Law School Discussion

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Poll

1Ls, how do you feel at this point in the semester?

Totally on top of it.  Outlines in great shape.  Preparing for Exams.
 3 (33.3%)
Current with reading, but need to put more effort into outlines and exam prep.
 2 (22.2%)
Mostly current with reading.  Only slightly behind.
 2 (22.2%)
Clearly falling behind.  Not current with reading.  Starting to feel overwhelmed.
 1 (11.1%)
Totally lost.
 1 (11.1%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Voting closed: October 23, 2011, 10:45:40 AM

Author Topic: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?  (Read 3811 times)

FalconJimmy

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1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: September 23, 2011, 10:45:40 AM »
Now that one month is in the books, just curious how everybody is feeling at this point.

justanothersucker

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2011, 04:41:50 PM »
You won't know untill a month into your next semester how you did in your first semester. You will assume, you can't do much else.

If you think you are doing great, you are probably the gunner.

If not, and you are studying extra hard to counteract a massive panic attack, you might become a 2L someday.

FalconJimmy

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2011, 08:06:29 AM »
Fair enough, JAS.  What I'm curious about is how folks are feeling, not necessarily how they're going to do at grade-time. 

Duncanjp

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2011, 03:05:02 PM »
If not, and you are studying extra hard to counteract a massive panic attack, you might become a 2L someday.

I'm a 2L, but looking back at last year, that statement is fairly accurate for how a 1L should be feeling after one month of law school. Some 1Ls seem to spend as much time looking for shortcuts to learning the material as simply reading and learning the material. This is perilous. Yes, it's a hell of a lot of work. But I'm generally of the view that there are very few meaningful shortcuts. Some say that you don't really have to read the cases to pass the exams. And perhaps a few people out there do fit that profile. But I would caution any 1L against embracing that idea because in reality, it's not going to work for the vast majority of 1Ls. I've got a load of reading to do myself for next week, so I can't spend a lot of time here, but here are a couple of benefits to reading and briefing all of the cases: 

1) to witness how a plethora of diverse facts are analyzed by legal minds and how they apply the law to such facts; and
2) to develop a "legal voice" in your head.

You can memorize the definitions and elements of inchoate crimes, 3PB contracts, private nuisance and all that fun stuff that we learn in 1L. But rote memorization doesn't teach you how to write a great essay in which you analyze the facts and apply the elements the way an attorney would. I discovered as a 1L that reading a thousand cases begins to infuse a certain intangible quality to one's written analysis on exams. It's a certain "legal voice," for want of a better term, that gets cultivated over months and months of reading endless cases about drunks scratching out an offer to sell the farm on a napkin or the knucklehead who shipped himself aboard the train in a box with the intent to rob it. As you flood your brain with all these cases, you start to hear a subtle new voice in the back of your mind, which is a composite of all those erudite judges' voices mixed with your own. This is the voice that you use when you write your exams. It's not just an enhanced vocabulary: it's analysis. Developing this legal, analytical voice/outlook is critical to writing an excellent paper. And it comes in large part from reading, reading, reading one case after another. And just as critically, from writing practice exams over and over.

After only one or two months of law school, if you are feeling comfortable, unhurried, or "got this sucker in the bag," so to speak, and you're brushing off even some of the reading, then you may want to carefully consider whether or not you really want to reach 2L. It's easy to fool yourself. 1Ls in September should feel sightly overwhelmed, together with a sense of urgency to complete all of the work. I don't know if you need to panic, but I can say from experience that that's not far removed from how most of the 2Ls that I know felt in September-October last year. It's certainly how I felt.

jerzeelaws

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 02:41:13 PM »
Hello,

As a 1L I had no clue what to do.  How do you study for exams, what should I be doing in class, pre and post.  I read getting to maybe and some other guides. Tools like LEEWS and GTM are useful, but honestly I did not have time to read that on top of my class reading and Legal writing assignments. 

I was referred to a Wolters Kluwer Aspen site promoting their new test taking 1L strategy guide.  The book has an online interactive feature, that includes actual law school exams with annotated feedback from the professors who graded them.  This book cuts to the chase.  You can read it in an afternoon and apply the tools right away. 

www.WoltersKluwerLB.com/lawprep

http://openbook.wolterskluwerlb.com/
They have traditional essay exam, multiple choice and short answer format.  However they will be charging a small fee to access some of the exams.


Wolters Kluwer is also running a supplement discount sale. 25% off the entire shipment and free shipping. 

Included are Academic Success Titles, Examples & Explanations, Emanuel Law Outlines, CrunchTime, Law in a Flash, Blondís, Friedmanís, Siegelís, Aspen Treatise Series, and Bar review titles. This code does not work for casebooks or other course materials. Just enter "REP104" without the quotes in the promo code field during checkout. Use this link www.wolterskluwerlb.com/learn
http://www.wolterskluwerlb.com/learn
www.wolterskluwerlb.com

They have traditional essay exam, multiple choice and short answer format.  However they will be charging a small fee to access some of the exams.

Hamilton

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 03:04:15 PM »
Get your hands on the professors old exams and study them along with answer guide to show you best way to format essays.

How do you study for exams, what should I be doing in class, pre and post.

Pdukes

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2011, 09:41:34 PM »
1ls are not tested on legal writing skills.  They are tested on well they understand the material when given a different set of fact patterns.  Making sure all the elements are met or not met.  IRAC with detail.  If you think you have to write like you are some judge in 1800 England your nuts guy.

justanothersucker

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2011, 01:39:54 PM »
You do if you have to take a Legal Research and Writing class, or scholarly writing, or advanced writing, Pre trial skills, or any other required writing course.

You also are if you take non required courses like law review and moot court which you can't find a job in reality without anyways.

Plus of course clinics or externships. They just love people who talk like Jersey Shore and write like a serial killer on an acid trip. Try it, see how it goes.

1ls are not tested on legal writing skills.  They are tested on well they understand the material when given a different set of fact patterns.  Making sure all the elements are met or not met.  IRAC with detail.  If you think you have to write like you are some judge in 1800 England your nuts guy.

jack24

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2011, 05:13:25 PM »
Good legal writing is usually learned through practice, not study.  Some people are naturals, but most people have to write briefs and pleadings over and over to improve. 
It's extremely easy as a 1L to get side-tracked by pursuits and strategies that will not actually help you prepare for the final exam. 

Try to listen and read and all that good stuff.  Read a commercial outline or hornbook if you are stumped... but in your extra time: get an old outline for the class and go over it many many times along with taking notes on the outline during class, get any practice tests you can get your hands on and write out your answers.  The best way to succeed on a law school exam is to prepare specifically for a law school exam, rather than trying to be a universal legal scholar.



justanothersucker

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Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2011, 08:04:02 PM »
IE-get ahold of previous terms exams from the same prof in the same course, with redmarks if possible to explain how they grade. The dumber the student who took it, the more you will learn from it. Try to get one that looks like was graded in a butcher shop(covered in more red ink than not)