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Author Topic: rant, depressed  (Read 5314 times)

Bob Loblaw Esq.

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2007, 09:20:45 AM »
i was a TA for a 1l class last year, and I overheard some of the students talking about starting an invite only study group for the "smart kids" in the class.

i lol'ed for days.  Yes, I just said I lol'ed, thats how lame it was.


GA-fan

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2007, 10:41:09 AM »
Study groups were useless for me 1L- they just scared the heck out of me when everyone else started going over practice exams and coming up with very irrelevant/misguided answers, or even just stuff htat I didn't think about. They're useful potentially for issue spotting, but overall they freaked me out more, plus we didn't end up getting much work done because inevitably half the group hadn't done the assigned problems.

Here's what worked for me last year (I got mostly A's):
outline most classes.
read outline (mine or someone else's) slowly 2 or 3 times, making sure to think about how each section "fit" with the overall subject of class.
take notes as I go about potential issues I spot which might be on the exam and how I'd analyze them (these were just scratch notes on the outline about things like similarity between doctrines in different areas of law).
Take a practice exam a week out (don't write it out, just outline and issue spot).
Go over answers with outline, and ocntinue to think about practice exam and what you might have missed- I do this when working out, etc, to get hte concepts to "gel."
Read through class notes, take another practice exam.
Read 3-4 more practice exams, checking answers with outline.
Take exam.

I also don't go to exam review sessions. Most of these freaked me out and weren't a good use of time.
Good luck!

thorc954

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2007, 01:30:47 PM »
i didnt take the exact approach of the person above me, but i agree with the part about study groups adding to the stress.  I would suggest, at least for your first semester, taking a few exams with writing it out.  it really helps with respect to figuring out timing issues and everything.  just a suggestion.

Basic_Black

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2007, 07:20:21 PM »
Um, let me be the lone voice in the desert here:

I find my study group to be VERY helpful.

We are all hard-working, and we work through practice questions in the same room, share our approaches, cooperate on outline creation, etc.  Of course, we're also very flexible.  If you want to come, great.  If not, you're on your own for that day.

In my book, four brains are better than one.  My school heavily encourages this practice, and even provides LOTS of rooms designated for group study. 

Of course, if you're a lone wolf, prey away.
Law is order, and good law is good order.
 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

wcabkk

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2007, 08:02:53 PM »
I was glossed over for a number of study groups yet ended up transferring from t1 to t14 with good grades.  i found study groups helpful in so far as that they calmed my nerves and reminded me of things i'd missed, but in evaluating a study group as a whole, I'd consider it to be a net negative becuase you won't have as much certainty if any issues break out and you're forced to rely on what a classmate is saying.  you're better off meeting with someone or with the professor to bounce your understanding of something and then going back to your materials alone if there is any misunderstanding (in other words, don't shelve your casebook as an above poster has suggested).

 don't worry about others' tactics; instead, follow this intuitive advice which will ensure success.  outlines are not something you read over and memorize--exam preparation doesn't lend itself to that format.  An outline is just a consolidation of all information in that course, something which you would rely on if you hadn't attended class or read the book.  I and other students who have done well extract material from our outlines to organize the material in a way that prepares you for the exam.  You then use these materials by memorizing them (e.g., flashcards) or  bringing them with you into an exam.

substantively

Look over practice exams to get a sense of the structure you'll need to use to answer questions.  If, for example, civ pro has you going through a case step by step, it might be a good idea to organize your materials in a timeline fashion:  here's what I can do on a complaint, here's what I can do pre-answer, post-answer, etc.  Know when to use everything and the nuances which separate them, etc; while preparing these think of how to resolve any latent ambiguities or combinations.  On an actual exam you'd then go through each of these issues in your head to see if they apply and then hash out your analysis of the most pertinent points.  for crim for example I might have the MPC and commonlaw crimes listed on separate sheets of papers and then flesh out all the nuance and interaction in bullet points beneath.  this is really just anothre type of outline, ensuring that you cut all the fat from it.

performance

I wouldn't recommend bothering with LEEWS.  for almost every exam, follow irac and, if applicable, separate sections with bolding, underlining, and new paragraphs to make it easier for you to organize your thoughts and for the professor to see this organization.  Example of how my A exams (at old and new school) have been structured, without exception:

One possible issue is felony-murder. F-M applies if X, Y, or Z.  Here, F-M probably wouldn't apply (ALWAYS qualify this statement a little, but use different levels of qualification, like almost certainly, probably, unlikely, etc.).  the prosecutor could argue A, B, or C.  Defendant might counter with D, E, and F.  Prosecutors reasoning might be more compelling if we have this assumption because of blah, or if this was interpreted in such a such way becuase of blah.  Public policy A favors such; B favors otherwise (I rarely use PP unless it's an obvious issue).


