Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

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JCougar
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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:34 pm

Bar exam prep really sheds light on how terrible the process is. You learn twice as much law in two months than you do in three years of law school. It's all because bar exam prep books just tell you the rule. What takes 3 hours for the "case method" and the "socratic method" to teach you, a bar prep book can explain in a few sentences.

It's a pretty good indicator that everything you learned in law school you can do on your own in two months for $3000 bucks, rather than paying $200,000 and wasting three years of your life and cost of living expenses.

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JCougar
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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:42 pm

It's true that my clinics and externships were pretty awesome. Because you actually learned how to do stuff.

Of course, the reality is that you don't need to attend a school to provide your free labor to a law firm or legal services organization. You end up paying tuition to work for free when you could just work for free.

I think the best way to address the law school tuition bubble is not student loan reform. It is to give law students a more effective alternative. People need to lobby their state legislatures to allow them to sit for the bar after self-study. And more potential law students have to grow a pair of balls and take this option and pave their own way.

I'd immediately hire someone who had the option of going to a T14 and turned it down for self-study rather than actually hiring a T14 graduate. I'm pretty confident that the self-study applicant would have more knowledge and practical skills--and I could pay him less because he or she has zero educational debt.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:49 pm

The bar exam asks you to memorize black-letter statements of law that are an artificial amalgam of common law and don't apply in any jurisdiction, have nothing to do with practice anywhere, and which you're going to forget within three weeks after the exam. I mean, whatever you think of law school, bar exam prep is ridiculously stupid.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:54 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The bar exam asks you to memorize black-letter statements of law that are an artificial amalgam of common law and don't apply in any jurisdiction, have nothing to do with practice anywhere, and which you're going to forget within three weeks after the exam. I mean, whatever you think of law school, bar exam prep is ridiculously stupid.


Oh, I agree that it's stupid. My point is that you can learn about twice as much pointless bullcrap for a lot less money in two months. So even if the goal of law school was cramming pointless bullcrap into your head, it could be done far more efficiently and cheaply. The bar exam is also a waste of time. It's just a more efficient waste of time.

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romothesavior
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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:02 pm

I'd be one of the first to say law school is largely a scam, a lot of it isn't all that useful in practice, the profs and admins are robbing people blind, etc. etc., but you're really over the top on this one. I certainly have specific knowledge, skills, and critical thinking capabilities that I didn't have 3 years ago. We get it... you hate law school, you regret going, you think its a joke, and all of that, but you're making it really hard to take anything you say seriously. I don't think even the most cynical people on here would agree with most of what you've said ITT.

UVAIce wrote:To be honest, a lot of the folks that consistently attack legal education as a money shakedown scam use the same kind of logic that conspiracy theorists use to say that the United States attacked itself on 9/11.

This is meaningless drivel.

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stillwater
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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:07 pm

romothesavior wrote:I'd be one of the first to say law school is largely a scam, a lot of it isn't all that useful in practice, the profs and admins are robbing people blind, etc. etc., but you're really over the top on this one. I certainly have specific knowledge, skills, and critical thinking capabilities that I didn't have 3 years ago. We get it... you hate law school, you regret going, you think its a joke, and all of that, but you're making it really hard to take anything you say seriously. I don't think even the most cynical people on here would agree with most of what you've said ITT.

UVAIce wrote:To be honest, a lot of the folks that consistently attack legal education as a money shakedown scam use the same kind of logic that conspiracy theorists use to say that the United States attacked itself on 9/11.

This is meaningless drivel.


do you think the profs know they're robbing people blind or do you think they are so deluded they think their "product" is worth the money?

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby dj_spin » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:09 pm

JCougar wrote:It's true that my clinics and externships were pretty awesome. Because you actually learned how to do stuff.

It will never cease to amaze me how many bad lawyers there are and will always be because they actually think the argumentative part of law is BS and the learning how to format a motion is "learn[ing] how to do stuff." At my firm, we actually hire specialized services to do everything but make the arguments. What I'm saying is, all the "stuff" you learn to do--in your clinics, in your court appearances, in your practical education courses--is completely irrelevant to the kind of law highly paid lawyers practice. To say otherwise, to say that law is laying brick and that therefore what good law schools teach is not what lawyers need to know, is to commit a fundamental category error about the nature of what good lawyers (160K+ lawyers) are paid to do. What do you think lawyers at Wachtell and Cravath do all day? Do you think any of the value those enormously high PPP Partners create involves prepared form contract provisions, nice formatting, or anything of the kind? No, they understand how the transaction will change if one phrase or word is changed throughout a merger agreement, and can guide their clients to proper legal solutions by thinking critically, logically, and legally. You need more than a few months of self-study for that.
Last edited by dj_spin on Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:10 pm

UVAIce wrote:What you're saying could be applied to 90% of higher education.


