A set of 0L questions

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Etudilos
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A set of 0L questions

Postby Etudilos » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:16 am

First, I just want to say that I've been amazed by the willingness of people on this board to answer questions 0Ls and 1Ls and have really learned a lot. I've read through the stickies on this board too, which have been a fantastic resource for me in my mission of preparing for Law School. I really appreciate any time people give to read my questions and answer them, especially considering their length and detail-- while I can't compensate you in any direct way now, I fully intend to pay it forward when I become a 1L or 2L and will help out 0Ls on this board.

I've got pretty much a clear summer and really want to do some summer preparation. After reading a lot, I've steered away from trying to learn anything substantive. I already read Contracts Nutshell by chance and will be skimming through the E&Es for my other first year subjects to get a general sense of the topics, but will not try to learn anything in detail. I'm going to be concentrating more and getting my life organized and just trying to clear things up in my life so that I can dedicate myself to law school when I arrive. Anyway, I'm obsessive and really want to enter school with an understanding of what I'm going to be doing and a battleplan for execution of preparing myself for the exams, and I had some questions about some things that have confused me. I've read all of the advice on the stickies for doing well in law school and delved into everything else I could get my hands on on and off TLS, and what questions I have are basically what remains a mystery to me. Again, thank you in advance for taking time to answer any of these, I realize how tedious they potentially are.

1. Notes: After looking at note samples of a few well-performing students, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how they arrived at their notes.

There are available podcasts of classroom audio of a few full 1st year courses, and I've listened through about 10 classes of two of them (one a con law course from Santa Clara and the other a property course from Penn). I didn't do this to get any substantive understanding, but instead for a feel of what a law school classroom is like and how teachers teach material. What confuses me though is that, if I understand correctly, theoretically by the coursebook and lectures alone you should be getting all of the information you need to answer what is necessary on the exams. After looking at a few opinions and listening to the lectures, I don't see how people end up with the notes and information that they do.

For example, look at a picture of the famous Xeoh85's notes: http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/x ... sNotes.jpg . They are succinct and include great detail about the intricacies and exceptions to rules. Opinions seem to rarely if ever go into so much substantive detail ("The court observes that promissory estoppel, the doctrine that.... elements generally include..") and from what I've observed professors rarely lay it out like that, and even indirectly don't give such detail on black letter law. He claims he did most of his notes in the library from reading cases and maybe referring to supplements, then filled in gaps during the lecture, but I still don't see quite how he got there. Did he read the case, figure out the topic, then just look the topic up in a supplement and write down the blackletter law listed there? If so, is it even wise (i.e. if the teacher didn't mention it should you be bringing it up on an exam?)? And what about something like the majority and minority on compensation for expectation damages-- where would he have gotten something like that? I have a hard time filling in the seemingly large gap between coursebooks, lectures, and notes like that, and would appreciate any insight.

2. Recording lectures: in all of the reading done I've only seen one person ever mention recording lectures, which surprised me. I've seen a lot of people emphasize how important it is to pay attention to what you teacher specifically mentions, what he emphasizes, and what he says in class. With this mentality, it seems like recording lectures would be a no brainer. If your professor wrote you an e-mail with their thoughts instead of saying them would you not read it twice? If so, why not listen to a lecture twice? So my question is this: does anyone record lectures? why or why not? And finally, if you do, do you just run a record program on your comp (I was wondering if this would pick up everything sufficiently) or use some other method?

3. Cutting Down Outlines: I've seen a lot of mention about keeping outlines sufficiently small and cutting them down to managable sizes, but no real explanation of how this is done. Do you make judgment calls about what is likely to be on the exam and what isn't, and just cut out what you judge to be unlikely? Do you just try and find the most succinct wording possible and that makes up for most of the shrinkage? Is there any methodical way to figure out what, of what is originally likely to be in your first-draft outline, is worth cutting out?

4. Organizing outlines and keeping pace: I was just curious what general method people use when they update their outlines throughout the semester for oganizing them. Do you just create headlines and subsections in accordance with the syllabus? Is it always clear what information is part of what topic, and if not how do you sort it out? etc.

5. Case information on exams: I've noticed some debate about how much specific case information to include in an outline in case a question refers to a specific case. I was wondering if it's possible (and if so why people dont seem to do it) to also just bring in a copy of your briefs in addition to your outline in case something is asked about a specific case.

6. Outside information: Is it safe to say that if it's not in the assigned material, and your professor doesn't mention it, it's not worth knowing (i.e. an exception to a discussed, specific rule)? And if it's not safe to say that, are there any general guidelines for how far you should step outside of the assigned material to add to what has been discussed?

This is lengthy and involves detailed answers, if anyone gives insight on any of the questions I'll feel deeply grateful. Thanks so much guys, I owe a lot of my growing comfort with my eventual enrollment in law school to this board.

