Law School Discussion

My take on the first year of law school

Cabra

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #120 on: June 27, 2008, 07:31:52 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. ;)

CLS needs a jingle.

I wonder if LSDers, being more neurotic than the usual student, tend to do better.  This forum is filled with 170+ students.  Why shouldn't it be filled with LR types as well?

A jingle huh?

Two possible scenarios for LSDers as law students:
1. We're frequent writers and obsessive--so we study hard, write well, and score above the curve.
2. We're expert time wasters on the internet and procrastinate our way into under-performing.


Pearl

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #121 on: June 27, 2008, 08:26:09 AM »
just for clarification b/c of the question that was asked, in case it stemmed from something I wrote earlier - I meant that I didn't open the book during the exam - I open the book plenty during the semester, that's why I didn't have to open it during the exam.

iscoredawaitlist

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Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #122 on: June 27, 2008, 10:00:29 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

Ahh Chemerinsky is amazing! I went to all of my classes, but I probably read only a quarter of the cases assigned. It ended up being my only true A.

I don't know if anyone else felt this way, but I sort of felt like Con Law was generally an abnormality of the first year classes.

Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #123 on: June 27, 2008, 12:15:51 PM »
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.

If you don't know how to relax, you might be beyond repair at this point. I've always done well on exams/standardized tests with a minimum amount of effort because (I hypothesize) I don't think of the exam as the be-all, end-all of my existence. Because of this, I've never had any kind of test anxiety. I guess I'm also not too dumb, either, but you'll have to ask someone else if that's a fair assessment. I'm planning on taking that attitude into law school: if I prepare enough during the semester, I won't feel so stressed when it comes to exam time. I'll be RELAXED.

Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #124 on: June 27, 2008, 01:59:58 PM »

It's obviously some combination of the former and latter.

On a related note, I've always been consistently impressed by the writing skills on here.  It's a stark contrast to any other forum I've seen.

It's funny to me that you aplauded the writing on this board and in the same posst used a word that many writers despise, 'obviously.' Then again it's probably only funny because it's Friday and almost 5pm.

Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #125 on: June 27, 2008, 02:05:54 PM »
I'm doing my best to winnow words of an absolute nature from my writing. It's a challenge, but a worthy undertaking; I do think people lose credibility when using such words.

Then again, this is an e-forum, so we should keep some perspective. Clearly.  ;)

Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #126 on: June 27, 2008, 02:15:04 PM »
Yes, I hope you're right. I've been reading Garner's The Elements of Legal Style, though. It's brought some of my bad writing habits front-and-center, and I figured it's best to eliminate them rather than selectively censor them.

Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #127 on: June 27, 2008, 02:56:54 PM »
While some of his advice is basic grammar, I found a lot of his advice in this particular book to be nuanced. For instance, his sections on legal citations and footnotes contain advice I haven't seen before.

I'm also getting a kick out of his Strunk&White-esque section, which distinguishes between similar words and plainly states some words, like "hopefully," should be eliminated altogether. I disagree with some of his distinctions and advice, but for the most part I'm learning some helpful writing tips, especially for legal writing.

Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #128 on: June 27, 2008, 03:55:23 PM »
Eh.  I type so fast and think so little.  In LS, I think that the focus will be on doctrine and legal analysis more than grammar and diction, anyway -- with the exception of LRW.

While you may be right that substance will matter more than style, grammar, etc. on most law school exams, it would be foolish to think that style doesn't matter. It will almost always be important for a couple of reasons:

1. Well-written work almost always comes across as more persuasive than poorly written work, even if the substance is fundamentally the same. And at least some of your classmates will be naturally good writers, which will in many cases make their responses seem stronger than a poorly written response. Law school grading is all about how your response compares to the rest of the class.

2. Professors spend their lives writing. Many of them care about style as a general matter.

Does this mean that you shouldn't completely answer a question to take the time to edit your response? In almost every case, probably not. However, it does mean that you should generally take the time to outline your response before you start writing, make sure you know how to spell key terms and doctrines, and be cognizant of grammar and style throughout. It also means that you should work to cultivate strong writing skills so that it will come naturally when you're frantically typing.

Re: My take on the first year of law school
« Reply #129 on: June 27, 2008, 03:56:56 PM »
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

 ;)

It really only worked that one time, though...