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

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

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:29 pm

JCougar wrote: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.


MDs get both though. They learn academic stuff mostly for medical school and then have to do residency, where they are working under someone's supervision and guidance.

PhDs too...because they will be learning academic stuff the first few years and then have to pass a candidacy/field exam before benig able to begin their research phase. But during that research phase, they team up with a mentor who oversees their work personally and also guides them.

There's a kind of fusion or combination of the theory and practice side of things.

I get what your'e saying in that you don't have a set body of knowledge to master in law before going out and doing stuff with it. Every case will have its nuances and it's going to be tough to teach students everything they will need to know to go out and practice.

But isn't law school teaching a way of modeling the thought processes behind good legal thinking? Elie Mystal from ATL (Harvard Law and then biglaw dropout), says that law school doesn't teach you what you need to know to practice the law, it just messes with your thinking.

But doesn't the "messing with your thinking" portion serve as a method of modeling for you good vs. bad legal thinking? In other words, you may still have to learn a lot and do alot on your own, but isn't the value of law school to at least give you some idea of generally how to do that to make things easier for you?

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

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:31 pm

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/12/how-did- ... -a-lawyer/

This was Mystal's piece (on Abagnale) that I referenced ^. Havniga forgetful day today.

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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 11:33 pm

I don't even understand how it messes with your thinking. All you have to know is that 1) there are two sides to many issues, and 2) factual scenarios usually fit somewhat--but not completely--within the legal framework that governs such scenarios. Therefore you can argue both for and against a law applying in a certain scenario.

There. I just summed up "think like a lawyer" in two sentences. We can now skip the three years of law school and proceed directly to the bar exam. :twisted:

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

Postby JCougar » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:37 pm

I mean, I'm not saying that top lawyers aren't smart people. I'm just saying that being a good lawyer is mostly related to traits you have before law school. There's really not much the "socratic method" and the "case method" can teach you that is actually beneficial to your career. Understanding how to read a case and do legal research takes one year at most, and quite possibly less. After your first year, you'd be much better of just starting to practice and hone in on the area of law you are interested in.

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

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:40 pm

JCougar wrote:I don't even understand how it messes with your thinking. All you have to know is that 1) there are two sides to many issues, and 2) factual scenarios usually fit somewhat--but not completely--within the legal framework that governs such scenarios. Therefore you can argue both for and against a law applying in a certain scenario.

There. I just summed up "think like a lawyer" in two sentences. We can now skip the three years of law school and proceed directly to the bar exam. :twisted:


I can't comment on that as an 0L.

But....I do wonder why not just make the JD a BA? I thnk in England they do that?

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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 11:43 pm

The JD in the states used to be a BA, but lawyers eventually got it changed to a JD because a graduate degree looks fancier. (No, seriously, especially once more and more people were going to college, it was a way to elevate the profession and keep it more "elite.")

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

Postby UVAIce » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:45 pm

JCougar wrote:I mean, I'm not saying that top lawyers aren't smart people. I'm just saying that being a good lawyer is mostly related to traits you have before law school. There's really not much the "socratic method" and the "case method" can teach you that is actually beneficial to your career. Understanding how to read a case and do legal research takes one year at most, and quite possibly less. After your first year, you'd be much better of just starting to practice and hone in on the area of law you are interested in.


I actually agree with pretty much all of this. I'm doing a 1L SA this summer and am having an easier time with my work than most of my 2L compatriots. I also don't see why on earth they would need another year of law school to be ready to take the bar exam.

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

Postby Nova » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:49 pm

scifiguy wrote:But....I do wonder why not just make the JD a BA?


Isn't it obvious?

The legal market is over saturated enough already.

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

Postby guano » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:51 pm

JCougar wrote:I don't even understand how it messes with your thinking. All you have to know is that 1) there are two sides to many issues, and 2) factual scenarios usually fit somewhat--but not completely--within the legal framework that governs such scenarios. Therefore you can argue both for and against a law applying in a certain scenario.

