LEEWS

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06072010
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Re: LEEWS

Postby 06072010 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:53 pm

This is not one of the things we allow. No torrentz. No discussion of how to (possibly) violate a copyright. Banned for a week.

Snooker
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Re: LEEWS

Postby Snooker » Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:14 am

LEEWS suggests not writing out full law exams.

Do they have it backwards?

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M51
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Re: LEEWS

Postby M51 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:32 pm

For what it's worth, I did LEEWS before 1L, and while doing it thought it was a little pointless. Then, once I looked at an actual test, I realized it actually was rather pointless. In all seriousness, if after looking at 1-2 tests + 1-2 sample answers from your professors and you don't figure out his tips and strategies by yourself... you've got bigger picture issues.

His strategies are also useless for any professor with a heavy policy focus (which in my experience was most of my professors), because he simply doesn't go deep enough.

After first semester, I mentally blocked out anything LEEWS said and concentrated on learning Getting to Maybe by heart. Ended up spending less time studying, and grades went up significantly. I would recommend Getting to Maybe over LEEWS any day for any purpose. If you've already bought/obtained LEEWS, there's no harm in doing it as long as you keep the perspective that LEEWS is woefully incomplete for getting a good grade for most professors. The emphasis in LEEWS is put totally in the wrong place. For most professors, it's NOT about how many issues you spot (.5 points) and analyze (1 point), but it's about how deeply you can analyze each issue and connect it to not only the other trees in the forest (.5 points), but to the forest itself (1 point), the entire ecosystem (1 point), and then comment on whether a martian attack would actually be healthy for this system (1 point). LEEWS gets you 2 points, maybe 3... but it doesn't get you the whole 5 points, ever.

In massive issue spotters this is not a problem, because instead of getting the full 5 points for each issue, you can make up for it by finding 80%-120% more issues to hit on and briefly analyze to get the same good grade... but once you hit on policy heavy professors (I like to call these "policy spotters" or "paradox spotters"), you'll find yourself quickly running out of LEEWS' bread and butter easy issue hits, spending more time on each one thinking you're analyzing it, but actually just repeating yourself and running in circles (what LEEWS calls "analyze", and what'll get you 1-2 points, but no more).

Be warned, LEEWS wont' hurt, but it's NOT what the author claims it is either. I've aced tests that were low on time, heavy on # of issues by ignoring LEEWS and delving into the paradoxes the problem presented instead of being bogged down by hte minor little details. Thinking on a test > LEEWS' not thinking. But LEEWS probably > total panic.

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badlydrawn
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Re: LEEWS

Postby badlydrawn » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:47 pm

edcrane wrote:a bunch of perceptive stuff

thanks!

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: LEEWS

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:18 am

A lot of what is in LEEWS is scattered around these boards. The people who will benefit most from LEEWS are those people who are going into law school with little feedback/advice from current law students. That is why I found LEEWS so helpful. I was/am a non-trad with a technical background and did not know any 2Ls (that well) when I was a 1L. Perhaps this is not the same for everyone, but the very first time you actually take a law school exam is pretty terrifying. Everyone is amped up, the exam soft program inevitably has some glitches so it takes about an hour before they are ready to hand out the exams, you are freaked out about how little time you have and how much this exam is worth and whether your outline is good etc.
Then the exam is handed out, within 5 minutes someone is typing like cazy, and you are still reading the first question for the second time and thinking about how to best outline the problem.
This is when LEEWS becomes a bit of a lifesaver. Having a pre-planned strategy, knowing that some people will just start writing and that it is OK that you are not one of those people. Biting off little chunks of the exam, one at a time. LEEWS definitely helps with the "freak out factor" (As do practice exams). I think everyone realizes this by 2nd semester, or at the very latest, beginning of 2nd year. Unfortunately, a lot of damage can be done by poor 1st semester/1st year grades.
There are no magic solutions in LEEWS, and following his method to a "t" may not lead you to success. However, it does give you a solid foundation to build on. Some people won't need it. There are people who can simply read the question and start writing an answer and produce a clear coherent essay that spots and analyzes the issues.

