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Author Topic: 1L Life?  (Read 3520 times)

Go Gators

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1L Life?
« on: July 01, 2008, 11:52:47 AM »
I want to know what your first class experience was like?

What your first week was like?

What your daily routine is now?

I am really interested in seeing a slice of what you are going through so that I can prepare myself down the road when my turn comes. Is there anything you wish you had known but did not that you would care to share?

Also, is there anything you wish you would have done prior to arriving at LS that you feel would have helped?

I'm just trying to "see through your eyes" rather than relying on "The Paper Chase" and the very few books that are out on this subject.

Thanks, and continued success!!!!
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"

-- Benjamin Franklin


http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=WannaGetIn

StevePirates

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 12:08:33 PM »
There are a very large number of blogs written by law students that cover their 1L experience.
While lots of people might give you a summary recap here, you might want to read the blogs so that you get an extemporaneous view of how people felt during each phase of 1L.
(SPAM ALERT: You're more than welcome to read mine if you'd like!)

To answer your questions:
My class experience was good.  I had a good section, only a few gunners (and honestly, I was probably right on the border of good taste and gunsmanship.)

First week was very different, we had an intro week, where they went over the basics.  Our first week of substantive classes we just dove right in.  Have your reading done.

Routine now?  I wake up, do some reading for pleasure or work.  Go to work, go to classes, go home, watch TV with my fiance, eat dinner, do a little more reading and go to bed.

What I wish I knew then:  There are many paths to nirvana.  The best plan is to engage in several of them.  Get involved in a club or two... but only one or two.  Do the oral advocacy competitions, even if it frightens you.  Run for SBA, bug the hell out of career services until they just get so sick of you they find you a job.  Study hard, get good grades.  Find a good balance of school and life.

Prior to Law School I wish I would have gone on a vacation.  I thought that I would go abroad 1L summer.  Instead I got a good internship in town and took summer classes.  Now, I really wish I would have taken that trip.


ZooLander

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 01:33:16 PM »
My first class was contracts.  She showed us a part of the paper chase, then went over the schedule and admin stuff.  Since I went to a large undergrad institution, the class size of 75 didn't make any kind of impression. 

The first week was busy.  A fair amount of reading and getting used to briefing.

My first semester was kind of insane.  Our school throws you 17 credits first semester and 13 second semester.  First semester, I would get up in the morning, walk the dog, head to school, read or go to class, then spend time between classes in the library reading, break briefly for lunch, back to class, back to library, microwave dinner, class again and then home.  At home, I would chill for a bit and walk the dog (someone else was around to walk him once before I got home) and then I would study some more.  These ended up being about 13 hour days of school work.  HOWEVER.  Fridays I had no class.  Fridays became my day to do little to no studying and then go to target/do some cooking/dog park.  If I had a writing assignment due, I probably spent some of Friday working on that, but for the most part I kind of just took it off entirely, or worked at a more leisurely pace. First semester was about keeping my head above water and really became a scheduling game- those who are organized will have an easier time. 

Second semester was way awesomer.  I had time for workouts 3 days during the week since I didn't have to be at school until 11.  13 credits was way easier to manage and my second semester profs, for whatever reason, didn't seem to assign as much reading.  I would go to class 4 days a week until 6.  I had 7 hour breaks on Tues and 4 hour breaks on Thursday that I would spend in the library and could knock out almost all of my reading for the 3 classes that had it.  I had time to work more diligently on my LRW assignments.  And STILL had Fridays off (though that became more of a study and workout day).  I could have dinners with my boyfriend and take the dog to the dogpark twice a week.  Second semester I worked smarter and didn't have a drowning feeling and excelled in my classes. 

Now I am working about 45 hours a week for a clinical at my school.  It is amazing experience- I get to interview clients, write motions, go to court, head to prisons once a week- even though criminal law isn't my thing, I can't recommend this kind of experience enough.  Plus I get credits which are paid for and a stipend to live off of.  Luckily for me, it continues on into the school year.  If I make law review, I will only take one class this fall and 3 in the Spring.  If not, I'll take 2.  Either way, it provides welcome relief from the grind of class and studying for finals. 

I also recommend doing some student activities, or at least attending the social events hosted by your school.  It's better when you're not in the boat alone.  Take advantage of all the opportunities you have for success- if you don't do well, and you didn't exhaust all your study options (review sessions, individual help, etc.) you can't blame anyone but yourself.  And the crappy curve.  And try to have some fun- I am loving this.   Of course, it's easy to love it this summer when I don't have to deal with a curve.  :)

Oh and p.s. I did nothing prior to law school in terms of preparation other than read this site and Above the Law.  And was happy I was fresh for it.

Imactuallya2Lnow

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 03:17:55 PM »
So I did very well at a T-20 school so hopefully that gives what I say a little credibility.  Also, I actually really enjoyed my first year of law school.  It's not so scary once you're actually in it (ok, other than right before finals...which are terrifying).

I want to know what your first class experience was like?
What your first week was like? -- I made it way more intense than it should have been.  I went into law school thinking that if I wasn't working/doing something productive every day after class I was not going to do well.  This is not true.

What your daily routine is now?--What worked best for me was to go to class all day, then go straight to the library until I was done working, and then go home and eat/relax for a little before bed.  I did this because I knew once I got home, I would procrastinate and have trouble getting back to work.  I also usually woke up early and did some form of exercise in the morning.  I liked feeling awake and showered for class, and I also didn't gain the weight that they say is inevitable in the first year of law school.

I am really interested in seeing a slice of what you are going through so that I can prepare myself down the road when my turn comes. Is there anything you wish you had known but did not that you would care to share? -- Once you are actually in law school you rarely, if ever, lament the fact that you didn't get into Harvard, or most of the things people obsess about on pre-law message boards.  I found this very comforting.

