Lectures vs Seminars

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dingbat
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Lectures vs Seminars

Postby dingbat » Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:27 am

Title says it all.

Which do you prefer and why?

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:51 pm

They are very different and usually cover different types of material. Its not like you can choose to take a torts seminar versus a lecture...so I'm not sure why preference matters...

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dingbat
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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby dingbat » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:01 pm

My (basic) understanding is that a lecture basically involves the professor talking to the class*, while a seminar involves much more interaction between the students.

While 1Ls have no choice in which subjects they must take, at 2L and 3L, students may choose whichever classes they want (to some degree).

Because of the way some people learn (e.g. myself), it might be more advantageous to select more seminars than lectures, or vice versa, even if it means missing out on some subjects.
Hence the question.


*I understand that in lectures professors ask students about the materials (socratic method), but I'm talking about the overall feel of the class. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:05 pm

dingbat wrote:My (basic) understanding is that a lecture basically involves the professor talking to the class*, while a seminar involves much more interaction between the students.

While 1Ls have no choice in which subjects they must take, at 2L and 3L, students may choose whichever classes they want (to some degree).

Because of the way some people learn (e.g. myself), it might be more advantageous to select more seminars than lectures, or vice versa, even if it means missing out on some subjects.
Hence the question.


*I understand that in lectures professors ask students about the materials (socratic method), but I'm talking about the overall feel of the class. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


I've had lectures that felt like seminars. While you have a choice, you will need to cover certain subjects based upon what you want to do. E.g. evidence. Those classes are not offered as seminars. Hence my point. For example, I'm taking a federal prosecution seminar. It's nice because you argue a hearing, write a complaint, etc. But, it doesn't cover what you'd learn in Crim Pro. You still have to take that lecture.

Because they are smaller, they are harder to get into. At Michigan, you can only get one per term from the bidding system. You'd have to try to get on a wait-list for a second. So, its not like you can say I'm going to take 12 credits of seminars.

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IAFG
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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby IAFG » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:08 pm

Here, seminars generally mean writing a paper and lectures mean an exam. This means I never do the readings, which is turn means I don't learn anything at all. On the other hand, seminars usually have very generous grading. Tricky.

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby iShotFirst » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:16 pm

Seminars- Overall feel is more collaborative, however it seems that the profs in my seminar classes expect the students to know the material a lot better.

One plus to seminar classes is there is a higher chance to avoid the curve (since they generally have less students)

One minus to seminar classes is that your good grades may not be as impressive if its all from seminar courses and not from substantive law classes. (IE one guy top third, good grades from mainly race and the law, race and sexuality, assorted BS versus someone with strong grades in evidence, admin law, etc)

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby dingbat » Sun Feb 12, 2012 2:56 pm

My problem is that I don't really learn from being lectured at, but have been very successful where there was much more interaction with the student body (i.e. myself).

I learn by doing, not by listening.
As such, I figure (and would love to hear if/why I'm wrong) that I should stock up on as many seminars and/or clinics as possible. (understanding, of course, that lectures are not entirely avoidable, e.g. if certain subjects are neccesary for my career goals)

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:03 am

You really don't learn in law school by lectures. You learn by reading for class. If you need interaction, join a study group.

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dingbat
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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby dingbat » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:09 am

blowhard wrote:You really don't learn in law school by lectures. You learn by reading for class. If you need interaction, join a study group.


That's kind of my point. Considering that it's almost impossible for me to learn by lectures, would it be worth it to load up on seminars?

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:13 am

dingbat wrote:
blowhard wrote:You really don't learn in law school by lectures. You learn by reading for class. If you need interaction, join a study group.


That's kind of my point. Considering that it's almost impossible for me to learn by lectures, would it be worth it to load up on seminars?


No. Because once again, there arent enough seminars for that to work. Also, they are not the core subjects that employers look for. If you're asking after 1L subjects, and all of the core classes for what you want to do, plus maybe some of the more difficult bar subjects...you should take more seminars for the 5 total classes you have left...then maybe.

If you absolutely cannot learn by hearing, you should rethink law school. Not only because of school, but because your career will involve this too. Lawyers are always learning or reacting to what they've heard and you'll have a significant disadvantage.

I'm willing to bet you can learn, but are doing something fundamental incorrectly. Not taking proper notes, not outlining, etc. Perhaps you have a treatable learning disorder.

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IAFG
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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby IAFG » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:09 am

I don't agree with blowhard. I know plenty of people who take 2+ seminars a semester. You don't have to take every clerkship gunner class or bar subject.

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby 03121202698008 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:21 am

IAFG wrote:I don't agree with blowhard. I know plenty of people who take 2+ seminars a semester. You don't have to take every clerkship gunner class or bar subject.


I'm not saying every one. If OP has that much trouble learning, I wouldn't rely on a barprep course alone. Some schools won't even let you take that many each semester.

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IAFG
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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby IAFG » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:34 am

blowhard wrote:
IAFG wrote:I don't agree with blowhard. I know plenty of people who take 2+ seminars a semester. You don't have to take every clerkship gunner class or bar subject.


I'm not saying every one. If OP has that much trouble learning, I wouldn't rely on a barprep course alone. Some schools won't even let you take that many each semester.

Fair enough. I thought it might be a school-by-school thing. Still, if it is an option for OP, better to get good grades and have to work at bar prep harder than get shit grades.

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dingbat
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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby dingbat » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:35 pm

I just want to clarify, it's not that I don't learn by hearing, I just can't learn in a lecture environment.
I had no problem obtaining an MBA with top grades from a good school and I've been working very closely with lawyers (in-house and outside counsel) for the past few years.
It's just that when I'm in a lecture, my mind kind of spaces out. I probably do have a learning disorder, but I refuse to take medication (tried it once, didn't like the effect)

As such, while I understand I can't avoid lectures altogether, I think it's a good idea for me to take as many seminars as is practical.
Luckily, my long-term goals are quite specific and my work experience is a good match, such that there aren't a lot of core subjects I'll need
(note: I'm aware that as a 0L, I don't actually know yet what I'll need, but I've been doing my homework and trying to build up as good of an understanding as possible)

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Re: Lectures vs Seminars

Postby iShotFirst » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:52 pm

Im in my second semester of 2L year... of course 1L is nearly all lectures, cant avoid that. But in my second year I've only taken one lecture class(this semester). The only other lecture courses I'm interested in conflicted, so they will have to wait for next year... dont plan to take more than 4 lecture classes through all of 2L and 3L. So its possible to do what you are talking about.




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