Do this on practice exams and re-read them after you're done.  you'll find that professors exploit ambiguities in the law with their fact-patterns, and these will give rise to larger doctrinal issues that will reappear over and over.  make a list of these as you prepare your materials and as you go through practice exams. if you can't resolve these by using the book, talk to your professor directly, using the broader doctrinal perspective in approaching the issue, not saying "on practice exam #2 such and such occured" initially (instead, once he gives you an answre on the broader issue, be like: so, if [insert something similar to the exam scenario]then the answer would be [what you now know because of the doctrinal stuff]).  Go to the professor once you have a list of all the issues (i usually had 3-4 per exam I couldn't resolve on my own) so you aren't continually going back and forth.

jd4me2010

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2007, 11:55:24 PM »
I just started my second year and I totally agree with most of what everyone has said. I have found the following to be true:

1) most "review sessions" are worthless

2) so are most study groups

3) don't obsess over briefing every single case but do read, book brief and make notes
in the margins

4) it really doesn't matter if the outline is yours or not

5) about a week prior to exams start doing simulated exams - if you have M/C and essy--do both!! I'm constantly amazed at how many people don't do this.

6) most profs do basically the same format every year. LOOK AT OLD EXAMS!!! This is absolutely crucial to judge if you've got it!

7) use Cali lessons for problem areas-they usually clear things right up for me.

BTW, I am in the top 1/3 of my class and I have never written my own outline, haven't written out a brief since my first semester, and seem to be one of the least stressed in our law library this week.

HTH

blackpowerman

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2007, 01:31:55 AM »
I am a first year, first semester- never did study groups until last week, met with one.  here goes the scenario.

examples and explanations- torts.

Basically, Goliath comes after david and david pulls out a pitch fork to defend himself.  Apparently, this is too much force.  I disagree.  I decided to take the stance that if David was in a corner and Goliath approached him in a menacing, threatening way, then he is more than right to take a GUN out and shoot him.  Why?  Because David can't beat up goliath with his fists and if all he had was a gun, pitchfork, deadly force, then let him use it.

the point is we started arguing about gun control for 35 minutes and after the argument i was to spent to continue studying.  this is the night before the exam i mind you.  no more study groups for me.  just pisses me off. 

anyways, im reallllly hoping the kids who are annointing themselves the book winners and highest gpa's get a harsh dose of reality come january.  Not to say i will do better, but their continuous arrogant trash talk like they fukcing know everything really rubs me the wrong way.  its like, look- ive been here just as long as you and neither of us has been here longer than anyone else.  wtf makes you think you are smarter than everyone, including the professors?  and we are not at a T-14 either, so that says a lot in itself. 

ok my rant is done, and yes 1L chica is way ahead of most for outlines. 
"The fox knows many tricks; the hedgehog one good one" - Archilochus

blackpowerman

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2007, 01:34:52 AM »
oh, and for the record- they were liberal commy crats who believe criminals should be afforded more rights than law abiding citizens.  heres the deal- you play with fire you deserve to be burned. and if the fire consumes you, too fukcing bad.  why should i have to risk my life because you are attacking me and i have to use "reasonable" force.  there would be a whole hell of a lot less crime if people could defend themselves in the manner they choose. 

anyways, if some huge asssshole is gonna fukc with me and the only means of protecting myself is copping out my concealed gat- boom boom. 
"The fox knows many tricks; the hedgehog one good one" - Archilochus

GA-fan

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2007, 11:01:42 AM »
oh, and for the record- they were liberal commy crats who believe criminals should be afforded more rights than law abiding citizens.  heres the deal- you play with fire you deserve to be burned. and if the fire consumes you, too fukcing bad.  why should i have to risk my life because you are attacking me and i have to use "reasonable" force.  there would be a whole hell of a lot less crime if people could defend themselves in the manner they choose. 

anyways, if some huge asssshole is gonna fukc with me and the only means of protecting myself is copping out my concealed gat- boom boom. 

Do you go to University of miami?

rugercaptain

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Re: rant, depressed
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2007, 01:17:49 PM »
here goes the scenario.

examples and explanations- torts.

Basically, Goliath comes after david and david pulls out a pitch fork to defend himself.  Apparently, this is too much force. 

This reminds me of one of the many wrong answers I gave in Torts this semester.  Only a slightly different twist:  Hypo: Man in bar breaks beer bottle, threatens me menacingly from approximately 10-12 feet away.  I had a gun.  Prof asked if I had a duty to retreat?  Dumbass me, I said yes because 1) in most states one cannot carry in permitted liquor premises, and 2) I have a concealed carry license, but would never carry in a bar and, therefore, would try to retreat if at all possible.  Wrong.  Prof said I could shoot because I could use deadly force as self-defense against deadly force.  I guess it all hinged on whether or not someone menacingly waving a broken beer bottle at me from 10-12 feet constituted deadly force.  But can I shoot him before he cuts me?

Sigh...wonder how that would play in court, and if I could bring the prof in to testify for me..."I told her she didn't have a duty to retreat..."   ???
Cleveland-Marshall 3L.