is this just my school or..

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goosey
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is this just my school or..

Postby goosey » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:08 pm

does every law school spoon feed people on how to take exams, thereby making the efforts of those of us who actually put effort into seeking out the information utterly useless?

everything I read in leews, everything I read in getting to maybe...right there, in an exam writing workshop. Maybe it's my fault for wasting time when I could have just learned all this stuff right now [vs reading it over the summer]

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chicagolaw2013
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby chicagolaw2013 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:11 pm

goosey wrote:does every law school spoon feed people on how to take exams, thereby making the efforts of those of us who actually put effort into seeking out the information utterly useless?

everything I read in leews, everything I read in getting to maybe...right there, in an exam writing workshop. Maybe it's my fault for wasting time when I could have just learned all this stuff right now [vs reading it over the summer]


I think most schools have some kind of exam strategy type session (we have a weekly program that gave an overview on exam taking, outlining, briefing, etc.). The depth probably differs, I'd assume.

AsianCurveKiller
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby AsianCurveKiller » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:11 pm

I think that the added value of GTM etc. is in having that knowledge in the back of your head the whole time you are preparing exams, which should be from the first few weeks. The people who are finding it out now do not have time to rethink what they have been doing thus far.

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goosey
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby goosey » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:15 pm

AsianCurveKiller wrote:I think that the added value of GTM etc. is in having that knowledge in the back of your head the whole time you are preparing exams, which should be from the first few weeks. The people who are finding it out now do not have time to rethink what they have been doing thus far.


this is true..I guess the only thing I see in all my work/prep that is benefitting me is the fact that I have been outlining all along and now have time to do other prep that people might see as ridiculous and "how do you even have time for that?"

but aside from that, I feel like all the workshops have pretty much leveled the playing field.

Also, I read some A answers from my torts professor and there is no possible way I will use leews for him.

thwalls
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby thwalls » Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:16 pm

After reading Getting to Maybe, I was really surprised to find how hard my contracts professor is pushing IRAC. Not only pushing it, but requiring our answers to follow that strict format. This includes numbering the issues in the first paragraph.

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:37 pm

thwalls wrote:After reading Getting to Maybe, I was really surprised to find how hard my contracts professor is pushing IRAC. Not only pushing it, but requiring our answers to follow that strict format. This includes numbering the issues in the first paragraph.


That's extreme, but I would say the bulk of my 1L professors really preferred the use of IRAC.

floppymex
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby floppymex » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:49 pm

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Last edited by floppymex on Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Helmholtz
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby Helmholtz » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:50 pm

AFAIK, my school did nothing other than send us a link on the listserv to an hour long video from the early 90's, in which a professor drones on about what law school exams are like (with some useful tips re:how to look up past exams in bound books provided by the law library).

That being said, it seems like most of my classmates have a pretty firm grasp on what law school exams are like and if they didn't know, they sought out upperclassmen.

spondee
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby spondee » Fri Nov 12, 2010 4:55 pm

Being told what to do ≠ being able to do it. A few lucky students enter law school with the right skill set to "apply the law" without much effort, and for them being told what to do will be enough. But most students need to practice it to get any good at it. I doubt whether or not the school offers an exam writing workshop makes much difference.
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zeth006
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby zeth006 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:29 pm

goosey wrote:does every law school spoon feed people on how to take exams, thereby making the efforts of those of us who actually put effort into seeking out the information utterly useless?

everything I read in leews, everything I read in getting to maybe...right there, in an exam writing workshop. Maybe it's my fault for wasting time when I could have just learned all this stuff right now [vs reading it over the summer]


My school doesn't do that. We might have the occasional study sessions where some former student shows you the miracles of IRAC. Otherwise, you're just encouraged to take older exams.

GTM and LEEWS provide more specificity. Consider yourself better prepared and just work harder and smarter.

That's my plan tonight.

LurkerNoMore
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby LurkerNoMore » Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:49 pm

I don't get the hate.

Teaching one to write effectively should be part of the curriculum. Professors should outline their expectations of exams. There isn't anything super secret about LEEWS or GTM or IRAC. Should the people who just naturally write this way be pissed that there are books to teach others the skills?

The overwhelming advice on TLS is not to prep before 1L, that it won't be rewarded, can throw you (if your prof asks for IRAC and you're set on LEEWS), and that the only benefit prep gives you is any self-confidence you can glean from the process. If you were going for an edge that would be deprived from your classmates, I'm afraid you were sort of sunk from the start.

Don't get too tightly wound during exams. Don't compare yourself to others. Tune it all out, focus on a method that works for you and focus on tailoring your studying to the expectations of each professor.

Good luck!

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gwuorbust
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby gwuorbust » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:04 pm

I feel like nobody else is taking practice exams that seriously yet. About 3 weeks left until exams. And I've powered through two in each of my classes. I plan on doing about 10 practice exams per class by the time real exams roll around. While that might be extreme, I do think that most people are so focused on their outlines that they are not moving on to the real deal. And think about it. An outline is just a static sheet of paper; what really matters is your ability to apply the material. Thus I'm not as concerned about outlining as I am about perfecting exam taking skills.

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goosey
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby goosey » Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:54 pm

gwuorbust wrote:I feel like nobody else is taking practice exams that seriously yet. About 3 weeks left until exams. And I've powered through two in each of my classes. I plan on doing about 10 practice exams per class by the time real exams roll around. While that might be extreme, I do think that most people are so focused on their outlines that they are not moving on to the real deal. And think about it. An outline is just a static sheet of paper; what really matters is your ability to apply the material. Thus I'm not as concerned about outlining as I am about perfecting exam taking skills.


i tried that and then realized it was freaking me out more than helping so I decided to wait until we finshed comparative fault before diving back in to exams..2 of my 3 outlines are up to date--torts is lagging a bit but I will be caught up by the end of the weekend since I'm only a week or so behind--I only have one civ pro exam available..not sure what to do with that one. thinking about saving it for the end and doing it timed..thoughts?

Slimpee
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby Slimpee » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:00 pm

So you read a bunch of stuff saying that schools and profs hate you and that by following a specific format you'll have a leg-up on the rest of us lemmings who didn't bother do to our pre-1L reading and now you're pissed that the schools are actually helping the students?

Get over yourself.

floppymex
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby floppymex » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:17 pm

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Last edited by floppymex on Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vamedic03
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:11 pm

goosey wrote:does every law school spoon feed people on how to take exams, thereby making the efforts of those of us who actually put effort into seeking out the information utterly useless?

everything I read in leews, everything I read in getting to maybe...right there, in an exam writing workshop. Maybe it's my fault for wasting time when I could have just learned all this stuff right now [vs reading it over the summer]


This is an absolutely ridiculous, obnoxious gunner post. Law school is supposed to be a level playing field. Two things differentiate you:

1) Ability - some people 'get' legal reasoning faster and better than others

2) Mastery of the material

But, this idea that your learning 'how to take exams' was supposed to be something special is just utter bullshit. You want to get the highest exam - then master the material and master applying law to fact (and toss in some concise writing).

Finally, be glad you have professors and others at your school who care enough about your success to provide you exam tips.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:31 pm

G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
goosey wrote:does every law school spoon feed people on how to take exams, thereby making the efforts of those of us who actually put effort into seeking out the information utterly useless?

everything I read in leews, everything I read in getting to maybe...right there, in an exam writing workshop. Maybe it's my fault for wasting time when I could have just learned all this stuff right now [vs reading it over the summer]

It isn't like you weren't told this way in advance. Most people on TLS know that 0L prep is useless for a variety of reasons; this is just one of them. To the extent you knowingly ignored that time-tested advice, the needless loss of time was a pretty fair result.

tbf, it seems like the majority opinion on TLS is that substantive 0L prep is useless but you should totally read GTM, and it sounds like that is pretty much the tack OP took. Dunno if I feel the annoyance or not, but I wouldn't say she ignored TLS advice.

I <33333 your icon; every time I see it I'm like HA!!

random5483
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby random5483 » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:08 pm

Frankly, I enjoyed reading GTM, but it did little other than make me feel less nervous about law school. Why? I felt I knew what I needed to do.

Anyways, my school does seem to be providing a lot more "exam strategy" sessions (mainly optional...one mandatory). More than I expected anyways.

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Dr. Van Nostrand
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby Dr. Van Nostrand » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:11 pm

BaiAilian2013 wrote:
G. T. L. Rev. wrote:
goosey wrote:does every law school spoon feed people on how to take exams, thereby making the efforts of those of us who actually put effort into seeking out the information utterly useless?

everything I read in leews, everything I read in getting to maybe...right there, in an exam writing workshop. Maybe it's my fault for wasting time when I could have just learned all this stuff right now [vs reading it over the summer]

It isn't like you weren't told this way in advance. Most people on TLS know that 0L prep is useless for a variety of reasons; this is just one of them. To the extent you knowingly ignored that time-tested advice, the needless loss of time was a pretty fair result.

tbf, it seems like the majority opinion on TLS is that substantive 0L prep is useless but you should totally read GTM, and it sounds like that is pretty much the tack OP took. Dunno if I feel the annoyance or not, but I wouldn't say she ignored TLS advice.

I <33333 your icon; every time I see it I'm like HA!!


+1 ... always solid insight too, much respect.

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gwuorbust
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby gwuorbust » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:17 am

goosey wrote:
gwuorbust wrote:I feel like nobody else is taking practice exams that seriously yet. About 3 weeks left until exams. And I've powered through two in each of my classes. I plan on doing about 10 practice exams per class by the time real exams roll around. While that might be extreme, I do think that most people are so focused on their outlines that they are not moving on to the real deal. And think about it. An outline is just a static sheet of paper; what really matters is your ability to apply the material. Thus I'm not as concerned about outlining as I am about perfecting exam taking skills.


i tried that and then realized it was freaking me out more than helping so I decided to wait until we finshed comparative fault before diving back in to exams..2 of my 3 outlines are up to date--torts is lagging a bit but I will be caught up by the end of the weekend since I'm only a week or so behind--I only have one civ pro exam available..not sure what to do with that one. thinking about saving it for the end and doing it timed..thoughts?


yeah I would think saving those would be best. for now I am using the exams from other schools that I found in the thread below. it seems to me that Civ Pro is Civ Pro. And you can just apply what your Prof wants (my K prof ONLY teaches the restatement so I don't have many model answers that are similar; but I can still see how to apply the restatement to new situations by taking practice exams).

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goosey
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby goosey » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:45 pm

Slimpee wrote:So you read a bunch of stuff saying that schools and profs hate you and that by following a specific format you'll have a leg-up on the rest of us lemmings who didn't bother do to our pre-1L reading and now you're pissed that the schools are actually helping the students?

Get over yourself.


im not sure where all this animosity is coming from..I asked a simple question and said maybe I wasted my time by doing all this when I would have gotten the info anyway--I didn't complain and say "omg this sucks i hate themmm!!!" I was simply wondering if my school is the only one spoon feeding..I actually like how helpful everyone is, because it benefits me as well. Does it make me more nervous? yes! but don't try to act like it wouldnt make you nervous if everyone you were competing with was getting really awesome advice on how to excel.

you people need to work on your reading comp..and reply to what was said, not what you WISH was said so that you could make yourself feel better by being a jerk on the internetz

spondee
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby spondee » Sat Nov 13, 2010 2:16 pm

goosey wrote:but don't try to act like it wouldnt make you nervous if everyone you were competing with was getting really awesome advice on how to excel.


It would've made me nervous as a 1L, but now, in retrospect, I'd say it's insignificant. It's basic advice - not "really awesome advice." It's like being told how to fly an airplane. It may seem like the key to everything while you're listening - but after you've been told, can you actually fly one?

To do well on an exam, you need to (1) know the law; (2) know what it means to "apply the law to the facts"; and (3) be skilled in actually doing so. The first two are knowledge-based. Any student at any decent law school can master these. So... no big deal if the school helps out a bit on (2).

Regardless of what your school has just told everyone, most of your classmates will spend the next few weeks fetishizing their outlines, but most of them will not develop any skill in "applying the law" that way. Your school may be trying to help everyone by pointing them down the right road, but it'll be lost in the conformist panic of 1L.

Reading GTM early probably wasn't a waste if it gave you an earlier understanding of (2) and if you've since been working to develop your skills for (3).

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gwuorbust
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Re: is this just my school or..

Postby gwuorbust » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:08 pm

spondee wrote:
goosey wrote:but don't try to act like it wouldnt make you nervous if everyone you were competing with was getting really awesome advice on how to excel.


It would've made me nervous as a 1L, but now, in retrospect, I'd say it's insignificant. It's basic advice - not "really awesome advice." It's like being told how to fly an airplane. It may seem like the key to everything while you're listening - but after you've been told, can you actually fly one?

To do well on an exam, you need to (1) know the law; (2) know what it means to "apply the law to the facts"; and (3) be skilled in actually doing so. The first two are knowledge-based. Any student at any decent law school can master these. So... no big deal if the school helps out a bit on (2).

Regardless of what your school has just told everyone, most of your classmates will spend the next few weeks fetishizing their outlines, but most of them will not develop any skill in "applying the law" that way. Your school may be trying to help everyone by pointing them down the right road, but it'll be lost in the conformist panic of 1L.

Reading GTM early probably wasn't a waste if it gave you an earlier understanding of (2) and if you've since been working to develop your skills for (3).


IMO this is good advice




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