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My take on the first year of law school

BlueGreen

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #110 on: June 27, 2008, 04:48:15 AM »
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pikey

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #111 on: June 27, 2008, 05:55:47 AM »
Well, I think it's a pretty heavy mix of both. There are plenty of people who struggle despite trying very hard. But at the same time, my own personal experience is that you can change things drastically.

I don't know that I believe in some sort of on/off switch for "getting" law school. But it certainly comes more naturally to some than others.

I agree that it's a mix of techniques (working smart), studying (working hard) and innate ability.  In many ways its like the LSAT.  There are definitely people who can score in the 170's without opening a book.  There are also people who will never break 160 no matter how hard they study.  Most people are in between.  They can do well (or at least improve their performance) if they work hard and find what works for them.  That's why taking practice exams is so important, because you learn how to issue spot, figure out what your professor (or a professor) wants and how to produce it.  The other thing to remember is that law school is curved.  Even if everyone writes an objectively A exam (in a perfect world) someone still has to be at the bottom of the curve.  For various reasons, grades naturally form a curve, but I don't think innate ability (or "it") is the only (or even the major) factor in how high someone finishes.

goaliechica

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #112 on: June 27, 2008, 06:38:58 AM »
What's the type of person who could ace an exam without ever opening a book?  Is it the same type of person who did well on the LSAT?  What's this innate ability?

A law school exam? Never opening the book at all? No one. Unlike the LSAT, you do actually need to know the material to do well on a law school exam. It's not enough to JUST know the material, but you do have to know it. I mean, I know people who hardly ever do the reading, or hardly ever go to class and do pretty well, but none of them are acing every class. And you definitely can't both skip most of the reading AND class and expect to do really well. I don't think so, anyway...

Well, okay, except Cady. But she's lawtistic  :D

pikey

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #113 on: June 27, 2008, 06:53:56 AM »
What's the type of person who could ace an exam without ever opening a book?  Is it the same type of person who did well on the LSAT?  What's this innate ability?

A law school exam? Never opening the book at all? No one. Unlike the LSAT, you do actually need to know the material to do well on a law school exam. It's not enough to JUST know the material, but you do have to know it. I mean, I know people who hardly ever do the reading, or hardly ever go to class and do pretty well, but none of them are acing every class. And you definitely can't both skip most of the reading AND class and expect to do really well. I don't think so, anyway...

Well, okay, except Cady. But she's lawtistic  :D

I think most people either have to do the reading or go to class.  You have to do at least one.  Though doing the reading doesn't necessarily mean reading all of the cases.  I did pretty well in conlaw despite missing (all too many) classes and not reading some of the cases.  Instead I read Chemerinsky (bible!) and read summaries of the cases that I'd missed on wikipedia (pretty decent resource, especially for conlaw because most of the cases that you read are pretty well known).  Otoh, I read notes from all the classes which were posted online, so I did get some insight into class discussion and was familiar with my prof's approach and favorite issues.  I definitely don't recommend this approach for everyone (and that was the only class that I did this for), but it is possible.   :D

GCoop.

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #114 on: June 27, 2008, 07:06:55 AM »
What's the secret to excelling on exams?

Two words:



Frank Stalone.

GCoop.

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #115 on: June 27, 2008, 07:09:13 AM »
I'll re-define my question, then:

There are some people, like fiver from Michigan, who rock Law School exams with a relatively low effort level.  These are the "naturals."  What makes them natural?  Quick-witted prose?  The ability to spot issues from a mile away?  Excellent formatting?

Two words:



Frank Stalone.

goaliechica

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #116 on: June 27, 2008, 07:15:02 AM »
I'll re-define my question, then:

There are some people, like fiver from Michigan, who rock Law School exams with a relatively low effort level.  These are the "naturals."  What makes them natural?  Quick-witted prose?  The ability to spot issues from a mile away?  Excellent formatting?

Judging by their posts, you can almost tell why Miss P and Cady did well.

Dude, you have asked this question 1,000 times over the last few months. People have answered you as best they can. Being a good writer. Spotting the issues. Applying the material. Figuring out what the professor wants. Luck. I just don't know quite what more you're looking for...

Cabra

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #117 on: June 27, 2008, 07:17:43 AM »
Espresso--our avatars should start a petting zoo.  :)

And Texas, I meant no harm--certainly a top 2% law guy can take a little jab at his verbiage. ;)

pikey

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #118 on: June 27, 2008, 07:22:09 AM »
:-[

Hopefully, it'll all fall into place when I actually start this law school thing.

::continues searching for magic key::


My advice to you personally would be to relax.  You seem like the person who overthinks everything and psyches themself out as a result.  As a cautionary tale, I had a friend who seemingly did everything right first semester.  Supplements, tutor, studying, practice exams, etc.  She didn't do very well.  Second semester, she wasn't as uptight, relaxed a little more (though still did way more than me) and did much better.  

GCoop.

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #119 on: June 27, 2008, 07:29:25 AM »
She relaxed meaning (blank)?

There has to be another factor.  Maybe she talked to her old professors and realized that she was hitting too many issues too quickly without solid analysis.  Who knows?

I'm totally different IRL.  Very chill.

Dude, get out of your head.  Seriously.  You know how when you're playing guitar hero if you think about screwing up you screw up?  Quit thinking about it.  Relax.

You want the best advice anyone's going to give you?  Get off this site, relax, go learn how to meditate and clear your mind.