Merriweather
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Re: LEEWS

Postby Merriweather » Wed Aug 12, 2009 3:28 pm

PSA: LEEWS is still dogshit.

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Attucks
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Re: LEEWS

Postby Attucks » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:28 am

Merriweather wrote:PSA: LEEWS is still dogshit.


Well, regardless, I still thought I would ask how soon people who completed the program with some level of success began outlining their courses. Miller seems to advocate doing this from the first week, so I wanted to see if any variations on this were just as useful.

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edcrane
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Re: LEEWS

Postby edcrane » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:19 pm

Attucks wrote:
Merriweather wrote:PSA: LEEWS is still dogshit.


Well, regardless, I still thought I would ask how soon people who completed the program with some level of success began outlining their courses. Miller seems to advocate doing this from the first week, so I wanted to see if any variations on this were just as useful.


I know some people who have done well outlining from day one. I don't have the discipline for that. I've found that beginning to outline 1/2 way through the semester works fine for me. Any later and it becomes somewhat rushed and less well thought out.
Last edited by edcrane on Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Attucks
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Re: LEEWS

Postby Attucks » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:50 pm

M51 wrote:For what it's worth, I did LEEWS before 1L, and while doing it thought it was a little pointless. Then, once I looked at an actual test, I realized it actually was rather pointless. In all seriousness, if after looking at 1-2 tests + 1-2 sample answers from your professors and you don't figure out his tips and strategies by yourself... you've got bigger picture issues.

His strategies are also useless for any professor with a heavy policy focus (which in my experience was most of my professors), because he simply doesn't go deep enough.

After first semester, I mentally blocked out anything LEEWS said and concentrated on learning Getting to Maybe by heart. Ended up spending less time studying, and grades went up significantly. I would recommend Getting to Maybe over LEEWS any day for any purpose. If you've already bought/obtained LEEWS, there's no harm in doing it as long as you keep the perspective that LEEWS is woefully incomplete for getting a good grade for most professors. The emphasis in LEEWS is put totally in the wrong place. For most professors, it's NOT about how many issues you spot (.5 points) and analyze (1 point), but it's about how deeply you can analyze each issue and connect it to not only the other trees in the forest (.5 points), but to the forest itself (1 point), the entire ecosystem (1 point), and then comment on whether a martian attack would actually be healthy for this system (1 point). LEEWS gets you 2 points, maybe 3... but it doesn't get you the whole 5 points, ever.

In massive issue spotters this is not a problem, because instead of getting the full 5 points for each issue, you can make up for it by finding 80%-120% more issues to hit on and briefly analyze to get the same good grade... but once you hit on policy heavy professors (I like to call these "policy spotters" or "paradox spotters"), you'll find yourself quickly running out of LEEWS' bread and butter easy issue hits, spending more time on each one thinking you're analyzing it, but actually just repeating yourself and running in circles (what LEEWS calls "analyze", and what'll get you 1-2 points, but no more).

Be warned, LEEWS wont' hurt, but it's NOT what the author claims it is either. I've aced tests that were low on time, heavy on # of issues by ignoring LEEWS and delving into the paradoxes the problem presented instead of being bogged down by hte minor little details. Thinking on a test > LEEWS' not thinking. But LEEWS probably > total panic.


Thanks edcrane. M51, when you talk about "delving into the paradoxes" on exam questions without the LEEWS method, can you be more specific?

