Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2013)
acdisagod
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby acdisagod » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:43 am

let/them/eat/cake wrote:
danidancer wrote:
calicocat wrote:Anyone else getting nervous?


I know I'm going to regret saying this... But... I'm having a hard time believing that law school is THAT. MUCH. HARDER. than any of my other schooling. I mean, yes, it's going to be hard. But there seems to be a desire among a lot of 0Ls to reinvent the wheel. I've been studying and analyzing and taking exams for 16 years. Isn't law school just going to be a ramped up version of the same? As I said, I know I'm probably going to regret saying this in a couple of months. I'm just having a hard time buying into all the hype.


QFP.

I mean, I don't know what you studied in college, but it's not like an English or even a difficult philosophy class, because for the most part your grade is not based on papers you write on your own time, but on one high-pressure time intensive one-off exam. Nor is it like a poli-sci class because those are bullshit. You can get a b+ in a polisci class without have ever gone to one session (or even done more than skim the readings, imho). Up to half of the class will do as much as possible and still get a B+ or lower. Obvi, that is all probably something everyone knows, even before going in, but when you're actually in the shit, law school, pedagogically, does reinvent the wheel, and that's why it may seem like 0Ls attempt to "reinvent the wheel." That being said, i think the key is to remain calm during the semester--to not miss the forest for the trees. Also, i should prob be the last person to try to instill any kind of fear in y'all, bc it really isn't that hard. I think it can be done by just doing the reading and then turning it into high gear like 2-3 weeks before exams.

Enjoy the 4th everyone.


Idk, I studied at a top law program in London for a year and it was a lot more work than undergrad but it was mangeable. I wasn't as smart as a lot of people there so I had to study 4-6 hours a day during the year while most people got by on 3-4 hours. We didn't do semsters, just one full year class with only one exam so by the end of the year everyone was studying 6-9 hours a day.

The other differences from undergrad were obviously a lot more reading but also you had to do more than memorize, you had to analyze in a step by step and logical manner. The professors would grill you on each step of your reasoning during class so you had to come to class not only understanding the legal rules, but also understanding the rationale behind the rules and how this rationale could apply to other hypotheticals. Classes were small and half my grade was based on class participation (for actual students at the school their grade was 100% based on the final) so participation was mandatory for me.

The course was also Brtish Con law and Britain has no written constiution so that was interesting lol.

That said, law school in London may be different than it is in the U.S.

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let/them/eat/cake
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby let/them/eat/cake » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:54 am

acdisagod wrote:
let/them/eat/cake wrote:
danidancer wrote:
calicocat wrote:Anyone else getting nervous?


I know I'm going to regret saying this... But... I'm having a hard time believing that law school is THAT. MUCH. HARDER. than any of my other schooling. I mean, yes, it's going to be hard. But there seems to be a desire among a lot of 0Ls to reinvent the wheel. I've been studying and analyzing and taking exams for 16 years. Isn't law school just going to be a ramped up version of the same? As I said, I know I'm probably going to regret saying this in a couple of months. I'm just having a hard time buying into all the hype.


QFP.

I mean, I don't know what you studied in college, but it's not like an English or even a difficult philosophy class, because for the most part your grade is not based on papers you write on your own time, but on one high-pressure time intensive one-off exam. Nor is it like a poli-sci class because those are bullshit. You can get a b+ in a polisci class without have ever gone to one session (or even done more than skim the readings, imho). Up to half of the class will do as much as possible and still get a B+ or lower. Obvi, that is all probably something everyone knows, even before going in, but when you're actually in the shit, law school, pedagogically, does reinvent the wheel, and that's why it may seem like 0Ls attempt to "reinvent the wheel." That being said, i think the key is to remain calm during the semester--to not miss the forest for the trees. Also, i should prob be the last person to try to instill any kind of fear in y'all, bc it really isn't that hard. I think it can be done by just doing the reading and then turning it into high gear like 2-3 weeks before exams.

Enjoy the 4th everyone.


Idk, I studied at a top law program in London for a year and it was a lot more work than undergrad but it was mangeable. I wasn't as smart as a lot of people there so I had to study 4-6 hours a day during the year while most people got by on 3-4 hours. We didn't do semsters, just one full year class with only one exam so by the end of the year everyone was studying 6-9 hours a day.

