G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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queenlizzie13
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby queenlizzie13 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:45 pm

sinemetu wrote:I would say that the best supplement to any class is the professor's old exams. They're available online and I would recommend looking at one as classes start (you will have no idea what is going on in it... that's okay) and periodically look back at it to see how the facts in that test apply to the concepts that you've been learning. By the end of the course, you will have to be able to decipher all the issues and write about them coherently and quickly.

I don't think people look at exams until they start studying for finals which is a mistake, in my opinion. Knowing what an exam looks like is the best way to know what you need to actually get out of class.

I'd also take a look at the book "How to do your best on law school exams" (or something like that) and read that at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester for the same reasons as the old exams: it tells you where you're going and what to pay attention to in class.


Is that the Delaney one? I know he has two: Learning Legal Reasoning and How to Do Your Best on Law School exams.

Also TLS has a link to one professor's exams in contracts from GW.

Alternatively, I've been reading GTM as that seems to be the consensus advice on TLS.

sinemetu
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby sinemetu » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:58 pm

queenlizzie13 wrote:
sinemetu wrote:I would say that the best supplement to any class is the professor's old exams. They're available online and I would recommend looking at one as classes start (you will have no idea what is going on in it... that's okay) and periodically look back at it to see how the facts in that test apply to the concepts that you've been learning. By the end of the course, you will have to be able to decipher all the issues and write about them coherently and quickly.

I don't think people look at exams until they start studying for finals which is a mistake, in my opinion. Knowing what an exam looks like is the best way to know what you need to actually get out of class.

I'd also take a look at the book "How to do your best on law school exams" (or something like that) and read that at the beginning, middle, and end of the semester for the same reasons as the old exams: it tells you where you're going and what to pay attention to in class.


Is that the Delaney one? I know he has two: Learning Legal Reasoning and How to Do Your Best on Law School exams.

Also TLS has a link to one professor's exams in contracts from GW.

Alternatively, I've been reading GTM as that seems to be the consensus advice on TLS.


I never read GTM but briefly looking at its description it seems like it's a good read. Exams require that you argue both sides of an argument and then choose a side (which side you choose usually doesn't matter as long as you back it up though that's not always true - depends on the prof). Just understand that your job on exams is to cut through the BS in the exam, lay out exactly what the issue is, what the legal rule is, and how the specific facts mesh with the law (or don't). That's why looking at practice exams as you go through the course helps. So, any book that helps you hone that skill works. No book will substitute for taking practice exams before finals, in my opinion.

GW has old exams posted from most profs on the student-only portion of the website (the portal) so you can find them when you get access.

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dood
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby dood » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:08 am

all that shit is retarded. IRAC is all u need to know. combined with FAST typing + writing what ur prof wants to hear (which means going to class and paying attention). hth.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:10 am

dood wrote:all that shit is retarded. IRAC is all u need to know. combined with FAST typing + writing what ur prof wants to hear (which means going to class and paying attention). hth.


swear to god, was about to post this and then your post came up in the mean time.


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=82410

dood's outlines

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androstan
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby androstan » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:47 am

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
dood wrote:all that shit is retarded. IRAC is all u need to know. combined with FAST typing + writing what ur prof wants to hear (which means going to class and paying attention). hth.


swear to god, was about to post this and then your post came up in the mean time.


viewtopic.php?f=11&t=82410

dood's outlines


dood's Contracts I outline seems incomplete. The last line is:

Uncertainty: A plaintiff cannot recover for damages he cannot prove with a reasonable certainty

schooner
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby schooner » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:55 am

dood's Contracts I outline seems incomplete. The last line is:

Uncertainty: A plaintiff cannot recover for damages he cannot prove with a reasonable certainty


I only googled this and I'm a dumb 0L so I'm just guessing here, but dood may have been referring to the rule that says a plaintiff can recover for only the losses that he can establish with "reasonable uncertainty." The burden's on the plaintiff to prove how much he lost out by the defendant's breach of contract.

I think the outlines will make much more sense once we actually start going to class. I hope.

Edited to delete an extraneous [/quote] mark

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mi-chan17
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby mi-chan17 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:49 pm

Corwin wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:
androstan wrote:What would be great ITT:

GW students describe the profs they have had and what kind of exams those profs gave. Which supplements work best for which profs and which course. Etc.


