Socratic Method

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1l2016
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Socratic Method

Postby 1l2016 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:20 pm

Another 1L newb thread. Any advice for how to get over this irrational fear? Public speaking makes me really anxious, and all of my profs cold call. I know it's not a big deal, but it still causes me a great deal of anxiety and unhealthy and unnecessary levels of stress. Oddly enough, I think I'd be interested in litigation, and I think I'd be good at it, but I get really nervous speaking publicly (mainly because I've never had to do it before) I'm curious if any other 2Ls and 3Ls had similar feelings and what y'all did to get over it.

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thesealocust
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby thesealocust » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:25 pm

Stand in front of a mirror and speak. Do it over and over again until it doesn't hurt.

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boredtodeath
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby boredtodeath » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:27 pm

The best way to ease anxiety about being called on in class is to know what you're going to be asked to talk about. Come prepared to class and you should be fine. In the end, nobody is going to care if your answer is wrong, you say the wrong word, etc. People will remember if you freak out about it. Just be calm.

1l2016
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby 1l2016 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:40 pm

Valid point for sure. I don't get why i get so nervous, but i feel like I can't control it. I want to be calm and comfortable, but faack.

staysha
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby staysha » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:46 pm

1l2016 wrote:Valid point for sure. I don't get why i get so nervous, but i feel like I can't control it. I want to be calm and comfortable, but faack.


they make pills for that

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prezidentv8
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:47 pm

1l2016 wrote:Another 1L newb thread. Any advice for how to get over this irrational fear?


Focus on the rational fear: Speaking in class matters not, grades do. If you look like a total boob in class, but get a job and make a few friends, then you win at law school.

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boredtodeath
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby boredtodeath » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:49 pm

Just don't let it show. I used to get real nervous about speaking in front of strangers when I was younger. My heart rate would go up when it was my turn to talk or whatever and sometimes I'd fidget or my hand would shake. My face was perfectly calm though. After a few seconds the anxiety would die down and nobody ever realized. I don't know if that's how it feels for you, but just keep a cool facade and you're golden.

Also, keep it short and simple. Nobody likes the dudes who ramble on in class thinking they're the next great scholar - whether that rambling comes from nervousness or just douchebaggery.

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fundamentallybroken
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby fundamentallybroken » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:49 pm

1l2016 wrote:Valid point for sure. I don't get why i get so nervous, but i feel like I can't control it. I want to be calm and comfortable, but faack.


Everyone gets nervous, especially when called on to discuss a case - some just show it a bit more than others. The good news is that it gets easier to discuss cases as you go, even if the nerves never completely go away.

Just make sure you're prepared, know that the professor will likely lead you through the case with questions about facts, posture, etc., and don't worry if you mess up. Chances are, no one else is even listening to what you're saying; they're listening to what the professor is saying (or gchatting.)

Void
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby Void » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:52 pm

I also had this issue as a 1L. If you're like me, the advice in this thread to use logic to fix an emotional issue will not work at all. The only way I got over it was to do it. Over and over and over again. It's not easy and it doesn't happen immediately, but slowly you'll begin to feel more comfortable. You just need to see for yourself that you're capable of doing it.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:41 am

Professor= guy earning salary

You= guy paying salary

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salix
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby salix » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:30 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:Professor= guy earning salary

You= guy paying salary


Also, classmates = just as clueless as you.

Most wouldn't judge you, even if you screwed up royally. Fuck those that would.

ETA: OP, as someone with your problem, I can tell you all of the above advice is solid. Another thing that worked for me is to pretend I'm answering every question that the professor asks of anyone. Realizing my answers are at least on par with everyone else's helped my anxiety about the cold calls.

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syd625
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby syd625 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:57 am

I'm a new 1L but had the same fear as you going in. I've already been cold called twice, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. (Even though one of the professors was the type that absolutely hammers you for half the class.) For me, it helped to just block everyone else out. Pretend it's a conversation between you and the professor only. All of us are going to give the wrong answer or not be able to give the right one, that's the whole point. Good luck!

thegrayman
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby thegrayman » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:52 am

Getting cold called sucks. I'm a 3L and I still hate that shit.

