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Author Topic: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice  (Read 2780 times)

Basic_Black

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1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« on: January 26, 2008, 03:36:57 PM »
OK.  I'm a T2 1L who is obviously just getting into the swing of things for second semester.


One big problem:  I.  really. don't.  get. legal. writing.  (And law school exam writing.)


  (For that matter, I suspect I am also struggling with the whole legal reasoning/"thinking like a lawyer" skill set.   I have become more attentive to it when I see it in class, and think that I am headed in the right direciton, Historically, I've noticed that I have never been the first person to "get" a completely new way of thinking, but that I eventually catch on and do just fine.

On exams this fall, I knew my black-letter law well, did LOTS of practice questions under timed conditions and exchanged them with my study partner, and so far have grades that put me in the bottom 20% of my class.   My exams so far seem to indicate that I was good at spotting issues, but did not provide the degree of analysis that my profs wanted to see (even though I had a lot of "A" in my IRAC answers, and always strived to argue both sides, it wasn't enough.   For all of my hard work and preparation, I am still trying to understand exactly what my profs are looking for. I have read "Getting to Maybe", heard that LEEWS is not that stellar, but it seems that the rubber just isn't always meeting the road.

FWIW, I've held down two different jobs between undergrad and law school, and have an extensive network of contacts in law (partially because one of my jobs was in law, and I considered law school for several years before taking the plunge.)   I am also prefer smaller practice settings, and am not all all (risk-) averse to eventually starting my own practice- possibly soon after graduation.  Bottom line, I've been networking and thinking things through for several years now.  I have a part-time job lined up this summer with a solo, and will likely pursue some externship opportunities next year and as a 3L with other prospective employers.  So my one big question is:  If I can't make the needed improvements quickly, how "in trouble" am I as far as the tradtional, on-campus interview type of job search goes? I know I won't ever be eligible for big firm offers, but I would like to have the chance at a decent job upon graduation.  A lot obviously hinges on second semester grades, but if (horror of horrors), my focus on remedying my weak areas doesn't produce the desired improvements, will I be better off just abandoning the on-campus interview process altogether? 

For all of you and Schadenfreude-addicts out there, I don't plan on dropping out of school anytime soon, and I'm not a dumbass (on anything but law school exams, apparently :D) , so you can save your snarky comments for someone else.

Of course, if anybody else has been in this predicament, or knows someone who has, your insight would be much appreciated. 

Thanks!
Law is order, and good law is good order.
 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

jacy85

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008, 03:41:59 PM »
1.  LEEWS is good - I used it, and I highly recommend it.  Don't know who you heard it's not great from, but there are plenty of people who have used it and found it helpful. 

2.  If your grades remain on the low side, you most likely won't find a job through OCI.  While OCI is something nearly everyone participates in, relatively few people actually find jobs that way.

3.  I've been recommending it a lot with these questions, but you should look at Kimm Walton's Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of your Dreams.  There's a lot of helpful advice for all stages of the job search and how to get your foot in the door even if you don't have fabulous grades.

Basic_Black

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 04:19:08 PM »
Jacy, thanks for the quick and to-the-point advice.   I am not averse to using LEEWS (if it actually works), and will definitely check out Walton's book.

As for OCI, I have gotten my 1L summer job without them, and, with all due respect to them, suspect that externships and my own networking efforts will be how I land my first job out of school.
Law is order, and good law is good order.
 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

thorc954

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 04:36:05 PM »
It seems like you have pretty much figured it out.  I wouldnt expect a job through OCI which is fine.  As you are a non-traditional student, you have many skills that smaller practitioners will love.  Just keep the networking up and keep plugging along.

Basic_Black

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2008, 04:58:35 PM »
It seems like you have pretty much figured it out.  I wouldnt expect a job through OCI which is fine.  As you are a non-traditional student, you have many skills that smaller practitioners will love.  Just keep the networking up and keep plugging along.

Sounds like a good plan.  Sometimes we don't realize we have a viable plan until someone else says so.

As for being a non-traditional student, there are many older (and mostly wiser) students at my school who would qualify for that much more than I have.  (I'm 28, and the average 1L age for our entering classes is usually 27 or so, which is because we have about 1/3 who are fresh from college, 1/3 who are late twenties/early thirties, and 1/3 who are late thirties or beyond.)
Law is order, and good law is good order.
 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

Jumboshrimps

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2008, 06:04:10 PM »
It seems like you have pretty much figured it out.  I wouldnt expect a job through OCI which is fine.  As you are a non-traditional student, you have many skills that smaller practitioners will love.  Just keep the networking up and keep plugging along.

Agreed. Screw OCI. And screw grades for that matter. Just graduate, pass the bar and kick ass on your own. Law school exams test your ability to do well on law school exams. That's about it.

It's nice to see a post from somebody who understands that law school is just a nuisance standing in the way of the practice of law.

Basic_Black

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2008, 06:10:13 PM »

It's nice to see a post from somebody who understands that law school is just a nuisance standing in the way of the practice of law.

Don't know if you are referring to Thorc's posts, or my query, but you pretty much summarized my thoughts. ;D
Law is order, and good law is good order.
 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

Jumboshrimps

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2008, 06:22:39 PM »

It's nice to see a post from somebody who understands that law school is just a nuisance standing in the way of the practice of law.

Don't know if you are referring to Thorc's posts, or my query, but you pretty much summarized my thoughts. ;D

I guess I was referring to both.

1LMan

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2008, 06:26:50 PM »
Yes, in make believe world you can get a JD and go make millions..... Then there is reality.

Nonetheless, don't let one semester as a 1L get you down.  Exams will be better next time around because you will know what to expect and have a better idea of how to prepare. LEEWs definitely works and with some changes in your study habits you will be fine.

3Loser

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 06:38:49 PM »
First, just because you haven't "gotten" it yet doesn't mean you will be forever doomed. Legal writing and exam writing can easily "click" at some point. You should keep up the hard work. As for OCI, I'm sorry to say, you have no chance. It makes no difference how you do next semester. You are at a T2 and will not be in the 10%. You should, as another poster suggested, concentrate on networking and getting a part time job next year/this summer. Most people outside the T14 don't get jobs through OCI, so forget about it. It's a load of sh*t anyways. Good luck next semester.