Monday, December 10, 2007

Some limited wisdom for the 1L or law school hopeful

Almost halfway done--woot! Since I'm approaching the midway point, I'll share a few gems I've picked up over the past 16 months.

1. Some professors--not many, but some--are extremely lazy. If you have a hunch about one, it's probably right, and the grades will be given out with no particular rhyme or reason.

2. Cold-sending resumes is a monumental waste of time.

3. Don't ever try to predict your exam grades. You'll get your worst grade on the one you "aced" and your best grade on the one you were sure you failed.

4. Outlining as you go along is far more efficient much less stressful than doing it all at the end, even if you think the latter would be "a great way to review."

5. Anyone who struts out of a four hour exam after two hours has really missed the boat on something. Feel free to snicker when they do.

5 1/2. NEVER leave an exam early. That's superbly retarded. Even if all you can do is go back and reword your answers, why not do it and pick up a few style points? That could be the difference between a B+ and an A-, etc. Plus, it makes you look like a damn fool and you will be ridiculed once you're gone.

6. Exercise whenever possible. Don't be one of the multitudes of people who completely let themselves go in law school. Studying, while necessary, is not a replacement for exercise. Plus it makes your brain and your body feel better and lets you sleep more soundly (not to mention getting all the alcohol out of your pores). If you turn into a lard ass during law school, you think you're gonna have a bunch of time to undo the damage when you start practicing? Hmmmmmmmmm??

7. Study groups can be useful but generally are way overrated. You can find out early what works for you, and it's an important thing to do.

8. Ignore professors who tell you not to do "post mortems" once an exam is over. Talk about it as much as you can--why the hell not (but not with someone who doesn't share your enthusiasm)

9. Guys: don't tell anybody, except your best law school friend, anything you don't want everybody at school to know.

Ladies: don't tell anybody anything you don't want everybody at school to know.

10. Try to be as gossip-free and civil with as many people as you can. You never know when you're going to need a favor from an old classmate sometime down the road, even if it's the geeky doofus who raised his hand every day of your first year.

11. 8 hrs of sleep on a school night is too much. 5 is too little. 6 1/2 is perfect.

12. A lot of people who really, really suck as people will get really high-paying jobs, and as a result they will suck even more. Don't waste your time caring too much about this because it's happened since the beginning of time and there's nothing you can do about it.

13. Your non-law school friends don't care at all about your law school jargon or gripes, and why the hell should they? The more you try to sound lawyerly, the less interest they will have in being around you. Most of them probably have no idea how long law school is, how long you've been there, or how long you have left. To them you're just "in school," just like how to you, they're "doing marketing or something."

14. The amount someone talks in class is 150% unrelated to how good their grades will be. I cannot stress this enough.

14 1/2. If your syllabus says class participation is a factor in the final grade, your professor is lying like a motherfucker.

Please feel free to add any wisdoms I left out.


Wes said...

13. Very true. I have already developed a strong conception of everything law related from the media -- mostly Legally Blond and Liar, Liar.

14. "150% unrelated" -- I think my mind blew a fuse trying to comprehend your use of percentages.

14 1/2. John Capute is still the only teacher I have ever met to take class participation seriously. He gave me a D. We weren't friends after that.

2L Wannabe said...

Somehow I feel comforted by this entire post.

No idea what to expect from the grading cycle - but I come out of first semester, 1L, feeling pleased to have escaped with some friends, my family, and my interest in the law all unscathed ;-)

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything except #2 - that's how I found my job.

Jeff Bowen said...

#5 has me scared. I reviewed everything 3 times before I left though.

Mademoiselle De Rigueur said...

:D I am not a lard ass! lol

Mademoiselle De Rigueur said...

Oh and my tip is here:

Anonymous said...

Good list. I agree with ang though -- the ratio of hits to complete miss is obviously terrible, but I've had success cold-sending resumes.

Also, my favorite moment of law school so far was when a classmate walked out of the crim law exam an hour early. The crim law exam given by the professor that stressed the fact that she awards points for grading purposes, and it's impossible to lose points. I may have high fived myself.

Ryan Barner said...

I am a rising senior and law school hopeful and find your blog not only incredibly helpful but incredibly hilarious as well. Thank you for your insight. You make law school seem less scary. What I mean by that is that you allow me to see that there are real people in law school. Real people with ordinary lives and similar stresses. People who I can relate to. Thanks!

-New reader