Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?  (Read 39168 times)

panda-dork

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2007, 01:21:38 PM »
tag

kilroy55

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
    • Mad Rambling by Travis
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2007, 02:06:40 PM »
Great advice! What have some of your favorite study tools been? IE: LEEWS, E&E's, flashcards, etc?

Thanks.

I don't use them, waste of time.  You could be using that time to learn the law and relax.  Supplements are great for those who need them, but they are just that, supplements.

burger king university

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2007, 02:17:01 PM »
Hello, I am trying to relax during my summer break right now, but I am still very preoccupied with receiving tips on how to reach that prized top 10% position in my school, so I am on the right track from the get go. Can any of you offer me some advice so I start law school knowing exactly what I need to do to reach my goal?

FWIW, I'd say the main qualities that seperate my friends at the top of the class from those, like me, in the top half to top third of the class are:

1. Being completely neurotic about understanding the material well (really thinking about hypos in which the black letter law doesn't make sense, etc.)
2. Not procrastinating at all
3. Focusing heavily on understanding the black letter law and applying it to various fact patterns

These things might sound obvious, but they're harder to do than they are to say. I wouldn't say the people I know at the top of my class are geniuses but they are very hard workers.  

Also I would start outlining from day one and not wait until the end of the semester.  

I don't think LEEWS is necessary.  The IRAC system is sufficient.  Except, LEEWS might help with Torts because the issue spotting questions on torts exams tend to include a ton of parties and the LEEWS system might help you find claims / liabilities that you would have missed otherwise.  

Good luck!
  

p0six

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #33 on: June 12, 2007, 02:34:48 PM »
I highly disagree with the "outline from day one" advice.  Most of my professors had organized their class into units or sections.  If you want to get a jump on things, which I highly recommend, outline after every section.  However, if you try to outline every week you probably won't have enough context to figure out what is important and what isn't.

Don't let people freak you out about what it takes to be at the very top.  Obviously you need to be on top of things.  Equally obviously you need to make sure you do your work and understand the material as you go along (although as my torts class showed, you can cram it all in at the end as well).
You do NOT have to (unless you want to):
  1.  buy expensive study aids
  2.  learn LEEWS
  3.  give up every waking moment of your life for all 9 months to study
  4.  be a jackass to your classmates (highly unrecommended)

What I think *will* help:
  1.  being a proficient typist
  2a. taking every practice exam you can get your hands on
  2b. finishing your outlines early enough that you have enough time to take every exam you can get your hands on
  2c. going over any sample answers with your answer on the practice exam, and/or talking with your prof. about the exams

One more note about LEEWS:  from what I understand it's a variant of the IRAC form of exam writing.  HOWEVER, not every prof wants IRAC.  In fact, I had 2/6 of my doctrinal classes specifically did not want IRAC.  ("writing down the rule is a waste of your time, show me you know the rule via your application" - IAC)  IMO studying exams is a much better way to spend your time during the year.  Write the exam answer they want, not the one you want to write.

burger king university

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #34 on: June 12, 2007, 03:07:08 PM »
Yes, I should have said "outline periodically."  Just don't wait until the end.

Alamo79

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 154
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2007, 02:03:10 PM »
Great advice! What have some of your favorite study tools been? IE: LEEWS, E&E's, flashcards, etc?

Thanks.

I don't use them, waste of time.  You could be using that time to learn the law and relax.  Supplements are great for those who need them, but they are just that, supplements.

I agree with this; I've only felt like I needed supplements a little bit for the first semester of Civ Pro.  Other than that, I found that most of them matched up so poorly with what my professors were teaching that reading them was counterproductive.  As another poster said, you take the class that your professor teaches, not the class the supplement tries to explain.  The one class I relied on supplements for (that I didn't have time to outline myself) was the one I did the worst in)--I found the supplements rarely helpful and often misleading.

I also didn't take practice exams until a few days before the exam, and found this to be enough.  I also wouldn't write out a full exam, but just take 1/3 of the time I'd have for an exam and outline answers; you'll generally spend 1/4 to 1/3 of your exam outlining before you write anyway, so I think this is enough for a practice exam.

shady2009

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2007, 05:41:26 PM »
E&E is a really good study aid, depending on the class.  It was the only "commercial" material that I used.

The only thing that I can add is to use the hornbooks (i.e. Calamari and Perillo on Contracts).  If you can find one that was authored by the authors of your textbook, all the better.  You probably don't even have to buy it because your library probably has several copies...some on reserve and some older editions available to check out.  I've found that the hornbooks are an excellent way to figure out what the assigned cases are supposed to be teaching you, and they help you to organize your outline.  They seem to be a happy median between trying to glean the law from the cases, and having it spoonfed to you through a commercial outline (which won't cover most topics in the depth your professor expects).

JohnnyAwesome

  • Guest
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #37 on: June 13, 2007, 05:47:02 PM »
My advice is a little different than other people's and I've done well my first year of school.
1. do all the reading and never miss any classes, you learn the most from actually being there.
2. practice tests, as many as you can find. look to old bar exams, they're pretty helpful.
3. have some other hobby other than law school in the beginning. go out and party in the early months and actually try to enjoy your life. The last 6-8 weeks of school are miserable, you might as well enjoy the first 6-8 weeks.
4. have one study partner you trust, don't talk to anyone but that person about school for the last weeks approaching finals, DO NOT study in the library, go anywhere but there.
5. talk to your professors and have them look at your outline.
6. i did this but i don't know if it's recommended, I didn't start my outline until the last 6 weeks of the class. I do not outline as I go.
that's all i have.

tortfeasor111

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #38 on: June 13, 2007, 06:04:38 PM »
Great advice! What have some of your favorite study tools been? IE: LEEWS, E&E's, flashcards, etc?

Thanks.

And another thing about study aids....  I did LEEWS, but did it sort of half-assed throughout the semester.  Big mistake.  If you're gonna benefit from LEEWS, you have to follow all the directions and do all the work that Wentworth Miller asks for.  I think the program is great for teaching how to take exams.  So, BEFORE 1L starts, spend a few weeks working on the LEEWS program hardcore.  Just trust the program and what he is teaching you.  If you wait until the semester to do LEEWS, it will be hard to properly absorb all the techniques because you have 4 other law classes to worry about.  Do LEEWS right before the 1L semester starts.

As for study aids specifically for classes, E&Es and the Understanding Series are the best in my opinion.  If you have the time during the semester, the best way to use them is to first look at the syllabus for each class.  Then, the weekend before you start a new topic in a class, read up on that subject with either the E&E or the Understanding Book.  This will give you a plain language, easy to understand background about the material.  Then, during the following week when the professor starts teaching the topic and you begin reading all the cases for it, you will understand what is going on a hell of a lot better. 

I agree.  LEEWS guarantees B's and above on your exams or you get your money back.  I just finished my first year, and I haven't asked for my money back. 

juliemccoy

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1632
  • Treat??
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2007, 10:11:31 AM »
For those who did LEEWS: Do you think the CDs are worth it or could I get by with just the manual?
Vanderbilt 2010