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dood
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby dood » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:50 am

Etudilos wrote:

1. Notes: After looking at note samples of a few well-performing students, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how they arrived at their notes.

different people's notes vary significantly, xeohs is one way of doing it - u need to find what works for you the best. but before u figure that out, u need to write down everything the prof says. then as u figure out what is important, u can ignore the other shit. if u'r confused on what the holding or rule is in a case, consult case briefs on the internet or lexis.

2. Recording lectures: in all of the reading done I've only seen one person ever mention recording lectures, which surprised me. I've seen a lot of people emphasize how important it is to pay attention to what you teacher specifically mentions, what he emphasizes, and what he says in class. With this mentality, it seems like recording lectures would be a no brainer.

u are 100% correct, but most schools do not allow recording. at my school it is a big no-no and ethics violation.

3. Cutting Down Outlines:

its a process that involves making a big outline, using it to do sample exam problems, figuring out what you didn't use from your outline and removing, then repeat.

4. Organizing outlines and keeping pace:

yes, usually very clear to seg out your outline using the syllabus, though minor mods are always necessary at the end, you wont figure the best configuration until see above.

5. Case information on exams:

yeah, you could do that on any open book exam. but (1) very, very rarely will a test ask you about a specific case and (2) you should have the most important thing from a case pretty much memorized from outlining and doing sample exam problems

6. Outside information: Is it safe to say that if it's not in the assigned material, and your professor doesn't mention it, it's not worth knowing (i.e. an exception to a discussed, specific rule)?

yes. at one point i thought differently but the fact is all essay based exams are graded with a score checklist. your prof scans ur essay looking for key words and phrases, giving u points accordingly. the most legally correct answer wont necessarily be the best answer. regurgitate the shit your prof thinks is important - the stuff he talks about 10 times in 1 lecture.

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thecilent
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby thecilent » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:57 am

Op I actually feel you on most your questions (def not the lecture recordings though that's sooo not worth it).

I think the thing to remember is that this shizz will fall into place once we start school and get going

And dood thanks for the helpful response

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Cupidity
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Cupidity » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:12 am

1. Notes: After looking at note samples of a few well-performing students, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how they arrived at their notes.

Notes are garbage. They are just a way of helping you pay attention and look busy in class. Don't worry about taking good notes. You get a feel for the class and the subject matter through lectures, at the end of the semester you sit down with a supplement, your casebook and syllabus, and go back through everything to make an outline. You will never look at your class notes again.


2. Most professors will not allow you to record lectures. If your recorded a lecture in my section, I would mock you relentlessly. It would look incredibly douchey, and re-listening to the inane comments of your classmates is a horrible waste of time.

3. Any outline can be made less than 10 pages. I fit my civ pro outline on a post-it note...no lie.

4. Don't update throughout the semester, do not outline as you go. An outline is an exam taking and review tool. Until about 2-3 weeks before finals begin, you won't know enough to make an outline worth-while. If you read every day and pay attention in class throughout, you can settle down and work your ass off for the final month and do very well.

5. Again, feel out your prof. I needed to be able to cite cases for Torts, in K's I didn't need to cite any. Don't worry about factual content of the cases, worry about rules. IE: When making an outline for Contracts, throw in a site like Tourberg Lumber Co. next to your rule for Non-Compete Clauses. That way, when you write something about an NCC on your exam, you drop the name and score a point.

6. Yes! This is everyones mistake. You are going to learn 20% of the law on any subject if you are lucky! (barring Civ-Pro) Idiots will waste their time on supplements and E&E's trying to learn 100%, instead, figure out what the 20% and learn it well!

Green Crayons
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Green Crayons » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:15 am

Etudilos wrote:1. Notes: After looking at note samples of a few well-performing students, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how they arrived at their notes.
Fuck I've forgotten how ridiculously awesome Xeoh's notes are. You get the information from the cases and the notes following the cases (usually explaining the case, splits in the application and standards of the law, etc.). The professor has a syllabus, which is split into sections that are titled. The casebook has chapter titles that fall within these syllabus sections. The supplements have sections which correspond with the chapter titles. ...So there's that. Supplements don't really help me until I'm outlining when I'm basically relearning everything, so you shouldn't feel like approaching those sooner than necessary.

The best class (in terms of getting something useful out of it) will be the professor asking people to apply the law they should have learned from the reading (unless if you've just started or are going through a particularly complex bit of the class) to a new set of facts, so as to further touch on ambiguities that are your friend. Generally, professors will not use a new fact situation and just run over the fact scenario of the cases. This is boring. The gems are fewer and farther between when this happens.

Etudilos wrote:2. Recording lectures
Ugh. Fuck. No. Don't do this. Write out your notes before hand. Make sure they are good. In the beginning, this means that you will probably be taking too many notes. That's okay, you'll learn how to cut out the crap that isn't helpful over the next few months. That way, when the professor emphasizes something, you can just write it down right there in the appropriate section of your notes. You should hardly write in class.

