Uriel

To the 1Ls, on the occasion of their first exams

155 posts in this topic

As a 1L approaching the end of exams, the most important advice I can offer future law students is: Learn to type. If you can already type, learn to type faster. 

 

And invest in earplugs.

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And invest in earplugs.

Yes, because apparently some people aren't socially conscious enough to realize their tying on a f*cking keyboard (aka.. one detached from the computer that goes 'CLICKETY CLACK') may be like a fog horn in a silent room.

Edited by daw33d

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Yes, because apparently some people aren't socially conscious enough to realize their tying on a f*cking keyboard (aka.. one detached from the computer that goes 'CLICKETY CLACK') may be like a fog horn in a silent room.

 

And other people, (myself included), don't care enough about being socially conscious about how loud our keystrokes are when we're in a 1L exam. Especially if we had the foresight to purchase earplugs. ;)

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Just to add my .02 to this thread, as someone who did well on my first year law school exams but is now 5+ years out of law school, your law school grades are not the determining factor in whether you will have a successful, fulfilling and financially rewarding career.  There is a lot of convergence in "career outcomes" once you get a few years out of LS.  Having a biglaw/other desired job lined up is nice because it allows you to stop thinking about jobs for the rest of LS and (hopefully) the first few years of your career, but for the vast majority of people it's not going to be their whole life.  Many students who were, shall we say, forced to decide what they actually wanted to do with their lives at an earlier stage have by now gotten themselves into some really cool jobs and have very bright futures ahead of them.  And lots of people who hid in biglaw are starting over.

 

None of this is means that if you're dead set on a big firm career your 1L grades are going to make or break ... just a reminder to keep some perspective on your life.  Your career is a marathon, not a sprint, and stumbling out of the gate in a marathon won't kill you.  But giving up will.

Edited by NYCLawyer
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Dear Uriel,

 

For those of us facing our first set of law school exams, studying non-stop interspersed with bouts of nervousness and vomiting, your post is the handy after-mint. It's always nice to have a friend who will hand you a mint and offer soothing words of encouragement.

 

Thank you,

1Ls

this post changed my entire mood. thank you so much Uriel. I will be passing your post over to my dear colleagues. They were words that carried the currency of gold in my books. Thank you again.

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Just to add my .02 to this thread, as someone who did well on my first year law school exams but is now 5+ years out of law school, your law school grades are not the determining factor in whether you will have a successful, fulfilling and financially rewarding career.  There is a lot of convergence in "career outcomes" once you get a few years out of LS.  Having a biglaw/other desired job lined up is nice because it allows you to stop thinking about jobs for the rest of LS and (hopefully) the first few years of your career, but for the vast majority of people it's not going to be their whole life.  Many students who were, shall we say, forced to decide what they actually wanted to do with their lives at an earlier stage have by now gotten themselves into some really cool jobs and have very bright futures ahead of them.  And lots of people who hid in biglaw are starting over.

 

None of this is means that if you're dead set on a big firm career your 1L grades are going to make or break ... just a reminder to keep some perspective on your life.  Your career is a marathon, not a sprint, and stumbling out of the gate in a marathon won't kill you.  But giving up will.

 

I found this statement very interesting. As a 1L, I thought the big aim for most lawyers is a biglaw/big firm or at least the salary of one. So the people that actually get into BigLaw...start over? Can you(or someone else) explain?

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I found this statement very interesting. As a 1L, I thought the big aim for most lawyers is a biglaw/big firm or at least the salary of one. So the people that actually get into BigLaw...start over? Can you(or someone else) explain?

 

As the poster you quoted mentioned, the draws of getting an OCI biglaw job are security and peace of mind as one finishes school, and a decent salary to boot.  Students who get a job through the process don't have to worry about the stress of potentially going into 3L without an articling position lined up, and can coast through 2L and 3L if they choose. However, eager 1Ls often gloss over the significant physical and emotional investments required to pursue a career on Bay St.  They are such that a considerable number of those who get hired in that area will leave around their third to fifth year of associateship, often by choice, but sometimes not.

