Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby ph14 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:32 pm

smittytron3k wrote:Given that most students work for firms during 2L summer but not 1L summer, it seems more logical to have students take intermediate courses (admin, evidence, tax, corporations, BK, etc.) during 2L year once they have a clearer sense of their interests, where they are working, what their firms specialize in, etc. The current 1L schedule seems to give people a pretty good handle on the things they need to know for 1L summer, as well as the skills they need to succeed in more advanced classes. I might be able to get behind requiring corporations instead of the international law elective, but it seems like requiring BK and Tax during 1L is stupid, especially if you would have to get rid of LegReg and an elective (which could be used to take BK, Tax, or any other class) to do it.


Good points.

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby cinephile » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:27 pm

ph14 wrote:
samsonyte16 wrote:So basically what you're advocating is for everyone to take the classes that corporate law-focused people take. I think this kind of set up would seriously marginalize public interest types.


I disagree that it would marginalize public interest types. Taking a handful of corporate classes is not a huge burden, and it would help confirm their interest in PI. Plus, from what i've heard from TLS and talking to people, many people who come into law school end up working at big firms, at least for a few years (Whether that is because they need to pay back their student loans, or that they have changed their mind about what they're interested in, or any of a bunch of reasons).



I agree. There's plenty of public interest positions that deal with the transactional side. So, maybe it'd be best to split the first year writing requirement into one semester memo writing and one semester contract drafting. Or something like that. I certainly feel like the way things are set up now marginalizes people who have zero interest in litigation. And I regret that I'll be going into interviews next fall claiming to want to do transactional work, but I won't be able to give a concrete reason like I really enjoyed xyz class, because I haven't taken any yet.

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby Tanicius » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:09 pm

I disagree that it would marginalize public interest types. Taking a handful of corporate classes is not a huge burden


The issue with your proposal, at least the way it's currently designed, is that approximately a third of all 1L credits are about transactional work. As someone that has absolutely no interest in that kind of stuff, it means several things: (1) I'm wasting a shit ton of money, time, and energy studying for stuff that will not benefit me, and (2) My GPA is almost invariably going to tank severely in the same way an accounting major's GPA would probably tank if they had to had to take oral advocacy courses for a third for their 1L credits.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby bk1 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:37 pm

Tanicius wrote:The issue with your proposal, at least the way it's currently designed, is that approximately a third of all 1L credits are about transactional work. As someone that has absolutely no interest in that kind of stuff, it means several things: (1) I'm wasting a shit ton of money, time, and energy studying for stuff that will not benefit me, and (2) My GPA is almost invariably going to tank severely in the same way an accounting major's GPA would probably tank if they had to had to take oral advocacy courses for a third for their 1L credits.


All I hear in this post is "ME ME ME." I'm sure that your classmates who will be future transactional attorneys completely agree with you.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby ph14 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:58 pm

Tanicius wrote:
I disagree that it would marginalize public interest types. Taking a handful of corporate classes is not a huge burden


The issue with your proposal, at least the way it's currently designed, is that approximately a third of all 1L credits are about transactional work. As someone that has absolutely no interest in that kind of stuff, it means several things: (1) I'm wasting a shit ton of money, time, and energy studying for stuff that will not benefit me, and (2) My GPA is almost invariably going to tank severely in the same way an accounting major's GPA would probably tank if they had to had to take oral advocacy courses for a third for their 1L credits.


What about people who have little or no interest in litigation? Don't you think a 100% litigation focused 1L curriculum marginalizes those who are leaning or strongly interested in transactional work? Plus, don't you think firms picking future transactional lawyers based only on their litigation skills doesn't make a whole lot of sense? Kind of like your accounting argument. The firms are hiring their future M&A lawyers based mainly on their performance in a completely litigation focused context.

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby Tanicius » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:17 pm

bk1 wrote:
Tanicius wrote:The issue with your proposal, at least the way it's currently designed, is that approximately a third of all 1L credits are about transactional work. As someone that has absolutely no interest in that kind of stuff, it means several things: (1) I'm wasting a shit ton of money, time, and energy studying for stuff that will not benefit me, and (2) My GPA is almost invariably going to tank severely in the same way an accounting major's GPA would probably tank if they had to had to take oral advocacy courses for a third for their 1L credits.


All I hear in this post is "ME ME ME." I'm sure that your classmates who will be future transactional attorneys completely agree with you.


Your point that some people will benefit from a system affecting everyone is not very compelling. Seems more logical to have a more balanced approach.

Don't you think a 100% litigation focused 1L curriculum marginalizes those who are leaning or strongly interested in transactional work?


Yes, of course it does.

The firms are hiring their future M&A lawyers based mainly on their performance in a completely litigation focused context.


Yes, and that's obviously stupid. So why does completely turning over the table and dicking the litigation people instead solve that problem? It would make more sense to me to either have fewer required courses and more electives for 1L's, or limit required courses solely to what will be on the bar exam. I think a lot of this also has to do with a much bigger problem: That firms are putting so much stock into first-year grades when they probably should try to find a more reliable measurement (and also that firms have such influence on the required aspects of a curriculum in the first place).
Last edited by Tanicius on Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby bk1 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:20 pm

Tanicius wrote:Your point that some people will benefit from a system affecting everyone is not very compelling. Seems more logical to have a more balanced approach.

And yet you took issue with OP's "balanced approach" and ranted about your personal tuition and your personal GPA.
Tanicius wrote:So why does completely turning over the table and dicking the litigation people instead solve that problem?

Because making 1/3 of the credits trans is "turning over the table" and "dicking" the lit folks.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby ph14 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:21 pm

Tanicius wrote:
Don't you think a 100% litigation focused 1L curriculum marginalizes those who are leaning or strongly interested in transactional work?


