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Messages - YeShallBeGods

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21
General Board / Re: Laptop or pen and paper? What do you do and why?
« on: June 25, 2007, 09:24:54 PM »
I took notes entirely by hand my first semester--so many of my peers were horribly distracted by IM, online games, and such during class. I did not want to fall into the same trap. Second semester, I took notes via laptop, but had the discipline to next let myself get too distracted... and my grades were even better this go around. It's really personal preference, and knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

22
General Board / Re: Firms and Offices
« on: June 22, 2007, 11:24:00 AM »
Sent him an e-mail but have yet to hear back...

23
General Board / Re: Firms and Offices
« on: June 22, 2007, 11:00:39 AM »
And as to another question, does it help or hurt my odds of working at a firm if I apply to, say, three different offices for the same firm? Are the interviews self-contained by firm, or is the there going to be a lot of inter-firm communication?

24
General Board / Firms and Offices
« on: June 22, 2007, 10:29:45 AM »
I'm sitting here getting ready to start submitting my OCI interview requests for the fall, and I've hit a major road block. At my school, and I'm sure it's a widespread trend, you interview for specific offices, rather than just a general interview with the firm. Are you somehow limited if you choose to work at an office that is NOT the headquarters for the firm as a whole? Take Sullivan & Cromwell for example: they're HQ'd in New York City, but have offices throughout the world... if I apply to work at their LA office, have I unintentially handicapped my potential growth at the firm?

This is a serious question, and as such I'd appreciate people refraining from the normal sarcastic badgering. I'm just clueless about this matter...

25
2L job search / Re: The Call Back Interview
« on: June 19, 2007, 01:31:30 PM »
Great info here--thanks a bunch!

26
I'm just afraid you're going to freak the poor guy out.  I'm in the top 10% (maybe the top 5%), and so are members of my study group.  We did not do 100 exams.  We *did* do every exam we could get our hands on, but it couldn't have been any more than 20 over the course of both semesters.  Obviously, what LilOneL did worked, but don't think that you *need* to do it. 

But while we're on the subject of practice exams, I want to again stress how important I think it is that you not only do the exams, but that you *study* any sample answers or going over the exam with your professors.  Why?  This gives you insight into what answer your profs want.  And you'll be amazed how many of your classmates won't do that extra step (which I consider to be the most important step).

Hence the reason I did my best to emphasize that these steps were my personal ticket to the top 10%... obviously no system of much substance is going to work for everyone. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I know one guy in my class who walked away with extremely good grades his first semester and, if his words are true, essentially did no practice exams. It's all knowing yourself and what will work for you.

... and a little luck ;)

Oh and I totally agree about looking at sample answers--one of my professors posted several, and I'm certain that mirroring their style paved the way to an A.

27
Transferring / Re: UVA to....?
« on: June 18, 2007, 01:20:23 PM »
Thanks for the constructive thoughts everyone!

I actually talked with some professors and they gave the same advice. Absent an in at Yale, they agreed that I'd be crazy to leave UVA if indeed I make the LR cut-off... Though that's just my concern, because unless the GPAs are low this year, I'll probably miss it by a spot or two. There's always the chance that the write-on will come through for me, but that's a crapshot. I do have strong ties with many professors here at UVA, and they all told me having connections was worth its weight in gold in terms of teaching.

My attitude at this point is that I'm going to apply just to see, and will make a final decision once I have more info in late July (namely, where I've been accepted/turned down to transfer, and whether I've made LR).

Thanks again.

28
100 practice exam?  That's craziness.  And I had classmates that thought *I* was crazy b/c I did every single one.  Don't freak the guy out.  I think it's unlikely that most professors release more than 4 practice exams.

I also don't think that doing practice exams a month before the end of the class is very helpful.  You can't answer 1/4 of the question, because you still have 1/4 of the class left.

The rest I don't disagree with, although some of them like his policy tidbit I think isn't strictly necessary.

Just to comment.

I did indeed do a total of 100 practice exams, but that was spread out across all my classes (so really on about two dozen per class). Most of my professors provided NO sample exams, and so the ones I was working from came from the public online databases I mentioned. And I wasn't trying to freak anyone out--I'm just saying that here is what I did to get into the top 10%.

And note that the 1/4 problem did not exist for me, because it tied in with having finished all of the reading a month in advance. Even if we hadn't covered the issue in class yet, I was still able to get practice spotting them and applying what I believed to be the law based upon the reading (and it was always easy to tweak if the professor wanted a different approach). Professors almost always rush at the end of the semester, and so it was nice for all of that material to feel like old hat by the time I arrived in the final week.

29
FWIW, here are the steps I, personally, took to get to the top 10% as well as a few musings.


1. Like it or not, there is some degree of luck involved in the grades. To this day, I have one very low grade amidst a pile of high ones... and for the life of me, I can't tell the difference in the exams. Almost everyone of my peers that I've spoken with is in the same boat.

2. Outline from the very beginning. First semester, I would do all of my reading for the coming week over the weekend. Then I would take notes, by hand, and update each of my outlines, for every class I had that day, in the evening. That approach was very good because I was always caught up on my reading, outlining, and always reviewing. By taking notes by hand, it also made me focus on class, rather than chatting away on IM like most people did within a matter of days. The down side was that it was a huge time waster. In the spring, I started taking notes via computer, and outlining while in class. That worked, b/c I already knew what I was aiming for in an outline, and I could make notes as I went for research when I had more time.

I found that people that waited to outline were almost always slammed when they finally started in the final month before exams. I on the other hand was always refreshed, and played videogames even during the exam period.

3. Find a study partner you trust. Not a group, but a single individual who likewise wants do their absolute best. It was great to have a strong ally to run hypos with. Speaking of which...

4. Start doing practice exams LONG before you think you need to. My study partner (who also ended up in the top 10%) and I began taking exams together and individually over a month before exams started. By the time exams rolled around, I'd say that we had each outlined or written out full answers to twenty-five exams. Several schools keep public databases of exams (Harvard has an amazing one)--use them! By the time you've seriously worked through that number of exams for a subject, it's hard for it to not be second nature. And make sure you practice your typing as well! Typing 100+ WPM helped me out a great deal, I'm certain...

5. Finish your reading earlier. This is doomed to be controversial, but one thing that worked well for my partner and I was that we finished ALL of our reading for ALL of our classes four weeks before exams. It makes you a sitting duck for being called on in class, but it freed up our time to take those ~100 exams (two dozen, or more, per subject). And besides we had already...

6. Schmooze the professor. And not (just) for your grades! They are amazing people and have become some of my best friends after my first year. If you build a relationship with them, and occasionally volunteer in class, you'll find you rarely get called on, at least with tougher questions.

7. Try to seriously debate the law at a policy level, especially with your partner. Even if you do not have a policy professor, you'll find that if you intimately know the policy arguments underlying a law, you'll grasp the blackletter law extremely well. And don't content yourself to just recite the textbook justifications--create your own.

8. Relax. Though I sometimes felt guilty, I would spend up to half the day during the exam period playing videogames, watching movies, whatever relaxed me. It's worth its weight in gold.

9. Never underestimate your peers. Even the craziest of them have just as much reason to be there as you, and you might be surprised who ends up on top (grade wise) at the end of everything.

10. Have fun. Honestly, the one true thing for everyone I know who ended up at the top: they ~loved~ learning law. We'd gab about it in the whole, muse about it at night, and sadden at the thought of missing out on class. If you are truly someone excited about learning even the most boring laws, it will be very hard NOT to do well.

30
Transferring / Re: UVA to....?
« on: June 11, 2007, 01:04:53 PM »
Well, after a delightful first year, with many ups and downs, it looks like I'm going to wind up just inside the top 10% at UVA (assuming a final grade is not a disaster). Hence my question: would it be at all worthwhile to try to move into one of the top 5 schools? And for that matter, is it even possible? The yahoo group doesn't have much info for my situation.

I have a strong interest in teaching one day... and since UVA only takes the top 8% or so onto law review, and the write-on is no guarentee, I feel like I might have a better shot at one of those schools.

Thoughts?

Go away your annoying prick.  You go to UVa, you are in the Top 10% -- you are set.  Stop bragging.


Right--because I clearly came onto an anonymous message board to brag to complete strangers  ::)

If you bothered to look at my post history, you'll note that my posts have mostly been spent trying to encourage people: my first (and only, for a month) grade in school was a B, below the curve. Just because you start near the bottom doesn't mean you'll stay that way...

I'm sorry that merely asking a question, with a minimum amount of details, in a forum designed for said question, so deeply offends your sensibilities.

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