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
hoos89
Posts: 1969
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:32 pm

/
Last edited by hoos89 on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:34 pm

The school is gonna look fairly different in the fall. They've done a lot of work on the inside... painted a different color, new carpet and furniture in the mutipurpose rooms and commons area, some new artwork and stuff on the walls, including these dangly metal artsy things in the courtyards, and best of all, new tables and chairs in the courtyard. You 0Ls won't ever have to deal with the wobbly abominations that we had for three years. :twisted:

totalgleek
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:37 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby totalgleek » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:10 pm

Hi quick question, do most professors let you type notes in class? Or are there 1L profs who forbid computers in the classroom? I heard a rumor it was 50/50, and if so, might have to practice reading my own handwriting again...

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

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:12 pm

totalgleek wrote:Hi quick question, do most professors let you type notes in class? Or are there 1L profs who forbid computers in the classroom? I heard a rumor it was 50/50, and if so, might have to practice reading my own handwriting again...

It's about 50/50.

Randomnumbers
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Randomnumbers » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:14 pm

Trend seems to be going away from allowing laptops. One of my six substantive classes last year allowed laptops. Other sections had more, but more and more professors are getting away from it, I think. And I don't think using a laptop in class is a good idea - very few people have the discipline to actually pay attention and take notes on the laptop.

And if you actually need a laptop to take notes, I'd imagine you are taking way too many notes.

totalgleek
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:37 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby totalgleek » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:24 pm

Randomnumbers wrote: And if you actually need a laptop to take notes, I'd imagine you are taking way too many notes.

Can you elaborate a little more on the above?

Also-
How did you prep/brief for class? Written notes for reference in case you got called on? I'm assuming at the end there comes a day when you have to type up all your notes to synthesize correct? Thanks!

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

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:28 pm

totalgleek wrote:
Randomnumbers wrote: And if you actually need a laptop to take notes, I'd imagine you are taking way too many notes.

Can you elaborate a little more on the above?

You don't need to write down every word the professor says. If you're just writing the whole time, chances are you're not listening. (Though to be honest, some of my best grades in law school were in classes where I literally didn't pay an ounce of attention for the majority of the semester.)

I sat behind someone in one class who would take 10-15 pages of handwritten notes per class. Handwritten. Per class. She was smart and it apparently worked for her, but yeah... that's just not necessary.

Randomnumbers
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Randomnumbers » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:40 pm

totalgleek wrote:
Randomnumbers wrote: And if you actually need a laptop to take notes, I'd imagine you are taking way too many notes.

Can you elaborate a little more on the above?

Also-
How did you prep/brief for class? Written notes for reference in case you got called on? I'm assuming at the end there comes a day when you have to type up all your notes to synthesize correct? Thanks!


Don't do what I did. Mostly, I read the assigned cases either in class the day before, or during class while we were talking about them. My methodology is not recommended. Any notes I took were written in the casebook, mostly only a few words, and then I would underline stuff as I read it and we talked about it, and asterisk anything that I thought would be critical come finals and outlining time.

If you need to take down so many notes that you need a laptop, I'd imagine you are more just transcribing, rather than taking notes. I recommend reading the cases ahead of time. (Also, I may be flamed for this, but brief the cases until you understand why you don't need to. I did, and I don't regret it. It's a great way to introduce yourself to reading the cases critically at first. But stop doing it as soon as you realize why it is a waste of time. It's simply NOT a waste of time until that point, in my opinion.) Read the cases, and ideally understand them. If there is a case that you can't wrap your head around, that's when you consult a supplement. And then, when you go into class, you'll understand what the case is about, and then critically engage with the discussion. Ideally, you should understand why the professor is asking what they are asking, why students are asking the specific questions they are asking, and use that class time to *think*. When something important is said, or something critical is pointed out, that's what you write down. Not every word the professor says. If you want to take extensive notes, I truly truly think that the time to do it is before class, when you are reading the case - then come into class with your notes, and simply supplement them.

And yes, there does come a time at the end of the semester when you'll want to make an outline. (Make your own outline. Seriously. For like, real seriously. And do it from scratch. Compare it to an old outline or a friends outline after you make it to see if you left any holes or got something wrong, but make your own outline. ) I guess I'll digress here, because your note taking should be entirely focused on making your outline.

How to make an outline - one man's view.

The most important thing to understand about outlining and note taking and, in my opinion, law school in general, is this: The professor assigns cases for a reason. They aren't teaching via cases for kicks, or to be lazy, or just because that is just how it is done. Every case will stand, normally, for one concept. Sometimes you'll have multiple cases for that concept, and rarely, a case will stand for multiple concepts.