There isn't a whole lot you can do to relieve the anxiety because at the end of the day you still have the nagging issue of not knowing exactly what they are going to ask you, even if you have a general sense.

I think the best advice has already been said

1) Be prepared, obviously

2) When you get cold called, get in the zone and make it a personal conversation between you and the professor. Don't look at your other classmates, don't listen to any background chatter going on. If they ask you something that you don't know off the top of your head, it's fine to pause for a second or two, you don't have to keep saying "um" over again, just be quiet while you think.

Good luck out there, I don't miss 1L one bit

cpajd
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby cpajd » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:27 am

I just graduated in May and took the bar in July-- I've now seen it all, and I can tell you that you will get through it no matter how ugly it seems at the time. I was one of those who was so nervous that my voice would shake and crack when I was called on. I was a nervous wreck for the first couple weeks, scared to death of the infamous "cold call." I know it might seem like overkill or even be goofy, but here's a couple things that I did:

1) I really briefed every case in paper copy, tabbed them, and kept them in a notebook. They were'nt lengthy briefs, but just a few brief statements that summarized the facts, holding, reasoning, etc. Others "book briefed" or had their notes on their laptop. I just felt better having the paper notes out and ready to refer (and even READ out loud if I needed to when called on).

2) I tried to refresh my memory just before class, quickly glancing over my briefs before class for a few minutes. After reading so many cases, it was too easy for me to get confused or even forget which case belonged to which class sometimes.

3) I intentionally spoke slowly so my mouth didn't get ahead of my brain because of nervousness. Sometimes I'd start with something like, "Ummmm, let's see.... I believe that case was about...." while getting myself focused on the notes in front of me. The worst was if I started speaking before having my thoughts collected. The important thing is to say something (anything) intelligent about the case, and just move on. Also, if a professor really peppers you with a lot of follow-on questions, I got to the point where I felt okay simply hesitating for a few seconds and then saying "Hmm, I'm not really sure." For the most part, the professor will see you know the basics of the case, but don't have all the answers to everything, and they'll usually move to the next person.

4) Lastly, and most importantly, I looked around at others who were just like me. After a few weeks you realize most of us are in the same boat. We've done our reading (make sure you ALWAYS do). We know the case fairly well. But most of us can be stumped from time to time.

Good luck. Three years will fly by, and you'll look back and laugh at all the things that seemed so important. Like others say, they don't grade you on how you look during cold call. They grade you on your written final. Focus on that.

shock259
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby shock259 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:32 am

For the record, your fear is probably not noticeable to other people. I used to get fucking petrified at cold calls. I would talk through them, but it felt like my voice was cracking and everyone knew how nervous I was. Then I had to tape myself performing something. I got nervous, just like I always do. But to my shock, none of that came through on the tape. I looked calm, cool, and collected to all outward appearances.

Realizing this helped me. I still get nervous, but it isn't as bad as it used to be.

1l2016
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby 1l2016 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:34 pm

Thanks everyone for the responses! Definitely reassuring! Especially the part about no one being able to tell. I always feel like everyone can tell I'm nervous as shit. I can't respond to everyone now since I'm at school, but ill post back here later. Thanks!

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cinephile
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby cinephile » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:37 pm

Also, don't be afraid to say that you don't know if you honestly don't. Sometimes they move on to someone else or the prof will acknowledge that there's no way you should know. It can stop the endless questions in some cases.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:47 pm

Avoid caffine. Seriously, I used to think I needed to "perk up" before something that made me nervous, but the caffine makes it worse. Your nerves will wake you up enough.

And I'll second what others said above - don't worry about making mistakes. Mistakes in reasoning ARE THE THING the socratic method counts on. Pointing out those mistakes IS THE LEARNING. In fact a significant percentage of your peers will probably be thinking the same mistake, and they will all learn. So just read the case, be familiar with it, and you'll be fine. And even though everyone will be watching you and listening, they'll only be judging you until you sit down :lol:
Last edited by NotMyRealName09 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rad lulz
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby rad lulz » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:49 pm

.h.
Last edited by rad lulz on Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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thesealocust
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby thesealocust » Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:49 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Avoid caffine.


