EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

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JeffBuckley
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Re: So I Made a 4.0 my First Semester in Law School

Postby JeffBuckley » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:54 pm

The engineers/hard science folk in my class seemed to struggle more than anyone.

huckabees
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Re: So I Made a 4.0 my First Semester in Law School

Postby huckabees » Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:31 pm

BradyToMoss wrote:I still disagree. Even at the top schools some kids naturally get it and others don't.


I think this is true to some extent. Some people are more natural at engineering and physics than others. Some people have a very hard time distinguishing a good philosophical argument from a mediocre one. I'm fairly sure some people will find legal reasoning more intuitive than others. Why would law school be an exception to the rule?

bigben
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Re: So I Made a 4.0 my First Semester in Law School

Postby bigben » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:01 pm

rayiner wrote:
bigben wrote:I didn't say grades are arbitrary; they measure something. But it's not a grouping of people who naturally "get" the law and people who never will. At least not at top schools, and I doubt it's much like that at other schools either.


Your comment definitely implied that you felt that the curve imposed an arbitrary ordering. Beyond that, I'll contest your claim that exams don't measure people who "get the law". The question, again, is one of where the bar is set. Most students at a T30 school are probably smart enough to be able to learn and understand the rules. I doubt, however, that all of them can master them to a point where they can apply them quickly in unfamiliar scenarios. And it would seem to me that this is exactly what a law school exam measures.

To return to my previous anecdote, in my engineering classes most people knew the material. This was not enough to consistently get you an A. The people who got A's on a regular basis were the ones that had mastered the material so well that they could apply it to unforeseen scenarios. People who didn't get A's complained that the exams were nothing like the homework, but that missed the point of the whole exercise. The goal of the exam was to identify those people who would be good candidates for the graduate program, where they would have to apply their knowledge to genuinely novel scenarios. Your median B-student would make a fine engineer, applying well-understood rules to well-understood problems, but it was the exceptional people, the ones who could derive the differential equations of flight dynamics from first principles in 30 minutes*, who could do innovative research.

That being said, I'm a 0L, so what do I know? I just find it difficult to believe that law isn't like, well, everything else in the world. I've worked in engineering since I finished high-school, and you could always find a distribution. On any given question, some people were just stumped, some people got an answer, but only after running the math, and some people could do an estimate in their head in five minutes that was within 10% of the answer the second group spent an hour computing.

*) That was actually one of the qualifying exams for the PhD program.



I did not imply that grades are arbitrary--I implied that "getting the law" versus "not getting it" was an inaccurate description of what determines grades. In reality, the distinctions are much finer: identifying one or two subtle nuances in the law or adding a sentence of policy analysis might be the difference between several grade increments. Furthermore, different professors administer different types of exams. Some are like a race, seeing how much fairly rote application of rules you can accomplish in the time allotted. Others will make up entirely new rules and see how you can adapt to them, or simply propose an idea and ask you to comment on it. It often happens that students score near the top on one exam and towards the bottom on another exam for classes where they spent equal time learning the material--either because they are naturally better at one type of exam or they neglected to learn and practice techniques of exam writing. Finally, not only is the type of exam professor-dependent, but the content of the material and the sort of analysis that will win points is also professor-dependent. A professor might be able to cover less than 10% of an area of law in a first-year survey course, and your exam must focus on the material that the professor chooses to focus on. Your analysis must also reflect the way that your professor thinks about the law, because that is what she chose to teach you, though there may be other ways.

In summary, it's not just about "getting" it or not, but it is largely about how well you get it. Your analogy to engineering is pretty good. I'm just saying the differences between grades can be small, and it is not only a matter of inherent ability. Just like the LSAT, the skills are learnable and practicing exams hones your ability. Some may score a 180 without studying and others may find it extremely difficult or impossible to reach 170, but the skills are still learnable.

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invictus
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Re: So I Made a 4.0 my First Semester in Law School

Postby invictus » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:13 pm

PKSebben wrote:
legends159 wrote:
JeffBuckley wrote:
E & E's for every class.

Read every single case, every single note. Briefed for 1/2 the classes, bought canned briefs for the others.

Outlined early so I could cram around finals time.

I don't really feel like I have a "secret" study method--nor do I feel like I worked harder than most others . . . Just fortunate, I suppose.


He worked hard and stayed dedicated. That's the secret to law school success--dedication. It's easy to bust your ass in the beginning of the semester for a week or 2. But keeping it up all semester is the real trick.

Congrats OP, a 4.0 anywhere is impressive.


