Law School Exams Question

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Law School Exams Question

Postby jingosaur » Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:30 pm

For those who have attended a T-14 law school, do you believe that law exams require more logical thinking or memorization?

I'm an extremely skilled logical thinker and had really great academic success in college studying finance and mathematics until I ran into a lot of classes in my major that required me to memorize a bunch of information and then regurgitate it on a piece of paper.

I took one business law class in college and our final was literally 10 questions where we had to define key terms. I'm planning on attending a T-14 and was wondering if it was more of the same. I don't want to arrive at a top law school and get outclassed by a bunch of top-tier humanities students and end up in the bottom of the class with no career prospects.

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Re: Law School Exams Question

Postby GertrudePerkins » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:04 pm

It's a mix, and it depends (in my view) to a significant extent on the type of exam. We take a mix of 3-hour in-class and 8-hour take-home exams. The former reward memorization (and fast typing) more than the latter. There's certainly no emphasis on memorizing things verbatim (e.g., precise definitions of terms), though, so that may be good news for you.

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Re: Law School Exams Question

Postby 90LawSchool » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:51 pm

goldbh7 wrote:I'm an extremely skilled logical thinker

First, I am not disagreeing with you as I do not know you, but if you are thinking this as you come into law school, you are going to have problems. Everyone in law school thinks they are the next Supreme Court Justice and quite frankly, one's logical thinking ability is not objectively measurable.

But to answer your question: a heck of alot more memorization. If you have the law memorized, you can have the lowest IQ in the room (like me) and do really well. I do not find that law school exams require much "skill" in "logical thinking": you just need to know the law, identify the facts that are going to be key and zero in on the ambiguities in interpretation of the law/facts.

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Re: Law School Exams Question

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:01 pm

It's a mix. But, many of the things that you need to remember are connected to overarching theories or explanations, which make remembering them easier. (Though, sometimes you just need to memorize things that don't seem connected to anything.)

To address your concern: You can do well in law school with pretty bad memorization skills. I'm proof. I have an awful memory for most things, but that hasn't hurt me. Keep in mind though that memorization is very much a skill. Read Moonwalking with Einstein for more of a perspective on this.

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