+$1,000,000

+1


I will preface this by saying a few things:
1) The people who told you that all you really need to know is IRAC? They're totally right. I am doing this because you guys asked for it specifically; I'm not entirely convinced that it'll be helpful. This kind of stuff is why you guys should sign up for mentors.
2) Everybody interacts differently with different professors. Some professors I loved my classmates hated, and vice-versa.
3) I did not use any supplements, so I can't really speak to how helpful they were in these classes.

Crim Law, Prof. Butler:
He was a terrifying professor; he's not cruel or anything, but he has a dominating kind of presence. He used to be a federal prosecutor, and he carries that same kind of intensity into his Crim Law class. He is one of the few 1L professors I had that religiously stuck to the socratic method. He'll cold-call one or two people during a class and just stick with them. This is a class where not knowing the answer will not get you off the hook. He will stand there, the class waiting in awkward silence, as you hunt for the answer frantically. Despite the fear (or perhaps because of it), I really learned a lot in his class. Unfortunately, I don't think I saw him on the schedule for next year.
Exam: Open-book essay exam (issue-spotter style) with a strictly enforced word limit.
EXAM PROTIP: On Butler's exams, there IS a right answer. This is not the place to lay out the long list of possibilities. Give him the correct answer and why it's correct. Period.

Contracts I, Boyack:
Boyack made me enjoy Ks, which surprised me. I feel that Ks is one of the most straight-forward classes you take as a 1L, it's very formulaic, and she did a fantastic job breaking it down for us. She does a lot of full-on practice questions in class, which adds to how much practice you get before your exam. She cold-calls, but she doesn't stay with one, or even two people for the entire class; she'll usually hit four or five, so you're on the spot for a shorter period of time. She also, like many 1L profs, takes volunteers. She was a visiting professor, so I am not sure she is coming back to GW (though I hope she is).
Exam: Open-book essay exam (issue-spotter style primarily, some policy)
EXAM PROTIP: Go through every step. Make it visible. Make sure all the significant words you use (eg. “offer”, “acceptance”) are defined somewhere and that you reference those definitions in each new problem.

CivPro I, Raven-Hansen:
I have to say, I love The Raven. CivPro may be the driest subject they have you study as a 1L, and even some of the professors forced to teach it aren't huge fans, but Raven-Hansen manages to make it less dull. He wrote his own textbook, so we used that (it's not yet published, it's in process, so we had drafts in binders); I think it's much better than the current casebook. The entire text has multiple choice questions in every chapter, so you can check your understanding of the material, and for me that was really useful. Pay attention to the diagrams, they actually help. On exams he puts a premium on writing (his rubric has an actual “writing” score). Some of the material in this class is dense, so be sure you know how to explain it in as few words as possible to save time on your exams. He cold-calls, but he also takes volunteers.
Exam: Open-book 50% multiple choice, 50% short answer/essay (issue-spotter)
EXAM PROTIP: Know the black-letter law cold. The Raven doesn't much care about the policy, just be able to articulate the rule. The multiple choice makes this exam sound easy, but if you don't know the rules without flipping through them, you will never finish. His multiple choice questions are brutal. That being said, make sure you HAVE your rulebook, because there was a multiple choice question on a rule we'd never seen before.

Torts:
Professor will not be returning to GW (he's moving on to another school).

ConLaw, Powell:
I think Powell is awesome, but his class can be confusing as heck. He's the only 1L professor I had that does not allow laptops, so if you see him on your schedule come up with a plan of attack for handwritten notes; I always take notes by hand, so it was fine, but a lot of my friends struggled. Know the big cases, but rather than just learn the rule, also think about WHY the court came out that way and whether you would decide that same way. He will ask those questions, both in class and on the exam. He loves the Dormant Commerce Clause, so don't let that slide. He cold-called for about two weeks, and then just kind of stopped calling on us altogether.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue spotter, policy)
EXAM PROTIP: Look at who he wants you to be when you answer. Sometimes the exam questions call for you to be a judge, sometimes a congressman, other times a lawyer at DOJ. These people have very different views of the Constitution, and it DOES change your answer.

