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Author Topic: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice  (Read 2777 times)

Basic_Black

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 06:52:34 PM »
Thanks for the best wishes, 3Loser.  I certainly don't think I'm doomed, but even a dramatic comeback next semester would not yet put me in even the top half of the class.  Maybe eventually I'll make it there.  Heck, I still have two grades to get back, but like I said, I don't expect they'll be much different from what I already have.

 I have never been overly impressed with our OCI prospects, as only the top 10% or so really get that.
And while I certainly don't expect to get out there and make millions, I am certainly going to keep putting in the work on the law school front and the networking front, and do my best to make good things happen.
Law is order, and good law is good order.
 
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC), Politics

3Loser

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 09:23:56 PM »
You still don't have 2 grades back yet? You shouldn't think you will do poorly in those classes just because you did poorly in others. Law school, much like the law, can be arbitrary. You have aced those to exams. Good luck.

StevePirates

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2008, 02:58:19 AM »
I also recommend the Walton books.  She just came and spoke and my school, and while a lot of her points and tips were just common sense, some of them were really clever and helpful.

rhesusman

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2008, 11:52:18 AM »
I've heard mixed things about LEEWS.  For some people it works great, for others, it doesn't.  Personally, I'm skeptical of the claim that a single practice aid can work as a magic bullet for everyone.

One great tip I heard about legal writing - write like a "chain."  This means that you should make sure each sentence follows from the previous one.  Think of the argument in a brief as one big syllogism.

For your exams, see if your professors have examples of A exams and see how they differ from yours.  Joseph Glannon's Examples and Explanations for Torts (I don't know if it's in the other E&E books) at the end contains a list of the six bad habits of exam taking and describes how to avoid them.  I found that very helpful.

For jobs, I would rely heavily on your contacts in the legal profession.  Some very successful and affluent attorneys practice in smaller offices (~30 attorneys) in smaller towns.  Talk to 2Ls.  Find out if your school is one of those schools where only the top third of the class gets interviews.  If so, don't pin your hopes on going that route.

Basic_Black

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2008, 11:30:21 PM »
Good advice all around.

Rhesusman, I read the E&E suggestions.  My greatest hope is that I not only knew my Torts law, but I had a sense of play the entire time I took the exam- i.e., I was having fun writing it.  Maybe that means jacksquat, but I hope it means that  I provided enough analysis to earn a better grade than I received so far.

Promethean, I am already noticing that necessity and a "sudden interest"  ;D in understanding the reasoning behind each case are improving my reasoning skills.  Now if I can translate that into my legal writing, I'll be on my way.

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

smujd2007

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2008, 09:32:07 AM »
This is the credited response.

OCI is only for people in the top 1/3.  And some of them still don't find their jobs through OCI. Work your contacts the best way you can, and you have work experience that means volumes to employers. 

Do the best that you can, but get your diploma, pass the bar, and go practice law.  Nothing is stopping you. You may have to work a little harder, but most people do.  People forget that outside of the top 25% of the class is 75% of the class.  That is a majority.  Remember, a majority of people are faced with the same decision that you are, and are going to take the same approach.  You are more fortunate b/c you already have some contacts. 

Good luck!

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.
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

CAW061404

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2008, 10:50:51 AM »
Before putting all of your eggs in the LEEWS  basket, I would find out from students at your school if teachers like this. I used this for my exams and don't think it was appreciated because my grades reflected that. And I understand legal research & writing, I got my best grade in that class (A-), so I don't think LEEWS will help you to write great memos or briefs.

jacy85

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2008, 11:05:38 AM »
Before putting all of your eggs in the LEEWS  basket, I would find out from students at your school if teachers like this. I used this for my exams and don't think it was appreciated because my grades reflected that. And I understand legal research & writing, I got my best grade in that class (A-), so I don't think LEEWS will help you to write great memos or briefs.

Legal writing (briefs, memos) is NOT the same as exam writing.  Lots of people go on and on about how IRAC is the standard "formula" used for both, and it's just not accurate/true.  Also, LEEWS is an EXAM WRITING PROGRAM, and is not geared toward memo or brief writing.  I'm not clear on why you would seem to think it would be.

As for whether or not it works for every exam, all I can attest to is my own experience.  I've used the LEEWS model on every single essay exam I've ever written in law school.  Con law, "policy" exams, you name it.  Every single one.  Even though "policy" questions don't have "parties" to deal with, you still have your own argument and counter arguments to deal with.  I've never gotten below a B+ on any exam, and A grades seriously outnumber B grades on my transcript.  I'm not a genius, and I'd bet that many, many people in my class are far more intelligent/intellectual than I am.  The difference is I can make a good legal argument on an exam.  I attribute about 80% of this to LEEWS. 

So I really don't get the "it doesn't work on every exam" argument because it's been entirely not true for me.  Part of me wonders if people really "get" the program or if, instead, people skim over 1/2 of it thinking "oh, god, that's SO common sense, so I'll skip this."

Promethean

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Re: 1L who just got rocked seeks advice
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 04:25:48 PM »
It's tough to get a great read on the specifics of what you should change from your post. (ie spend less time working cases and briefing). But if you're struggling with lawyer-like analysis, spend some time doing some general argument-structuring. Pick a political issue you feel strongly about. Why do you believe what you believe? Can you argue it from a moral perspective and a utilitarian/practical perspective? What argument would your opponents make, and how would you respond to them?

Then, start applying that type of thinking to rules of law and cases. What arguments could be made in favor of applying the Eighth Amendment to issues of sentence length as well as sentence mode? What arguments oppose it? Is the "shocks the conscience" test tenable?