Spending time to listen to a lecture again is a super inefficient waste of time. Listening to a disembodied voice is always less effective. Plus, if you have any questions, that's what student TAs, supplements, and office hours are for.

Etudilos wrote:3. Cutting Down Outlines: I've seen a lot of mention about keeping outlines sufficiently small and cutting them down to managable sizes, but no real explanation of how this is done.
Succinct wording is very important. Learning how to cull your word length down is essential. So that is part of it. Also, you get rid of the stuff that doesn't really matter, but you threw it in there because it seemed like a good idea at the time. You want the essentials that will help you remember what you want to remember and nothing more.

Etudilos wrote:4. Organizing outlines and keeping pace: I was just curious what general method people use when they update their outlines throughout the semester for oganizing them. Do you just create headlines and subsections in accordance with the syllabus? Is it always clear what information is part of what topic, and if not how do you sort it out? etc.
Yes. Otherwise it's just a wall of text. | Yes, because there are syllabus sections, chapter titles, and supplement sections.

Etudilos wrote:5. Case information on exams: I've noticed some debate about how much specific case information to include in an outline in case a question refers to a specific case. I was wondering if it's possible (and if so why people dont seem to do it) to also just bring in a copy of your briefs in addition to your outline in case something is asked about a specific case.
Briefs are way too much information to have re: facts. Cases are most important because they tell you the law. The facts are important only to the extent that they show you how the law may be applied. You'll only use the main facts relevant to the law (not nearly as much anyone thinks if class discussion has anything to say about it) for each respective case so on the exam you can explain how to distinguish or extend the hypo facts (hint: for most issues, you can do both and you should argue both sides).

Etudilos wrote:6. Outside information: Is it safe to say that if it's not in the assigned material, and your professor doesn't mention it, it's not worth knowing (i.e. an exception to a discussed, specific rule)? And if it's not safe to say that, are there any general guidelines for how far you should step outside of the assigned material to add to what has been discussed?
No, that is not safe. Talk to a 2L/3L and make sure that your professor doesn't test things they don't teach. Learning that two weeks from your final is the worst. As for general guidelines? Who knows. Take whatever steps the reasonable, 1L law student would do.

Otherwise, stick to what the professor focuses on. If you're required to read it but class doesn't go over it, don't think that you shouldn't know what was assigned.

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Grizz
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Grizz » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:18 am

teal deer

Etudilos
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Etudilos » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:18 am

Thanks big time so far for the responses guys, my understanding is really taking shape after your responses. I'm really enjoying and appreciating getting a variety of views, too.

teal deer


indian cavern. Think about it.

forty-two
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby forty-two » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:46 am

Cupidity wrote:1. Notes: After looking at note samples of a few well-performing students, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how they arrived at their notes.

Notes are garbage. They are just a way of helping you pay attention and look busy in class. Don't worry about taking good notes. You get a feel for the class and the subject matter through lectures, at the end of the semester you sit down with a supplement, your casebook and syllabus, and go back through everything to make an outline. You will never look at your class notes again.

Obviously this works for you, but I don't think it's good advice in most situations. Notes are so important because they show you what your professor thinks about the law, what he thinks is important, and what he thinks is stupid. For outlines, I typically do a mix of old outlines, casebook, supplements/tapes, and my notes. Also, my notes help me figure out how to tailor each exam to each professor, which is incredibly important.

OP, as far as what you need to be getting from class, if our professor doesn't hit a rule or area in the law at all, ignore it (this is why I think substantive 0L prep is a bad idea, you might remember things you read that your prof doesn't care about...one professor at my school is known for taking points off student's exams for bringing in material he didn't cover, even when it's obvious the students got the information from the casebook or hornbook that professor wrote). However, one of my professors this semester doesn't teach us elements. We discuss the cases, policy points, and statutes in class, but I'm responsible for knowing the elements, which can be found in a supplement or old outlines. Another one of my professors this semester is very case heavy, so I have to figure out how the cases all fit together on my own, again from a hornbook and old outlines. One of my professors, on the other hand, is super clear and straightforward. Looking at supplements is actually kind of a bad idea in her class because my notes are very clear and easy to understand, so supplements are kind of confusing because they explain things differently. Does this make any sense?

Good luck OP! Just remember that every class and prof is different, so you'll have to figure out how to tailor your notes, study habits, and exams to each one. This isn't all that difficult though, you'll get a feel for what you have to do and how you have to do it once school starts.

Etudilos
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Etudilos » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:11 pm

Thanks, forty-two, that makes a great deal of sense. I've heard everyone stress about catering to your particular professor's teaching style, but I've never really heard it explained in any depth-- much more clear now. Thanks again for taking the time to answer.

