Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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Poll

Which class are you least looking forward to?

K's
 12 (11.1%)
Property
 24 (22.2%)
Torts
 12 (11.1%)
Crim
 11 (10.2%)
Con Law
 15 (13.9%)
Legal Writing
 34 (31.5%)

Total Members Voted: 105

Author Topic: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL  (Read 28552 times)

Burning Sands, Esq.

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FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« on: June 03, 2005, 01:36:48 PM »
From the Students & Graduates Board:

As I finish studying for my last final which is to take place on Monday morning (Torts), I have become reflective about 1L and decided to pass some advice to the incoming class:

1. Leave past experience at the door. No matter if you are coming straight from undergrad or have worked as a paralegal for 10 years, you are still a 1L who knows absolutley nothing about being a lawyer. Don't pretend like you are your professors collegue because you have been working at a firm. Don't look down at your fellow students because you received a 170 on the LSAT. It doesn't matter what your stats are, what schools accepted you, or what experiences you have had. You are at the bottom of the food chain, get used to it.

2. Don't fall into a clique. If you have low self esteem and need other like minded individuals around you to make you feel better about yourself, don't come to law school. Friends are fine to acquire, but if you feel yourself being drawn into "a crew", have some independance and leave that behind. Cliques are a crutch for weak minded people. All a crutch will do is leave you lagging behind the people running on their own two feet.

3. Brief cases only until you have a grasp on what the professor wants you to get out of a case. They take way too much to prepare and still don't prepare you for the questions that the prof will fire at you.

4. Volunteer in class. You will learn more through active participation than from copiously writing notes based on what other students say. Plus, when you volunteer, you are usually prepared and confident about the material. One note, though, if you volunteer to answer a question that another student doesn't know the answer to, be prepared for the professor to focus on you for the rest of the class. In addition, don't volunteer just to make yourself seem or feel smarter. Stick to the topic at hand, don't go off on a tangent about a prior experience you had, and be mindful that your 20 minute diatribe about the service of process procedures at your company could cause the professor to skim over a topic that otherwise would have been covered in depth.

5. Do your own outlines. The process is what helps you study, not the end product. Commercial outlines are ok to supplement your notes in case you missed class or the professor was ambiguous about a topic. I do my outlines the week before a final. By the time I am finished writing my outline, I understand the material completley. I only review it afterwards to remind myself about the finer points.

6. Attend as many exam writing seminars as possible and complete multiple practic exams. For most of first semester, professors hammer the CRAC or IRAC method down your throat for writing memos. Exam answers are not the same. Practice, practice, practice.

7. When you finish a memo, brief, or final exam, let it go. You have done all you can do at this point, its our of your hands. Focus on the next task or if it syour last one, enjoy the break. Also, don't talk with anyone about the final right after you take. You are bound to have analyzed something differently or missed something someone else covered completley. All comparing exam answers will do is make you super anxious. That anxiety will last for the 1-2 months it takes to get your results back. Just avoid the tension all together and just go home.

8. Don't be discouraged by your first semester grades. In law school, there is a curve. A certain amount of people must get C's and D's. If you fall into this catergory and have never received such a grade ever, don't worry. It means that you have had a harded time adjusting than the other students. Stick with it, come back after break, and talk with your professors about what you did wrong. Then improve. The only class ranking that matters is the one at the end of the year.

9. Manage your time wisely.

10. Whenever possible, on breaks or what have you, visit some friends and family. They'll keep you grounded. When you finally begin to grasp law school concepts, you will start to think that your *&^% doesn't stink. If you have a talk with your mom, she will most definitley tell you different.

Good Luck to everyone.


"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

twarga

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2005, 03:18:21 PM »
If I get a C or a D, I lose my scholarship.   >:(  I'm super freaked out about that!
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Made4law

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2005, 03:20:40 PM »
Solid, especially the parts about volunteering and bouncing back.
"Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy."

desmo

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2005, 03:21:39 PM »
If I get a C or a D, I lose my scholarship.   >:(  I'm super freaked out about that!
that means you'd have to fall back on the job as moderator of www.kittyporn.xxx

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2005, 04:28:32 PM »
I have to seriously co-sign on #3, #4, and #7.

You'll see how the whole briefing thing works this fall.  I was hard headed about it.  I thought that you should brief every case.  My first semester, I briefed every case because some of my classmates had stopped briefing and were only "book briefing" (scribbling notes in the case book).  I thought that was the cheap way out of doing it the real way.  DON'T BE LIKE ME!!!  DON'T DO IT THE HARD WAY!!!  Law School is all about getting the maximum output with the least amount of input/time wasted.  Once you get the briefing technique down, SAVE YOUR TIME, book brief what you have to and get on with life.  There are more important things to be doing like taking practice exams, outlining, praying to God, you know, stuff like that.

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

seu2002

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2005, 05:11:10 PM »
bump

Lawprofessor

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2005, 05:59:56 PM »
Question: I thought getting C's and D's would get you kicked out of law schoool?

If that is all you get, it will.
Back in the saddle again.

Fabyahluss

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2005, 01:42:35 AM »
Thanks for the quote. It seems like really solid advice. I'll let you guys know how it worked for me come December.  :)

HBCU.EDU

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2005, 02:27:16 AM »
stay off of BLSD in the fall.

smujd2007

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Re: FOR EVERYBODY STARTING LAW SCHOOL THIS FALL
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2005, 02:35:51 AM »
stay off of BLSD in the fall.

I know you probably didn't mean to hit on it, HBCU, but you hit on a major point that I would add.  Remember that you are a person. Please take a shower before you sit next to me in contracts. And remember to call your mom--she's worried about you. Honestly.  These sound like minor things now, but when you get to be a 1L, you will understand what I'm talking about. Even though you could spend all of your time getting the little nuances of cases, and perfecting your outlines and briefs and memos, get what you need to know in as little time as possible, and then go do something fun. Or something that is not related to law school.  Your mind, body and soul will greatly appreciate it.

I cosign everything that has been said so far by the 2Ls.  ;) ;D
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!