Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

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Freebot
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Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Freebot » Sat May 02, 2015 11:52 am

Given that most law courses are graded based on a single essay-based exam, it is intuitive that one should try to master the legal writing course in hopes of boosting one's grades in most of the rest of the courses. Does this actually work in practice?

kcdc1
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby kcdc1 » Sat May 02, 2015 12:03 pm

I question whether your intuition is as intuitive as you think it is.

Traynor Brah
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Traynor Brah » Sat May 02, 2015 12:09 pm

Freebot wrote:Given that most law courses are graded based on a single essay-based exam, it is intuitive that one should try to master the legal writing course in hopes of boosting one's grades in most of the rest of the courses. Does this actually work in practice?

No and no. But it is the most fun 1L course.

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swampman
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby swampman » Sat May 02, 2015 12:10 pm

Absolutely. Don't even bother with the readings for your substantive classes. Just skim an outline before the test and blow the prof's mind with the beautifully crafted legal poetry that you managed to create in your three hour exam.

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BmoreOrLess
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby BmoreOrLess » Sat May 02, 2015 1:32 pm

The only helpful part of LRW for exam writing (and an extremly helpful part, IMO) is large scale organization.

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banjo
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby banjo » Sat May 02, 2015 2:27 pm

Exam writing is its own genre. On an exam, your job is to tease out uncertainties in the law and facts and argue both sides. In most of the briefs, opinions, and memos I've read, the point is to make the case seem more straightforward than it really is.
Last edited by banjo on Sat May 02, 2015 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Clearly
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Clearly » Sat May 02, 2015 2:29 pm

do not write law school exams like you write briefs in LRW.

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Yukos
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Yukos » Sat May 02, 2015 2:56 pm

It probably is the most important 1L class, but like everyone said, not for this reason.

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bearsfan23
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby bearsfan23 » Sat May 02, 2015 3:01 pm

Clearly wrote:do not write law school exams like you write briefs in LRW.


Nonsense. If you don't include a Table of Authorities on regular exams you are doomed to fail

Freebot
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Freebot » Sat May 02, 2015 3:03 pm

swampman wrote:Absolutely. Don't even bother with the readings for your substantive classes. Just skim an outline before the test and blow the prof's mind with the beautifully crafted legal poetry that you managed to create in your three hour exam.


I planned to do the readings as well. In any case, thanks to the various posters who offered constructive feedback. Looks like there is no particular reason to give it more weight than is justified by the number of credits.

If I may ask, where can I find some examples of high quality law school exam essays? My degrees are in science and engineering so I haven't taken an essay exam in 14 years. Although I have written technical papers, mathematical proofs and USPTO office actions.
Last edited by Freebot on Sat May 02, 2015 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby StylinNProfilin » Sat May 02, 2015 3:13 pm

Traynor Brah wrote:
Freebot wrote:Given that most law courses are graded based on a single essay-based exam, it is intuitive that one should try to master the legal writing course in hopes of boosting one's grades in most of the rest of the courses. Does this actually work in practice?

No and no. But it is the most fun 1L course.


In what sick world is LRW fun.

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Clearly
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Clearly » Sat May 02, 2015 3:17 pm

Freebot wrote:
swampman wrote:Absolutely. Don't even bother with the readings for your substantive classes. Just skim an outline before the test and blow the prof's mind with the beautifully crafted legal poetry that you managed to create in your three hour exam.


I planned to do the readings as well. In any case, thanks to the various posters who offered constructive feedback. Looks like there is no particular reason to give it more weight than is justified by the number of credits.

If I may ask, where can I find some examples of high quality law school exam essays?

How about because its the most practically useful course you'll take in law school?

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chuckbass
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby chuckbass » Sat May 02, 2015 3:21 pm

Clearly wrote:
Freebot wrote:
swampman wrote:Absolutely. Don't even bother with the readings for your substantive classes. Just skim an outline before the test and blow the prof's mind with the beautifully crafted legal poetry that you managed to create in your three hour exam.


I planned to do the readings as well. In any case, thanks to the various posters who offered constructive feedback. Looks like there is no particular reason to give it more weight than is justified by the number of credits.

If I may ask, where can I find some examples of high quality law school exam essays?

How about because its the most practically useful course you'll take in law school?

It's not practically useful if you want to do corporate hth.

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BVest
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby BVest » Sat May 02, 2015 3:24 pm

StylinNProfilin wrote:
Traynor Brah wrote:No and no. But it is the most fun 1L course.


In what sick world is LRW fun.


This. And I'm one of those sick fucks who loved law school in general... just not LRW. Or torts.

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Yukos
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Yukos » Sat May 02, 2015 3:38 pm

Getting to Maybe is probably the best way to learn how to write a good exam.

Your profs will probably have sample answers to practice exams once you get into school, but you really shouldn't be worrying about this now (except maybe GtM). If you really can't stand not knowing, DesertFox posted some of his old exams and the grades he got on them--you'll see quickly that quality of writing has nothing to do with grades.

Freebot
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby Freebot » Sat May 02, 2015 8:42 pm

Yukos wrote:Getting to Maybe is probably the best way to learn how to write a good exam.

Your profs will probably have sample answers to practice exams once you get into school, but you really shouldn't be worrying about this now (except maybe GtM). If you really can't stand not knowing, DesertFox posted some of his old exams and the grades he got on them--you'll see quickly that quality of writing has nothing to do with grades.


Thanks! Ordered Getting to Maybe. Does anyone have a link to DesertFox's exam thread? He is quite an active poster. :wink:

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby UnicornHunter » Sat May 02, 2015 8:48 pm

swampman wrote:Absolutely. Don't even bother with the readings for your substantive classes. Just skim an outline before the test and blow the prof's mind with the beautifully crafted legal poetry that you managed to create in your three hour exam.


cosigned

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat May 02, 2015 9:00 pm

StylinNProfilin wrote:
Traynor Brah wrote:
Freebot wrote:Given that most law courses are graded based on a single essay-based exam, it is intuitive that one should try to master the legal writing course in hopes of boosting one's grades in most of the rest of the courses. Does this actually work in practice?

No and no. But it is the most fun 1L course.


In what sick world is LRW fun.

"most fun" in law school isn't saying much.

And OP, I agree with the person above who said not to worry about it now - your school will have sample exams, and it will be much more helpful to look at those once you have a little intro to the law that's being discussed in them. I had a hard time getting much out of GtM before having any legal knowledge (though of the various things around, it's one of the few worth reading before school - you may want to review it again partway through the semester is all). Also, different profs will prioritize different things - I had one prof who actually graded for good writing, and I've had at least one other prof who'd give you pretty much full points for bullet points/an outline, if it hit all the issues he wanted you to spot.

despina
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Re: Is Legal Writing the most important 1L course?

Postby despina » Sat May 02, 2015 9:50 pm

Clearly wrote:do not write law school exams like you write briefs in LRW.




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