Yes, of course it does.

The firms are hiring their future M&A lawyers based mainly on their performance in a completely litigation focused context.


Yes, and that's obviously stupid. So why does completely turning over the table and dicking the litigation people instead solve that problem? It would make more sense to me to either have fewer required courses and more electives for 1L's, or limit required courses solely to what will be on the bar exam.


I'm not necessarily saying it's the only way the problem could be solved. Providing fewer required courses and more electives might indeed be a better solution. I think there is something worthwhile to requiring some transactional courses, so everyone at least has some idea of what goes into it, and maybe some people will find they are actually interested in it, as well as leveling the playing field a bit. But I understand that a lot of people object strongly to making them required as opposed to elective.

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby Tanicius » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:43 pm

ph14 wrote:I'm not necessarily saying it's the only way the problem could be solved. Providing fewer required courses and more electives might indeed be a better solution. I think there is something worthwhile to requiring some transactional courses, so everyone at least has some idea of what goes into it, and maybe some people will find they are actually interested in it, as well as leveling the playing field a bit. But I understand that a lot of people object strongly to making them required as opposed to elective.



For certain, the law curriculum needs a major overhaul. Most of the emotional resistance I have with your proposal is rooted in this imaginary scenario of myself helplessly trying to get through just one case from a transactions casebook. I think that speaks to a more general problem with the law school curriculum - especially for 1L courses: they go unnecessarily deep, and as a result we forget a lot of the specifics the moment we're done with the class. This is useful neither for our summer work nor the moment when we will need to pass the bar.

Some of this stuff could be taught in a handful of weeks rather than 3-4 months if they would momentarily get rid of the casebook method and just teach. The casebook method teaches valuable skills on its own, but I think a lot of the introductory material would benefit the students more if it was taught in a briefer, broader fashion. Take Torts as an example. It could be taught as a 1 or 2-credit class, easily. Spend some time talking about the elements of a tort, the difference between intent and negligence-based torts, illustrate both concepts with examples, and then go into some more complicated circumstances like medical malpractice and alternative insurance schemes. In and out in a span of three or four weeks, with what is probably a much more practical grasp of torts than is provided by the agonizingly slow pace of an entire semester.

Reading Palsgraf doesn't teach you proximate cause; what it teaches you is how to skim through a case with lots of bullshit and find the rule. That is a skill you don't need to take torts to learn - you get that through from LRW. I think they should make LRW a bigger part of the curriculum, maybe indeed adding some transactional-type work to the assignments, and focus on simplifying and standardizing the substantive courses.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby Dany » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:50 pm

Tanicius wrote:(1) I'm wasting a shit ton of money, time, and energy studying for stuff that will not benefit me

And this is different from law school in general how?

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby Tanicius » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:07 pm

Dany wrote:
Tanicius wrote:(1) I'm wasting a shit ton of money, time, and energy studying for stuff that will not benefit me

And this is different from law school in general how?


I mean, no not really. I rant about some of that stuff in the post above yours.

bdubs
Posts: 3729
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby bdubs » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:15 pm

People here are neglecting the biggest concern that lawyers will have about this proposal. It's not "traditional" and doesn't reflect what they did in law school. They only took "core" law classes first year and probably did relatively well in them. Having to evaluate someone who did something different means that they have to shift their reference points. If this is not universally adopted it might hurt a school's placement.

One of the things I've learned about old biglaw partners is that they don't really like change much. Lots of younger lawyers are trying to get old lawyers to loosen up on evaluating everyone based exclusively on grades, they just won't do it.

User avatar
BunkMoreland
Posts: 289
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:16 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby BunkMoreland » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:56 am

Don't know if this has been covered but why not totally overhaul 1L curriculum regardless? Focus on legal writing, legal research, a class where you study and learn about common transactional documents and do some drafting of them, lots of practicum-type classes or legal clinics, a class in basic legal concepts, and maybe one or two of the bullshit traditional learn-nothing classes that you can elect to fit in there too. That way law school could be cut down to two years easily.

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby Tanicius » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:10 am

BunkMoreland wrote:Don't know if this has been covered but why not totally overhaul 1L curriculum regardless? Focus on legal writing, legal research, a class where you study and learn about common transactional documents and do some drafting of them, lots of practicum-type classes or legal clinics, a class in basic legal concepts, and maybe one or two of the bullshit traditional learn-nothing classes that you can elect to fit in there too. That way law school could be cut down to two years easily.


I am 100% behind that.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18422
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby bk1 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:07 am

BunkMoreland wrote:Don't know if this has been covered but why not totally overhaul 1L curriculum regardless? Focus on legal writing, legal research, a class where you study and learn about common transactional documents and do some drafting of them, lots of practicum-type classes or legal clinics, a class in basic legal concepts, and maybe one or two of the bullshit traditional learn-nothing classes that you can elect to fit in there too. That way law school could be cut down to two years easily.


But think of all the legal scholars who would be out of jerbs!

User avatar
Tanicius
Posts: 2957
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:54 am

Re: Why not have a transactional class in the 1L curriculum?

Postby Tanicius » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:25 am

bk1 wrote:
BunkMoreland wrote:Don't know if this has been covered but why not totally overhaul 1L curriculum regardless? Focus on legal writing, legal research, a class where you study and learn about common transactional documents and do some drafting of them, lots of practicum-type classes or legal clinics, a class in basic legal concepts, and maybe one or two of the bullshit traditional learn-nothing classes that you can elect to fit in there too. That way law school could be cut down to two years easily.


But think of all the legal scholars who would be out of jerbs!


Yeah, that's why it'll never happen, and because of the afore-noted firm conservatism towards legal curricula.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests