Am I missing something about law school?

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MC Southstar
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby MC Southstar » Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:53 pm

Baylan wrote:
arvcondor wrote:
Knuckles wrote:Since all of my exams are closed-book and closed-note

:shock:


I prefer closed note exams... and if you're looking at the book in anything other than Civ Pro (and that'd just be the Rules, if you even cover them) you're probably screwed.

In fact, in one class, I was allowed to bring a book, didn't, and a couple of the MC questions directly referenced cases that I wasn't 100% sure about, and still got an A on the exam.


This is pretty credited.

berkeleykel06
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby berkeleykel06 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:17 pm

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Last edited by berkeleykel06 on Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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JCougar
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby JCougar » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:18 pm

fathergoose wrote:The hard part about law school isn't learning the material or the process of exam writing. The hard part about law school is that it isn't hard to learn the material or the process of exam writing, that combined with the fact that everyone (presumably) in your class is wicked smart makes life very difficult come exam time.


This.

The 1L curriculum is unbelievably easy to understand. Pretty much 80-90% of the class is going to end up getting it if you go to a higher-end Tier 1.

I've had High School physics classes that were much harder than law school. Forcing a curve on such easy subject matter when everyone you go to school with is super-smart is the problem. Even the professors will tell you that 80% of the exams virtually get everything right, and they are forced to grade based on asthetics, superfluous outline copying, etc.

Baylan
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby Baylan » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:08 pm

berkeleykel06 wrote:
Baylan wrote:
arvcondor wrote:
Knuckles wrote:Since all of my exams are closed-book and closed-note

:shock:


I prefer closed note exams... and if you're looking at the book in anything other than Civ Pro (and that'd just be the Rules, if you even cover them) you're probably screwed.

In fact, in one class, I was allowed to bring a book, didn't, and a couple of the MC questions directly referenced cases that I wasn't 100% sure about, and still got an A on the exam.


Disagree. I've gotten A's in exams where I probably spent 15 minutes of exam time reading through the book/supplement. Not to mention all the time I spent digging through my outlines...


Different strokes. I type excessively fast. So much so that I doubled the page count of everyone else in my section on a closed book exam (we don't have word counts posted, but I hit about 7500 on that exam). Disclaimer: I'm also at a TTT. Paging through the supplement/book/even your outline is time that could be spent applying law to facts. Clearly mastering the material will allow you to "win" in a classic racehorse issue spotter because you can type more in the time that you spent flipping through your book.

Of course, if you have a different style of exam (Majority MC, Exam where analysis rather than issue spotting is the main priority) this very quickly changes, even for me. Hell, maybe your prof pulled out an extremely minute concept for that particular exam - so *everyone* was pulling out their book and searching. Or maybe the A+ didn't have to.

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Redzo
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby Redzo » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:27 pm

Baylan wrote:
berkeleykel06 wrote:Different strokes. I type excessively fast. So much so that I doubled the page count of everyone else in my section on a closed book exam (we don't have word counts posted, but I hit about 7500 on that exam). Disclaimer: I'm also at a TTT. Paging through the supplement/book/even your outline is time that could be spent applying law to facts. Clearly mastering the material will allow you to "win" in a classic racehorse issue spotter because you can type more in the time that you spent flipping through your book.

Of course, if you have a different style of exam (Majority MC, Exam where analysis rather than issue spotting is the main priority) this very quickly changes, even for me. Hell, maybe your prof pulled out an extremely minute concept for that particular exam - so *everyone* was pulling out their book and searching. Or maybe the A+ didn't have to.


Just curious, how fast? I'm always trying to find people who type as fast as I do but it's tough. I type 100 wpm comfortably with no errors, 120+ if I'm trying.

It's good to know that this may give me an edge on exams.

berkeleykel06
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby berkeleykel06 » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:35 pm

Baylan wrote:Different strokes. I type excessively fast. So much so that I doubled the page count of everyone else in my section on a closed book exam (we don't have word counts posted, but I hit about 7500 on that exam). Disclaimer: I'm also at a TTT. Paging through the supplement/book/even your outline is time that could be spent applying law to facts. Clearly mastering the material will allow you to "win" in a classic racehorse issue spotter because you can type more in the time that you spent flipping through your book.

Of course, if you have a different style of exam (Majority MC, Exam where analysis rather than issue spotting is the main priority) this very quickly changes, even for me. Hell, maybe your prof pulled out an extremely minute concept for that particular exam - so *everyone* was pulling out their book and searching. Or maybe the A+ didn't have to.


I hate the idea of word vomit exams and rebel against them. But anyways, my point isn't that my exams were perfect--they obviously could have been better--just that looking at the book doesn't = screwed.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:39 pm

Being able to regurgitate the holdings of key cases is maybe enough for a B-, which isn't very good at all. If the exam was un-curved, and it asked stuff like "What is the holding of International Shoe?" it'd be easy.

