edcrane wrote: Thane Messinger wrote:
It is an ENORMOUS exaggeration to call it suicidal to do nothing over the summer. Once again, since the vast majority of students do nothing over the summer (even the vast majority of those students who are very successful), calling it suicidal is hyperbole.
I would have thought so too, but as it happens I recently had a conversation with a university mental health counselor...
So, yes, I stand by the assertion.
PS: My statement should have related “suicidal” to “grades,” although again, the connection is stronger than most new law students would ever know.
Anything that could arguably have an adverse effect on your grades is suicidal. It all makes sense now. Fail to attend LEEWS? Suicidal. Fail to purchase an E&E? Suicidal. Fail to outline before
class. Well, you get the picture. It's a tough world out there.
In all seriousness, I appreciate that you're trying to help students out. I even agree that most of your recommendations are at least potentially useful--obviously there are different paths to success and some strategies may be effective for some students but not others. But you really do yourself a disservice when you make (and stand by) wildly hyperbolic statements.
Perhaps, but aside from being taken out of context, the assertion is less hyperbolic than it should be. There are things besides people that can die, and with debt surpassing one hundred thousand for even a public law school education, one would think career rather high on the list of concerns.
I appreciate your posts, and except for this one rather serious disagreement, perhaps someday we can share the appropriate beverage and compare, ah, notes.
Funny you mention LEEWS and E&E, because those are good examples where students who forego them will
put themselves at a disadvantage relative to students who take each (or both) seriously. It should be no controversy to mention that law school is notable for its grade curve, with blind grading, etc., and the importance of relative as well as absolute mastery as a result. Yet mention the logical conclusions from this and the crowd goes nuts.
My purpose here, aside from the aforementioned millions that my books apparently make,* is to be a voice to highlight the conventional wisdom, which is anything but. It's funny, in a way. Law students have spent years achieving success in high school and college, have taken test after test and qualifying exam after exam, have "passed" the LSAT, and at just the point where they can do something that will actually make a significant difference to their performance (and to reduce the likelihood of their burning out), there's that ubiquitous (and, too often, ruinous) advice to do nothing. Relax. Enjoy. You'll be busy soon enough. Were this in any other context it would be laughable.
It's ironic as I'm the one arguing that law students study too much
. If one burns out, it won't make a whit of difference whether it took nine months or eleven months to get there.
If one believes I'm promoting some superhuman (and equally silly) effort to duplicate law before one gets to law school, well, there's not much point in continuing to spar. As the "Getting Good" part of Law School: GGG takes pains to explain, there are several keys, focusing on greater comprehension with less effort. Not sure how I can make that more plain. Part of that effort is in getting ready to learn the law.
It's understandable to read "preparation" as meaning "lots and lots and lots of study," but in fact that's part of the problem. It's not a solution. GGG is all about NOT "studying" like crazy, for the simple reason that that's not the best way to ace exams. Color-coding, excessive note-taking, case briefing, gunning, brown-nosing, psy-ops . . . all of these things are distractions and potentially disastrous. In short, suicidal to one's as-yet undetermined legal career.
Yet another part of this discussion focuses on our societal fetish for differentness: that because we're all different there just must be just that many ways to learn, and that each is equally valid. Perhaps. But to those who are not yet started, are you willing to bet your career on it? And a reverse acid test: What do you have to lose? In calculating the relative risks, even if one values free time and a maximum lack of work, the calculus is rather stark.
* Note to self: Check with accounting minions on status of Swiss accounts.