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M51
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Re: LEEWS

Postby M51 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:06 am

read Getting to Maybe (it's really cheap, and well worth the money, even at full price). They spend a short chapter on it, and it's really the most insightful part of the book imo.

the following applies to anything non-multiple choice / short answer, and works especially well for those tests that are short on facts (i.e. 50 minutes to do an "issue-spotter" that's only 3 double spaced pages long). also works better the more policy oriented your professor is, and the more smart people are in your class. if you don't think half your class is going to be able to fully grasp and apply LEEWS in the first place... then you doing LEEWS will probably put you ahead of the curve. I don't know whether any law school is like that, but I'm certain it won't get you more than mediocre grades (at best) at CLS (because I'm pretty sure at least 80% of the class has figured out the LEEWS method by themselves before finals just through looking at past exams and model answers, or just intuitively).

the best that I can explain is that since you never get any points for giving the "right" answer, learning what the "right" answer is, or even actually writing it on the test (much less explaining why it's right) is pointless and won't get you any points (unless specifically told to do so by the professor... but 90% won't want this). Instead you should write about why possibility A can exist (the history, the policies behind it, the coasean effects of its application, etc), then why possibility B can exist, even if B is clearly wrong or undesire-able, then if you're great, you'd stick a C in there too. Anyway, once you do that (and here's where it goes beyond LEEWS), you should go on to talk about why A and B cannot mutually co-exist because the existance of one necessarily (logically, inherently, in effect will... etc) undermine the other.... and more importantly, why each one undermines the parts of itself that made it relavent in the first place. i.e. If one reason for A's existence is to lower admin costs, because it generally lowers admin costs, but in this particular application would actually raise A's admin costs, thus defeating one reason for A's existence. Admin cost will probably apply to everything you could possibly write, so this analysis right here will get you points on EVERY exam, regardless of subject matter, as long as you replace A with the relavent subject matter. Now, you can do this not only with A, B, C, whatever other alts you can think of/learn.... you can also within A, B, C attack each individual reasoning as being "paradoxical", to do really good "analysis". It's good because you're being "insightful", even though it's really pretty formula-istic.

What I've just described is just the easiest paradox type. Getting to Maybe identifies (and applies to some well known casebook standard cases and hypos) a few of the most accessible ones that apply pretty much across the board. The trick is to not only use/abuse them in your "analysis", but also to start making up your own that applys more situationally specific to the subject area you're being tested on.... because most areas do have thier own little paradoxs that the teacher will draw attention to in class. Notes on what the law is = useless. Notes on what the law could be (or could have been) = win.

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A'nold
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Re: LEEWS

Postby A'nold » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:14 am

You make good points dude, but the problem lies in the assumption that others are at schools like Columbia. Of course LEEWS would suck for you guys. You are around a bunch of 170+ LSAT'ers that are all over achievers. What about t2 and below schools that are strictly closed book, straight up issue spotter, 3-4 hour exams? Also, what if you follow LEEWS, but still go deeply into analysis where you think it relevant for things like policy issues?

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M51
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Re: LEEWS

Postby M51 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:23 am

A'nold wrote:You make good points dude, but the problem lies in the assumption that others are at schools like Columbia. Of course LEEWS would suck for you guys. You are around a bunch of 170+ LSAT'ers that are all over achievers. What about t2 and below schools that are strictly closed book, straight up issue spotter, 3-4 hour exams? Also, what if you follow LEEWS, but still go deeply into analysis where you think it relevant for things like policy issues?


I have no idea what people in T2 and below schools are like in general. If they really can't figure out LEEWS-ish methods by looking at a past exam + a model answer.... then like I said, LEEWS will put them ahead of the curve. But the way LEEWS advertises (with annecdotes from schools in the T14) suggests that it's a magical formula that pwns all law schools. It's not.

As to following LEEWS but still going deeply into analysis (aka: beyond LEEWS, since LEEWS doesn't cover that part).... you're picking up most of your points when you're NOT doing LEEWS. Why would you even say that you're still following LEEWS? Were you so clueless before LEEWS that you couldn't figure out to draw a separate column for each D, and put some space between each charge? (a LEEWS crim law standard). At most you'd do your first practice exam some other stupider way.... realize it took you wayyyyyyyy too long, and then realize that if you made a chart with good spacing, life would be easier. The real work you're doing is what happens after you organize your response structure. LEEWS is mostly about how to organize the response. I have trouble believing large #s of law students can't figure out how to organize a response (when essentially all responses are most optimally organized in a certain way regardless of test-type) when they have access to past exams / model answers (which are all written and organized in that same way).