There. I just summed up "think like a lawyer" in two sentences. We can now skip the three years of law school and proceed directly to the bar exam. :twisted:

Actually, you're missing the one thing that I think sums up thinking like a lawyer: considering the possible ramifications of every option.
Issue spotting is IMO a major part of thinking like a lawyer.

Whether law school teaches it, or whether it rewards those who are better at it is open to debate, but, seeing every angle and covering all bases is a big part of what lawyers get paid to do

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

Postby scifiguy » Sun Jun 30, 2013 11:56 pm

Nova wrote:
scifiguy wrote:But....I do wonder why not just make the JD a BA?


Isn't it obvious?

The legal market is over saturated enough already.


But that's not an excuse to create an unnecessary graduate program for people who could have done it with a BA. ...In England, isn't it not even a BA, but a certificate you get after a couple of years of post-high school study?

Uusally graduate schools are a more intense study of something covered in UG...but there isn't a law BA you can study/get in UG. You're not really advancing the frontiers of legal knowledge in a JD. You're literally learning the subject and how to do it for the first time.

Why not make it a BA and then perhaps....have a one year gradutae progam for the JD (where you duke it out with others for grades) as was suggested by someone in my other thread (semi-related to this topic):
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=203671

Saves you the $150K.

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

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:06 am

guano wrote:
JCougar wrote:I don't even understand how it messes with your thinking. All you have to know is that 1) there are two sides to many issues, and 2) factual scenarios usually fit somewhat--but not completely--within the legal framework that governs such scenarios. Therefore you can argue both for and against a law applying in a certain scenario.

There. I just summed up "think like a lawyer" in two sentences. We can now skip the three years of law school and proceed directly to the bar exam. :twisted:

Actually, you're missing the one thing that I think sums up thinking like a lawyer: considering the possible ramifications of every option.
Issue spotting is IMO a major part of thinking like a lawyer.

Whether law school teaches it, or whether it rewards those who are better at it is open to debate, but, seeing every angle and covering all bases is a big part of what lawyers get paid to do


But #2 is what issue spotting is. An "issue" is whether or not the factual scenario fits within the legal framework or not, or a subcomponent of such. I guess "considering the ramifications of every option" is also just a logical extension of this.

Legal educators talk about "thinking like a lawyer" as if it's some mythical, magical spell that gets cast upon you as you move through law school. But good legal arguments are basically just common sense with appeal to the right authorities. That's not thinking that is unique in any way to the field of law.

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

Postby Nova » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:08 am

The process is supposed to weed people out. If anything, about 125 law schools should close to make the process more difficult.

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

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:12 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The JD in the states used to be a BA, but lawyers eventually got it changed to a JD because a graduate degree looks fancier. (No, seriously, especially once more and more people were going to college, it was a way to elevate the profession and keep it more "elite.")


And this is exactly what drives the legal industry. Empty prestige. Not practical necessity. Not the pursuit of actual skills and knowledge. That's why law school is so frustratingly painful. It probably was only a mild concern when law school was reasonably priced and almost all people who stuck it out could count on some sort of decent employment given their debt. But now that attending law school is akin to fucking your life up for approximately 50% of people who attend, people are starting to wonder exactly what they are getting out of the process.

I'd love for someone to come into this industry and just Moneyball it all up. The legal industry needs their own Billy Beane.

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

Postby dj_spin » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:15 am

I could teach you everything you need to know to do stresses and strains analysis of a truss bridge in two and a half-hours. Does this mean that no one should get a degree in civil engineering but should proceed to apprentice as a civil engineer and begin learning on the job? How about after a summer-long intensive course in drafting, mathematics for civil engineering, and of course, CAD?

The reductio ad absurdum of this argument is that no education is really necessary to do any particular task if you can just teach precisely what someone needs to know right before they need to know it.

