Law School Discussion

Off-Topic Area => General Off-Topic Board => Topic started by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 06:08:37 AM

Title: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 06:08:37 AM
Newly minted 2L, taking questions.  Top 10% first semester, hopefully the same this semester as well.  T1 school.    Paid gig with local judge this summer.

This place seems like it's dead now, but I'll be back in an hour or so to answer any questions that have been posted.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: This is wrong. on May 11, 2007, 06:23:35 AM
what are your top three tips for success in law school?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 07:19:13 AM
what are your top three tips for success in law school?

1.  Don't prep pre-1L.  You'll burn yourself out.

2. Get a broad understanding of the material early - how everything fits together.  Save the details for the last month before finals.  You won't remember the details before then if you try to memorize them anyways. 

3. Don't worry about getting called on or class prep.  This assumes grading at your school is anonymous.  Focus on the big picture when preparing for class.

Since 2 and 3 were kind of the same - #4 - don't talk about your grades.  Ever.  Just trust me.

Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 07:42:52 AM
Second day is slow.  More questions anyone?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: UFBGD on May 11, 2007, 07:45:07 AM
How many hours did you study a day?  How many towards finals? tyia
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Johnny Stuffs His Mouth on May 11, 2007, 07:47:23 AM
I don't know if you can speak to this, but is it at all true that if I'm in the t14 or so and I'm not gunning for a v10/clerkship, I can get away with the same study habits that I had in college (read: don't actually do the readings, play Madden until 3 every night, etc.) and still come out ok?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 07:47:40 AM
How many hours did you study a day?  How many towards finals? tyia

About 2-4 hours 6 days per week (sometimes a bit more on sunday nights) up until 3-4 weeks before finals, when I would do about 6-8 hours a day 7 days per week. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 07:48:33 AM
I don't know if you can speak to this, but is it at all true that if I'm in the t14 or so and I'm not gunning for a v10/clerkship, I can get away with the same study habits that I had in college (read: don't actually do the readings, play Madden until 3 every night, etc.) and still come out ok?

If you go to a t14, especially a t7-8, and only care about getting a market-paying job, this is basically true.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: UFBGD on May 11, 2007, 07:51:21 AM
Are you getting a job in 2L??  Did you have time or want to do anything extracurricular in your free time?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Yankees Fan on May 11, 2007, 07:51:54 AM
what are your top three tips for success in law school?

1.  Don't prep pre-1L.  You'll burn yourself out.

2. Get a broad understanding of the material early - how everything fits together.  Save the details for the last month before finals.  You won't remember the details before then if you try to memorize them anyways.  

3. Don't worry about getting called on or class prep.  This assumes grading at your school is anonymous.  Focus on the big picture when preparing for class.

Since 2 and 3 were kind of the same - #4 - don't talk about your grades.  Ever.  Just trust me.

Care to elaborate just a bit?  What do you mean by "details"?

Thanks!
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: bamf on May 11, 2007, 07:52:24 AM
tag
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 07:54:53 AM
Are you getting a job in 2L??  Did you have time or want to do anything extracurricular in your free time?

Not a ton of time to do anything but socialize with other 1L's and date a little bit during 1L.  I wouldn't recommend more than one or two clubs if you are interested at all in making law review.  I plan on working 15-20 hours per week, either with this judge or with a firm later in the year.  2L will be much less stress, and I plan on putting in much less study time, as the grades no longer matter as much. 1L grades are what count.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Johnny Stuffs His Mouth on May 11, 2007, 07:55:06 AM
Are the class discussions of a nature that you can speak competently when called on without having read the material, i.e. picking up the gist of what's going on just from listening to the discussion? Or do you pretty much have to do the reading to have any chance of not sounding like an idiot?

FWIW, I'm actually planning on trying this time around. Just curious.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 07:56:28 AM
what are your top three tips for success in law school?

1.  Don't prep pre-1L.  You'll burn yourself out.

2. Get a broad understanding of the material early - how everything fits together.  Save the details for the last month before finals.  You won't remember the details before then if you try to memorize them anyways. 

3. Don't worry about getting called on or class prep.  This assumes grading at your school is anonymous.  Focus on the big picture when preparing for class.

Since 2 and 3 were kind of the same - #4 - don't talk about your grades.  Ever.  Just trust me.

Care to elaborate just a bit?  What do you mean by "details"?

Thanks!

Details = briefing every note case in your casebook reading.  Details = doing anything more than reading case briefs once, or at most reading the actual case once. 

So what if you get called on once and embarrassed?  Nobody will think any of less of you for it when they see your name posted on the list for law review next year.  Trust me, get the grades - knocking in-class questions out of the park without stellar grades only makes you look like a choker. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 07:59:26 AM
Are the class discussions of a nature that you can speak competently when called on without having read the material, i.e. picking up the gist of what's going on just from listening to the discussion? Or do you pretty much have to do the reading to have any chance of not sounding like an idiot?

FWIW, I'm actually planning on trying this time around. Just curious.

This depends 100% on the teacher.  In my experience, I had 1 prof per semester that really would grill you on the particular facts of the cases.  I struggled in-class during those classes.  Others probably thought I was a little slow.  I did better than over 90% of these people. 

You basically have to ask yourself - do you want to be them in 1 year or me?  You don't have time to both be super-prepared for every in-class question and also getting the bigger concepts without working 8 hours or so a night.  I don't have the stamina to keep up that pace all semester, and 99% of your classmates don't either. 

My biggest piece of advice - learn how to choose your battles.  Everything you read/study - ask yourself - why am I reading/studying this?  If the answer isn't "to do good on finals" then stop and do something else. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Johnny Stuffs His Mouth on May 11, 2007, 08:04:54 AM
Are the class discussions of a nature that you can speak competently when called on without having read the material, i.e. picking up the gist of what's going on just from listening to the discussion? Or do you pretty much have to do the reading to have any chance of not sounding like an idiot?

FWIW, I'm actually planning on trying this time around. Just curious.

This depends 100% on the teacher.  In my experience, I had 1 prof per semester that really would grill you on the particular facts of the cases.  I struggled in-class during those classes.  Others probably thought I was a little slow.  I did better than over 90% of these people. 

You basically have to ask yourself - do you want to be them in 1 year or me?  You don't have time to both be super-prepared for every in-class question and also getting the bigger concepts without working 8 hours or so a night.  I don't have the stamina to keep up that pace all semester, and 99% of your classmates don't either. 

My biggest piece of advice - learn how to choose your battles.  Everything you read/study - ask yourself - why am I reading/studying this?  If the answer isn't "to do good on finals" then stop and do something else. 

That's a really good point. I was a philosophy major in college, so I like to think I'm very good at forgetting details throughout the course of the year to make room for the overarching themes and concepts, and then cramming the details back in for finals.

Regarding finals though (and I'm sure this differs depending on the school, and the individual profs): what is the format usually like? Essays asking you to compare 2 cases with conflicting views on the same issue? Something like that?

I guess it'd be helpful to know what exactly to prepare for, so that I can figure out what to focus on, and when. Thanks!!!
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 08:11:51 AM
Are the class discussions of a nature that you can speak competently when called on without having read the material, i.e. picking up the gist of what's going on just from listening to the discussion? Or do you pretty much have to do the reading to have any chance of not sounding like an idiot?

FWIW, I'm actually planning on trying this time around. Just curious.

This depends 100% on the teacher.  In my experience, I had 1 prof per semester that really would grill you on the particular facts of the cases.  I struggled in-class during those classes.  Others probably thought I was a little slow.  I did better than over 90% of these people. 

You basically have to ask yourself - do you want to be them in 1 year or me?  You don't have time to both be super-prepared for every in-class question and also getting the bigger concepts without working 8 hours or so a night.  I don't have the stamina to keep up that pace all semester, and 99% of your classmates don't either. 

My biggest piece of advice - learn how to choose your battles.  Everything you read/study - ask yourself - why am I reading/studying this?  If the answer isn't "to do good on finals" then stop and do something else. 

That's a really good point. I was a philosophy major in college, so I like to think I'm very good at forgetting details throughout the course of the year to make room for the overarching themes and concepts, and then cramming the details back in for finals.

Regarding finals though (and I'm sure this differs depending on the school, and the individual profs): what is the format usually like? Essays asking you to compare 2 cases with conflicting views on the same issue? Something like that?

I guess it'd be helpful to know what exactly to prepare for, so that I can figure out what to focus on, and when. Thanks!!!

Your head is in the right place.

There is almost always 1 exam per year worth 100% of your grade, in-class and completely open-book.  You might have a closed book exam or two, but since you are probably heading to a decent school, you won't likely have any.

The exams are broader than I think you're envisioning.  Typically there are 2 huge fact patterns, spanning multiple pages.  I had one exam with 25+ pages for 2 fact patterns.  This is not uncommon.

Basically, they give you an exam that should take a normal, thoughtful individual 5-6 hours to complete, and you have to do your best in 3 hours.  This is why speed is such a critical element on the LSAT.

You have to spot as many issues as you possibly can within the fact pattern, and discuss them as thoroughly and completely as possible.

Think about why my previous advice in this thread makes sense based on this exam format - there is no reward for instant recognition of subtle points in each case that you memorized.  You've got a huge fact pattern (usually 2) filled with red herrings and hidden issues, all amidst irrelevant tangents that can stretch for multiple paragraphs.  This is why understanding the big picture is necessary (but not sufficient) when you talk about what you have to know in order to do well on exams.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Yankees Fan on May 11, 2007, 08:18:18 AM
So are you completely screwed if you are not what one might consider a speed reader?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 08:22:43 AM
So are you completely screwed if you are not what one might consider a speed reader?

