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solotee
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby solotee » Wed May 18, 2011 5:12 pm

Chipping in some random advice (hope OP doesn't mind). Got all A's at a T30 after first semester. Because of 1st semester success, got a few interviews, call backs and offers for 1L big law SA (completely unexpected).

The most helpful thing I learned from LEEWS was 'nitpicking' the facts. Seriously, nitpick the hell out of the facts.

The #1 advice I would give: The semester may seem messy. Just remember, the sooner you can transition from outlining to practice exams during exam period, the better. Even if you don't have your outline down pat, take practice exams and review. Trust me, the material will be ingrained in your head after you review the practice exam.

The key is to learn how to apply the law. You can know all the rules better than anyone in your class, but the A is going to go to the person that can apply that rule quicker and better than you. The more you practice applying, the more likely you'll notice little nuances on the exam that others will overlook.

Keep your eye on the money. I bought dog tags before law school began that I always wore around my neck. The dog tags had my name, my schools name, and the phrase "Top 10%" engraved on there. I also had a few motivational words written on them that gave me perspective when I was lost or frustrated. It helped.

Once you learn how to argue one short hypothetical, then you pretty much have learned how to take a law school exam (since that's all you are pretty much doing). Thus, one month into law school, find a few midterms (with answers) to practice with and review your answers. At first, you will suck. But you will get better with every midterm as long as you are correcting your mistakes.

No matter what you tell yourself, you do have time to exercise throughout the week (even during exam period).

Eat very healthy, you'll be able to mentally handle more throughout the day.

Every night, I got at least 8 hours of sleep. I think there might have been 2 or 3 nights where it was less than that.

When you're in class, DO NOT gchat or facebook. Even if the material is mundane or boring.

I went solo throughout the whole semester. But I went over hypotheticals and practice exams with another classmate of mine the few days before the actual exam. My classmate ended up #1 in class. I also distinctly remember spotting issues during the actual exam that I otherwise wouldn't have spotted were it not for my classmate.

On the exam, do not try to tackle everything at once. I did this on a graded midterm, and completely failed to spot and and answer half of the problem!

This one was a big one for me: Do not care what others are doing, and do not be intimidated by the gunners (they most likely are not getting the A's).

When you're in law school, find a high performing upperclassman that took your professors the year before, and ask questions about the professor and his exam style. You'll have a more focused approach than your classmates if you know ahead of time what to expect.

Lastly, repeatedly read the TLS success in law school articles throughout the 1st semester. If you have a smartphone, pull up the articles while you're standing in line, waiting for the bus, or even sitting in the bathroom. I think I read Arrow's article about 17 times, and learned something new every time since I was in a different phase of learning on how to take a law school exam each time I read the article.

Good luck on what will probably be the most awesome and challenging year you've ever faced. You're already ahead of the game for reading TLS advice on law school success (I was surprised of how many people in law school did not do this or seek out how to be successful 1L year).
Last edited by solotee on Wed May 18, 2011 5:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

aliarrow
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby aliarrow » Wed May 18, 2011 5:12 pm

lawschooliseasy wrote:Also happy to answer any questions. TLS has helped me immensely. I finished 1L at a T30 with a 4.0+.


Anything you did differently than the other 2 from what they've posted so far?

kaiser
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby kaiser » Wed May 18, 2011 5:33 pm

I agree that its good to keep some form of personal motivation. This is why it is so important to evaluate your goals, reflect on why you are going to school, and really come to an understanding of what you wish to take away from the experience. For me, top 10% or any other designation is just a means, and not an end. The same can be said about some high-paying job. They are just means for me, and not ends. The end for me is much greater, much more personal, and served as my inspiration to make me work harder than I ever have in my life. I suggest taking some time to think to yourself what the end goal really is and why you are doing what you are doing. Once I realized why I was truly here and what I was really working toward, it made it much easier to stay determined and focused.

