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Author Topic: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's  (Read 11570 times)

StrictlyLiable

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Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« on: May 13, 2005, 02:34:16 PM »
As I finish studying for my last final which is to take place on Monday morning (Torts), I have become reflective about 1L and decided to pass some advice to the incoming class:

1. Leave past experience at the door. No matter if you are coming straight from undergrad or have worked as a paralegal for 10 years, you are still a 1L who knows absolutley nothing about being a lawyer. Don't pretend like you are your professors collegue because you have been working at a firm. Don't look down at your fellow students because you received a 170 on the LSAT. It doesn't matter what your stats are, what schools accepted you, or what experiences you have had. You are at the bottom of the food chain, get used to it.

2. Don't fall into a clique. If you have low self esteem and need other like minded individuals around you to make you feel better about yourself, don't come to law school. Friends are fine to acquire, but if you feel yourself being drawn into "a crew", have some independance and leave that behind. Cliques are a crutch for weak minded people. All a crutch will do is leave you lagging behind the people running on their own two feet.

3. Brief cases only until you have a grasp on what the professor wants you to get out of a case. They take way too much to prepare and still don't prepare you for the questions that the prof will fire at you.

4. Volunteer in class. You will learn more through active participation than from copiously writing notes based on what other students say. Plus, when you volunteer, you are usually prepared and confident about the material. One note, though, if you volunteer to answer a question that another student doesn't know the answer to, be prepared for the professor to focus on you for the rest of the class. In addition, don't volunteer just to make yourself seem or feel smarter. Stick to the topic at hand, don't go off on a tangent about a prior experience you had, and be mindful that your 20 minute diatribe about the service of process procedures at your company could cause the professor to skim over a topic that otherwise would have been covered in depth.

5. Do your own outlines. The process is what helps you study, not the end product. Commercial outlines are ok to supplement your notes in case you missed class or the professor was ambiguous about a topic. I do my outlines the week before a final. By the time I am finished writing my outline, I understand the material completley. I only review it afterwards to remind myself about the finer points.

6. Attend as many exam writing seminars as possible and complete multiple practic exams. For most of first semester, professors hammer the CRAC or IRAC method down your throat for writing memos. Exam answers are not the same. Practice, practice, practice.

7. When you finish a memo, brief, or final exam, let it go. You have done all you can do at this point, its our of your hands. Focus on the next task or if it syour last one, enjoy the break. Also, don't talk with anyone about the final right after you take. You are bound to have analyzed something differently or missed something someone else covered completley. All comparing exam answers will do is make you super anxious. That anxiety will last for the 1-2 months it takes to get your results back. Just avoid the tension all together and just go home.

8. Don't be discouraged by your first semester grades. In law school, there is a curve. A certain amount of people must get C's and D's. If you fall into this catergory and have never received such a grade ever, don't worry. It means that you have had a harded time adjusting than the other students. Stick with it, come back after break, and talk with your professors about what you did wrong. Then improve. The only class ranking that matters is the one at the end of the year.

9. Manage your time wisely.

10. Whenever possible, on breaks or what have you, visit some friends and family. They'll keep you grounded. When you finally begin to grasp law school concepts, you will start to think that your *&^% doesn't stink. If you have a talk with your mom, she will most definitley tell you different.

Good Luck to everyone.

gusrip98

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 02:37:49 PM »
Damn.....that was very helpful.  I wish I could bump your ratings up, but alas I don't have access.  Thanks for the helpful insights.

BTW....I haven't heard crutch used like that in a long time.....lol.....I was always told water, food, and sleep are a crutch, but that was in a different life.
"Never stole a horse from someone I didn't like"

zemog

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2005, 04:00:09 PM »
Great advice. 

jdmba2007

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2005, 05:04:11 PM »
I agree that was great advice. Incoming students wouuld be wise to take your advice.

11,5sep

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2005, 05:24:18 PM »
Most law professors rely on the case method as a means for illustrating legal rules and doctrines in a particular area of the law. With the case method, students are asked to read a particular case or, in some instances, several cases, that the professor will use to lead a class discussion illustrating a particular rule of law. The assigned readings come from casebooks, which are compilations of cases for each area of law. The cases are usually edited to illustrate distinct legal rules, often with very little commentary or enlightenment by the casebook editor. The casebooks often lack anything more than a general structure, and law professors often contribute little to the limited structure. Students are asked to read and analyze hundreds of cases in a vacuum. Since each assigned case typically builds upon a legal rule illustrated in a previous case, it isn't until the end of the semester or, for some classes, the end of the year, that students begin to form an understanding of how these rules interrelate.

Danielle

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2005, 08:09:02 PM »
Thanks for the advice, Strictly liable!  I am a little surprised you graced us pre-laws with your words of wisdom  ;), but I'll take it.  I like the "crutch" part.  From what I can tell it is extremely important to keep one's mind active at all times.  Congrats on your clerkship this summer and good luck next year!

jacy85

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2005, 06:50:54 PM »
Did you really do your outlines 1 week before the final?  The 1 piece of advice that has been the most consistent from 1Ls and from books is to NOT get behind in your outlines.  It seem to me that waiting until 1 week before = massively behind.

dft

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2005, 07:30:55 PM »
tag

SavoyTruffle

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2005, 11:08:43 PM »
tag

JD_MSA

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Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2005, 11:02:37 AM »
The reverse of #8 is also true.  If your first semester grades are great, don't get cocky or too comfortable.  Continue to spend an appropriate amount of time preparing and studying.