And one more thing to add...this sentence isn't even remotely true.

Undergrad education and other graduate programs actually teach you a lot. You learn the scientific method, which is a rigorous, structured process that can be used not just to come up with ideas, but empirically validate them so you can figure out who is full of shit and who isn't. You learn statistical analysis. You learn mathematics. You learn trigonometry. You learn vector physics. You learn how chemical compounds interact. You learn public speaking. You learn how to balance an organizational budget. You learn different languages. You actually have writing classes that teach you how to write instead of being primarily to teach you how to use Bluebook -- something no one outside of law school actually uses.

All of these things are actual skills that can be used at a job to do stuff and get stuff done. Some of them may even be very helpful to your career as a lawyer.

Law school neglects all this and teaches you nothing. It's mostly just a chore of rote memorization and busywork. And yet it's far more costly than the above-mentioned areas of study.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:15 pm

romothesavior wrote:I'd be one of the first to say law school is largely a scam, a lot of it isn't all that useful in practice, the profs and admins are robbing people blind, etc. etc., but you're really over the top on this one. I certainly have specific knowledge, skills, and critical thinking capabilities that I didn't have 3 years ago. We get it... you hate law school, you regret going, you think its a joke, and all of that, but you're making it really hard to take anything you say seriously. I don't think even the most cynical people on here would agree with most of what you've said ITT.


I don't even regret going (though if I did it again, I probably would just read for the bar if I had the opportunity). I just think that the process needs to be reformed. And not just by adding in clinical opportunities here and there. It needs a complete rebuild from the ground up. The curriculum is 150 years old and out of touch with reality.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:22 pm

dj_spin wrote:It will never cease to amaze me how many bad lawyers there are and will always be because they actually think the argumentative part of law is BS and the learning how to format a motion is "learn[ing] how to do stuff." At my firm, we actually hire specialized services to do everything but make the arguments. What I'm saying is, all the "stuff" you learn to do--in your clinics, in your court appearances, in your practical education courses--is completely irrelevant to the kind of law highly paid lawyers practice. To say otherwise, to say that law is laying brick and that therefore what good law schools teach is not what lawyers need to know, is to commit a fundamental category error about the nature of what good lawyers (160K+ lawyers) are paid to do. What do you think lawyers at Wachtell and Cravath do all day? Do you think any of the value those enormously high PPP Partners create involves prepared form contract provisions, nice formatting, or anything of the kind? No, they understand how the transaction will change if one phrase or word is changed throughout a merger agreement, and can guide their clients to proper legal solutions by thinking critically, logically, and legally. You need more than a few months of self-study for that.


You speak as if clinics don't let you do the argumentative part of the law. Every clinic or internship I ever got let me do this. You also speak as if the "socratic method" and "case method" actually does teach you the argumentative parts of the law. But in law school, this ends up mostly being memorization and recitation of the facts of the case that do not add to your future knowledge or skills.

As for what the lawyers at Cravath and Wachtell do, it depends on the level. Their first year associates probably spend most of their time editing documents and preparing binders. The partners that make insane salaries learned what they do from practice...not from law school. That and the fact that they were super smart before they even went to law school. I haven't met a single practicing lawyer, from biglaw partner to doc reviewer, that thought the law school process really added any value to their skill set.

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romothesavior
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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:31 pm

JCougar wrote:Undergrad education and other graduate programs actually teach you a lot. You learn the scientific method, which is a rigorous, structured process that can be used not just to come up with ideas, but empirically validate them so you can figure out who is full of shit and who isn't. You learn statistical analysis. You learn mathematics. You learn trigonometry. You learn vector physics. You learn how chemical compounds interact. You learn public speaking. You learn how to balance an organizational budget. You learn different languages. You actually have writing classes that teach you how to write instead of being primarily to teach you how to use Bluebook -- something no one outside of law school actually uses.

