spammingrobot wrote:I'm sure the answer to this varies wildly, but I was wondering what the general experience is with visiting professors. Is it significantly harder to study for their exams? Or do they provide practice material sufficient to understand the types of questions they would ask on an exam?
This will really vary by professor, but all the visiting professors I had my 1L year gave us practice exams and at least one model answer (sometimes way more). Outlines were also available but much less useful, because the professors really changed the way taught the class from year to year (first caveat: HLS professors sometimes also do this. Second caveat: this is all much easier if the professor has visited HLS before). Another helpful thing you can do is post on the TLS thread the professor's home school- people will usually be willing to check outline banks for you.
I had 3 visiting profs. The first was great, the second was very smart but a rambling lecturer without much focus, and the third might have been the best prof I've had--or at least the best class, content-wise. All exams were very highly manageable (both 8 hour take homes, nothing too tricky). I've heard this can vary greatly though.
For the first, someone in our section got an outline from another school--Duke. That was a lifesaver bc the only friend at Duke I knew (2L) refused to help me find an outline or model exam (out of "respect, she claimed...). However, he wouldn't give out model answers, so we convinced him to do a review session at the end of the term where he went over what he wants from an exam answer. Very helpful and paid off.
For the second, he had published a commercial outline that had "exam tips," so I just followed that, which worked well. We got old exams from him, but again he wouldn't give models. Didn't matter bc all in same boat, but was a little harder to properly review practice exams obv.
For the third, I had to make my own outline for this class, but that wasn't a huge deal bc I learned the material well and exam prep was a bit smoother. She had two exams. Again, no models.
So it varies, but the biggest change was that I couldn't get model answers for them. For HLS profs, you can almost always get models from HLS dope--a truly amazing resource. You can also get them from Fed Soc or ACS depending on your persuasion.
LK is right that profs change things up, but at least in my experience, the changes were very minimal and nothing online case brief sites couldn't handle. Some of the HLS dope outlines will even have their jokes in there or what not. Some profs might do more major changes, but I just didn't have any major surprises there.
Pro tip: I got several of my profs to agree to read over my practice exam answers and give me feedback in office hours--including two of the visitors--which was clutch given no models. It's amazing how few students do this--or even go to office hours--yet how much it helps if they agree to do it. Most profs I asked did; tho there were a couple I didn't ask bc I sensed they might be annoyed from being bothered by students for anything "extra".