Collective Personality of the Top 10%

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nodummy
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Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby nodummy » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:48 pm

If you could classify those 10-50 people who finish in the top ten percent of their 1L class into one type of person, what would that personality type be? I know most people on here say you cannot determine how well you will do in law school before actually having the experience, however what are some personality traits that these people encompass together as a whole?

Does prior work experience give you an edge over other classmates who are coming straight from undergrad?

Thanks for any comments relevant to the question.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby bport hopeful » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:51 pm

Large Breasted Women.

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Verity
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby Verity » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:56 pm

Fine-Feathered Friends.

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thesealocust
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby thesealocust » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:02 pm

Whatever they are before they finish in the top 10%, afterward their deep insecurity gets masked by their GPA which transforms them into raging hell-beasts barely capable of holding a conversation without using words like "prestige", "clerk", "SCOTUS", or "Recommendation."

In Australia, it is illegal to harm law students, unless they have finished in the top 10% of their class. Then you just need a license and it's considered a service to society to keep the population in check.
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wholigan
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby Wholigan » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:04 pm

They are usually cyborgs with aspergers.

kaiser
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby kaiser » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:06 pm

This is true of nearly all law students, but it is most prevalent among the top students: They have some type of borderline mental disorder, or at least act like they do. I like to joke that every single one of us law students act in ways that would appear to be borderline insane to the rest of the world, but the top students take it to the next level of insanity.

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loblaw
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby loblaw » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:16 pm

This is second-hand info, but one of the associates I work with said the students who were married and lived further from campus dominated the top of his class at G-dubs.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby Rock Chalk » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:18 pm

.
Last edited by Rock Chalk on Wed May 16, 2012 2:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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AreJay711
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:18 pm

loblaw wrote:This is second-hand info, but one of the associates I work with said the students who were married and lived further from campus dominated the top of his class at G-dubs.

*Looks up $400 wedding rings*

071816
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby 071816 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:24 pm

--ImageRemoved--

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solotee
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby solotee » Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:26 pm

A person I thought would surely tank the first semester received a 4.0 :|

nodummy
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby nodummy » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:08 am

Where are all of the articulate law people? Can anyone post something insightful? Maybe just one or two traits (undocumented, without scientific research, though still interesting and worthy of a possible investigation) that you have noticed?

071816
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby 071816 » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:11 am

nodummy wrote:Where are all of the articulate law people? Can anyone post something insightful? Maybe just one or two traits (undocumented, without scientific research, though still interesting and worthy of a possible investigation) that you have noticed?


They perform well on law school exams. That is honestly the only consistent trait. Isn't that just common sense? Anything else is just speculation.

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beach_terror
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby beach_terror » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:14 am

solotee wrote:A person I thought would surely tank the first semester received a 4.0 :|

Had one of these too, lol. Still amazed. However, he/she is going to have issues when it comes to interviewing.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby blsingindisguise » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:33 am

They don't ask stupid questions like the one in the OP.

theantiscalia
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby theantiscalia » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:50 am

A few things I've noticed... although there are exceptions to the rule...

Nearly all of them are meticulous.
Nearly all of them do not freak out at exam time: they seem to be prepared well in advance.
Every single one of them I know is an ecellent writer. (I think this is HUGE.)

Interestingly, many of the people study together... although, once again, there are exceptions to this rule.

A few things that I've noticed that not everybody has in common...

LSAT and GPA are poor predictors. I'm at ND. I know somebody who got into Chicago, chose the scholarship, and ended up at median.
Not everybody at the top of my class uses supplements.
Some of the kids that have the best in-class comments are not represented, while some people that routinely sound like idiots are at the top of the class.
Not everybody outlines. I had several classes I didn't outline, and I got As in all of them.

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androstan
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby androstan » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:16 am

loblaw wrote:This is second-hand info, but one of the associates I work with said the students who were married and lived further from campus dominated the top of his class at G-dubs.


i r married and live far from campus and r going to gw this fall and r going to dominate the top of the class.

paulinaporizkova
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby paulinaporizkova » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:17 am

chimp wrote:--ImageRemoved--

okay, i loled

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beach_terror
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby beach_terror » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:25 am

theantiscalia wrote:LSAT and GPA are poor predictors.

QFMFT

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quakeroats
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby quakeroats » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:47 am

It's made of of people who can do several things successfully over the course of six exams. Kissam covers this and much more in a must read article:

The Attributes of Blue Book Success

The examination functions, our quantitative grading methods, our complex grading scales and curves, and the deep structure of Blue Book exams suggest that certain attributes are necessary to obtain successful law school grades. Examination of these attributes is necessary for three reasons. First, although issue spotting, the specification of rules, and *458 rule application under severe time constraints may constitute a relatively insignificant aspect of most legal practices, these functions may reflect and measure more general talents or skills that are of direct importance to the practice of law. Conversely, these general attributes or talents may throw light on the limits and adverse consequences of the current examination system. Finally, from a humanistic perspective, this inquiry will help us to understand what Blue Book exams do to persons—both students and faculty—and how the Blue Book experience should be interpreted by individuals.
Successful performance on Blue Book exams appears to require some imprecise combination of four complex but general attributes. I call these attributes the internalization of doctrine; conventional legal imagination; the quality of legal productivity; and the capacity for self-study and self-learning in diffuse, complex, and uncertain situations.

