ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )

What now?

Don't do it, graduate from LS in 2.5 years and realize an even larger debt while unemployed
68
46%
Return home to live with parents in quiet shame and despair until they disown me for being an abject failure
39
26%
Shoot myself in the head with a large caliber bullet
42
28%
 
Total votes: 149

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OperaSoprano
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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:08 pm

observationalist wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
observationalist wrote:Well I for one am happy someone finally found a way to put "Vanderbilt" into a post so that I would search and stumble upon this thread so I can cosign the OS = awesome. OS, here's to your first semester down, and to many consecutively less stressful semesters to follow! Same to the rest of you 1L kidos. I feel old.


Observationalist! Oh, we're both guilty of the same thing. I've missed you. YOU are awesome.


Thanks OS. Seriously, all this talk about the curve takes me back to when I was a young and skeptical 1L. Not that my skepticism has changed after two more years of riding up and down the curve... I still have yet to hear anyone from any administration adequately explain why in the world legal writing should be anything besides Pass/Fail. Either you can write well enough to impress an employer or you can't... and if you can't, it's the school's job to assess that early on and then make sure you get the extra training to make sure you can.


As prez said, I'm tempted to think it's competition for the sake of competition. You are wiser than we are, and you've gotten to experience so much in law school... I only hope I'll be half the success you have been. Do you feel, after two and a half years of law school, that grades have ever done anything positive to outweigh the grief they cause? (Note: my single class grade is fine, and I am absolutely not complaining on my own behalf, though I am frustrated with the manner in which legal writing is evaluated.)

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby mallard » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:08 pm

Lxw wrote:
mistergoft wrote:I concur with your sentiments about LRW, Prez; my LRW was graded under the system advocated by OS (i.e. S+, S, F) and I feel that system is appropriate for a class like LRW when grading can be extraordinarily arbitrary.

However, I don't think that exams are quite as arbitrary. They test a student's ability to take a hypothetical legal dilemma and apply the appropriate legal principles to said scenario, ultimately resulting in analyzing that scenario utilizing legal reasoning and predicting an outcome. This is the work lawyers do; maybe not 1st year Biglaw associates, but, ultimately, it's what you're going to be doing in real life. The example from Getting to Maybe comes to mind, when the partner in a firm asks the associate to analyze a situation relating to land use (or something like that, I don't recall exactly what the issue was). Granted, law school grading is ultimately still arbitrary, I concede that point; in addition, I don't warrant that a student that spots one additional issue will necessarily be a better lawyer than another. I do think, though, that the pressure you feel on exams, and the uncertainty, is meant to reflect the type of pressure and uncertainty that an actual practicing lawyer experiences when he or she is litigating a case on a novel issue with confusing, convoluted precedent that could truly be decided either way. While they are not perfect, there are meritorious qualities in the law school examination process, and I don't know if I could deduce a better, more practical way to structure grading.


The biggest difference is that in one situation, you have 3 hours to vomit as much stuff onto a piece of paper after thinking about the situation and in the other, you get to think about it, discuss it with people, research it a little, and then pop out an answer burning the midnight oil.


And which situation do you think is better suited to people who plan on meeting billable-hour requirements?

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:10 pm

mistergoft wrote:I concur with your sentiments about LRW, Prez; my LRW was graded under the system advocated by OS (i.e. S+, S, F) and I feel that system is appropriate for a class like LRW when grading can be extraordinarily arbitrary.

However, I don't think that exams are quite as arbitrary. They test a student's ability to take a hypothetical legal dilemma and apply the appropriate legal principles to said scenario, ultimately resulting in analyzing that scenario utilizing legal reasoning and predicting an outcome. This is the work lawyers do; maybe not 1st year Biglaw associates, but, ultimately, it's what you're going to be doing in real life. The example from Getting to Maybe comes to mind, when the partner in a firm asks the associate to analyze a situation relating to land use (or something like that, I don't recall exactly what the issue was). Granted, law school grading is ultimately still arbitrary, I concede that point; in addition, I don't warrant that a student that spots one additional issue will necessarily be a better lawyer than another. I do think, though, that the pressure you feel on exams, and the uncertainty, is meant to reflect the type of pressure and uncertainty that an actual practicing lawyer experiences when he or she is litigating a case on a novel issue with confusing, convoluted precedent that could truly be decided either way. While they are not perfect, there are meritorious qualities in the law school examination process, and I don't know if I could deduce a better, more practical way to structure grading.


