Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

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Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby Today » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:30 pm

Two of my professors have cautioned us against using any sort of supplement. Is there any legitimate reason why I should avoid using them, at least for these two classes?

cavalier1138

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:40 pm

Generally, it's because the professor wants you to understand the law as they teach it. A supplement represents the law as someone else wants to teach it.

For example, your Contracts professor might teach that consideration is a totally separate category from promissory estoppel. But there might be a supplement out there that classifies promissory estoppel as a category of consideration. Put that down on your exam, and you either look like you didn't listen or you didn't care what the professor said.

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mjb447

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby mjb447 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:41 pm

I used supplements for some classes and I think it's generally fine to do so. If your professor has an eccentric or unique view on a particular area of law, though, you need to use his/her method of analysis and phrases on the exam, and sometimes people who rely on supplements too heavily apply the law as they've read it in a supplement rather than do what their professor told them to do.

Relatedly, for many classes, the black letter law (which is what you'll get from most supplements) really isn't that hard to grasp, and it's the classwork that will teach you how to extend/apply it in the way that the professor is looking for.

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rcharter1978

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby rcharter1978 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:08 pm

I think supplements are fine, if the professor and supplement contradict each other, just go to office hours and ask about it.

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:04 am

In addition to the good comments above, supplements may give in depth treatment to some aspect of the law your lrofessor completely skipped.

My Torts professor told us all that she wouldn't test the proximate cause element of negligence because law school exam essay answers on that element were always all over the place. A Torts supplement may give in depth treatment of that concept, which the professor said would not be tested

Another example was in Contracts my professor said he wouldn't test consideration for a similar reason - it just didn't lend itself to a good exam question, so he was only going to cover that element in broad strokes. A supplement probably goes all out describing all the nuance of consideration, which was not needed to get an A (all we needed to know was that the law evolved so that, in practice, all the consideration needed is merely a peppercorn).

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mjb447

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby mjb447 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:43 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:In addition to the good comments above, supplements may give in depth treatment to some aspect of the law your lrofessor completely skipped.

My Torts professor told us all that she wouldn't test the proximate cause element of negligence because law school exam essay answers on that element were always all over the place. A Torts supplement may give in depth treatment of that concept, which the professor said would not be tested

Another example was in Contracts my professor said he wouldn't test consideration for a similar reason - it just didn't lend itself to a good exam question, so he was only going to cover that element in broad strokes. A supplement probably goes all out describing all the nuance of consideration, which was not needed to get an A (all we needed to know was that the law evolved so that, in practice, all the consideration needed is merely a peppercorn).

This is a good point. In addition to making a supplement less valuable, this can actually be harmful if you fall into the trap of thinking that a good way to spend your study time / get additional points on an exam is to spot and address issues that your professor didn't discuss but you know about from a supplement.

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Calbears123

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby Calbears123 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:48 am

I thought supps were great and giving reasons behind the law. We had a policy question about 12b motions, summary judgement, judgement as a matter of law, and renewed judgment as a matter of law. I just copy pasted the reason the supp gave for these and got an A.

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kellyfrost

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby kellyfrost » Thu Sep 15, 2016 10:52 am

Typically, they do not like it for 1L classes because the supplements to not "hide the ball." Professors don't like this for two reasons, first, they prefer the ball to be hidden as best as they can, and second, once the ball is no longer hidden students get very confused with what is being taught in class and how it is being taught.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Sprout

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby Sprout » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:29 am

Ego

cavalier1138

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:54 am

Calbears123 wrote:I thought supps were great and giving reasons behind the law. We had a policy question about 12b motions, summary judgement, judgement as a matter of law, and renewed judgment as a matter of law. I just copy pasted the reason the supp gave for these and got an A.


Not to imply that you wasted your money, but did your professor not go over those same points in class?

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby sflyr2016 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:10 pm

Especially as a 1L, absolutely rely on supplements. (Unless, as mentioned above, your professor seriously departs from the typical way of teaching a course.)

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star fox

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby star fox » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:29 pm

sflyr2016 wrote:Especially as a 1L, absolutely rely on supplements. (Unless, as mentioned above, your professor seriously departs from the typical way of teaching a course.)

+1. Supplements are your best friend. They are a great way to channel your nervous energy into being productive while you gun for top grades and will make the law very easy to understand so that your class time will not be spent wondering "WHERE IS ALL THIS GOING?" Afterwards, you can use them at your leisure. I recommend everyone to at least try them first semester.

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pancakes3

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Re: Why do professors generally advise against supplements?

Postby pancakes3 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:26 pm

I think it's hard for a 1L, especially a 1st semester 1L to know if their professor teaches things in a typical manner or not.

Also, I think it's a waste of time (at best) to try and delve into areas of law that your prof didn't get into, especially as a 1L.

I guess I'm in the minority when I say that supplements aren't really that useful. The best thing you can do for 1L grades is to give up on trying to make any type of legal conclusions and try to argue BOTH SIDES of the issue.

I will say that supplements will help you check yourself and fill in gaps in the BLL for your outline when November comes, but don't use them now.

Later on once you get the hang of it? I pulled an A- in Con Law and didn't buy a thing for the class - not even supplements. 100% study through oyez/wikipedia, the syllabus, and online lecture slides. Doing the same for Crim Pro now.



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