I learned literally none of this in college except maybe public speaking via moot court. I learned the scientific method in high school. The rest of it, nope.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby RodneyBoonfield » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:34 pm

Who cares

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby dj_spin » Sun Jun 30, 2013 5:44 pm

JCougar wrote:
dj_spin wrote:It will never cease to amaze me how many bad lawyers there are and will always be because they actually think the argumentative part of law is BS and the learning how to format a motion is "learn[ing] how to do stuff." At my firm, we actually hire specialized services to do everything but make the arguments. What I'm saying is, all the "stuff" you learn to do--in your clinics, in your court appearances, in your practical education courses--is completely irrelevant to the kind of law highly paid lawyers practice. To say otherwise, to say that law is laying brick and that therefore what good law schools teach is not what lawyers need to know, is to commit a fundamental category error about the nature of what good lawyers (160K+ lawyers) are paid to do. What do you think lawyers at Wachtell and Cravath do all day? Do you think any of the value those enormously high PPP Partners create involves prepared form contract provisions, nice formatting, or anything of the kind? No, they understand how the transaction will change if one phrase or word is changed throughout a merger agreement, and can guide their clients to proper legal solutions by thinking critically, logically, and legally. You need more than a few months of self-study for that.


You speak as if clinics don't let you do the argumentative part of the law. Every clinic or internship I ever got let me do this. You also speak as if the "socratic method" and "case method" actually does teach you the argumentative parts of the law. But in law school, this ends up mostly being memorization and recitation of the facts of the case that do not add to your future knowledge or skills.

As for what the lawyers at Cravath and Wachtell do, it depends on the level. Their first year associates probably spend most of their time editing documents and preparing binders. The partners that make insane salaries learned what they do from practice...not from law school. That and the fact that they were super smart before they even went to law school. I haven't met a single practicing lawyer, from biglaw partner to doc reviewer, that thought the law school process really added any value to their skill set.

So, on this logic, why do we need more of an emphasis on clinical education? For that matter, why do we even need a bar exam? It sounds as if college students with B.A.'s and B.S.'s should just walk in and start up the ladder. You don't need to know anything to edit a document or prepare a binder...

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:14 pm

dj_spin wrote:So, on this logic, why do we need more of an emphasis on clinical education? For that matter, why do we even need a bar exam? It sounds as if college students with B.A.'s and B.S.'s should just walk in and start up the ladder. You don't need to know anything to edit a document or prepare a binder...


Good question. I'd support legal education reform that makes law school something like a 5-year undergrad program. B.A.'s and B.S.'s should just walk in and start up the ladder.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:29 pm

What is theory-based law? lol

Are you guys just talking about philosophical questions about why we have a particular law versus what the actual law says?

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:31 pm

scifiguy wrote:What is theory-based law? lol

Are you guys just talking about philosophical questions about why we have a particular law versus what the actual law says?


this thread has hit new lows

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:34 pm

Do people know who Frank Abagnale is from the movie a while back called, Catch Me if You Can (Dicaprio)?

Business Insider had a piece about him here:
http://www.businessinsider.com/frank-ab ... sy-2012-12
'Catch Me if You Can' Con Artist Frank Abagnale Says Being a Lawyer Is the Easiest of All Jobs to Fake

He has some interesting reasons for this though.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:38 pm


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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby UVAIce » Sun Jun 30, 2013 6:50 pm

romothesavior wrote:I'd be one of the first to say law school is largely a scam, a lot of it isn't all that useful in practice, the profs and admins are robbing people blind, etc. etc., but you're really over the top on this one. I certainly have specific knowledge, skills, and critical thinking capabilities that I didn't have 3 years ago. We get it... you hate law school, you regret going, you think its a joke, and all of that, but you're making it really hard to take anything you say seriously. I don't think even the most cynical people on here would agree with most of what you've said ITT.

UVAIce wrote:To be honest, a lot of the folks that consistently attack legal education as a money shakedown scam use the same kind of logic that conspiracy theorists use to say that the United States attacked itself on 9/11.

This is meaningless drivel.


I'm making reference to misplaced causation. Just because something benefits an individual, group, or society in some way does not mean that the individual, group, or society actually initiated the action or even conspired to have the action take place.

I don't think professors or even a large majority of legal educators out there are actually trying to create a "tuition bubble" or are actively trying to swindle people out of their money. That doesn't mean they aren't actually doing it, but that they aren't intentionally doing it. Most law professors and legal faculty in general are people who succeeded in the old system and have some serious bias. Not because they're making lots of money, but because that system is what brought them into their current situation. By attacking the system that created them they attack their very own credentials; not many people are willing to do that.

I do also think that there is something to legal education. We can, and do, attack it all the time, but you do get a general idea about how the system works. JCougar has made multiple references to people "learning on the job." I'm going to tell you right now, law firms hate paying associates to learn. They do not want to coddle folks that don't make money. There is a reason the system is so sink or swim. It's not nice, but go figure.

