Law School Discussion

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Messages - bros

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21
I thought you couldn't have a myspace page once you hit the age of 19?   ???


why would you think that?


and it's not my myspace page.

22
just wondering...are you attending a school that rhymes with "vastings" located in a city that rhymes with "fan clancisco?"

no. and isnt UC hastings in HASTINGS?

23
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.

tomato, tomato.

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.

24
the harsh reality is that the grade curve is based on how you do relative to your classmates - not yourself. So, quite literally, your grades are based on how well you do relative to your classmates, and if you want good grades, you need to make an effort to do better than the majority of your classmates, and i just feel like people should know that.

This is obviously true.  You are graded relative to others. There's no disputing that and you should be aware of it.  BUT why focus on it?  Why make cutting down others your goal when you can instead focus on working hard, learning everything you can, and doing the best you can do?

You believe the key to success in law school is:
1. Do "ANYTHING you can" to get an advantage on your fellow students
2. Focus on "beating out your classmates" rather than "learning the law/material"
3. Make your "primary goal" getting "ahead of" everyone else

In what way will that lead to more success than "doing the best you can do"?  You can't do any better than your best even if you focus on the joys of screwing over others.  That is, unless your plan is to use cutthroat measures to sabotage your classmates.

For the sake of the people who have to be around you during law school and the sake of your own sanity, I recommend that law students focus on working HARD, and doing the BEST they can do.  Don't focus on the competition.  Don't do "anything you can" to get an advantage over them.  Focus on learning the law, not beating out classmates.  Make doing as well as possible your primary goal, not doing better than your classmates.

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.

25
I dont mean #1 literally. I'm sure that you have friends (at penn, whereas most of the posters here are not going to t14 schools) that are outside the top 10% who are doing well. you can do great at any tier one school outside the top 10 percent. you can get just decent grades and still get a good job. but what people need to realize is that at any given school, people are gunning for good grades. and a C-student at ANY school is not going to be very attractive to ANY employer when that C-student goes looking for a job.

I agree that at many less prestigious law schools, you need to be near the top of the class to get biglaw jobs, clerkships, top gov. jobs, etc.  And I agree that you have to work hard, study, etc.  I simply disagree with the "my classmates are my enemies" mental state.  I think most of the people at the top of the class got there by competing with themselves, not by trying to cut down their classmates.  Grades are important and hard work is important--reveling in your classmates failures is not.

the harsh reality is that the grade curve is based on how you do relative to your classmates - not yourself. So, quite literally, your grades are based on how well you do relative to your classmates, and if you want good grades, you need to make an effort to do better than the majority of your classmates, and i just feel like people should know that.

26
plus, ANYTHING you can do to give yourself an advantage over your classmates is important. law school is a competition. unless you go to HYS, you should be focusing your efforts not just on learning the law/material, but BEATING your classmates and doing things that will put you ahead of them. this should be your primary goal.

I complete disagree with this.  It's true that virtually all law schools grade students on a forced curve, so law school is competitive in that sense.  It's also true that at less prestigious schools it is more important to be near the top of the curve.  But life is too short to waste time trying to "beat your classmates."  I just finished my 1L year and had a great time making friends with my classmates, working together with them, sharing outlines/notes/tips/etc.  Luckily, I encountered very few hypercompetitive people who define their worth by beating out others.

dont get me wrong! make friends, share outlines, study with others. but you shouldnt just assume that if you know the law, you'll make good grades. you need to know MORE than your classmates to get an A. That's what a lot of people dont realize. A lot of folks, I feel like, think that they can just learn the material, demonstrate a decent understanding and application of the stuff you learn in class and get a good grade, like in undergrad. You need to do everything you can to show that you are #1. No one spots every issue. But you can get more points in your analysis if you study outside sources.

If you want to work as a SCOTUS clerk, maybe. But I have friends who are clerking at the federal circuit level and a friend working at Wachtell who were not in the top 10% here (or URM's). In other words, aside from HYS, there are some schools where you do NOT have to worry about being the best or even towards the top to do well. HYS is such an arbitrary cut off for that and I think it is misleading to say if you go to any other school you have to worry about being #1.

I dont mean #1 literally. I'm sure that you have friends (at penn, whereas most of the posters here are not going to t14 schools) that are outside the top 10% who are doing well. you can do great at any tier one school outside the top 10 percent. you can get just decent grades and still get a good job. but what people need to realize is that at any given school, people are gunning for good grades. and a C student at ANY school is not going to be very attractive to ANY employer when that C student goes looking for a job, no matter WHAT school they come from.....

27
there is a HUGE f-ing difference between a gunner and a good student. wait until you guys go through your first year. law school is more competitive than you think. if you want to just cruise through LS and bank your future on the fact that someone on LSD says that most really successful lawyers werent at the top of their class, go for it. Enjoy your B minuses. Have fun at OCI.

28
plus, ANYTHING you can do to give yourself an advantage over your classmates is important. law school is a competition. unless you go to HYS, you should be focusing your efforts not just on learning the law/material, but BEATING your classmates and doing things that will put you ahead of them. this should be your primary goal.

I complete disagree with this.  It's true that virtually all law schools grade students on a forced curve, so law school is competitive in that sense.  It's also true that at less prestigious schools it is more important to be near the top of the curve.  But life is too short to waste time trying to "beat your classmates."  I just finished my 1L year and had a great time making friends with my classmates, working together with them, sharing outlines/notes/tips/etc.  Luckily, I encountered very few hypercompetitive people who define their worth by beating out others.

dont get me wrong! make friends, share outlines, study with others. but you shouldnt just assume that if you know the law, you'll make good grades. you need to know MORE than your classmates to get an A. That's what a lot of people dont realize. A lot of folks, I feel like, think that they can just learn the material, demonstrate a decent understanding and application of the stuff you learn in class and get a good grade, like in undergrad. You need to do everything you can to show that you are #1. No one spots every issue. But you can get more points in your analysis if you study outside sources.

29
not to steal bros thunder, but i recommend actually going to class before buying these supplements.  might save you some coin.  some professors will flat out tell you that they want to hear what they teach in those words, rather than the way that emanuel's presents it.  also, some classes are just taught different than the standard commercial outline.  you will get a better gauge after a couple weeks or a month which commercial supplements will help you. 

just some food for thought since i way overspent on supplements first semester and just didn't have the time to read them all. 

one tip: DO NOT fall behind.  you will not have time at the end of the semester to catch up.  be consistent with your outlines throughout the semester.  professors typically will be teaching new material in the last class before exam reading period.  then you have 4-5 exams in approx. 2 weeks with no time to catch up. 


this is very good advice. the supplements i mentioned worked for me, so thats why i mentioned them. but even if your prof wants you to give exam answers 'in their style' or vernacular, i believe that it is VERY difficult to truly learn the material without studying sources other than your casebook and class notes.


plus, ANYTHING you can do to give yourself an advantage over your classmates is important. law school is a competition. unless you go to HYS, you should be focusing your efforts not just on learning the law/material, but BEATING your classmates and doing things that will put you ahead of them. this should be your primary goal.

30
not to steal bros thunder, but i recommend actually going to class before buying these supplements.  might save you some coin.  some professors will flat out tell you that they want to hear what they teach in those words, rather than the way that emanuel's presents it.  also, some classes are just taught different than the standard commercial outline.  you will get a better gauge after a couple weeks or a month which commercial supplements will help you. 

just some food for thought since i way overspent on supplements first semester and just didn't have the time to read them all. 

one tip: DO NOT fall behind.  you will not have time at the end of the semester to catch up.  be consistent with your outlines throughout the semester.  professors typically will be teaching new material in the last class before exam reading period.  then you have 4-5 exams in approx. 2 weeks with no time to catch up. 


this is very good advice. the supplements i mentioned worked for me, so thats why i mentioned them. but even if your prof wants you to give exam answers 'in their style' or vernacular, i believe that it is VERY difficult to truly learn the material without studying sources other than your casebook and class notes.

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