Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.  (Read 3844 times)

just dot

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 3416
  • I just want to be wonderful.
    • View Profile
We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« on: May 07, 2009, 08:02:46 AM »
::celebrates::  Congratulations!!!

Rising 2L's: What is the best piece of advice you can give to the rising 1L's about what to expect or how to succeed in their first year of law school?



Me:  Do your own thing and don't be intimidated by everyone else.  There will always be people who study harder than you or who live in the library.  Don't try to measure yourself against anyone else, just find what works for you and DO IT!

Also, allow yourself to enjoy the experience.  There is so much to love about the first year of law school and if you are buying into the "1L is hell" hype you might just miss it.
To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I`m working on the foundation.

UnbiasedObserver

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2014
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009, 01:41:36 PM »
I don't know about me being a "rising" 2L, but I'll write out some of my thoughts!  :D

1) I agree with not being intimidated.  Law school is full of very intelligent and hard-working people.  Some of them are probably going to beat you in grades.  But there's no sense in giving up right from the beginning.  Grades are arbitrary in many respects, and there's always "upsets" just as there are in sports!  Just remember that you got into your law school, so the law school has faith that you can do well.  You should also have faith in yourself.

2) A lot of people do think of it as hell, which is a shame.  Being a professional student is one of the coolest things in the world.  It could just be me, but there's much less stress than when we will be working in the "real" world.  Enjoy the (relative) freedom!

3) Law school is a marathon, not a sprint.  Many people don't realize that while cramming works for some people, it doesn't work for many.  People see marathon runners, look at their physique, and think, "Wow, they were born with superior genes."  And the elites ARE.  But nobody sees those men/women running that 20 mile Sunday run for 4 months.  They put in months of preparation for one 2-3 hour race.

The same applies to law school.  If you put in the "legwork" you will be prepared, and you'll look like a "superior gene," naturally-smart person.

It's better to stay on top of things and constantly review.  That's probably the best advice I can give.

4) I know many people disagree with this, but I think that reading the cases helps.  Reading cases helps one see the subtleties of the laws and how courts rationalize their decisions.

At the same time, do NOT waste too much time briefing cases.  Briefs should be brief!  You just need to get the one "nugget" you'll normally find in a case and move on. 

5) It honestly surprised me how many people the first semester of law school either: 1) took little-to-no practice tests; or 2) waited until the last second to do so. 

Reviewing is important, and practice tests are the best way to see how well you know the material.  Also, if you're confused about something, you can go to a teacher, a study group, or a friend and resolve your confusion.

6) Join a study group.  And I don't mean a social study group.  Wait a little and find people who enjoy the law and want to learn in a group.  It really helps you see how much you know, and it keeps you on a rigid schedule with respect to taking practice tests, outlining, etc. 

7) Lastly (for now), I think that paying attention to the professor is underrated.  You pick up little things, such as how a professor looks at a particular topic/problem, or the terminology he/she loves to use, that can make or break you on a curve.  Any little advantage helps.  At the same time, don't dictate word-for-word what he/she says.  That's a waste of time.


,.,.,.;.,.,.

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2016
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009, 02:00:12 PM »
UnbiasedObserver's response is thoroughly credited.  He's a smart guy and I wish him the best of luck at OCI.

I've expressed some opinions before, but that won't stop me from adding a few points:

1. There are multiple ways to skin this cat.  You have a unique way of studying, writing, and thinking about legal doctrine.  Spend the first few weeks tweaking what works for you, and be prepared to adjust it even late in the game.  I, for instance, work best by memorization.  I can read the MPC a few times and remember what I need for the final.  Other people may need to make flashcards.  Others rely on an outline.  Everyone gets to the same point of knowing the BLL, in radically different ways. 

2. Don't date.  Everyone will know.  LS is a f-ing annoying, always churning gossip mill.  Or at least wait until 2L or 3L for that, because my school has a lot of older dating students.

3. Know when to stop.  I love UO's marathon analogy because there is another element to studying: you can hit diminishing returns and wear yourself out.  You don't want to run into the exam, the final lap of your marathon, pouring with sweat and about to collapse.  During Finals, I would actually go out a few times to break up my stress and to rejuvenate.

4. The work is finite.  Gunners won't believe you, but there is only so much you can do.  Pursuant to point 3, know when you've done it and go home.  Law school is simple: we have laws (know them), and reasons for those laws (policy).  Then we have fact patterns.  You want to apply the law, and the ancillary policy, to analyze how those facts might turn out.  That's it!!!  Not only is that it, but you can learn most of it in three or four days before the Final.

5. Take up a hobby.  Nobody believes me.  Everyone thinks, I'll study harder than everyone and that's better for me; I'll rock the curve.  WRONG.  I spent most of my Contracts class this morning looking at Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party" and re-constructing a narrative out of the interactions.  And I think I can do as well in that class as anyone.

6. Everyone knows who you are.  I made the mistake of thinking that I was anonymous in multiple forums, including this one, ATL, and FB.  People know.  Your reputation is on the line.  A smarter future you is calling collect and asking, "Yo, will you accept the charges?"

Talk Is Cheap

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 321
  • F*** the man, I'm the man.
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 02:16:25 PM »
Wally gives good advice. How he has grown his 1L year...good man.

I will endorse everything that has already been said on here.

