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Author Topic: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?  (Read 1964 times)

Tiwaz

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2006, 01:57:25 PM »
This talk of competition has raised an interesting question for me.  I'm curious what you all think.

Unlike the OP and many other law school students, I'm not competitive.  I've always been successful academically and I work hard, but I'm definitely not a type A personality.  If I was #1 in a class, it was because I enjoyed the class and wanted to put extra effort into it.  My approach to life is decidedly laid-back.  Since I'm applying to some top schools, I realize that I'm unlikely to be in the top 10% or even top half of the class.  I'm not particularly bothered by this; the advantage of attending a great school is that there are jobs out there for the entire class.

When I mentioned to an acquaintance (also law-school bound) that I was going to law school, he was horrified and told me I'd never make it in the cutthroat atmosphere.  At best, I think that's a huge exaggeration, but... is there anything to it?  Do type B people go to law school?  Are they happy as lawyers?  Am I going to spend the next three years of my life telling all my classmates to relax?

redemption

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2006, 02:07:19 PM »
This talk of competition has raised an interesting question for me.  I'm curious what you all think.

Unlike the OP and many other law school students, I'm not competitive.  I've always been successful academically and I work hard, but I'm definitely not a type A personality.  If I was #1 in a class, it was because I enjoyed the class and wanted to put extra effort into it.  My approach to life is decidedly laid-back.  Since I'm applying to some top schools, I realize that I'm unlikely to be in the top 10% or even top half of the class.  I'm not particularly bothered by this; the advantage of attending a great school is that there are jobs out there for the entire class.

When I mentioned to an acquaintance (also law-school bound) that I was going to law school, he was horrified and told me I'd never make it in the cutthroat atmosphere.  At best, I think that's a huge exaggeration, but... is there anything to it?  Do type B people go to law school?  Are they happy as lawyers?  Am I going to spend the next three years of my life telling all my classmates to relax?

I am a B-type person and I'm going to law school. I don't intend to compete against my classmates; I intend to write the very best exams that I can. You don't need to tell your classmates anything - if they're stressing or burning out it is because of their own immaturity and need for attention; nothing that you say will help them grow up.

The Dread Pirate Roberts

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2006, 06:05:35 PM »
This talk of competition has raised an interesting question for me.  I'm curious what you all think.

Unlike the OP and many other law school students, I'm not competitive.  I've always been successful academically and I work hard, but I'm definitely not a type A personality.  If I was #1 in a class, it was because I enjoyed the class and wanted to put extra effort into it.  My approach to life is decidedly laid-back.  Since I'm applying to some top schools, I realize that I'm unlikely to be in the top 10% or even top half of the class.  I'm not particularly bothered by this; the advantage of attending a great school is that there are jobs out there for the entire class.

When I mentioned to an acquaintance (also law-school bound) that I was going to law school, he was horrified and told me I'd never make it in the cutthroat atmosphere.  At best, I think that's a huge exaggeration, but... is there anything to it?  Do type B people go to law school?  Are they happy as lawyers?  Am I going to spend the next three years of my life telling all my classmates to relax?

I am a B-type person and I'm going to law school. I don't intend to compete against my classmates; I intend to write the very best exams that I can.

Ditto.  I literally had no idea of where I ranked in my UG class until graduation day, and I'm going to do my level best to make the same true at law school (and yes, I know I'm going to fail, but I'm going to try).  I guess it would be nice to be number #1, but it's hardcore not something I'm shooting for.

habeas dorkus!

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2006, 06:32:57 PM »
This talk of competition has raised an interesting question for me.  I'm curious what you all think.

Unlike the OP and many other law school students, I'm not competitive.  I've always been successful academically and I work hard, but I'm definitely not a type A personality.  If I was #1 in a class, it was because I enjoyed the class and wanted to put extra effort into it.  My approach to life is decidedly laid-back.  Since I'm applying to some top schools, I realize that I'm unlikely to be in the top 10% or even top half of the class.  I'm not particularly bothered by this; the advantage of attending a great school is that there are jobs out there for the entire class.