In undergrad and in high school, you were normally taught concepts. Lectured at, had the concept explained to you, etc. And only then would the concept be illustrated and you'd try to work it into your internal road-map for that class. Law school works backwards from that. There really aren't that many things to learn in any 1L class, you just have to really understand them. So instead of teaching you the concepts and trying to explain them, they make you read a case.

I'll take a random case here, one that you will almost certainly read in your 1L contracts class. http://www.lawnix.com/cases/hamer-sidway.html Hamer v. Sidway. You'll read this case the night before, brief it, then come into class. The professor will pick on someone, they'll be forced to talk about the case. Professor will ask questions, everyone will gab, etc. But the professor assigned Hamer v. Sidway for ONE reason, and one reason only. (At least for the purposes of taking an exam, which is what we really care about. There's more bullshit about thinking like a lawyer and stuff like that, but we only care about that exam. Because we want to get a job.) And, if you look at that case brief, you'll see this line:

Issue: Is forbearance from permissible legal conduct sufficient consideration to create a valid and enforceable contract?

The answer is yes, as Hamer v. Sidway says. Everything else that is talked about is side shit, practically irrelevant. But you *really* need to understand that one takeaway. Back in undergrad, you would have been taught that concept, and then a bunch of other concepts. And then you'd try to apply them. Here, you get assigned this case. And then the professor will cold call some kid, ask him a bunch of questions. You'll talk about the morality of doing so, what consideration means, maybe what the kid would have done instead of this judge. He'll be quizzed on the factual background of the case, etc. And someone on a laptop will be typing all this shit down. Here's what REALLY matters from Hamer v. Sidway:

Forbearance from permissible legal conduct is sufficient consideration to create a valid and enforceable contract.

Or: Giving up a legal right can be consideration.

And you'll know all the background stuff, you'll have talked about it, and while the professor is cold calling some kid, you'll be thinking about how all of that stuff applies to that one key concept. You'll have contextualized it. But most of the stuff the professor is saying isn't anything you'll care about come exam time. When they say something that IS important, certainly write it down.

But what I'll take away from Hamer v. Sidway is this one line on my outline:

Consideration
-- blah blah
-- blah blah
-- Forbearance from permissible legal conduct is sufficient consideration to create a valid and enforceable contract. (Hamer v. Sidway)
-- blah blah

Anything else you talk about during the 30 minutes your class spends on Hamer v. Sidway is, at the end of the semester, pretty irrelevant. You'll have to understand what that means, how that ties into consideration, and be able to spot and identify when this comes up in an issue spotter. Anything that doesn't directly apply to that is a waste of notes. And, while you were taking those unnecessary notes, you weren't thinking about Hamer v. Sidway or consideration.

And so, at the end of the semester, I'll sit down with my casebook and a list of the assigned cases for the semester (normally the syllabus). And then I'll go back and read/skim every case (this is where underlining the important parts during class or when reading is important). I'll read the few words I wrote in the margins, and I'll pay attention to the stuff I asterisked in class as important. And then I'll ask myself the question: Why did the professor assign us this case? And then, in my outline, under consideration, I'll write:

Forbearance from permissible legal conduct is sufficient consideration to create a valid and enforceable contract. (Hamer v. Sidway)

And then I move on to the next case. If the case or concept is more complicated, sometimes I'll pull out little quotes, or sometimes concepts get given more space. For example, in property, I'll have to list all the BLL (black letter law) for Adverse Possession. We'll learn adverse possession from a case, but it won't be reduced to one line. But every case should get at least that one line - or why did the professor have you read it?

Here's an example of an outline I did: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0ByfOkXO ... sp=sharing (For Konig's property class. He's changed his casebook this year (made his own) and will be going over a bit different set of concepts. Definite improvements, I think, but definitely don;t just try to use this outline.)

And your notes should be there for one purpose: making that outline at the end of the year.

When you are taking notes, ask yourself: "will I want myself to read this at the end of the year, when I prepare my outline?". If the answer isn't a very definite yes, then why are you taking the note? Instead of spending all that time with your head down writing, start actively thinking about what the professor is talking about. Read the case some more. Figure out where the professor is going, or where the case is unclear. Lots of times when that annoying gunner in the front row asks a question and people say "wow, that's a fucking stupid question, he's just wasting time", that annoying gunner was asking a question because s/he was thinking about something two steps removed from the conversation at hand, and his stupid absurd hypo is making that question very clear to the annoying gunner. If you are just sitting there transcribing the class, you won't be thinking about the case, or the question, and you'll entirely miss the point of the question. (Most of the time, it's just a stupid fucking question. But it's nice to recognize the questions that aren't, and understand why they were asking it).

Again, I don't recommend taking it to the extent that I did - I didn't even pretend to take notes, bring a notebook to class, or anything. All I needed was a pen and the casebook, and often the supplement for when I wanted a source to make things clear to me without having to derail the entire class by asking. Take notes - but don't go crazy. And that's why you don't need a laptop to take notes. (But mostly, you don't want a laptop because you want to be thinking, not surfing grantland.)

User avatar
hoos89
Posts: 1969
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:50 pm

/
Last edited by hoos89 on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Birdnals
Posts: 4576
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:26 am

Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Birdnals » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:24 pm

romothesavior wrote:The school is gonna look fairly different in the fall. They've done a lot of work on the inside... painted a different color, new carpet and furniture in the mutipurpose rooms and commons area, some new artwork and stuff on the walls, including these dangly metal artsy things in the courtyards, and best of all, new tables and chairs in the courtyard. You 0Ls won't ever have to deal with the wobbly abominations that we had for three years. :twisted:


This is the best news I have heard all week.


Also,RN, jesus that is some elaboration.

Dolphine
Posts: 341
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 12:38 am

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Dolphine » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:39 pm

Thanks RN that is some killer advice.

User avatar
sublime
Posts: 15401
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:17 am

..

User avatar
hoos89
Posts: 1969
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:22 am

/
Last edited by hoos89 on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Re: WUSTL 3L (and others) Taking Questions

Postby soccerfreak » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:57 am

romothesavior wrote:new tables and chairs in the courtyard

whoa

User avatar
sublime
Posts: 15401
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:55 pm

..

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

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:57 pm

Craigslist is TCR.

Also keep your eye out for postings around the school.

If you need new stuff, Weekends Only ain't bad.

User avatar
sublime
Posts: 15401
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:58 pm

..

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

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:01 pm

sublime wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Craigslist is TCR.



I would like to, but the problem with that is I will only have my dad's truck for about two days, then I will not have a vehicle past the shared WeCar or whatever. Are there maybe decent thrift stores nearby that I may have luck at?

I think you could find something decent in two days on CL. There is always solid stuff on there. And even if you can't, you can get a UHaul truck for a day for $20.

There's a giant Goodwill in the CWE/Midtown area. Never been there myself but its supposedly huge.

User avatar
sublime
Posts: 15401
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 12:21 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby sublime » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:28 pm

..

User avatar
hoos89
Posts: 1969
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:24 am

/
Last edited by hoos89 on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WanderingPondering
Posts: 444
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:47 am

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby WanderingPondering » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:38 am

So I know we're a bit away from this, but when are 1L winter exams over? I need to book an international flight, and wanna do it before prices get too much.

Thanks

User avatar
hoos89
Posts: 1969
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:09 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby hoos89 » Thu Jul 18, 2013 11:46 am

/
Last edited by hoos89 on Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Randomnumbers
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby Randomnumbers » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:14 pm

Interesting. We almost get a reading week this year! Last year we had a thursday - monday - thursday exam schedule for 1L's, if we shift that two days over, that's a monday - wednesday - monday exam schedule, which would be awful. I would *guess* that the exam schedule will be Friday (6th) - Wednesday (11th) - Monday (the 16th).

That would give four days between each exam, but only two days to prepare for the first exam - but note that there is only two days of classes (the second and third) with a four day thanksgiving break prior to that. But if they want to pretend that we'll actually take a break over thanksgiving break and that professors will use those last two days to teach, a Monday (9th) - Thursday (12th) - Monday (16th) schedule will probably happen. Either way, I'd be surprised if they didn't leave that last day (the 17th) for the 2L and 3L's to take finals, making the last final for 1L's the 16th.

User avatar
notedgarfigaro
Posts: 1485
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby notedgarfigaro » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:06 pm

hoos89 wrote:
WanderingPondering wrote:So I know we're a bit away from this, but when are 1L winter exams over? I need to book an international flight, and wanna do it before prices get too much.

Thanks


https://law.wustl.edu/registrar/academi ... 3-2014.pdf

Looks like the exam period goes until December 17 this year. I would e-mail the registrar to see if they know when the last 1L exam is, since it is generally before the end of the exam period.


it should be the 16th then, but that exam schedule is screwy (wed-tues) b/c of the late thanksgiving break.

User avatar
notedgarfigaro
Posts: 1485
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

Postby notedgarfigaro » Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:11 pm

romothesavior wrote:Craigslist is TCR.

Also keep your eye out for postings around the school.

If you need new stuff, Weekends Only ain't bad.


speaking of which, I'm selling some stuff (basically new love seat, kitchen table I use as a desk, cheap bookcase) if anyone is interested (and I even have a big enough car to haul it for you, provided you help me get it out of my apartment). I'm leaving STL on the 31st though, so act fast.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests