Outworking is possible for some people. But then I know some classmates who put in ridiculous hours and it never pays off. I would like to refine the terminology. Outworking in the sense that it has worked for juneau is not just about the amount, quantitatively, of work put in. I posit that he succeded not because he put in more hours but because he was doing the right things, as it appears duma is doing. Very few people in the first semester were doing practice exams and actually stratigizing about how to orgainize and write an exam. Two days before the exam they were still putting together outlines (I was a little guilty here myself). So most students walk into an exam with severe time limitations and have to tackle the organization as well as the analysis. With some research ahead of time you can have a lot of this work already done. Especially on the finals because you now have a lot of information about your prof's style. Example- On my torts final I knew from practice exams and my midterm that it would be an issue spotter (as are most 1st year exmas). From these tests and my profs comments in class I knew that I should be ready to deal with every tort mentioned in the 2nd semester and that the prof was concerned we hadn't really understood negligence. (Negligence and 7 intentionals being the topic of the 1st semester). So unlike many of my classmates I did not spend much time reviewing the intentionals. Instead I focused on memorization of concise rules for what I felt would be tested. I also created a little diagram that keyed my memory of all of the torts. I did a few practice exams to iron out how best to argue both sides of each issue. (Very important- I never go with A or with B, I deliniate what each would argue to forward their version of the case).Day of the test I started by jotting down my little diagram so I would not forget a single tort. I read the exam not to spot the issues, but rather to see which ones the prof seemed to want me to focus on. Defmation and Products Liability seemed to be important. I hit every tort even if it was only marginally in issue. The important ones got longer more complete analysis. The marginal ones got a tiny IRAC in one paragragh. One conclusion actaually said, "This is not really in issue, just here to show you I know the rule." This changes your exam focus from "what issues do I spot" to "what fact can I use to demonstrate that I learned the rules of misrepresentation." That is an easier question. As I read the hypo I just jot the tort by the fact and then I start at the top and work my way through. Now my exam is organized, topic by topic, each safe in its own paragraph(s) so as not to intimidate the poor prof with a solid page of scribble.Because of my planning I was able to complete the exam, which people were really pressed to do. The strategy varied by subject and prof, but I always had a plan going into each test, so I wasted no time sitting there thinking "what do I do." (I am reminded of a girl I saw in my Evidence final who sat with a stunned look on her face and both hands literally lifted to heaven in supplication. I saw her this way, then looked back up some ten minutes later to see her forzen in the same positon). I finished in the top 5%. I have friends who I know knew the law better than I did who just didn't get the good grades. So I really think the key to success is learning how to write a law school exam. Persoanlly, I've always been willing to be more relaxed about class prep in order to put the time in on exam prep. So at any rate, don't take "outwork" to mean that you have to chain yourself to a desk in the library. Put in a reasonable amount of time, but focus that time on how you will write each exam. Oddly, your profs will not often volunteer to teach you this.
I made a 150 on the LSAT and a 3.7 UGPA and I am attending a 4th tier school. I finished 2nd in the class. HTH.
Hello, I have a quick question...aren't you worried that this method of testtaking will come back and haunt you come time to take the bar? I read in one of these law school prep books that there are people who memorize everything and become master testtakers but that they don't really know the law and that they struggle to pass the bar? I'm just wondering what you think about this? You said that there were people who know the law better than you, aren't you worried that when it comes down to actually being tested on your knowledge of the material and not just what the professor wants that you'll have difficulty? I guess what I'm getting at is if this is the best thing in the long run?Please don't take this the wrong way, I'm just going to be starting school this year and just want to prepare myself as much as possibleThanks
The thing that bothers me the most about grades though are the people that do just seem to have it all down conceptually and have diligently done their work and just didn't rise to the top. I have a few friends who I truly respect whose grades just make no sense to me.