Law School Discussion

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Messages - Sassy

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1
General Board / Re: Can I switch sections?
« on: August 03, 2004, 11:35:57 PM »
You should be more concerned about which section has the better professors.  For all you know, your section may have great professors but ghetto classrooms.  Whereas, the other sections may have nightmare professors.  I'd definitely check out the professor situation before making waves.  At the end of the day I'd rather have better professors.  Just a thought.

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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Need Laptop Recommendations
« on: August 03, 2004, 12:20:02 AM »
Yes, but sadly at my school they only allow us to use 3.5 disks to save our exams -- we use softest (not sure if it's a limitation imposed by softest or my school).  Maybe other schools allow students to save to a CD drive in exams, but for some reason mine doesn't.  Sounds like schools differ so the best approach is probably to check with your school.  But like I said, even if they require 3.5 drives for softest, it's not a big deal because you can use an external drive for the exam with no problem.

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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: superwoman survival
« on: August 01, 2004, 01:55:47 PM »
You can do it as long as your family is behind you - and it sounds like they are.  The best thing to do is keep up the communication with them so they understand what's going on.  Sure, right now you tell them that law school is going to be time consuming but they won't really understand it until they see you studying into the wee hours every night.  Keep them involved in what's going on.

I am also a night student with a fulltime job so I can't be home by 7 everynight (class goes until 9 or so).  However, my husband would wait up for me (he's an early riser so it wasn't easy for him) and we'd chat while I ate dinner.  We've have about an hour together before he'd be off to bed.  I'd then capitalize on his sleep time to get studying in - it's a perfect time because you're not taking time away from the family if they're sleeping.  I also made sure that one night a week we had a "date" - sometimes it had to be short (especially near finals) but it was time we set aside for each other.  You could do the same with your family.  My husband is extremely supportive because he sees me going to law school as something that will benefit our family as a whole.  Thus, it's my job to do well in school and work and his job to work and keep the house going.  I also make time for the Lord - I don't always make it to church like I did before law school, but I make sure I have time devoted to Him daily.  I find it keeps me centered.  I'm starting my fourth year so we're almost done.

Point is that you can do it.  It won't be easy but you can do it.

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Studying and Exam Taking / Re: part timers, how much time spent studying
« on: August 01, 2004, 01:44:16 PM »
Hi - I'm pasting in below a post I placed on another thread that I think will be helpful to you.  I'm also a PT evening student who works fulltime.
_____________________________ _____________________________ _

Good point about the 3Ls being more efficient with their time.  By that time, they definitely know the drill so it takes them less time to brief and outline.

Funny thing is that as a 2L and 3L I actually spent more time studying than I did as a 1L.  I did really well my first year so I felt an intense need to preserve my top standing.  Sad thing is that even with all the extra effort, my grades remained consistent with my first year performance.   So I'm not sure if the classes were harder in my second and third year so I needed to spend more time on them or whether I had reached a point of deminishing returns and didn't realize it. 

I actually kept track of the time I spent studying all through law school so I can tell you exactly how much time I spent each semester.  I'm an evening student so I work full time (40+ hours) and take 3 classes so the numbers would have been a bit different had I been a full time student with 5 classes.  The numbers below are just the hours I spent preparing for class, outlining, etc -- they're averages for the week so some weeks were more or less but it averaged out to these numbers.  On top of this time I also spent about 11 hours attending class each week and 40 hours working.  The hours for my second and third year do include the hours I spent doing law review work - that may account for some of the differences in time spent each year.

1L: 1st semester:  25 hrs/wk
1L: 2nd semester:  34 hrs/wk
2L: 1st semester:  35 hrs/wk
2L: 2nd semester:  41 hrs/wk
3L: 1st semester:  27 hrs/wk
3L: 2nd semester:  32 hrs/wk

Bottomline is that law school is a lot of work.  Some people claim to skate by and do well, but I wasn't willing to risk it.  If I performed poorly I didn't want it to be for lack of preparation or anything else that I felt I could have controlled.

Good luck to you all.

5
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: How many hours a day do you study?
« on: August 01, 2004, 01:40:41 PM »
Good point about the 3Ls being more efficient with their time.  By that time, they definitely know the drill so it takes them less time to brief and outline.