Please tell me the above is not true. I don't know enough to say whether it is, but I very much hope not.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:15 pm

Just to toss out an example of why I think (again, especially for legal writing) this curve thing is silly - I'm doing a writing assignment right now, of a style that I have never done before. I have no context for what I am doing, and essentially there are aspects of the assignment where I'm making a "best guess" on degree of explanation, structure, citation, etc. I am pretty sure it's similar for most, if not all people, in the class. So what the curve measures in this class is who has the best best guesses of the bunch. Alternatively, we could do more practice assignments under shorter time frames with no grades, or P/F grades, or HP/P/F grades, and get a lot more practice and feedback, and actually improve what we are doing (as opposed to a one-and-done, graded and curved class structure).

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:15 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
mistergoft wrote: I do think, though, that the pressure you feel on exams, and the uncertainty, is meant to reflect the type of pressure and uncertainty that an actual practicing lawyer experiences when he or she is litigating a case on a novel issue with confusing, convoluted precedent that could truly be decided either way. While they are not perfect, there are meritorious qualities in the law school examination process, and I don't know if I could deduce a better, more practical way to structure grading.

Please tell me the above is not true. I don't know enough to say whether it is, but I very much hope not.

Really OS? You either have people coming to you with problems that are close and dear to their hearts, and they are entrusting YOU to get them a result they want. Or you have corporations coming to you with issues or problems that are worth millions or billions of dollars and if you do it incorrectly...lost money. If you don't feel pressure in these kinds of situations, well I dunno what to say.

And you have cases, even ones that go to the Supreme Court, which are analogous issues, but only separated by a few years being ruled opposite one other (i.e., the uncertainty).

mallard wrote:And which situation do you think is better suited to people who plan on meeting billable-hour requirements?

the latter? But look at it this way...clients are paying you to think that way. In LS, you're paying someone else so you can think the same way.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:16 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
mistergoft wrote:I concur with your sentiments about LRW, Prez; my LRW was graded under the system advocated by OS (i.e. S+, S, F) and I feel that system is appropriate for a class like LRW when grading can be extraordinarily arbitrary.

However, I don't think that exams are quite as arbitrary. They test a student's ability to take a hypothetical legal dilemma and apply the appropriate legal principles to said scenario, ultimately resulting in analyzing that scenario utilizing legal reasoning and predicting an outcome. This is the work lawyers do; maybe not 1st year Biglaw associates, but, ultimately, it's what you're going to be doing in real life. The example from Getting to Maybe comes to mind, when the partner in a firm asks the associate to analyze a situation relating to land use (or something like that, I don't recall exactly what the issue was). Granted, law school grading is ultimately still arbitrary, I concede that point; in addition, I don't warrant that a student that spots one additional issue will necessarily be a better lawyer than another. I do think, though, that the pressure you feel on exams, and the uncertainty, is meant to reflect the type of pressure and uncertainty that an actual practicing lawyer experiences when he or she is litigating a case on a novel issue with confusing, convoluted precedent that could truly be decided either way. While they are not perfect, there are meritorious qualities in the law school examination process, and I don't know if I could deduce a better, more practical way to structure grading.


Please tell me the above is not true. I don't know enough to say whether it is, but I very much hope not.

Clients are paying you hundreds of dollars an hour to ensure that an issue is resolved in their favor. If said issue is decided against them, your reputation will be sullied, the reputation of your firm will be damaged, and, if it's a client with a deep pocket, you risk losing your primary source of income.

If that's not stress inducing, I'm not certain what is.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:16 pm

Lxw wrote:In LS, you're paying someone else so you can think the same way.


I just wish it was more about actually improving your skills.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:19 pm

prezidentv8 wrote: So what the curve measures in this class is who has the best best guesses of the bunch.

Again, I think this aspect of law school resembles many aspects of actual practice; a lot of the time, you're guessing how a particular court will rule on a novel issue...

I don't defend graded LRW, though, and I don't want to give the impression that I am defending it.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:21 pm

mistergoft wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote: So what the curve measures in this class is who has the best best guesses of the bunch.

Again, I think this aspect of law school resembles many aspects of actual practice; a lot of the time, you're guessing how a particular court will rule on a novel issue...

I don't defend graded LRW, though, and I don't want to give the impression that I am defending it.


Yeah, I understand your point. I think (maybe given our different circumstances) that we just value things a bit differently.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:23 pm

Lxw wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
mistergoft wrote: I do think, though, that the pressure you feel on exams, and the uncertainty, is meant to reflect the type of pressure and uncertainty that an actual practicing lawyer experiences when he or she is litigating a case on a novel issue with confusing, convoluted precedent that could truly be decided either way. While they are not perfect, there are meritorious qualities in the law school examination process, and I don't know if I could deduce a better, more practical way to structure grading.

Please tell me the above is not true. I don't know enough to say whether it is, but I very much hope not.

Really OS? You either have people coming to you with problems that are close and dear to their hearts, and they are entrusting YOU to get them a result they want. Or you have corporations coming to you with issues or problems that are worth millions or billions of dollars and if you do it incorrectly...lost money. If you don't feel pressure in these kinds of situations, well I dunno what to say.

And you have cases, even ones that go to the Supreme Court, which are analogous issues, but only separated by a few years being ruled opposite one other (i.e., the uncertainty).

mallard wrote:And which situation do you think is better suited to people who plan on meeting billable-hour requirements?

the latter? But look at it this way...clients are paying you to think that way. In LS, you're paying someone else so you can think the same way.


It's not quite the same type of pressure. Law school exams are outcome determinative for life. Of course an attorney representing a client will feel anxiety for her client, and naturally want to win on her behalf, but there will also be cooperation and teamwork (and a chance to double check research), unless she works as a solo. If I wasn't sure about something on my Crim Law exam, I couldn't poke the boy behind me and ask him what he thought about unilateral conspiracy. I think working together will alleviate some of the stress, at least for me, and I hope I won't go to work every day feeling that my future hangs in the balance, and everything I do will have momentous consequences lasting for the rest of my life. Can you imagine what that would be like? You probably can, unfortunately, and so can I.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:30 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote: So what the curve measures in this class is who has the best best guesses of the bunch.

Again, I think this aspect of law school resembles many aspects of actual practice; a lot of the time, you're guessing how a particular court will rule on a novel issue...

I don't defend graded LRW, though, and I don't want to give the impression that I am defending it.


Yeah, I understand your point. I think (maybe given our different circumstances) that we just value things a bit differently.

I just try to look at things in the aggregate; it's not even that I necessarily disagree with you, it's more that I can see both sides of the argument and I am not precisely sure where my affiliation falls.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:32 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:It's not quite the same type of pressure. Law school exams are outcome determinative for life. Of course an attorney representing a client will feel anxiety for her client, and naturally want to win on her behalf, but there will also be cooperation and teamwork (and a chance to double check research), unless she works as a solo. If I wasn't sure about something on my Crim Law exam, I couldn't poke the boy behind me and ask him what he thought about unilateral conspiracy. I think working together will alleviate some of the stress, at least for me, and I hope I won't go to work every day feeling that my future hangs in the balance, and everything I do will have momentous consequences lasting for the rest of my life. Can you imagine what that would be like? You probably can, unfortunately, and so can I.

Potentially getting fired, or losing out on a payday because the court decided the other way can be pretty outcome determining? You could do something wrong, and everyone will know about it (e.g., an attorney filed a pretty terrible response to the patent office, news of which spread like fire through the department and one of the senior examiners was like "ok now I just lost respect for that entire firm"

Anyways I think the pressure is much less in school. You mess up once, it's ok, you still have other chances to prove yourself, and odds are you aren't going to mess up on everything--out in the real world you mess up just once and it's as if everyone knows about it, and not only that--people can and will get angry at you, and they might think you're incompetent.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:32 pm

mistergoft wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote: So what the curve measures in this class is who has the best best guesses of the bunch.

Again, I think this aspect of law school resembles many aspects of actual practice; a lot of the time, you're guessing how a particular court will rule on a novel issue...

I don't defend graded LRW, though, and I don't want to give the impression that I am defending it.


Yeah, I understand your point. I think (maybe given our different circumstances) that we just value things a bit differently.

I just try to look at things in the aggregate; it's not even that I necessarily disagree with you, it's more that I can see both sides of the argument and I am not precisely sure where my affiliation falls.


