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Lyricaltoast

Just finished 1L Single JD - Ask Me Anything

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Lyricaltoast    13

I couldn't help but notice that there was no recent AMA thread from any 1L Single JD's so I decided to start one!

As incoming students, there are probably tons of stuff you are curious about. I, along with others on this forum (I encourage other students to chime in!), will try to answer those questions to the best of our abilities. 

If by any chance you think your question is dumb (although it most likely isn't), you are more than welcome to shoot me a PM. One of the things that you will notice in law school is that most students will have the same questions as you, though they just can't bring themselves to ask because they think it'll make them look stupid. I just want to encourage everyone to ask questions!

Cheers 

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law1994    7
1 hour ago, Lyricaltoast said:

I couldn't help but notice that there was no recent AMA thread from any 1L Single JD's so I decided to start one!

As incoming students, there are probably tons of stuff you are curious about. I, along with others on this forum (I encourage other students to chime in!), will try to answer those questions to the best of our abilities. 

If by any chance you think your question is dumb (although it most likely isn't), you are more than welcome to shoot me a PM. One of the things that you will notice in law school is that most students will have the same questions as you, though they just can't bring themselves to ask because they think it'll make them look stupid. I just want to encourage everyone to ask questions!

Cheers 

Do you have an idea of when the last set of acceptance could be offered to those on waitlist? Could it be as late as August?

 

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Lyricaltoast    13
2 minutes ago, law1994 said:

Do you have an idea of when the last set of acceptance could be offered to those on waitlist? Could it be as late as August?

 

I was also waitlisted before receiving my acceptance but got accepted around May. I think acceptances can be offered June-July, but I'm not too certain if it could be as late as August. I think the best thing to do is sit tight for now. If you do not hear back by the end of June, then maybe call the school and ask them if acceptances are still going out.

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I have a couple of questions!

1) Is there a general area in Windsor where law students live? 

2) How was the grading curve? Did you find yourself doing better/worse than you expected? 

Thanks so much!

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Lyricaltoast    13
2 minutes ago, danceswithwolves said:

I have a couple of questions!

1) Is there a general area in Windsor where law students live? 

2) How was the grading curve? Did you find yourself doing better/worse than you expected? 

Thanks so much!

1. Couple of general areas that I can think of at the top of my head are Sandwich street, downtown Windsor, Wyandotte street, University street, and Canterbury college (not sure if that's how you spell it). 

Personally, I lived close to Wyandotte street as that is where you will find restaurants and the printer store which students in Windsor frequently go to. Generally, unless people have cars, they tend to stay within walking distance from the law building (15-20minutes). 

2. I don't know if you're familiar with the law school grading curve, but Windsor, as well as most other schools I believe, adjusts to a B average. I didn't find the grading curve too bad to be honest. I did better than I expected and was above the curve for most of my courses. Do your readings, attend lectures, and take notes, and you should be fine. Obviously I'm oversimplifying the process a little, but you will develop the knowhow in a few months. It takes time to get there, so be patient with yourself and don't buy into the hype of law school and psyche yourself out. 

If you any other questions or anything you want me to talk about more in depth, let me know!

 

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Mel    1

What day was the first day of classes/orientation last year? Is it mandatory? Just wondering if Windsor starts in mid August or after Labour Day

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I would also say to people that truly fear the grading curve of law school it can often times be a blessing not just a curse. If everyone is struggling with a certain topic or especially with the teaching style of a certain prof, and it shows on the raw exam grades, then everyone's mark is moved up together. You'll hear upper years advise you many times to "ride the curve" when there's a large group in one class struggling. Just another perspective.

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Lyricaltoast    13
10 minutes ago, Mel said:

What day was the first day of classes/orientation last year? Is it mandatory? Just wondering if Windsor starts in mid August or after Labour Day

I believe it was either the last week of August or first week of September. Classes start the following week. You can probably check important dates on the website and that will tell you exactly which date. 

Yes it is mandatory...to an extent. Although I haven't missed a full day from orientation, there were parts I missed and it was just fine. I recommend trying to attend most of it. 

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Mel    1
1 minute ago, Lyricaltoast said:

I believe it was either the last week of August or first week of September. Classes start the following week. You can probably check important dates on the website and that will tell you exactly which date. 

Yes it is mandatory...to an extent. Although I haven't missed a full day from orientation, there were parts I missed and it was just fine. I recommend trying to attend most of it. 

Thanks. On the Website it just says "First Day of Classes" is Sept 7th 2017, but it doesn't specify for Law, Education, etc. Its just on the mail university website, as the Law website doesn't offer the same Academic Important Dates section, and throws me off with outdated tabs like "2015 Prospectus"... 

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Lyricaltoast    13
2 minutes ago, Mel said:

Thanks. On the Website it just says "First Day of Classes" is Sept 7th 2017, but it doesn't specify for Law, Education, etc. Its just on the mail university website, as the Law website doesn't offer the same Academic Important Dates section, and throws me off with outdated tabs like "2015 Prospectus"... 

