Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?  (Read 8882 times)

KoalaTamer

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« on: December 16, 2009, 12:06:29 AM »
Just curious--did anyone ever study, work hypos, outline, and take practice exams relentlessly throughout the semester only to have all the hard work flushed away by overlooking a large piece of information given in a question on the actual exam?

Why must a course's grade be completely based on a single set of essays written during a 3-hour period under extreme time pressure???

kenpostudent

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
    • MSN Messenger - kenpostudent@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 01:07:44 AM »
I'll let you know in 4 weeks! I feel your pain, though. It's SO easy to do. I'm sure I missed something big on at least one of my finals.

TheDudeMan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1080
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 12:28:46 PM »
OP: Are you a 1L?  If so, you will have to learn the lesson we all did.  Study smart, not hard. 

kenpostudent

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
    • MSN Messenger - kenpostudent@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 12:39:46 PM »
I hear that! My studying this semester was remarkably inefficient now that I look back on it. Next semester will be much better: no more long case briefs; I'll outline the course as I go instead of waiting to near the end, spend more times on practice exams, ect. I probably did OK, but not stellar on finals. Despite the learning curve, I don't think I'll get a grade lower than a B. We'll see.

TheDudeMan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1080
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 01:01:11 PM »
Eh, you can't always outline as you go.  It's a whole picture concept.  Personally, I never outlined.  I found a good one on the outline bank, and then I'd improve it and just study it.

Also, use supplements.  You will learn far more from a supplement than you will from an outline for major courses, especially things like evidence.

Good luck!

kenpostudent

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
    • MSN Messenger - kenpostudent@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2009, 01:31:42 PM »
The only problem with using supplements is that there are no supplements for real life. What happens when you have real clients with really tough issues? I suppose if you work for a larger firm, you can always ask for assistance from another attorney. However, what if you are working for a small firm or are a solo practitioner dealing with a question of first impression or some issue where your client's situation puts his best outcome in derogation of common law?  To win those cases, you really have to learn how to argue. Supplements, if over relied upon, short circuit the process of becoming a skilled attorney. Don't get me wrong, I use supplements during deadweek to fill in holes in my outline. I didn't find them too useful this time around, though, because the profs test on what they have taught rather than what the supplement teaches.

As to outlining as you go, I think it's possible if you use One Note because you can quickly and easily transfer class notes and case briefs into an outline. While the final outline is not complete until the very end of the semester, you work on it piecemeal during the semester so the final outline is just a matter of moving things around.

TheDudeMan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1080
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2009, 02:34:48 PM »
It definitely shows that you are a 1L.... Newsflash... Law school does not equal practice.  If you think your exam hypos prepare you to practice, Bigfirm or not, you are insane.

To win cases you have to learn how to use all resources (and supplements/treatises are the FIRST place you start).  You don't go researching case law from scratch. You take a look based on your topical area as to what cases are most relevant in your jurisdiction.


SEC_2L

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 117
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 03:16:10 PM »
My quibble with your supplement advice is that so often law school professors have a specific take on things that you will not find or at least see emphasized in a commercial outline/ supplement. I prefer either taking awesome notes all semester and making your own outline a mont hor two before exams (than you can supplement as you finish the course) or just paying reasonable attention all semester and then using the outline of someone who took that class recently and did well.

It definitely shows that you are a 1L.... Newsflash... Law school does not equal practice.  If you think your exam hypos prepare you to practice, Bigfirm or not, you are insane.

To win cases you have to learn how to use all resources (and supplements/treatises are the FIRST place you start).  You don't go researching case law from scratch. You take a look based on your topical area as to what cases are most relevant in your jurisdiction.



kenpostudent

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 296
    • MSN Messenger - kenpostudent@hotmail.com
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 03:23:04 PM »
It definitely shows that you are a 1L.... Newsflash... Law school does not equal practice.  If you think your exam hypos prepare you to practice, Bigfirm or not, you are insane.

To win cases you have to learn how to use all resources (and supplements/treatises are the FIRST place you start).  You don't go researching case law from scratch. You take a look based on your topical area as to what cases are most relevant in your jurisdiction.



Of course practice is different than law school! Don't forget, I already have a career and work for an accoutning firm. I am well aware of the differences between academia and real life. However, law school is meant to teach a thought process more than anything else. I agree that treatises are a great place to start for research. I also agree that some supplements are useful. I don't believe in relying upon them, though. I use them only after I have exhausted all other resources... with the exception of the E&E. I think those are great practice for exams and periodic review throughout the semester.

TheDudeMan

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1080
    • View Profile
Re: Anyone ever screw up an exam after tons of studying?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 03:36:22 PM »
Well, let me know how your 1L grades turn out, because many of those in the top of your class won't have outlined anything on their own.  Sure, the prof. can test nuances, but 90% of the time, knowing the black letter law and how to apply it will get you the best grade.  For better or worse, law school is about shortcuts to a certain extent.