Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: byebyeny on August 26, 2009, 10:43:03 AM

Title: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: byebyeny on August 26, 2009, 10:43:03 AM
Hi. As I introduced myself in the thread I posted earlier, I am an international student who speaks English as my second langauge. I'm just wondering what could be the worst case scenario (I know I'm being masochistic here :'(). What were some of the worst things you have seen happen when students were called on? Has anyone seen someone who just completely blank? because that's what I assume will happen to me. I have a really mean contract professor who's infamous among the 1Ls. My verbal skills are just not up there with everyone else. God, I'm hating this class so much...
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: Matthies on August 26, 2009, 11:46:57 AM
Just do the best you can and realize it will be over faster than you think. When you get called on you automatically think everyone in the classroom is focused on you just waiting for you to screw up and make a mistake. Truth is they are not, ss soon as the prof calls a name that is not theirs they go back to cursing the internet. Even if you make a complete fool out yourself no one will really notice or care. Just give it your best shot and get it over with. Its not near as bad as you think it is when you’re going through it. Good luck.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: thorc954 on August 26, 2009, 01:19:39 PM
keep in this thought in the back of your head at all times: grading is blind.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: NeverTrustKlingons on August 26, 2009, 01:23:22 PM
ESL has nothing to do with it.  There are plenty of native English speakers who either say they aren't prepared or say something incredibly dumb.  If you are smart you will be a-ok.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: js11287 on August 26, 2009, 01:48:53 PM
I haven't been to law school yet, but I confronted a similar problem while studying abroad and taking classes in a foreign language.

You obviously have a sufficient grasp on English, as you were able to get into law school in the first place. While being grilled in front of a hundred people can be nerve racking, take a deep breath, take a moment to think about what you're going to say before you say it, and you'll be fine.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: acer44 on August 28, 2009, 08:39:48 AM
Judging by your perfect written English I think you probably have enough grasp of the language to handle answering a question orally. Just don't worry too much about it, and as someone above said, no one is going to be watching for you to mess up. Everyone thinks about himself most of the time.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: Thistle on August 29, 2009, 06:51:41 AM
Truth is they are not, ss soon as the prof calls a name that is not theirs they go back to cursing the internet. Even if you make a complete fool out yourself no one will really notice or care.


i know we did at ualr...our internet SUCKED   ;D


what matthies says is true.  doesnt mean *&^%.  its odd that sometimes the people who give the brightest answers in class get the lowest grades lol.....

pay attention to WHAT MATTERS -- doing well on the exam. 

Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: IPFreely on August 29, 2009, 10:20:29 AM
We had one foreign student who couldn't answer in class;  I don't know how he did, but I don't think it was a big deal.  The professor knew that his English language skills were very poor.  It's possible that the student's grade was lowered by a half-grade as a result of his difficulty in participating in class (standard policy here, at the option of the professor).

The only other student I am aware of who simply could not respond in class withdrew after the first semester, having decided that law was not for her.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: nealric on August 30, 2009, 01:45:43 PM
Always an option...

During 1L year, there was a woman in one of my classes who would just mumble something inaudible to the professor.
After telling her to speak up 2-3 times and getting equally inaudible responses, he just gave up.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: EarlCat on August 30, 2009, 01:56:26 PM
This is the worst that could happen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZJEhlIefxA
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: non parata est on September 17, 2009, 08:39:13 PM
Always an option...

During 1L year, there was a woman in one of my classes who would just mumble something inaudible to the professor.
After telling her to speak up 2-3 times and getting equally inaudible responses, he just gave up.

Today I learned that I don't have Civ Pro with the same professor that Nealric did.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: Sheshe on September 18, 2009, 11:20:54 AM
I know everyone keeps telling you don't worry......no one will be paying attention.  Though this is probably true I know you still don't want to mess up.  I would just say be thoroughly prepared for class. When the professor calls on you don't get all crazy and nervous, but just answer the question and pretend that you are explaining something to someone you are comfortable with like a friend or family member.  That kind of always put me at ease when speaking in front of the class.  I wish I had some better advise to give you, but really I think you'll be fine.

~GOOD LUCK~
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: Miche on November 03, 2009, 12:43:51 AM
What's the WORST that could happen? You could say something dumb, be mocked, and have your silly comment referenced for the rest of the class session...or even the rest of the semester! Alternately, you could say nothing at all, petrified from fear, and either pass out or vomit. Then, your nearby colleagues will need to assist you with your medical condition while class marches on.

In either mortifying scenario, you'd still proceed with your life, and graduate, and hit the workforce, and no one would be the wiser. :-)

**

Basically, the "worst" that could happen is just that you won't perform well, and you'll internally beat yourself up, and then you'll move on and feel less scared the next time (and the next, and the next).

I think a lot of the fear that comes from the Socratic method is just fear of public speaking, fear of being judged, fear of failure. If you're terribly worried about public speaking, you can overcome your fears through Toastmasters, other public speaking or outreach programs, or confidence/leadership efforts.