Funny thing is that as a 2L and 3L I actually spent more time studying than I did as a 1L.  I did really well my first year so I felt an intense need to preserve my top standing.  Sad thing is that even with all the extra effort, my grades remained consistent with my first year performance.   So I'm not sure if the classes were harder in my second and third year so I needed to spend more time on them or whether I had reached a point of deminishing returns and didn't realize it. 

I actually kept track of the time I spent studying all through law school so I can tell you exactly how much time I spent each semester.  I'm an evening student so I work full time (40+ hours) and take 3 classes so the numbers would have been a bit different had I been a full time student with 5 classes.  The numbers below are just the hours I spent preparing for class, outlining, etc -- they're averages for the week so some weeks were more or less but it averaged out to these numbers.  On top of this time I also spent about 11 hours attending class each week and 40 hours working.  The hours for my second and third year do include the hours I spent doing law review work - that may account for some of the differences in time spent each year.

1L: 1st semester:  25 hrs/wk
1L: 2nd semester:  34 hrs/wk
2L: 1st semester:  35 hrs/wk
2L: 2nd semester:  41 hrs/wk
3L: 1st semester:  27 hrs/wk
3L: 2nd semester:  32 hrs/wk

Bottomline is that law school is a lot of work.  Some people claim to skate by and do well, but I wasn't willing to risk it.  If I performed poorly I didn't want it to be for lack of preparation or anything else that I felt I could have controlled.

Good luck to you all.

6
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Need Laptop Recommendations
« on: August 01, 2004, 01:15:12 PM »
Definitely go for a light computer - you'll be lugging it around for 3 years.  I pretty much don't go anywhere without my laptop.  I started out with one that was about 7 pounds and after about two months I made the switch to the 3 pound Sony and it was the best thing ever. If you plan to take your exams on laptop though you may need a 3.5 drive, which are hard to find nowdays integrated into a laptop.  But you can use an external drive for the exam with no problem.

7
San Diego / Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« on: July 24, 2004, 09:17:47 PM »
Yep!  In fact, each of my classes first year had a multiple choice component -- only a few of my classes have been 100% essay.  They were all 1/2 essay and 1/2 multiple choice.  Each professor does multiple differently so don't think that a multiple choice exam leads you to esay street.  In fact, I find multiple choice exams harder than essay because in an essay exam I can explain myself.

8
San Diego / Re: are finals at USD generally issue spotters?
« on: July 23, 2004, 02:13:52 AM »
Issue spotter exams are those where the professor's primary focus is for the student to identify the legal issue presented by the facts and discuss it.  Many times issue spotter exams are race horse meaning that there are a boatload of issues and you can't possibly address all of them in the time alloted.  It tests you on how quickly you can analyze the fact pattern and identify issues.  The goal there is to get the big fish issues first and then work your way down to smaller issues as time permits.  Usually on issue spotter/race horse exams it's more important to identify more issues than do thorough discussion of each issue.

There are also plain issue spotter exams where you have plenty of time to spot and discuss all of the issues -- I like those.  The call of the question is usually "discuss the rights and liabilities of the parties."  Here, it's more important to thoroughly discuss the issue.  Also, there may be hidden issues that only the most prepared students will identify.

Thinker exams are those were you have plenty of time, but you're presented with very novel issues.  Things that are several steps beyond what was discussed in class.  If you know the material you can take those steps, but it takes you time to do it in the exam.  Thinker exams may also ask you policy-type questions.  For example, if the legislature were to adopt XYZ statute, discuss the economic and legal impact such a statute would have on ABC.  Or a professor may ask you to draft a statute to address a particular legal problem where there are good arguments on each side of the issue.

Also many professors will give multiple choice exams.

Key is to figure out what type of exam you'll be getting (talk to former students and ask the professor) and keep that in mind as you study and prepare your outlines.

9
San Diego / Re: deferment
« on: July 23, 2004, 01:47:51 AM »
They may defer admission but maybe not any scholarship offered -- depends on your situation though.  I agree that completing a PhD makes you even more attractive to USD.

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San Diego / Re: what's the student atmosphere like?
« on: July 23, 2004, 01:46:33 AM »
Yes, I think that's right -- USD is about in the middle.  Plus, every class is different - some seem to have more competitive people than others.  Most people that I know there are competitive, but not to the detriment of others.  We all strive to improve our own personal numbers, but that doesn't mean we won't help our fellow classmates by sharing outlines, professor insight, etc.   

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