Then I would assume Sept 7 is the first day of classes for law students too until any further notice. The faculty will probably update the dates separately for law students, but first week of Sept sounds about right. 

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13 minutes ago, Mel said:

Thanks. On the Website it just says "First Day of Classes" is Sept 7th 2017, but it doesn't specify for Law, Education, etc. Its just on the mail university website, as the Law website doesn't offer the same Academic Important Dates section, and throws me off with outdated tabs like "2015 Prospectus"... 

https://www.uwindsor.ca/law/academic-coordinator/sites/uwindsor.ca.law.academic-coordinator/files/2016-2017_sessional_dates_for_law_for_posting_0.pdf

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ristiisa    50

Thanks very much for doing this - and congratulations on finishing 1L! Couple questions for you:

1. How did you manage your time? As in how did you plan your days to manage schoolwork/extracuricculars/free time

2. Are you sufficiently introduced into how to study/prepare for classes in the first week? Did older year students explain like case briefs and such? Or do you just kind of figure it out yourself?

3. Any other tips for entering 0Ls?

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law1994    7

Are there times when you've had to do presentations or speeches?

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Lyricaltoast    13
45 minutes ago, ristiisa said:

Thanks very much for doing this - and congratulations on finishing 1L! Couple questions for you:

1. How did you manage your time? As in how did you plan your days to manage schoolwork/extracuricculars/free time

2. Are you sufficiently introduced into how to study/prepare for classes in the first week? Did older year students explain like case briefs and such? Or do you just kind of figure it out yourself?

3. Any other tips for entering 0Ls?

1. At first, I tried to do my readings as much ahead as I could. But this gets tough as work piles. To be honest, I stopped doing readings for some courses and paid attention to lectures. However, this is mostly going to depend on how you learn and how you work and discovering what works best for you is part of 1L.

Generally, I tried to set myself up for one course reading a day plus briefing the cases. This is going to take a lot of time at first but you'll get faster throughout the year. As for extracurriculars, I'm gonna assume you mean sports/club activities. Club activities won't demand too much of your time nor are you pressured to devote a lot of time. If you want to be more involved and you think you can handle it, that's entirely up to you. I was not a part of too many clubs as I did not want too much on my plate during 1L but i know plenty of people who were very active in clubs and managed just fine. 

Giving yourself free time is crucial in law school. Please try not to work yourself to death. Try to set yourself a goal for how much work to be done each day and keep to it (but obviously don't set that bar too high). I know some people who treated law school like a job and would clock out from doing work after a certain time. It's going to feel like you need to constantly be reading and working but that's not the case. Give yourself time to do whatever you enjoy whether it'd be netflixing, working out, hanging out with friends, etc. 

2. Not exactly. It's more of a self-teaching process, a process that requires you to be patient. For some, law school may click faster than others and that's perfectly fine. So don't stress yourself if you feel like you're not getting it right away. Upper year students are always super helpful. I don't know if you're familiar with CANs, but to put it simply, they're annotated case briefs which many will find very helpful. Most upper year students will be happy to share their CANs with 1Ls so don't hesitate to ask. I recommend that you don't rely too much on the CANs though. Making your own is basically how you get studying done. 

3. Make lots of friends! Get to know as many of your classmates and people from other sections too if possible. I found my year to be very friendly and helpful to each other. Also, stay in touch with friends/family from outside the law school as well to keep yourself grounded. Being surrounded by law students all the time can be stressful as well because although they are your friends, they're also your competitors. Another important tip. Try not to discuss your grades with classmates. You guys will just end up psyching each other out. Just try to keep to yourself and do you. Don't let yourself get psyched out by listening to what others say (ie. how well they think they're doing). 

That's about all I can think of at the moment, but I shall post more if more comes to mind! Lemme know if you want to know anything else :)

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Lyricaltoast    13
20 minutes ago, law1994 said:

Are there times when you've had to do presentations or speeches?

Yes. Although it may vary from prof to prof. For example, I did an optional group presentation (and paper) for a course called Access to Justice as an alternative to writing a final exam. A friend of mine had to do presentations for his contracts class which was not optional I believe. Generally, there aren't many presentations to do in 1L. 

That being said, 1L moot in Windsor law is mandatory. Think of it as a mock trial in front of 3 judges (upper year students) and they pretty much grill you with questions. There's more to it than that but don't worry about that for now. It's a pass or fail (or pass with distinction) component of a course and nobody fails. If you are asking this because you're not a good speaker, do not worry as you're given ample time to prepare with help from upper year students who excel at mooting. 

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1 hour ago, ristiisa said:

Thanks very much for doing this - and congratulations on finishing 1L! Couple questions for you:

1. How did you manage your time? As in how did you plan your days to manage schoolwork/extracuricculars/free time

2. Are you sufficiently introduced into how to study/prepare for classes in the first week? Did older year students explain like case briefs and such? Or do you just kind of figure it out yourself?

