1L dismayed with the teaching style/pace of law school

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ggocat
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Re: 1L dismayed with the teaching style/pace of law school

Postby ggocat » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:59 am

rzzza wrote:Why not several exams spaced out during the course like they do in undergrad? Wouldn't that be more helpful for students to compartmentalize what they learn and have a better hope of actually retaining the information? Is this something that is done by necessity because there's too much material to cover, or is it a purposeful approach they use to weed out the weak? I just don't get it.

Piggybacking on what lavarman84 said.

Learning "stuff" is necessary for law school but not the purpose of law school. The purpose is to make you be able to recognize that you need to know something--i.e., spotting issues. Most law jobs don't require that you know everything off the top of your head, but they require that you be able to spot a problem and look up the possible answers. Some law school exams are open-notes for this reason.

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star fox
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Re: 1L dismayed with the teaching style/pace of law school

Postby star fox » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:26 pm

Channel your anxiety into some E&Es for the topics you've already completed. Start with the class where you're the most confused.

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BulletTooth
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Re: 1L dismayed with the teaching style/pace of law school

Postby BulletTooth » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:57 pm

If you're feeling overwhelmed, I would recommend reading supplements before you dive into the cases. There were classes that I was in where I could spend 30 minutes trying to figure out a case, or I could read a supplement for 5 minutes and then skim the case for 5 minutes, knowing what the key takeaway is based on the supplement. It may seem counterintuitive, but I think starting with supplements could save you tons of time in the long run. All depends on your learning style.

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kellyfrost
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Re: 1L dismayed with the teaching style/pace of law school

Postby kellyfrost » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:21 am

I thought this was a good quote from Professor Paula Franzesez. She posted this on her Quora page in response to a question:

This is an important moment for lawyers and law students. In this time of rollbacks to essential civil liberties, lawyers are the rule of reason’s best defense. We are trained to speak truth to power in ways that advance the aims of progress, assure constitutional safeguards, and protect against government over-reaching. We are afforded the stature and access to power that can effectively champion the underdog, the forgotten, and the left behind.

There is an art and science to “thinking like a lawyer” and it is taught effectively only in law school. I serve on boards in the public and private sectors that are comprised of lawyers and non-lawyers, and most of the difficult problem-solving is accomplished by the lawyers. I am thankful every day for the skill set that law school gave me to navigate an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Reinhold Niebuhr was correct when he observed, “Love is the motive, justice is the instrument.” We are justice’s emissaries. Our work can be the antidote to hopelessness and restore agency to communities and constituencies that for too long have been marginalized and worse. The pernicious effects of de jure discrimination continue to be felt. There is a veritable chasm between what is and what ought to be in contexts that include the criminal justice system, housing, education, immigration, civil rights and civil liberties. As lawyers, we are trained and empowered to narrow that gap.

Lawyers achieve success in accord with traditional metrics. What is more, by making people’s lives a little easier, we achieve significance, creating legacies that transcend our own lifetimes.

I do the work of justice to vindicate the legacy and sacrifice of those on whose shoulders I stand. I do it because in these fraught times and in a world preoccupied with status, the power of a good education gives me the status that affords access to power. I know that this power can we wielded wisely, with both technique and compassion. Indeed, I have learned that one cannot be reliably sustained without the other.

I am grateful to serve the aims of social justice. I do that work as much for my sake as for the sake of the people who are counting on my expertise to make their burdens a bit lighter. We are connected by a thousand invisible threads to the whole of humanity. What we do for others we do for ourselves.

The pursuit of equality demands resilience and fortitude. It builds muscle. Often we push that boulder up the mountain only to have it tumble down. At those moments I remain mindful of Camus' choice to interpret the myth of Sisyphus through a lens of hope. Camus writes that while some might see only futility in the task at hand, he chooses instead to see the nobility of the very effort. He notes,

"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

Optimism is a daily choice. So is love. I do the work of the law so that justice might become "love made visible."

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Ferrisjso
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Re: 1L dismayed with the teaching style/pace of law school

Postby Ferrisjso » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:42 pm

rzzza wrote:It seems like the environment is such that, instead of striving for students to soak in the information, the approach is to toss as much stuff at the students as possible as quickly as possible so that they become confused, stressed and at best retain maybe half of everything they're supposed to know. Why do they do it this way? For example, I barely have time to understand future interests before we're onto perpetuities. I think only my torts class moves at what I would call a reasonable pace.

I also don't understand the rationale for having only one major exam at the end of the semester. Why not several exams spaced out during the course like they do in undergrad? Wouldn't that be more helpful for students to compartmentalize what they learn and have a better hope of actually retaining the information?

Is this something that is done by necessity because there's too much material to cover, or is it a purposeful approach they use to weed out the weak? I just don't get it.


I feel you bro, I love soaking in that info. I also am suffering from the lack of small assignments to use as benchmarks like I did in UG. The rationale I think is to rank job applicants off of the same almost standardized shit regardless of school(aside from the top ones of course). If everyone's taking the same classes the ranking means more than in UG where grade inflation and deflation depending on major is a huge thing.

That being said, this was really predictable and law school's teaching style was far from a secret. You had to have some idea of what was coming going in.

Ironically enough my Torts class is also the only one that goes at a reasonable pace(and the result is we haven't gone over an entire reading in class the whole semester).




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