Law School Discussion

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Author Topic: Study time  (Read 2815 times)

Leaf2001br

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Re: Study time
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2006, 11:22:36 PM »
I think the OP is making the common mistake of being complacent about their intelligence and academic potential.  College, high school, middle school, etc. were completely different and here's why: If you have been admitted to law school you have probably spent your entire life being somewhat superior to your classmates.  You probably didn't have to work as hard as most.  General warnings and advice did not apply to you.  You could get good grades when you wnated and you knew what you had to do to get them unlike the rest of the poor saps in your classes.  You were special.  That's why you were chosen over hundreds of other college graduates who also felt good enough about their chances to feel it was not a waste of money to apply to law school.  So congratulations.  But that's all over now.

You are not special in law school.

Except for a very small minority that will sink to the bottom, everyone is as smart or smarter than you.  This will be refreshing at first, then kind of mind-boggling, then a little frightening.  This is not like college.  Those frat boys that sit at the back of the class in undergrad while making you look good are noticably absent.  There are no football players or cheerleaders in your classes. Your classmates came from colleges all over the country.  They graduated with honors and they came from ivy league schools.  They have interned with U.S. presidents and have graduate degrees.   You will have to resort to working your ass off just to stay competitive.  And that's the x-factor you have not considered.  You are only as good as your comparitive rank.  There are no objectively achievable criteria to check off to make good grades.  You are subjectively forced against  a curve with everyone else.  The odds are you will not be at the top of your class for the first time in your life.

It's a very humbling experience for people who are not used to being humbled.  But it is rewarding at the same time.  Once your ego has recovered from the initial shock of it all, you will realize that the only way to distinguish yourself is plain old hard work.  You will reach a point sometime in your first semester where perhaps you are faced with this crossroads for the first time ever.  Then its up to you.  I don't care how fast you have timed yourself reading a case.  You aren't graded on reading.  You're graded on your ability to apply the law in detail in every possible way while under pressure.

And you will be average.

"What is Legal?  What is Illegal?  What is 'Barely Legal'?"  - Ali G

UMDkid

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Re: Study time
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2006, 12:12:57 AM »
to the last poster: where do you go to school?

Budlaw

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Re: Study time
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2006, 01:17:29 AM »
You don't have to work as hard as some people will say, or as Law School Confidential will tell you....but I would say that it averages about 20 to 25 hours a week during the school year of work in order to do well.

However, once exams start getting near (as in right now)....you'll spend at least 8 hours a day studying (and when I say studying, I am including outlining)......before your classes are finished for the semester....then once you have that study week, you'll spend at least 12 hours a day studying....then once the two week exam period starts, you'll basically be studying all the time unless you're actually taking taking an exam or sleeping....

The reason you have to study so much is because Law School is just so foreign, it's really a different language, and there is so much different material that you cover, that you have to take the extra time to study...

I'm not saying that you can't study 10 hours a week....you can do that some weeks....but for the majority of your time during your first year, you'll be spending at least 20 hours a week studying. At least. If you want to be competitive.

If you want to be mediocre, then go ahead and only study 10 hours a week. I just hope you're not paying for your degree.


kmpnj

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Re: Study time
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2006, 02:05:56 AM »
I feel the need to qualify my following statement by admitting that I am not yet a law student.  However, I will begin attending law school on Aug 14, 2006....


Having stated the above, I plan on approaching law school for what it is...my job.  I plan on devoting about 60-70 hours a week (more for exams) to this task.  I just don't see how its responsible to do anything less.  I look at it this way:  An average baseball player spends years in the minors, showing up hours early, staying hours late, honing his craft until he is the absolute best ballplayer he can be.  Same thing here.  Can a person do the bare minimum and get by.  Probably.  However, why would one want to be merely mediocre?  Its like anything else, you get out what you put in.  I want to get everything possible out of law school, so I'm planning on putting everything in.

Leaf2001br

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Re: Study time
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2006, 02:15:44 AM »
to the last poster: where do you go to school?


LSU, why?
"What is Legal?  What is Illegal?  What is 'Barely Legal'?"  - Ali G

catamount6178

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Re: Study time
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2006, 12:33:56 PM »
I'm assuming this poster is joking. If so, it is a great piece of satire. If not, he/she should re-consider going to law school.

I'm a law school admit for the fall of 06.  I've read a few of the posts related to studying and read a couple of law school experience books including "Law School Confidential".  The suggested amount of time needed to do well in law school seems ridiculously high and reminds me of warnings I got in middle school, "Sure you'll get by fine without doing your homework but wait until you get to High School", then in High School, "Sure you'll get by fine doing only 3 hours of homework a week but wait until college".  My most difficult Calc 3 class in college took 2 hours of studying per week and 60% attendance to get an A.