Instead you're just going to get a two-page short story that will kind of remind you of a bunch of different cases you read, and with certain facts changed to make it trickier, and you'll have to make a bunch of different legal calls about those facts. The facts for jurisdiction might sound awfully similar to a certain jurisdiction case you read, but wait, that case was about specific jurisdiction and the plaintiff in your story is looking for general jurisdiction, and if you sleep on that, you'll miss it and write a totally wrong analysis. The "contacts" in the case will be just slightly less than a case you read where there was personal jurisdiction, but just slightly more than in a case where there was no personal jurisdiction. But you'll be trying to sort this out while also thinking about ancillary and supplemental jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, an Erie doctrine question and a res judicata issue that all apply to those same facts. A rule from a boring note case that you glossed over will be thrown in somewhere, and a chunk of the hypo will be from a case that just petitioned SCOTUS for cert.

Yes, you will need to "spot" what rules/cases apply and regurgitate them, but that will only get you halfway to an A, because you'll also need to write a better and more thorough/convincing/logically sound analysis of all the reasonable possibilities than 90% of your classmates.

Younger Abstention
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby Younger Abstention » Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:58 pm

You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)

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vamedic03
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:06 am

Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


^this.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:18 am

vamedic03 wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


^this.

I hope this is the case. Part of me senses that this is true, but I'm not sure if my senses are correct.

lalala21
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby lalala21 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:25 am

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Last edited by lalala21 on Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

lalala21
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby lalala21 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:26 am

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


^this.

I hope this is the case. Part of me senses that this is true, but I'm not sure if my senses are correct.


+1

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crossarmant
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby crossarmant » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:00 am

Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


While I've only been in for a few weeks, this seems to be the case. Granted, I'm at a Tier 2, but it seems like a good number of people get behind on their reading, aren't ready for class, don't understand what cases are saying or can't make sense of the 'rule' outside of the context of the case at hand. Not everyone, but it seems that while there is some variance, for the most part those that work harder will do better.

keg411
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby keg411 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:49 am

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


^this.

I hope this is the case. Part of me senses that this is true, but I'm not sure if my senses are correct.


As T10 transfer... +1.

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JCougar
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby JCougar » Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:27 pm

Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


Yet a lot of people both understand the law and can apply it, and get average grades because they don't type enough words.

There's also a few uber gunners that don't have a clue as to what they're talking about that still can succeed on exams due to refined outline copying/outlining skills.

Law exams reward superfluous "analysis" and throwing unnecessary things from your outline in there not because they have practical value, but because they proved that you studied stuff.

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vamedic03
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:58 pm

JCougar wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


Yet a lot of people both understand the law and can apply it, and get average grades because they don't type enough words.

There's also a few uber gunners that don't have a clue as to what they're talking about that still can succeed on exams due to refined outline copying/outlining skills.

Law exams reward superfluous "analysis" and throwing unnecessary things from your outline in there not because they have practical value, but because they proved that you studied stuff.


It's not about typing the most. It's about doing a thorough analysis. There's no reason to crank out 2000 words / hour, but a good few thousand words are typically necessary for a decent exam. If you're writing super short stuff then you're probably giving issues short shrift and being conclusory.

To reiterate the point - a good exam has a good analysis. This means not just giving the conclusion, but saying why. If there's not a lot of X because Y type sentences in your answer, then you're probably being conclusory.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:18 pm

vamedic03 wrote:I'm going to make an off the wall suggestion here. Try to avoid falling into the trap of black letter law versus not black letter law. In the end, the point of reading cases is to be able to predict how a court will rule in a future case based on past decisions. In other words, every time you read a case, you should be looking at: (a) what rule did the court apply (less important) and (b) how did the court apply the law to the facts at hand (more important). When you take an exam, the professor is going to expect you to be able to apply the law to facts. The tough work is application of law rather than restatement of law.

Always remember:

(a) The professor is always right (for exam purposes)

(b) Always answer the question asked

(c) Apply law to fact.


So there's some sort of line between blindly restating the BLL and writing and analogizing in a specific way? I need to look at a practice exam...

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minnbills
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby minnbills » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:27 pm

Naked Dude wrote:So there's some sort of line between blindly restating the BLL and writing and analogizing in a specific way? I need to look at a practice exam...


This is what worries me. I took some hypo exams for a con law class in undergrad and I always thought they ere rather conclusory. It'll be helpful to refer to some real exams.

EDITed

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vamedic03
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby vamedic03 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:03 pm

Naked Dude wrote:
vamedic03 wrote:I'm going to make an off the wall suggestion here. Try to avoid falling into the trap of black letter law versus not black letter law. In the end, the point of reading cases is to be able to predict how a court will rule in a future case based on past decisions. In other words, every time you read a case, you should be looking at: (a) what rule did the court apply (less important) and (b) how did the court apply the law to the facts at hand (more important). When you take an exam, the professor is going to expect you to be able to apply the law to facts. The tough work is application of law rather than restatement of law.

Always remember:

(a) The professor is always right (for exam purposes)

(b) Always answer the question asked

(c) Apply law to fact.


So there's some sort of line between blindly restating the BLL and writing and analogizing in a specific way? I need to look at a practice exam...