Also, is there anything you wish you would have done prior to arriving at LS that you feel would have helped? -- NO.  Don't prep for law school: You really have no idea what would be helpful, and the most helpful thing of all is to go into it with a clear head and ready to work hard.

Go Gators

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 04:43:12 PM »
Amazing responses. This is why I will continue to be a part of this board long after I have (I am hoping) made it through the rigors of Law School.

Thanks so much to everyone who posted their thoughts. If anyone can add anything please do! I am certain this thread will get many looks because you are offering first hand information here that is unique to each of you. Again, thanks for taking the time to reply in as much detail as you did!


Anyone else wanna share? ::)
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"

-- Benjamin Franklin


http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=WannaGetIn

TheReasonableMan

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2008, 05:06:18 PM »
The #1 piece of advice I can give you is this, and the irony is obvious:

Forget the advice, do what has always worked for you, and you will do fine.  When you get there, you will get advice from every professor, dean, current student and custodian as to how to be a good law student.  Some will say brief every case and work on your outlines hourly. Others will say screw briefing and work on your outlines sometime after commencement.  Some will tell you that professors are just a bunch of blow-hards and you have to learn from the book. Others will tell you that the professor's word comes from the mouth of baby Jesus himself, and you should just forget about the text.  The anxiety tends to build as you go to class and see some people with their faces buried in their laptops, transcribing everything that comes out of the professor's mouth, others showing up to class with their entire text book annotated and indexed with color-coded sticky notes, and still others showing up with their book still in the shrink wrap in November.  This can leave many people uncertain as to how to proceed, and many people end up pursuing study methods that are ineffective to them, simply because someone told them that it is the best way to study the law.   

Forget all of it.  In order to get this far, you have likely already developed some method by which you are comfortable cramming loads of esoteric information into your brain, storing it at least for the duration of an exam, and applying it in a reasonable fashion to a question presented.  If you find yourself sitting down to work on an outline, and two hours into it you realize that you are gaining nothing from it, then stop that.  If you get midway through week one, and you find that you are doing fine with the cases and the briefs are of little help, then stop that.  If you find that skimming the cases gives you a good understanding of the concepts involved and you spend a lot of time taking margin notes that you never look at in class, then stop that.  Likewise, if you are sitting in class or reading and find that you have no idea what is going on, or you take a practice test and realize that you are completely in the dark, then consider finding a new method.  Forget what the internet geniuses and all of the law school experts tell you to do, and just do whatever it is that helps you get your own brain around the law.  If you can do that, you'll be fine.

SCK2008

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2008, 05:21:48 PM »
Tag to read later.
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no634

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2008, 06:28:56 PM »

RickLax.com

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2008, 06:31:55 PM »
I want to know what your first class experience was like?

What your first week was like?

What your daily routine is now?

I am really interested in seeing a slice of what you are going through so that I can prepare myself down the road when my turn comes. Is there anything you wish you had known but did not that you would care to share?

Also, is there anything you wish you would have done prior to arriving at LS that you feel would have helped?

I'm just trying to "see through your eyes" rather than relying on "The Paper Chase" and the very few books that are out on this subject.

Thanks, and continued success!!!!

Just remember that your school grades on the curve.  Everybody is as confused as you are.  You don't need to understand everything; you just need to understand more than the guy sitting next to you and the girl behind you.  To get a good grade, that is.  If you want to represent me, well... 

And as for more, yes, do check out Mr. Pirates' blog.  Or mine @  http://ricklax.com

Sell Out

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2008, 07:20:34 PM »
I want to know what your first class experience was like?

What your first week was like?

What your daily routine is now?

I am really interested in seeing a slice of what you are going through so that I can prepare myself down the road when my turn comes. Is there anything you wish you had known but did not that you would care to share?

Also, is there anything you wish you would have done prior to arriving at LS that you feel would have helped?

I'm just trying to "see through your eyes" rather than relying on "The Paper Chase" and the very few books that are out on this subject.

Thanks, and continued success!!!!

1. The first class I went to was Civ Pro (I think), and I remember being nervous.  My professor was very accomplished, very aggressive in his questioning of students, and just dove right in after getting through the syllabus.  I've made it through Texas public schools, boot camp, war, and other fairly horrifying events and I was still somewhat intimidated.  I quickly learned that it was all for not.  Remember, class is not what counts; the final is.  That being said, EVERYONE will make a fool out of themselves at least once in law school, otherwise you aren't doing it right.

2. My daily routine now is something I can break into two parts.  The first half of semester I keep up with the reading, keep up with my notes, but generally take it easy otherwise.  The second half of the semester I really turn it on and go all out to make outlines, run hypos, and generally begin getting into finals mode.  Some students will tell you that law school exams are too subjective in their grading, but I will say this-- I saw that those students who prepared the most for finals typically made better grades.  This isn't saying you won't get a curve ball thrown at you every once in a while, it just means that there are rules you need to know and those who more precisely and exhaustively state the rule and then apply it to the facts on an exam are the ones who make better grades.  Success in this format is dependent upon preparation.

3. Advice?  The best advice has already been given.  Everyone has their own way of doing things.  Don't listen to people who tell you how long their outlines are, don't listen to them when they tell you they spent 10 hours a day the past week studying.  They are as clueless as you are and may either be trying to (a) gauge themselves, (b) psych you out, or (c) find someone who'll listen to them brag.

4. Don't do anything.  Enjoy your life before school starts.  Pleasure read, write the Great American Novel, get hammered at a pool for 5 weeks straight.  Make the world your oyster.
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