Thursday, November 30, 2006

Even further proof that law school is like high school

Although this is something that I think we did in Junior High. Yikes.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Real advice for 1Ls

Ah man, do I feel sorry for all you 1Ls. This is about the time where it's really kicking in. You start to realize what you've gotten yourself into just as the crushing weight of finals starts to descend. All you want to know is how to make it through exams, and all you get is lame advice like "just do what you did in undergrad, it got you here didn't it?" Well your boy M is here to give you the real lowdown. Just follow these simple steps.
  1. Chill out, this isn't the end of the world.
  2. Ok I lied, yes it is. If you're not stressed out something's wrong. These grades determine your future. You want to do all this for nothing?!
  3. Talk to your professors. I know they're scary, but often they have widely differing views of what they want on the exam.
    • Also, they will often say that they don't want you to just repeat what they've taught you. This is a lie. If your professor is a raving Marxist, so are you. Trust me, they've been convincing themselves they're right for years, you're not going to change their minds. Smarter people have tried. You are a parrot.
  4. Find a study partner. It should preferably be someone who is slightly smarter than you, and if you read this blog it shouldn't be easy. I promise, the best way to study is to go through the material with someone else, and ask a lot of questions. Your smart friend will get a better understanding by having to explain it all to you, and you can learn it all for the first time. Win - win.
  5. Buy commercial study guides. I prefer Emanuel's "Crunchtime", as it has only the very basic info, set out simply and clearly. Crap like "tort stories" and other books that give you background on cases and supposedly a "deeper understanding" of the cases are a waste of money.
  6. Make an outline. If it's over 50 pages it's too long, if it's under 20 it's too short. Modifying the one you got from your friend who took the course last year is FINE, no matter what anyone tells you. Most important is to have the information easily accessible.
  7. Learn the counter-arguments. The best way to analyze a fact pattern is to first make the strongest case you can for one side, then look at the other's side's counterarguments (making them as strong as you can), then go to your answers to the counterarguments, and so on. Lawyers can argue both sides.
    • if your first year exams aren't essay based, and consist only of multiple choice questions, get out now, you're not getting a job.
  8. Do practice exams. Do at least one of them in a timed environment- you'll be surprised how the time flies. Compare your answers with others, and argue about the differences in your answers.
  9. When you get to the exam don't just start writing. Do an answer outline first, and make it thorough. If you rush into it blindly you're going to realize half way through that you're way off base, and the panic will set in. Set aside at least 15% of the time for each question for outlining, preferably more.
  10. Finally, stop wasting your time reading law blogs, and don't take advice from people who write them.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sometimes numbers don't lie

So I've done some quick calculations to give you a sense of what 3L year is like. I have 12 hours of class a week. "They" say you should prepare 3 hours for every one hour of class time, but in the interest of reality, let's leave it at 1.5 per. So I should have 30 hours of work a week (12 hours + 12*1.5). We're ten weeks into the semester, so I should be at 300 hours (30*10). Let's see where I really am.

Class 1: 3 hours attended, 0 hours preparation
Class 2: 6 hours attended, 2 hours preparation
Class 3: 22 hours attended, 3 hours preparation
Class 4: 22 hours attended, 10 hours preparation

Total: 68 hours = 22.7% efficiency.

That's not that bad, is it? Although I guess it does when you break it down to 6.8 hours a week. This next month is gonna be hell.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Burger King University doesn't teach this

Man, why can't stuff like this happen to me? Two cops in New Mexico are suing Burger King after finding pot sprinkled in their burgers. I'm sure I've had all types of bodily fluids and animal droppings in my delicious whoppers (with cheese of course), but nothing that actually made the burger taste better. It's like the perfect storm- as you get the munchies, you're already eating! Really, this is a stupid lawsuit, why not just leave it at charging the kids with a criminal offense (you're cops for crying out loud!), but my favorite part of the whole thing has to be the cops' lawyer's quote, "It gives a whole new meaning to the word 'Whopper'". Awesome.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Where I've been

In bed. Watching movies (The Departed is awesome, and Stick It is way underrated). Drinking daily. Taking long weekend trips. Exploring myself.

Where I haven't been: lawschool. I still have 2 books I haven't opened, and I haven' t been to one class in over a month. This is why the blog has been dead. It's a lawschool blog, and I've completely checked out. However, the fear of failure is starting to kick in, I have papers to write and stacks of reading to do, so I'm gonna have to reinsert myself into the community (with much regret), meaning I'm gonna have more procrastination time to fill. So in the immortal words of Frank Costanza, "I'm back baby!"

ps. thanks to sadielady for making me feel like someone cares :) check out her blog, it's great, and apparently she also writes some kind of sex blog, which i'm sure is very dirty.

Sit down, and shut the fuck up

Seriously, what is up with people who don't understand the lawschool social contract? Not to get all Thomas Hobbes on your asses, but there are certain rules that help us navigate this quagmire. One of them is that you DON'T ASK QUESTIONS IN THE LAST FIVE MINUTES OF CLASS. I mean seriously, just shut the fuck up, you stupid gunner. I have naps to take, beers to drink, TV to watch. When I grace the class with a rare appearance, I don't need my time extended by some moron prodding the prof into some extended discussion. Look, gunners, I'm not one to hate on you guys generally, you serve your place well in the lawschool circle of life, we generally don't beat on you only because FOR EVERY MINUTE THAT YOU'RE TALKING, THAT'S ONE LESS MINUTE I HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION. THIS DOES NOT APPLY AT THE END OF CLASS. You're disturbing the delicate balance of our ecosystem, and this just won't hold.