littleboyblue wrote:i am pretty nervous about YLS's unconventional writing program/teaching style. the student blog on such topic (coker fellows) actually made me even more nervous. is becoming a coker fellow a competitive process and only people who actually write exceptionally well get to become one? from the blog it sounded as if anyone could sign up including people who want to become better writers (but are currently are not necessarily standouts). anyone have more insight into this? thanks.
Admittedly, I don't know all that much about the details of the TA selection process (though it's certainly not the case that just anyone can sign up - each small group only has 2 TAs, so that's about 30 TAs in total), but I can assure you that my friends and I have been nothing but pleased with the quality of guidance we've received from the Coker Fellows (I had no idea that was what they're officially called...). Since the professors have a say in who serves as TAs in their course (and because, to a varied extent, TAs remove the burden with regard to writing instruction from the professors), they're incentivized to choose students that have been standouts in classes they've taught, or that come on good recommendation from other faculty members.
While I can't say what motivates everyone to become TAs (some might want to build their own writing skills, some may want to be academics in the future, some might just want a unique & fulfilling part-time job), I don't think quality of instruction from the TAs is anything to worry about. Personally, I think both my TAs are brilliant, and their feedback has been spot-on and thorough. Also, it should be noted that professors, too, provide writing instruction - they read your memos and briefs, giving feedback on argument and writing style (usually this is after the TAs have seen a draft - so you don't have to be embarrassed by making silly mistakes on something you turn in to the professor!), so it's not the case that the TAs are solely responsible for your legal writing experience.