The internalization of doctrine requires at least some memorization of rules. More significantly, it requires understanding legal doctrine in two different ways. First, the student must understand, tacitly or otherwise, how the rules in a particular subject are applied conventionally to given types of situations. For example, in constitutional law, one must understand that the ‘rational basis’ test frequently is applied by speculating about possible government purposes for a challenged regulation, and one must understand the various sorts of speculative purposes that plausibly can be advanced to defend different kinds of economic regulation.79 Second, the internalization of doctrine requires understanding how the rules in a particular subject relate to each other. One must recognize which rules may overlap or conflict in common situations, which rules are always separate, and which rules are important subrules of others.80 These aspects of doctrinal internalization—memorization, a tacit understanding of rule application, and understanding the organization or framework of the rules—seem to be necessary, though not sufficient, conditions to engage in successful issue spotting, rule specification, and rule application on time-limited Blue Book exams. In addition, to accomplish doctrinal internalization successfully, some aptitude *459 for repetitive work with complex intellectual details probably is a very helpful if not necessary condition.81

A second attribute that leads to success on Blue Book exams is the skill of conventional legal imagination. Without this skill, a student writing Blue Book exames will not see as many issues as other students and will fail to develop as many relevant connections between authorities and the facts in applying rules to complex situations.82 This quality of conventional legal imagination can be developed by the internalization of doctrine, repeated practice at identifying issues in similar situations, and the acquisition of a tacit sense of the analogies that the profession considers acceptable in a given field.83 The exercise of this imagination, however, also seems to require a substantial degree of natural talent or ‘vision.’ We might say, then, that this attribute rests fundamentally on some sort of special legal vision, which can be developed in part (but only in part) by a careful, sometimes frustrating, sometimes mysterious, and ideally reflective process of practice, feedback, and experience.84

A third attribute is ‘legal productivity’ or, in other words, the ability to spot issues, specify rules, and apply rules effectively under substantial time pressure. Specifically, this skill involves recalling specific rules, organizing one’s thoughts about possible connections between rules and facts, and writing precisely and quickly in a way that convinces the reader of the exam writer’s ability to perform conventional legal analysis of new situations. This productivity clearly requires prior internalization of doctrine and the exercise of legal imagination combined with considerable speed in the writer’s execution of conventional analysis. The paradigm of good paragraph thinking/writing (issue, rule, and rule application, with quick and frequent repeats) provides an apt description of this intellectual process. Thus, this paradigm is a sufficient if not necessary style for writing effective Blue Book essays and answering other Blue Book questions.
The exercise of examination productivity, especially in view of the speed required, appears to involve a significant degree of natural talent, *460 like the exercise of legal imagination. This is not to say that simulated practice at issue spotting, rule specification, and rule application under time pressure—particularly when the issues, rules, and facts are similar to those on the final exam—might not help everyone improve their examination performances. On the contrary, the limited evidence available suggests that supervised practice can have this effect.85 It remains true, however, that some law students simply are faster than others at performing conventional examination analysis. Thus the time constraints of Blue Book exams are likely to generate the grade distributions for our mandatory grading curves with little difficulty, especially if practice with the same or similar issues and individualized feedback are not provided to law students in some organized and effective way.

The fourth attribute of Blue Book success is admittedly a residual category. This attribute is the capacity for self-study and self-learning in complex, diffuse, and uncertain situations. This concept recognizes the importance of a student’s ability to acquire and exercise the skills of doctrinal internalization, legal imagination, and legal productivity largely on her own, without much effective instruction, organized practice, or supervised feedback from the professor. This capacity includes an ability to work effectively over relatively sustained periods of time, whether the period includes the entire semester or a more condensed examination review period. The nature and importance of this attribute will become clearer in Part III, when the relationships between law school course work and examinations are considered. We are in a position at this point to note two important dimensions of this attribute.

One dimension is the ability to understand, respect, and pay defence to the diffuse authority of appellate cases, casebooks, treatises, and the professor’s classroom discussion about legal doctrine. The student must draw from this authority some sense of the appropriate ways to internalize doctrine, to articulate issues, rules, and rule applications, and to write Blue Book answers that communicate an understanding of complex legal materials to examination readers.