Law school exam taking is a learned skill. It's way too early in the semester (IMO) for practice exams, but later in the semester take as many practice exams as possible.

Lots of people have different methods for success but one of the almost universal methods is taking practice exams.

Oban
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby Oban » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:26 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
JCougar wrote:
Younger Abstention wrote:You guys make it sound so difficult; even at my T10, many exam answers are absolutely terrible. Some people don't learn the law, others cannot apply it. Many can't do either. (I'm a 3L)


Yet a lot of people both understand the law and can apply it, and get average grades because they don't type enough words.

There's also a few uber gunners that don't have a clue as to what they're talking about that still can succeed on exams due to refined outline copying/outlining skills.

Law exams reward superfluous "analysis" and throwing unnecessary things from your outline in there not because they have practical value, but because they proved that you studied stuff.


It's not about typing the most. It's about doing a thorough analysis. There's no reason to crank out 2000 words / hour, but a good few thousand words are typically necessary for a decent exam. If you're writing super short stuff then you're probably giving issues short shrift and being conclusory.

To reiterate the point - a good exam has a good analysis. This means not just giving the conclusion, but saying why. If there's not a lot of X because Y type sentences in your answer, then you're probably being conclusory.



sometimes I feel like lawyers are taught to avoid conclusory statements so as to keep issues more complex than they need to be in order to make money/bill client.

For example,

Answer 1 Bitch, slapped me, that's battery yo.

contrasted with:

Ms. Bitch sent her hand, palm outword towards my face with a high velocity. That caused me to apprehend impact of said palm to my beautiful face. At this point Ms. bitch is possibly liable for assault, but her open palm continued in its travel toward my face and which was in fact impacted by the palm, at this point she had intentionally caused a harmful and offensive contact with my face, the palm striking my face being the contact. Although no skin was broken the palm strike was harmful, however even if it had not hurt me, it would be offensive as a reasonable pimp does not like hoes slapping his face thereby harming his reputation. As we all know, pimping aint easy. Therefore Ms. bitch had committed battery, and is liable to me, Mr. Pimp, for battery.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby BruceWayne » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:41 pm

JCougar wrote:Yet a lot of people both understand the law and can apply it, and get average grades because they don't type enough words.

There's also a few uber gunners that don't have a clue as to what they're talking about that still can succeed on exams due to refined outline copying/outlining skills.

Law exams reward superfluous "analysis" and throwing unnecessary things from your outline in there not because they have practical value, but because they proved that you studied stuff.


You can tell that this person has actually been to law school; this is so spot on it's not even funny. Except for, maybe Civ Pro, the 1L classes are pretty basic. The problem is the forced curve and that many exams are based more on who types the most in as little time as possible, than on knowledge/applying the law. If you know the law very well, and are good at making articulate arguments, but you type 35-40 WPM you are going to struggle to get B+s.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby Naked Dude » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:04 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
JCougar wrote:Yet a lot of people both understand the law and can apply it, and get average grades because they don't type enough words.

There's also a few uber gunners that don't have a clue as to what they're talking about that still can succeed on exams due to refined outline copying/outlining skills.

Law exams reward superfluous "analysis" and throwing unnecessary things from your outline in there not because they have practical value, but because they proved that you studied stuff.


You can tell that this person has actually been to law school; this is so spot on it's not even funny. Except for, maybe Civ Pro, the 1L classes are pretty basic. The problem is the forced curve and that many exams are based more on who types the most in as little time as possible, than on knowledge/applying the law. If you know the law very well, and are good at making articulate arguments, but you type 35-40 WPM you are going to struggle to get B+s.


What's a good WPM? I just timed myself twice and got 79 and 86. Need to get on gchat more often

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minnbills
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby minnbills » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:09 pm

Naked Dude wrote:What's a good WPM? I just timed myself twice and got 79 and 86. Need to get on gchat more often


I do about 90 on a wpm test but that's unrealistic for an exam. Considering you have to look at your outline, other notes etc.

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby JusticeHarlan » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:23 pm

Naked Dude wrote:What's a good WPM? I just timed myself twice and got 79 and 86. Need to get on gchat more often

That's fine. Part of it is taking enough practice tests so you can attack the issues fast without having to game plan as much, but your fingers should be quick enough to do the rest. I was around 80.

Oban wrote:sometimes I feel like lawyers are taught to avoid conclusory statements so as to keep issues more complex than they need to be in order to make money/bill client.

For example,

Answer 1 Bitch, slapped me, that's battery yo.

RIP Connley v. Gibson, 1957-2007.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Am I missing something about law school?

Postby BruceWayne » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:08 am

minnbills wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:What's a good WPM? I just timed myself twice and got 79 and 86. Need to get on gchat more often


I do about 90 on a wpm test but that's unrealistic for an exam. Considering you have to look at your outline, other notes etc.


The people pulling off 7000 word exams and getting As and A+s aren't looking at their outlines. They know the law cold; you should aim to know it cold too.




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