bdubs wrote:I'm in section 1 and wanted to get all of your opinions on my fall professors:
Civ Pro - Richard Hoskins
Contracts - Robert Bennett
Property - David Cameron
Torts - Peter DiCola
Also my CLR professor is Ellen Mulaney if anyone has thoughts/comments about her.
Hoskins- wonderful guy. I didn't do well in his class, but he is a solid prof. Know the FRCP, and make sure you understand choice of law type shit. I didn't do either of these things, and I paid for it.
Bennett- funny guy, epically bad prof. Don't bother with the UCC, know maybe some of the restatement. Cases matter.
Property- Cameron loves economic analysis, so know it. Other than that, I didn't pay a drop of attention in his classes. LtK could give you better advice.
Didn't have dicola. Having those 4 classes in one semester would make me want to kill myself. On the bright side, crim and con law in one semester would equal AWESOME. Imo, of course.
The thing about Hoskins is I think his class feels the least like a waste of time. His lecture style is the clearest, and he seems to be the strictest about participation and preparedness. To whatever extent we may have been a little intimidated as 1Ls, I think it paid off because everyone engaged and 90 minutes went by pretty quickly. So I think doing well in that class was all about engaging with it intellectually. I participated a few times, and he will actually get into a dialog with you. I'm a very individual studier with weird time-management habits, but for this one I spent several days having substantive conversations with my peers and the TA. I think Hoskins is more concerned with an exam that is well written and makes the right arguments than he is about counting raw "issues spotted."
BJS is right about Bennett. He's like the eccentric uncle at a Christmas party. I think he has something to offer as a prof, but you have to try pretty hard to get it. You have to read the material closer than I did and you have to pay attention in class instead of falling asleep. The thing is, all of that might not be worth your time, since the points he presses in class didn't seem well correlated to the points on the exam. My performance was meh, so I'll kind of be left wondering exactly what he was looking for.
I don't think our section was fair to Cameron. He said a couple controversial things early in the semester (which I think were said in a devil's advocate, Socratic dialog way but which some thought were evidencing radical political views and racial prejudice) that turned some people against him early, so they never gave him a chance. Also, I pretty much never read for my T/F classes, and I didn't pay a lick of attention either. Under the right circumstances (i.e. MTW afternoons) I think Cameron could have been Hoskins-like. Pretty clear lecturer, doesn't dwell on irrelevant shit for too long, somewhat "intimidating" cold call style, and again, seemed to give an exam where coherence and persuasion mattered as much as stockpiling.
Mulaney is the best CLR professor at Northwestern. I've heard enough horror stories from people across sections that I don't think it's close. She also taught Torts to AJDs this past summer and is probably in line for a promotion soon. At first glance, she seems like the cranky type and is somewhat humorless and socially awkward. That said, her feedback is always helpful, she cares about her students and their performance, she is generous with her time, and her grading seemed fair.