Contracts II, Fairfax:
She doesn't lay it out quite as plainly as Boyack did, but Fairfax does still provide a pretty good (things to look at) check-list for answering K exam questions. The stuff she writes on the board? Write it down, because it's nearly ALWAYS the list of elements you will need to put on your attack sheet. Fairfax technically has a system to who she will call on any given day, but you will never figure it out; so basically she cold-calls.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue-spotter)
EXAM PROTIP: You will not finish. Don't panic.

CivPro II, Bracey:
Unlike the Raven, Bracey focused heavily on policy during his CivPro class. I spent half the semester wondering if we were ever going to actually learn any rules of civil procedure (we did...kinda). He calls on people in alphabetical order, and has an impressive way of both seeming easy-going and making all of us look like idiots; but at least you know it's coming. He's another professor that isn't as interested in hearing every random possibility, and is more focused on the right answer.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue-spotter, policy) with a word limit.
EXAM PROTIP: You know how Bracey spent the entire semester asking you to consider whether the rule in question was truly fair? Don't be taken by surprise when it pops up on your exam. Bracey will also use trick fact-patterns to trip you up; don't panic.

Property, Schwartz:
Like Ks, property is very formulaic. Schwartz has this formula down pat, so let him spoon-feed it to you. He gives you handouts for every reading assignment. Read them, because they will lay out the list of elements you need to check for when you go through problems on your exam. The handouts also contain simple explanations for rules the book takes an entire chapter to describe. Do the handouts, too; they show you exactly what he is looking for in the assigned cases. Schwartz will put a row on deck at a time, and he'll let you know beforehand and email you as a reminder.
Exam: Open-book essay (issue-spotter)
EXAM PROTIP: His fact-patterns are kind of overwhelming at first. Take a deep breath, don't freak out about how long/detailed they are, and just begin working through your check-list. This is one of those exams where typing speed will be key, because there's a lot to say.
Last edited by mi-chan17 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

schooner
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby schooner » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:04 pm

This stuff is gold. You're awesome. Thank you!!

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:16 pm

schooner wrote:This stuff is gold. You're awesome. Thank you!!


+1

Also, I assume Powell still allows laptops for exams, right?
Also, mind if I ask how you felt about the time you got for exams?
Also, nice Exam Pro-Tip for Fairfax.

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mi-chan17
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby mi-chan17 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:37 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
schooner wrote:This stuff is gold. You're awesome. Thank you!!


+1

Also, I assume Powell still allows laptops for exams, right?
Also, mind if I ask how you felt about the time you got for exams?
Also, nice Exam Pro-Tip for Fairfax.


You're welcome!

And yes, Powell does allow us to take our exams via laptop (I can't imagine writing an exam by hand, I think it would kill me).

We get three hours per exam, which on most of them was enough time for the majority of people I talked to. The notable exceptions were Torts and Property, both of which are four unit classes. You go through more material in those two than in your other doctrinal classes, and so the time crunch during the exam was worse. For me, anyway, though I did manage to finish both in the allotted time.

Fairfax actually warned a friend of mine, during office hours, that it was impossible to finish her exam in three hours. I laughed this off when my friend told me, and then was completely unable to finish the exam in three hours; I missed an entire section of damages. It was the first, and thus far only, exam I haven't finished. I left that room feeling awful, wondering how embarrassed I would be when I had to drop out because I'd failed Ks. Then I got an A. Apparently NO ONE finishes her exam.

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queenlizzie13
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby queenlizzie13 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:13 am

mi-chan17 wrote:
TheFutureLawyer wrote:
schooner wrote:This stuff is gold. You're awesome. Thank you!!


+1

Also, I assume Powell still allows laptops for exams, right?
Also, mind if I ask how you felt about the time you got for exams?
Also, nice Exam Pro-Tip for Fairfax.


You're welcome!

And yes, Powell does allow us to take our exams via laptop (I can't imagine writing an exam by hand, I think it would kill me).

We get three hours per exam, which on most of them was enough time for the majority of
people I talked to. The notable exceptions were Torts and Property, both of which are four
unit classes. You go through more material in those two than in your other doctrinal classes,
and so the time crunch during the exam was worse. For me, anyway, though I did manage
to finish both in the allotted time.

Fairfax actually warned a friend of mine, during office hours, that it was impossible to finish
her exam in three hours. I laughed this off when my friend told me, and then was
completely unable to finish the exam in three hours; I missed an entire section of damages.
It was the first, and thus far only, exam I haven't finished. I left that room feeling awful,
wondering how embarrassed I would be when I had to drop out because I'd failed Ks. Then
I got an A. Apparently NO ONE finishes her exam.