You don't have to be a speed reader if you are good at: 1) "Zoning in," 2) Handling pressure and 3) Comprehending complex statements fully the first time you read them.   I fall into this camp of people who aren't speed-readers and still do well.

However, if you're one of those people that "don't fully get it" the first time you read, and you're not a speed reader, then in all honesty law school probably isn't the place for you.

edit - I know I'll get bashed for saying that you don't belong in law school if you don't fit into one of those two camps, but I really think you are torturing yourself if you don't heed my advice.  There are always exceptions though.

This also assumes you're not in the fortunate situation of already having a job lined up (family connection, etc.) and only need to graduate and pass the bar.  If this is the case, then by all means, enjoy your 3 year party!  It's almost impossible to actually fail out of law school (at least any in the first two tiers). 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Yankees Fan on May 11, 2007, 08:31:57 AM
So are you completely screwed if you are not what one might consider a speed reader?

You don't have to be a speed reader if you are good at: 1) "Zoning in," 2) Handling pressure and 3) Comprehending complex statements fully the first time you read them.   I fall into this camp of people who aren't speed-readers and still do well.

However, if you're one of those people that "don't fully get it" the first time you read, and you're not a speed reader, then in all honesty law school probably isn't the place for you.

edit - I know I'll get bashed for saying that you don't belong in law school if you don't fit into one of those two camps, but I really think you are torturing yourself if you don't heed my advice.  There are always exceptions though.

Interesting.  I fall into both the good and the bad camp, depending on my focus at the time and the material.  (Hence my anywhere from 40% to 85% correct on reading comp on the 12 or so LSATs I took as practice.) 

Is there any suggestions you have for improving upon comprehending complex statements the first time through?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 08:35:38 AM
Quote
Is there any suggestions you have for improving upon comprehending complex statements the first time through?

As far as improving on the lsat reading comp - it's almost always too late for that, plus that's not my area of expertise so take my advice with a grain of a salt. 

As for improving your reading comprehension in general - this may sound obvious, but just read a lot. 

It doesn't have to be books or law related stuff either.  Simply find what you are passionate about and read about it for several hours a day.   It helps if the topic(s) you are most interested in is/are intellectually challenging.  I'm sorry, but I know of no easier way to improve this.  Getting exercise helps with overall concentration too.

Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Yankees Fan on May 11, 2007, 08:41:54 AM
Quote
Is there any suggestions you have for improving upon comprehending complex statements the first time through?

As far as improving on the lsat reading comp - it's almost always too late for that, plus that's not my area of expertise so take my advice with a grain of a salt. 

As for improving your reading comprehension in general - this may sound obvious, but just read a lot. 

It doesn't have to be books or law related stuff either.  Simply find what you are passionate about and read about it for several hours a day.   It helps if the topic(s) you are most interested in is/are intellectually challenging.  I'm sorry, but I know of no easier way to improve this.  Getting exercise helps with overall concentration too.



Sorry, I did not intend to ask for LSAT reading comp help, that's over and done with.  Unfortunately, I landed on the lower end of my typical reading comp performance that fateful morning.

There is never a period of time where I'm not reading... but only for pleasure.  Mostly fiction novels.  I'll keep up the reading until law school starts.  And I exercise daily, so I'm already reaping whatever benefits that has to offer.  haha

Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 08:48:56 AM
Quote
Is there any suggestions you have for improving upon comprehending complex statements the first time through?

As far as improving on the lsat reading comp - it's almost always too late for that, plus that's not my area of expertise so take my advice with a grain of a salt. 

As for improving your reading comprehension in general - this may sound obvious, but just read a lot. 

It doesn't have to be books or law related stuff either.  Simply find what you are passionate about and read about it for several hours a day.   It helps if the topic(s) you are most interested in is/are intellectually challenging.  I'm sorry, but I know of no easier way to improve this.  Getting exercise helps with overall concentration too.



Sorry, I did not intend to ask for LSAT reading comp help, that's over and done with.  Unfortunately, I landed on the lower end of my typical reading comp performance that fateful morning.

There is never a period of time where I'm not reading... but only for pleasure.  Mostly fiction novels.  I'll keep up the reading until law school starts.  And I exercise daily, so I'm already reaping whatever benefits that has to offer.  haha

Thanks for the help.

Novels will work just fine.  Also, make sure you research the proper supplements to buy early in the semester. This consists of spending a day in the school bookstore going through each of them (unless you have the money to buy every supplement in the store, which just about nobody does) and having the ability to read your profs based on their old exams and your early reads on their teaching styles.  But mostly, base your selections on their old exams.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 09:13:49 AM
Going to lunch - will answer as many questions as I can for the rest of the day after I get back. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: road on May 11, 2007, 10:07:27 AM
What did you do to study during the semester? Mostly just read and brief the cases? Did you have some kind of system for studying? How did that change at the end of the semester before finals?

thanks for your help
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: bruin on May 11, 2007, 10:31:54 AM
Are the class discussions of a nature that you can speak competently when called on without having read the material, i.e. picking up the gist of what's going on just from listening to the discussion? Or do you pretty much have to do the reading to have any chance of not sounding like an idiot?

FWIW, I'm actually planning on trying this time around. Just curious.

If you get Kraus for Contracts, don't even think about that. Ananomous grading and all, but you will get A**lly R**ed in class.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: GraphiteDirigible on May 11, 2007, 11:06:25 AM
Exams... you say they're usually issue-spotters. How uniform does this require you to be? Are there specific sets of issues that are "correct", or can you get somewhat creative, pointing out unorthodox possibilities and explaining why they're an issue? Do you get "bonus points" for creativity or is it actually dangerous to try this?

Also, how much of the grade is reflected by the style of writing or organization of the response?

Finally, on these "open book" what constitutes a book(i.e. can you use the internet)?

Sorry if I'm grilling you. I'm just interested in strategy.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 04:34:01 PM
Quote
What did you do to study during the semester? Mostly just read and brief the cases? Did you have some kind of system for studying? How did that change at the end of the semester before finals?

thanks for your help


First semester I definitely spent too much time reading cases.  I got better at skimming 2nd semester, and I wish I had tried to master this earlier. 

All in all, I recommend you buy case briefs keyed to your casebook and look for old outlines from your professors. 

As for a system of studying, I didn't really have one.  I just found the best supplement for me (max of two in each subject) in each subject and used that along with the casebook for the text of and notes on the important cases.  See my earlier post for the amount of time I put in. 
 



Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 04:46:24 PM
Quote
Exams... you say they're usually issue-spotters. How uniform does this require you to be? Are there specific sets of issues that are "correct", or can you get somewhat creative, pointing out unorthodox possibilities and explaining why they're an issue? Do you get "bonus points" for creativity or is it actually dangerous to try this?

Also, how much of the grade is reflected by the style of writing or organization of the response?

Finally, on these "open book" what constitutes a book(i.e. can you use the internet)?

Sorry if I'm grilling you. I'm just interested in strategy.

As far as exams, you want to do both things you said to the best of your ability.  While it may be possible to get an A without making some creative (again, nothing ground breaking, this is a 3 hour exam, but something that not everyone would see) point, I think it certainly makes it easier to get an A when the profs see that you can come up with a semi-unique legal theory from their fact pattern. It shows that you understand how all the rules fit together, and that you "get it."  The best way I can oversimplify doing well on exams: Make the prof convinced that you "get it," generally. 

Conversely, one of the best ways to show you don't 'get it' is to throw some off the wall theory in that completely goes against the entire theme of the material.  In short, I think you should be careful.

Most profs say they don't penalize you for discussion they may consider off-base, however I have my doubts about this.  On the other hand, the exams that are the longest and hit the most issues tend to get the highest grades.  Sorry if that seems like a non-answer, but the truth is that when it comes to grading it all depends on the prof.  Part of the "game" of law school is figuring out a prof's philosophies and further figuring out a way to use them for your benefit.  Does this sound like anything you might be doing as a lawyer?
 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 11, 2007, 06:47:46 PM
LOLZ @ THREAD


Dude, you're awesome.  I just find it amusing that you queried yourself.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Princessa1 on May 11, 2007, 07:13:08 PM
tag
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 11:45:36 PM
Quote
Is it true that if I marry a prof, I get to attend school for free?

This is basically true.

However, if you're talking about domestic partners/gay marriage, there is considerable debate as to whether, constitutionally, such rights should be extended to homosexuals in committed relationships as well.  Are homosexuals a protected class?  Quasi-protected?   I have no idea.  Not my area of expertise.  I'll leave the rest of this fun for you to sort out in con law. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 11, 2007, 11:46:23 PM
Quote
you queried yourself.

O RLY?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 12, 2007, 12:44:39 PM
Quote
Is it true that if I marry a prof, I get to attend school for free?

This is basically true.

However, if you're talking about domestic partners/gay marriage, there is considerable debate as to whether, constitutionally, such rights should be extended to homosexuals in committed relationships as well.  Are homosexuals a protected class?  Quasi-protected?   I have no idea.  Not my area of expertise.  I'll leave the rest of this fun for you to sort out in con law. 

I won't have to take Con Law at my school.

Does that mean that there is no debate as to the domestic partner/gay marriage issue?

Your school doesn't require con law?  This is odd, but if true then yes, this means you won't get the 'pleasure' of discussing these topics during class time unless you want to get creative and try to sneak it in during the day you go over tenancy by the entirety in property.

P.S. The property thing is a joke - don't do actually do this.   
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 12, 2007, 12:46:06 PM
lol @ this thread

My fan club is apparently on the rise and now includes -two- persons.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 12, 2007, 03:45:56 PM
Is it bad to be a gunnar?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 13, 2007, 12:28:42 AM
Is it bad to be a gunnar?