As far as transferring, I haven't really put much thought into it. Again, ask yourself why you are in law school. In my situation, top 10% at a T30 with nearly no debt is more than enough to reach my goals. Transferring up would bring me luxuries that I have no real use for. I threw some apps out just because I believe in keeping options open at all times, but its nothing I'm serious about. Though with 4.0, I'd imagine Harvard would be a pretty real possibility, and I'd likely be looking into it just because it is Harvard.

I can't say I have a real set schedule during the week. Like some others mentioned, I try and have all reading done over the weekend. I don't wake up particularly early since I'm good at waking up and immediately getting ready for class. Plus, I'm a late night person, so I'd rather do an extra hour of reading at midnight than do it at 7 AM.

So its class in the morning, lunch with friends, then more class. Usually ends around mid afternoon and I spend the time before dinner doing reading. Toward the beginning of the week, this will be reading supplements, hornbooks, etc. to fill in the holes from that day's material. I type up these additional notes and add them to my class notes for the day. I eat a pretty late dinner around 7, take about an hour off, and then get back to work around 8. At night, I usually do a quick refresh on the material for the next day so I don't sound silly in class. But I never waste time trying to make myself sound or look smart. Its all about gathering and preparing material for the exam. Let them think I'm stupid. The moment they underestimate you is the moment you have them beat. I'm usually done by 10 PM or so, and I can relax a bit before bed around 12.

There are multiple variables to this schedule. For example, there would sometimes be club meetings during the lunch hours, or sometimes after the late class. On Friday afternoons, I would meet with my study group to review material from the past week. I would also keep track of office hours so I can have a chat if anything was confusing me.

On the weekends, I would sleep in a bit later than usual, but never too late to get a fairly early start. Since I like to do all reading on the weekends, it can take nearly all weekend to do. I don't rush and I read pretty slowly. That isn't to say I pour over every detail. In fact, that would be a big time-wasting mistake. I almost always finish all the reading by working diligently throughout the weekend. Sure, it usually means I can't hang out with friends during weekend events. But if the reading isn't terribly heavy for a given week, I'm done with enough time to grab a beer or see a movie.

Writing assignments complicate the schedule greatly since they take up so much more time than you would expect. Its always a big disruption and I often got behind in my reading when I was busy with a writing assignment. My advice is to start them all early. They take a lot of work and editing. You can sometimes skim a case a bit quickly, or look up a canned brief if you absolutely need to, and still come away with the main point of a case without a problem. But there is no shortcut for a solid writing assignment. The first few assignments I didn't put enough effort into because I was still learning to balance everything. Those ended up being my lowest writing grades. By the end, I got better at balancing it all and never fell behind when a writing assignment came because I was prepared for the disruption

Skyhook
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby Skyhook » Wed May 18, 2011 7:02 pm

Very informative guys - thanks again!

I had planned to treat it like a job with some extra work thrown in.
It seems that a balanced life is quite manageable...

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Kimchi_smile
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby Kimchi_smile » Thu May 19, 2011 2:18 pm

I'm a 0L. My LSAT is 170, and I'm planning to retake. But I can't seem to improve on the RC...so yeah. What if I just don't break above a 170? Do you think I should continue trying, or should I just work really hard during 1L year at a T20? What worries me is that because my weakest link on the LSAT is RC, I won't be a very good law student...What 4.0 law students suck at readings... :cry: I really want Harvard...

splitmuch
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby splitmuch » Thu May 19, 2011 2:31 pm

Kimchi_smile wrote:I'm a 0L. My LSAT is 170, and I'm planning to retake. But I can't seem to improve on the RC...so yeah. What if I just don't break above a 170? Do you think I should continue trying, or should I just work really hard during 1L year at a T20? What worries me is that because my weakest link on the LSAT is RC, I won't be a very good law student...What 4.0 law students suck at readings... :cry: I really want Harvard...


Whats your GPA

lawschooliseasy
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu May 19, 2011 2:35 pm

Corwin wrote:
lawschooliseasy wrote:Also happy to answer any questions. TLS has helped me immensely. I finished 1L at a T30 with a 4.0+.

Are you thinking about transferring?