Those who assert law is like this basically assert that when presented any set of facts they have to go "look up" the relevant case and then they can answer the question, as if life works that way with all the questions neatly presented in little boxes well formulated so that the person seeking answers can go conveniently find them.

This of course, overlooks that what law school is supposed to be is three years of apprenticeship. Practice where you get to box with the kid gloves on. You go to class each day in the hopes that you'll argue and see other people argue about facts in a way that gives you a sense of how you are supposed to confront murky and ambiguous situations you have never seen where nothing seems to fit quite right and someone is dead set on making sure they succeed against you. Better to learn how to fail there than out in the real world where the stakes are somewhat higher--what with real lives at stake and all.

If you have come to the end of law school and you don't see that a legal case is actually ten thousand little opportunities to win (and lose), procedurally, factually, evidentially, argumentatively, jurisdictionally, strategically, (the list could go on and on), then you should ask for your money back.

But you don't need me to tell you that.

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

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:17 am

dj_spin wrote:I could teach you everything you need to know to do stresses and strains analysis of a truss bridge in two and a half-hours.


I doubt it.

And it takes people years to learn mathematics and to be good at CAD. And people can actually tell you exactly the skills and the processes you are learning. There's no "learning to think like a civil engineer" crap.
Last edited by JCougar on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby guano » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:18 am

JCougar wrote:
guano wrote:
JCougar wrote:I don't even understand how it messes with your thinking. All you have to know is that 1) there are two sides to many issues, and 2) factual scenarios usually fit somewhat--but not completely--within the legal framework that governs such scenarios. Therefore you can argue both for and against a law applying in a certain scenario.

There. I just summed up "think like a lawyer" in two sentences. We can now skip the three years of law school and proceed directly to the bar exam. :twisted:

Actually, you're missing the one thing that I think sums up thinking like a lawyer: considering the possible ramifications of every option.
Issue spotting is IMO a major part of thinking like a lawyer.

Whether law school teaches it, or whether it rewards those who are better at it is open to debate, but, seeing every angle and covering all bases is a big part of what lawyers get paid to do


But #2 is what issue spotting is. An "issue" is whether or not the factual scenario fits within the legal framework or not, or a subcomponent of such. I guess "considering the ramifications of every option" is also just a logical extension of this.

Legal educators talk about "thinking like a lawyer" as if it's some mythical, magical spell that gets cast upon you as you move through law school. But good legal arguments are basically just common sense with appeal to the right authorities. That's not thinking that is unique in any way to the field of law.

I could argue this, but your response indicates to me that you don't get it.

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

Postby dj_spin » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:18 am

JCougar wrote:
dj_spin wrote:I could teach you everything you need to know to do stresses and strains analysis of a truss bridge in two and a half-hours.


I doubt it.


I could teach a person of average intelligence... ;-)
Last edited by dj_spin on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby guano » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:19 am

scifiguy wrote:
Nova wrote:
scifiguy wrote:But....I do wonder why not just make the JD a BA?


Isn't it obvious?

The legal market is over saturated enough already.


But that's not an excuse to create an unnecessary graduate program for people who could have done it with a BA. ...In England, isn't it not even a BA, but a certificate you get after a couple of years of post-high school study?

Uusally graduate schools are a more intense study of something covered in UG...but there isn't a law BA you can study/get in UG. You're not really advancing the frontiers of legal knowledge in a JD. You're literally learning the subject and how to do it for the first time.

Why not make it a BA and then perhaps....have a one year gradutae progam for the JD (where you duke it out with others for grades) as was suggested by someone in my other thread (semi-related to this topic):
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=203671

Saves you the $150K.

Firstly, those entry level lawyers are only paid a fraction of what they earn here. Secondly, they cannot be admitted to try cases in court

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

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:22 am

dj_spin wrote:
JCougar wrote:
dj_spin wrote:I could teach you everything you need to know to do stresses and strains analysis of a truss bridge in two and a half-hours.


I doubt it.


I could teach a person of average intelligence...


What kind of math do you use? Vector physics? You think a person of average intelligence is going to learn that in 2.5 hours?

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

Postby dj_spin » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:23 am

JCougar wrote:
dj_spin wrote:
JCougar wrote:
dj_spin wrote:I could teach you everything you need to know to do stresses and strains analysis of a truss bridge in two and a half-hours.


I doubt it.


I could teach a person of average intelligence...


What kind of math do you use? Vector physics? You think a person of average intelligence is going to learn that in 2.5 hours?


I can't tell if you're trying to ironically make my point for me or not.

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

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:24 am

dj_spin wrote:I can't tell if you're trying to ironically make my point for me or not.


I'm ignoring your dig at me and telling you that you're full of shit.

I do honestly want to know what kind of math you are talking about. It seems like vector physics would do a good job analyzing stresses and strains on a bridge. It doesn't take the average person 2.5 hours to learn those calculations.

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

Postby PDaddy » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:26 am

Top law schools are more "employment-based", I know that. :wink:

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

Postby dj_spin » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:31 am

JCougar wrote:
dj_spin wrote:I can't tell if you're trying to ironically make my point for me or not.


I'm ignoring your dig at me and telling you that you're full of shit.

I do honestly want to know what kind of math you are talking about. It seems like vector physics would do a good job analyzing stresses and strains on a bridge. It doesn't take the average person 2.5 hours to learn those calculations.


Sorry, it was actually petty and I apologize. It was meant in good fun.

You don't need to understand vector physics to be taught how to plug into the relevant formulas. I could teach you how to do something useful by plugging into a limited number of equations on the basis of a diagram I handed you. It would save me (presumably the senior engineer) the time and effort of doing the calculations myself and would not require you to understand anything about vectors or physics in the slightest (beyond doing exactly what I told you to do, exactly how I told you to do it in the two and a half hours we spent together).

Would you understand why the magic worked? No, but then again, no one at Barbri has explained why we're still using the five hundred year old English statute of frauds for some subset of contracts in every state either. I just do what the video people tell me and I pass the bar exam.

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

Postby guano » Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:35 am

dj_spin wrote:
JCougar wrote:
dj_spin wrote:I can't tell if you're trying to ironically make my point for me or not.


I'm ignoring your dig at me and telling you that you're full of shit.

I do honestly want to know what kind of math you are talking about. It seems like vector physics would do a good job analyzing stresses and strains on a bridge. It doesn't take the average person 2.5 hours to learn those calculations.


Sorry, it was actually petty and I apologize. It was meant in good fun.

You don't need to understand vector physics to be taught how to plug into the relevant formulas. I could teach you how to do something useful by plugging into a limited number of equations on the basis of a diagram I handed you. It would save me (presumably the senior engineer) the time and effort of doing the calculations myself and would not require you to understand anything about vectors or physics in the slightest (beyond doing exactly what I told you to do, exactly how I told you to do it in the two and a half hours we spent together).

Would you understand why the magic worked? No, but then again, no one at Barbri has explained why we're still using the five hundred year old English statute of frauds for some subset of contracts in every state either. I just do what the video people tell me and I pass the bar exam.

You just summarized the cause of the financial collapse. I once asked an ibanker how X worked and the response is that they plugged the numbers into the model and that's the answer they got

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

Postby jwinaz » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:32 am

Wow, leave it to TLSers to go crazy with answers and debate! :o

...In terms of the whole making law an undergrad degree, I remember reading that law school tuition subsidizes many universities' lesser funded departments. So, they are sort of money-making machines for many schools. I'm totally for an undergrad law degree, but then universities would have to figure out how to make up the lost revenue (not to mention faculty having to take less money).

Maybe I'm cynical, but I think these big powerful institutions would want to protect their power and money. ... :roll: But perhaps if there was a large enough chorus of voices advocating for change something could be done.




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