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Oxbridge Law graduates with first class degree? Watch

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    Hello,

    I am looking for recent/graduates of law from oxbridge or ucl who graduated with a first/distinction to help current student make a higher grade.

    Any guidance on how you did it greatly appreciated. Or please pm me if you're interested in tutoring (by distance via email)/marking. I'm going to be tough on exam technique rather than learning every bitty detail so will need some help marking answers. No point in doing them if you can't see improvement/don't realise what's going wrong. please see http://www.localtutorforum.com/showt...=3705#post3705
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    (Original post by Tsaza)
    Hello,

    I am looking for recent/graduates of law from oxbridge or ucl who graduated with a first/distinction to help current student make a higher grade.

    Any guidance on how you did it greatly appreciated. Or please pm me if you're interested in tutoring.

    Hi, I got a First in second year of law at Cambridge and I'm currently studying for final year. I might be interested in doing some tutoring, especially for Constitutional or Tort (both of which I got a First in.)
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    Nailed my third year at Cambridge

    Honestly, the most important things you can do are 1) get some decent textbooks (rather than wasting time with some of the ***** that lecturers might put on the reading list such as Treitel on Contract), 2) use multiple different textbooks especially textbooks which give a critical view of things, 3) make structured notes that give you a clear structure to apply in exam questions, 4) be brutally exam focused (i.e. in many subjects you can drop huge parts of the syllabus because you know you don't need them to answer the necessary 4 out of 10 questions, 5) practice writing exam essays, 6) make sure you read journal articles (or even just the introduction/conclusion) so you have some nice alternative viewpoints, and note that these are ESSENTIAL for essay questions, 6) don't even think about answering an essay question in an exam if you don't have journal articles to use and if you aren't 100% clear about what the question is asking - if you've revised the specific issue an essay is asking about and know where you want to take the essay and are prepared to be very controversial, essays are an easy route to a first, but if in any doubt stick to problems.

    Everyone learns differently, but my top tip is to really make your learning about quality rather than quantity. Really try to maximise your productivity, don't waste time reading unimportant cases or confusing textbooks. Always think to yourself if you could be doing something more useful.
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    That's all amazing advice but I was wondering how do you actually identify the textbooks that are actually helpful? I am currently struggling with my admin law revision, not knowing what it is that I need to absolutely know or what I can omit... I have approximately 50 pages of notes on the whole course and this is my condensed version already.

    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Nailed my third year at Cambridge

    Honestly, the most important things you can do are 1) get some decent textbooks (rather than wasting time with some of the ***** that lecturers might put on the reading list such as Treitel on Contract), 2) use multiple different textbooks especially textbooks which give a critical view of things, 3) make structured notes that give you a clear structure to apply in exam questions, 4) be brutally exam focused (i.e. in many subjects you can drop huge parts of the syllabus because you know you don't need them to answer the necessary 4 out of 10 questions, 5) practice writing exam essays, 6) make sure you read journal articles (or even just the introduction/conclusion) so you have some nice alternative viewpoints, and note that these are ESSENTIAL for essay questions, 6) don't even think about answering an essay question in an exam if you don't have journal articles to use and if you aren't 100% clear about what the question is asking - if you've revised the specific issue an essay is asking about and know where you want to take the essay and are prepared to be very controversial, essays are an easy route to a first, but if in any doubt stick to problems.

    Everyone learns differently, but my top tip is to really make your learning about quality rather than quantity. Really try to maximise your productivity, don't waste time reading unimportant cases or confusing textbooks. Always think to yourself if you could be doing something more useful.
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Nailed my third year at Cambridge

    Honestly, the most important things you can do are 1) get some decent textbooks (rather than wasting time with some of the ***** that lecturers might put on the reading list such as Treitel on Contract), 2) use multiple different textbooks especially textbooks which give a critical view of things, 3) make structured notes that give you a clear structure to apply in exam questions, 4) be brutally exam focused (i.e. in many subjects you can drop huge parts of the syllabus because you know you don't need them to answer the necessary 4 out of 10 questions, 5) practice writing exam essays, 6) make sure you read journal articles (or even just the introduction/conclusion) so you have some nice alternative viewpoints, and note that these are ESSENTIAL for essay questions, 6) don't even think about answering an essay question in an exam if you don't have journal articles to use and if you aren't 100% clear about what the question is asking - if you've revised the specific issue an essay is asking about and know where you want to take the essay and are prepared to be very controversial, essays are an easy route to a first, but if in any doubt stick to problems.

    Everyone learns differently, but my top tip is to really make your learning about quality rather than quantity. Really try to maximise your productivity, don't waste time reading unimportant cases or confusing textbooks. Always think to yourself if you could be doing something more useful.
    Hi, thanks for the brilliant advice, i've seen your posts on other threads too, all sound tips, makes a lot of sense to me.

    I know everyone (by that i mean the lecturers) advocates the rule "don't exam spot!". This is not exactly true right? It definitely helps to know what to expect from the exam and what type of questions are likely to come up. A lot of things do come up year after year. I think we shouldn't take in every single thing lecturers say because it can't possibly apply to everyone? They also don't want to make their exams too easy for us. I think i may recall some actually admitting there are only so many variations of questions they can come up with.

    Essay questions are hard. For me anyway. I absolutely do no have the confidence to go controversial on these! Is "read more" the only sure way to become better? Do our powers of written style, not just the legal knowledge, also improve the more we read?
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    That's all amazing advice but I was wondering how do you actually identify the textbooks that are actually helpful? I am currently struggling with my admin law revision, not knowing what it is that I need to absolutely know or what I can omit... I have approximately 50 pages of notes on the whole course and this is my condensed version already.
    me toooo, my hand hurts like hell and my thumb is about to go on strike soon.

    I ask a friend for advice on note-taking and she said this "I don't take notes, it's a waste of time, i don't own notes, i don't read other people's notes, i just read things" she literally has written nothing her whole academic life. This girl got straight A*s through school, rejected an offer from cambridge, got a first from lse. All with NO NOTES.

    Although she did tell me about someone else who got the highest first in law from UCL. This girl did the exact opposite. Copied EVERYTHING down. Then redid her notes, a condensed version of the first, then again of the 2nd, then again of the 3rd..and again and again and again. What i see from this method is that looking through things more often will help you identify what can be omitted. The more familiar you are with the material the better you will be at culling it down.
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    (Original post by Tsaza)
    me toooo, my hand hurts like hell and my thumb is about to go on strike soon.

    I ask a friend for advice on note-taking and she said this "I don't take notes, it's a waste of time, i don't own notes, i don't read other people's notes, i just read things" she literally has written nothing her whole academic life. This girl got straight A*s through school, rejected an offer from cambridge, got a first from lse. All with NO NOTES.

    Although she did tell me about someone else who got the highest first in law from UCL. This girl did the exact opposite. Copied EVERYTHING down. Then redid her notes, a condensed version of the first, then again of the 2nd, then again of the 3rd..and again and again and again. What i see from this method is that looking through things more often will help you identify what can be omitted. The more familiar you are with the material the better you will be at culling it down.
    I know some people who don't take notes but I would find this very hard to do somewhere like Oxford where you have to sit all of your exams in the end. Remembering something that you've studied two years ago is definitely harder to do without any notes...

    I am definitely like the girl from UCL - I copy a lot of stuff down during term and then condense, and condense and condense everything until I have as little notes as possible. I find that doing that helps me to remember the material better.
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    I know some people who don't take notes but I would find this very hard to do somewhere like Oxford where you have to sit all of your exams in the end. Remembering something that you've studied two years ago is definitely harder to do without any notes...

    I am definitely like the girl from UCL - I copy a lot of stuff down during term and then condense, and condense and condense everything until I have as little notes as possible. I find that doing that helps me to remember the material better.
    I would love to write a lot of stuff! I really like writing and copying things. I actually find the process quite therapeutic! But physically my thumb and fingers are inhibiting me!! They just won't work after too long! This is actually annoying me. I know i can write more, there's more things in my head than my hands will physically let me. Could be my downfall in exam time. Finger exercises methinks?

    I'm selective about notetaking now. If it's a relatively introductory text I don't take any. I normally choose one good textbook for a certain topic and then make copius amounts of notes just from that book. If i reread it again in another book I take no notes.
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    (Original post by Tsaza)
    Hi, thanks for the brilliant advice, i've seen your posts on other threads too, all sound tips, makes a lot of sense to me.

    I know everyone (by that i mean the lecturers) advocates the rule "don't exam spot!". This is not exactly true right? It definitely helps to know what to expect from the exam and what type of questions are likely to come up. A lot of things do come up year after year. I think we shouldn't take in every single thing lecturers say because it can't possibly apply to everyone? They also don't want to make their exams too easy for us. I think i may recall some actually admitting there are only so many variations of questions they can come up with.