Yeah.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 13, 2007, 03:21:07 PM
Quote
Is it true that if I marry a prof, I get to attend school for free?

This is basically true.

However, if you're talking about domestic partners/gay marriage, there is considerable debate as to whether, constitutionally, such rights should be extended to homosexuals in committed relationships as well.  Are homosexuals a protected class?  Quasi-protected?   I have no idea.  Not my area of expertise.  I'll leave the rest of this fun for you to sort out in con law. 

I won't have to take Con Law at my school.

Does that mean that there is no debate as to the domestic partner/gay marriage issue?

Your school doesn't require con law?  This is odd, but if true then yes, this means you won't get the 'pleasure' of discussing these topics during class time unless you want to get creative and try to sneak it in during the day you go over tenancy by the entirety in property.

P.S. The property thing is a joke - don't do actually do this.   

Actually we did discuss it in property.  That stuff is serious round here.

They did put the Massachusetts gay marriage case in the Dukeminier book, so it'll probably come up at some point.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 14, 2007, 02:54:01 PM
anymore questions? 

BTW - I just realized this post is in the wrong forum.  Oh well.   Consider yourselves lucky.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 14, 2007, 06:42:23 PM
Are the class discussions of a nature that you can speak competently when called on without having read the material, i.e. picking up the gist of what's going on just from listening to the discussion? Or do you pretty much have to do the reading to have any chance of not sounding like an idiot?

FWIW, I'm actually planning on trying this time around. Just curious.

This depends 100% on the teacher.  In my experience, I had 1 prof per semester that really would grill you on the particular facts of the cases.  I struggled in-class during those classes.  Others probably thought I was a little slow.  I did better than over 90% of these people. 

You basically have to ask yourself - do you want to be them in 1 year or me?  You don't have time to both be super-prepared for every in-class question and also getting the bigger concepts without working 8 hours or so a night.  I don't have the stamina to keep up that pace all semester, and 99% of your classmates don't either. 

My biggest piece of advice - learn how to choose your battles.  Everything you read/study - ask yourself - why am I reading/studying this?  If the answer isn't "to do good on finals" then stop and do something else. 

Ok I just actually read this thread and I second the bolded part.  I was always well-prepared for class without going overboard, and as long as you stay on top of the reading, class participation itself doesn't matter (unless your professor will detract from your grade if you never participate).  I was always frantically IMing/facebooking/writing e-mails/looking at funny pictures of cats when I got called on in class and I'm sure I sounded like a total dumbass half the time since I had no idea where we really were (and I had at least one professor each semester who just liked to PILLAGE students with questions)... but I did better than 95% of the people in my class.  Which just goes to show that the person who sounds really smart in class isn't usually the smart one... it's the girl trying really hard not to laugh at some random *&^% she's looking at on her computer.  ;)

If you keep up with the work when other people fall behind and try to see the forest instead of just the trees, you'll be prepared for exams.  So this thread is actually full of good advice.  Carry on, HelpfulChap.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Thistle on May 14, 2007, 06:44:59 PM
keep lexis brief & headnotes up and you'll do just fine  :D

i cant tell you how many times i read from the "overview" on lexis
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 14, 2007, 06:49:34 PM
keep lexis brief & headnotes up and you'll do just fine  :D

i cant tell you how many times i read from the "overview" on lexis

I had a Torts Pool and a Property Pool this semester where 3 of us split the reading for each of those classes and wrote up notes and briefs for the others, so I had a few lovely class participation times reading verbatim from briefs written by Pool members.  :D

NOTE: I do highly recommend the Pool idea if you can do it with people at your same intelligence level who will write good notes.  The notes they write are more extensive than you'd probably get from a case briefs book, and I didn't have any problems grasping the basic rule of the case from their briefs.  It saved me so much time (our section had a sadistic Property professor who made our lives miserable and I was too busy crying inside to read the insanely huge assignments for these classes).  It may not work for everyone and it probably sounds like a bad idea... and maybe it actually is in practice... but we won't know until I get grades for this semester! 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 14, 2007, 06:51:51 PM
keep lexis brief & headnotes up and you'll do just fine  :D

i cant tell you how many times i read from the "overview" on lexis

I had a Torts Pool and a Property Pool this semester where 3 of us split the reading for each of those classes and wrote up notes and briefs for the others, so I had a few lovely class participation times reading verbatim from briefs written by Pool members.  :D

NOTE: I do highly recommend the Pool idea if you can do it with people at your same intelligence level who will write good notes.  The notes they write are more extensive than you'd probably get from a case briefs book, and I didn't have any problems grasping the basic rule of the case from their briefs.  It saved me so much time (our section had a sadistic Property professor who made our lives miserable and I was too busy crying inside to read the insanely huge assignments for these classes).  It may not work for everyone and it probably sounds like a bad idea... and maybe it actually is in practice... but we won't know until I get grades for this semester! 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 15, 2007, 12:41:52 AM
If you keep up with the work when other people fall behind and try to see the forest instead of just the trees, you'll be prepared for exams.  So this thread is actually full of good advice.  Carry on, HelpfulChap.

Thank you mate.  I came back to LSD a week and a half ago and was stunned to see so much bad advice for 0Ls.  I figured I may as well come back and try to offset the bad advice a bit. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 15, 2007, 12:45:42 AM
One other thing - the 'pool' for the daily reading assignments sounds like a good idea.  Just make sure you don't end up doing more than your share of the work (goes along w/ the "others of similar intelligence" caveat mentioned earlier.)

Also - if anyone doesn't feel comfortable asking something in this thread for whatever reason, please feel free to send me a PM.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Nimmy on May 15, 2007, 02:43:36 AM
what are your top three tips for success in law school?

1.  Don't prep pre-1L.  You'll burn yourself out.

2. Get a broad understanding of the material early - how everything fits together.  Save the details for the last month before finals.  You won't remember the details before then if you try to memorize them anyways. 

3. Don't worry about getting called on or class prep.  This assumes grading at your school is anonymous.  Focus on the big picture when preparing for class.

Since 2 and 3 were kind of the same - #4 - don't talk about your grades.  Ever.  Just trust me.



It seems I may have gotten the wrong impression of you in another thread.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 15, 2007, 12:13:44 PM
what are your top three tips for success in law school?

1.  Don't prep pre-1L.  You'll burn yourself out.

2. Get a broad understanding of the material early - how everything fits together.  Save the details for the last month before finals.  You won't remember the details before then if you try to memorize them anyways. 

3. Don't worry about getting called on or class prep.  This assumes grading at your school is anonymous.  Focus on the big picture when preparing for class.

Since 2 and 3 were kind of the same - #4 - don't talk about your grades.  Ever.  Just trust me.



It seems I may have gotten the wrong impression of you in another thread.

I think this is definitely the case  ;)

However, I did get what I deserved for posting in a thread titled "Gunners," so there is some poetic justice here. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 16, 2007, 06:57:41 PM
One other thing - the 'pool' for the daily reading assignments sounds like a good idea.  Just make sure you don't end up doing more than your share of the work (goes along w/ the "others of similar intelligence" caveat mentioned earlier.)

Also - if anyone doesn't feel comfortable asking something in this thread for whatever reason, please feel free to send me a PM.

Yeah you can't really do a pool until 2nd semester for sure, and only with people you trust.  I split up the assignments for my groups and we just did it really evenly and everyone was happy.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 17, 2007, 05:41:41 PM
Questions? Anyone?

Bueller?

what do law students usually do their 1L summer?

The informal rule is that it must be something legal related so that it won't hurt you for OCI. 

As long as you go to a decent school and aren't in the bottom quarter of the class you can usually find something paid and legal related.  If you can't find anything paid, then you have to either volunteer somewhere legal related or study abroad.  Studying abroad (unless you split the summer) generally looks pretty bad though. 

Some people at lower ranked schools just do whatever summer job they did in college (i.e. non legal related), and this will greatly hurt their chance for 2L summer, which is the really important one in terms of finding a permanent job after graduation.

Basically, 1L summer doesn't matter unless you are doing a) something great (i.e. clerking for fed. appellate court) or b) Don't do something legal related.   'a' helps you a lot for 2L summer and OCI and puts you in demand to the point where you can basically write your own check; 'b' pretty much kills any chances you have of getting a market paying job for 2L summer and also hurts your chances of getting a market paying job after you graduate.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Princessa1 on May 17, 2007, 05:44:50 PM
Questions? Anyone?

Bueller?

what do law students usually do their 1L summer?

The informal rule is that it must be something legal related so that it won't hurt you for OCI. 

As long as you go to a decent school and aren't in the bottom quarter of the class you can usually find something paid and legal related.  If you can't find anything paid, then you have to either volunteer somewhere legal related or study abroad.  Studying abroad (unless you split the summer) generally looks pretty bad though. 

Some people at lower ranked schools just do whatever summer job they did in college (i.e. non legal related), and this will greatly hurt their chance for 2L summer, which is the really important one in terms of finding a permanent job after graduation.

Basically, 1L summer doesn't matter unless you are doing a) something great (i.e. clerking for fed. appellate court) or b) Don't do something legal related.   'a' helps you a lot for 2L summer and OCI and puts you in demand to the point where you can basically write your own check; 'b' pretty much kills any chances you have of getting a market paying job for 2L summer and also hurts your chances of getting a market paying job after you graduate.
it's possible to do this as a summer job?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 17, 2007, 05:45:02 PM
huh.  i thought clerking was generally post-law school.

