WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
stratocophic
Posts: 2207
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:18 pm

mlipsco wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:Can anyone comment on Degeest for Ks?


I really enjoyed his class and thought he was a great professor. As opposed to the other contracts professors, he focuses on the economics of contract law instead of forcing you to memorize sections of the UCC.
Baker was all hardcore Econ all the time. We did UCC but most of his time was spent on justifications for the different results of stuff like battle of the forms and the mailbox rule. The actual law was the easy part of his class.

User avatar
TatteredDignity
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:21 pm

mlipsco wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:
mlipsco wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:Can anyone comment on Degeest for Ks?


I really enjoyed his class and thought he was a great professor. As opposed to the other contracts professors, he focuses on the economics of contract law instead of forcing you to memorize sections of the UCC.


So, would you say he's more policy-focused?


Definitely. And he likes to compare U.S. policy to those in other countries. Some people in our class did not enjoy this aspect, but I found it interesting.


Thanks for the info. Was his final pretty standard, and did he give a midterm?

mlipsco
Posts: 38
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:15 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby mlipsco » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:27 pm

So, would you say he's more policy-focused?[/quote]

Definitely. And he likes to compare U.S. policy to those in other countries. Some people in our class did not enjoy this aspect, but I found it interesting.[/quote]

Thanks for the info. Was his final pretty standard, and did he give a midterm?[/quote]

There was no midterm. He did give weekly quizzes, however, which translated to "bonus" opportunities for the students who did the best on the quizzes over the course of the semester. The final was 1/3 short answer, 1/3 issue spotter essays (2), and 1/3 policy (1). So, in short, his final was not standard. However, this was his first year to teach Ks (I believe), and he may change his grading system slightly based upon the end-of-semester reviews of his course.

User avatar
TatteredDignity
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:29 pm

Weekly quizzes, wtf?

Yeah, hopefully he normalized his final because enough people complained.

User avatar
myq
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:22 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby myq » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:27 pm

0LNewbie wrote:Can anyone comment on Degeest for Ks, Goldwasser for torts or Drobak for property?


Drobak is pretty cool. He's an expert at civ pro. Last year was his first year teaching 1L Property, although he has taught Theory of Property Rights for a long time. There were a few rough parts in the class due to it being his first year, but the material he knew well he taught very well. He's pretty funny and entertaining. If he cold calls you and you mess up, he'll usually call on you again in the next few days. He's really helpful in office hours and he's usually playing either classical music or the Beatles in there. Oh and he writes about the Coase theorem/law & econ stuff - I was sure it'd come up on the test but instead he used it for a practice test. I'd still pay attention when he goes over it in class, you never know.

User avatar
stratocophic
Posts: 2207
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:32 pm

Goldwasser's great for torts. She's not shy about shutting down retarded hypos thrown out by gunners mid-sentence. Overall very straightforward subject and material. Exam is too - total racehorse, but she gives high grades (up to a 99) and you can help your GPA a lot if you're fast and keep it simple. She'll review practice exams for you and tell you what to fix/how to do better - HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of this.

User avatar
TatteredDignity
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:43 pm

stratocophic wrote:Goldwasser's great for torts. She's not shy about shutting down retarded hypos thrown out by gunners mid-sentence. Overall very straightforward subject and material. Exam is too - total racehorse, but she gives high grades (up to a 99) and you can help your GPA a lot if you're fast and keep it simple. She'll review practice exams for you and tell you what to fix/how to do better - HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of this.


That is all excellent to hear. Thanks for the protip!

Very excited to hear about her shutting down gunners, cuz I've heard thats the class that lends itself best to ridiculous hypos and people being stupid.

