Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: SoCo2008 on June 19, 2006, 07:03:11 AM

Title: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: SoCo2008 on June 19, 2006, 07:03:11 AM
I was trying to think of schools that Ive heard have the most competitve/cut throat students and ones that have students that are more friendly/willingly to help each other out.

I remember there was an old thread on this topic...but Im too lazy to go thru 50pgs to search for it. I remember reading Georgetown was competetive but I heard from a student thats not the case. Any thoughts...on any schools?
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Alamo on June 19, 2006, 07:11:29 AM
UC Hastings also has a pretty cutthroat rep.  I've also heard it rumored about Columbia and Chicago, but I've also heard denials of this as well.  It's really hard to know what to believe before you get somewhere and experience it for yourself.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: SplitFinger on June 19, 2006, 07:16:52 AM
I've heard from people at other schools that students at the school I'm going to are hyper-competitive, but I've also heard from people who actually go there that it's actually not so bad.

I'm currently trying to figure out the best way to communicate to everyone in my 1L section that there's no need for b---s--- tricks like hiding books in the library and stuff, and that while I'm normally a very laid-back guy, I will be first in line to organize a lynch mob if anybody pulls any crap like that.  :)  I'm too old to put up with that kind of garbage.

Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: denk on June 19, 2006, 07:19:11 AM
How about this:

http://www.princetonreview.com/law/research/rankings/rankingDetails.asp?topicID=4
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: greengrl on June 19, 2006, 07:25:40 AM
I've heard from people at other schools that students at the school I'm going to are hyper-competitive, but I've also heard from people who actually go there that it's actually not so bad.

I'm currently trying to figure out the best way to communicate to everyone in my 1L section that there's no need for b---s--- tricks like hiding books in the library and stuff, and that while I'm normally a very laid-back guy, I will be first in line to organize a lynch mob if anybody pulls any crap like that.  :)  I'm too old to put up with that kind of garbage.



agreed. i just hope that if this is an issue the administration at my university is prepared to deal with it. because i'm not in any mood to look like a moron because someone feels that their "academic advantage" is their range of clepto skills.

on that note, has anyone considered how they will avoid the "stress ovens"? you know, those people that have to tell you nine million times how stressed they are and check in with you and make sure you are just as stressed and find out EVERYTHING you are doing to study and check in with you every day to see how far you are in the reading assignments--you KNOW the people i'm talking about. i'm just afraid my collegiate, kind personality is going to break down and female dog slap the first person who finds the need to be up in my business all the time.

thoughts?
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: cyberrev on June 19, 2006, 07:27:59 AM
i plan on telling them, i dont discuss grades, tests, or progress.  if someone was gone and needs a copy of an outline, that's different, but anything else serves no purpose.  someone will always feel worse after that type of exchange.

i'm old and cranky and can get away with it.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: CoxlessPair on June 19, 2006, 11:25:36 AM
I just looked at that Princeton Review most competitive law school page and it just seems off.

For those of you who didn't see the link:

Most Competitive Law Students:
1. Baylor
2. St. Johns (NY)
3. Cardozo
4. Roger Williams
5. St. Mary's (TX)
6. Ohio Northern
7. Suffolk
8. Brigham Young
9. Cornell
10. Ohio State

Only two T1 (and 1 T14) programs? And a bunch of T4? It just seems like a very random listing.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: goodnews on June 19, 2006, 11:31:41 AM
Those Princeton Review rankings seem off in general. 
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Andrew Largeman on June 19, 2006, 11:36:21 AM
A lower ranked school might be competitive if the students are trying to transfer to a better school. Just a hypothesis.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: denk on June 19, 2006, 11:37:41 AM
Only two T1 (and 1 T14) programs? And a bunch of T4? It just seems like a very random listing.

That's actually exactly what I would expect.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Alamo on June 19, 2006, 11:38:36 AM
I just looked at that Princeton Review most competitive law school page and it just seems off.

For those of you who didn't see the link:

Most Competitive Law Students:
1. Baylor
2. St. Johns (NY)
3. Cardozo
4. Roger Williams
5. St. Mary's (TX)
6. Ohio Northern
7. Suffolk
8. Brigham Young
9. Cornell
10. Ohio State

Only two T1 (and 1 T14) programs? And a bunch of T4? It just seems like a very random listing.


A lower ranked school might be competitive if the students are trying to transfer to a better school. Just a hypothesis.

Yes.  You don't have to be as competitive at Yale as you do at Cooley, because you're going to get a great job no matter what.  Everyone at the lower tiered schools is fighting to transfer up, or at least rank near the top of their class.  I don't think that we should equate higher ranked schools with higher degrees of internal competitiveness.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: nmb238 on June 19, 2006, 01:30:54 PM
From my friends currently in law school: Columbia and Georgetown are unprecedented in their cut-throat environments. Killer atmosphere, especially for those on Big Law track.

Im surprised Cornell is making these lists- ive never heard that before, but who knows.

Im more interested in those known for NOT being remarkably cutthroat.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: nukelaw on June 19, 2006, 01:40:26 PM
I just looked at that Princeton Review most competitive law school page and it just seems off.

For those of you who didn't see the link:

Most Competitive Law Students:
1. Baylor
2. St. Johns (NY)
3. Cardozo
4. Roger Williams
5. St. Mary's (TX)
6. Ohio Northern
7. Suffolk
8. Brigham Young
9. Cornell
10. Ohio State

Only two T1 (and 1 T14) programs? And a bunch of T4? It just seems like a very random listing.


This has been discussed at length elsewhere, but those rankings seems to make sense for a few reasons:

1) Some T-1 schools maintain a culture of competitiveness through rankings, public posting of grades, etc.