I find it funny that so many people attack legal education specifically for the general problems of our education system. Sure, some issues are exacerbated in legal education - the amount you have to borrow for your education. But almost all of the problems in legal education are problems in college as well. People just do not learn the skills they need to participate in the work force while they're in college. Heck, the vast majority of college degrees are not worth the price of attendance in the current economy.

This thread is basically useless now, but go figure.

Tl;dr: Who cares.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby Stinson » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:07 pm

RodneyBoonfield wrote:Who cares



I was going to say something similar. Like, if things were awesome and everyone was snagging biglaw would anyone vaguely care about law school pedagogy? Medical school is full of flames, institutionalized hazing, rotations with ridiculous hours, and plenty of irrelevant info. But no one cares because guaranteed employment and good money.

It's a series of hoops. You jump through them. That's professional school. I wouldn't care if the professors taught absolutely nothing if I got a great job, and I wouldn't care if I learned an enormous amount if the experience did nothing for my career.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby sinfiery » Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:34 pm

dj_spin wrote:
JCougar wrote:It's true that my clinics and externships were pretty awesome. Because you actually learned how to do stuff.

It will never cease to amaze me how many bad lawyers there are and will always be because they actually think the argumentative part of law is BS and the learning how to format a motion is "learn[ing] how to do stuff." At my firm, we actually hire specialized services to do everything but make the arguments. What I'm saying is, all the "stuff" you learn to do--in your clinics, in your court appearances, in your practical education courses--is completely irrelevant to the kind of law highly paid lawyers practice. To say otherwise, to say that law is laying brick and that therefore what good law schools teach is not what lawyers need to know, is to commit a fundamental category error about the nature of what good lawyers (160K+ lawyers) are paid to do. What do you think lawyers at Wachtell and Cravath do all day? Do you think any of the value those enormously high PPP Partners create involves prepared form contract provisions, nice formatting, or anything of the kind? No, they understand how the transaction will change if one phrase or word is changed throughout a merger agreement, and can guide their clients to proper legal solutions by thinking critically, logically, and legally. You need more than a few months of self-study for that.

This type of thought is spouted here and there on TLS but I definitely see the mindless copy paste stereotype of biglaw more often spoken of. I really hope you are correct though.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:17 pm

Stinson wrote:
I was going to say something similar. Like, if things were awesome and everyone was snagging biglaw would anyone vaguely care about law school pedagogy? Medical school is full of flames, institutionalized hazing, rotations with ridiculous hours, and plenty of irrelevant info. But no one cares because guaranteed employment and good money.

It's a series of hoops. You jump through them. That's professional school. I wouldn't care if the professors taught absolutely nothing if I got a great job, and I wouldn't care if I learned an enormous amount if the experience did nothing for my career.


You still have to learn a lot of material to be a competent doctor. And certain specialties, especially surgeons, learn specific skills.

Lawyers basically do research and write about it. Every legal issue is slightly different, so nothing in school is going to help you. You basically have to teach yourself the law on every case, because even cases that are very similar may have a few minor twists and procedural hurdles you need to look up. But that's the thing...the law is best learned by teaching yourself. As long as you know how to do legal research, you'll be a pretty decent lawyer. Law school could be one extra year of undergrad. Teach me how to use Westlaw and how the court system works, maybe have three doctrinal classes that apply to all areas of law (civ pro, con law, evidence and maybe contracts), and then let me work unpaid in a one-year practicum type deal, and I'll be a better lawyer than I am today after 3 years of debt/busywork.

The fact that legal employment sucks means this is the perfect time to complain about pedagogy--because people will actually listen. The state of the legal education industry right now has finally caused some long-needed introspection in the industry and people are actually willing to listen. The curriculum is nearly 150 years old and completely out of touch with modern educational practices and with the reality of the legal job market.

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guano
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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby guano » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:19 pm

^ the way to fix the cost of law school is to make professors teach.

The system basically forces students to subsidize professors (many of which can't teach for shit) to research and write articles, most of which will never be read by anyone other than law professors.

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:22 pm

guano wrote:^ the way to fix the cost of law school is to make professors teach.

The system basically forces students to subsidize professors (many of which can't teach for shit) to research and write articles, most of which will never be read by anyone other than law professors.


went ahead and fixed this for you

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Re: Truth to Stereotype that "Top" LS Teach More Theory-based?

Postby guano » Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:44 pm

stillwater wrote:
guano wrote:^ the way to fix the cost of law school is to make professors teach.

The system basically forces students to subsidize professors (many of which can't teach for shit) to research and write articles, most of which will never be read by anyone other than law professors.


went ahead and fixed this for you

:D




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