How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

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kekepania
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How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby kekepania » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:23 pm

I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?

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drmguy
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby drmguy » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:28 pm

no

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cinephile
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby cinephile » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:28 pm

That's the thing, no one really knows. It helps to talk to 2Ls and get an idea of what your specific professor expects for the exam and to take as many practice tests as you can. It also helps to go to a school where you'd be happy and have decent prospects even if you end up around median.

I happen to think meditation and the power of positive thinking help too, but who knows. Oh, and having a life outside of law school will definitely help you keep your sanity.

Work hard, but don't burn out.

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Jah'rakal
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby Jah'rakal » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:46 pm

kekepania wrote:I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?

i heard if ur white then it helps your chances to succeed, but i am not sure if it's correlation or causation

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Bronck
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby Bronck » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:13 pm

Jah'rakal wrote:
kekepania wrote:I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?

i heard if ur white then it helps your chances to succeed, but i am not sure if it's correlation or causation


Oh man.. in before the shitstorm.

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Dany
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby Dany » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:14 pm

drmguy wrote:no

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JoeFish
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby JoeFish » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:51 am

apparently you can sacrifice animals and read the future in their entrails... so... you know... you could try that...

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Gail
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby Gail » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:15 am

Succeeding in law school is hard. I think everyone knows that. Nothing is guaranteed. You can study all semester and still end up in the bottom half.


However, I think it's wrong to be so fatalistic that you throw everything to the curve. It's about studying, understanding, and communicating with your professors, all the while acknowledging that you can still fail. There's no way to know otherwise. It's a huge risk.

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snowpeach06
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby snowpeach06 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:24 am

Nope. I can genuinely say that I never have any idea what my grades will be. And they can very easily change from semester to semester. This is frustrating, but, it's the reality.

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mrtoren
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby mrtoren » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:02 pm

kekepania wrote:I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?

The fact that you're worrying about this leads me to believe you have anxiety and confidence issues. If you psych yourself out, you will probably fail out of or do poorly in law school. If you put in the work and trust yourself, you'll likely pass. You might not be top of the class, but you'll pass. Its the same in undergrad.

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kekepania
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby kekepania » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:24 pm

mrtoren wrote:
kekepania wrote:I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?

The fact that you're worrying about this leads me to believe you have anxiety and confidence issues. If you psych yourself out, you will probably fail out of or do poorly in law school. If you put in the work and trust yourself, you'll likely pass. You might not be top of the class, but you'll pass. Its the same in undergrad.


I definitely have anxiety issues about going to law school. I think it mainly stems from reading all these articles and websites about how if you don't go to a T6 law school, don't go or if you aren't top 5-10% of your class, you're screwed. If I go to law school, I'm going to my state school, which is a tier 2. I don't know much about what the market for lawyers is here though, so I guess I should look into that.

mazporrr
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby mazporrr » Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:58 pm

There are many 0L summer - 1L success guides posted on TLS. I found them extremely helpful during my 1L year. In a nutshell, they explain what you should be doing during your 1L year in order to succeed. More importantly, they tell you what not to do during your first year. If you have specific questions, feel free to post or send me a message.

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kekepania
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby kekepania » Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:21 pm

mazporrr wrote:There are many 0L summer - 1L success guides posted on TLS. I found them extremely helpful during my 1L year. In a nutshell, they explain what you should be doing during your 1L year in order to succeed. More importantly, they tell you what not to do during your first year. If you have specific questions, feel free to post or send me a message.


Thanks! I bookmarked those pages and will definitely be reading through them.

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Gail
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby Gail » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:52 pm

mrtoren wrote:
kekepania wrote:I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?

The fact that you're worrying about this leads me to believe you have anxiety and confidence issues. If you psych yourself out, you will probably fail out of or do poorly in law school. If you put in the work and trust yourself, you'll likely pass. You might not be top of the class, but you'll pass. Its the same in undergrad.


That's not been my experience in undergrad.

I'm suspicious of confidence. The universe wants to throw you a curveball. Expect the worst and profit from it

sillyboots
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby sillyboots » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:10 am

Honestly, you just can't know. Even when you're in law school, you really only know in hindsight.