Yes, but I think that only HYS would be worth giving up class rank + LR.

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Kimchi_smile
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby Kimchi_smile » Thu May 19, 2011 2:40 pm

splitmuch wrote:
Kimchi_smile wrote:I'm a 0L. My LSAT is 170, and I'm planning to retake. But I can't seem to improve on the RC...so yeah. What if I just don't break above a 170? Do you think I should continue trying, or should I just work really hard during 1L year at a T20? What worries me is that because my weakest link on the LSAT is RC, I won't be a very good law student...What 4.0 law students suck at readings... :cry: I really want Harvard...


Whats your GPA


3.86. Probably 3.90 soon.

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Kimchi_smile
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby Kimchi_smile » Thu May 19, 2011 2:42 pm

lawschooliseasy wrote:
Corwin wrote:
lawschooliseasy wrote:Also happy to answer any questions. TLS has helped me immensely. I finished 1L at a T30 with a 4.0+.

Are you thinking about transferring?


Yes, but I think that only HYS would be worth giving up class rank + LR.


Can you or can't you get LR as a transfer by the way? Someone please confirm this.

lawschooliseasy
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby lawschooliseasy » Thu May 19, 2011 2:45 pm

aliarrow wrote:
lawschooliseasy wrote:Also happy to answer any questions. TLS has helped me immensely. I finished 1L at a T30 with a 4.0+.


Anything you did differently than the other 2 from what they've posted so far?


Nothing radically different. I never did LEEWS, but I did skim GTM. I worked by myself. I never felt the impetus to join a study group. I would recommend spending a lot of time with practice tests and model answers. IMO Berkeley's are particularly good. In class I tried to take pretty thorough notes, and then I made my outline using my notes. Basically I would copy/paste what I had in one note to word and then start editing out extraneous information and rephrasing things to make them more concise. This way you make sure you're outlining everything in the class and preserving as much of your professor's terminology as possible. I then compared my outline to commercial outlines just to make sure I wasn't missing anything important. For complicated material (future interests, proximate cause, etc.) I relied heavily on the E&E's. Finally, I think its really important to update outlines every week. If you thoroughly think through everything when you outline it and you have already read it once in the casebook, heard it once in lecture and perhaps read it in a supplement, you will almost certainly remember it. By the time exams roll around you should be busy taking practice tests, not scrambling to update your outline.

floggered
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby floggered » Fri May 20, 2011 1:16 pm

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Last edited by floggered on Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ThreeYears
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby ThreeYears » Sat May 21, 2011 12:28 am

Thank you all so much for the time and effort.

Did you guys do any 0L prep? If you did, how would you adjust it to make it more helpful?

floggered
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby floggered » Sat May 21, 2011 11:12 am

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Last edited by floggered on Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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solotee
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby solotee » Sat May 21, 2011 1:03 pm

The only 0L prep that I did was read GTM and success articles on TLS. I am very pleased with my decision to completely relax the summer before 1L. You will have plenty of time in the semester to learn how to take an exam.

The only thing I would change is work on my legal writing over the summer. I suck at writing, and that really hurt me in Legal Writing class.

Other than that, I think it's really a judgment call.

lawschooliseasy
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby lawschooliseasy » Sun May 22, 2011 1:18 am

ThreeYears wrote:Thank you all so much for the time and effort.

Did you guys do any 0L prep? If you did, how would you adjust it to make it more helpful?


No. I did not and am glad I did not. If I could do it again I would do what I did: avoid any substantive prep but read about how to study. I skimmed Getting to Maybe and read Law School Confidential. I recommend the latter, its a bit hyperbolic but gives you a very good idea of what you should be doing on a day-to-day basis.

Also, one of the best things you can do now is prepare materials for the 1L job search. Prep substantive cover letters and get your resume up to date. You won't have time to do this in December and will thoroughly thank yourself.

FGCUguy123
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Re: T30 T10%, Taking Questions

Postby FGCUguy123 » Sun May 22, 2011 3:29 am

tag good stuff!




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