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holeinone600
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby holeinone600 » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:26 pm

tag

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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Naked Dude » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:34 pm

holeinone600 wrote:tag


Dude, Bookmark the dang topic.

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traehekat
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby traehekat » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:30 am

Etudilos wrote:First, I just want to say that I've been amazed by the willingness of people on this board to answer questions 0Ls and 1Ls and have really learned a lot. I've read through the stickies on this board too, which have been a fantastic resource for me in my mission of preparing for Law School. I really appreciate any time people give to read my questions and answer them, especially considering their length and detail-- while I can't compensate you in any direct way now, I fully intend to pay it forward when I become a 1L or 2L and will help out 0Ls on this board.

I've got pretty much a clear summer and really want to do some summer preparation. After reading a lot, I've steered away from trying to learn anything substantive. I already read Contracts Nutshell by chance and will be skimming through the E&Es for my other first year subjects to get a general sense of the topics, but will not try to learn anything in detail. I'm going to be concentrating more and getting my life organized and just trying to clear things up in my life so that I can dedicate myself to law school when I arrive. Anyway, I'm obsessive and really want to enter school with an understanding of what I'm going to be doing and a battleplan for execution of preparing myself for the exams, and I had some questions about some things that have confused me. I've read all of the advice on the stickies for doing well in law school and delved into everything else I could get my hands on on and off TLS, and what questions I have are basically what remains a mystery to me. Again, thank you in advance for taking time to answer any of these, I realize how tedious they potentially are.

1. Notes: After looking at note samples of a few well-performing students, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how they arrived at their notes.

Of all the things top-performing students do differently (and there are a lot), note taking strategy is probably the most varying. It is just a highly personal thing and people have their own ways of doing it. I don't think there is any one right way to go about it. Some people take notes on every single thing coming out of the professor's mouth. Some hardly take any notes. It can depend on the professor, too. It is hard to get many notes out of a professor who heavily uses the socratic method because it is the students who are talking most of the time, and to be honest, who knows what they are saying is right (especially 1L, first semester - I certainly had no clue most of the time)? Others will actually lay out the law for you, and obviously you take notes on that.

I'll tell you what I did, and you can determine if that would work for you. I organized my notes case by case. When we would go over facts of a case, I wouldn't pay attention. When we would talk about things like, "Why do you think x?", I would pay attention, but still no notes. But once you start hearing those magical phrases, "Basically what the court is saying..." then I start typing. I may think I know what the court said (because hopefully I actually read the case), but I want my professor's interpretation. Anything the professor bothered to write on the board I would take down in my notes. Any BLL would go in the notes. That is basically it. I guess it just amounts to, "Is this something I am going to be able to use on the exam, or is going to help me understand the law?" BTW, this is an example of a professor who was great at laying things out for us while still using the socratic method. Some professors you won't get those magical phrases as often, and thus you have less noets.


2. Recording lectures: So my question is this: does anyone record lectures? why or why not? And finally, if you do, do you just run a record program on your comp (I was wondering if this would pick up everything sufficiently) or use some other method?

As I'm sure others have mentioned, most professors probably don't allow it. Their lectures are their "intellectual property" basically. If you want to do it I would absolutely ask permission first. As for whether or not it is useful, I highly doubt it. Class can be a big waste of time as it is, so I can't really think of anything less productive than sitting there and actually listening to it AGAIN. If you pay attention in class and take decent notes, there is no need to record the lecture and listen to it again. This is a no-brainer.

3. Cutting Down Outlines: I've seen a lot of mention about keeping outlines sufficiently small and cutting them down to managable sizes, but no real explanation of how this is done. Do you make judgment calls about what is likely to be on the exam and what isn't, and just cut out what you judge to be unlikely? Do you just try and find the most succinct wording possible and that makes up for most of the shrinkage? Is there any methodical way to figure out what, of what is originally likely to be in your first-draft outline, is worth cutting out?

Another personal thing. I'm not really sure what everyone means by "cutting them down." If "cutting down" means condensing, then yeah I do that. If it means outlining and then going back through it and actually deleting stuff, then no I don't do that. I make judgment calls as I outline on what to put in and what to leave out. I think I'm a little different than most people in that my outlines end up to be mini treatises rather than a "skeleton of the class material" or whatever they are supposed to be. That's probably cause I actually write out what the law is and stuff rather than use some kind of shorthand.

What I ended up doing for all my classes last semester was making checklists, and I think it helped create a manageable strategy to attack the exam with the material. I highly suggest making one of these, and I know A LOT of students on here do them. An example would be something like this:

Battery
[*]Intentional?
[*]Contact?
[*]Harmful/Offensive?

I would do this for every intentional tort, unintentional tort, etc. Now, there is a lot that goes under all these elements, but that is left in my actual outline. This is more of just a reminder during the exam, like something to trigger your brain.


