Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

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ap1987
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Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby ap1987 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:41 pm

Just curious to know whether it's possible to do well in your substantive law classes but do poorly in legal writing or if those things tend to go hand in hand?

Meaning like A's, B+s, and then a low grade in legal writing.

BlueDiamond
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby BlueDiamond » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:43 pm

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acrossthelake
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:43 pm

Yeah, happens all the time.

Brassica7
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby Brassica7 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:46 pm

This is what I did last year. I had top 5-10% grades in my substantive classes, but got B's in legal writing. I thought that writing was my strong point, but I could not give the teacher what she wanted. I did manage to write on to law review, if that matters. The legal writing grades pulled me down to top 15%, so it wasn't too bad. I was still annoyed, wishing those classes were pass/fail.

Good luck!

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ben4847
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby ben4847 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:48 pm

It is very common. I would think there is more likely a negative correlation between doctrinal grades and LRW grades than a positive correlation.

keg411
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby keg411 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:54 pm

I saw no difference and still don't get how there could be a negative correlation. They're really not different skills unless all of your exams are multiple choice or something.

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monkey85
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby monkey85 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:59 pm

Yes, it's possible.

Some law students actually consciously aim for this outcome. Legal writing is such a time sink that some students will strategically decide to shirk their legal writing grade, and refocus all of that saved time/energy to the substantive law classes.

(Although, I didn't do that)

ap1987
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby ap1987 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:00 pm

Nice thanks, eases my mind a little, I know I'm not going to do well in legal writing. Hopefully I do as well as I feel I did in my substantive classes but who knows.

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ben4847
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby ben4847 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:28 pm

keg411 wrote:I saw no difference and still don't get how there could be a negative correlation. They're really not different skills unless all of your exams are multiple choice or something.


I dunno. All I know is my first semester I had A,A,A,A+ on doctrinal classes, and B+ in LRW. Then, someone else in the class told me he had A,A,A,A in doctrinal, and B in LRW. And all the exams were classic issue spotters, which I ripped through in no time, with misspelled words, bad grammar, and no structure.
And it seems others on this forum have had similar results.

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quiver
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby quiver » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:52 pm

ben4847 wrote:
keg411 wrote:I saw no difference and still don't get how there could be a negative correlation. They're really not different skills unless all of your exams are multiple choice or something.


I dunno. All I know is my first semester I had A,A,A,A+ on doctrinal classes, and B+ in LRW. Then, someone else in the class told me he had A,A,A,A in doctrinal, and B in LRW. And all the exams were classic issue spotters, which I ripped through in no time, with misspelled words, bad grammar, and no structure.
And it seems others on this forum have had similar results.
I am one of those with similar results. LRW was my lowest grade.

nickwar
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby nickwar » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:11 pm

ap1987 wrote:Just curious to know whether it's possible to do well in your substantive law classes but do poorly in legal writing or if those things tend to go hand in hand?

Meaning like A's, B+s, and then a low grade in legal writing.


LRW was my lowest grade -- I've done pretty well in all my substantive classes.

c3pO4
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby c3pO4 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:44 pm

its bc LRW grades are 100% based on how well you can mimic your legal writing professor's writing style, something that has very little to do with ability to succeed in issue spotting and analyzing fact patterns. it's a ttterrible class taught by ttterible profs at most schools. it's not about how well you write - in fact sometimes writing well hurts your grade, if your teacher writes worse/in a different way. you just have to write exactly what they want, or else you dont get a great grade.

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Ludo!
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby Ludo! » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:05 pm

monkey85 wrote:Yes, it's possible.

Some law students actually consciously aim for this outcome. Legal writing is such a time sink that some students will strategically decide to shirk their legal writing grade, and refocus all of that saved time/energy to the substantive law classes.

(Although, I didn't do that)


This is what I did. Gotta love pass/fail LRW.

09042014
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby 09042014 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:47 pm

keg411 wrote:I saw no difference and still don't get how there could be a negative correlation. They're really not different skills unless all of your exams are multiple choice or something.


Writing exams is nothing like writing shitty LRW memos.

I doubt there is a negative correlation, but I doubt there is a significant positive correlation either. With no correlation either way, someone good at substantive classes has just as much chance at getting the A in LWR, as they do getting the B-.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:43 pm

I think a person who can write a better brief will also write a better exam. Its all about clear communication.

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Grizz
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby Grizz » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:49 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:I think a person who can write a better brief will also write a better exam. Its all about clear communication.

Not really, different skillsets. Barfing out crap on exams is nothing like writing an 8 page memo.
Last edited by Grizz on Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludo!
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby Ludo! » Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:52 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:I think a person who can write a better brief will also write a better exam. Its all about clear communication.


In my legal writing class it was about clearly kissing the instructor's ass.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:03 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:I think a person who can write a better brief will also write a better exam. Its all about clear communication.


Not really. There's not all that much issue-spotting and analysis in LRW. The instructor basically spoon-fed the analysis and so our grading was based on organization(sorta, everyone's was nearly identical there), wording, and instructor preference in writing style. In substantive classes, the grading was pretty strongly weighted towards spotting issues and the quality of your analysis. I've seen top exams written pretty atrociously that were strong because they really hit every issue with really good analysis.

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ben4847
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Re: Well in substantive classes, poorly in legal writing?

Postby ben4847 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:07 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:I think a person who can write a better brief will also write a better exam. Its all about clear communication.


Not really. There's not all that much issue-spotting and analysis in LRW. The instructor basically spoon-fed the analysis and so our grading was based on organization(sorta, everyone's was nearly identical there), wording, and instructor preference in writing style. In substantive classes, the grading was pretty strongly weighted towards spotting issues and the quality of your analysis. I've seen top exams written pretty atrociously that were strong because they really hit every issue with really good analysis.


Amen on this bro.




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