to me, doing your best in law school equates to doing anything you can (within the boundaries of the honor code) to distinguish yourself among your classmates.
making an effort to be the best in the class =/= 'cutting down' others.
My point is this: someone who makes an effort to do his best will do no worse than someone who makes an effort to do better than his classmates. But the former student will be all the better for avoiding hyper-competitive gunnerdom.
I understand grades are important. But I don't think you should do "ANYTHING you can" to prevent a student from getting a better grade than you. I think you shouldn't "focus on beating out your classmates" when you could be focused on doing well on your own terms. And of course, why should your frame your primary goal be "beating out your classmates" when you can just as well frame it as "get the highest grades you can" or "do as well as you possibly can." In a sense, it's a matter of semantics--but I think it's also a matter of mentally framing your position. You're likely to be much happier and healthier if you don't focus on competition. And of course, you're going to be much more enjoyable for your classmates to be around if you're not viewing them as your arch enemies.
btw well done on completely hyperbolizing everything i said and also putting it through an LSD filter so that you actually say almost the same thing as I but making it less harsh-sounding. props, for real.
It's more than just "tomato, tomato." I think the two mental frames of reference are TOTALLY different and have TOTALLY different effects on your psyche, your relationships, and your law school success.
I am not saying "almost the same thing as you." YOU are saying that a successful law school cuts down others at any costs and spends all is time seething over the success of others. YOU are saying that you should ignore trivialities like "the law" and "the materials" and think about whatever it takes to get ahead of your classmates. I, on the other hand, think that you should work together and build friendly relationships with your classmates. I think a successful law student will bend over backwards to help his fellow students do well and succeed. I think you should ignore the competitive aspects, and instead focus on that pesky "learning" that takes a backseat with your philosophy.
Your hyper-competitive mental frame of reference will lead to envy, jealousy, hatred, and other vile thoughts which can do nothing but make one miserable. It will also lead to you getting branded as a feminine hygiene product and a gunner by people who could be your friends and colleagues. Ultimately, it just might get you to do worse because you're too busy thinking of how to sabotage others than to simply do well yourself.
again, you're TOTALLY exaggerating what i am saying and projecting your idea of a gunner, library book stealer, classmate fucker over. i'm not that guy. All i am saying is that in order to get a good grade, you not only have to know the material, but know it better than the other people you are being compared to, and to keep that in mind. by no means should anyone 'cut down' other people or have a xenophobic mentality. i made a lot of good friends in my section; i spent a lot of time helping out other classmates and making sure they understand the material. for instance: i spent a full 3 days helping my friend understand joinder when i could have been doing my own studying. all i am saying is that you cant expect to just know the material pretty well and swing an A- like many people could in undergrad.
furthermore, you go to a school where competition is less important because the quality employers will go VERY deep into the class, so you really have a different experience, don't you?