TheSeaLocust's 1L Exam Strategy Course (Fall 2016)

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TheSeaLocust's 1L Exam Strategy Course (Fall 2016)

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:28 am

My exam strategy course is back for its third year this fall. The guides have been revised and expanded, I've now got years of helping students achieve great grades under my belt, and the course's price is still just $900.

Current enrollment status (9/26/2016)

There are about 5 slots left for the fall, if anybody is still interested!


The course is designed to demystify law school and help get you the best 1L grades possible. Law professors notoriously "hide the ball" and don't make it clear how to succeed on finals, despite the tremendous impact those exams will have on your career. One of my professors likened it to spending a semester reading about the history of swimming and then getting thrown into a pool for a race.

Worse still, the curve means you’ll be competing against incredibly smart and motivated peers. When you sit for exams, everyone is going to know the material – as Getting to Maybe says, law school is a place where just knowing the material isn't enough. To earn top grades, you’ll need to have perfected the skill of applying the law and performing sophisticated legal analysis.

I have discovered that professors generally look for the same thing on exams, and grade their exams in a largely consistent manner. Getting an A "just" means getting a lot of points - but your professors never tell you directly how to get those points. Many students devote absurd amounts of effort to studying the law, only to discover that grades depend far more on the skill of taking the exam than on substantive preparation. My course is designed to make exams your priority from day one, and to teach you how to destroy the curve by focusing on the dark art of exam grading. Understanding the grading process is the key to writing a killer exam.

I want to remove all the bullshit and uncertainty and mind-games, help you hone the abilities you will need to impress your professors, and reap the huge rewards our industry rains on those who ace first year exams.

1L is immensely stressful and critical for your future career. Why go it alone?

What the course offers

Below is a complete list of what the course offers for the fall 2016 semester:

  1. My full-length guide to law school and law school exams. This multi-part guide, extensively edited and revised based on my years of teaching exam skills, covers strategies for reading, studying, and exam taking. Totaling more than 20,000 words, these guides will lay the foundation for the study habits and exam writing techniques necessary to get top grades.
  2. Two custom practice exams with personalized grading and feedback. Twice during the semester we will work through practice exams that I have prepared for teaching exam skills. I’ll provide personalized grading and written feedback, as well as group comments based on everyone's performance.
  3. Grading and feedback on one of your professor’s practice questions. After you've done the two practice exam questions I have written, I’ll grade a practice exam from your professors and provide detailed feedback.
  4. Unlimited email consultation, strategizing, Q&A, and life coaching. I’ll be there to respond to questions, work on strategy, and provide advice and encouragement all semester via email. From study strategies, to analyzing your professors, to reviewing feedback on your practice exams, I'll be there for you night and day.
  5. Weekly advice emails. At the beginning of each week you'll receive an email with tips, encouragement, and advice based on where we are in the semester.
  6. Copies of my 1L study materials. A complete collection of my 1L outlines, examples of my case briefs, and a sample of my exam writing from a practice question.
  7. My exam strategy research collection. For the truly obsessive – a treasure trove of law review articles, blog posts, quotes, and strategy guides about law school success that I’ve collected over the years.

The base course is designed to be comprehensive, providing all of the knowledge, practice, feedback, and support necessary to maximize your potential for great grades. However, if you're looking for more help, additional practice exam grading or one-on-one phone sessions can be purchased at an hourly rate.

What the course is NOT

To be clear, there are a few things you should not expect. The course is NOT:

  1. Substantive law tutoring. The course will not teach you torts or civil procedure. It will help you choose efficient study strategies, avoid wasting time, and master the skill of exam writing, but you're responsible for learning the substantive law on your own.
  2. Sketchy. I won’t take your exams for you, provide you with any kind of privileged information, or do anything that would be even slightly ethically questionable.
  3. A panacea. 1L is an enormous amount of work, and you’ll have to put in the time to master both the material and the skills we cover. Just signing up won’t get you As.