 

I suspect that much of the time, students going through the OCI process, especially those with little full-time work experience, don't fully grasp the toll that 60+ hour weeks can take over the course of time, and they've bought into the very effective marketing that big firms are able to put out.  It's very easy for students to get swept up in the thrill of landing an OCI job without necessarily considering whether that career path, whether in terms of practice area or lifestyle, is what they truly want.  Invariably, some will eventually come to understand that biglaw is not the type of career they envisioned, so they "start over" in a practice area that likely bears little relation, if any, to their Bay St experiences, but in which they greatly prefer practicing.

Edited by Teence
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Probably a good time to bump this up in the New Content section.

 

The more time you give yourself the better, so set up a schedule now and start tackling those classes. Also, don't forget that sleep is important, ditto for exercise.

 

My only bit of advice, avoid the "noise." It doesn't matter what others are doing strategy/time/group/hours wise, just study the way you normally study and you'll get through this.

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Probably a good time to bump this up in the New Content section.

 

The more time you give yourself the better, so set up a schedule now and start tackling those classes. Also, don't forget that sleep is important, ditto for exercise.

 

My only bit of advice, avoid the "noise." It doesn't matter what others are doing strategy/time/group/hours wise, just study the way you normally study and you'll get through this.

 

Also try to avoid the noid.  You need all the pizza you can eat. 

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Read this as a 0L - "well put, how nice"

 

Now reading this as a 1L - Uriel, can you come sit on my bedside and repeat this over and over again until I go to sleep?

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I'll give you little two-finger pats on the shoulder too.  It totally works for Urielette.

 

It's still going to be okay.

 

It's been okay for waves of people for years now.  :)

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Reading this thread as I cram for my public midterm on wednesday...definitely helps.

Whaaat but Public is the best! It's got the Emerald Hall, which is like the Emerald City except horrible in every way.

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Whaaat but Public is the best! It's got the Emerald Hall, which is like the Emerald City except horrible in every way.

 

haha sure.  do you have erdman or wildeman? 

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Just wanted to think Uriel and everyone else who posted here with their advice and experience.

 

It's the season to get marks back and this is very helpful and reassuring to read.

To the other 1Ls out there, relax and don't worry too much about these marks. 

Pretty much every prof and upper years stresses how unimportant these are to the big picture, first terms exams are essentially practice runs and an opportunity to put what you've learned so far together. Ultimately, they are a learning opportunity.

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Just responded to someone by PM, so I just wanted to pop back in and remind everyone that people aren't advertising that they didn't do well on a given exam.  If you have a C or C+, you're probably embarrassed and you're not telling everyone.  When asked, you're probably sheepishly lying and saying you got a B.  

 

And everyone does that.  So it sounds like no one screwed up like you did, when in fact roughly half of your peers did.

 

Except, I get to see their transcripts!  Mwa ha ha.  Can confirm: shitloads of C+es from people that would 100% never admit it in real life.

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So I managed to get A-'s on my two take-home/course work things, but did significantly worse on my timed exams (there might even be a C+ in there D:). Anyone have some secret magical insight into what might be causing the gap? I have stopped looking at kitten pictures in the course I got a c+ in because that was definitely the result of not knowing the law well enough, but otherwise I am stumped.

Edited by BabyRhinoRainbow

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Just responded to someone by PM, so I just wanted to pop back in and remind everyone that people aren't advertising that they didn't do well on a given exam.  If you have a C or C+, you're probably embarrassed and you're not telling everyone.  When asked, you're probably sheepishly lying and saying you got a B.  

 

And everyone does that.  So it sounds like no one screwed up like you did, when in fact roughly half of your peers did.

 

Except, I get to see their transcripts!  Mwa ha ha.  Can confirm: shitloads of C+es from people that would 100% never admit it in real life.

 

Does/how does your general advice shift in the case of UoT where there are only P/H/HHs to be handed out?

Edited by Sophia

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