BTW, outlining was very important for me. Everything I needed to know for the exam was in my outline, and once it was complete I didn't touch anything else to study (casebook, supplements, other outlines, etc.). I think it is nice to just have one thing at the end of the semester to have to look at and study. It can take a lot of time to pull everything together from all these different sources, but once you do it feels good and makes learning the law less daunting.

4. Organizing outlines and keeping pace: I was just curious what general method people use when they update their outlines throughout the semester for oganizing them. Do you just create headlines and subsections in accordance with the syllabus? Is it always clear what information is part of what topic, and if not how do you sort it out? etc.

I don't recommend updating your outline every day. You just don't have the big picture of a topic yet, and it makes organization difficult. However, I do recommend, at least for some of your classes, outlining throughout the semester at certain points. Simply, it helps to ease the load towards the end of the semester, when you want to time to do practice exams. When should you update your outlines? As common sense will probably suggest when you are a student, whenever you finish a topic. Some classes lend themselves to this better than others. You will probably finish intentional torts after a few weeks and move on to negligence. I think that is a good time to outline intentional torts. However, you will spend a ton of time on negligence, probably, going through each element in a lot of depth. I didn't outline each element as we went, because I wanted the full picture. Maybe a personal thing, but I think that is probably the right way to go about it, unless you REALLY think you got it from reading supplements, etc.

As far as organization goes, you have a number of ways to go about it. The syllabus is a good place to start, but looking through the table of contents in the casebook, a hornbook, etc. is also a good strategy. At the end of the day I don't think it is super important - you will find some way that works for you. This is also where old outlines can be very helpful.


5. Case information on exams: I've noticed some debate about how much specific case information to include in an outline in case a question refers to a specific case. I was wondering if it's possible (and if so why people dont seem to do it) to also just bring in a copy of your briefs in addition to your outline in case something is asked about a specific case.

As a general rule I think it is safe to say you will not be tested on cases. There are exemptions (EDIT: god damn you, Evidence), and you always, always want to make sure you find out explicitly from the professor whether she wants you to refer to cases or not. Almost none of my professors cared if we remembered the cases. I had one professor mention she would like to see some cases. I crushed her exam without mentioning a single one. So there you go.

Now, there are some nuances to this. I haven't gotten to the exams yet, but I'm sure the cases matter a bit more in Constitutional Law and even Civil Procedure (especially for personal jurisdiction) than they do in Contracts, Property, and Torts. I doubt we will need to remember the names of every case, but I'm sure we will have to be much more familiar with them (as in actually remember the facts and specific holding, as well as what it means in the broader picture). Also, when I was outlining I tried to include every case we covered, just to kind of trigger my memory, "Oh, is that what that case stands for?" I basically just outlined the BLL and its nuances or whatever, and whenever I thought, "Yeah, this is basically what we were supposed to learn from X case," I would just throw in the case at the end of the BLL statement in parenthesis.


6. Outside information: Is it safe to say that if it's not in the assigned material, and your professor doesn't mention it, it's not worth knowing (i.e. an exception to a discussed, specific rule)? And if it's not safe to say that, are there any general guidelines for how far you should step outside of the assigned material to add to what has been discussed?

I definitely think it is safe to say that if it isn't covered in lecture and isn't covered in the casebook/assigned materials, then it won't be covered on the exam (and you won't get points for mentioning it somehow).

This is lengthy and involves detailed answers, if anyone gives insight on any of the questions I'll feel deeply grateful. Thanks so much guys, I owe a lot of my growing comfort with my eventual enrollment in law school to this board.


Sheesh, that was a more detailed response than I set out to do. :P

However, you remind me a bit of myself as a 0L, and I too owe a lot of what I have learned about law school - from the application process, to exams, to actually finding a job - to TLS. You sound like you are on the right track and should have an idea of what it takes to do well your first year. To be honest, that is half the battle. So many people don't even get that far until second semester, or even 2L or 3L. All that is really left is to execute. Figure out what works for you as far as day to day studying and preparing, and just keep in mind the major things that everyone who wants to do well must do - know the law, know how to apply it.

tlslsnlsp
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby tlslsnlsp » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:06 pm

As a fellow 0L, I find myself flip-flopping between "I hate this gunner already" and "Damn, I should be more like this guy" as I read your post. I feel so conflicted. I think I'm siding with the "I should be more like this guy" category. Thanks for the motivation haha.

I'm too curious though, where are you going next year?

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traehekat
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby traehekat » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:33 pm

tlslsnlsp wrote:As a fellow 0L, I find myself flip-flopping between "I hate this gunner already" and "Damn, I should be more like this guy" as I read your post. I feel so conflicted. I think I'm siding with the "I should be more like this guy" category. Thanks for the motivation haha.


ha, i dont think there is anything wrong with wanting to take a $150,000 investment seriously. don't let the whole "don't be a gunner" mentality stop you from doing what you think you need to do to be prepared and do well. the only caveat is be very respectful of your fellow students, professors, etc.

Etudilos
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Etudilos » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:29 pm

Thanks a lot traehekat, I think we must be 0L similars because your answers really hit the spot for me. After reading your response in combination with others the whole process of preparing for the exams has taken shape for me. Really, thanks big time.

One small and very specific question I just wanted to add is that, although I understand now that if it's not in the casebook and your teacher doesn't bring it up then it's probably not necessary for the test, what about additional information about something specifically mentioned? For example, if they discuss something like promissory estoppel but never go into the details about the elements and nor does your casebook-- would it be worth it to note the elements anyway, or would a professor never let a situation like this happen, or?

As a fellow 0L, I find myself flip-flopping between "I hate this gunner already" and "Damn, I should be more like this guy" as I read your post. I feel so conflicted. I think I'm siding with the "I should be more like this guy" category. Thanks for the motivation haha.

I'm too curious though, where are you going next year?


I'm not going to law school to make friends or be admired by my peers. The fact that I really don't give a shit what people think is likely the very reason I won't be a gunner. I want the professor to speak, not me. I really operate best when I isolate myself, and in that sense I'd honestly prefer minimal attention from my peers or teachers anyway.

I spent a lot of my life slacking off and being lazy with my decisions. I didn't study at all for the LSAT and I only applied to law schools 'for the heck of it' in the first place. Now that I've made a decision to attend, my first year is the last opportunity I have to compensate for my previous lazy shortsightedness by working hard and really trying to outperform. I would have a difficult time forgiving myself if I squandered it.

I don't think it's very relevant but I'm going to a school in the T20-25 range. For anonymity purposes I'd prefer not to say which.

Anyway, in all likelihood I'm trying overly hard to prepare myself for things I can't really prepare myself for, but with how seriously I feel about my 1L I couldn't feel comfortable unless I at least tried.


Thanks again to everyone for their responses!

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sat Apr 09, 2011 5:54 pm

Thanks for the thread, it's way too long for me to read now, but I'm going to read it later. I did want to comment on this quote though:
Etudilos wrote:I'm not going to law school to make friends or be admired by my peers.

Just to say you might want to rethink that because I can't imagine going in with that attitude will result in you 1) having much fun/having that great of a support system, or 2) networking very effectively and building connections for the future. I think it's important to be focused, as you obviously are, but I'd encourage you to re-think the whole reality-show-i'm-not-here-to-make-friends mentality. I'd imagine having friends who are going through the same thing you are would be a nice thing to have in law school and beyond...then again, I'm a 0L so what do I know :mrgreen:

forty-two
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby forty-two » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:06 pm

crumpetsandtea wrote:Thanks for the thread, it's way too long for me to read now, but I'm going to read it later. I did want to comment on this quote though:
Etudilos wrote:I'm not going to law school to make friends or be admired by my peers.

Just to say you might want to rethink that because I can't imagine going in with that attitude will result in you 1) having much fun/having that great of a support system, or 2) networking very effectively and building connections for the future. I think it's important to be focused, as you obviously are, but I'd encourage you to re-think the whole reality-show-i'm-not-here-to-make-friends mentality. I'd imagine having friends who are going through the same thing you are would be a nice thing to have in law school and beyond...then again, I'm a 0L so what do I know :mrgreen:

+10000000 I don't know what I would do without my support system. Getting to know people and being well liked pays off in major ways. People form study groups, share outlines, share old exams, share great websites to get hypos and old exams if your prof doesn't have any on file, and generally explain things to you if you're confused...if they like you, know you, and know that you're the kind of person who will help them out if they ever need it. Also, the legal wold is very small and is really all about networking. People get jobs and clients through the people who know and like/respect them enough to recommend them.

I do think it's good to go in with a plan and a desire to do well, but I don't think isolating yourself will benefit your grades or career.

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classix
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby classix » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:18 pm

This is one of the most helpful posts maybe ever for school-bound 0Ls

Etudilos
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Etudilos » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:51 pm

Alright, I probably shouldn't have even said so much as I did because it really wasn't relevant for me to, but now that we're on this side of the topic I should probably explain a little more where I was coming from.

I didn't mean what I said to come off like war declaration. By saying I'm not there to make friends isn't to say that I'm there to not make friends, it's really more an expression of priority. I think people waste a lot of time either being gunners to impress people or worrying about being gunners because they don't want other people to dislike them. Being seriously concerned with what other people are thinking of you and how you're ranking socially in people's mind is, I can't help but feel, a real inefficiency and tangent for concern when what is probably worth caring about in your first year is your grades.

I realize that certain amount of engaging friendliness is useful in law school as well as the legal profession, but I also think that getting involved past a certain point likely works against you. I know this sounds cold, like I'm 'all business' and 'dont let human emotions get in my way' or something, but really I'm just a very private person (I must be the last young person without facebook); I have one good friend, a girlfriend, my family, and like spending time alone-- I feel very complete and content, and I don't enjoy adding more people in my social circle and don't like being socially beholden to others. I don't want to get a phone call from someone at law school because he/she broke up with his/her boyfriend/girlfriend, and I don't want to sit in a study group where we waste two hours talking about the humorous habits of a teacher. I'm very protective of my spare time and how I spend it, and I just know I don't enjoy those things, so I'm very conscious about not trying to give off signals that I am willing to be that personal with other people (again, I don't want to be mean and certainly avoid being hostile, but I just try to subtly make my will toward non-intimacy clear). I realize that many people don't feel this way and wouldn't want to seclude themselves in this sense, and I totally respect and understand that.

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traehekat
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby traehekat » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:02 pm

I'd bet you'll be singing a different tune by the end of the first semester. The fact is most law schools are a pretty small community and people get to know each other. What is going to happen is law school will become your life (or at least a huge part of it). Eventually, all the people you normally talk to (family, girlfriend, etc.) won't be able to relate. You'll still want to talk with them about other stuff, sure, but there are going to be a lot of times where you just wanna talk law school shit and people who don't go to law school just won't be able to understand.

It just becomes a common bond or thread among law students and inevitably you all get to know each other (at least this has been my experience). And believe me, you want this. You don't know it now, but you are going to want people to talk to eventually about law school, and TLS only goes so far haha.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:33 pm

Etudilos wrote: I think people waste a lot of time either being gunners to impress people or worrying about being gunners because they don't want other people to dislike them. Being seriously concerned with what other people are thinking of you and how you're ranking socially in people's mind is, I can't help but feel, a real inefficiency and tangent for concern when what is probably worth caring about in your first year is your grades.

I was always under the impression gunners were the people who cared less about what others thought of them and more about what they thought of themselves? (That is to say--they like the sound of their own voice) As far as I can tell, gunners =/= people with lots of friends in law school, because they're too wrapped up in their own idea of how smart they are or how important/useful their comments are, to the point where they isolate themselves from their classmates and thus end up being mocked as a gunner. On the other hand, people who are not gunners are not necessarily people who "worry about not being gunners"--they're just not socially inept/self-centered/pompous. (Again, 0L, so this is just based on what I've read/heard about the LS experience)

I mainly brought up my point because I thought an attitude like that might --> mental breakdown due to OMG PRESSURE AND NO ONE TO TALK TO. You're totally allowed to have your own definition of personal space though, and if you can get through LS/find a jerb without needing to have close bonds with others in your class, more power to you. I'm just the type of person who NEEDS to have human connection/interaction...I'd probably die if I had to go through LS without befriending a bunch of people in the process. :lol:

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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby idfatq » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:25 pm

Etudilos wrote:Alright, I probably shouldn't have even said so much as I did because it really wasn't relevant for me to, but now that we're on this side of the topic I should probably explain a little more where I was coming from.

I didn't mean what I said to come off like war declaration. By saying I'm not there to make friends isn't to say that I'm there to not make friends, it's really more an expression of priority. I think people waste a lot of time either being gunners to impress people or worrying about being gunners because they don't want other people to dislike them. Being seriously concerned with what other people are thinking of you and how you're ranking socially in people's mind is, I can't help but feel, a real inefficiency and tangent for concern when what is probably worth caring about in your first year is your grades.

I realize that certain amount of engaging friendliness is useful in law school as well as the legal profession, but I also think that getting involved past a certain point likely works against you. I know this sounds cold, like I'm 'all business' and 'dont let human emotions get in my way' or something, but really I'm just a very private person (I must be the last young person without facebook); I have one good friend, a girlfriend, my family, and like spending time alone-- I feel very complete and content, and I don't enjoy adding more people in my social circle and don't like being socially beholden to others. I don't want to get a phone call from someone at law school because he/she broke up with his/her boyfriend/girlfriend, and I don't want to sit in a study group where we waste two hours talking about the humorous habits of a teacher. I'm very protective of my spare time and how I spend it, and I just know I don't enjoy those things, so I'm very conscious about not trying to give off signals that I am willing to be that personal with other people (again, I don't want to be mean and certainly avoid being hostile, but I just try to subtly make my will toward non-intimacy clear). I realize that many people don't feel this way and wouldn't want to seclude themselves in this sense, and I totally respect and understand that.


jesus you sound like the most stereotypical law school nerd that everyone at orientation hopes their class is NOT filled with. i'd rather be in a class with gunners (who are normal people outside of class) than a class with people who "don't like being socially beholden to others" and are "conscious about not giving off signals that they are willing to be personal".