When I mentioned to an acquaintance (also law-school bound) that I was going to law school, he was horrified and told me I'd never make it in the cutthroat atmosphere.  At best, I think that's a huge exaggeration, but... is there anything to it?  Do type B people go to law school?  Are they happy as lawyers?  Am I going to spend the next three years of my life telling all my classmates to relax?

I am a B-type person and I'm going to law school. I don't intend to compete against my classmates; I intend to write the very best exams that I can.

Ditto.  I literally had no idea of where I ranked in my UG class until graduation day, and I'm going to do my level best to make the same true at law school (and yes, I know I'm going to fail, but I'm going to try).  I guess it would be nice to be number #1, but it's hardcore not something I'm shooting for.

Ditto. Despite my current obsession, when I applied to law schools I didn't even know what the good schools were. I just applied to the same schools I applied to for UG.
Stop being so cryptic, fuckers.

bettingonchina

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2006, 12:33:25 AM »
You know, law school may in fact be the last chance for any of us to get over the whole achievement vibe.  I have issues with this myself, and reading your posts I had a pretty scary thought, which I would like to share with the group if I may:

Lawyers don't win all thier cases.

Despite the fact that I am completely uninterested in going in to litigation (I'm going to do a concurrent PhD in environmental policy during LS), just in case I do decide to give the non-academic world a shot, I have to say that I hope I don't win my first case.  That night, once I stop crying and start drinking, my whooole outlook on life is going to change.  I still have time to improve, I'll think to myself, what was I expecting? To win them all 'till the day I died?

And the answer to that question might be a slightly slurred "yesh....yesh I did."  But then I would know: It wasn't possible. I'd have an answer; a crystal clear epiphany.  Maybe I'd even glipse nirvana.  If, however, I had started winning cases right out of school, I would progressively have become more balled up, at the same time wanting bragging rights for being outstanding at something I had worked really hard at learning about, but also worrying constantly about when exactly the penny would drop.  In the end, I would suffer for my self-love, the 300 lb. golden trophy of my achievement.

But if I lost outright, what a crazy day the next day would be when I went back to my desk and saw that nothing had moved, nothing had changed, and the world was no noticably better or worse off for my failure. This to me would be much, much better than the flowers I would have gotten from my wife and the phonecalls from mom and dad if I had won.

This said, I would rather start working on dealing with failure after I get accepted by Yale.  Thats understandable, right?
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Lurking Third Year

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2006, 01:16:21 PM »
But I know more people (attorneys) that had teh "D for Done" mentality.  So I don't think that "everybody wants to be #1".


This is the kind of attitude people adopt after getting miserable first semester grades. 

SillyMia

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2006, 01:03:23 PM »
But I know more people (attorneys) that had teh "D for Done" mentality.  So I don't think that "everybody wants to be #1".


This is the kind of attitude people adopt after getting miserable first semester grades. 

True.  How's your law school treating you?

Actual 1L

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2006, 01:05:18 PM »
But I know more people (attorneys) that had teh "D for Done" mentality.  So I don't think that "everybody wants to be #1".


This is the kind of attitude people adopt after getting miserable first semester grades. 

This is so true.  I'd say about 75% of my class currently "does not care about grades."

Ocean Blue

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2006, 03:54:52 PM »
This thread has taken on a life of it's own ....

I don't think being highly competitive means that someone is unethical, a sore loser, insecure, unaware, etc. etc.

My original post was meant to point out that there seems to be a general feeling that Competitive=Bad, and this is not true.  In fact, if we wipe away the negative stigma associated with the 'competitive' label, I would guess that a vast majority of those of us on this site are highly competitve, whether we are willing to admit it to ourselves or not.
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pass36

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Re: I want to be #1 - Is that so bad?
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2006, 05:26:34 PM »
I'm not sure why this is so confusing.

Being competitive =/= Everyone in your class knowing how competitive you are.

Be competitive like David Carradine as Kwai Chang Cain the supremely disciplined monk in "Kung Fu" not like Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko the supremely over the top hubristic day trader in "Wall Street."