Law Professor Answering Questions

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Hunch
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Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Hunch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:31 pm

One of my students suggested I log on here to answer questions. Hope I'm not intruding. Good luck everyone on your applications!

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Kilpatrick » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:32 pm

Awesome. Where do you teach?

Hunch
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Hunch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:34 pm

Questions other than identity. I teach at a school that drifts between the first and second tiers.

LjakW
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby LjakW » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:35 pm

If you were at the application stage now, knowing what you know now:
A) Would you apply at all?
B) Would you apply to the school you went to?
C) Would you apply to the school you're now teaching at?

Scurredsitless1
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:37 pm

Are you fimiliar with programs like LEEWS? How do you feel about classes that prep students for law school?

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phoenix323
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby phoenix323 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:37 pm

What do you look for in "A" level exams? What sets them apart for exams that would receive an A- or B+?

Thank you for taking questions!

Hunch
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Hunch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:42 pm

LjakW wrote:If you were at the application stage now, knowing what you know now:
A) Would you apply at all?
B) Would you apply to the school you went to?
C) Would you apply to the school you're now teaching at?



Good questions; multi-part, just like an exam.

A) Yes, for sure. The economy is rough all over, but you folks are (presumably) signing on for a long career. More and more of life is filtered through law; the administrative state grows, domestically and internationally. I think the model of law practice will change (for the better), but the era of the lawyer is just beginning.

B) Yep. Went to a great school, one that (you would guess) produces lots of law profs.

C) Yes, assuming I didn't or couldn't become a law prof. I wanted to be a professor since I was a kid, so obviously I set myself up for that from the beginning. But regional schools (like mine) place very well into the local markets. You can escape the local market (I'm on a coast), and many of our grads do, but that's not the easiest thing. But if you like the area and want to practice law, why not?

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Kiersten1985
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Kiersten1985 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:46 pm

Scurredsitless1 wrote:Are you fimiliar with programs like LEEWS? How do you feel about classes that prep students for law school?


Thanks for answering questions. I second asking this one.

Hunch
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Hunch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:48 pm

Scurredsitless1 wrote:Are you fimiliar with programs like LEEWS? How do you feel about classes that prep students for law school?


Whoa, this is getting busy.

No, not familiar with LEEWS. I discourage people from pre-law prep stuff. Two small pieces of advice: 1) establish a regular, daily habit of some physical exercise that you can continue through law school. You absolutely need some mind/body refresher. 2) clear out as many distractions as you can for the first year. No long commutes, no bad relationships, no job, etc. Just give us total commitment for each semester, as best you can. Come ready to work and we'll teach the rest.

lawschoolgiant
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby lawschoolgiant » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:49 pm

What is your top 2 pieces of advice for an incoming law student. I am recently married without children, if that changes your answer. Thank you for taking your time to answer questions.

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beach_terror
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby beach_terror » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:52 pm

How important is it to purchase hornbooks to supplement your assigned reading? Do you think they're vital to being successful in law school, or just the lazy mans way to get ahead?

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Philo38
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Philo38 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:52 pm

Hunch wrote:
Scurredsitless1 wrote:Are you fimiliar with programs like LEEWS? How do you feel about classes that prep students for law school?


Whoa, this is getting busy.

No, not familiar with LEEWS. I discourage people from pre-law prep stuff. Two small pieces of advice: 1) establish a regular, daily habit of some physical exercise that you can continue through law school. You absolutely need some mind/body refresher. 2) clear out as many distractions as you can for the first year. No long commutes, no bad relationships, no job, etc. Just give us total commitment for each semester, as best you can. Come ready to work and we'll teach the rest.


In all the stress this is just what I needed to hear. Thanks!

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:55 pm

Do you find the price of law school at lower ranked schools (tier 2 on down) to be a troubling aspect of legal education? If its a problem to be fixed, how would you fix it?

(sounds like a legal miss america question...sorry)

traficante
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby traficante » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:56 pm

What advice would you give to someone hoping to become a law professor, particularly someone entering law school (probably Yale/Harvard) with a PhD?

Thanks for taking the time to do this, and thanks to your student for thinking of this!
Last edited by traficante on Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dontknowwhereimgoin
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby dontknowwhereimgoin » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:56 pm

What's your opinion on gunners?

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holydonkey
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby holydonkey » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:59 pm

Is the professor quality really different between a T10, T20, and T30? What's the #1 up-and-coming school in your opinion?

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tadams86
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby tadams86 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:00 pm

Thank you for your great advice, definitely makes me feel a bit less stressed out.

Hunch
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Hunch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:01 pm

lawschoolgiant wrote:What is your top 2 pieces of advice for an incoming law student. I am recently married without children, if that changes your answer. Thank you for taking your time to answer questions.


See my previous post, and congratulations on the marriage.