IGNORE THIS ADVICE NOTMYREALNAME09 IS JUST A GUNNER WHO WANTS YOU TO FAIL CAFFEINE WILL CLEANSE YOUR SOUL AND FORGIVE YOU FOR YOUR SINS ITS THE ONLY THING IN MY LIFE THAT MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT ABOUT IT I HATE YOU

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salix
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby salix » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:17 pm

thesealocust wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:Avoid caffine.


IGNORE THIS ADVICE NOTMYREALNAME09 IS JUST A GUNNER WHO WANTS YOU TO FAIL CAFFEINE WILL CLEANSE YOUR SOUL AND FORGIVE YOU FOR YOUR SINS ITS THE ONLY THING IN MY LIFE THAT MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT ABOUT IT I HATE YOU


:shock:
If this is what caffeine does to you, maybe you should avoid it too.
:lol:

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:31 pm

thesealocust wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:Avoid caffine.


IGNORE THIS ADVICE NOTMYREALNAME09 IS JUST A GUNNER WHO WANTS YOU TO FAIL CAFFEINE WILL CLEANSE YOUR SOUL AND FORGIVE YOU FOR YOUR SINS ITS THE ONLY THING IN MY LIFE THAT MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT ABOUT IT I HATE YOU


I actually totally forgot about the 1 liters of diet mountain dew I drank daily during law school, and the eye twitch I developed......the caffine advice was for more for interviews, sorry, but I bet it holds true for nerves of cold calls.

But the key is preparation, preparation, preparation.

And I'll disagree with those who say performance on colds calls is a worthless excercise - yeah sure, its meaningless to your grade, but there is one other law school situation where you will be asked to think on your feet, under the gun, with limited time, and confront facts and law in ways you have not yet experienced. And that is during EXAM TIME. So don't blow it off. It's legit practice for thinking about law under stressssss.

rad lulz
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby rad lulz » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:49 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:
thesealocust wrote:
NotMyRealName09 wrote:Avoid caffine.


IGNORE THIS ADVICE NOTMYREALNAME09 IS JUST A GUNNER WHO WANTS YOU TO FAIL CAFFEINE WILL CLEANSE YOUR SOUL AND FORGIVE YOU FOR YOUR SINS ITS THE ONLY THING IN MY LIFE THAT MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT ABOUT IT I HATE YOU


I actually totally forgot about the 1 liters of diet mountain dew I drank daily during law school, and the eye twitch I developed......the caffine advice was for more for interviews, sorry, but I bet it holds true for nerves of cold calls.

But the key is preparation, preparation, preparation.

And I'll disagree with those who say performance on colds calls is a worthless excercise - yeah sure, its meaningless to your grade, but there is one other law school situation where you will be asked to think on your feet, under the gun, with limited time, and confront facts and law in ways you have not yet experienced. And that is during EXAM TIME. So don't blow it off. It's legit practice for thinking about law under stressssss.

Or, you know, you can just do practice exams instead of getting all in a huff because you can't remember the precise facts of Palsgraf or whatever

arklaw13
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby arklaw13 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:44 pm

Just remember your professors and classmates won't remember your answer. I had a prof today recite an answer one of my classmates gave no more than two minutes before and he attributed the answer to the wrong student. The only reason I even noticed is that the two students sit pretty far from each other and I thought it was odd.

I don't find it that bad when they call on you and then move on. I do have one professor that will only call on a few people for ten to fifteen minutes each. That can get pretty rough.

In any case, I can tell you that I'm a very judgmental person and I can't even remember a single time someone has embarrassed themselves in the past three weeks of class. It happened, to be sure, but there's just too much going on for me or anyone else to remember.

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NoodleyOne
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Re: Socratic Method

Postby NoodleyOne » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:48 pm

I've been cold called a few times now, with varying levels of confidence in my performance. It's kind of nerve-wracking when it's happening, but it's nbd. Everyone goes through it. I even had some people in one of my classes pat me on the back after (in commiseration, not congratulation).




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