I made an unforgivable mistake

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summerstar
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby summerstar » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:59 pm

Forgive this intrusion from a thoroughly inexperienced 0L, and I will leave it to the sages here to parse out all the finer points, but my mother used to say that the sign of a genius is the ability to hold two dialectically opposed opinions in your mind at the same time. What you did was play devil's advocate to such a degree that you may have eclipsed your own valid point. My professor called it negative definition, defining your point by its exact opposite. Problem is, it can swamp your thrust within the antithesis. Maybe the charge your prof was making is to avoid this way of argument?

What do I know...

Here's a glass of red wine from me.
Chill, you're learning.
<3

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como
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby como » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:06 pm

summerstar wrote:Forgive this intrusion from a thoroughly inexperienced 0L, and I will leave it to the sages here to parse out all the finer points, but my mother used to say that the sign of a genius is the ability to hold two dialectically opposed opinions in your mind at the same time. What you did was play devil's advocate to such a degree that you may have eclipsed your own valid point. My professor called it negative definition, defining your point by its exact opposite. Problem is, it can swamp your thrust within the antithesis. Maybe the charge your prof was making is to avoid this way of argument?

What do I know...

Here's a glass of red wine from me.
Chill, you're learning.
<3


Yea, with predictive memos you're supposed to essentially write what you 'predict' the court will do with the issue(s) in the client's case. You can't predict an injunction will be granted and will not be granted, summary judgment will and will not be granted, etc. Basically, you NEED to pick one of two mutually exclusive options.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:10 pm

como wrote:
summerstar wrote:Forgive this intrusion from a thoroughly inexperienced 0L, and I will leave it to the sages here to parse out all the finer points, but my mother used to say that the sign of a genius is the ability to hold two dialectically opposed opinions in your mind at the same time. What you did was play devil's advocate to such a degree that you may have eclipsed your own valid point. My professor called it negative definition, defining your point by its exact opposite. Problem is, it can swamp your thrust within the antithesis. Maybe the charge your prof was making is to avoid this way of argument?

What do I know...

Here's a glass of red wine from me.
Chill, you're learning.
<3


Yea, with predictive memos you're supposed to essentially write what you 'predict' the court will do with the issue(s) in the client's case. You can't predict an injunction will be granted and will not be granted, summary judgment will and will not be granted, etc. Basically, you NEED to pick one of two mutually exclusive options.


<3 to both of you for helping me comb this out. At least my memo came with lots of feedback, so I can learn from it, and it won't ruin my GPA. I swear I won't let it. We're going to have to revisit these cased for the appellate brief, and my work may be easier, because I've already seen both sides of the story. I know they can't both be true at the same time, but I've worked them both out.

Next time I will listen to my intuition. It usually does what it's supposed to do.

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summerstar
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby summerstar » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:14 pm

so true, our intuition is always right, it's our inability to trust it that's wrong.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:27 pm

summerstar wrote:so true, our intuition is always right, it's our inability to trust it that's wrong.


I/ENFP curse.

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summerstar
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby summerstar » Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:30 pm

we are too generous with our "understanding" ...and that's just it, we always see the other side, the other person's position, even at the expense of our own.
Last edited by summerstar on Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:19 pm

summerstar wrote:we are too generous with our "understanding" ...and that's just it, we always see the other side, the other person's position, even at the expense of our own.

Cheers to my 3rd divorce!!!!


*hugs*

We do do that, unfortunately. I know I'd make a kick ass mediator...

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como
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby como » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:27 pm

Your LRW course couldn't have been more than a couple credits, right? I'm sure it didn't hurt your GPA too much :)

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:33 pm

como wrote:Your LRW course couldn't have been more than a couple credits, right? I'm sure it didn't hurt your GPA too much :)


It hurt my confidence, which was only just beginning to grow.

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como
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby como » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:35 pm

OperaSoprano wrote:
como wrote:Your LRW course couldn't have been more than a couple credits, right? I'm sure it didn't hurt your GPA too much :)


It hurt my confidence, which was only just beginning to grow.


You'll do even better as a result of making a mistake though.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:20 pm

como wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
como wrote:Your LRW course couldn't have been more than a couple credits, right? I'm sure it didn't hurt your GPA too much :)


It hurt my confidence, which was only just beginning to grow.


You'll do even better as a result of making a mistake though.


LOL, I know. If I had $1 for every mistake I've made recently, I could single-handedly rebuild Haiti. As it stands, I can make a small donation and pray (to what, I'm not sure, but I'd pray for the earthquake victims, my friends, and for enough strength and sense to get through this.)

Connelly
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby Connelly » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:38 pm

I apologize if I am not following correctly, but I am a little confused.

OperaSoprano wrote:Here is the supremely dumb ass thing I did: after concluding all my research, I second guessed the position I had taken, and concluded the available cases favored the other side.


So you took a position before you did your research? Was your initial position just based on the facts?

If the facts don't clearly favor one side over the other, how do I pick a position and stick with it?


Forgive my T2 naivety, but I thought most assignments like this were created to have the facts not clearly favor one side over the other. Perhaps not. I have always seen my goal on assignments like this (where I get to pick my side) as selecting the side that I feel I can support the best with the case law (and other materials) under consideration. Ideally, you would be able to argue both sides equally, but there is usually a side that presents itself to me after awhile that would seem to be the easiest to attack. I feel I should always be able to argue either side, if pressed, considering that is what we will be doing when we are getting paid to do this.

I also emphasized cases that my professor thought were not the most analogous, because I felt they had the best language to address the central question.


Can you describe how a case would have good language to address the central question yet not be analogous to the given fact pattern? I don't think I'm quite sure what you mean by "the language."

My roommate thought my reaction to his comments was so unreasonable that she put my long memo in the freezer.


I like your roommate. You should too. :lol:

my professor's scathing comments have not been frozen off.


This is typical. Even for the best students in our class, the papers were always marked to hell and back. Treat each mark as an opportunity to improve. But most law students have never seen so much red on a paper in their lives; that much is common.

06072010
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby 06072010 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:47 pm

Okay, this is why LR/W is retarded. If this was for a partner wanting the state of the law on an issue, you should write a memo that shows what you believe the state of the law to be but also alternative angles.

If this was for litigation, you would test the outer limits because you're acting as an advocate.

Here, it doesn't seem your professor knows what they want. Instead of some ridiculous academic exercise, they should be training you to give firms / PI shops / yourself if you solo what you need to be in law practice. It doesn't seem that's what's happening here.

Also, stop being hinged on the paper chase. Your grades are not you.

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20160810
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby 20160810 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:54 pm

I am still waiting for the bulk of my grades, including LRW. That said, this shouldn't make or break your GPA, I wouldn't sweat it. I also think imposing a 20/60/20 curve on a class where everyone is going to be producing a reeeeally similar end product is kind of a silly choice.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:58 am

PKSebben wrote:Okay, this is why LR/W is retarded. If this was for a partner wanting the state of the law on an issue, you should write a memo that shows what you believe the state of the law to be but also alternative angles.

If this was for litigation, you would test the outer limits because you're acting as an advocate.

Here, it doesn't seem your professor knows what they want. Instead of some ridiculous academic exercise, they should be training you to give firms / PI shops / yourself if you solo what you need to be in law practice. It doesn't seem that's what's happening here.

Also, stop being hinged on the paper chase. Your grades are not you.


I'm working on believing this. Working really hard.

Our professor definitely thinks he's training us for biglaw. It's frustrating, because many of us will never work in biglaw, including those like myself who would be ridiculously unhappy at a firm. He also does not want "alternate angles". He basically wants "pick an outcome and stick with it." Clearly I need to focus more on LRW, because it was a lot less intuitive for me than I had hoped. I can get good at things that aren't natural talents, but not without the same type of effort I put into my exams (ie: spending as much time practicing the execution as learning the concepts). Thank god this isn't a final grade; my short memo was where it should have been, and my appellate brief will be where it needs to be if this is humanly within my ability.

My thanks for your advice. I'm feeling a little bit calmer.

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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:58 am

SoftBoiledLife wrote:I am still waiting for the bulk of my grades, including LRW. That said, this shouldn't make or break your GPA, I wouldn't sweat it. I also think imposing a 20/60/20 curve on a class where everyone is going to be producing a reeeeally similar end product is kind of a silly choice.


Seriously. I am sorry, but every school needs to make LRW pass/fail.

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como
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby como » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:59 am

OperaSoprano wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:I am still waiting for the bulk of my grades, including LRW. That said, this shouldn't make or break your GPA, I wouldn't sweat it. I also think imposing a 20/60/20 curve on a class where everyone is going to be producing a reeeeally similar end product is kind of a silly choice.


Seriously. I am sorry, but every school needs to make LRW pass/fail.


+1

It's totally weak.

06072010
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby 06072010 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:07 am

como wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:I am still waiting for the bulk of my grades, including LRW. That said, this shouldn't make or break your GPA, I wouldn't sweat it. I also think imposing a 20/60/20 curve on a class where everyone is going to be producing a reeeeally similar end product is kind of a silly choice.


Seriously. I am sorry, but every school needs to make LRW pass/fail.


+1

It's totally weak.


Law schools either need to make it pass / fail or act like they give a fuck about turning out lawyers who know wtf they're doing. They staff them with adjuncts and basically treat them like second class to "real" professors. I personally think there should be a whole lot more skills classes going on, especially when clients are saying "no mas 1st year work."

I'm not a dude that wants to see law school completely and totally reworked to be nothing more than a trade school, but you really should be able to draft a competent complaint, motion, contract, lease, a will, you know.. stuff you know if you hold yourself out as a lawyer. Law schools should make legal research and writing on equal footing as the other required doctrinal classes. Oh, and also teach it. It has to be taught. None of this "you'll figure it out" shit. I'm talking 1 v 1s with every student before they turn it in.

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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby thesealocust » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:08 am

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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como
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby como » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:09 am

PKSebben wrote:
como wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:I am still waiting for the bulk of my grades, including LRW. That said, this shouldn't make or break your GPA, I wouldn't sweat it. I also think imposing a 20/60/20 curve on a class where everyone is going to be producing a reeeeally similar end product is kind of a silly choice.


Seriously. I am sorry, but every school needs to make LRW pass/fail.


+1

It's totally weak.


Law schools either need to make it pass / fail or act like they give a fuck about turning out lawyers who know wtf they're doing. They staff them with adjuncts and basically treat them like second class to "real" professors. I personally think there should be a whole lot more skills classes going on, especially when clients are saying "no mas 1st year work."

I'm not a dude that wants to see law school completely and totally reworked to be nothing more than a trade school, but you really should be able to draft a competent complaint, motion, contract, lease, a will, you know.. stuff you know if you hold yourself out as a lawyer. Law schools should make legal research and writing on equal footing as the other required doctrinal classes. Oh, and also teach it. It has to be taught. None of this "you'll figure it out" shit. I'm talking 1 v 1s with every student before they turn it in.


Dude, this is my very qualm with my LRW class. They're so hung-up on the grading aspect that they wont give us good instructions on the actual assignments or any valuable feedback throughout the term. We have no idea how we are doing in the sake of the curve, and we end up feeling (and being) unprepared for actual work.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:15 am

PKSebben wrote:
como wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:I am still waiting for the bulk of my grades, including LRW. That said, this shouldn't make or break your GPA, I wouldn't sweat it. I also think imposing a 20/60/20 curve on a class where everyone is going to be producing a reeeeally similar end product is kind of a silly choice.


Seriously. I am sorry, but every school needs to make LRW pass/fail.


+1

It's totally weak.


Law schools either need to make it pass / fail or act like they give a fuck about turning out lawyers who know wtf they're doing. They staff them with adjuncts and basically treat them like second class to "real" professors. I personally think there should be a whole lot more skills classes going on, especially when clients are saying "no mas 1st year work."

I'm not a dude that wants to see law school completely and totally reworked to be nothing more than a trade school, but you really should be able to draft a competent complaint, motion, contract, lease, a will, you know.. stuff you know if you hold yourself out as a lawyer. Law schools should make legal research and writing on equal footing as the other required doctrinal classes. Oh, and also teach it. It has to be taught. None of this "you'll figure it out" shit. I'm talking 1 v 1s with every student before they turn it in.


Yes. I hardcore failed on the figuring out part. I definitely felt like I did not have adequate instruction on how to craft this thing, but I know it wasn't the professor's fault. He really walked us through the short memo, and consequently I had a grade that was orders of magnitude higher than this one. Whoever designed our LRW curriculum needs to think long and hard. Even taking a Criminal Law exam was more intuitive than this.

frost
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby frost » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:47 am

PKSebben wrote:
como wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:
SoftBoiledLife wrote:I am still waiting for the bulk of my grades, including LRW. That said, this shouldn't make or break your GPA, I wouldn't sweat it. I also think imposing a 20/60/20 curve on a class where everyone is going to be producing a reeeeally similar end product is kind of a silly choice.


Seriously. I am sorry, but every school needs to make LRW pass/fail.


+1

It's totally weak.


Law schools either need to make it pass / fail or act like they give a fuck about turning out lawyers who know wtf they're doing. They staff them with adjuncts and basically treat them like second class to "real" professors. I personally think there should be a whole lot more skills classes going on, especially when clients are saying "no mas 1st year work."

I'm not a dude that wants to see law school completely and totally reworked to be nothing more than a trade school, but you really should be able to draft a competent complaint, motion, contract, lease, a will, you know.. stuff you know if you hold yourself out as a lawyer. Law schools should make legal research and writing on equal footing as the other required doctrinal classes. Oh, and also teach it. It has to be taught. None of this "you'll figure it out" shit. I'm talking 1 v 1s with every student before they turn it in.


+1

OS, sent you a PM.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: I made an unforgivable mistake

Postby OperaSoprano » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:32 am

Connelly wrote:I apologize if I am not following correctly, but I am a little confused.

OperaSoprano wrote:Here is the supremely dumb ass thing I did: after concluding all my research, I second guessed the position I had taken, and concluded the available cases favored the other side.


So you took a position before you did your research? Was your initial position just based on the facts?

If the facts don't clearly favor one side over the other, how do I pick a position and stick with it?


Forgive my T2 naivety, but I thought most assignments like this were created to have the facts not clearly favor one side over the other. Perhaps not. I have always seen my goal on assignments like this (where I get to pick my side) as selecting the side that I feel I can support the best with the case law (and other materials) under consideration. Ideally, you would be able to argue both sides equally, but there is usually a side that presents itself to me after awhile that would seem to be the easiest to attack. I feel I should always be able to argue either side, if pressed, considering that is what we will be doing when we are getting paid to do this.

I also emphasized cases that my professor thought were not the most analogous, because I felt they had the best language to address the central question.


Can you describe how a case would have good language to address the central question yet not be analogous to the given fact pattern? I don't think I'm quite sure what you mean by "the language."

My roommate thought my reaction to his comments was so unreasonable that she put my long memo in the freezer.


I like your roommate. You should too. :lol:

my professor's scathing comments have not been frozen off.


This is typical. Even for the best students in our class, the papers were always marked to hell and back. Treat each mark as an opportunity to improve. But most law students have never seen so much red on a paper in their lives; that much is common.


I'll try to address these.

1. I took my original position based on the first few cases I read, then concluded that the other side would have a stronger case, which was not wrong, because...

2. We did indeed get a question that could have gone either way. Depending on which facts we emphasized, this fact pattern might or might not have adequately met the test. Ability to argue either side is a critical skill, however, in flipping sides, I should have flipped the order of the cases I identified. I distinguished unfavorable cases before citing to cases that were favorable. It was very stupid of me, and I will never make mistakes like this again.

3. By "good language," I mean a pull quote that talked about the test used, or offered a counter example to one of the leading unfavorable cases, even if the facts therein were not as analogous as those in the distinguished case.

4. My roommate is awesome. She's a future human rights attorney.

5. I actually wonder how many pens died to produce the comments on my long memo. I'm thinking it had to be more than one. They were very helpful, but it would have been nice to be taught this stuff while writing the memo, so as to incorporate it into the finished project.




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