Your mom is impressive.


Your mom, on the other hand, was underwhelming last night. Not worth $3.

WHAT NOW BITCH?

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rayiner
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Re: So I Made a 4.0 my First Semester in Law School

Postby rayiner » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:42 pm

bigben wrote:I did not imply that grades are arbitrary--I implied that "getting the law" versus "not getting it" was an inaccurate description of what determines grades. In reality, the distinctions are much finer: identifying one or two subtle nuances in the law or adding a sentence of policy analysis might be the difference between several grade increments. Furthermore, different professors administer different types of exams. Some are like a race, seeing how much fairly rote application of rules you can accomplish in the time allotted. Others will make up entirely new rules and see how you can adapt to them, or simply propose an idea and ask you to comment on it. It often happens that students score near the top on one exam and towards the bottom on another exam for classes where they spent equal time learning the material--either because they are naturally better at one type of exam or they neglected to learn and practice techniques of exam writing. Finally, not only is the type of exam professor-dependent, but the content of the material and the sort of analysis that will win points is also professor-dependent. A professor might be able to cover less than 10% of an area of law in a first-year survey course, and your exam must focus on the material that the professor chooses to focus on. Your analysis must also reflect the way that your professor thinks about the law, because that is what she chose to teach you, though there may be other ways.

In summary, it's not just about "getting" it or not, but it is largely about how well you get it.


Maybe it's just my personal academic background, but what you've just described sounds no different than any other highly-competitive academic program. And frankly, the abilities you mentioned, being able to identify a situation and pick an appropriate action, being able to judge what other people want, being able to separate the relevant from the irrelevant, are all absolutely important not just in school, but in the real world.

The way you worded your original statement made it seem as if you thought that there was something artificial in the metrics gauged by law school exams. But your examples really suggest otherwise.

JeffBuckley
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Re: So I Made a 4.0 my First Semester in Law School

Postby JeffBuckley » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:20 pm

I completed the sweep.

4.0 my first year of law school.


Now I guess I should think about transferring.

eth3n
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby eth3n » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:49 pm

dude...im so freaking jealous...i bet you never thought you had a chance of t6 (i know i dont)

CredoUtIntellegam
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby CredoUtIntellegam » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:01 pm

Your gpa is very impressive, but I think class rank will play a crucial role in the transfer admissions process. If you're number 1 or in the top 1% or in that vicinity, you should have a decent shot at HYS.

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jcl2
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby jcl2 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:28 pm

Congrats, that is amazing!

CredoUtIntellegam wrote:Your gpa is very impressive, but I think class rank will play a crucial role in the transfer admissions process. If you're number 1 or in the top 1% or in that vicinity, you should have a decent shot at HYS.


Unless op is at a school that gives A pluses, which it sounds like he is not, then he is number 1, it could be a tie, but 1/x will be the rank nonetheless.

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jcl2
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby jcl2 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:30 pm

eth3n wrote:dude...im so freaking jealous...i bet you never thought you had a chance of t6 (i know i dont)


Does this mean that you still don't think op has a chance at a t6? I would wager quite a bit that if he applied to each of the t6 he would get in to at least one.

JeffBuckley
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby JeffBuckley » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:51 pm

After the first semester, I really didn't think a repeat was possible.

I also kept checking to see if there was some kind of error with the registrar.


You guys really think I have a shot at HYS?

Would it be better to be a big fish in a little (40's) pond, as opposed to a little fish in a big (t6) pond?

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rayiner
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby rayiner » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:53 pm

JeffBuckley wrote:After the first semester, I really didn't think a repeat was possible.

I also kept checking to see if there was some kind of error with the registrar.


You guys really think I have a shot at HYS?

Would it be better to be a big fish in a little (40's) pond, as opposed to a little fish in a big (t6) pond?


Transfer to T6. Don't even think about it. Just do it. NAO. Don't even respond to this post, you should already be working on your CLS app.

06072010
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby 06072010 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:58 pm

rayiner wrote:
JeffBuckley wrote:After the first semester, I really didn't think a repeat was possible.

I also kept checking to see if there was some kind of error with the registrar.


You guys really think I have a shot at HYS?

Would it be better to be a big fish in a little (40's) pond, as opposed to a little fish in a big (t6) pond?


Transfer to T6. Don't even think about it. Just do it. NAO. Don't even respond to this post, you should already be working on your CLS app.