Thanks mi-chan that was really helpful with the exam pro tips and everything!

lawgod
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby lawgod » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:14 am

Did you make those videos?

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dood
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby dood » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:32 am

schooner wrote:
dood's Contracts I outline seems incomplete. The last line is:

Uncertainty: A plaintiff cannot recover for damages he cannot prove with a reasonable certainty


I only googled this and I'm a dumb 0L so I'm just guessing here, but dood may have been referring to the rule that says a plaintiff can recover for only the losses that he can establish with "reasonable uncertainty." The burden's on the plaintiff to prove how much he lost out by the defendant's breach of contract.

I think the outlines will make much more sense once we actually start going to class. I hope.

Edited to delete an extraneous mark


maggs has a special exam format u wont need to learn unless u take his class. best way i can explain is that he only awards points for issues spotted. so whereas normally u might write out IRAC answers, maggs only cares about the "I" part. so i only used my checklist and made sure to list EVERY possible issue with a contract dispute fact pattern. A and A+ in contracts I and II.

but this only goes to my main point: go to class and learn the professor as much as the subject; make sure to know what he wants to hear on the exam.

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Paichka
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby Paichka » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:39 am

dood wrote:
schooner wrote:
dood's Contracts I outline seems incomplete. The last line is:

Uncertainty: A plaintiff cannot recover for damages he cannot prove with a reasonable certainty


I only googled this and I'm a dumb 0L so I'm just guessing here, but dood may have been referring to the rule that says a plaintiff can recover for only the losses that he can establish with "reasonable uncertainty." The burden's on the plaintiff to prove how much he lost out by the defendant's breach of contract.

I think the outlines will make much more sense once we actually start going to class. I hope.

Edited to delete an extraneous mark


maggs has a special exam format u wont need to learn unless u take his class. best way i can explain is that he only awards points for issues spotted. so whereas normally u might write out IRAC answers, maggs only cares about the "I" part. so i only used my checklist and made sure to list EVERY possible issue with a contract dispute fact pattern. A and A+ in contracts I and II.

but this only goes to my main point: go to class and learn the professor as much as the subject; make sure to know what he wants to hear on the exam.


This is absolutely TCR. I will say though (since dood and I were in the same 1L section) that it is not necessary to spot every issue on Maggs' exam. You may miss some, but he goes out of his way to give you points, so as long as you intelligently discuss the issues you DO see, he'll throw you a bone. I know that I missed issues both first and second semester, and during exam prep I'd regularly miss issues in the practice exams he puts up on the web. A-/A.

schooner
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby schooner » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:46 am

This info is fantastic. God you guys are really great. Thanks!

By the way, I only hear very positive things about Maggs. He's also the one who signed my acceptance letter (as interim dean), so I guess I'm already starting out as a fan!

maggs has a special exam format u wont need to learn unless u take his class. best way i can explain is that he only awards points for issues spotted. so whereas normally u might write out IRAC answers, maggs only cares about the "I" part. so i only used my checklist and made sure to list EVERY possible issue with a contract dispute fact pattern. A and A+ in contracts I and II.

but this only goes to my main point: go to class and learn the professor as much as the subject; make sure to know what he wants to hear on the exam.


This is absolutely TCR. I will say though (since dood and I were in the same 1L section) that it is not necessary to spot every issue on Maggs' exam. You may miss some, but he goes out of his way to give you points, so as long as you intelligently discuss the issues you DO see, he'll throw you a bone. I know that I missed issues both first and second semester, and during exam prep I'd regularly miss issues in the practice exams he puts up on the web. A-/A.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:57 am

Paichka wrote: during exam prep I'd regularly miss issues in the practice exams he puts up on the web. A-/A.


So I get that in 1 class (other than LRW) you get a graded midterm that counts for something like 15%, but that in the rest all you get one big ass final that counts for everything. And I know that you can practice on a professor's old exams, but will the prof actually take a look at your answer so you have an idea of what kind of grade you would have gotten? Really I'm just wondering what other kind of feedback you can get before exams that can let you know if you're on the right track or if you need to be busting ass.

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Fri Jul 01, 2011 11:59 am

schooner wrote:This info is fantastic. God you guys are really great. Thanks!

By the way, I only hear very positive things about Maggs. He's also the one who signed my acceptance letter (as interim dean), so I guess I'm already starting out as a fan!



You are a truly extraordinary candidate. Please join us. -GM

sinemetu
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby sinemetu » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:05 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
Paichka wrote: during exam prep I'd regularly miss issues in the practice exams he puts up on the web. A-/A.


So I get that in 1 class (other than LRW) you get a graded midterm that counts for something like 15%, but that in the rest all you get one big ass final that counts for everything. And I know that you can practice on a professor's old exams, but will the prof actually take a look at your answer so you have an idea of what kind of grade you would have gotten? Really I'm just wondering what other kind of feedback you can get before exams that can let you know if you're on the right track or if you need to be busting ass.


Usually a prof won't look at a specific practice exam that you took and grade it or tell you if an answer was right or wrong. However, I had a couple profs that would assign one or two of their old exams and then go through answers in review sessions. Other profs (namely Maggs) will give an old exam with sample answers.

This is one of the reasons why I found it helpful to have a study group or at least a few friends to compare answers with. Between a few people most of the issues are spotted and the rationales for different answers become more apparent.

schooner
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby schooner » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:27 pm

Anybody with thoughts on Schaffner, Transgrud, and Turley?

sinemetu
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby sinemetu » Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:48 pm

schooner wrote:Anybody with thoughts on Schaffner, Transgrud, and Turley?


Trangsrud is the man.

dudders
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby dudders » Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:08 pm

sinemetu wrote:
schooner wrote:Anybody with thoughts on Schaffner, Transgrud, and Turley?


Trangsrud is the man.


Turley teaches you life, not torts. ... Seriously. He was going to be stationed outside exams to catch "runners" and was apparently going to give us a speech on not committing suicide over break. We were told by (inarticulate) proctors that "our professor was going to come in before the exam started and ... do his job," to which someone brilliantly yelled out (in a first semester exam) "HE'S GOING TO COME TEACH US TORTS?"

snowbunny87
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby snowbunny87 » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:46 pm

I was looking online and it looks like GW isn't terribly Mac friendly. Do many students at GW use Macs? Any problems w/ ExamSoft?

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HarveyBirdman
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby HarveyBirdman » Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:57 pm

Stupid question about housing...I know it's notoriously expensive in a lot of neighborhoods in and around DC, but I also have the impression of DC having the typical impoverished inner city areas. So...do any law students live in said areas? I mean, I wouldn't be looking for a luxury apartment, I'd be looking to save money. And if there was a place in a sketchy neighborhood for a lot less and public transportation could connect me to the law school...that seems like a no brainer.

schooner
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby schooner » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:14 am

dudders wrote:
sinemetu wrote:
schooner wrote:Anybody with thoughts on Schaffner, Transgrud, and Turley?


Trangsrud is the man.


Turley teaches you life, not torts. ... Seriously. He was going to be stationed outside exams to catch "runners" and was apparently going to give us a speech on not committing suicide over break. We were told by (inarticulate) proctors that "our professor was going to come in before the exam started and ... do his job," to which someone brilliantly yelled out (in a first semester exam) "HE'S GOING TO COME TEACH US TORTS?"


How did those students deal? They just taught themselves by looking at old exams and hoped for the best?

By the way, this makes me wonder - do students fill out professor evaluations that get forwarded to the school's higher ups, like we did in undergrad?

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: G.W. 1L Ready to take questions

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:23 am

HarveyBirdman wrote:Stupid question about housing...I know it's notoriously expensive in a lot of neighborhoods in and around DC, but I also have the impression of DC having the typical impoverished inner city areas. So...do any law students live in said areas? I mean, I wouldn't be looking for a luxury apartment, I'd be looking to save money. And if there was a place in a sketchy neighborhood for a lot less and public transportation could connect me to the law school...that seems like a no brainer.


I've heard this a lot about trying to live cheaply in order to take out as little in loans as possible. It isn't smart to live a models and bottles lifestyle on loans, but you don't have to live in the ghetto either. Think about how much you'll save by living in a shitty place for 3 years vs living in an okay place. Think about how much better you'd like life by living in that slightly more expensive place (maybe you'd even do better in school because of it). Is it worth it to live in a shit hole to pay off your loans a few months earlier than otherwise?




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