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edcrane
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Re: LEEWS

Postby edcrane » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:03 am

To reiterate what I said earlier in this thread, my experience at NYU has not been anything like what M51 describes. Out of 6 exams, one was policy heavy, one was analysis heavy, and four were suitable for an adapted LEEWS approach. Professors generally use grading charts. They tick off points. If you allocate most of your time to deep discussions of just a few issues, instead of spotting all the issues and providing cursory analysis, you're more likely than not going to screw yourself over--unless your prof is incredibly moved by your analysis, she's not going to give you enough bonus points for novel analysis to make up for the fact that you've missed 1/2 the issues on her score chart.

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A'nold
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Re: LEEWS

Postby A'nold » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:39 am

edcrane wrote:To reiterate what I said earlier in this thread, my experience at NYU has not been anything like what M51 describes. Out of 6 exams, one was policy heavy, one was analysis heavy, and four were suitable for an adapted LEEWS approach. Professors generally use grading charts. They tick off points. If you allocate most of your time to deep discussions of just a few issues, instead of spotting all the issues and providing cursory analysis, you're more likely than not going to screw yourself over--unless your prof is incredibly moved by your analysis, she's not going to give you enough bonus points for novel analysis to make up for the fact that you've missed 1/2 the issues on her score chart.


That makes sense. Thanks edcrane!

huckabees
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Re: LEEWS

Postby huckabees » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:54 am

edcrane wrote:To reiterate what I said earlier in this thread, my experience at NYU has not been anything like what M51 describes. Out of 6 exams, one was policy heavy, one was analysis heavy, and four were suitable for an adapted LEEWS approach. Professors generally use grading charts. They tick off points. If you allocate most of your time to deep discussions of just a few issues, instead of spotting all the issues and providing cursory analysis, you're more likely than not going to screw yourself over--unless your prof is incredibly moved by your analysis, she's not going to give you enough bonus points for novel analysis to make up for the fact that you've missed 1/2 the issues on her score chart.


Thanks, Edcrane and M51 - both your responses were extremely helpful. The difference in Edcrane's experience at NYU vs M51's at CLS confuses me. Do you think it is due more to the specific professors you each ended up having, due to differences in teaching/grading style between the two institutions in general, or due to differences in how you each perceive your professors' grading habits?

I will be attending one of the two schools and am especially curious...

270910
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Re: LEEWS

Postby 270910 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:18 am

huckabees wrote:
edcrane wrote:To reiterate what I said earlier in this thread, my experience at NYU has not been anything like what M51 describes. Out of 6 exams, one was policy heavy, one was analysis heavy, and four were suitable for an adapted LEEWS approach. Professors generally use grading charts. They tick off points. If you allocate most of your time to deep discussions of just a few issues, instead of spotting all the issues and providing cursory analysis, you're more likely than not going to screw yourself over--unless your prof is incredibly moved by your analysis, she's not going to give you enough bonus points for novel analysis to make up for the fact that you've missed 1/2 the issues on her score chart.


Thanks, Edcrane and M51 - both your responses were extremely helpful. The difference in Edcrane's experience at NYU vs M51's at CLS confuses me. Do you think it is due more to the specific professors you each ended up having, due to differences in teaching/grading style between the two institutions in general, or due to differences in how you each perceive your professors' grading habits?

I will be attending one of the two schools and am especially curious...


Image

(to answer your question anyway, there is no systematic difference in teaching/grading style* at any law school in the country, much less between CLS and NYU. The level of homogeneity in legal education is shocking)

*It's probably more accurate to say there is a strong core of issue spotter that is identical at all law schools, this forum has noted a slight increase in the frequency of policy questions and decrease in frequency (but not elimination) of multiple choice questions as you move up in the ranking

huckabees
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Re: LEEWS

Postby huckabees » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:06 pm

disco_barred wrote:
huckabees wrote:
edcrane wrote:To reiterate what I said earlier in this thread, my experience at NYU has not been anything like what M51 describes. Out of 6 exams, one was policy heavy, one was analysis heavy, and four were suitable for an adapted LEEWS approach. Professors generally use grading charts. They tick off points. If you allocate most of your time to deep discussions of just a few issues, instead of spotting all the issues and providing cursory analysis, you're more likely than not going to screw yourself over--unless your prof is incredibly moved by your analysis, she's not going to give you enough bonus points for novel analysis to make up for the fact that you've missed 1/2 the issues on her score chart.


Thanks, Edcrane and M51 - both your responses were extremely helpful. The difference in Edcrane's experience at NYU vs M51's at CLS confuses me. Do you think it is due more to the specific professors you each ended up having, due to differences in teaching/grading style between the two institutions in general, or due to differences in how you each perceive your professors' grading habits?

I will be attending one of the two schools and am especially curious...


Image

(to answer your question anyway, there is no systematic difference in teaching/grading style* at any law school in the country, much less between CLS and NYU. The level of homogeneity in legal education is shocking)

*It's probably more accurate to say there is a strong core of issue spotter that is identical at all law schools, this forum has noted a slight increase in the frequency of policy questions and decrease in frequency (but not elimination) of multiple choice questions as you move up in the ranking


Haha, thanks disco_barred. I quite enjoyed the picture, perhaps even as much as your actual answer.

Mainly, I'm wondering -- costs aside -- if doing LEEWS would *hurt* were I to attend CLS. I know Edcrane did amazingly well at NYU and it seems like he thought LEEWS was still somewhat applicable. But 15 hrs is a lot of time to dedicate to a method that might be too simplistic...

P.S. Nice tar!

270910
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Re: LEEWS

Postby 270910 » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:47 pm

huckabees wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
huckabees wrote:
edcrane wrote:To reiterate what I said earlier in this thread, my experience at NYU has not been anything like what M51 describes. Out of 6 exams, one was policy heavy, one was analysis heavy, and four were suitable for an adapted LEEWS approach. Professors generally use grading charts. They tick off points. If you allocate most of your time to deep discussions of just a few issues, instead of spotting all the issues and providing cursory analysis, you're more likely than not going to screw yourself over--unless your prof is incredibly moved by your analysis, she's not going to give you enough bonus points for novel analysis to make up for the fact that you've missed 1/2 the issues on her score chart.


Thanks, Edcrane and M51 - both your responses were extremely helpful. The difference in Edcrane's experience at NYU vs M51's at CLS confuses me. Do you think it is due more to the specific professors you each ended up having, due to differences in teaching/grading style between the two institutions in general, or due to differences in how you each perceive your professors' grading habits?

I will be attending one of the two schools and am especially curious...


Image

(to answer your question anyway, there is no systematic difference in teaching/grading style* at any law school in the country, much less between CLS and NYU. The level of homogeneity in legal education is shocking)

*It's probably more accurate to say there is a strong core of issue spotter that is identical at all law schools, this forum has noted a slight increase in the frequency of policy questions and decrease in frequency (but not elimination) of multiple choice questions as you move up in the ranking


Haha, thanks disco_barred. I quite enjoyed the picture, perhaps even as much as your actual answer.

Mainly, I'm wondering -- costs aside -- if doing LEEWS would *hurt* were I to attend CLS. I know Edcrane did amazingly well at NYU and it seems like he thought LEEWS was still somewhat applicable. But 15 hrs is a lot of time to dedicate to a method that might be too simplistic...

P.S. Nice tar!


Why thank you!

No, LEEWS will not hurt you. Not everyone pwns after doing it, but plenty of students at T14 law schools attribute some portion of their success to it. Many are successful without it. But it won't hurt you (the way trying to learn substantive law before starting LS might).

And thanks. My tar is FANCY.




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