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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby blsingindisguise » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:35 pm

I'm all for being a gunner, but this thread is a perfect example of why too much 0L prep can be a giant waste of energy. A lot of what you're asking is going to depend on the professor and on your personal study style. You're overthinking a lot of aspects of school in my opinion. There's only so much you can learn about driving a car without ever sitting behind the wheel of a car.

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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby keg411 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:25 pm

I think 0L prep is basically a waste of time. The only thing I'd suggest is maybe reading a book on Legal Writing techniques (or take some type of introductory class if they offer it at your college); but even in that case, you have to adapt to your prof.

Still, I'll answer your questions, OP. But you're probably going to see from this thread that there is no uniform answer on "how to do well".

1. Notes: After looking at note samples of a few well-performing students, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how they arrived at their notes.


I'll basically write the case name that we're discussing in italics, or any other topic header, and then I just write down things that I think are important -- especially the BLL or any policy my prof discusses. I don't usually write stuff my peers say unless it strikes me as insightful or my prof repeats it or emphasizes it. Your notes don't have to be fancy or organized. They just have to work for you.

2. Recording lectures:


If profs allow recording at my school, the classes are available on video. If a prof doesn't want lectures taped, they aren't. However, unless you miss class, re-watching usually isn't very helpful unless you felt like you were tuned out a particular day.

3. Cutting Down Outlines: I've seen a lot of mention about keeping outlines sufficiently small and cutting them down to managable sizes, but no real explanation of how this is done. Do you make judgment calls about what is likely to be on the exam and what isn't, and just cut out what you judge to be unlikely? Do you just try and find the most succinct wording possible and that makes up for most of the shrinkage? Is there any methodical way to figure out what, of what is originally likely to be in your first-draft outline, is worth cutting out?


I usually just do the BLL, and then I'll cut out wording or re-work things. However, some of it is trial and error, which is what exam PT's are for; making sure your outlines and checklists are functional exam tools.

4. Organizing outlines and keeping pace: I was just curious what general method people use when they update their outlines throughout the semester for oganizing them. Do you just create headlines and subsections in accordance with the syllabus? Is it always clear what information is part of what topic, and if not how do you sort it out? etc.


First semester, I did an "outline as you go" but mostly because I had a midterm in Torts and exams throughout the semester in K's. I ditched it for CivPro about halfway through the semester. However, starting with this kind of method, at least first semester, isn't a bad idea because it gets you thinking about organization, even before you understand how things fit together. If you don't mind scrapping stuff and starting from scratch 15 times, it isn't a horrible idea to start with. However, I've ditched it this semester and would just outline a topic here or there and then revise it.

However, all of my classes had a syllabus first semester and this semester only one of my classes has a syllabus.

5. Case information on exams: I've noticed some debate about how much specific case information to include in an outline in case a question refers to a specific case. I was wondering if it's possible (and if so why people dont seem to do it) to also just bring in a copy of your briefs in addition to your outline in case something is asked about a specific case.


You don't need to bring briefs. Just put some notes on each case in your outline. If you see analogous facts, sometimes it's not a bad idea to throw in case names, but it depends on the class. However, the cases are more important in some classes (ConLawl) than others (Torts/Crim).

6. Outside information: Is it safe to say that if it's not in the assigned material, and your professor doesn't mention it, it's not worth knowing (i.e. an exception to a discussed, specific rule)? And if it's not safe to say that, are there any general guidelines for how far you should step outside of the assigned material to add to what has been discussed?


You can "step outside" of assigned material and use supplements, but only to clarify what your professors has said and not to inject new material. If you read something outside that isn't assigned and you're interested in it, you can always go to your prof during office hours and ask about it. But I wouldn't put it in your outline or use it on an exam. Your prof wants to learn the law the way he/she teaches it. Not the way Emanuels or the E&E or any other supplement teaches it (the only exception would be is if your prof wrote or recommends a particular supplement; for instance, my K's teacher basically taught out of a supplement).

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Mroberts3
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Re: A set of 0L questions

Postby Mroberts3 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 9:43 pm

traehekat wrote:I'd bet you'll be singing a different tune by the end of the first semester. The fact is most law schools are a pretty small community and people get to know each other. What is going to happen is law school will become your life (or at least a huge part of it). Eventually, all the people you normally talk to (family, girlfriend, etc.) won't be able to relate. You'll still want to talk with them about other stuff, sure, but there are going to be a lot of times where you just wanna talk law school shit and people who don't go to law school just won't be able to understand.

It just becomes a common bond or thread among law students and inevitably you all get to know each other (at least this has been my experience). And believe me, you want this. You don't know it now, but you are going to want people to talk to eventually about law school, and TLS only goes so far haha.



Agreed. Saying friends isn't a priority is like joining the army expecting to not associate with your peers. If he thinks he can take Normandy alone, more power to him. (but I bet he can't).

Serious post responding to the questions is in the works, but traehekat is pretty well on top of it.




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