It's not exactly the same thing - what I am doing now for this local judge is technically called 'clerking,' however the application process is not nearly as strenuous as it is for a full-time clerk (I think this is what you are envisioning).  I guess you could say I'm at a judicial internship, but it's just semantics. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 17, 2007, 05:46:40 PM
Questions? Anyone?

Bueller?

what do law students usually do their 1L summer?

The informal rule is that it must be something legal related so that it won't hurt you for OCI. 

As long as you go to a decent school and aren't in the bottom quarter of the class you can usually find something paid and legal related.  If you can't find anything paid, then you have to either volunteer somewhere legal related or study abroad.  Studying abroad (unless you split the summer) generally looks pretty bad though. 

Some people at lower ranked schools just do whatever summer job they did in college (i.e. non legal related), and this will greatly hurt their chance for 2L summer, which is the really important one in terms of finding a permanent job after graduation.

Basically, 1L summer doesn't matter unless you are doing a) something great (i.e. clerking for fed. appellate court) or b) Don't do something legal related.   'a' helps you a lot for 2L summer and OCI and puts you in demand to the point where you can basically write your own check; 'b' pretty much kills any chances you have of getting a market paying job for 2L summer and also hurts your chances of getting a market paying job after you graduate.
it's possible to do this as a summer job?

Assuming good school, great grades (i.e. top few students, or at least top 1-5%), and great interviewing skills, it is indeed possible.  This obviously isn't an option for most people though, which is why I grouped it as an exception to the general rule.

edit - it's a little easier as a 2L.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: The Pookie on May 17, 2007, 05:56:27 PM
did you participate in a study group? Did you find them helpful? If you didnt, why not?

Also, how was the 1L summer job search for you? I've heard of mass-mailing resumes to law firms, trying to find a paying 1L summer job, is this a good idea at all?

thanks!
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 17, 2007, 06:05:24 PM
did you participate in a study group? Did you find them helpful? If you didnt, why not?

Yeah I had a group of 5-8 students first semester and we would spend 5-8 hours total for each exam going over old exams and a couple of difficult concepts.  I think it helped me a lot because I generally learn things well by explaining them to others, however this isn't true for everyone.  Because of the nature of law school exams, i.e. you have to verbalize your thought processes, I think that spending a few hours explaining your answers to difficult hypos to others is a good idea, however this isn't the purpose of most study groups.

For whatever reason, we didn't meet as much 2nd semester.  I haven't gotten my grades back for 2nd semester yet, so it's tough to say what effect this will have on my grades.  I am going to guess that it won't make any difference, however I think explaining stuff to people first semester helped me 'get' how to write law school exams.  I haven't done a very good job of explaining this, so if you could give me some more pointed questions I can give you a better answer.

Also, how was the 1L summer job search for you? I've heard of mass-mailing resumes to law firms, trying to find a paying 1L summer job, is this a good idea at all?

thanks!

I mailed out resumes and cover letters (targeted) to maybe 10 firms total in early january (right after I got my grades), all the elite ones.  I got 2 interviews and 0 jobs out of it. 

I got this thing with the local judge in later march.  It seems like judge's hire much later than firms do, however this might be unique to my area.   Generally, you should interview with the elite firms in late dec/jan, which means your cover letters/resumes should be out as soon as you get your grades at the very latest.   As far as judge's go, I didn't send anything to judge's until early march.   

Again, feel free to ask some follow-up questions.  I just don't want to spout off a bunch of crap that isn't relevant to  what you're trying to figure out.   
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 17, 2007, 06:13:08 PM
I mailed out resumes and cover letters (targeted) to maybe 10 firms total, all the elite ones.  I got 2 interviews and 0 jobs out of it. 

wait, there are only 10 elite firms?

I don't wanna out myself,  but it's a secondary market.  Also, I am being a bit picky about my definition of "elite."

fair enough.

Your best bet for 1L, assuming grades aren't spectacular, is to hit up the mid size and small firms.  Anecdotally, from talking to friends, the smaller firms are much more likely to take 1Ls than are the larger firms.

Also, if you mention that you can begin working 10-15 hours during school, this will be seen as a huge plus.  It shows that you can handle multiple responsibilities (i.e. finals and work).  If you think you could handle the work, then I think it's a great idea to make this offer during the interview.     
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 18, 2007, 12:17:45 PM
I disagree that studying abroad looks bad.  It definitely shouldn't be a first choice for something to do your 1L summer, but it ranks higher than doing something outside the legal field, and it would probably rank higher than just taking summer classes at your school. 

I also think it really varies from school to school in terms of the availability of legal jobs for 1L summers.  At my school it's very competitive because we aren't in a very big market, so you have to be a pretty bangin' student to get a paid job here (or have connections).  I lucked out and got 3 offers, but a lot of people who went through OCI didn't get anything, and they were all people in the top 20-30% of the class. 

Also, study groups for exams are great if you have a good group with people who will participate.  I had some good members and some not-so-good, but it was a great experience for those of us who really participated.

Just my .02... sorry, I can't help it.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 02:58:37 PM
I disagree that studying abroad looks bad.  It definitely shouldn't be a first choice for something to do your 1L summer, but it ranks higher than doing something outside the legal field, and it would probably rank higher than just taking summer classes at your school. 


I think we are (almost) in agreement here, I just did a bad job of explaining myself. 

Here's my ranking of the top things you can do with a 1L summer:

1) Something highly regarded, i.e. federal appellate court, etc.  - These are almost impossible to get 1L summer,  but if you can get one it will give you a significant advantage over the herd.

2) Something legal related and paid, i.e. local judge internship/clerkship, paid SA gig, etc.  - These are ideal positions and will put you where you need to be to score a 2L SA job, or anything else you want.  You won't have a significant advantage over anyone else, but you're not going to be hurt either.

3) Something legal related and unpaid, i.e. legal aid, etc. - As long as you are getting the legal related experience, it doesn't matter very much if you get paid, other than it shows that someone else 'wanted you' a little bit more if you manage to get a paid job.  All things being equal, paid legal related 1L job > unpaid legal related job, however the difference usually isn't that huge and many would argue is negligible (again, only for 1L - 2L is a completely different story.)

4) Study abroad.  Most employers will assume (rightly or wrongly... but usually rightly) that you at the very least couldn't find any paid job for the summer, and probably couldn't even find someone to take you as a volunteer.  This is the main negative aspect to studying abroad.  As long as you have a quick explanation that makes sense when they ask "Why did you decide to study abroad this past summer" then it cancels out most of this negative effect.  Unless you totally flub that answer (some can even turn this into a positive), then studying abroad won't be any kind of black mark on your resume.

5) Summer school at your law school/non-legal-related job/nothing - Huge black mark.  This will really hurt you.  No real way to explain why you decided to go to summer law school or do nothing or work as a taxi driver instead of doing one of the 3 or 4 options listed above.   It shows lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc. It's just plain bad, and there is no way I can sugarcoat this.

Overall, I think I did a bad job in my initial explanation in that it could lead to an inference (as the poster two spots above had) that option #4 is in some way comparable to #5, and that's not at all true. 



Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 03:03:59 PM
Do many employers interview candidates before first semester grades come out?  I was thinking of mass-mailing employers before first semester grades and possibly sending a follow-up letter when grades are released (if they're good). 

Absolutely.  Most student's don't know this either, so you will have a huge jump if you send targeted cover letters and resumes to a number of firms in the first week of december.  Make sure to mention that you will be in the area during winter break, as this will make it easier for them to take one glance at your cover letter and resume and call you immediately to schedule an interview.   Also, if you have any kind of legal related experience prior to law school, it will greatly help you here, since almost no other 1L mailing out cover letters and resumes will have such experience. 

This is a heavily underrated mode of attack to get a 1L summer job and I'm glad you brought it up. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 03:06:53 PM
I take issue with #5.  It's somewhat asinine to assume that employers will see your non-legal related work as "lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc.".  Some of us need to work to pay off living costs, etc.  Any reasonable employer will recognize this if you make it clear.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Thistle on May 18, 2007, 03:08:33 PM
also:  volunteer at a legal office or legal nfp between terms and during second semester.  if a clerkship becomes available, its a good way to get both experience and a job.  i was the only 1L who did that here, and it translated into a summer job.

Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 18, 2007, 03:49:29 PM
I take issue with #5.  It's somewhat asinine to assume that employers will see your non-legal related work as "lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc.".  Some of us need to work to pay off living costs, etc.  Any reasonable employer will recognize this if you make it clear.


This is true, but some hiring officials at firms basically told my 1L class that it would be better to volunteer for free during the day to get the legal experience and tend bar at night.  I thought it was a little harsh, but I think it shows that they aren't very sympathetic to financial needs because it's so important to get legal experience your 1L summer.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 03:53:11 PM
I take issue with #5.  It's somewhat asinine to assume that employers will see your non-legal related work as "lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc.".  Some of us need to work to pay off living costs, etc.  Any reasonable employer will recognize this if you make it clear.


This is true, but some hiring officials at firms basically told my 1L class that it would be better to volunteer for free during the day to get the legal experience and tend bar at night.  I thought it was a little harsh, but I think it shows that they aren't very sympathetic to financial needs because it's so important to get legal experience your 1L summer.


That's understandable, but there's a difference between saying it's not preferable to volunteering and saying that it's simply "bad".

FWIW, I will probably be working in a sociolegal capacity if I'm forced to head back to Canada for that summer, so I'm not too worried.  But still...
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 18, 2007, 04:03:46 PM
I take issue with #5.  It's somewhat asinine to assume that employers will see your non-legal related work as "lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc.".  Some of us need to work to pay off living costs, etc.  Any reasonable employer will recognize this if you make it clear.


