You go to class not to hear your classmates rattle on about irrelevant facts, but to catch those few gems of policy discussion where your professor discusses things NOT in the book. You also go in the hope that he'll say something about the exam.
Yes, it can be a lot of wasted time, but that's life.
I would agree with this. Even if the professor isn't explicit, you may be able to predict what may show up on the exam or better handle exam questions if you show up to class and listen to what the professor is focusing on. I'm not sure how to best explain this but as a 1L I would strongly recommend that you go to class. Your first year grades are really too important to jeopardize.