User avatar
soccerfreak
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:57 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby soccerfreak » Tue Aug 09, 2011 5:25 pm

Any reviews on Mandelker--Property, Peggie Smith--Contracts, and Tamanaha--Torts? Already heard lots of good things about Tamanaha.

daz381
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:47 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby daz381 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 7:22 pm

Professor Smith does classes a little bit differently than most professors. There is a panel that will be on call for class, and typically only those 5-6 people will be asked questions. You will find out the class period before whether you are on panel or not. She expects everyone on panel to be well prepared and will quickly move on if you don't have an answer. She gives a "practice" question every two weeks that relates to the topic you've been learning. She also provides a sample answer. Note that she does not provide full length old exams. For our class, it was our small section and so we had a practice midterm which she provided feedback on.

User avatar
PSUFB1114
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:34 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby PSUFB1114 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:10 pm

Glad to hear good things about Drobak and Goldwasser. Any thoughts on Lewis for Practice, Kloempken for Research, and Badawi for Contracts?

User avatar
JCougar
Posts: 3175
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:47 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:12 pm

Smith for Contracts is beyond great. She's the only professor I've ever had that actually attempts to grade exams objectively. She has a checklist of all possible relevant arguments and counter-arguments that could be made given the specific hypo. If you make them, you get a specific number of assigned points. If you don't, you don't get the points. Also, she uses some multiple choice, which is an under-utilized question format in law school.

After your first semester, you'll realize that most professors grade your exams simply by giving you tally marks for writing things they like, and not subtracting any points for writing irrelevant or wrong stuff. The number of tally marks each person gets is then entered into a computer which generates the curve. Whoever gets the most tally marks wins. But the difference between a tally mark and wrong or irrelevant statement is subjectively graded and based on the professor's ego. It's pretty easy to conclude that, in such a system, simply writing down a flury of thoughts will allow you to beat the odds...because you can't possibly lose points for writing more, and there's always the off chance that what you write will get you a tally mark, even if, from your own perspective, it's completely bullshit.

The beauty of Peggy Smith's class is that this approach will not work. She instantly reels in gunners trying to play the part of sophist, wasting class time, reminding them to "FOCUS." Moreover, contracts is a complicated-enough doctrine in that not everyone in the class will be able to get it without putting in an enormous amount of effort. So, in other words, Peggy Smith's contracts class will be a VERY rewarding class to study hard for and try and kill it.

I haven't had the other professors you mention, but the doctrine you learn in Torts and Property is so goddamned easy (especially if you are allowed to have an outline) that 90% of the class will completely get it. And when 90% of the class gets it, the mandatory curve forces people who have the entire casebook memorized to get B's and B-'s. Which forces the grade distribution to turn on "law exam technique" or typing speed (especially in Torts) other trivial factors that have nothing to do with legal analysis or anything else relevant to being a lawyer.

So, in other words, enjoy Peggy Smith's contracts class. It's the only class I've had throughout law school where learning the material better actually translated into a higher grade. And I'm not just saying that because I did well in that class. I did better in other classes. It's just that the reason I did better in those other classes was because I learned how to type more bullshit that I knew was going to stroke the professor's ego...and not because I actually learned more.

User avatar
jc631
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 2:02 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby jc631 » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:31 pm

soccerfreak wrote:Any reviews on Mandelker--Property, Peggie Smith--Contracts, and Tamanaha--Torts? Already heard lots of good things about Tamanaha.


Mandelker is okay. His classes can be boring at times but he is very straightforward about what to expect on his exam. He tends to call on the same people every day, I think there were only something like 5 days all semester that he didn't call on me. Get ready to print about 500 pages of extra cases and make sure you read all the notes that follow the cases! Also - he doesn't (at list didn't last year) teach actual property stuff. We never covered the rule against perpetuities or estates so don't buy general property supplements. The nutshell he recommends is great.

Tamanaha is fantastic and tied with Kim as my favorite professor. Most people thought he was intimidating but I love him. Pay attention to how he "systematically" goes through cases that's what he wants on the exam.
Last edited by jc631 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Oban
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby Oban » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:29 pm

Goldwasser Protips:

1. She'll only call on you once or twice the whole year, and when she does she'll move on if you don't get it
2. On the exam the person who writes the most(and understands torts) wins. Learn. To. Type. Fast.
3. Go. To. Office. Hours. Bring a practice test, even one she didn't write. Any issue spotter will do. She loves to give feed back, something rare among professors.
4. Attendance is not mandatory.


Goldwasser's exam was the closest to the classic "issue spotter racehorse" exam. The classic advice is not to brain dump in lawl skool. We'll most people will do around the median, so don't listen to most people.

Brain dump = win.

Wooostl2012
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby Wooostl2012 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:35 am

PSUFB1114 wrote:Glad to hear good things about Drobak and Goldwasser. Any thoughts on Lewis for Practice, Kloempken for Research, and Badawi for Contracts?


I know a lot of people who really disliked Lewis for practice. She doesn't explain things super well, and gets frustrated easily. She has a very particular style she's looking for, but says that she doesn't mind how something is written as long as it "works" - when in reality there's essentially one way to do things for her. She's willing to discuss things if you ask her, but I did not find it all that helpful. She's my least favorite professor to this point (rising 3L), and I was really disappointed in her frustration level in class - it rarely seemed justified. I actually did decently well, so this isn't just a bitter former student ranting.

Kloempken is great. He's blunt, he's to the point, and he's very really helpful. I still ask him for help on research questions occasionally. The class is kind of a joke, but he's a good one to have for it.

cubsfaninstl
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:45 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby cubsfaninstl » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:51 am

Are any 2Ls or 3Ls interested in selling their 1L books? Or any local recommendations for used books?

User avatar
ihp12
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:33 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby ihp12 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:04 pm

Do 1L classes at WUSTL like property and contracts, which are normally split into 2 classes at other schools, cover all the materiel that you would normally see if the class wasn't split?

For example in contracts, at some schools contracts I will be mostly about formation, and contracts II will be mostly about breach and damages. Would 1L contracts at WUSTL cover all these subjects?

Wooostl2012
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby Wooostl2012 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:30 pm

ihp12 wrote:Do 1L classes at WUSTL like property and contracts, which are normally split into 2 classes at other schools, cover all the materiel that you would normally see if the class wasn't split?

For example in contracts, at some schools contracts I will be mostly about formation, and contracts II will be mostly about breach and damages. Would 1L contracts at WUSTL cover all these subjects?



Generally yes, but it depends on the professor. My contracts class covered the whole range of topics - formation, consideration, breach, damages, etc. My property class, though, focused a great deal on rights to exclude and the policy aspects of takings etc., and less on the rule against perpetuity (barely covered it) or a number of other traditional property topics. My Civ Pro class didn't cover Erie doctrine at all. Etc. In both cases, it wasn't because of time, professors just choose to emphasize different things.

User avatar
ihp12
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:33 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby ihp12 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:40 pm

Wooostl2012 wrote:
ihp12 wrote:Do 1L classes at WUSTL like property and contracts, which are normally split into 2 classes at other schools, cover all the materiel that you would normally see if the class wasn't split?

For example in contracts, at some schools contracts I will be mostly about formation, and contracts II will be mostly about breach and damages. Would 1L contracts at WUSTL cover all these subjects?



Generally yes, but it depends on the professor. My contracts class covered the whole range of topics - formation, consideration, breach, damages, etc. My property class, though, focused a great deal on rights to exclude and the policy aspects of takings etc., and less on the rule against perpetuity (barely covered it) or a number of other traditional property topics. My Civ Pro class didn't cover Erie doctrine at all. Etc. In both cases, it wasn't because of time, professors just choose to emphasize different things.


Thanks!

User avatar
soccerfreak
Posts: 407
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:57 am

Re: WUSTL 1L Taking Questions

Postby soccerfreak » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:15 am

romothesavior wrote:
PSUFB1114 wrote:Which professors rock and which ones should we look out for?

I am pretty outed on here, so I won't tell you who to avoid (I'll leave that to others, or you can PM me). But I'll tell you who rocks.

Brian Tamanaha is arguably the best professor I've ever had. He is brand new at WUSTL (just came here last spring) and he's already developed a huge group of fans among students. He's a heavy hitter in academia (especially in the area of jurisprudence), but he's also great in the classroom. Everyone who had him in my section for torts absolutely loved him (save for one person, but whatever). He is really intimidating at first, but you'll get used to it. He has an absolute contempt for stupid comments, which is awesome because it shuts up the gunners and the people with silly hypos (I wish all profs did this, it would make class so much more tolerable). He's also very nice outside of the classroom and he's a pretty funny guy. He doesn't fill the class with needless fluff... he just tells it like it is, and doesn't hide the ball. He really understands the plight of law students and the scam of law school, and he's written a couple of good articles on it: http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-deans-vision-speech.html, http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/06/wake-up-fellow-law-professors-to.html, and http://balkin.blogspot.com/2010/10/irresponsibility-of-law-schools.html. I highly recommend you read them before you go to law school.

I also really love Pauline Kim for Civil Procedure. She is a little bit dry at times (hey, it's civ pro), but she is really straightforward and does a good job of conveying the important information. She's very approachable and friendly and will do whatever she can to help you in office hours. Her tests are also very straightforward, which is good because if you do the PTs, you know what to expect. I liked her so much this semester that I'm taking her Employment Law class in the fall.

Some other professors I've heard good things about but haven't had are: Greenfield (contracts), Drobak (civil procedure), and Badawi (corporations).

Went back and found this helpful post. Makes me glad I get him for my "small" class.

User avatar
Gemini
Posts: 1943
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:23 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby Gemini » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:53 am

Does any WUSTL student know a Professor Carl Minzner, and if he's any good or not?

Would appreciate any info! Feel free to PM me. :)

User avatar
acadec
Posts: 289
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 2:35 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby acadec » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:05 pm

.
Last edited by acadec on Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
romothesavior
Posts: 14772
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:29 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:20 pm

acadec wrote:How would you refer to WUSTL in an admissions essay if you didn't want to repeat "Washington University School of Law" over and over? Is "Wash U Law" ever used?

Wash U is probably fine. That's how we usually refer to the school.

User avatar
fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby fl0w » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:26 pm

romothesavior wrote:
acadec wrote:How would you refer to WUSTL in an admissions essay if you didn't want to repeat "Washington University School of Law" over and over? Is "Wash U Law" ever used?

Wash U is probably fine. That's how we usually refer to the school.


Let me add my pespective as someone who went there for undergrad and is familiar with school policy on this.

They actually HATE being referred to as Wash U. There is a real effort to get away from it.

Washington U. is preferred over that.
Almost anything that doesn't abbreviate to "Wash" is acceptable.

User avatar
nyyankees
Posts: 484
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:50 am

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby nyyankees » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:14 pm

Gemini wrote:Does any WUSTL student know a Professor Carl Minzner, and if he's any good or not?

Would appreciate any info! Feel free to PM me. :)


I believe Minzner is leaving/has left

User avatar
stratocophic
Posts: 2207
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:20 pm

fl0w wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
acadec wrote:How would you refer to WUSTL in an admissions essay if you didn't want to repeat "Washington University School of Law" over and over? Is "Wash U Law" ever used?

Wash U is probably fine. That's how we usually refer to the school.


Let me add my pespective as someone who went there for undergrad and is familiar with school policy on this.

They actually HATE being referred to as Wash U. There is a real effort to get away from it.

Washington U. is preferred over that.
Almost anything that doesn't abbreviate to "Wash" is acceptable.
The administration just needs to (a) embrace WUSTL and (b) commission Nelly to come up with a solid two minutes of flow that employs rhymes like muscle/tussle/hustle/rustle etc. Applications would go through the roof. They might in fact even need to raise the roof in order to contain them.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests