How important is the first few days

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Re: How important is the first few days

Postby lawschooliseasy » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:08 pm

I cited Hawkins v. McGee 0 times on my contracts final. Highest grade in the class.

Green Crayons

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Re: How important is the first few days

Postby Green Crayons » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:56 pm

On the exam, you will say:

But X-Party will not succeed because <applicable case law>. Even though they may argue <argument>, this argument really falls under Pennoyer, and because the law has moved away from these foundations, they will fail.

Or something along those lines. It's like what NotMyRealName said, but at the end of the day it's just a bonus line to throw in to get you into the solid A category. A+ if this shit just comes to you.

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Re: How important is the first few days

Postby JusticeHarlan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:42 pm

betasteve wrote:
morris248 wrote:Don't worry about your casebook too much. You will get more out of E&E or in Civ Pro the Glannon Guide. The only thing that counts is how you do on the final exam. You need to be doing practice hypos by midterm and not waiting until the week or two prior to exams.

Huh.. I was the exact opposite. I felt the E&Es and most supps lacked the precision that casebooks and notes from class provided. It's like learning law undergrad style - you get the basic concepts, but you don't understand the contours.


Also, during exam prep I was looking through a recent Property test that was clearly looking for a cite to Pierson. You never know when the old standby cases will rear their heads.


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Re: How important is the first few days

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:44 pm

Heartford wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:
And damnit I just like writing.

If you keep it up, you might be good at it one day.

I never said I was good, just that I like it.

betasteve wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:The law is not just a static set of principles to be memorized and recited. It is an evolving, organic thing. The law does not arise out of thin air. It is a product of the people and the times.

You can't understand the present state of the law until you understand how things used to be. The law is based on precednet - how things were done in the past. A case that has been overturned speaks volumes about what the law now is. Now that you understand that overturned case, you know what the answer cannot be. That is very helpful to know.

The skill you are being taught is how to make the best out of what you've got. You will rarely have a client whose problem can be answered by quick reference to a memorized principle of law. What you will be confronted with is a twist on a legal issue - possibly one that has never been seen before - and you cannot talk sensibly about how to solve that new problem unless you have a handle on the evolution of the law, unless you know at least what the law is not.

Sometimes, knowing exactly what the law isn't can lead you to what the law actually is, or should be. To put it another way, the current state of the law may be more understandable when you see the problems with the way things used to be handled.

Pennoyer may not be directly applicable today, but all of today's personal jurisdiction jurisprudence evolved from those principles. You gain a deeper understanding of something by knowing its roots and history. That, in turn, will make you a better lawyer, because by seeing how the law has evolved, you will be able to PREDICT where the law is going. See, just as Pennoyer was displaced by subsequent legal doctrines, so too will today's legal doctrines evolve or be supplanted. And if you can accurately predict where the law is going, you can shape the law or win cases using novel arguments, helping your clients and making some cash along the way. Those novel arguments may help you find practice niche.

You have to be comfortable with standing in front of a judge with a piece of precedent in your hand - precedent that harms your client - and make an argument why that precedent was wrongly decided, and why the law should be different - why the court should ignore that precednet and rule in your favor. You cannot do that unless you see how it has been done in the past.

You don't understand Pennoyer as well as you think you do.

Meh, I skimmed wikipedia, that's all I need to know. In a few years, you can forget about it too.

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