This is true, but some hiring officials at firms basically told my 1L class that it would be better to volunteer for free during the day to get the legal experience and tend bar at night.  I thought it was a little harsh, but I think it shows that they aren't very sympathetic to financial needs because it's so important to get legal experience your 1L summer.


That's understandable, but there's a difference between saying it's not preferable to volunteering and saying that it's simply "bad".

FWIW, I will probably be working in a sociolegal capacity if I'm forced to head back to Canada for that summer, so I'm not too worried.  But still...


I know quite a few people who have no legal job prospects for the summer and don't seem too worried about it, but these are the ones who really didn't look hard in the first place.  If you really take the time to look and you have semi-decent grades, you should be able to find something, especially if you have any contacts with lawyers in small or mid-size firms.  I also know a lot of students who are doing research for professors this summer.  I do think HelpfulChap was slightly overstating the "travesty" of a non-legal related job... it can't really help you later in your job search, but I don't think it's a nail in your job coffin.    Working for a firm your 2L year (or even 1L year, if that's an option) can possibly help overcome any "badness" resulting from your 1L summer choice to work in another field.

With that said... 2L summer jobs are very important, and it was stressed to us that if there was ANY WAY to get legal experience during your 1L summer, you should do it.  I personally would have loved to study abroad this summer, but I couldn't justify it with the job offers I received.  Even if my grades were worse, I probably still would have gone the mass-mail/phone route to find a job with a firm.  I'll also say that the people I know studying abroad are better characterized as lazy/unmotivated to work/more interested in having a fun summer than not able to get jobs.  Most of the people I know made their choice to study abroad early in the semester and didn't even look for jobs, and it didn't always reflect bad grades.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 05:38:42 PM
I take issue with #5.  It's somewhat asinine to assume that employers will see your non-legal related work as "lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc.".  Some of us need to work to pay off living costs, etc.  Any reasonable employer will recognize this if you make it clear.


This is true, but some hiring officials at firms basically told my 1L class that it would be better to volunteer for free during the day to get the legal experience and tend bar at night.  I thought it was a little harsh, but I think it shows that they aren't very sympathetic to financial needs because it's so important to get legal experience your 1L summer.


That's understandable, but there's a difference between saying it's not preferable to volunteering and saying that it's simply "bad".

FWIW, I will probably be working in a sociolegal capacity if I'm forced to head back to Canada for that summer, so I'm not too worried.  But still...


It might be assinine, and I didn't say I agreed with it, but that's the way most legal employers will look at the situation.

Also, while I seem to have struck a nerve by boldly telling you it's "bad" to have no legal related experience going into OCI, it doesn't mean that this isn't the truth.  Also, it doesn't technically 'hurt' you - however, who are you competing against for a 2L summer job?   You're competing with people with from similar schools with similar grades.  All else being equal, who is getting the interview?  The person who writes "2007 - Summer - Taxi Driver - Bill's Taxi Co." or someone who writes "2007 - Summer - Smith & Johnson - Summer Associate?"   I just don't think you're being honest with yourself here.  "Bad" only means "bad" relative to what other people are doing.  Since most people will have  something legal related on their resume for the 1L summer (even study abroad), you are putting yourself at the bottom of the barrel to begin with by doing a non-legal-related job for the summer.  This isn't always the rule, but from my (somewhat extensive) research and a large amount of anecdotal evidence, this appears to be the fairest general rule I can state.

Also, the paid > unpaid thing - I said "all things being equal."  Highly regarded government jobs are NOT equal to getting $8/hr getting people coffee at a crappy, unrespected firm.  You have to factor in the totality of the circumstances.  I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 05:41:01 PM
Clearly, from what other 2Ls have written, it's not the truth.  I'm not offended by you saying it's "bad".  I'm just telling you your message is incorrect.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 05:43:01 PM
I do think HelpfulChap was slightly overstating the "travesty" of a non-legal related job...

I'll speak out on this as a student who will be studying abroad this summer.  I did a lot of thinking/researching before making my decision to study abroad.  I was really worried about how this would look to employers - but I honestly dont think it will be too hurtful.  I am a student that had 5 years of professional experience before school, and I worked as a research assistant my 1L year. Next year I have TA job lined up, and I was accepted into one of the clinics.  I have strong grades (well, pending the two I am waiting on).   

For me - I wanted to do this for the personal and academic experience. I know that I will throw myself into whatever job I take, and I wont have the opportunity to "travel the world" for many years after graduation.  I need to get it out of my system. Additionally, it gives me some breathing room so that i can take a slightly lighter load and hold an internship during the school year.

With that being said, I think I feel comfortable doing this because I do have a solid work resume, some good work experience through the school and good grades.  I weighed all of hte postiives and negatives and decided it was worth the "risk."  Further, I talked to a few of my mentors and they all said what Helpful Chap mentioned - I should be just fine because I can explain my reasons for doing this program.

So - I guess my point of offering my personal situation is that everyone is different.  Just make sure your decision is well thought out.  AND - if you know you want to work during the summer, start early.  The whole "early bird gets the worm" is very true.

This sounds like solid advice. 

Also, please note that he DOES have legal experience - the RA and later the TA position.  He also has years of professional experience that also puts him in a slightly different category.

Most of the advice I'm giving, especially regarding 1L jobs, is directed towards the 1L with no legal experience whatsoever on his resume.   Option #5 would not be fatal for someone like this poster (hypothetically of course, since he's doing #4) with other legal-related things on his resume, however it could very well be fatal for someone with no legal experience of any kind. 

Also, by "fatal" and "bad" I mean you are destroying your shot at a market paying job.  Almost anyone with a law degree will at least find temporary contract work that can feed the family.  I'm giving advice not to the people who just want a job, but to people who want the top paying legal jobs. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 05:43:33 PM
Clearly, from what other 2Ls have written, it's not the truth.  I'm not offended by you saying it's "bad".  I'm just telling you your message is incorrect.


What is my message?  What about it is incorrect?  Based on what?

tyia.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 05:53:33 PM
5) Summer school at your law school/non-legal-related job/nothing - Huge black mark.  This will really hurt you.  No real way to explain why you decided to go to summer law school or do nothing or work as a taxi driver instead of doing one of the 3 or 4 options listed above.   It shows lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc. It's just plain bad, and there is no way I can sugarcoat this.


This is the part that I take issue with.  Not taking a legal related job/apprenticeship/volunteering in a similar capacity over that 1L summer does not show lack of motivation/drive/focus/etc. to an employer.  It is not "bad", per se.  It is simply just not as good as the rest if you are looking to be employed at certain levels in certain markets.

I think the following would've been a very useful addition in your original post:

Also, by "fatal" and "bad" I mean you are destroying your shot at a market paying job.  Almost anyone with a law degree will at least find temporary contract work that can feed the family.  I'm giving advice not to the people who just want a job, but to people who want the top paying legal jobs. 


FWIW, I agree that, the better the job you seek, the more imperative it is that you find legal-related work of any nature during your 1L summer.  That doesn't mean that not finding such work is bad, in and of itself.  Just know that you may be limiting yourself.

2L summer... well, that's a different kettle of fish altogether.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 05:57:47 PM
5) Summer school at your law school/non-legal-related job/nothing - Huge black mark.  This will really hurt you.  No real way to explain why you decided to go to summer law school or do nothing or work as a taxi driver instead of doing one of the 3 or 4 options listed above.   It shows lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc. It's just plain bad, and there is no way I can sugarcoat this.


This is the part that I take issue with.  Not taking a legal related job/apprenticeship/volunteering in a similar capacity over that 1L summer does not show lack of motivation/drive/focus/etc. to an employer.  It is not "bad", per se.  It is simply just not as good as the rest if you are looking to be employed at certain levels in certain markets.

I think the following would've been a very useful addition in your original post:

Also, by "fatal" and "bad" I mean you are destroying your shot at a market paying job.  Almost anyone with a law degree will at least find temporary contract work that can feed the family.  I'm giving advice not to the people who just want a job, but to people who want the top paying legal jobs. 


FWIW, I agree that, the better the job you seek, the more imperative it is that you find legal-related work of any nature during your 1L summer.  That doesn't mean that not finding such work is bad, in and of itself.  Just know that you may be limiting yourself.

2L summer... well, that's a different kettle of fish altogether.


I think we're finally in agreement here.  At this point I think (after the addition that, you're right, I should have  been more clear about earlier) that we're simply arguing semantics.  How is "limiting yourself" and doing something "not as good as the rest" =/= "bad?"  That's all I'm saying.  Your euphemisms sound better and "bad" is much less refined and unpleasant to the ears, but at the end of the day I think we basically agree on this issue.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 06:02:15 PM
We only agree if you agree that working in a non-legal field over your 1L summer does not necessarily show lack of motivation/drive/etc. to an employer. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 06:08:57 PM
We only agree if you agree that working in a non-legal field over your 1L summer does not necessarily show lack of motivation/drive/etc. to an employer. 


Well, maybe we don't agree completely.