I think we all basically want the same thing; a law school experience with as little stress and as much practical experience as possible, and a fighting shot at a decent job.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:36 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:I think we all basically want the same thing; a law school experience with as little stress and as much practical experience as possible, and a fighting shot at a decent job.

Unfortunately for myself, I don't think either of these hopes will come to fruition. :oops:

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:40 pm

mistergoft wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I think we all basically want the same thing; a law school experience with as little stress and as much practical experience as possible, and a fighting shot at a decent job.

Unfortunately for myself, I don't think either of these hopes will come to fruition. :oops:

ballocks

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:46 pm

At the end of the day, law school is about teaching yourself in a hyper-competitive environment with high stakes and little feedback. That's definitely not the best way to teach people, but it might not be a bad way at sorting them. If we dropped the word 'school' everything would make plenty of sense :P

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby Leeroy Jenkins » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:47 pm

thesealocust wrote:At the end of the day, law school is about teaching yourself in a hyper-competitive environment with high stakes and little feedback. That's definitely not the best way to teach people, but it might not be a bad way at sorting them. If we dropped the word 'school' everything would make plenty of sense :P

"What are you doing at this point in your life?"
"Oh, I'm going to law."

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby 98234872348 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:48 pm

Lxw wrote:
thesealocust wrote:At the end of the day, law school is about teaching yourself in a hyper-competitive environment with high stakes and little feedback. That's definitely not the best way to teach people, but it might not be a bad way at sorting them. If we dropped the word 'school' everything would make plenty of sense :P

"What are you doing at this point in your life?"
"Oh, I'm going to law."

Alternatively: "What do you do?"
"Oh, I'm in law."

Makes a tidbit more sense.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby thesealocust » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:48 pm

Lxw wrote:
thesealocust wrote:At the end of the day, law school is about teaching yourself in a hyper-competitive environment with high stakes and little feedback. That's definitely not the best way to teach people, but it might not be a bad way at sorting them. If we dropped the word 'school' everything would make plenty of sense :P

"What are you doing at this point in your life?"
"Oh, I'm going to law thunderdome."


Fixed!

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby prezidentv8 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:49 pm

thesealocust wrote:At the end of the day, law school is about teaching yourself in a hyper-competitive environment with high stakes and little feedback. That's definitely not the best way to teach people...


.......for tens of thousands of dollars. :(

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:24 am

Lxw wrote:Potentially getting fired, or losing out on a payday because the court decided the other way can be pretty outcome determining? You could do something wrong, and everyone will know about it (e.g., an attorney filed a pretty terrible response to the patent office, news of which spread like fire through the department and one of the senior examiners was like "ok now I just lost respect for that entire firm"

:shock: Seriously?
Lxw wrote:Anyways I think the pressure is much less in school. You mess up once, it's ok, you still have other chances to prove yourself, and odds are you aren't going to mess up on everything--out in the real world you mess up just once and it's as if everyone knows about it, and not only that--people can and will get angry at you, and they might think you're incompetent.

Do you think the collaborative nature of the practice will make a difference, though? I mean, it's my own instinct to seek out a second opinion if I'm not sure of something, and the fact that our research can be checked and rechecked in practice would seem to make life altering errors less likely. I'm not practicing yet, obviously, so I can't say for sure, but just having other people there to consult would lower stress levels enormously for me.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:26 am

Lxw wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I think we all basically want the same thing; a law school experience with as little stress and as much practical experience as possible, and a fighting shot at a decent job.

Unfortunately for myself, I don't think either of these hopes will come to fruition. :oops:

ballocks

+1 on the ballocks, or bullocks, or whatever they are.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby ak362 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:30 am

OperaSoprano wrote:
Lxw wrote:
mistergoft wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:I think we all basically want the same thing; a law school experience with as little stress and as much practical experience as possible, and a fighting shot at a decent job.

Unfortunately for myself, I don't think either of these hopes will come to fruition. :oops:

ballocks

+1 on the ballocks, or bullocks, or whatever they are.


Bollocks?

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:32 am

ak362 wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:+1 on the ballocks, or bullocks, or whatever they are.


Bollocks?


Yes, thank you.

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Re: ITT (post-pg 4) we discuss OperaSoprano's awesomeness

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:33 am

I just go with "Ah, shit."




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