Naturally people will vary greatly in the time commitment required based on individual differences and the law school they attend.  Law School Confidential suggests that it takes 6 minutes to simply read (not brief or outline) a page of case law.  I've checked out several case books and I average 2 minutes per page with retention and comprehension.  I can't imagine it taking anyone longer than 4 minutes per page.  Then the book goes on to add up the individual time required for each study effort but, based on Miller's calculations, the total is erroneous and the error is impossible to pinpoint.  Her book is an exercise in imprecision and anecdotal advice.

I can't imagine studying more than 10 hours per week and I feel very confident I won't have to.

Then there is the huge non-sequitor of advice regarding attendance and punctuality - found everywhere on law school resources online and a point of serious caution for "Law School Confidential".  Everyone warns; "Are you prepared to wake up early and regularly for 2-3 hours of class for 28 out of 52 weeks in the year?"

Am I alone in thinking that College was easier than high school, High school easier than middle school and middle school easier than grade school?  In college you take classes 1 hour at a time; tardiness is not punished with public embarrassment and stern unfriendliness.  Starting in High School some degree of snacking and refreshment drinking is tolerated and you don't need permission from a public school dunce of a teacher to urinate like you do in middle school.  Each advance through the educational system affords you respect, freedom of expression, creativity and freedom of time management.  A job at McDonalds is much more demanding of punctuality and regularity of commitment than a 1L Law School curriculum.  Besides the mental fitness of a student for the law curriculum there is nothing demanded of a law student in terms of time, attendance, punctuality organizational skills and stress that is not eclipsed by a job at a fast food restaurant, I say this having worked for several years at a couple.

I work as a cubicle dweller for a large manufacturing company and law school is going to be a vacation for me. 

Are your maladjusted, antisocial tendencies a product of your berserk pituitary gland?

starter

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Re: Study time
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2006, 04:06:50 PM »
I feel the need to qualify my following statement by admitting that I am not yet a law student.  However, I will begin attending law school on Aug 14, 2006....


Having stated the above, I plan on approaching law school for what it is...my job.  I plan on devoting about 60-70 hours a week (more for exams) to this task.  I just don't see how its responsible to do anything less.  I look at it this way:  An average baseball player spends years in the minors, showing up hours early, staying hours late, honing his craft until he is the absolute best ballplayer he can be.  Same thing here.  Can a person do the bare minimum and get by.  Probably.  However, why would one want to be merely mediocre?  Its like anything else, you get out what you put in.  I want to get everything possible out of law school, so I'm planning on putting everything in.

Why do you equate performance in law school with being a good lawyer?  I'd hardly say there's a strong correlation.

kmpnj

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Re: Study time
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2006, 11:35:07 PM »
I feel the need to qualify my following statement by admitting that I am not yet a law student.  However, I will begin attending law school on Aug 14, 2006....


Having stated the above, I plan on approaching law school for what it is...my job.  I plan on devoting about 60-70 hours a week (more for exams) to this task.  I just don't see how its responsible to do anything less.  I look at it this way:  An average baseball player spends years in the minors, showing up hours early, staying hours late, honing his craft until he is the absolute best ballplayer he can be.  Same thing here.  Can a person do the bare minimum and get by.  Probably.  However, why would one want to be merely mediocre?  Its like anything else, you get out what you put in.  I want to get everything possible out of law school, so I'm planning on putting everything in.

Why do you equate performance in law school with being a good lawyer?  I'd hardly say there's a strong correlation.

If law school teaches you to "think like a lawyer," as most claim, then it would seem to me that the more you work at honing your skill level in "thinking like a lawyer," the better your grades would be.  Since thinking like a lawyer is the alleged goal of law schools and good grades would seem to indicate a certain level of mastery of that skill, then it would be completely reasonable to assume that those who got good grades are reasonably good at "thinking like a lawyer."  If one is, therefore, reasonably good at "thinking like a lawyer," why wouldn't they then be a good lawyer?

starter

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Re: Study time
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2006, 03:44:19 PM »
You're still wrongly equating law school success with being a successful lawyer.  True, law school teaches you the reasoning skills needed to be a lawyer, but there are many other factors that make a good attorney.  What about the person that hates law school but likes legal practice? 

sdnomal

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Re: Study time
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2006, 01:28:44 PM »
chomsky..your thread made me laugh. I wish it were that easy!

Im past the exctiment phase of getting acepted somewhere..now im scared sh*tless