Tuition for the course will be $900, which is the same price as the fall 2014 and fall 2015 courses. That amount will be due in two installments of $450 each via check or PayPal.

Once enrolled in the base course, if you are interested in one-on-one phone sessions and/or additional practice exam grading, you can add more for $150 per hour. As I've stated before though, the base course is designed to be comprehensive, providing all of the necessary knowledge, practice, feedback, and support necessary to maximize your potential for great grades.

About me

I post as TheSeaLocust on TLS (and have posted guides as Scribe in the past), and was tied for the highest GPA my 1L year at a T14 law school. While at school I was on law review and heavily involved in the law school comedy show. I also worked for two law firms, a federal judge, and as a research assistant. After law school I worked at a "V5" law firm in New York City. You can read more about me here.

If you’re interested in the course, I will send my full background and contact information before asking you to sign up. The business isn't anonymous.

Curriculum vitae

Below are some of my previous guides and posts:

  1. Law school exam guide (this won a ~prestigious~ TLS content competition award): viewtopic.php?f=22&t=120673
  2. TLS Collected Wisdom on Success in Law School: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=123092
  3. Article on getting points on exams, with examples: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=199175
  4. 1L anxiety meditation retreat: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=216920
  5. OCI / legal recruitment guide: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=161018
  6. Maybe you should drop out of law school (honesty!): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=175022
  7. 2014 course (out of date info about course offerings): viewtopic.php?t=235154
  8. 2015 course (out of date info about course offerings): viewtopic.php?f=3&t=251467

Sign up

Interested in the course? Great! Just follow these easy steps:

  1. Send me an email at
  2. I’ll respond with my complete background and contact information as well as a course syllabus and enrollment form.
  3. Complete and return the enrollment form, mail me a check or pay via PayPal invoice, and you’re all set!


When does it start? How long does it last?

As soon as you sign up, I'll be available for email consultation and will send you the course's first short guide - an introduction to law school exams. Weekly emails and guide distributions begin in earnest late August. If you sign up later in the semester, I'll get you up to speed on all materials that have gone out previously.

The course materials and weekly emails will run through late November, and I'll be available for consultation through your last final exam in the fall 2016 semester. The course does not continue into the spring: it is designed to prepare you before you sit for your first exam in the fall!

How have students done in the past?

Many have done extremely well. Students I have had in the fall regularly finish in the top 10% of their class and secure offers at big law firms, and students I have worked with in the spring semester have often improved to top 10% grades. A few of my students have even been selected to clerk for 'feeder' judges! You can read testimonials here.

There is undeniably a self-selection bias, so I can't claim credit for all of my students' successes. And as I said above, the course is not a panacea, so not everyone does as well as they hope. You will have to put in the work - both for your core classes and for this course - but I firmly believe I can help.

How will an exam strategy course help me?

Most law students never really understand why they got the grades they got - good or bad. I spent a huge amount of time trying to deconstruct that mystery by researching the experience other people had and picking the brains of my classmates and professors. It paid off for me in a big way, and the people I have helped have also obtained strong results.

Professors really do hide the ball, and the first year of law school is organized more as a tournament than as an educational system. Law professors (and many lawyers) place a lot of value on first year courses as a sorting mechanism. That is equal parts toxic and silly, but since the belief is out there, there is tremendous value to knocking 1L out of the park. It's not even that hard, there's just very little instruction or guidance, so it rewards those who are motivated to deconstruct the system. This course will make sure you're on the right track from day one.

How much extra work will it be for me as a law student?

Not much! Part of what I emphasize is that furiously studying the law isn't as important as focused preparation for the exams. To be cliché, the goal is to study smart, not hard. In fact, taking the course might save you time - instead of reading ten hornbooks for each class as an outlet for your anxiety, you will know to concentrate on exam skills. In addition, you'll be getting my feedback and guidance on your work, instead of working with other 1Ls - which all too often devolves into wasted time and the blind leading the blind.

Who are you?

Like I said above, I don't intend for this to be an anonymous business - you can read more about me here. Everyone who emails me about the course (either with questions or to sign up) will get all of my contact information, and you'll know who I am and have my phone number and address before committing to anything.

Will this be private and confidential?

Absolutely! I won't introduce you to my other students or publish the names (real or on TLS) of the students I'm working with under any circumstances. You can gun for top grades in private - I understand the desire to do well, but not to flaunt your ambition publicly.

OMG that's too expensive!

I firmly believe my unique skills and background coupled with the importance of 1L grades make this a good value, but I realize not everyone will agree.

The course will probably cost less than you spend on books and supplements your first year, or less than a third of one week of summer associate salary. It's less expensive than a bar review course, and covers a more important phase of your education.

$900 is a lot of money, but I am committed to making it worth it for you.

I'm not a 1L, can I still sign up?

Yes! But please understand that the course is tailored to first year students. The highest value I can provide will be from the focus on learning how to crush law school exams from the very beginning, and many of my materials are written assuming the audience is just starting law school.

Can I just hire you for exam grading or strategy sessions?

Nope! Those are offered exclusively to students enrolled in the basic course, to avoid having to start from scratch on methods and strategies.

I'm not at a U.S. law school, can I still sign up?

No - I really don't have any idea how legal education outside of the U.S. works (I have had people ask though!)

Do you accept bitcoin?

The answer is still no, I'm afraid. Maybe next year.

Do you have a terrible website that just duplicates the information in this thread?

You bet! Check it out here.

This was super long are you done yet?

Yes. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to being your secret weapon this fall!
Last edited by thesealocust on Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:46 am, edited 12 times in total.


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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Exam Strategy Course (Fall 2016)

Postby Giddy-Up » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:09 am

Did you have the highest GPA outright at the end of 1L or were you tied for highest GPA with another individual?

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Exam Strategy Course (Fall 2016)

Postby thesealocust » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:36 pm

Giddy-Up wrote:Did you have the highest GPA outright at the end of 1L or were you tied for highest GPA with another individual?

I was tied with one other individual.

Because that's a unique circumstance, I was more cautious about stating it directly on TLS in prior years (as it would have outed me). Some of my older posts either stated I had the highest GPA (technically true! One other person just also had the highest GPA :lol:) or said something cagey about being top of the class, top handful of students, whatever. I've updated this post to be more direct, since as I'm sure you've realized I care much less about anonymity now that I'm further removed from law school & big law.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Exam Strategy Course (Fall 2016)

Postby thesealocust » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:28 am

There are still some slots left for the fall, and the course is just now getting underway!

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Exam Strategy Course (Fall 2016)

Postby Work-Life-Balance » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:47 pm

To those of you who are still on the fence, I would highly recommend enrolling in this course. I signed up last year and finished in the top 5% at my T1 regional school.

Achieving top grades requires that you not only know the material, but are also able to perform well on law school exams – a skill that unfortunately is not covered in class. TheSeaLocust breaks down the law school exam process and explains exactly what professors look for when they are grading you. He does a brilliant job of helping you understand how to write a strong exam, and will review your practice exams to identify areas where you need to improve. Another benefit is the amount of time and anxiety this course will save you. I followed TheSeaLocust’s advice, and other than the exam period I seldom found myself working late nights or weekends. While many of my classmates were blindly exhausting themselves, I was able to relax knowing that I was on track to do well.

As a result of my grades and professor recommendations from those grades, I was able to get a paid summer associate position for my 1L summer. I’ve recently finished OCI and my grades have made a noticeable difference relative to my classmates. The cost of enrolling is easily worth it for the employment opportunities you can gain.

If you have any questions about the course please feel free to PM me.

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Re: TheSeaLocust's 1L Exam Strategy Course (Fall 2016)

Postby thesealocust » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:48 am

The course is well under way (just about to distribute the course's first practice exam), but there are still 5 or so spots left. There's plenty of time to learn to crush your exams if anybody is still interested in signing up!

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