1. Professors spend an average of 10-15 minutes on any given exam.This is the dirty little secret of law school. The truth is that grading 90-100 of these repetitive, poorly-written clusterfucks means that you will be evaluated very quickly, often with a checklist. Most exams also look something like this:There could be murder.There could be conspiracy.There could be an attempt.Then your peer's exam might look like this:There could be murder. There could be conspiracy.It's hard for many 1Ls to realize, but no matter how smart you are, how much you studied, or how intelligent you sound in class, your grades will depend on these quick evaluations. You must identify as many issues as possible and write about them as clearly as possible, with the periodic policy argument. And always tie it back to the facts! Respect the exam, and, most importantly, respect the way in which it's graded.
I have friends who still brief and then complain about its uselessness, lol.
Totally agree with all of the initial points. Well done.
One thing I'd like to add is from day one to "think with two minds" (or more). "The Law" isn't some solid block of information that you need to learn. It's an amorphous gelatinous cube that you as a lawyer must become skilled in shaping. Keep in mind, when you read your first cases, you will see one perspective on the law (the judge's opinion). The first case I remember was Dudley v. Stephens in criminal law. Three sailors were stranded at sea on a small boat, and the two adults killed the kid and ate him like 2-3 weeks into being stranded. LIke a couple days later they were rescued and tried. The holding of the case was that the defendants were guilty because their action was not "necessary" since they were all still alive and had a chance of being rescued. Now, when I read that holding, I was like "okay, can't kill someone to survive if there's even a small chance of being rescued, end of story. Glad I got that down." But in reality, the whole defense could've come out the other way if the judge had been different, or the lawyer had argued better, blah blah blah. So when you read a holding, you should think about the best argument on the other side, and realize that argument almost won. "WTF? Who in their right mind would put their faith into getting rescued after being stranded in the ocean for 3 weeks? They were all starving and decreasing by the day in stamina, of course one of them had to go! I'd be better that one person die than all three start experiencing irreversible organ failure!"Note: this is especially true in Constitutional Law (read those dissents!!). Anyway, this is sort of long, but really important to keep in mind. Always think of the best arguments on both sides.