    Essay questions are hard. For me anyway. I absolutely do no have the confidence to go controversial on these! Is "read more" the only sure way to become better? Do our powers of written style, not just the legal knowledge, also improve the more we read?
    Yeah

    I think its dangerous to use logic like "they didn't ask this question for the last 3 years so it must come up this year" because examiners don't think like this. Because there are a lot of possible essays it is impossible to predict which essays will get asked (though if there has been a large controversial case recently this is a good bet).

    But most exams follow a predictable pattern: e.g. contract exams almost always have an offer/acceptance problem, you are very likely to have a misrepresentation problem.

    I also think you have to be a bit sensible. If there are 12 questions in each exam paper and you have to answer 4, you'd have to be crazy to revise all topics thoroughly rather than revising some areas more thoroughly than others. This does depend: for example, I wouldn't suggest that you drop offer and acceptance in contract, but you could easily drop frustration since this area is quite well contained as long as you do revise the essential points. It does vary from subject to subject - e.g. a lot of Company law is quite ubiquitous and it is difficult to drop most areas, but in a subject like Land law you could very easily drop leases and just concentrate on freehold, for example - with 12 questions you will certainly get 7/8 on freehold.

    A lot of your issue with essay questions is your style. You just have to be arrogant. Even if you don't really know what you are talking about, I suggest you go in there all guns blazing and have the confidence to say that view X is right and view Y advocated by academic Z is completely wrong. You need to be prepared to be controversial and take a different view on things, and you MUST answer the question directly rather than just talking about the general area of the question. That said, if you aren't good at writing essays, unless you are an expert on the particular area the essay is asking about, stick to problems.

    Essay questions are usually quite specialised and the information they must contain will be very very different to revising for problems. For problems you mostly just need to know what the law is, but in essays you won't need to know what the law is and what the cases are in such detail but will need to be aware of and refer to the different arguments/viewpoints that exist and be able to refer to journal articles.
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    (Original post by Tsaza)
    I would love to write a lot of stuff! I really like writing and copying things. I actually find the process quite therapeutic! But physically my thumb and fingers are inhibiting me!! They just won't work after too long! This is actually annoying me. I know i can write more, there's more things in my head than my hands will physically let me. Could be my downfall in exam time. Finger exercises methinks?

    I'm selective about notetaking now. If it's a relatively introductory text I don't take any. I normally choose one good textbook for a certain topic and then make copius amounts of notes just from that book. If i reread it again in another book I take no notes.
    If you can't write fast maybe try a laptop?

    Personally I made hand-written notes in lectures/tutorials, but found typed notes very useful when it came to revision. I'd have a bunch of hand-written notes accumulated during the year. I'd then have a think about what structure would be clearest for application to exams and easiest to remember. I'd then make those notes based on the clearest source I had (maybe a lecture handout, more often a textbook) and would add to and expand to that structure as I read other textbooks, journal articles and would end up with a damn good set of notes
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    If you can't write fast maybe try a laptop?

    Personally I made hand-written notes in lectures/tutorials, but found typed notes very useful when it came to revision. I'd have a bunch of hand-written notes accumulated during the year. I'd then have a think about what structure would be clearest for application to exams and easiest to remember. I'd then make those notes based on the clearest source I had (maybe a lecture handout, more often a textbook) and would add to and expand to that structure as I read other textbooks, journal articles and would end up with a damn good set of notes
    FWIW, this is the same approach I follow--I take handwritten notes for supervisions and in many lectures, but as I revise the term's material over Christmas I've been typing up notes. Your point about structure for exams is well-made, too.
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    That's all amazing advice but I was wondering how do you actually identify the textbooks that are actually helpful? I am currently struggling with my admin law revision, not knowing what it is that I need to absolutely know or what I can omit... I have approximately 50 pages of notes on the whole course and this is my condensed version already.
    Just got to try them and see how productive you feel you are being

    50 pages of notes is fine but I wouldn't describe it as "condensed". There is no particular need to break them down further if you are comfortable with them, but if you can't remember everything concentrate on what is important
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    Just got to try them and see how productive you feel you are being

    50 pages of notes is fine but I wouldn't describe it as "condensed". There is no particular need to break them down further if you are comfortable with them, but if you can't remember everything concentrate on what is important
    Thanks for that, JP.