The key is to just "relax" after a while...1st semester will be bad because you kind of have to go through the fire in order to get it.

Like Wally said, there is "the law" and then there are a bunch of irrelevant facts and nonsense that are easy to become overloaded with.

Most importantly, though, everyone should take time (a lot of it, perhaps)to stop and smell the roses. Life and the world are continuing along quite well outside the law school walls, and while it's dark and cloudy within sometimes, please take a step outside and get some perspective. Your life-balance meter will inch back towards "normal" and you will be the better for it.

What else...appreciate your classmates. Everyone is pretty smart, and they are fun and interesting. Get to know them. You will find that, no matter how you or they did when you get your first semester grades back, you will feel much better about the whole thing if you realize that everyone is competent, flawed, capable...etc. If you just go through 1L year with blinders on, you will begin to think that your classmates are a bunch of losers or geniuses, depending on how your grades turn out, and it could isolate you even more.

Law school is competitive, but it doesn't have to be maddeningly so. All life is a sort of competition...how you act during it will make all the difference as far as stress and amiable relationships you get out of it.

Finally, don't take it so goddamn seriously all the time. You made it into a good law program and you WILL be a lawyer in three years. Nobody knows what they're doing first semester, you're not alone. Walk three blocks to the shite part of town one afternoon after class and you will feel 100x better about your "miserable" life in law school once you see your first toothless hobo. Perspective.

And to everyone reading this now...pre-1L summer...RELAX! I would have taken more vacations, spent more time with friends I wouldn't be seeing much in the future, and the like. You're not going to get those pre-law school summers back ever again...for the love of God please take fall advantage of them.

UnbiasedObserver

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2014
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 02:16:46 PM »
Thanks for the kind words, Wally.  I also wish you the best.

Wally's advice is sound, and his extension of the marathon analogy is great.  

(And, I must admit, that I cannot take credit for "my" marathon analogy.  I've heard it before, but I can't remember where.)

Related to what Wally said, I want to add:

1) Taking up a hobby is EXTREMELY CREDITED.  I study very hard, but it always amazed me how many people would do nothing but study.  I'd ask them to, e.g., play tennis, basketball, or grab a bite to eat, and they'd say that they need to study.  If you're studying 24/7, you're probably not studying efficiently.  

Doing physical activity, whether sports (which is my "release") or something else, is IMHO the best way to relieve the tension of law school.  My retention of the material and my attention span seemed to be so much greater after  exercising.

2) Everybody DOES know who you are.  That's something that amazed me about law school.  

UnbiasedObserver

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2014
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2009, 02:23:53 PM »

What else...appreciate your classmates. Everyone is pretty smart, and they are fun and interesting. Get to know them. You will find that, no matter how you or they did when you get your first semester grades back, you will feel much better about the whole thing if you realize that everyone is competent, flawed, capable...etc. If you just go through 1L year with blinders on, you will begin to think that your classmates are a bunch of losers or geniuses, depending on how your grades turn out, and it could isolate you even more.

That's probably the best thing that I enjoy about law school.  There's so many interesting people in law school!


Finally, don't take it so goddamn seriously all the time. You made it into a good law program and you WILL be a lawyer in three years. Nobody knows what they're doing first semester, you're not alone. Walk three blocks to the poo part of town one afternoon after class and you will feel 100x better about your "miserable" life in law school once you see your first toothless hobo. Perspective.

That's interesting, because I've said the same thing to fellow law students.  We are so lucky....


And to everyone reading this now...pre-1L summer...RELAX! I would have taken more vacations, spent more time with friends I wouldn't be seeing much in the future, and the like. You're not going to get those pre-law school summers back ever again...for the love of God please take fall advantage of them.

Ah, the days of innocence!  :D

resipsaloquitur

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 150
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 02:30:16 PM »
Quote
Also, allow yourself to enjoy the experience.  There is so much to love about the first year of law school and if you are buying into the "1L is hell" hype you might just miss it.

Yes. I agree with this.

I had stress during 1L, but I actually rather enjoyed the law school experience.  It was a great time.

As a rising 3L, I tell you, enjoy your 1L!  Hell doesn't actually start until 2L.

UnbiasedObserver

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2014
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2009, 02:45:44 PM »
As a rising 3L, I tell you, enjoy your 1L!  Hell doesn't actually start until 2L.

Booo...I just finished my exams yesterday...don't tell us this already!   :D

(I've heard it a lot though, in all seriousness, and I believe you.)

Jamie Stringer

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 8588
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2009, 02:59:37 PM »
(And, I must admit, that I cannot take credit for "my" marathon analogy.  I've heard it before, but I can't remember where.)  

It's a lyric :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuBM_YdHy-A
Quote from: Tim Mitchell

F*cking bi+ch drinks a 1 oz bottle of goose and thinks she's French

,.,.,.;.,.,.

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2016
    • View Profile
Re: We Made It! New 2L's give the new 1L's some advice.
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2009, 03:25:51 PM »
As a rising 3L, I tell you, enjoy your 1L!  Hell doesn't actually start until 2L.

Booo...I just finished my exams yesterday...don't tell us this already!   :D

(I've heard it a lot though, in all seriousness, and I believe you.)

Does it have to be?  What if one's not on Law Review and has a job lined up through OCI?  What then?  I can't imagine that Corporations, Admin, and Evidence are that much work.