What's more important: Doing the readings or going to class?

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What's more important: Doing the readings or going to class?

Doing the readings
Going to class
Total votes: 49


Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:08 pm

Re: What's more important: Doing the readings or going to class?

Postby NewYorkStork » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:30 pm

Going to class for the simple reason that it's the only way to find out how relatively important both are. I had one professor that spent his entire lecture basically reciting the notes in the casebook after each case, and I could have never gone to class and outlined from the notes and done fine. I had another teacher that would argue that cases we read were wrongly decided, or have us read the minority rule cases so that he could tear it apart and show us why the majority rule was better and tell us what the majority rule was; in his class, if you just did the readings you would've assumed that that rule was what he wanted you to take away when he wanted you to take away something opposite from the reading.

The best way to get a read on a professor is to listen to what they say in class and look at practice tests/previous top scoring exam answers if they are available. Some teachers want you to cite cases read in class like crazy and compare the facts of cases you read to the facts in the hypo, some think that is stupid and a complete waste of time and just want you to apply the rules they taught you and discussed with you in class. You have to know what your professor wants and react accordingly, be it reading more or paying closer attention during class.

For what it's worth as an anecdote, I spent first semester going to class and doing all of the readings and ended up doing very well. Second semester I didn't read at all except when I was on call (which was in total about five cases) and got crushed on cold calls, but ended up doing even better. One of my professors even said at the last class that "those of you who didn't read the cases are screwed on my final exam." I read case summaries from an old outline and knew the general facts well enough to use the cases in the way he wanted and aced his exam. Personally, I haven't had a class in law school yet that I thought wouldn't be possible to get an A in without the casebook, but it's never worth making that assumption.

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