To add a little to what I said previously: law school is not "hard" in the sense that calculus is hard. The difficulty is in the volume. I guess one could analogize law school to med school and a course in anatomy. There's nothing difficult about knowing the name of a bone or something. It's just that when we add a couple of hundred more bones, then add other parts of the anatomy, suddenly the student has a problem on her hands.

The best students are comfortable with the ambiguity of words (why we like Philosophy and English majors). They are super-well-organized and thorough in paying attention to details. And they have stamina to take on a long course of study.

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sapp
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby sapp » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:02 pm

Hunch wrote:Whoa, this is getting busy.


I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you for taking your time to answer all these questions. It's very generous of you.

orphanarium
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby orphanarium » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:03 pm

...
Last edited by orphanarium on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cavalier
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Cavalier » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:04 pm

Just one question. Holmes or Cardozo?

goingtolawschool
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby goingtolawschool » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:06 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!

I have some questions regarding your occupation:
What do you think explains the fact that most of my law professors have attended HYS law schools- the fact that law schools hire them because they went to HYS or the fact that the type of people that goes to HYS is the type that is most passionate about teaching/publishing?

With non-HYS law schools being more selective than ever and drawing the same student body that 10 years ago could easily get into HYS, do you think the tendency of top law schools to hire mostly HYS alumni is going to change?
Last edited by goingtolawschool on Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hunch
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Hunch » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:15 pm

holydonkey wrote:Is the professor quality really different between a T10, T20, and T30? What's the #1 up-and-coming school in your opinion?



As for up and coming law schools, I honestly don't fixate much on the rankings. (That's for the dean to worry about.) But with that said, San Diego (no, I don't teach there) has a great faculty and should be ranked a lot higher. I'd definitely enjoy a legal education there. Bring sunscreen.

On the professor quality issue, first let me disclose an obvious bias. I'm not teaching at a top school, so insert as much envy into my answer as you think appropriate. But I have visited (taught classes at) two of them in my career (I'm mid-40's in age). And here's the dirty little secret of legal education: it's a commodity. We all use the same teaching materials and raise the same discussion points. When I visited at the top schools I didn't change my teaching materials or approach one bit. It's the same legal education from the top of the rankings to the bottom. The ABA accreditation oversight basically and strongly works to ensure that the teaching at all schools is pretty much identical.

Now with that said, the profs at the top schools are better as a group, but what they're better at is scholarship, not teaching. So what they're better at you'll never experience as a student.

What you get at a top school (and not mine) are two things: more bells and whistles (like more extensive special abroad programs, more clinics, more journals, etc.) and better placement, with the school's name/reputation acting as a proxy for a student's ability.

I practiced law for a few years after law school as an associate at a very big international firm, one of the huge ones. I was surprised to find out that the few associates who came from "lesser" law schools were every bit as capable as I was (and some more so) at actually doing the darn work. After a short while, no one cares where you went to law school; it's all about who can do the work (and eventually get clients).

slider
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby slider » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:21 pm

Very informative thread. Thank you for taking the time to answer questions.

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Law Professor Answering Questions

Postby Jay-Electronica » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:25 pm

Hunch wrote:
holydonkey wrote:Is the professor quality really different between a T10, T20, and T30? What's the #1 up-and-coming school in your opinion?



As for up and coming law schools, I honestly don't fixate much on the rankings. (That's for the dean to worry about.) But with that said, San Diego (no, I don't teach there) has a great faculty and should be ranked a lot higher. I'd definitely enjoy a legal education there. Bring sunscreen.

On the professor quality issue, first let me disclose an obvious bias. I'm not teaching at a top school, so insert as much envy into my answer as you think appropriate. But I have visited (taught classes at) two of them in my career (I'm mid-40's in age). And here's the dirty little secret of legal education: it's a commodity. We all use the same teaching materials and raise the same discussion points. When I visited at the top schools I didn't change my teaching materials or approach one bit. It's the same legal education from the top of the rankings to the bottom. The ABA accreditation oversight basically and strongly works to ensure that the teaching at all schools is pretty much identical.

Now with that said, the profs at the top schools are better as a group, but what they're better at is scholarship, not teaching. So what they're better at you'll never experience as a student.

What you get at a top school (and not mine) are two things: more bells and whistles (like more extensive special abroad programs, more clinics, more journals, etc.) and better placement, with the school's name/reputation acting as a proxy for a student's ability.

I practiced law for a few years after law school as an associate at a very big international firm, one of the huge ones. I was surprised to find out that the few associates who came from "lesser" law schools were every bit as capable as I was (and some more so) at actually doing the darn work. After a short while, no one cares where you went to law school; it's all about who can do the work (and eventually get clients).


You just broke a few hearts here on TLS with that one. Thank you for taking and answering questions.




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