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Author Topic: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?  (Read 38747 times)

MiamiLaw

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2007, 07:37:43 PM »
Tag.


Great thread MiamiLaw! ;D

well you should thank the people that gave their input, that's the only reason this thread turned out so great!  :D But I'm definately going to refer to this thread as I start law school.

jarhead

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2007, 09:08:17 PM »
I did nothing over the summers.  I relaxed over my summer.  I only do work during the week and Sunday evenings.  I never, except during exams, did work on Saturday or on Friday evenings.  I know, including myself, several people in the top 10% of my class.  Most of them never took a course before school, but each of us kept up the entire semester.  I have never been unprepared for class.  I am about to enter my third year.  I have never passed when called on.  I think this is the key to doing well.  Be prepared all semester long.  Keep up with your reading.  I also didn't go out during the week.  I came home when classes ended, got right to work, and I was usually done by 6pm so I could relax the rest of evening and get a good nights sleep for the next day.  I treat law school like a job.  I get up at 7, I am at school in class by 8 or 9.  I work all day until 5 or 6.  This kept me on a routine, and keeps me disciplined. 

The other thing I did was wait until the end of semester to outline.  I know people who outline all semester.  They tend to be in the middle or bottom of my class.  I believe that if you outline all semester you are missing the big picture.  If you wait until November to start outlining, you are far better able to put things together in a manner that is logical and allows of easier reading.  Also, the act of typing out an outline forces you to learn it as you type it.  Things you are not sure on, you can spend more time on.  Things your know well, you can type it and then move on.  I think this helps you more at the end of a semester rather than all semester. 

Lastly, I keep things in perspective.  I largely believe that law students are drama queens, and enjoy playing the role of the stressed out student.  Can it be stressful? Hell yes.  But, it can be managed.  Most of the time it is going through the motions.  This outlook has worked for me.  Will it work for everyone, no.  My best advice is do what you feel is necessary.  Listen to no one else but yourself.  Pay no attention to how much time your classmates spend on doing things.  If 2 hours is all you need, good for you.  If you need more time to study, great then do it.  Don't change how you do things because your classmates may have spend 3 hours on two cases, while your spent an hour.  If you feel you know it, then you are fine.  But, also don't be afraid to be flexible.  If something isn't working, change what you are doing until it works.  Most of all, learn to relax.  I believe that alone will help you more than anything.         




this is one of the best posts i've read on this site
...man, you was who you was before you got here

lawgirl442

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2007, 09:11:03 PM »
tag
UVA '10

Butch

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2007, 03:48:00 PM »
I agree with  much of what was said here. Don't sweat things so much.

I wasn't always prepared for class. In fact, most of the time I wasn't. I just didn't let it bother me. If I had to pass or couldn't fake it, so be it. I know so many people who focused solely on looking good in class and knowing the details of every case, but they were stupid when it came to the application of the law and would do poorly on the exam. Whereas, I got A's (and usually finished my exams earlier than others.)

Know exactly what your professor wants on the exam. Know how to take an exam. This requires following directions as to the question being ASKED and being confident enough not to throw in the kitchen sink. You'd be surprised how many people waste tons of time throwing in every possible defense, even when it's clear several of them don't at all apply. Or, how many people insist on throwing in counterargument and policy even though the professor said she doesn't want it.

Rather than reading a case so closely you know every single factual detail, first hunt for the RULE. Then skim the facts to see how it relates to the rule. Make sure you know how the RULE works. (The NOtes at the end of each case are often heplful). Use supplements, but obviously your professor's rule trumps it.

PRACTICE, Practice, Practice writing an exam. From the get go, practice doing little IRACs on every rule. Itll really help you so that at exam time the rule & application just flows rather naturally. Lots of people get to the exam and it's the first time they're ever writing out an answer and crafting their language.  The language should flow from you automatically.

Like the guy above, I rarely worked weekends (only during exam period) and was done every night by 7pm. (And worked too). I didn't let it bother me if I was a little unprepared for class - I knew the exam was what really, really counted.

Also - be strategic. Use your absences strategically. And, study for each class differently. There were some courses I knew I absolutely didn't need to do the reading b/c the professor spoon fed us. I used that time to study for other classes instead!

badgerlaw

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2007, 04:30:23 PM »
tag

I really appreciate the honest advice!

Budlaw

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2007, 08:02:58 PM »
Yeah it is. You only get that by not being politically correct. I don't understand why people try to be conformist trolls on this board when they don't have to. This is an internet message board. Say what you REALLY Feel, nobody really knows you.

Don't say something just because you think some ass will think you're "smart" or that you're "cool" because of the following:

1)everyone else on this board is a college graduate, so they should be relatively smart (now having common sense is a totally different thing)

AND

2)you're not very cool if you're on an internet message board.




That -40 is awesome.

Stevo

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2007, 11:37:50 AM »

I'm about to start 2L, and feel like I can chime in.  I am no where near the top 10 percent of the class, but I followed most of the advice given in previous posts.  I read for every class, knew each case in and out, and by the end of the semester felt like I knew each course pretty well.  My grades were pretty low for most of my classes.  Looking back, I can say that the big difference is taking practice exams early in the semester and reviewing each course as the weeks go by.

Don't wait 1 or 2 weeks before the final to start taking practice exams.  Start a few months ahead of time.  Granted, some of the exam you won't know how to answer because you haven't learned those topics yet in class.  But, answer everything that you can when you take the exam, then set up an appointment with the professor, and have him/her review your answer with you!!!  I can guarantee that 80 percent of the class will not be doing this, and it will give you a huge leg up.

Next, make sure to review each course on at least a biweekly basis.  Pick one weekend, review two course.  Then the next weekend, review the other two courses.  Keep doing this throughout the semester.  With law school, you learn so many details/nuances about the law for each class, each week.  By the time 1 month has passed, if you haven't reviewed the material you learned during the first week, you will forget it.  Then, by the end of the semester when exams are approaching, when you start reviewing everything, it'll feel like it's new and that you have to relearn everything again.  I don't know if this is the case for everyone, but it was the case with me. 

Chippewa to Terero

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2007, 12:07:19 PM »
Great thread!  Thanks to all of the current students!  Very encouraging advice for us 0L's starting to get nervous about excelling in 1L.

juliemccoy

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2007, 12:45:32 PM »
Great advice! What have some of your favorite study tools been? IE: LEEWS, E&E's, flashcards, etc?

Thanks.
Vanderbilt 2010

Stevo

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Re: Advice for a 0L hell bent on being near the top of his class?
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2007, 01:04:42 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.