A second dimension of this capacity for self-study and self-learning concerns the student’s ability to acquire various kinds of tacit professional knowledge. The first three attributes of Blue Book success each rest in substantial part on certain kinds of tacit knowledge or, in other words, on the knowledge of things ‘we know but cannot say.’86 Tacit knowledge appears to be a major factor in all kinds of professional *461 work,87 and it should not be surprising that performance on law school examinations requires a substantial amount of this stuff. Yet little explanation is available about the nature of this knowledge or how individuals acquire it. What can be said, however, is that the ability to obtain tacit knowledge appears to rest on some combination of inherent talent and a person’s repeated practice with, reflection on, and experience with similar or recurrent situations.88 Recognition of this hidden element in successful Blue Book writing may help us understand the enigma of why some students succeed and others fail at obtaining good or ‘the very best’ law school grades.89

Philip C. Kissam, Law School Examinations 42 Vand. L. Rev. 433

nodummy
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby nodummy » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:35 am

theantiscalia wrote:A few things I've noticed... although there are exceptions to the rule...

Nearly all of them are meticulous.
Nearly all of them do not freak out at exam time: they seem to be prepared well in advance.
Every single one of them I know is an ecellent writer. (I think this is HUGE.)


Can this be said for roughly 70% of any given law school class? And what exactly do you mean by being an excellent writer? If you made a career in writing prior to law school is it safe assuming you will be a good legal writer? Or is that an entirely different ballgame?

Also, if you made a pie chart of the average second tier law school class, what would it look like? I realize this is vague, however I'm curious what personality traits encompass the average law class. I know this is pure speculation but your general perception would still provide some insight.

Thanks.

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Wholigan
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby Wholigan » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:39 am

nodummy wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:A few things I've noticed... although there are exceptions to the rule...

Nearly all of them are meticulous.
Nearly all of them do not freak out at exam time: they seem to be prepared well in advance.
Every single one of them I know is an ecellent writer. (I think this is HUGE.)


Can this be said for roughly 70% of any given law school class? And what exactly do you mean by being an excellent writer? If you made a career in writing prior to law school is it safe assuming you will be a good legal writer? Or is that an entirely different ballgame?

Also, if you made a pie chart of the average second tier law school class, what would it look like? I realize this is vague, however I'm curious what personality traits encompass the average law class. I know this is pure speculation but your general perception would still provide some insight.

Thanks.


I am not sure, but people who make pie charts of the class's personality traits are almost always in the bottom 10%.

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beach_terror
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby beach_terror » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:41 am

Wholigan wrote:
nodummy wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:A few things I've noticed... although there are exceptions to the rule...

Nearly all of them are meticulous.
Nearly all of them do not freak out at exam time: they seem to be prepared well in advance.
Every single one of them I know is an ecellent writer. (I think this is HUGE.)


Can this be said for roughly 70% of any given law school class? And what exactly do you mean by being an excellent writer? If you made a career in writing prior to law school is it safe assuming you will be a good legal writer? Or is that an entirely different ballgame?

Also, if you made a pie chart of the average second tier law school class, what would it look like? I realize this is vague, however I'm curious what personality traits encompass the average law class. I know this is pure speculation but your general perception would still provide some insight.

Thanks.


I am not sure, but people who make pie charts of the class's personality traits are almost always in the bottom 10%.

Bar graphs are TCR for top 10%

theantiscalia
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby theantiscalia » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:47 am

nodummy wrote:
theantiscalia wrote:A few things I've noticed... although there are exceptions to the rule...

Nearly all of them are meticulous.
Nearly all of them do not freak out at exam time: they seem to be prepared well in advance.
Every single one of them I know is an ecellent writer. (I think this is HUGE.)


Can this be said for roughly 70% of any given law school class? And what exactly do you mean by being an excellent writer? If you made a career in writing prior to law school is it safe assuming you will be a good legal writer? Or is that an entirely different ballgame?

Also, if you made a pie chart of the average second tier law school class, what would it look like? I realize this is vague, however I'm curious what personality traits encompass the average law class. I know this is pure speculation but your general perception would still provide some insight.

Thanks.


I'm not even going to attempt the second half of that.

No, most law students aren't meticulous. If they were, they would have gone into accounting, engineering, finance, et cetera. Instead, they were political science majors.

As for legal writing, it does NOT equate with general writing ability. I know one girl who taught English at a major university... she can write well, but she can't do legal writing, and she's in the middle of the class. It is very different.

Style is important, but not as important: accuracy and precision are key. Also, you don't "build" to your conclusion: you put it up front. And you try to use plain language, not flowery prose. These things seem obvious, but many students seem to miss them.

In general, I think you can chalk law school exams up to 50% natural ability, 25% luck, and 25% preparation. As my property professor explained, she's never had a student not correctly identify and define the elements of adverse possession, but she's seen several students that couldn't apply it to a fact pattern. To a degree, that's natural ability, although you can certainly work on it.

D.Wilde
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Re: Collective Personality of the Top 10%

Postby D.Wilde » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:40 am

Many of the top students I've seen are those who legitimately seem to enjoy engaging with the material, asking questions, and arguing about analysis, policy and alternate outcomes.




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