The other differences from undergrad were obviously a lot more reading but also you had to do more than memorize, you had to analyze in a step by step and logical manner. The professors would grill you on each step of your reasoning during class so you had to come to class not only understanding the legal rules, but also understanding the rationale behind the rules and how this rationale could apply to other hypotheticals. Classes were small and half my grade was based on class participation (for actual students at the school their grade was 100% based on the final) so participation was mandatory for me.

The course was also Brtish Con law and Britain has no written constiution so that was interesting lol.

That said, law school in London may be different than it is in the U.S.


actually, sounds like you do know what's up. that'll be good, mentally speaking. prob won't be freaking out like a lot of other folks. "OMFG i was at the library til like 4 am last night!". in, like, October. poor deluded souls.

acdisagod
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby acdisagod » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:25 am

Yea I had that experience in London. I am ashamed to say that I did freak out a little one month in and spent one of my breaks studying instead of seeing Italy. I made the mistake of thinking I had to read everything the teachers recommended in addition to the required reading. I really regret that now. I was spending way to much time reading the cases rather than just a summary of the cases. By January though I pulled myself together and was finally relaxed. I did get to go to Paris in the spring so I guess I can't complain too much.

acdisagod
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby acdisagod » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:19 am

This is probably a long shot but is anyone going to Albany on the weekends? I really need to get to Albany on some weekends but the bus on friday leaves before our last class. I will gladly pay for all the gas on the way there and if you are coming back on sunday I will also pay for it on the way back.

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jks289
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby jks289 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:41 pm

acdisagod wrote:This is probably a long shot but is anyone going to Albany on the weekends? I really need to get to Albany on some weekends but the bus on friday leaves before our last class. I will gladly pay for all the gas on the way there and if you are coming back on sunday I will also pay for it on the way back.


My brother in law lives near Albany so we'll be going there every once in a while and probably for Thanksgiving. Can you do an early bus Saturday morning?

acdisagod
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby acdisagod » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:20 pm

jks289 wrote:
acdisagod wrote:This is probably a long shot but is anyone going to Albany on the weekends? I really need to get to Albany on some weekends but the bus on friday leaves before our last class. I will gladly pay for all the gas on the way there and if you are coming back on sunday I will also pay for it on the way back.


My brother in law lives near Albany so we'll be going there every once in a while and probably for Thanksgiving. Can you do an early bus Saturday morning?


Yea I could. The problem is I want to see my gf up in Albany and the bus wouldnt get their until 1 on saturday and it would leave at one on sunday so that would kinda suck. I'm learning how to drive now (grew up in NYC so I never learned even though I should have) so if I pass my test and I have enough experience I'll drive myself. If I fail my test I'll let you know and if you are going to albany let me know.

arstech
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby arstech » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:14 pm

Hey guys. I'm a 2L at Cornell, and these forums were really helpful for me last year. I am going to do my best to give back by listing a few things that I wish I had known a year ago when I was in your shoes. For what it's worth.

#1: AOP I was so confused and pissed off about this last year. It seemed like a few students were going to get a week's head start on me for no apparent reason. We e-mailed Cornell, and they gave us some vague, non-helpful answer. Here's the deal with AOP. AOP is where "diverse" students go a week early. They have class, homework assignments, and get an introduction to the Soctratic method. This may strike you as misguided or shady. And you would be totally right. But in retrospect I think it's funny that I ever got upset about it because it is of absolutely no academic advantage. The classes in AOP aren't any of the ones you have this semester, and it's not like you can really practice for the Socratic method (at least in a week). So please, don't make the same mistake I made and worry about it.

#2: Clermont First semester, half of you will have Professor Clermont for Civil Procedure. The other half of you will have him next semester. Throughout the next five months you are going to hear all kinds of horror stories. My favorite is that "the median score on his multiple choice questions is 20%, so if you are a below-average student the rational approach is to randomly guess and so you'll have more time for the essay question." You will hear lots of whining about how he expects you to know every footnote in the casebook, and how his exams are completely arbitrary. This is such unbelievable crap. I got an A in his class, and I assure you I did not memorize any footnotes. A big part of succeeding in law school is learning to ignore people when they tell you stuff like this.