I'll agree that it doesn't necessarily show lack of all the good stuff I mentioned.  That said, based a large amount of anecdotal evidence and research, the market-paying firms will (generally) look down upon a non-legal job your 1L summer if you have nothing else legal-related on your resume to point to.  I'm not saying you're definitely screwed, but again I will go back to my hypo.  Answer me this:  You are interviewing for a Summer Associate gig at a local firm.  Helpful Chap and Astro are two candidates who are equal in all ways except for 1 - on Helpful's resume it says "2007 - Summer - Smith & Johnson - Summer Associate" and on Astro's resume it says "2007 - Summer - Bill's Taxi Co. - Taxi Driver."  Our gpas are close to the interview cutoff, so it's between these two candidates for the last interview spot.  Who gets the interview?  Also, a variation - same situation, except they've interviewed both candidates and can't decide which candidate to hire.  Who gets the job?   
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 06:11:14 PM
Again, if you're always working from "market-paying job", then I agree with you.  So maybe all this bickering actually is pointless.   :D
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 18, 2007, 06:14:49 PM
Again, if you're always working from "market-paying job", then I agree with you.  So maybe all this bickering actually is pointless.    :D

Yup, this is what I was saying before.  I think we dissected this thing about as much as is possible, and I think other's will gain valuable perspective from reading our back and forth, so it wasn't pointless up to this point, but I think from this point on it is pointless.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 06:15:36 PM
Again, if you're always working from "market-paying job", then I agree with you.  So maybe all this bickering actually is pointless.    :D

Yup, this is what I was saying before.  I think we dissected this thing about as much as is possible, and I think other's will gain valuable perspective from reading our back and forth. 

I doubt this, but I'm too lazy to delete.   :D
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 18, 2007, 06:19:50 PM
 :D at Astro the taxi driver
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 06:20:47 PM
I disagree that studying abroad looks bad.  It definitely shouldn't be a first choice for something to do your 1L summer, but it ranks higher than doing something outside the legal field, and it would probably rank higher than just taking summer classes at your school. 


5) Summer school at your law school/non-legal-related job/nothing - Huge black mark.  This will really hurt you.  No real way to explain why you decided to go to summer law school or do nothing or work as a taxi driver instead of doing one of the 3 or 4 options listed above.   It shows lack of motivation, lack of drive, lack of focus, etc. It's just plain bad, and there is no way I can sugarcoat this.




FYI I was talking frankly with a hiring partner the other day, who only recruits at top national schools, and the bolded is exactly, almost word for word how he described 2L OCI.

He said if your in OCI to get a job its shows you follow the heard well, but donít think outside the box. He says he only looks for two things for first year associates in OCI: grades (because they show him you can follow orders w/o trying to get original) and the fact that your looking for a job though OCI (that says to him you will do whatever they tell you to do, because you canít think outside the box).

He told me in no uncertain terms, OCI provides great first year fluff, they work hard, and it takes them 2-3 years to realize they have no shot at going any further before they finally leave. Then he just replaces them with the next round of OCI fodder. Heís a grumpy guy, but at least he does not BS you.



There's a strange sort of irony.

Welcome back, Matthies.  Done exams?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 06:25:36 PM
Didn't you still have a Part III or IV coming up...?

::nudges::



That is, assuming you're all done being drunk.  Which may be an incorrect assumption.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Astro on May 18, 2007, 06:38:59 PM
Didn't you still have a Part III or IV coming up...?

::nudges::



That is, assuming you're all done being drunk.  Which may be an incorrect assumption.


I was all done about five years ago. :)

Yes, yes that reminds me I need to add more to that thread. Iíll do it next week when I can do it at firm on their time.


 :D :D :D


Good to see you've got your priorities straight.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Lost Girl on May 21, 2007, 09:40:00 AM
Why do schools require a second seat deposit?  I'm not that fat so I won't take up two seats.  Can I just pay the first one and promise to maintain my current weight? 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Thistle on May 21, 2007, 11:30:07 AM
Why do schools require a second seat deposit?  I'm not that fat so I won't take up two seats.  Can I just pay the first one and promise to maintain my current weight? 

as a 1L you will probably be in more than one classroom.  therefore, you have to pay a deposit for each of those seats.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Lost Girl on May 21, 2007, 12:31:39 PM
Why do schools require a second seat deposit?  I'm not that fat so I won't take up two seats.  Can I just pay the first one and promise to maintain my current weight? 

as a 1L you will probably be in more than one classroom.  therefore, you have to pay a deposit for each of those seats.



Can I just bring my own chair and set it up at the very back?  I'm broke because my lemonade stand got shut down and I spent my last dollar on a chimichanga.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Texas2L on May 23, 2007, 08:19:47 PM
Do you think LEEWS is a good guide?

Did you read Law School Confidential?  If so, how do you regard their study methods in light of your experience?
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 25, 2007, 02:53:13 PM
Do you think LEEWS is a good guide?

I had a few friends who used that.  I glanced through the primer for maybe 15 minutes and I talked with these people for maybe 20 minutes (combined) total about leews, so take the following advice with a grain of salt. 

My take is that LEEWS is good for people who had undergrad majors that weren't heavy in logic.  Logic heavy majors = hard sciences, philosophy(or so they say  ;) )  Logic light majors = english, history.  It seems like leews focuses on how to 'sort out' large hypothetical fact patterns, and to break them down to their smallest parts so it can teach you how to put them back together in an 'A' exam answer. This will be second nature to many law students with more logic-heavy majors, however it will be a huge hurdle for some with the lighter ones.  If you fall into the latter camp, I'd say it can't hurt as long as you don't let it cut into your study time.   

Anecdotally (and with a whopping sample size of 4,) half my friends who used leews will probably be with me on law review, half will be a little above the median.  So overall, I don't think it can hurt. Personally, I think its value lies more in giving the readers peace of mind (as opposed to having some 'secret' to getting A's), but that's just my take.


Did you read Law School Confidential?  If so, how do you regard their study methods in light of your experience?

Haven't read it.  If you could give me a brief synopsis of their suggested study methods, I can comment on/critique them though. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: John Blackthorne on May 25, 2007, 02:55:41 PM
Do you think LEEWS is a good guide?

I had a few friends who used that.  I glanced through the primer for maybe 15 minutes and I talked with these people for maybe 20 minutes (combined) total about leews, so take the following advice with a grain of salt. 

My take is that LEEWS is good for people who had undergrad majors that weren't heavy in logic.  Logic heavy majors = hard sciences, philosophy(or so they say  ;) )  Logic light majors = english, history.  It seems like leews focuses on how to 'sort out' large hypothetical fact patterns, and to break them down to their smallest parts so it can teach you how to put them back together in an 'A' exam answer. This will be second nature to many law students with more logic-heavy majors, however it will be a huge hurdle for some with the lighter ones.  If you fall into the latter camp, I'd say it can't hurt as long as you don't let it cut into your study time.   

Anecdotally (and with a whopping sample size of 4,) half my friends who used leews will probably be with me on law review, half will be a little above the median.  So overall, I don't think it can hurt. Personally, I think its value lies more in giving the readers peace of mind (as opposed to having some 'secret' to getting A's), but that's just my take.


Did you read Law School Confidential?  If so, how do you regard their study methods in light of your experience?

Haven't read it.  If you could give me a brief synopsis of their suggested study methods, I can comment on/critique them though. 

the rainbow highlighter briefing method for case briefing followed by the daily method of outlining.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Texas2L on May 25, 2007, 03:21:25 PM
^^ what he said.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 25, 2007, 03:23:04 PM
the rainbow highlighter briefing method for case briefing

I never really understood this, however I did make fun of a few of my classmates who had case books with every other sentence highlighted.  I figure what's the point in highlighting if you're going to highlight every word?  Doesn't this defeat the purpose of highlighting?

You'll have to give me more details, but I assume they want you to highlight the holding, issue, rule, application of the rule, etc.  This would be a huge waste of time for most, but it may not be such a bad idea for the first month or two while you get a hang of reading cases.  Basically, if it works for you then do it, but I see no particular advantage to doing it this way and it seems like a lot of unnecessary work on top of it.  Again, going back to my advice earlier in the thread, this seems like something more geared toward class prep than finals prep, but I may be wrong.  I recommend simply highlighting the important rule(s) after class discussion.  Highlighting/note taking (i.e. briefing) done before class is usually more useless than useful, and may even confuse you later when you are studying for finals.


followed by the daily method of outlining.

Assuming you are outlining properly and you don't start the daily outlining until you are at least 35-40% through the course, then this is an excellent idea and something I wish I had done more of.  As I've hit on before, it is important to see the forest before you start worrying about the trees (i.e. daily outlining).  Your outline will be useless if you start outlining from day one, especially during first semester when you won't "get it" until at least 1/3 of the way through most courses, and realistically it will be more like 2/3 of the way through for some courses.  This all depends on the subject though.  For instance, for civ pro part 1 outlining starting in your third week might not be a bad idea, but for contracts I think it would be a bad idea since in contracts the "big picture" is more important than in civil procedure. 

It's tough to give blanket advice for all 1L's for all course at all law schools.  The more specifics you could give me about your situation, the better I will be able to respond.

Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Texas2L on May 25, 2007, 03:31:14 PM
I don't really have any specifics at the moment, I'm still a few months away from starting school so I'm mostly just reading all this crap about law school while trying to stay interested in work for another month.  I'm starting SMU in August.  Only semi-unique thing about me is that I'm a nontrad, worked for 10 years, software developer background with a computer science degree.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: John Blackthorne on May 25, 2007, 03:33:44 PM

the highlighter method is for people who want a system and who like pretty colors.  you highlight the holding in one color, and the rule in another, and so forth.  i think its a waste of time.  once you have read a few weeks worth of cases for four classes and attended the corresponding lectures you should know what to look for in the cases and what to ignore.  its one of those things that you learn by feel, and once i knew what to look for i could do 20 pages of reading in a half hour and be ready for class.

buuuut, you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Thistle on May 25, 2007, 03:44:13 PM

the highlighter method is for people who want a system and who like pretty colors.  you highlight the holding in one color, and the rule in another, and so forth.  i think its a waste of time.  once you have read a few weeks worth of cases for four classes and attended the corresponding lectures you should know what to look for in the cases and what to ignore.  its one of those things that you learn by feel, and once i knew what to look for i could do 20 pages of reading in a half hour and be ready for class.

buuuut, you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.


high court case summaries are like manna from heaven.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 25, 2007, 03:48:52 PM
I don't really have any specifics at the moment, I'm still a few months away from starting school so I'm mostly just reading all this crap about law school while trying to stay interested in work for another month.  I'm starting SMU in August.  Only semi-unique thing about me is that I'm a nontrad, worked for 10 years, software developer background with a computer science degree.

I have a couple of friends with computer science and computer engineering backgrounds, and I can tell you with a reasonable degree of certainty that your work with logic in undergrad/at your work will help you immensely in law school.  If anything, I'd focus on your reading skills.  Just read as much as you can and work on your reading speed and ability to focus.  You won't have to worry at all about the mathematical-ish (i.e. logical) underpinnings of the first year subjects as many of your classmates will. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 25, 2007, 03:55:16 PM
you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.

high court case summaries are like manna from heaven.

I'm a big fan of keyed briefs myself, however be sure not to rely on them too much.  It can give you a false sense of security, since keyed briefs vary in quality and many don't give you the same perspective on tough issues that you would find if you read the case/paid attention in class.  Keyed briefs tend to oversimplify, therefore they may lull you into complacency and cause you to not pay a lot of attention in class, i.e. you tune out at the beginning of the discussion because "I already know this stuff" and end up missing the key few sentences from the prof that will be valuable on the exam.

I'd say keyed briefs are a nice supplement, however I would use them in the following way:

1) Read keyed briefs before class.
2) Take excellent notes during class.  This will be easier for you because you'll get the 'big picture' from the keyed briefs, while your professor will fill in the areas he found most important.  The prof will also expand upon these areas beyond what is found in the briefs.
3) Go back and quickly read the case out of the casebook, focusing primarily on the part of the opinion where the rule(s) your teacher focused on are most clearly stated.  This takes much less time than you would think. 

This may seem counterintuitive, but it worked great for me and I think it is a great way to attack first year. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: John Blackthorne on May 25, 2007, 04:03:59 PM
you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.

high court case summaries are like manna from heaven.

I'm a big fan of keyed briefs myself, however be sure not to rely on them too much.  It can give you a false sense of security, since keyed briefs vary in quality and many don't give you the same perspective on tough issues that you would find if you read the case/paid attention in class.  Keyed briefs tend to oversimplify, therefore they may lull you into complacency and cause you to not pay a lot of attention in class, i.e. you tune out at the beginning of the discussion because "I already know this stuff" and end up missing the key few sentences from the prof that will be valuable on the exam.


2) Take excellent notes during class.  This will be easier for you because you'll get the 'big picture' from the keyed briefs, while your professor will fill in the areas he found most important.  The prof will also expand upon these areas beyond what is found in the briefs.
3) Go back and quickly read the case out of the casebook, focusing primarily on the part of the opinion where the rule(s) your teacher focused on are most clearly stated.  This takes much less time than you would think. 

This may seem counterintuitive, but it worked great for me and I think it is a great way to attack first year. 

my crimlaw prof outlawed laptops for the first six weeks of class b/c he said they interfere with your paying attention skills.  he claimed that with the laptop in front of you, you will be focused more on transcribing the lecture and less on engaging the material.  after 6 weeks about half of the class brought their laptops back in.  i think i am gonna take notes by hand next year.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: jd06 on May 25, 2007, 04:18:18 PM
I'd strongly recommend reading each case in its entirety (they're already edited for your case book) and doing your own briefing.  Understanding how and why the court reached its conclusion can be just as important as knowing what it held.  In some classes (e.g. Con Law and Evidence) it is absolutely critical that you understand the "why."  The end result is that you'll be more engaged in class, your depth of knowledge will be much greater, and, most importantly, because the final exam will likely reflect familiar fact patterns with slight tweaks to allow for a different result, you'll perform better.  If you're serious about the law, get used to working hard.  Graduation is just the beginning...   
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 25, 2007, 05:13:40 PM

the highlighter method is for people who want a system and who like pretty colors.  you highlight the holding in one color, and the rule in another, and so forth.  i think its a waste of time.  once you have read a few weeks worth of cases for four classes and attended the corresponding lectures you should know what to look for in the cases and what to ignore.  its one of those things that you learn by feel, and once i knew what to look for i could do 20 pages of reading in a half hour and be ready for class.

buuuut, you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.

My .02, having read Law School Confidential

I did the rainbow highlighter thing and I liked it, but that's because I would read the case, highlight in the different colors, and write my brief from what I highlighted.  It was just easier for me that way because I could go straight to the highlighted crap in the appropriate color and pull what I needed from the case.  I definitely didn't highlight everything, but I did brief most of the cases I read... towards the end of the semester I just started writing the rules down instead because I got tired of briefing and my professors weren't going to call on me.  Also, I do think the highlighter system is helpful in class because my briefs didn't help me at all.  My briefs were more a way for me to read and understand the case than a tool for class participation.  I looked far more at the book when I got called on for specific details, and that's when the highlighting was nice too.

As far as the outlining tip goes, I think the daily outlining thing is very good advice in theory, but I think it is nearly impossible to do, especially first semester.  Yes, it would be awesome to keep up a daily outline, but first semester you don't even really know what to outline until halfway through the semester.  You can TRY to outline earlier, but at the end of the semester you will end up going back and changing crap around because what you thought was important at first isn't, or your outline is way too long and has a lot of extra junk in it... so I really don't think it's a plausible idea.  It's also just a female dog in terms of time.  Reading and being prepared for class is much more urgent on a day-to-day basis than outlining.  With that said, I am not joking when I said I outlined during every school break (fall break, Thanksgiving, most of spring break) and I am damn glad I did.  A lot of people thought I was crazy for doing things like reading ahead and spending my breaks outlining while I watched TV, but my hard work really paid off.  I do think that outlining throughout the semester is a good idea because you won't be frantically outlining in the days before a final... I could just study my outlines instead, and I had a much more relaxed exam period than most.  But outlining every day is just not easy. 

I didn't do LEEWS and I turned out just fine.  I will say that I think professors respond to good writing skills, organization, and spelling on the exams.  I mean, obviously a well-written piece of crap isn't going to get you an A, but I really worked on organizing my thoughts very clearly and writing well, instead of just typing unconnected bits of thoughts as they came into my head.  I didn't spend much time outlining my answer or anything like that (I generally just started typing and organized as I went along) and I tried to hit as much information as possible. 
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on May 25, 2007, 05:20:05 PM
I'd strongly recommend reading each case in its entirety (they're already edited for your case book) and doing your own briefing.  Understanding how and why the court reached its conclusion can be just as important as knowing what it held.  In some classes (e.g. Con Law and Evidence) it is absolutely critical that you understand the "why."  The end result is that you'll be more engaged in class, your depth of knowledge will be much greater, and, most importantly, because the final exam will likely reflect familiar fact patterns with slight tweaks to allow for a different result, you'll perform better.  If you're serious about the law, get used to working hard.  Graduation is just the beginning...   

The problem with your advice is you are spouting off cliches without enough detail.  You may have valuable advice to give, but you are not conveying it in an effective manner.

I'd strongly recommend reading each case in its entirety (they're already edited for your case book) and doing your own briefing.   

Do you recommend these 1Ls do this before class? Throughout the entire semester and not just to get the hang of it?  What use will all your case briefs be when studying for finals/composing an outline?  How do you incorporate your briefs into your outline?  Do you recommend re-reading the cases after class?   What is your method for editing your briefs (assuming you are suggesting to brief pre-class) to focus on the ideas your prof was keying on, and also what is your suggested method to remove unnecessary text from these briefs to save time if you plan to review them before a final exam?

Understanding how and why the court reached its conclusion can be just as important as knowing what it held.  In some classes (e.g. Con Law and Evidence) it is absolutely critical that you understand the "why."     

First of all, evidence is not generally a first year course.  Second, of course understanding the judicial reasoning (i.e. "the why") is the most important part of law school. It is critical in every class to know the "why" if you want to get an A.  My problem is you're simply stating the end without sufficient explanation of the means, which is the entire point of this thread.  It's like saying "You have to know the law very well to do great in law school.  Hope that  helps."  Sure it's true, but it's of little practical use.

The end result is that you'll be more engaged in class, your depth of knowledge will be much greater, and, most importantly, because the final exam will likely reflect familiar fact patterns with slight tweaks to allow for a different result, you'll perform better.

The end result of what?   You need to be more specific in terms of your suggested studying methods. 
Why is your suggested method (which you have no outlined in sufficient detail to be of any use to a 0L) superior to the one I suggested?  I'm not saying I'm right, but you a) haven't explained your method other than cliches nor b) explained why my suggested method is inadequate.

If you're serious about the law, get used to working hard.  Graduation is just the beginning...   

Again, empty cliches are useless and will not help these 0Ls at all.  I'm here to help, not spout cheesy cliches with no practical application.


I have no problem with you giving advice in this thread.  I think my arguments with a few people (astro for instance) in this thread have helped lend valuable perspective to this discussion of advice for 0Ls, however I think you need to be more specific in your advice to contribute in a meaningful way.  I look forward to further discussion, as I think your point of view is a valuable alternative perspective, however this is simply an inference at this point since you haven't yet disclosed the substance of your advice.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: jd06 on May 25, 2007, 05:56:56 PM
Sorry.  Had no intent of hijacking your thread.  I meant to make a generalized comment about the use of canned briefs in response to another poster's suggestion that they might serve as a sufficient substitute for briefing your own cases. I believe that my generalized response was, however, appropriate because I found that no two students used precisely the same means to get to the end.  Yours may be the absolute best.  I'm not arguing.  I just observe that each student generally develops his own style over the course of his tenure.  (P.S. As my moniker indicates I graduated in '06 and am now a practicing attorney in CA, for what that's worth. I stick around these boards 'cause I loved law school!)   

