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Author Topic: 1L Life?  (Read 3594 times)

daidaniu

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 08:18:05 PM »
I just finished my 1L year at a school on the quarter system (I think there's only 3 or 4 of us, but anyway) which means I just finished a couple weeks ago, and just finished the 1L writing competition yesterday. So my memories are still very fresh, and I've been trying to think about what I've learned over the past year.

I don't think I remember my first class, but I do remember my first property class, which was probably the second or third class we had.  The professor called on a girl in the front row, and asked her a series of questions about how the informal property regime for saving seats in class functioned. Everyone listened very intently.  I still remember this exchange on the first day quite well, but I'm hard pressed to remember any other student comments made during the entire year, including my own.  I just say this to emphasize that yes, you might make a fool of yourself sometime in class, but no one is going to remember it. As long as you're not called on on the first day, that is. :-)

I had a couple distinct daily routines in Law School, something I think happens to most people and I'm surprised it isn't mentioned more on the boards.  Maybe it's a function of the quarter system.  Anyway, work at my law school came in waves, in distinct two or three week chunks. The first two week chunk is easy - just reading, class. It's like an 8 hour a day kind of thing, with some on weekends. Busy, but not death by any means. Plenty of time to go to movies, hang out at restaurants, etc in the evening. Then came the writing assignment on top of everything else, which destroyed my out-of-law-school life almost completely over the 14 day period or so that we had to work on it.  Both weekends were devoted to research, writing, drafting and editing, and a substantial amount of my evenings as well.  Then there is another restful period of about two or three weeks, just reading and class. Then came the last wave, preparing for exams. Similar to the writing wave, my weekends and evenings were again taken over by outlining and studying for exams.  This pattern happened to me almost exactly the same way each quarter my first year.  I mention this pattern because I remember my first quarter at the beginning I thought I wasn't busy enough, that I must be doing something wrong, because I didn't understand the "wave" nature of the schedule well enough. But really, it's ok to have light times; it doesn't mean you're not working hard enough.   That's my experience.

As far as summer prep: I did nothing substantive, and I am super happy with my choice. I have great jobs this summer after my 1L year. 
Nothin' left to give.

Go Gators

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 10:11:11 AM »
Interesting insights. May I ask what school you were attending (are attending) and what LSAT score you had?

Also, does anyone else have any thoughts they would care to share. This is turning into a really cool thread and a wealth of knowledge for those of us yet to walk in your shoes.

Thanks again!
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ZooLander

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2008, 11:04:51 AM »
Oh one more piece of advice.  Make friends with some 2Ls and 3Ls (and don't be intimidated by them).  They proved to be great resources for me in terms of letting me know how certain application processes work (e.g. Moot Court, Law Review, Clinical Apps) and what to concentrate on.  They are also very useful in pointing you towards outline banks and many, if you ask, will scrounge up A and A+ outlines or exam answers for you.  They also turned out to be great friends.  And it's nice to have friends in LS that you aren't competing against.  They can give you perspective too, when it seems like perspective is impossible to get.  And now that I'm a 2L, I can ensure you that I'm totally enthusiastic to help out the 1Ls.  So don't be afraid to ask!

1Lchica

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2008, 12:03:59 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.

I literally LOL'd at this because it's so true.

Go Gators

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2008, 12:45:17 PM »
Thanks, Zoolander....

This is something I had not thought of. Huge advice. I appreciate it!

Anyone else?....Don't be shy.....come one, come all......tell us your secrets :o
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"

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The Artist

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2008, 09:43:47 PM »
Oh, and here's my number 1 piece of advice:

Do not take advice from anyone with crappy grades. 

And people with crappy grades love to give advice as much as people with good grades. 

Mostly true.

I mostly just posted that as a means of tagging this thread.

chydiva82

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2008, 09:52:45 PM »
Oh, and here's my number 1 piece of advice:

Do not take advice from anyone with crappy grades. 

And people with crappy grades love to give advice as much as people with good grades. 

This is SO true. I often wonder why that is. Puzzling.

chydiva82

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2008, 10:34:31 PM »
How did you learn what works for you?  Did it magically click at some point?

I learned what works for me around mid-October. My school has midterms for 1L's. Once I got my exams back, I knew that my study habits were not working. I later found that I'm an auditory learner.  I learn best when I listen to others teach (study partners) and when I teach others. Also, I retain information by talking aloud. At this point, you should know how best you retain information which is 50% of the work. The other 50% involves testing your analytical skills by taking practice exams. (both timed and untimed)

I would suggest taking practice exams around mid-November. The KEY which people often miss is to show your practice exams to someone credible. Preferably your professor during office hours. If this is not an option, visit academic support, or any other resources available to 1L's at your school. After showing a practice exam to my contracts professor, he actually told me the grade he would have given me had it been an actual exam response. It wasn't what I wanted to hear so I kept making appointments with him until I finally got an A out of him! Of course, not all professors will be like this but the point is to have someone look over your practice exams so that you know you're on the right track.

ALSO, it's best to find out what works for you early on, even if it takes a little experimenting...are you a visual learner, auditory, a little of both? Do you get distracted easily by outside noise, do you talk when you write, do you find that you vividly remember what you hear as opposed to what you see. This all might sound crazy, but once I found out how to master the first half of the law school exam equation, I was well on my way!

jacy85

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2008, 07:17:54 AM »
Oh, and here's my number 1 piece of advice:

Do not take advice from anyone with crappy grades. 

And people with crappy grades love to give advice as much as people with good grades. 

I mostly agree, but would add one exception:  Talking to people that started out with low grades but pulled them up, seeing what the did to study before and how they changed that led to improvement, can be helpful.  It's a live example of someone who had to spend more time with trial and error in figuring out what works for them.  (but it may not be a fabulous idea to adopt their initial study strategies)

StephanyDS

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Re: 1L Life?
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2008, 05:55:04 PM »
My biggest piece of advice is choosing the people you decide to associate with. Don't form a study group until you have had a few weeks to get to know people. And even then, keep everyone at a distance until you are absolutely certain they are cool.

For example...I found out that one of the guys in my study group of five was secretly checking another guy's emails and found out he had lied about one of his grades. I have a super problem with the first guy, and now (not that I care about his grades) I always second guess whatever the second guy says...

Also, stay away from the "stressers" and the "braggers"...and don't become one.

Man, there are some creepers out there...