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Messages - Cicero

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It may be getting harder at other schools, but where I go it has gotten a little easier in the last couple of years. The curve used to be around 2.2 for 1st semester, now it is up to 2.5 for 1st semester and then 2.7 for 2nd semester. We also have a very strict curve (profs are only allowed 0.1 deviation from it), so it might be very different from other schools where profs have more room to play with the numbers.

Cvtheis, thank you for your comments and advice. I attempted to find exams from past years for my 1L profs, but there weren't any available. I will keep looking this next year.

Numitor, I guess I should have expected as much based on your previous posts I've read. Lol.  :P My point was that I'm doing well, but (1) it is partly because I study my butt off and do well on the multiple choice (so there is definitely room for improvement on the essays) and (2) I get the basic points of the essay writing but was hoping to find a resource to make it better/fine tune--books, online, etc. Besides, there is always room for improvement. It isn't about singing my own praises. I posted on here because there are many people on this site who are currently in law school or have graduated who may have advice about good resources they have used to improve their essays in law school. Please feel free to comment if you have helpful advice on how to improve them.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: FSU 2L Taking Questions
« on: June 10, 2010, 03:42:00 PM »
Oh, I do have another question that I would like to ask. I understand that you might feel uncomfortable answering it, and if so, I understand if you choose not to answer. I have heard that at some law schools students will do things to try to screw over the other students--stealing books from the library, actively giving false info in study groups, mind games, etc. (I would be coming from a school where that sort of thing is very minimal, at least in my section. I also stayed away from those students who chose to act that way.) Is there a lot of that behavior at FSU or are students pretty good about not doing those things?

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: FSU 2L Taking Questions
« on: June 10, 2010, 03:34:12 PM »
I am thinking about transferring to FSU law. Do you know anything about how the adjustment was for transfer students? Are the exams mostly essay or are they a mix of essay and multiple choice? Are the professors helpful if you have questions and do they provide students with practice prior to finals--practice essays, multiple choice examples from previous exams or multiple choice/hypos during classes that may be similar to the finals, etc.?

I have a lot more questions, but I will stop there for today. Thank you for your time.

I just finished my 1L year, and am near the top of my class, partly because I tend to do well on the multiple choice questions on the exams. My essays are near the top, but they are definitely not the best. Part of why I've done well on the essays is the amount of practice I have done. We were lucky enough to have mid-terms, and I did not do very well on the essays for those tests, so I have done many practice essays. I have done the practice essays given by our professors and asked them for their advice on my answers whenever possible. I have also done some of the essays available from our academic success department. Finally, I have looked at the LEEWS book (but I haven't taken the class). I am attempting to transfer and am worried that essays may count more on the finals at other schools. I also genuinely want to improve my essays.

1.) At my school, the exams are generally 1/2 essay and 1/2 multiple choice in terms of the allotted points. Are exams at most law schools like that?
2.) Are there any good books or other resources out there to help with essay exam writing?

Transferring / Re: Cooley to somewhere
« on: June 06, 2010, 01:56:28 PM »
If you are looking to transfer into T3 from T4, I don't think it is worth it. There isn't much of a difference between T3 & T4. If you are in the top 10%, then maybe you should be looking to transfer to a T2.

I don't know that they would be matching you up against the other person from your school. I mean you will be measured against others that are applying to transfer there, but your gpa and rank may still be enough higher than other applicants to get a transfer spot, and if you are about the top 10% then you probably have a good shot. It seems that knowing how many transfers they take and possibly the amount of applicants might help you determine your chances. Good luck!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Florida Coastal School of Law
« on: June 05, 2010, 08:32:02 AM »
If the OP is considering going to FCSL, there are a lot of things for him/herto consider (spoken as 1 of those bad test takers a lot of the people on these message boards look down on, who chose to go to FCSL). One thing to think about is whether you are willing to be over $100K in debt. A lot of the students get a scholly to go there, myself included, and they let you keep it for the first year regardless of your GPA, but most people lose it. On the other hand, if you do well like I did my 1L year, they will seriously increase your scholly to try to keep you (unfortunately, highest you can get is $27.5K if you are top 5%). Also to note is that there is some real favoritism toward the students who do well, and it starts after the 1st semester--get to register 1st for 2L classes, more money, round table events, honor society...Ok so beyond money and favoritism, you need to know the reality of the curve. The curve at FCSL has gotten better than it was a few years ago, but it is still deplorable. The 1st semester, you will be looking at a curve of 2.5, and the curve is 2.7 after that. This curve freaks everyone out at the school and causes a lot of extra stress. A lot of students seem to be unhappy after the 1st year and want to transfer and a number of them drop out. From these message boards, I've discovered that a lot of people think they can go in and be top 10%, but if you are seriously going to consider going to FCSL, do not go thinking you will be in the top 10% and will be able to transfer out. I'm not saying it is impossible, I worked hard and was able to do it, but I know a lot of students there who work very hard and haven't been done as well.

Enough of the bad things about FCSL, there are some good sides to the program. One of the best things about FCSL is the profs because they are extremely helpful. Many of them will give you practice essays from previous years or ones they feel are representative of the their finals, and some of them will allow you to write an answer to it and will go over with you. Many of them also give multiple choice practice questions. Most of the professors are willing to meet with you or talk over e-mail about any questions you have about a class. Some of the professors also hold reviews or have TAs who hold reviews. Another good thing about the program is that they give a midterm in the 1st semester, which is pretty unusual. The midterms lets you see what you are up against for the final, and this is very helpful because LS exams are nothing like what most student have taken before entering LS. FCSL also has a mandatory pass class the 1st semester--boring, but very helpful if you pay attention and actually participate--they basically hold your hand and show you how to IRAC, study, etc. Finally, besides all of the stress students at FCSL feel, they tend to be more willing to work together than what I've heard about other schools. Students are friendly and willing to help each other when a students has trouble. You don't have to deal with the back stabbing I've heard about from friends at other law schools.

I know that was long, but this is the reality beyond the you have an uphill battle or the usual "FCSL sucks. Only stupid people go there." I will also tell you, as someone who did really well in their 1L year, I am hoping to transfer out. I will stay if I have to, but the market is bad and FCSL doesn't have a great reputation. Yu may be stuck in Jax if you go there.

I'm also attempting to transfer. What you need in terms of scores seems to really depend on what school you currently attend and what tier you trying to get into. I found one helpful site that listed rank needed based on the tier of the school you currently attend and the tier of the school to which you are applying. For example if you want to get into a T2 and you go to a T3/4 you need to be in the top 10-20%.

I hope this helps. I found it useful.

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