Getting to Maybe

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PutSumGravyOnIt
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Getting to Maybe

Postby PutSumGravyOnIt » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:51 pm

Hey all,

I'm a 0L reading Getting to Maybe as an introduction on law school thinking, what gets you ahead on exams, etc. I'm reading it closely, but since I don't know shit about the laws themselves I'm not taking hardcore notes.

My question is for ppl in law school, hopefully those that have had success. Is the stuff in this book 100% on? Do you guys think about forks in the law, forks in the facts, competing domains, policy questions, purpose, etc. when you are studying or taking tests? Have ppl found that some ideas in the book aren't as important, while others are? What is your general view on how the book prepares you? What things doesn't it tell you?

Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I know some of you may have read it a long time ago, so whatever thoughts you can give are much appreciated.

LockBox
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Re: Getting to Maybe

Postby LockBox » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:34 pm

0L reading GTM here - this is relevant to my interests as well. TYIA

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Ludo!
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Re: Getting to Maybe

Postby Ludo! » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:46 pm

The most important thing about GTM for me was that it hammers home the 'forks' thing. I didn't do LEEWS but I think they teach a similar thing and call it 'nitpicking the facts.' For traditional law school issue spotter exams this is key. Find a way to apply the law to every possible fact in the pattern. Argue both sides. It sounds easy and kind of intuitive but it takes practice to do it well and do it fast.

I don't know how helpful it is for policy questions, I don't think I read those chapters because first semester I didn't really have any policy exam questions

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kalvano
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Re: Getting to Maybe

Postby kalvano » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:36 pm

I didn't find GTM that useful, really. Argue both sides....gee, thanks.

The main thing to take away is that, whenever something comes up that you can argue, do it. If you have a Crim exam, and there is a statute with 5 elements, and the defendant is accused of violating them, then make sure to argue every which way on all 5 elements.

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The Gentleman
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Re: Getting to Maybe

Postby The Gentleman » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:54 pm

No no no. Stop reading it now. GTM tries to place every exam style into nice tidy categories. Unfortunately, there are as many different types of exams as there are professors: Some profs want you to spot every issue and throw the kitchen sink at the problem, while others want well-organized and thoughtful analysis of just the major issues. Some want you to analogize to cases you've read, while others don't give a damn. Some want you to talk about what's the right thing to do, while others want to test your legal analysis. Some award points for regurgitating policy arguments they've made during the semester, while others look for novel and creative arguments. Some look for really theoretical answers, others are happy with crisply applying law to facts. And that's just for issue spotters. You might run into multiple choice, policy essays, and in wacky cases, just a prompt. ("What does property law mean to you?")

TLDR, don't worry about taking a law school exam until you know what your prof is looking for.

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Ludo!
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Re: Getting to Maybe

Postby Ludo! » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:01 pm

I read it the summer before law school and then again in the weeks leading up to exams. It helped me a lot. There is no one right way to prep for law school exams, different things work for different people.

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PutSumGravyOnIt
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Re: Getting to Maybe

Postby PutSumGravyOnIt » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:36 pm

The Gentleman wrote:No no no. Stop reading it now. GTM tries to place every exam style into nice tidy categories. Unfortunately, there are as many different types of exams as there are professors: Some profs want you to spot every issue and throw the kitchen sink at the problem, while others want well-organized and thoughtful analysis of just the major issues. Some want you to analogize to cases you've read, while others don't give a damn. Some want you to talk about what's the right thing to do, while others want to test your legal analysis. Some award points for regurgitating policy arguments they've made during the semester, while others look for novel and creative arguments. Some look for really theoretical answers, others are happy with crisply applying law to facts. And that's just for issue spotters. You might run into multiple choice, policy essays, and in wacky cases, just a prompt. ("What does property law mean to you?")

TLDR, don't worry about taking a law school exam until you know what your prof is looking for.


Interesting--yes, I was beginning to get lulled into a false sense of security about the "normalcy" of GTM examples.

There's a few different responses I've seen on TLS about this, but I want to ask: how did you find out what your professor wanted out of all the scenarios you've mentioned? Were they explicitly telling you what they wanted? Did you have to go to office hours to find out by talking privately with them, or was it your sense of how they studied cases in class?

Btw the book HAS been very helpful to me in just thinking about law. Even if the neat packages they give don't truly represent what exams test you on, it has been wonderful for an intro of how to think about fact patterns or other law questions.

Thanks a lot for the responses, everyone.

LSATNightmares
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Re: Getting to Maybe

Postby LSATNightmares » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:23 am

Definitely useful. I was completely unaware of the "argue both sides" approach before going to law school. However, because I read the book, I was able to pay attention to splits from Day 1. My classmates learned to pay attention to splits, but it came much later in the semester for them. You don't have to religiously apply all the different forks from the book. But if you're aware of splits in facts, law, etc., you'll be on good ground.

Btw, I also did LEEWS, and I thought that was a waste of time for the most part. The most I can say about how it helped me was nitpicking factual details.




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