3. Any other tips for entering 0Ls?

 

Lyricaltoast is right in that time management is going to vary from person to person. You managed in undergrad, and it won't be that much more difficult in law school depending on what extra curriculars you participate in, and what your social life is like. Try not to get stressed out by other people spending 9 hours a day in the library, just remember that you got yourself here and if those long library days aren't productive or necessary for you then don't do them. I would also recommend looking ahead at your calendar a bit. There will be times when it seems like you have tons to do and fall behind on readings, just look ahead and plan your time out to those lulls in courses where you can play some catch up. You will have some weeks that seem slow where you have extra time to devote to getting yourself caught up.

This goes back to what LT said about 1Ls psyching each other out, especially during exams. I found the library to be more stressful than productive because people would get each other into a panic about where they were at in their studying, or how they thought they were doing in the course. Remember what works for you and don't be hesitant to work in ways different from your peers (I personally need some noise around and liked sitting in a coffee shop).

In terms of preparation for how to study and prepare, I remember my prof for legal research and writing (one of your mandatory 1L courses) went over how to property brief a case, what to look for, and some tips on summarizing the main points. Some profs also had tutorials midway through the first semester that were helpful for making sure you're on track. They would generally give tips for how to structure your exam responses, and what cases or sections of material were most important to focus on.  Most profs also do some exam review with practice questions taken up as a group. While the actual studying itself is something you'll have to figure out on your own, you aren't left entirely in the dark or without direction.

My piece of advice is to sign up for a mentor.  Seriously.  I was stubborn about this and insisted I didn't need one and I would rather reach out to friends, but your friends are going to have a lot of the same questions you do and not always be helpful. The upper years are all excited at the opportunity to give advice to incoming 1Ls and this ranges from study advice and exam tips, to career and OCI application advice, to even the most mundane things like where to get the best pizza. 

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BleedBlue    12
On ‎06‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 0:49 PM, Lyricaltoast said:

I recommend that you don't rely too much on the CANs though. Making your own is basically how you get studying done. 

As another opinion, I would say this depends on what works for you (in fact, that statement applies to the majority of studying and general success tips in law school). I relied heavily on CAN's, and in fact for many courses never opened a textbook. If you have a prof who hasn't changed their course in 5 years, and a set of CAN's that runs identical to the lecture, it can be a very efficient way of learning when you know the notes and briefs in your CAN's are accurate and you can really sit back and pay attention to the lecture, add in your own notes, etc... versus furiously typing and taking notes all class.

My general strategy was to take a set of CAN's, and type notes in another colour throughout the document as the lectures progressed, and at the end of the semester consolidate and refine the notes until I had an outline I could use to study for exams. It helped tremendously by reducing the preparation I needed to do for class. I did very well in both 1L and 2L using this strategy. That being said, some profs are new and the CAN's aren't as helpful, some prof's change the course year to year, and some students just do better with their own notes - everyone is different. Take the first couple months of law school to figure out what works for you, just don't discount CAN's until you've figured out for sure how well they fit with your style of learning.

 

I will say this though - rely on upper years. They've been there, done that. Law school is all about efficiency, so learn from those who have come before you!

 

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Lyricaltoast    13
24 minutes ago, BleedBlue said:

My general strategy was to take a set of CAN's, and type notes in another colour throughout the document as the lectures progressed, and at the end of the semester consolidate and refine the notes until I had an outline I could use to study for exams. It helped tremendously by reducing the preparation I needed to do for class.

Thanks for your input BB! That's a really nice study tip! I think I may try that myself for upcoming 2L :) 

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1 hour ago, BleedBlue said:

As another opinion, I would say this depends on what works for you (in fact, that statement applies to the majority of studying and general success tips in law school). I relied heavily on CAN's, and in fact for many courses never opened a textbook. If you have a prof who hasn't changed their course in 5 years, and a set of CAN's that runs identical to the lecture, it can be a very efficient way of learning when you know the notes and briefs in your CAN's are accurate and you can really sit back and pay attention to the lecture, add in your own notes, etc... versus furiously typing and taking notes all class.

I think this also goes back to the fact that everyone's studying style varies and it won't be the exact same for every student. I personally found that I liked to have my own notes as well as a set of CANs for most courses so that I could fill in any gaps in understanding or make sure I wasn't missing anything. Some courses if I found a really great set of CANs I would rely on them for the majority of my outline to take into exams and add very little of my own because it was simply not necessary to remake the wheel. I found them especially useful if I was behind in studying (the standard life of a procrastinator).

I agree with BleedBlue that you should try not to discount any method or resource until you've tried it for yourself and determined what works best for you (which may require some trial and error).

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ristiisa    50

All good advice! Thanks everyone for your responses and wisdom.

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