2) Many T-4's have an extremely harsh curve that can FAIL OUT a significant portion of a 1L class. They do this to maintain their ABA accreditation by having high bar passage rates. On top of that, the competition for jobs at a T-4 is intense since only top 1-5% may be ensured big law.

3) In rural markets with less employers, a local school again may face tough competition throughout for limited big law opportunities.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: CoxlessPair on June 20, 2006, 09:41:57 AM
Having recently finished my 1L, I continue to take issue with this whole competitive/non-competitive classification system.

The premise that the Yale Law student are more laid back than some T4 b/c their jobs are secure just seems faulty. Not including the handful of accidental geniuses among the group, I'm sure every Yale student has had to put foot to ass to get them to New Haven. Most of them I'm sure are highly ambitious and motivated people, the fact that they were accepted validates that. Do they flip the switch into off once they start 1L? "Well, I'm guaranteed a six figure job and in that Yale doesn't really grade anyone, I might as well bong a couple beers." Comparatively, people at T4s aren't always trying to transfer up and thus work harder.

Admittedly, I'm a very Type-A personality and I'm probably projecting a bit but I'm solidly in the opinion that everyone in law school works as hard as they can to do as well as they can. I draw the analogy to when I was a collegiate athlete and you had the few slackers on the team. I never could understand why someone what voluntarily join a sport so grueling and difficult and not go 100%. It seems like a pure waste of time otherwise. Why join the game if you aren't ready to play?

2-
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bruin on June 20, 2006, 10:26:31 AM


Only two T1 (and 1 T14) programs? And a bunch of T4? It just seems like a very random listing.


That acutally sounds about right
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bruin on June 20, 2006, 10:27:43 AM
I'm probably projecting a bit but I'm solidly in the opinion that everyone in law school works as hard as they can to do as well as they can.


 :D :D
Yes, you are projecting yourself, by quite a bit.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bruin on June 20, 2006, 10:29:35 AM
From my friends currently in law school: Columbia and Georgetown are unprecedented in their cut-throat environments. Killer atmosphere, especially for those on Big Law track.

Im surprised Cornell is making these lists- ive never heard that before, but who knows.


I have heard the same things, especially about Georgetown. Chicago too, an opinion which comes straight from my somewhat recent Chicago grad professor/boss. Haven't heard this about Cornell either. Who knew?
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Jolie Was Here on June 20, 2006, 10:46:44 AM
Having recently finished my 1L, I continue to take issue with this whole competitive/non-competitive classification system.

The premise that the Yale Law student are more laid back than some T4 b/c their jobs are secure just seems faulty. Not including the handful of accidental geniuses among the group, I'm sure every Yale student has had to put foot to ass to get them to New Haven. Most of them I'm sure are highly ambitious and motivated people, the fact that they were accepted validates that. Do they flip the switch into off once they start 1L? "Well, I'm guaranteed a six figure job and in that Yale doesn't really grade anyone, I might as well bong a couple beers." Comparatively, people at T4s aren't always trying to transfer up and thus work harder.

Admittedly, I'm a very Type-A personality and I'm probably projecting a bit but I'm solidly in the opinion that everyone in law school works as hard as they can to do as well as they can. I draw the analogy to when I was a collegiate athlete and you had the few slackers on the team. I never could understand why someone what voluntarily join a sport so grueling and difficult and not go 100%. It seems like a pure waste of time otherwise. Why join the game if you aren't ready to play?

2-


It depends on how you define "competitive".  A person can be driven, holding himself to a particular standard of excellence and striving to do the best work of which he is capable.  And yes, I'll concede that this mindset probably dominates at a school like Yale.  That doesn't neccessarily mean that this student will worry about how he's performing relative to his peers. 

My understanding is that the OP was looking for insight into which schools have the strongest atmosphere of interpersonal competition (rather than intrapersonal).  And it makes sense to me that, as a very general rule, the top law schools will have less institutionalized interpersonal competition.  Sure, most T14 students will still strive to do well and work hard just like most law students at any school.  But even students in the lower half of the class can feel fairly secure in their post-JD prospects, and therefore their greatest incentive to compete with their peers is removed. 

That said, there's something about the legal profession that seems to act as a sure-fire magnet for severely Type-A assclowns.  Lord, let me avoid as many of them as possible!
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: SoCo2008 on June 20, 2006, 02:14:05 PM
Yeah I meant competitive/cut-throat like hiding books, telling peers wrong information on purpose, and all that crazy stuff....I did not mean competitive/cut-throat as in being driven, holding yourself to higher standard, etc. 
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bruin on June 20, 2006, 02:39:29 PM
Yeah I meant competitive/cut-throat like hiding books, telling peers wrong information on purpose, and all that crazy stuff....I did not mean competitive/cut-throat as in being driven, holding yourself to higher standard, etc. 


Just to clarify, it was the former that I've heard about Cornell.  The latter I hear about Chicago, specificially, but you would expect some of that everywhere.


Both apply to Chicago
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Jolie Was Here on June 20, 2006, 03:01:15 PM
That said, there's something about the legal profession that seems to act as a sure-fire magnet for severely Type-A assclowns.  Lord, let me avoid as many of them as possible!

Just hang out with me.  I'm sooo not a type-A personality.  I would tell you what type I am, but I don't know the names of any of the other types and looking them up sounds a little too much like effort for my liking.


Yeah I meant competitive/cut-throat like hiding books, telling peers wrong information on purpose, and all that crazy stuff....I did not mean competitive/cut-throat as in being driven, holding yourself to higher standard, etc. 


Just to clarify, it was the former that I've heard about Cornell.  The latter I hear about Chicago, specificially, but you would expect some of that everywhere.


Oh, I plan to hang out with you. 

Eek, if I was a dude you'd think you had a creepy stalker.  That did NOT come out the way I intended. 

I just mean that you seem like someone I'd dig.  Did you see my post earlier (I think it was on the UMich 1L Diaries thread) about how incredibly chill the soon-to-be Wolverine 1Ls strike me?  I swear to joe, that played a big part in my decision.  I am so not interested in studying with the vein-popping-out-of-the-forehead types for three years.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: greengrl on June 20, 2006, 03:54:24 PM
That said, there's something about the legal profession that seems to act as a sure-fire magnet for severely Type-A assclowns.  Lord, let me avoid as many of them as possible!

Just hang out with me.  I'm sooo not a type-A personality.  I would tell you what type I am, but I don't know the names of any of the other types and looking them up sounds a little too much like effort for my liking.


Yeah I meant competitive/cut-throat like hiding books, telling peers wrong information on purpose, and all that crazy stuff....I did not mean competitive/cut-throat as in being driven, holding yourself to higher standard, etc. 


Just to clarify, it was the former that I've heard about Cornell.  The latter I hear about Chicago, specificially, but you would expect some of that everywhere.


Oh, I plan to hang out with you. 

Eek, if I was a dude you'd think you had a creepy stalker.  That did NOT come out the way I intended. 

I just mean that you seem like someone I'd dig.  Did you see my post earlier (I think it was on the UMich 1L Diaries thread) about how incredibly chill the soon-to-be Wolverine 1Ls strike me?  I swear to joe, that played a big part in my decision.  I am so not interested in studying with the vein-popping-out-of-the-forehead types for three years.


awww....man! are all the chill kids going to Michigan :(  perhaps I can sit outside and watch through the glass :)

but i second the emotion--i don't think i can handle three years of frazzled, stressed out, book stealing, type A personalities. maybe i'll hide random comics in the books I know we'll all be using, just to freak 'em out.  :)
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Stephon Devante on June 20, 2006, 06:10:06 PM
That said, there's something about the legal profession that seems to act as a sure-fire magnet for severely Type-A assclowns.  Lord, let me avoid as many of them as possible!

Lol...nice analysis...  ;D
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Jolie Was Here on June 20, 2006, 06:14:22 PM
That said, there's something about the legal profession that seems to act as a sure-fire magnet for severely Type-A assclowns.  Lord, let me avoid as many of them as possible!

Just hang out with me.  I'm sooo not a type-A personality.  I would tell you what type I am, but I don't know the names of any of the other types and looking them up sounds a little too much like effort for my liking.


Yeah I meant competitive/cut-throat like hiding books, telling peers wrong information on purpose, and all that crazy stuff....I did not mean competitive/cut-throat as in being driven, holding yourself to higher standard, etc. 


Just to clarify, it was the former that I've heard about Cornell.  The latter I hear about Chicago, specificially, but you would expect some of that everywhere.


Oh, I plan to hang out with you. 

Eek, if I was a dude you'd think you had a creepy stalker.  That did NOT come out the way I intended. 

I just mean that you seem like someone I'd dig.  Did you see my post earlier (I think it was on the UMich 1L Diaries thread) about how incredibly chill the soon-to-be Wolverine 1Ls strike me?  I swear to joe, that played a big part in my decision.  I am so not interested in studying with the vein-popping-out-of-the-forehead types for three years.


awww....man! are all the chill kids going to Michigan :(  perhaps I can sit outside and watch through the glass :)

but i second the emotion--i don't think i can handle three years of frazzled, stressed out, book stealing, type A personalities. maybe i'll hide random comics in the books I know we'll all be using, just to freak 'em out.  :)

greengrl, you can come play in our sandbox anytime! 
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Momo09 on June 20, 2006, 11:14:09 PM
I have to say, based on my education experiences so far, the worst thing about higher learning is finding out just how brilliant some people really are and realize you are not one.

I have met some increadibly bright people who do things absolutely amazing, and I was unable to match that. Yet I have reached inner peace with my measily 140 IQ and just above average performance. 

Like what others have said, there different types of competitions.  The bad one is when stupid people sabotage others to gain undeserving advantage.  The other is when you know you are getting your ass kicked by much smarter people so you stay up longer, try to read faster, and work harder than you ever thought possible or wanted to and realize that's what you need just to survive.  Believe me, when the class genius offers you answers you couldn't possibly have dreamed of, on neatly typed notes and offers to help you study, some people will take this generosity as competition and create hate. 

What you will find (if you haven't) if that the first time you are exposed to greatness will be the worst day of your life, because you will realize for the first time, you are not great and seeing what greatness is and knowing how short you are will be your saddest day.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: slacker on June 21, 2006, 12:56:12 AM
i plan on telling them, i dont discuss grades, tests, or progress.  if someone was gone and needs a copy of an outline, that's different, but anything else serves no purpose.  someone will always feel worse after that type of exchange.

i'm old and cranky and can get away with it.
I won't discuss exams -- especially not right after taking them. I think that's a simple measure for sanity.

I do willingly give notes to people who've missed a class and, on the rare occasion that I've got one that no one else does, outlines.

The person who has the most impact on my performance is me. Giving my notes to someone else doesn't hurt me in terms of class standing, and does help to keep me human.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: cyberrev on June 21, 2006, 07:40:43 AM
i plan on telling them, i dont discuss grades, tests, or progress.  if someone was gone and needs a copy of an outline, that's different, but anything else serves no purpose.  someone will always feel worse after that type of exchange.

i'm old and cranky and can get away with it.
I won't discuss exams -- especially not right after taking them. I think that's a simple measure for sanity.

I do willingly give notes to people who've missed a class and, on the rare occasion that I've got one that no one else does, outlines.

The person who has the most impact on my performance is me. Giving my notes to someone else doesn't hurt me in terms of class standing, and does help to keep me human.


and even if it would hurt my class standing, i'd do it anyway.  what comes around, goes around.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: MindTheGap76 on June 21, 2006, 02:01:00 PM
Yeah I meant competitive/cut-throat like hiding books, telling peers wrong information on purpose, and all that crazy stuff....I did not mean competitive/cut-throat as in being driven, holding yourself to higher standard, etc. 


Just to clarify, it was the former that I've heard about Cornell.  The latter I hear about Chicago, specificially, but you would expect some of that everywhere.


Both apply to Chicago

Incorrect.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Lionel Hutz on June 21, 2006, 02:55:09 PM
I do not buy that Cardozo and St. Johns are two of the most competitive law schools in the country. I'll accept that a tough market and being a lower-ranked school in a city with a surfeit of law schools would kick up the pressure a notch, but it's just not the sense I got at either school. I may turn out to be very wrong on this, and I will know for sure in a few months, but I am sceptical.

As far as I can tell, their rankings are based on respondents to online surveys. Given the amount of traffic on their message boards, I doubt that they have a very broad sampling.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bruin on June 21, 2006, 03:20:05 PM
Yeah I meant competitive/cut-throat like hiding books, telling peers wrong information on purpose, and all that crazy stuff....I did not mean competitive/cut-throat as in being driven, holding yourself to higher standard, etc. 


Just to clarify, it was the former that I've heard about Cornell.  The latter I hear about Chicago, specificially, but you would expect some of that everywhere.


Both apply to Chicago

Incorrect.

It did at least in the mid 90's, if my law prof boss is to be believed.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: slacker on June 21, 2006, 07:32:57 PM
i plan on telling them, i dont discuss grades, tests, or progress.  if someone was gone and needs a copy of an outline, that's different, but anything else serves no purpose.  someone will always feel worse after that type of exchange.

i'm old and cranky and can get away with it.
I won't discuss exams -- especially not right after taking them. I think that's a simple measure for sanity.

I do willingly give notes to people who've missed a class and, on the rare occasion that I've got one that no one else does, outlines.

The person who has the most impact on my performance is me. Giving my notes to someone else doesn't hurt me in terms of class standing, and does help to keep me human.


and even if it would hurt my class standing, i'd do it anyway.  what comes around, goes around.
What many uber-competitive people forget is that their classmates are also, by and large, their future colleagues.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: katedennis on June 22, 2006, 08:03:45 AM

I just mean that you seem like someone I'd dig.  Did you see my post earlier (I think it was on the UMich 1L Diaries thread) about how incredibly chill the soon-to-be Wolverine 1Ls strike me?  I swear to joe, that played a big part in my decision.  I am so not interested in studying with the vein-popping-out-of-the-forehead types for three years.

Amen to that. 
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: CoxlessPair on June 22, 2006, 09:03:53 AM
It's fun to say how chill and laid back you and your classmates are going to be when you have yet to start law school. It's a different beast once people start trying for summer positions, get their first graded legal memos back, are ranked after first semester, etc. 0Ls talking all sorts of game about how law school is going to be just come across stupid or arrogant.

Regardless if you are knighting me with the type-A assclown title, all law students are inherently competitive or they simply would not be at law school. This is twice the case at a school as prestigious as Michigan.

Michigan gives you access to some of the best legal jobs throughout the country. See how long the clove smoking, coffee house studying, thing lasts. 
And I'm not saying people at UM do the cutting pages out of books, stealing laptops, etc thing. I think that is truly a myth. Everyone has heard of it but I have yet to meet a law student where that was the routine at their school. It's part of the BS Paperchase mystique of law schools in general.
I'll concede that some schools might have slightly higher proportions of people that would never share an outline and secretly be rooting for your demise but I think you'll find each school has roughly an equal amount of truly good people, gunner assholes, future patent law attorneys with social anxiety issues, etc.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: MindTheGap76 on June 22, 2006, 09:14:25 AM
It's fun to say how chill and laid back you and your classmates are going to be when you have yet to start law school. It's a different beast once people start trying for summer positions, get their first graded legal memos back, are ranked after first semester, etc. 0Ls talking all sorts of game about how law school is going to be just come across stupid or arrogant.

Regardless if you are knighting me with the type-A assclown title, all law students are inherently competitive or they simply would not be at law school. This is twice the case at a school as prestigious as Michigan.

Michigan gives you access to some of the best legal jobs throughout the country. See how long the clove smoking, coffee house studying, thing lasts. 
And I'm not saying people at UM do the cutting pages out of books, stealing laptops, etc thing. I think that is truly a myth. Everyone has heard of it but I have yet to meet a law student where that was the routine at their school. It's part of the BS Paperchase mystique of law schools in general.
I'll concede that some schools might have slightly higher proportions of people that would never share an outline and secretly be rooting for your demise but I think you'll find each school has roughly an equal amount of truly good people, gunner assholes, future patent law attorneys with social anxiety issues, etc.


I concur in the notion that most law schools are roughly the same. I somewhat disagree as to the level of competitiveness. Specifically, "all law students are inherently competitive or they simply would not be at law school." What really matters is the nature of the competition. People are all used to doing well, so there is a high level of intensity in the sense that few people truly don't care what their grades are. But that is generally manifested as a drive to do your best not resentment or aggression towards other students.

The coffee-house studying doesn't happen because it is completely ineffective, not because people want to slam each other.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Jolie Was Here on June 22, 2006, 09:19:24 AM
It's fun to say how chill and laid back you and your classmates are going to be when you have yet to start law school. It's a different beast once people start trying for summer positions, get their first graded legal memos back, are ranked after first semester, etc. 0Ls talking all sorts of game about how law school is going to be just come across stupid or arrogant.

Regardless if you are knighting me with the type-A assclown title, all law students are inherently competitive or they simply would not be at law school. This is twice the case at a school as prestigious as Michigan.

Michigan gives you access to some of the best legal jobs throughout the country. See how long the clove smoking, coffee house studying, thing lasts. 
And I'm not saying people at UM do the cutting pages out of books, stealing laptops, etc thing. I think that is truly a myth. Everyone has heard of it but I have yet to meet a law student where that was the routine at their school. It's part of the BS Paperchase mystique of law schools in general.
I'll concede that some schools might have slightly higher proportions of people that would never share an outline and secretly be rooting for your demise but I think you'll find each school has roughly an equal amount of truly good people, gunner assholes, future patent law attorneys with social anxiety issues, etc.


Oh, get off your high horse.  Having already made it through a pretty rigorous grad program, not to mention thirty years of life, I think I'm in a good position to predict how I'll respond to the mania of law school.  Even while conceding that I've yet to experience it firsthand, and welcome thoughful input from someone who has. 

A fair few of the people posting here are grown-ups with plenty of life experience, and enough self-assurance to confidently predict how competitive they'll be.  You don't have to believe us; I imagine I speak for the majority when I say that we don't care. 

And btw - Michigan doesn't rank its students after first semester, or at any point until graduation.  hth. 

I wouldn't presume to pronounce you an ass-clown since I don't know you.  But I'll take your word for it. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to be plumb out of clove ciggies...gotta run!
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: greengrl on June 22, 2006, 09:37:26 AM
It's fun to say how chill and laid back you and your classmates are going to be when you have yet to start law school. It's a different beast once people start trying for summer positions, get their first graded legal memos back, are ranked after first semester, etc. 0Ls talking all sorts of game about how law school is going to be just come across stupid or arrogant.

Regardless if you are knighting me with the type-A assclown title, all law students are inherently competitive or they simply would not be at law school. This is twice the case at a school as prestigious as Michigan.

Michigan gives you access to some of the best legal jobs throughout the country. See how long the clove smoking, coffee house studying, thing lasts. 
And I'm not saying people at UM do the cutting pages out of books, stealing laptops, etc thing. I think that is truly a myth. Everyone has heard of it but I have yet to meet a law student where that was the routine at their school. It's part of the BS Paperchase mystique of law schools in general.
I'll concede that some schools might have slightly higher proportions of people that would never share an outline and secretly be rooting for your demise but I think you'll find each school has roughly an equal amount of truly good people, gunner assholes, future patent law attorneys with social anxiety issues, etc.


Oh, get off your high horse.  Having already made it through a pretty rigorous grad program, not to mention thirty years of life, I think I'm in a good position to predict how I'll respond to the mania of law school.  Even while conceding that I've yet to experience it firsthand, and welcome thoughful input from someone who has. 

A fair few of the people posting here are grown-ups with plenty of life experience, and enough self-assurance to confidently predict how competitive they'll be.  You don't have to believe us; I imagine I speak for the majority when I say that we don't care. 

And btw - Michigan doesn't rank its students after first semester, or at any point until graduation.  hth. 

I wouldn't presume to pronounce you an ass-clown since I don't know you.  But I'll take your word for it. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to be plumb out of clove ciggies...gotta run!

Princess Jolie--let's not forget what the function of assclowns are...entertainment for her heiness :)

Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: MindTheGap76 on June 22, 2006, 10:06:12 AM
It's fun to say how chill and laid back you and your classmates are going to be when you have yet to start law school. It's a different beast once people start trying for summer positions, get their first graded legal memos back, are ranked after first semester, etc. 0Ls talking all sorts of game about how law school is going to be just come across stupid or arrogant.

Regardless if you are knighting me with the type-A assclown title, all law students are inherently competitive or they simply would not be at law school. This is twice the case at a school as prestigious as Michigan.

Michigan gives you access to some of the best legal jobs throughout the country. See how long the clove smoking, coffee house studying, thing lasts. 
And I'm not saying people at UM do the cutting pages out of books, stealing laptops, etc thing. I think that is truly a myth. Everyone has heard of it but I have yet to meet a law student where that was the routine at their school. It's part of the BS Paperchase mystique of law schools in general.
I'll concede that some schools might have slightly higher proportions of people that would never share an outline and secretly be rooting for your demise but I think you'll find each school has roughly an equal amount of truly good people, gunner assholes, future patent law attorneys with social anxiety issues, etc.


Oh, get off your high horse.  Having already made it through a pretty rigorous grad program, not to mention thirty years of life, I think I'm in a good position to predict how I'll respond to the mania of law school.  Even while conceding that I've yet to experience it firsthand, and welcome thoughful input from someone who has. 

A fair few of the people posting here are grown-ups with plenty of life experience, and enough self-assurance to confidently predict how competitive they'll be.  You don't have to believe us; I imagine I speak for the majority when I say that we don't care. 

And btw - Michigan doesn't rank its students after first semester, or at any point until graduation.  hth. 

I wouldn't presume to pronounce you an ass-clown since I don't know you.  But I'll take your word for it. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to be plumb out of clove ciggies...gotta run!

His comments and your comments are not inconsistent. You're just perhaps destined to be one of the "truly good people" he mentioned.  I think the main point is that a) most people don't know how they'll react, b) nobody says "I'm going to go to law school and be an obnoxious, competitive ubertool," c) some people inevitably do, and d) it's pretty much the same story at every school.

EDIT: I'll also add that many of the people who reach stage C have no idea they've done so. Some of the biggest gunners at our school have complained to me about the other gunners.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Jolie Was Here on June 22, 2006, 10:16:17 AM
Princess Jolie--let's not forget what the function of assclowns are...entertainment for her heiness :)

Aww, greengrl, you're too good to me.  I'm definitely not royalty.  Maybe they'd let me through the castle gates to play the royal lute or something. 

Yeah, I wasn't being very nice.  Which, I guess, proves that although I'll aspire to be one of those truly good people in law school, I may be destined to be a crotchety female dog.   :-\

MindTheGap, good point.  Touche.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: greengrl on June 22, 2006, 11:06:23 AM
Princess Jolie--let's not forget what the function of assclowns are...entertainment for her heiness :)

Aww, greengrl, you're too good to me.  I'm definitely not royalty.  Maybe they'd let me through the castle gates to play the royal lute or something. 

Yeah, I wasn't being very nice.  Which, I guess, proves that although I'll aspire to be one of those truly good people in law school, I may be destined to be a crotchety female dog.   :-\

MindTheGap, good point.  Touche.

MindTheGap--good call. What's the saying--every law class has an asshat and if you can't figure out who it is then it's probably you? something like that--so true. All the more reason to make friends enough with the right people who will tell you that "hey, you're great but you're being a total asshat".

Jolie--didn't you hear? Admission to a T14 is synonymous with royal descent--CLEARLY you haven't read enough of LSD :)

I think it will be difficult for any of us to be completely "good" or "calm". We're all ambitious, driven and commited to success. I've always had a hard time focusing on my own goals and trying not to be distracted by other people's successes and achievements. It's a constant "am I good enough" feeling--I blame this on my mother :) She should have had more than just me. Only children are a nightmare :) heheheh j/k
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Goodfella on June 22, 2006, 11:51:49 AM
It's fun to say how chill and laid back you and your classmates are going to be when you have yet to start law school. It's a different beast once people start trying for summer positions, get their first graded legal memos back, are ranked after first semester, etc. 0Ls talking all sorts of game about how law school is going to be just come across stupid or arrogant.

Regardless if you are knighting me with the type-A assclown title, all law students are inherently competitive or they simply would not be at law school. This is twice the case at a school as prestigious as Michigan.

Michigan gives you access to some of the best legal jobs throughout the country. See how long the clove smoking, coffee house studying, thing lasts. 
And I'm not saying people at UM do the cutting pages out of books, stealing laptops, etc thing. I think that is truly a myth. Everyone has heard of it but I have yet to meet a law student where that was the routine at their school. It's part of the BS Paperchase mystique of law schools in general.
I'll concede that some schools might have slightly higher proportions of people that would never share an outline and secretly be rooting for your demise but I think you'll find each school has roughly an equal amount of truly good people, gunner assholes, future patent law attorneys with social anxiety issues, etc.


Oh, get off your high horse.  Having already made it through a pretty rigorous grad program, not to mention thirty years of life, I think I'm in a good position to predict how I'll respond to the mania of law school.  Even while conceding that I've yet to experience it firsthand, and welcome thoughful input from someone who has. 

A fair few of the people posting here are grown-ups with plenty of life experience, and enough self-assurance to confidently predict how competitive they'll be.  You don't have to believe us; I imagine I speak for the majority when I say that we don't care. 

And btw - Michigan doesn't rank its students after first semester, or at any point until graduation.  hth. 

I wouldn't presume to pronounce you an ass-clown since I don't know you.  But I'll take your word for it. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I seem to be plumb out of clove ciggies...gotta run!

His comments and your comments are not inconsistent. You're just perhaps destined to be one of the "truly good people" he mentioned.  I think the main point is that a) most people don't know how they'll react, b) nobody says "I'm going to go to law school and be an obnoxious, competitive ubertool," c) some people inevitably do, and d) it's pretty much the same story at every school.

EDIT: I'll also add that many of the people who reach stage C have no idea they've done so. Some of the biggest gunners at our school have complained to me about the other gunners.

Yeah, even at collegial oasis UVA I could pick out 2 guys who would be gunners next year in our mock class.

I think a common misconception is people mistaking the intensity of the work for competitiveness. At Cornell the people weren't competitive because it's hard to be a jerk in such a small school and get away with it, but the workload is heavier than it is elsewhere so it gets labled competitive.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: moonpie on June 22, 2006, 12:41:28 PM
What confuses me about these discussions is that, esp. in student comments on princeton-review like things, everyone says 'Well, it's not like anybody is razoring out pages or something", as if this was the binary trigger for competitiveness. It just seems like a straw man so everyone can seem not extreme, like somewhere there is a law school where none of the books have pages left in them. (The exception might be Liberty U, who probably only bothers with one book, one nobody would ever rip pages out of.)

Law schools don't have arsenic poisonings, shootings, candle-stick clubbing, noosing, or anything else you might encounter in a night's Clue game. But its not like people when asked if their school is competitive say "It's not like we stab law-review competitors in the face or anything." The false implication of that statement is that somewhere there is a Stabface University School of Law where this is a common and accepted practice.

So i'm left wondering: What are the worst contemporary instances of cutthroat behavior that actually happen?
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: MindTheGap76 on June 22, 2006, 12:52:57 PM
What confuses me about these discussions is that, esp. in student comments on princeton-review like things, everyone says 'Well, it's not like anybody is razoring out pages or something", as if this was the binary trigger for competitiveness. It just seems like a straw man so everyone can seem not extreme, like somewhere there is a law school where none of the books have pages left in them. (The exception might be Liberty U, who probably only bothers with one book, one nobody would ever rip pages out of.)

Law schools don't have arsenic poisonings, shootings, candle-stick clubbing, noosing, or anything else you might encounter in a night's Clue game. But its not like people when asked if their school is competitive say "It's not like we stab law-review competitors in the face or anything." The false implication of that statement is that somewhere there is a Stabface University School of Law where this is a common and accepted practice.

So i'm left wondering: What are the worst contemporary instances of cutthroat behavior that actually happen?

The worst it gets is people not helping each other out. I don't think anyone actively takes any steps to subvert their classmates. There are a few people I've studied with who, when they send me notes or something, say "Remember, this stays inside the group." That's about as bad as I've seen it.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: slacker on June 22, 2006, 09:56:56 PM
The worst it gets is people not helping each other out. I don't think anyone actively takes any steps to subvert their classmates. There are a few people I've studied with who, when they send me notes or something, say "Remember, this stays inside the group." That's about as bad as I've seen it.
I'd agree with this. I'm at a T2, where things are more competitive in some respects since more people are competing for fewer options. Still, it's mostly a non-help than outright action against others.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: wannaB1L on June 24, 2006, 05:05:12 PM
this is just a stereotype but when I interned overseas I was surrounded by east coast ivy leaguers, also a dude from emory i think. well they were all so competative and backstabby it was a shock how they all tried to out do eachother and dominate eachother. they were like chimps vying for dominance.I ended up hanging with the few westcoaters there were- one from washington state, two from berkely and a dude from princeton who was a laid back half irish half hindi-indian. the others were wound too tight to hang with- they were super annoying and I was shocked as I went to a hippy school where even though they lacked hygeine we were all pretty helpful to eachother. basically if you are east of the appalachians you are cut throat (sterotyping has basis in reality though is not always true in every case)
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: dbgirl on June 25, 2006, 12:58:03 AM
Law schools don't have arsenic poisonings, shootings, candle-stick clubbing, noosing, or anything else you might encounter in a night's Clue game. But its not like people when asked if their school is competitive say "It's not like we stab law-review competitors in the face or anything." The false implication of that statement is that somewhere there is a Stabface University School of Law where this is a common and accepted practice.

So i'm left wondering: What are the worst contemporary instances of cutthroat behavior that actually happen?

I'm telling you I saw some corpses outside Hastings swinging in the breeze, dripping something on the street, and they looked like 1Ls


The good news is those of us who survived are better and stronger!
We're like mutants.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: lawswow8 on June 24, 2010, 12:27:56 AM
 really miss the era of the students, we can help each other, the community does not the same person, full of intrigues. Horrible.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: SaraJean on July 08, 2010, 07:51:51 AM
What confuses me about these discussions is that, esp. in student comments on princeton-review like things, everyone says 'Well, it's not like anybody is razoring out pages or something", as if this was the binary trigger for competitiveness. It just seems like a straw man so everyone can seem not extreme, like somewhere there is a law school where none of the books have pages left in them. (The exception might be Liberty U, who probably only bothers with one book, one nobody would ever rip pages out of.)

Law schools don't have arsenic poisonings, shootings, candle-stick clubbing, noosing, or anything else you might encounter in a night's Clue game. But its not like people when asked if their school is competitive say "It's not like we stab law-review competitors in the face or anything." The false implication of that statement is that somewhere there is a Stabface University School of Law where this is a common and accepted practice.

So i'm left wondering: What are the worst contemporary instances of cutthroat behavior that actually happen?

When I was an undergraduate, my on-campus job was filing looseleaf in a law school library.  I heard librarians discussing students who had cut out the portions of class reserve books necessary to complete assignments (maybe twice?) and intentionally mis-shelved books in the library (often).
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: nealric on July 08, 2010, 02:45:38 PM
Wow- zombie thread.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bigs5068 on July 08, 2010, 03:37:38 PM
I think every single school has competitive people and non-competitive people and that probably applies to Medical School, Nursing School, etc. Some people are just competitive and some are not. 

Team America the movie said it best three kinds of people no matter where you go

We're dicks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an a-hole. Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get screwed by dicks. But dicks also @#!* assholes: assholes that just want to *&^% on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can @#!* an a-hole is a male private part, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they @#!* too much or @#!* when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a female private part to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of *&^% that they become assholes themselves... because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don't know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don't let us @#!* this a-hole, we're going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in *&^%!

Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Cicero on July 08, 2010, 05:16:04 PM
ROFL! I had forgotten about that monologue.

Speaking from personal experience, I think it is entirely possible to be a competitive student and do well in law school without screwing people over. If someone has a question or needs help, I have no problem helping them. Sometimes I have questions too and need a little help. LS is a much better place when everyone works together and you don't have to worry about the cutthroat students. I think these cut throat students are just worried about how well the really know the material. If they knew the ins & outs of it, then they'd have no problem working with others because they'd be confident in their own abilities. Of course, there are other cut throat people who are just jerks, but I think most are probably insecure.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bigs5068 on July 08, 2010, 09:57:58 PM
Yea I never get the point of worrying about what other people are doing. I don't know even know how someone would be cutthroat in this day and age with computers hiding a book won't do much you could just find it online and if you are smart enough to shut the internet down then you are probably to smart to be in law school.

Honestly, I never worried about what anyone else did and helped people the entire time. Lawyers I worked for just said be nice to everybody, because you never know when someone in your class that you were male private part to will end up being a judge or have the decision to hire you somewhere. There really is no point to making enemies.

Yes that dialouge is awesome and yet so true.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Morten Lund on July 08, 2010, 11:51:54 PM
Lawyers I worked for just said be nice to everybody, because you never know when someone in your class that you were male private part to will end up being a judge or have the decision to hire you somewhere. There really is no point to making enemies.

That is excellent advice.  Sure, it can be tempting to be a jerk - but life is long, and so are negative impressions.  Your law school classmates are far more likely to be in positions of power down the road than the average citizen - and even if they don't become a judge or the President, you will face them in negotiations, or be their coworker.  Everything is more difficult when people dislike you.

"Cut-throat" behavior of this nature is incredibly short-sighted and counter-productive.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Thane Messinger on July 09, 2010, 08:45:22 PM
His comments and your comments are not inconsistent. You're just perhaps destined to be one of the "truly good people" he mentioned.  I think the main point is that a) most people don't know how they'll react, b) nobody says "I'm going to go to law school and be an obnoxious, competitive ubertool," c) some people inevitably do, and d) it's pretty much the same story at every school.

EDIT: I'll also add that many of the people who reach stage C have no idea they've done so. Some of the biggest gunners at our school have complained to me about the other gunners.


One variable that might be important as to the degree of bad behavior (especially in a market such as this) is the degree to which students must compete for jobs.  This is not rhetorical: someone from a "safe" school like Vermont or Hawaii is likely to have a much easier time in getting a job in that known, usually local market.  (The culture in those markets is also noticeably more aware of its small-town intimacy, and thus bad behavior is more frowned upon in addition to being unnecessary.)  Someone in a school such as Yale or Harvard or Stanford or such is, even now, in a comparatively good position--but even there there's probably a difference between Yale-Stanford and Harvard, because the absolute numbers make the relative competition for jobs higher at a larger school.  That leads to caveat 42, which is that for the top jobs, there is going to be intense competition, and because most students are very smart and have for their lives assumed that they will of course rise to the top, the world of law school in which others are just as smart (if not smarter) is jarring.  This is the reason that it's hard to know just how different law school will be, socially and emotionally, for most.

If there were a crucial aspect in this issue, it would be the law school that is itself fighting for a higher place (which is most, each in their own way).  So, someone who attends a bottom-of-the-T14 is going to feel twenty times the pressure than someone at Yale-Harvard.  And someone at a lower Tier 1 school that is intent on placing its students nationally is likely to be worse still.

For all, much of the answer is in understanding that this is likely to occur, in some way or form, and the better course is to rise above it.  Don't engage in bad behavior yourself--for one thing, it won't help, and for another, it will definitely hurt after law school, as Morten and others rightly point out--and try not to get sucked into that nasty world.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: barond on July 12, 2010, 09:32:54 AM
Competitiveness and cut throat are 2 completely different things.   As far as competitiveness, understand that all students are looking out for their own best interests.  Most of these ballers have been getting great grades their entire life and they study ferociously for hours and hours every week just trying to get the pleasure arising out of A's.  Even in the lowly Tier 4 I attend- the students say that it is not competitive, but I don't buy that.  Law school is competitive no matter where you go.

Now cut throat implies a student engaging in improper conduct. That is certainly unethical and unwarranted no matter how badly someone wants the pleasure arising out of A's.  The dean said in his welcome ceremony that from this point on you are supposed to conduct yourself as attorneys. I think law school is more competitive and less cut throat.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bigs5068 on July 12, 2010, 09:41:26 AM
That is true. Obviously every student wants to get goods grades and that will require you to be competitive and study your ass off. There is nothing wrong with being competitive, if you are in the legal profession you need to be since when you go to the real world the other side will be trying to beat you.  As you said being cut throat is wrong, but I don't even know how you could be cutthroat with the internet today.  You can find anything out there so what good would it do to rip the page of a book out, unless I am missing something I just don't how someone could do something cutthroat in a law school environment. Obviously, short of committing a crime like poisoning people or breaking laptops etc.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: barond on July 12, 2010, 09:54:45 AM
I also don't know how you could be cut throat either.  We did very little 'book' research and the little bit we did do was not even graded.  I presume cutthroat would be not helping out a student who asks you a question or something to that effect. That may not even rise to the level of being considered 'cut throat'.  Maybe cut throat would be giving the false impression that you are barely doing any work where in reality you are studying more than anybody else.  Stealing someone elses supplements when they are in the bathroom?  That would be theft not being cut throat.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: bigs5068 on July 12, 2010, 10:41:29 AM
Yea there were a few people that were dicks to other people when they wanted help, but I was just cool to everybody and if someone wanted notes or something I was happy to give it to them. Being a male private part to two or three people is just going to make you enemies and odds are if they are asking for your help you don't need to worry about them doing better than you, it actually might help you understand the material better if you explain it to someone.  Honestly, even if the two-three people you help do end up doing better than you because of your absolute genius in being to explain the law to somebody else, but not on exam then you will drop maybe 2% in your ranking and you will in the 29% percentile instead of the 27% and that really wouldn't matter that much to anyone.

It really make absolutely no sense to be a male private part, but there were a few people that just isolated themselves and were mean to people that asked them for help.  Those three people did not even end up on the Dean's list so a lot of good it did them. Obviously, the competitive edge is and should be there for anyone considering law school, but if you think being a male private part will help you out in anyway well it won't.
Title: Re: Most Competitive/Cut throat students
Post by: Thane Messinger on July 13, 2010, 03:42:10 AM
* * *
It really make absolutely no sense to be a male private part, but there were a few people that just isolated themselves and were mean to people that asked them for help.  Those three people did not even end up on the Dean's list so a lot of good it did them. Obviously, the competitive edge is and should be there for anyone considering law school, but if you think being a male private part will help you out in anyway well it won't.


You're quite right about the low correlation between hyper-competitive behavior and grades.  This is one of those shocks that leads to even worse behavior. 

I would argue that competitiveness is correlated to cut-throat behavior, because the latter is to a large degree a psychological reaction, where law school "Goodies" seem suddenly and unfairly out of reach.  The truth is that this is true for many law students--such is the nature of the forced curve and of OCI. 

As to the specific games that are played, they can run the gamut, and most are petty and silly--but they do have an effect.  It's hard to take the high road when you see others taking the low road.

I fully agree, however, that the high road is the better one to take.  Better view.  = :  )

Thane.