school, kind of. They even worked in college--badly, but they worked. They will not work in law school. They worked before not because they were good techniques, but because you are
so smart. Practically any of us who could stay awake in class before could get a "B"...at least.
I try not to refer everyone to books . . . really I do . . . but this is just so insane. There are references out there to help. Read Planet Law School. Radical and widely attacked, it's also the best map for doing very well in law school. To put that book into context, there's my book, Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold. I recommend a more moderate approach: prepare, but prepare in modest ways that will give you the biggest grade bang for the buck. You can still enjoy your summer, but you really, truly DO need to prepare.
If you're not willing to prepare for law school AT ALL, ask whether this career is really for you. Do you not
want to be in front of your senior partner's desk when you're explaining why your memo sucks like few memos have ever sucked before. It's not a pretty scene. (As long as I've mentioned memos, for anyone embarking on a clerkship, you MUST read Morten Lund's book, Jagged Rocks of Wisdom--The Memo. If you don't read it, you deserve
that partner's scowl and, likely, letter declining the permanent offer. Sorry to be blunt, but this is exactly how it's seen in a firm. Get it or don't get it, but either way make your move. A lack of preparation is its own answer.)
PS: I've been criticized for trolling with the above-type references. Perhaps. But aside from the fact that we could probably share a not-too-fancy lunch with the cumulative royalties for the relatively few times that I mention my own books, these works have advice and knowledge that simply cannot be duplicated, in the same way, here. Indeed, it's striking how much the Net is, in a real sense, a reverse-troll: everyone wants everything for free--very much unlike the world of law, by the way--and much of what is given is only partially beneficial, at best. Consider that our grandparents--or, more correctly, grandfathers--dealt with these issues with just about zero help, absent their father who happened to also be a lawyer. There's so much more out there now. Be wise in how you take advantage of it all.