My style?  Briefed every case on my laptop prior to class.  Took the laptop to class and, below each case, took class notes.  Towards the end of the semester, re-read and condensed the cases (distilling down to facts upon which the case turned and editing out much of the reasoning), bolded the holdings, and incorported same via copy/paste into an outline.  Always had a good commerical outline available at this point (typically Emanuels), and only at this point, to ensure that I was capturing the "big picture" and to clear up any areas I was uncertain about.  I would even add in language from the commercial outline into my outline if I felt the author "said it" better than I did.  Whatever it took to help me understand and remember.

Hope that helps a bit.  Sorry again. I gotta run for the weekend...
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: vap on May 25, 2007, 07:10:45 PM
tag
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Thistle on May 25, 2007, 08:25:08 PM
you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.

high court case summaries are like manna from heaven.

I'm a big fan of keyed briefs myself, however be sure not to rely on them too much.  It can give you a false sense of security, since keyed briefs vary in quality and many don't give you the same perspective on tough issues that you would find if you read the case/paid attention in class.  Keyed briefs tend to oversimplify, therefore they may lull you into complacency and cause you to not pay a lot of attention in class, i.e. you tune out at the beginning of the discussion because "I already know this stuff" and end up missing the key few sentences from the prof that will be valuable on the exam.


2) Take excellent notes during class.  This will be easier for you because you'll get the 'big picture' from the keyed briefs, while your professor will fill in the areas he found most important.  The prof will also expand upon these areas beyond what is found in the briefs.
3) Go back and quickly read the case out of the casebook, focusing primarily on the part of the opinion where the rule(s) your teacher focused on are most clearly stated.  This takes much less time than you would think. 

This may seem counterintuitive, but it worked great for me and I think it is a great way to attack first year. 

my crimlaw prof outlawed laptops for the first six weeks of class b/c he said they interfere with your paying attention skills.  he claimed that with the laptop in front of you, you will be focused more on transcribing the lecture and less on engaging the material.  after 6 weeks about half of the class brought their laptops back in.  i think i am gonna take notes by hand next year.


my crim law prof outlawed them for the entire semester.  i wonder if theyre related
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: John Blackthorne on May 26, 2007, 04:56:46 AM
you can do just fine by getting a commercial outine with case summaries thats geared to your text book, and never actually read or brief a case.

high court case summaries are like manna from heaven.

I'm a big fan of keyed briefs myself, however be sure not to rely on them too much.  It can give you a false sense of security, since keyed briefs vary in quality and many don't give you the same perspective on tough issues that you would find if you read the case/paid attention in class.  Keyed briefs tend to oversimplify, therefore they may lull you into complacency and cause you to not pay a lot of attention in class, i.e. you tune out at the beginning of the discussion because "I already know this stuff" and end up missing the key few sentences from the prof that will be valuable on the exam.


2) Take excellent notes during class.  This will be easier for you because you'll get the 'big picture' from the keyed briefs, while your professor will fill in the areas he found most important.  The prof will also expand upon these areas beyond what is found in the briefs.
3) Go back and quickly read the case out of the casebook, focusing primarily on the part of the opinion where the rule(s) your teacher focused on are most clearly stated.  This takes much less time than you would think. 

This may seem counterintuitive, but it worked great for me and I think it is a great way to attack first year. 

my crimlaw prof outlawed laptops for the first six weeks of class b/c he said they interfere with your paying attention skills.  he claimed that with the laptop in front of you, you will be focused more on transcribing the lecture and less on engaging the material.  after 6 weeks about half of the class brought their laptops back in.  i think i am gonna take notes by hand next year.


my crim law prof outlawed them for the entire semester.  i wonder if theyre related

weird.  they must be related.  wierd.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: chevelle on May 26, 2007, 08:19:49 AM
3. Don't worry about getting called on or class prep.  This assumes grading at your school is anonymous.  Focus on the big picture when preparing for class.

I didn't read through this whole thing to know if anyone said anything about this...but I also just finished my 1L and, although my school has anonymous grading, the professors often have some kind of participation grade that they add in when the grades are done, and a lot of this grade comes from when they call on people and the person gives the right answer.

So even though you should focus on the big picture, you still have to know all the details of the cases just in case you get called on, at least in my experience.

But generally my professors and the students in my classes don't belittle someone if they don't know the answer.



Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 26, 2007, 07:35:17 PM
Sorry.  Had no intent of hijacking your thread.  I meant to make a generalized comment about the use of canned briefs in response to another poster's suggestion that they might serve as a sufficient substitute for briefing your own cases. I believe that my generalized response was, however, appropriate because I found that no two students used precisely the same means to get to the end.  Yours may be the absolute best.  I'm not arguing.  I just observe that each student generally develops his own style over the course of his tenure.  (P.S. As my moniker indicates I graduated in '06 and am now a practicing attorney in CA, for what that's worth. I stick around these boards 'cause I loved law school!)   

My style?  Briefed every case on my laptop prior to class.  Took the laptop to class and, below each case, took class notes.  Towards the end of the semester, re-read and condensed the cases (distilling down to facts upon which the case turned and editing out much of the reasoning), bolded the holdings, and incorported same via copy/paste into an outline.  Always had a good commerical outline available at this point (typically Emanuels), and only at this point, to ensure that I was capturing the "big picture" and to clear up any areas I was uncertain about.  I would even add in language from the commercial outline into my outline if I felt the author "said it" better than I did.  Whatever it took to help me understand and remember.

Hope that helps a bit.  Sorry again. I gotta run for the weekend...

This is basically what I did as well in terms of briefing.  I then incorporated briefs into my outline by writing the corresponding rule that was relevant to that section of the class and any notes my professor said about the case that were useful.  I didn't re-read any cases after briefing or before exams.

As jd06 says, everyone comes up with their own style, and it just depends on what works.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: John Blackthorne on May 27, 2007, 01:20:25 AM
Sorry.  Had no intent of hijacking your thread.  I meant to make a generalized comment about the use of canned briefs in response to another poster's suggestion that they might serve as a sufficient substitute for briefing your own cases. I believe that my generalized response was, however, appropriate because I found that no two students used precisely the same means to get to the end.  Yours may be the absolute best.  I'm not arguing.  I just observe that each student generally develops his own style over the course of his tenure.  (P.S. As my moniker indicates I graduated in '06 and am now a practicing attorney in CA, for what that's worth. I stick around these boards 'cause I loved law school!)   

My style?  Briefed every case on my laptop prior to class.  Took the laptop to class and, below each case, took class notes.  Towards the end of the semester, re-read and condensed the cases (distilling down to facts upon which the case turned and editing out much of the reasoning), bolded the holdings, and incorported same via copy/paste into an outline.  Always had a good commerical outline available at this point (typically Emanuels), and only at this point, to ensure that I was capturing the "big picture" and to clear up any areas I was uncertain about.  I would even add in language from the commercial outline into my outline if I felt the author "said it" better than I did.  Whatever it took to help me understand and remember.

Hope that helps a bit.  Sorry again. I gotta run for the weekend...

This is basically what I did as well in terms of briefing.  I then incorporated briefs into my outline by writing the corresponding rule that was relevant to that section of the class and any notes my professor said about the case that were useful.  I didn't re-read any cases after briefing or before exams.

As jd06 says, everyone comes up with their own style, and it just depends on what works.

if i remember correctly, your style worked out REAL GOOD fo you.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: fuwaf on May 27, 2007, 08:22:24 AM
Sorry.  Had no intent of hijacking your thread.  I meant to make a generalized comment about the use of canned briefs in response to another poster's suggestion that they might serve as a sufficient substitute for briefing your own cases. I believe that my generalized response was, however, appropriate because I found that no two students used precisely the same means to get to the end.  Yours may be the absolute best.  I'm not arguing.  I just observe that each student generally develops his own style over the course of his tenure.  (P.S. As my moniker indicates I graduated in '06 and am now a practicing attorney in CA, for what that's worth. I stick around these boards 'cause I loved law school!)   

My style?  Briefed every case on my laptop prior to class.  Took the laptop to class and, below each case, took class notes.  Towards the end of the semester, re-read and condensed the cases (distilling down to facts upon which the case turned and editing out much of the reasoning), bolded the holdings, and incorported same via copy/paste into an outline.  Always had a good commerical outline available at this point (typically Emanuels), and only at this point, to ensure that I was capturing the "big picture" and to clear up any areas I was uncertain about.  I would even add in language from the commercial outline into my outline if I felt the author "said it" better than I did.  Whatever it took to help me understand and remember.

Hope that helps a bit.  Sorry again. I gotta run for the weekend...

This is basically what I did as well in terms of briefing.  I then incorporated briefs into my outline by writing the corresponding rule that was relevant to that section of the class and any notes my professor said about the case that were useful.  I didn't re-read any cases after briefing or before exams.

As jd06 says, everyone comes up with their own style, and it just depends on what works.

if i remember correctly, your style worked out REAL GOOD fo you.

 ;)

It did.  But I worked really hard... harder than a lot of people were willing to work.
Title: Re: 2L here - questions anyone?
Post by: Helpful Chap on June 02, 2007, 04:59:57 PM
bump for more questions.