Buy via Amazon:
Buy PDF eBook - Just $5.95:

The Most Important Thing to Do Before Law School Bar None

If you have the problem I had before I became a serious student—the sitting still five minutes problem I have been writing about—You need to do it exactly like I tell you. Unless there is something wrong with you, it will solve your sitting problem, and you will be able to do what law school requires. If there is something wrong with you and this doesn’t work, I am sorry. Withdraw from law school before the tuition refund rate starts going down.

My guru had been to law school, and at the time he was pursuing a Ph.D. A real smarty pants. He told me that he had the five-minute problem before he went to law school. Someone had told him what he was telling me.

Read the rest of this post…

More Law Student ADD Therapy

Shortly after I finished my undergrad degree I somehow managed to get into the University of Chicago for graduate work. Looking back, I am not sure how this occurred.  Someone with authority got a little reckless, I think. But I digress.

When I got my acceptance letter from Chicago, I was thrilled. I thought “this is the greatest day of my life.” After all, it was the University of Chicago and that is where all the smart people like me go to grad school. Right? “Congratulations! You have been admitted. . .” That is what that letter said. It must be true. I called everybody. “Mom, I got into the University of Chicago. I must be a genius.”

What a joke. Nothing against the U of C. It was and is a great, great university. But, at the point I was at in my academic life, I can tell you that it was not good for me to get into that school. At least at the moment I got the letter. You see, I didn’t understand what had actually happened to me. I didn’t realize that I had just been accepted into a school that would totally expose me. The University of Chicago is the intellectual equivalent of a full body search at Leavenworth prison.

Read the rest of this post…

Law Students and ADD

I am guessing that a lot of the people reading this blog are a lot like I was after finishing my undergrad degree. I’ll bet that the real problem with a lot of you was the real problem with me before I went to law school.  It is not that you don’t know how to study. If you have the basic brainpower and can read, you can study. The problem for me was that I could study—read things carefully and thoroughly—but for no more than about five minutes. I am guessing that for many of you, your real problem is not that you can’t study. Your real problem is that you can’t sit still.

Read the rest of this post…

This is the Real Problem For Zero Ls

The One L problem is not the amount of work. Problem number one is that if you are the typical law student, you simply don’t know how to study. Better put, you don’t know how to sit still.

No doubt, you were smart enough all through school that you just cruised along with very little effort. Sure, there were the occasional papers or projects that required focused time on something. But the brainpower work—actually understanding the concepts? Everything in high school was kind of a joke.

And, surprise, surprise, that turns out to be pretty much true in college as well. Like I said before, if you don’t take the hard sciences in college, being successful in college never really requires extraordinary effort. But if you put in extraordinary effort in the hard sciences, chances are that you are not in law school. You are in med school killing yourself for the promise of a high paying future, or you are in engineering or architecture or chemistry kinds of grad schools, killing yourself for the promise of a mediocre paying future.

Read the rest of this post…

The Reason to Love the Socratic Method

Sit in a law school class for very long and you will know there is good reason for One Ls to fear the Socratic method. I will grant that. Even so, if you think that the Socratic method should be abandoned because of its brutality, or that it is autocratic, or its Eurocentric, or whatever. . .you need to reevaluate that opinion. You are plainly wrong. Here is the great beauty of the method: Professors who practice it faithfully spend each class—an entire 50 minute or one and a half hour class—on one concept. Usually two cases, maybe three, all about the same concept.

Think about it: the poor jerk who actually slogged through real classes in college, and who ended up in med school—mom and dad were very proud—well that guy is sitting in advanced organic chemistry about now, and the professor is covering about 60 concepts a class at light speed, and our poor sap is going to be responsible for it all when exams come. You? One concept, maybe two a class.

Read the rest of this post…

The Socratic Method: Up Close and Personal

Law school classes are typically built on the Socratic method. By now you probably know what that means: Everyday you go to class, and the professor calls out a name—presumably randomly—and that person is on the spot for the entire class. There is no way out. The professor then starts grilling that student about one concept—the key concept—in one lousy case that was in the assigned reading for the day. What proceeds is a brutal Q and A session on that case with the lucky student of the day, who, no matter how well prepared she is, will end up looking like a total moron.

At the end of this ritual sacrifice the bloody student stumbles out of the room with everyone else, who are grateful that today, at least, their number didn’t come up. That is the Socratic method in a nutshell.

Read the rest of this post…

Don’t take Advice about How to Excel from People who Didn’t

You need to be very careful who you take advice from about how to succeed in law school. It never fails: One Ls are scurrying about in the first weekend parties asking every Two L they see for advice about how to excel in the One L year. Or, they read every blog from a Two L they can find on the World Wide Web.

But think about this for a minute. The chances are good that virtually every Two L you are asking for advice on excelling in law school ended up in the middle of the class. Why? They don’t know how to excel in law school. They know how to be average, and we can give them that. But are you trying to be average?

Here’s a tip: If you are going to ask advice from someone, make sure that they know more than you do about excelling in law school. Otherwise, keep your own counsel and keep following the plan in my book.