Don't be fooled into thinking, either, that just because you've read and solemnly sworn to yourself that you'll follow all of the TLS collected wisdom on doing well in law school, and dedicate every minute of every day to 'studying smart' and making it to the top, that you will make it. If you read through the law student forum's january posts, you'll see multiple threads of people who read and internalized the advice on the board, worked their hearts out, felt confident after their exams, and ended up at or below the median.

I really do believe law students are getting better ever year. Some of our teachers gave us sample answers from all of their previous years and I thought there was a very strong linear progression in terms of quality. I think most students now have found online sources like TLS's collected wisdom, most know that they're screwed in the current economy if they don't work hard, and most push themselves. Maybe others on this board have had a different experience, but honestly I think law students must be in better shape than ever. Also contrary to what I'd heard going into law school, almost no one in my class surfs the web or ever misses class.

That being said, I whole heartedly endorse the old TLS mantra that you should only go to a law school if you'd be content graduating from median there. If that's not true, take the LSAT again or don't go to law school. Really, betting tens of thousands of dollars that you're going to seriously outperform a large group of people who are statistically identical to you is just plain irrational. Good luck to you in any case!

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kekepania
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby kekepania » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:43 am

sillyboots wrote:Honestly, you just can't know. Even when you're in law school, you really only know in hindsight.

Don't be fooled into thinking, either, that just because you've read and solemnly sworn to yourself that you'll follow all of the TLS collected wisdom on doing well in law school, and dedicate every minute of every day to 'studying smart' and making it to the top, that you will make it. If you read through the law student forum's january posts, you'll see multiple threads of people who read and internalized the advice on the board, worked their hearts out, felt confident after their exams, and ended up at or below the median.

I really do believe law students are getting better ever year. Some of our teachers gave us sample answers from all of their previous years and I thought there was a very strong linear progression in terms of quality. I think most students now have found online sources like TLS's collected wisdom, most know that they're screwed in the current economy if they don't work hard, and most push themselves. Maybe others on this board have had a different experience, but honestly I think law students must be in better shape than ever. Also contrary to what I'd heard going into law school, almost no one in my class surfs the web or ever misses class.

That being said, I whole heartedly endorse the old TLS mantra that you should only go to a law school if you'd be content graduating from median there. If that's not true, take the LSAT again or don't go to law school. Really, betting tens of thousands of dollars that you're going to seriously outperform a large group of people who are statistically identical to you is just plain irrational. Good luck to you in any case!


As long as I can get a good job that will place me on a solid career path (and I'll be honest, money is important), I will be happy. I definitely care less about my rank than employers do. I'm just worried that my potential for future success will be based solely on law school grades (especially 1L)...that's a lot of pressure!

sillyboots
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby sillyboots » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:50 am

kekepania wrote: As long as I can get a good job that will place me on a solid career path (and I'll be honest, money is important), I will be happy. I definitely care less about my rank than employers do. I'm just worried that my potential for future success will be based solely on law school grades (especially 1L)...that's a lot of pressure!


I understand, and I think most law school students share the sentiment. There's a lot of stress, anxiety, and depression floating around law school, and most of it can be attributed to the fact that grades really are so significant and yet are by no means guaranteed. I made the choice to come to law school primarily for the practical purposes like its better promise of financial security, and even though so far it's working out enough to not make me regret it, I really do wish I would've thought harder about the decision.

I know a lot of tough love gets passed around to 0Ls on this forum, but it has its justifications. The demand of both law school and the vast majority of law jobs is socially isolating, the heavy emphasis on results and the strict relative measurement of those results is stressful and depending on where you end up it can be profoundly disheartening, and most law careers are horribly stressful with the obssession with uncertain and difficult-to-obtain results not disappearing. Relative to other professions, law has jaw-dropping rates of alcoholism, hypertension, etc. I know it's easy to brush off all of these warnings because I did, but if you even have an inkling that there's a job path out there that is more meaningful or enjoyable for you, give it a good second look before signing up for law school.

On a more positive note, there's a handful of people I know who seem to love it here and think going into a legal career is the bees knees. Only you can know what works for you, and again, good luck to you whatever you end up choosing.

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Indifferent
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby Indifferent » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:57 am

kekepania wrote:I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?

no.

AP-375
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby AP-375 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:01 am

I'd recommend xeoh's advice thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=118545
Following it strictly led to success for me. My opinion is that law school grading is not as subjective as a lot of people think, at least at my T25 school. In my small social group, at my school only, it seems like the kids who followed something similar to xeoh's plan and worked very hard did very well. I wouldn't call that subjective at all, just elusive, perhaps, although it is based on only my experience.

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sunynp
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby sunynp » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:04 am

The problem is that working hard will not guarantee success. Because working hard worked out for some people and they did well, other people worked just as hard and end up at median or lower. It isn't enough to work hard.

There are several threads on this forum by people who followed xeoh or similar advice. and they are devastated when they don't do well.

By no means am I saying don't follow these guides. My point is that following them is no guarantee of doing well. It isn't like undergrad grading at all. You can't just study more and do better than others in your class.

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Mce252
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby Mce252 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:05 am

kekepania wrote:I have no problem working hard but I'm worried about the possibility that my efforts will be futile. Is there a way to know if I will be successful in law school?



You could know. But you would also have to know that you're going to work harder and smarter than most of your class, and be excellent at writing exams based on ridiculous hypotheticals.

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romothesavior
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:43 am

AP-375 wrote:I'd recommend xeoh's advice thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 3&t=118545
Following it strictly led to success for me. My opinion is that law school grading is not as subjective as a lot of people think, at least at my T25 school. In my small social group, at my school only, it seems like the kids who followed something similar to xeoh's plan and worked very hard did very well. I wouldn't call that subjective at all, just elusive, perhaps, although it is based on only my experience.

It's an study plan, but I missed the part where it said "Have a social life, not be a library sperglord." I'm sure it was just mistakenly omitted.

sillyboots
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby sillyboots » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:44 am

There's also the issue of outlier professors. Arrow and others discuss them in their guides, but seriously, sometimes no matter how hard you work, you're subject to a teacher's random evaluations. I've known people who had grades like A/A+/A+/B- without any difference in approach with the fourth class. The teacher might only ask obscure policy questions, with the top 20% in the class totally stumbling into a better looking answer than the rest of the class. The test might be too easy, with everyone getting substantively the correct answers and the main difference in grades coming down to mostly facial things like word choice. The teacher might be old, tired, confused and ready to retire and just do a really shitty job of grading. The chances are in your favor that if you pay attention to the teacher, what they say, try to read their style and work hard in class, you won't feel like your grade was subjective in the end, but there really are outliers, and all it takes is one to destroy your GPA.

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romothesavior
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:46 am

sillyboots wrote:There's also the issue of outlier professors. Arrow and others discuss them in their guides, but seriously, sometimes no matter how hard you work, you're subject to a teacher's random evaluations. I've known people who had grades like A/A+/A+/B- without any difference in approach with the fourth class. The teacher might only ask obscure policy questions, with the top 20% in the class totally stumbling into a better looking answer than the rest of the class. The test might be too easy, with everyone getting substantively the correct answers and the main difference in grades coming down to mostly facial things like word choice. The teacher might be old, tired, confused and ready to retire and just do a really shitty job of grading. The chances are in your favor that if you pay attention to the teacher, what they say, try to read their style and work hard in class, you won't feel like your grade was subjective in the end, but there really are outliers, and all it takes is one to destroy your GPA.

This definitely happens. I'd say doing well in law school isn't luck, but being the very best in the class (top 1-2%) can sometimes involve just a bit of luck.

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snowpeach06
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Re: How do I know if I will succeed in law school?

Postby snowpeach06 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:30 am

AP-375 wrote:I'd recommend xeoh's advice thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 3&t=118545
Following it strictly led to success for me. My opinion is that law school grading is not as subjective as a lot of people think, at least at my T25 school. In my small social group, at my school only, it seems like the kids who followed something similar to xeoh's plan and worked very hard did very well. I wouldn't call that subjective at all, just elusive, perhaps, although it is based on only my experience.

I also know a lot of people with great grades who were lazy as shit, people with terrible grades who seemed to study both hard and efficiently, and people who study equally hard for everything, but get some good grades and some bad.




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