[redacted]

#4: Letters of Recommendation You will have two section-only classes (i.e. with the 30 people in your section and nobody else). One is lawyering, and the other is a substantive class. Make sure you are on good terms with both of these professors. You'll need professor LORs for lots of things, and this is the easiest way to get it.

#5: Dinner Parties at Professors' Houses If a professor invites you to go to his or her house for a dinner party, make sure you go. This is how I messed up #4, and I regret it!

#6: Relax You have four months of school before you have to take a test. It is more than enough time to figure everything out. Enjoy your summer!
Last edited by arstech on Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mec30
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby mec30 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:48 pm

Good to know, thanks! A 3.9 is impressive!

arstech
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby arstech » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:24 pm

mec30 wrote:Good to know, thanks! A 3.9 is impressive!

Sorry, I didn't drop my GPA in order to brag. I just hate it when people give advice without disclosing how it worked for them. But there are people with much higher GPAs.

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legallybrunette16
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby legallybrunette16 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:43 pm

wow thank you for the heads up!

how did you know to read those aids? I have not received anything in the mail regarding summer reading recommendations.

and, how would we obtain Emanuel's or Gilbert's outlines?

arstech
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby arstech » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:56 pm

legallybrunette16 wrote:wow thank you for the heads up!

how did you know to read those aids? I have not received anything in the mail regarding summer reading recommendations.

and, how would we obtain Emanuel's or Gilbert's outlines?

Crap, I should have realized that this was going to happen. :-)

I was not trying to say that you should go out and buy stuff. In fact, please don't, because you really don't need to. That being said, I do think that spending a couple Sunday afternoons in Barnes & Noble reading about Civil Procedure was of some benefit. I am cheap and don't buy books ;-)

But the point I was trying to make is that you don't need to freak out and read a bunch of stuff because you might get burned out.

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mec30
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby mec30 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:10 pm

arstech wrote:
legallybrunette16 wrote:wow thank you for the heads up!

how did you know to read those aids? I have not received anything in the mail regarding summer reading recommendations.

and, how would we obtain Emanuel's or Gilbert's outlines?

Crap, I should have realized that this was going to happen. :-)

I was not trying to say that you should go out and buy stuff. In fact, please don't, because you really don't need to. That being said, I do think that spending a couple Sunday afternoons in Barnes & Noble reading about Civil Procedure was of some benefit. I am cheap and don't buy books ;-)

But the point I was trying to make is that you don't need to freak out and read a bunch of stuff because you might get burned out.


And with that, back to my leisure reading...

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danidancer
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby danidancer » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:13 pm

arstech wrote:
legallybrunette16 wrote:wow thank you for the heads up!

how did you know to read those aids? I have not received anything in the mail regarding summer reading recommendations.

and, how would we obtain Emanuel's or Gilbert's outlines?

Crap, I should have realized that this was going to happen. :-)

I was not trying to say that you should go out and buy stuff. In fact, please don't, because you really don't need to. That being said, I do think that spending a couple Sunday afternoons in Barnes & Noble reading about Civil Procedure was of some benefit. I am cheap and don't buy books ;-)

But the point I was trying to make is that you don't need to freak out and read a bunch of stuff because you might get burned out.


Dare I ask your opinion on Getting to Maybe and LEEWS?

arstech
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby arstech » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:40 pm

danidancer wrote:Dare I ask your opinion on Getting to Maybe and LEEWS?

Of course.

Getting to Maybe:
I read last summer in a bookstore without buying it because I am a cheap bastard and it was pretty interesting. The premise is that law school exams are written to have ambiguities which the book calls "forks in the road." There are two main types: forks in the law ("some courts do X, but other courts do Y") and forks in the facts ("the plaintiff's actions could be considered X, but could also be considered Y"). At each fork in the road, you are to traverse down both paths. The title of the book comes from this ambiguity; law professors don't want you to answer "yes" or "no," they want you to answer "maybe" and then consider both options.

I found this completely consistent with my experience this year. In fact, in one class my ConLaw professor was describing how we should answer her exam, and I stopped taking notes at one point and wrote "THIS IS STRAIGHT OUT OF 'GETTING TO MAYBE'."

That being said, on the actual exam you probably won't be thinking about forks in the road or anything. But it's still good to understand that law professors really aren't looking for hard yes-or-no answers.

LEEWS:
This made me giggle a little bit when you said it. One of my professors quipped at an exam review session that he "could always tell when students use LEEWS, because you get these weird headings and stuff all over the place." I have not run into any student who has used it, but I'm sure they exist. So I guess I can't really give you an opinion other than: you can do fine without it.


Hope this helps!

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afghan007
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby afghan007 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:18 pm

thanks arstech!

fsohn
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby fsohn » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:12 pm

arstech wrote:
#2: Clermont First semester, half of you will have Professor Clermont for Civil Procedure. The other half of you will have him next semester. Throughout the next five months you are going to hear all kinds of horror stories. My favorite is that "the median score on his multiple choice questions is 20%, so if you are a below-average student the rational approach is to randomly guess and so you'll have more time for the essay question." You will hear lots of whining about how he expects you to know every footnote in the casebook, and how his exams are completely arbitrary. This is such unbelievable crap. I got an A in his class, and I assure you I did not memorize any footnotes. A big part of succeeding in law school is learning to ignore people when they tell you stuff like this.



I will strongly dispute this. As someone who did well in Professor Clermont's class and has done well in general in law school, his exam was by far the worst I have taken so far. When I took it, several of his multiple choice questions were indeed taken from obscure details (requiring a hyper-detailed memory of the facts of several cases) and his essay was word-limited to a high degree. While doing things like this helps Clermont make an easy curve, the results on his exam do not indicate one's mastery of the material. I promise you that I am not above average in my knowledge of the FRCP, but Clermont's exam says I am.

That said, I think he is an alright teacher, and actually significantly friendlier than his faux-Socratic shtick would make him seem. He's also relatively accessible outside of class--by which I mean his office door is unlocked for more than 2 inconvenient hours per week.

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danidancer
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby danidancer » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:43 pm

arstech wrote:
danidancer wrote:Dare I ask your opinion on Getting to Maybe and LEEWS?

Of course.

Getting to Maybe:
I read last summer in a bookstore without buying it because I am a cheap bastard and it was pretty interesting. The premise is that law school exams are written to have ambiguities which the book calls "forks in the road." There are two main types: forks in the law ("some courts do X, but other courts do Y") and forks in the facts ("the plaintiff's actions could be considered X, but could also be considered Y"). At each fork in the road, you are to traverse down both paths. The title of the book comes from this ambiguity; law professors don't want you to answer "yes" or "no," they want you to answer "maybe" and then consider both options.

I found this completely consistent with my experience this year. In fact, in one class my ConLaw professor was describing how we should answer her exam, and I stopped taking notes at one point and wrote "THIS IS STRAIGHT OUT OF 'GETTING TO MAYBE'."

That being said, on the actual exam you probably won't be thinking about forks in the road or anything. But it's still good to understand that law professors really aren't looking for hard yes-or-no answers.

LEEWS:
This made me giggle a little bit when you said it. One of my professors quipped at an exam review session that he "could always tell when students use LEEWS, because you get these weird headings and stuff all over the place." I have not run into any student who has used it, but I'm sure they exist. So I guess I can't really give you an opinion other than: you can do fine without it.


Hope this helps!


Thanks!! I have a friend who's done really well after working through LEEWS, which is why I asked. I still might check it out if I have the energy or inclination this summer, but I'm certainly not going to use it as Gospel.

arstech
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby arstech » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:12 pm

fsohn wrote:I will strongly dispute this. As someone who did well in Professor Clermont's class and has done well in general in law school, his exam was by far the worst I have taken so far. When I took it, several of his multiple choice questions were indeed taken from obscure details (requiring a hyper-detailed memory of the facts of several cases) and his essay was word-limited to a high degree. While doing things like this helps Clermont make an easy curve, the results on his exam do not indicate one's mastery of the material. I promise you that I am not above average in my knowledge of the FRCP, but Clermont's exam says I am.

That said, I think he is an alright teacher, and actually significantly friendlier than his faux-Socratic shtick would make him seem. He's also relatively accessible outside of class--by which I mean his office door is unlocked for more than 2 inconvenient hours per week.


I agree with everything you say, except perhaps that hyper-detailed memorization was required. It seemed to me that sufficient time was given to look all the details up, but perhaps you disagree. In any event, I still think that the horror stories about Clermont are completely overblown. But yeah, I am certainly not defending Clermont's exam on pedagogical grounds.

Sorry to hijack your thread, Class of 2013!

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danidancer
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby danidancer » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:26 pm

arstech wrote:Sorry to hijack your thread, Class of 2013!


Haha, not AT ALL! I'm not sure if I can speak for everyone on this, but this is just the insider information I'm craving right about now!

AdamatUCF
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby AdamatUCF » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:50 pm

danidancer wrote:
arstech wrote:Sorry to hijack your thread, Class of 2013!


Haha, not AT ALL! I'm not sure if I can speak for everyone on this, but this is just the insider information I'm craving right about now!



What she said.

Or, I suppose in TLS-speak, I should just empty-quote what Danidancer said and say "+1"

CyLaw
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby CyLaw » Fri Jul 02, 2010 11:58 pm

AdamatUCF wrote:
danidancer wrote:
arstech wrote:Sorry to hijack your thread, Class of 2013!


Haha, not AT ALL! I'm not sure if I can speak for everyone on this, but this is just the insider information I'm craving right about now!



What she said.

Or, I suppose in TLS-speak, I should just empty-quote what Danidancer said and say "+1"


+1

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spaacecdt
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby spaacecdt » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:56 am

Does anyone know if an optical drive is essential during law school or can I get by without one? Mostly, I'm wondering if it'll be necessary for in-class exams... I don't want to be messing around with an external optical drive in class. I ask because I'm shopping around for a new laptop and am considering buying one without an optical drive and using an external optical drive on an as-needed basis.

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mbw
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby mbw » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:07 am

spaacecdt wrote:Does anyone know if an optical drive is essential during law school or can I get by without one? Mostly, I'm wondering if it'll be necessary for in-class exams... I don't want to be messing around with an external optical drive in class. I ask because I'm shopping around for a new laptop and am considering buying one without an optical drive and using an external optical drive on an as-needed basis.


You use Exam4 (exam software) for your exams, and then upload it via the school's wireless internet. You definitely don't need an optical drive.

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mbw
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby mbw » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:15 am

fsohn wrote:
arstech wrote:
#2: Clermont First semester, half of you will have Professor Clermont for Civil Procedure. The other half of you will have him next semester. Throughout the next five months you are going to hear all kinds of horror stories. My favorite is that "the median score on his multiple choice questions is 20%, so if you are a below-average student the rational approach is to randomly guess and so you'll have more time for the essay question." You will hear lots of whining about how he expects you to know every footnote in the casebook, and how his exams are completely arbitrary. This is such unbelievable crap. I got an A in his class, and I assure you I did not memorize any footnotes. A big part of succeeding in law school is learning to ignore people when they tell you stuff like this.



I will strongly dispute this. As someone who did well in Professor Clermont's class and has done well in general in law school, his exam was by far the worst I have taken so far. When I took it, several of his multiple choice questions were indeed taken from obscure details (requiring a hyper-detailed memory of the facts of several cases) and his essay was word-limited to a high degree. While doing things like this helps Clermont make an easy curve, the results on his exam do not indicate one's mastery of the material. I promise you that I am not above average in my knowledge of the FRCP, but Clermont's exam says I am.


Clermont's exam was my worst 1L grade, while Holden-Smith's (CivPro in Spring) was my second highest. I don't think I finally figured out CivPro in May. Clermont's exams suck, at least for a large portion of the 1L population. But it's a hazing ritual we all have to go through, so just grin and bear it... and don't let his attitude play with your head -- I definitely should have just ignored it and not let it get to me.
Last edited by mbw on Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

arstech
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Re: Serving Time in Ithaca (Cornell 2013)

Postby arstech » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:47 am

mbw wrote:don't let his sexist shit attitude play with your head -- I definitely should have just ignored it and not let it get to me.

Another thing you will learn, Class of 2013, is that when somebody gets a bad grade in a class it is everybody's fault but their own.

Also, sexism is a pretty serious allegation to make about a professor. If true, I would report it. If false, I would avoid libel.




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