    I started breaking them down further last night and I think I will end up with 15-20 pages max. That will definitely do for the exams - I had the same for constit, crim and Roman law ones and it worked. I think though that this is as 'condensed' as I could possibly go for 7 topics.
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    (Original post by eve_22)
    Thanks for that, JP.

    I started breaking them down further last night and I think I will end up with 15-20 pages max. That will definitely do for the exams - I had the same for constit, crim and Roman law ones and it worked. I think though that this is as 'condensed' as I could possibly go for 7 topics.
    I'd say 15-20 pages is a good number

    Though if you aren't going to take the actual exams for awihle it will be worth keeping your 40 page notes imo to jig your memory
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    (Original post by jacketpotato)
    I'd say 15-20 pages is a good number

    Though if you aren't going to take the actual exams for awihle it will be worth keeping your 40 page notes imo to jig your memory
    Since these are collections, it might be useful to be able to update/augment the condensed notes from the extended notes on the basis of the content/success on the actual exam.
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      (Original post by The West Wing)
      Hi, I got a First in second year of law at Cambridge and I'm currently studying for final year. I might be interested in doing some tutoring, especially for Constitutional or Tort (both of which I got a First in.)
      Oh hello.

      How did you get a first in Tort? Btw what books did you use for tort?
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      (Original post by sleekchic)
      Oh hello.

      How did you get a first in Tort? Btw what books did you use for tort?
      I got a very high 2.1 in my tort collections from using Markesinis, Oliphant and Jenny Steele's books - the problem with tort is that none of the books are sufficient on their own, so you need to mix & match to get the right amount of black letter law/theoretical arguments. Also, read articles. For tort, I found them to be very useful.
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      (Original post by sleekchic)
      Oh hello.

      How did you get a first in Tort? Btw what books did you use for tort?

      I don't use text books very much - I prefer to use lecture notes and to read the judgments. Out of the books though my favourite is Winfield and Jolowicz.
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        (Original post by jacketpotato)
        Yeah

        I think its dangerous to use logic like "they didn't ask this question for the last 3 years so it must come up this year" because examiners don't think like this. Because there are a lot of possible essays it is impossible to predict which essays will get asked (though if there has been a large controversial case recently this is a good bet).

        But most exams follow a predictable pattern: e.g. contract exams almost always have an offer/acceptance problem, you are very likely to have a misrepresentation problem.

        I also think you have to be a bit sensible. If there are 12 questions in each exam paper and you have to answer 4, you'd have to be crazy to revise all topics thoroughly rather than revising some areas more thoroughly than others. This does depend: for example, I wouldn't suggest that you drop offer and acceptance in contract, but you could easily drop frustration since this area is quite well contained as long as you do revise the essential points. It does vary from subject to subject - e.g. a lot of Company law is quite ubiquitous and it is difficult to drop most areas, but in a subject like Land law you could very easily drop leases and just concentrate on freehold, for example - with 12 questions you will certainly get 7/8 on freehold.

        A lot of your issue with essay questions is your style. You just have to be arrogant. Even if you don't really know what you are talking about, I suggest you go in there all guns blazing and have the confidence to say that view X is right and view Y advocated by academic Z is completely wrong. You need to be prepared to be controversial and take a different view on things, and you MUST answer the question directly rather than just talking about the general area of the question. That said, if you aren't good at writing essays, unless you are an expert on the particular area the essay is asking about, stick to problems.

        Essay questions are usually quite specialised and the information they must contain will be very very different to revising for problems. For problems you mostly just need to know what the law is, but in essays you won't need to know what the law is and what the cases are in such detail but will need to be aware of and refer to the different arguments/viewpoints that exist and be able to refer to journal articles.
        So how do you decide what topics to focus your revision on? For example for EU or land or even Tort? Do you just pick the most important and then go from there?

        (Original post by eve_22)
        I got a very high 2.1 in my tort collections from using Markesinis, Oliphant and Jenny Steele's books - the problem with tort is that none of the books are sufficient on their own, so you need to mix & match to get the right amount of black letter law/theoretical arguments. Also, read articles. For tort, I found them to be very useful.
        (Original post by The West Wing)
        I don't use text books very much - I prefer to use lecture notes and to read the judgments. Out of the books though my favourite is Winfield and Jolowicz.
        I ended up with a low 2:1 in my essay so I'm hoping to up that in the exams. I use Oliphant which I've found to be really accessible, I also use Winfield to supplement it. I'll continue reading the articles.
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        Since we are (vaguely) on the topic of textbooks, would you guys have any suggestions as to which is the best one for land law?
       
       
       
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