+1 I should lock this thread to make a point.

eth3n
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby eth3n » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:29 pm

sorry i could have been clearer, i meant if i was in his position (and im going to a similarly ranked school) i would never expect id get to transfer up... :)

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BradyToMoss
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby BradyToMoss » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:38 am

t20, 4.0+, currently getting very little aid. Thoughts on t3 or t6 transfer? I really enjoyed my first year at ls, but at the same time have my sights set on a select few firms in NY/DC/BOS and want to give myself the best shot I can get at succeeding at the firm long term and having the best lateral options possible.

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dbt
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby dbt » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:46 am

Eh...if you have a 4.0 and want to practice in TN, I would apply to transfer to other schools, and then use that as leverage for a full ride (+ stipend if you've already got that). I don't think transfer aid is abundant and top of your class at a school in the region is probably as good as anything if you want to practice in the region.

270910
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby 270910 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:57 am

Transfer.

Now.

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youpiiz
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby youpiiz » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:02 am

wow.. congrats on those impressive grades!
so okay now you ballers with 4.XX have to blog about your study strategies.
and do what you want to do! if you dont feel like transferring dont. but with a 4.XX you guys def have a shot all the way!

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rayiner
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby rayiner » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:29 am

BradyToMoss wrote:t20, 4.0+, currently getting very little aid. Thoughts on t3 or t6 transfer? I really enjoyed my first year at ls, but at the same time have my sights set on a select few firms in NY/DC/BOS and want to give myself the best shot I can get at succeeding at the firm long term and having the best lateral options possible.


Harvard.

green
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby green » Sat Jun 06, 2009 2:37 am

Yeah, I'd like to hear some study suggestions. OP, when you say you bought "canned briefs", what exactly did you mean?

06072010
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby 06072010 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:28 am

The non-transfer people are so incredibly retarded, that it blows my mind. T10 is pretty much a no-fucking-brainier. BradytoMoss -- fucking congrats -- enjoy H or come slum at UofM. I have a Wii.

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BradyToMoss
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby BradyToMoss » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:33 am

PKSebben wrote:The non-transfer people are so incredibly retarded, that it blows my mind. T10 is pretty much a no-fucking-brainier. BradytoMoss -- fucking congrats -- enjoy H or come slum at UofM. I have a Wii.



Wii is TTT compared to 360

green wrote:Yeah, I'd like to hear some study suggestions. OP, when you say you bought "canned briefs", what exactly did you mean?


I'll post my approach on the "After grades - what did we learn" after my last grade comes out. I thought my approach compared to most of my classmates helped a lot, but pretty much everything I did was based on suggestions from TLS.

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youpiiz
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby youpiiz » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:43 am

BradyToMoss wrote:
PKSebben wrote:The non-transfer people are so incredibly retarded, that it blows my mind. T10 is pretty much a no-fucking-brainier. BradytoMoss -- fucking congrats -- enjoy H or come slum at UofM. I have a Wii.



Wii is TTT compared to 360


im quite surprised that was all pk could offer 8)

06072010
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Re: EDIT: Finished my first year with a 4.0

Postby 06072010 » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:15 pm

youpiiz wrote:
BradyToMoss wrote:
PKSebben wrote:The non-transfer people are so incredibly retarded, that it blows my mind. T10 is pretty much a no-fucking-brainier. BradytoMoss -- fucking congrats -- enjoy H or come slum at UofM. I have a Wii.



Wii is TTT compared to 360


im quite surprised that was all pk could offer 8)


Like I don't have a 360 et al. I have a premiere video game collection. Want to play rampage on a cocktail cabinet with authentic arcade quality joystick controls? Care to play DDR on my custom built metal dance pad? How about any NES, SNES, Genesis, 2600/7800, SMS, Lynx, GBA, DS, Colecovision, N64 game ever made.

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ddp
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Re: So I Made a 4.0 my First Semester in Law School

Postby ddp » Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:36 pm

SoCal123 wrote:This is an interesting thread.

My advice is to ask yourself what path you think will allow you the greatest personal growth. If you transfer, you will lose out on growth opportunities like law review and moot court. Do not devalue the importance of these experiences. They come around once in a lifetime.

If you transfer to another school, you may find that you are on the outside looking in, rather than on the inside looking out.

Grasshopper.

:D


I don't think this is necessarily true. At Yale, for example, you can do the writing competition for Law Review during the first few weeks of class (http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissi ... 09/05.aspx) Don't know how widespread this practice is though. Also Yale is so small that you could probably get to know your classmates and professors pretty well despite being a transfer. Again, Yale is an exceptional case.




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