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Messages - lawgirl

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Current Law Students / Re: How do you know if you did well on an exam?
« on: December 01, 2005, 11:49:19 AM »
I don't want to mess with your motivation either way and it may just be me, but I never trust the feeling I get after an exam, either way. Sometimes I think I aced it and get a B, other times I think I failed it and get an A. Other times, I am right on the mark.

My best advice, and which I also still struggle with, is to walk out of the exam, let all thoughts of that exam go, and concentrate on the next one. Sometimes, it will just feel like a crap shoot.

Good luck to you on the rest of your exams.

Current Law Students / Re: Leaving law school?
« on: November 09, 2005, 01:23:24 PM »
I know this is easy for me to say because I've already been through it, but put it (where you are going to end up after grades) out of your mind. Right now, just concentrate on learning the material, figure out what you need to do to study and retain the material and make that your priority right now. If you focous too much right now on the rest of it, you will stress yourself out (beyond what is normal, anyway). One step at a time.  8)

Current Law Students / Re: reasearch and writing grade...
« on: October 25, 2005, 12:47:08 PM »
so i got my first legal research and writing memo back. 12 people in the class, given one of three grades (A-, B+, B) and i was in the bottom group of 4 people. the class isn't graded, and i can think of more important things to worry about in law school, but i still feel like i messed up big. should i not care and move on? or should i take this as some sign of how i'm going to do in law school? annyone have any advice or similar experience?

Go through your memo and then go to the prof to figure out where you went wrong. Trust me, it will pay off in the future.

Amen to that. I save my stuff three different places. I save to the hard drive during class, a jump drive when I am done with class and then I save it to my desktop when I get home. I do the same thing when I work on my outlines.

And, as an extra note on the topic. When you are doing your papers for research and writing, save continuously two different places when you are working on the paper and save to another computer when you finish a working session. I lost over half of a paper because of a computer problem during my first research and writing class. It was a complete pain trying to recreate what I lost.  :-[ :'( :'(

It is easier than I thought it would be, but when I started out and felt that way, it was because I hadn't been exposed to law school finals yet (as well as some of the more complicated classes). It is just different than what I expected and there is nothing wrong with the way you are feeling right now.

If you are a 1L, just a cautionary note. Your feeling now will probably change when you start studying for the final and after you walk out of your first set of finals. My guess, if you are anything like I was, is that your feelings right now reflect where you are at in the learning process, which is far different than where you need to be when you study for finals. Right now, you are understanding each individual concept and that is terrific. It is exactly where you should be right now. For the final, you will have to put it all together and figure out how to apply it. That concept is a whole different animal.

Current Law Students / Re: What's the deal with...OUTLINING?!
« on: August 27, 2005, 01:39:01 PM »
You will definitely have some professors that seem like they are all over the place when you are trying to take notes and organize your stuff. For some professors, they are really all over the place. For others, there is a method to their madness. This is partly why I recommend not to start outlining at least until you have switched topics. If you wait, you will often have a better perspecitve on the subject after you have finished it rather than when you are in the middle of it. If you feel like you should be doing something with the material now, that is fine. Just study your class notes. But outlining takes a different perspective and one that you will not necessarily have until you have moved to a new topic.

As far as your classmates go, 1L is ripe with student comments about numerous things that have nothing to do with the material. Some of it is just excitement, some of them are just being gunners and some of them are just plain stupid. You will learn to tune out the stupid stuff and key into the things that are actually beneficial comments. It will get better, I promise you.  ;)

Current Law Students / Re: What's the deal with...OUTLINING?!
« on: August 26, 2005, 06:52:24 PM »
Wait until you get done with a specific topic or subtopic. For example, don't start outlining until you either get done with intentional torts (main topic) or just one of the subtopics within intentional torts like battery.

If you decide to begin with one of the subtopics like battery (a specific subtipic within the class of torts known as intentional torts) then decide how to structure your outline for that specific subtopic. I would suggest using the elements of battery as a structure. For example, the elements of battery are: 1)intent to cause (there are subissues under this element); 2) a harmful or offensive contact (there are also subissues here). So basically, under the intent portion, add in all of your notes on the cases/class discussion that discussed "intent." Then move to "harmful or offensive contact" and do the same. Basically, it will look like this:

I. Intentional Torts
     A. Battery
          1. Intent to cause
               a. Case notes on what this means
               b. Class notes on what this means
          2. Harmful or offensive contact
               a. Case notes on what this means
               b. Class notes on what this means

     B. Assault
          1. Intent to cause
              a. Notes
              b. Notes
          2. Aprehension
              a. Notes
              b. Notes
          3. Of a harmful or offensive contact
              a. Notes
              b. Notes

     C. More Intentional Torts

_____________________________ _____________________________ _______________

II. Negligence
     A. Duty

     B. Breach

     C. Etc.

Just as a note for studying: understand the elements for each tort and how the cases develop those elements, but always keep in mind the big picture. Understand that when you are studying battery, it is just one cause of action under the main topic of intentionl torts and that intentionl torts are a whole different breed of tort compared to negligence. Daily studying for class prep is called being in the trees (understanding the cases, elements of a tort, etc.). Studying for the test involves also being able to see the forest (how all of the major topics split and sometimes converge).

Let me know if you need more help

I think coffee use ranks high among law students.  When I walk into my first morning class, all I smell is mocha.  That and freshly-fried nerves.  I think I'm going to re-incorporate ranch flavored corn nuts into my diet.  Remember those?  You could break a filling or a tooth on those and they make one's breath smell like death.

No corn nuts for me! I just spent 2K getting my teeth fixed and my generous sponsor who paid the bill would kill me. Mocha cappuccino all the way.

Current Law Students / Re: To Brief or Not To Brief???
« on: August 26, 2005, 05:28:42 AM »
I would strongly recommend it for 1L (at least the first semester). As tedious as it may seem, it is beneficial in general to prepare for classes, especially if you are one without a photographic memory (although law school will cured me of that). Everyone will be different, but I experimented with briefing and then later book briefing and I definitely retained the material better when I used briefs. It also helps once you get to research and writing. 

Current Law Students / Re: reading notes for civ pro
« on: August 26, 2005, 05:20:51 AM »
can someone who has done well in civil procedure please explain their study techniques to me? how did you read, take notes on the reading, take class notes, outline, etc? i'm worried about it because studying for other classes seems so straight forward, while it's really frustrating me with this one. any help would be greatly appreciated.

Each person will find their own way to work with the material. Try several approaches to see what works for you.

I actually did it by keeping in mind what I wanted to see when I was studying for the exam. When we were working on a specific rule, I would usually retype the rule in outline form so I could see how the rule breaks down (civ pro rules often have a lot more information in one sentence than it seems at first). I would study the rule and then take notes in class on what the professor said about the rule. Later, when we were done with that rule, I would outline the rule again (emphasizing things that were obviously important and leaving out things that were not important) and also stick in the explanations from class on particular passages in the rule.

Later, when I did an outline for the class I used this condensed form of the rule to put in my outline. Also, in civ pro, it is very important to see the overall bigger concepts of how each rule works with other rules, the overall structure of the rules in general, etc. Pay particular attention to your course outline and syllabus from the book and the structure of the rules. Understand each rule individually, but see how the rules are structured overall to see the big picture.

That said, I do like what the above poster did with his example. Just keep working with it. You will get it. Statutory based classes were always harder for me to outline.

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