One simple, expedient way to rip the Bandaid off: volunteer. Yep. Raise your hand and ask a question, or volunteer an answer. Or go up after class and talk to the professor. That eliminates the mystery and the suspense.

It helps to remind yourself that it won't make a difference in two years. Hell, it's unlikely to make an impact in 2 weeks. So, if you can conquer your nerves here, you can redirect that energy towards something else.

Don't worry -- this, too, shall pass! And when it does, you'll be a bit stronger for it.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: just Trev on November 03, 2009, 04:38:04 AM
i have a student in my section who moved from japan the day before school started.

his english is terrible...i mean, barely recognizable as such.

when he got called on he asked what the word "criminal" meant.

the prof told him and that was the last of the questioning.

it was no big deal then, and it's no big deal now.

remember class participation means next to nothing (and absolutely nothing in most cases.)
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: JDat45 on November 03, 2009, 06:24:35 PM
What's the WORST that could happen? You could say something dumb, be mocked, and have your silly comment referenced for the rest of the class session...or even the rest of the semester! Alternately, you could say nothing at all, petrified from fear, and either pass out or vomit. Then, your nearby colleagues will need to assist you with your medical condition while class marches on.In either mortifying scenario, you'd still proceed with your life, and graduate, and hit the workforce, and no one would be the wiser. :-)

**

Basically, the "worst" that could happen is just that you won't perform well, and you'll internally beat yourself up, and then you'll move on and feel less scared the next time (and the next, and the next).

I think a lot of the fear that comes from the Socratic method is just fear of public speaking, fear of being judged, fear of failure. If you're terribly worried about public speaking, you can overcome your fears through Toastmasters, other public speaking or outreach programs, or confidence/leadership efforts.

One simple, expedient way to rip the Bandaid off: volunteer. Yep. Raise your hand and ask a question, or volunteer an answer. Or go up after class and talk to the professor. That eliminates the mystery and the suspense.

It helps to remind yourself that it won't make a difference in two years. Hell, it's unlikely to make an impact in 2 weeks. So, if you can conquer your nerves here, you can redirect that energy towards something else.

Don't worry -- this, too, shall pass! And when it does, you'll be a bit stronger for it.

 :D :D ;D  Too cute!
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: cdrhodes on April 16, 2011, 07:46:58 PM
My property prof. said "God I wish they had math on the LSAT" last semester when a student couldn't figure out some basic math for adverse possession.  We all thought it was hilarious but the kid it was directed at didn't think so. 
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: EarlCat on April 17, 2011, 01:06:23 PM
My property prof. said "God I wish they had math on the LSAT" last semester when a student couldn't figure out some basic math for adverse possession.  We all thought it was hilarious but the kid it was directed at didn't think so.

Lawyers are supposed to be bad at math just like doctors are supposed to be bad at handwriting.  It's the nature of the universe; the way God intended it.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: .Chuck on April 17, 2011, 09:55:04 PM
My property prof. said "God I wish they had math on the LSAT" last semester when a student couldn't figure out some basic math for adverse possession.  We all thought it was hilarious but the kid it was directed at didn't think so.

Lawyers are supposed to be bad at math just like doctors are supposed to be bad at handwriting.  It's the nature of the universe; the way God intended it.

This is evidenced in how lawyers bill.  It's always big round easy to multiply and divide numbers for retainers and hourly rates.  An attorney retainer will never be a number like $47,863.53 instead of $50k, nor will an hourly billable rate be something like $387.50 instead of a round $400
 
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: Thane Messinger on April 18, 2011, 01:00:46 AM
I know everyone keeps telling you don't worry......no one will be paying attention.  Though this is probably true I know you still don't want to mess up.  I would just say be thoroughly prepared for class. When the professor calls on you don't get all crazy and nervous, but just answer the question and pretend that you are explaining something to someone you are comfortable with like a friend or family member. 


One should be prepared for class, but NOT to look good.  The best students minimize their in-class performance, rather than trying to shine.  For the best long-term results (i.e., referrals [with money attached!!!] from your future colleagues), you should not "shine," but instead come across as competent, likeable, and trustworthy. 

Preparation for class means understanding what will be discussed in that day's class.  Note, this does not mean "do all your case briefs" or "stay up all night 'catching up' on your reading" or any such nonsense.  It means understanding what the professor is saying.  Magically, if your study is focused in this direction, you can actually do a passable job responding to the professor even if you didn't read the case (not that that's what I'm recommending).

As hard as it is to accept, remember that law school grades are based on your exam.  Thus, your attention must remained focused there.  The classroom is a chance for you to practice, whether or not you're being called on.
Title: Re: What is THE WORST that could happen?
Post by: nealric on April 18, 2011, 07:15:55 PM
Quote
An attorney retainer will never be a number like $47,863.53 instead of $50k, nor will an hourly billable rate be something like $387.50 instead of a round $400
 

People don't bill out at $387.50 an hour, but few attorneys at large firms bill out in fully round numbers. It's more like $380/hr for a Jr. associate or $930 for a sr. partner.