Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: falkies on August 22, 2008, 09:28:04 PM

Title: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: falkies on August 22, 2008, 09:28:04 PM
I just finished my first week of law school.  Does anyone else feel that Socratic method is just like Russian roulette?  You just wait to see if you get shot that day.... LOL
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: SASS on August 22, 2008, 09:45:55 PM
LOL. I am a 2L and I can tell you it's not that bad but I know how you feel! You should only be really worried if you are not prepared for class. Everyone else is just a nervous as you. Good luck in your first year!
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: Pauly680 on August 26, 2008, 12:01:11 PM
Hey Falkies ,

Im in my first week too and I know what you mean !! Today was my day lol .It def sucks !!
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: tbrewing on August 27, 2008, 03:28:41 PM
every time you go before a judge, you'll have to defend your reasoning the way that you're doing it with your professor.

every time a sr. partner walks into your office and starts questioning a memo you sent him, you'll have to defend your reasoning.

it's good training.  it teaches you to be prepared and to think on your feet.
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: amanda.tyer on August 12, 2009, 12:37:04 AM
well well everybody feels like that in the beginning but once you are over that hill
the sky lightens up and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel
but if you only passed your first week...then you gotta be patient girlfriend!!!
good luck!  ;)
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: Miche on November 03, 2009, 01:49:54 AM
It's been two months. I bet you feel a lot less like it's a bullet to be dodged, and more like it's a nuisance to be avoided. :-)

I remember that I liked classes with Socratic panel: a group of students who were all expected to be prepared and expected to participate. Took the pressure off the rest of the class and made the students in the "hot seats" feel companionably miserable.

Also, I liked the classes where students promptly admitted to being lost or unprepared. After the prof hears a few of those, the expectations are lower.
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: Randyco02 on January 22, 2011, 02:19:53 PM
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: BikePilot on January 23, 2011, 05:29:17 PM
Maybe I'm a gunner, but I liked it and generally hoped to get called on - makes class a bit more interesting and I'd prefer anything over boredom.  Never really got the I-hope-I-don't-get-called-on mentality.  You'll be fighting for work, clients and tough questions as a lawyer, might as well grow to like it now!

Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: EarlCat on January 23, 2011, 07:17:38 PM
Raise your hand every day and say something stupid.  You'll never get cold-called again.
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: bigs5068 on January 23, 2011, 08:00:22 PM
I think the first week or so everyone is scared. Fortunately after a week everybody loosens up and you realize if you want to be a lawyer you should be able to a say few rational things about cases you were told to read More importantly you realize everyone does a roughly equivalent job and as long as you read the case you can say a few coherent things about what you read. The only time it gets really embarrassing is when someone freezes up and cannot put a sentence together As long as you talk most people are relieved they were not called on and will just listen to the exchange. I would say 95% of students do a fine job. It really is as simple as reciting something you read and had a few insights about. If you did even a half-assed job of the reading you won't look like a complete idiot and nobody will even remember if you screwed one or two things up.  Telling someone about what you read is really simple if you think about it, but the first few weeks it seems so difficult. It really makes no sense, but after the first semester I don't think there was any anxiety whatsoever about being called on.
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: JBrien on February 21, 2012, 02:00:54 PM
You guys have to relax…  I remember how important it seemed first year of law school, but in reality the socratic method (and further class discussion) is valued very little in terms of your grades (at most law schools). 

The goal is not necessarily to get the correct answer to the question.  When you start practicing law (and if you practice litigation) you will be required to make arguments that are incorrect, or weak, but they remain the only ammunition you have to advocate your client’s case.

Thus, the socratic method classroom is setup to get you to argue a position…  so when you get called on take a position and act like it is 100% correct, and defend your position.  People respond to confident body language and vocal tones.

Take some comfort in the following facts about the Socratic method:

-It doesn’t matter what you say.
-Everyone in the class will say something stupid at least once.
-The person that speaks the most and seems the most confident is probably not going to do well on the exams.  (This is a personal observation of  my law school classmates.)
-The goal is to make you analyze, state a position, and think on your feet.
-A relaxed mind is a quick mind.
-Never let anyone see you sweat, always answer a question confidently (half of the students probably aren’t listening anyway so unless you start hemming and hawing the other students will remain in zombie mode.)

I hope this helps read through the below link for more information.

Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: sollicitus on February 22, 2012, 04:35:34 PM
The poster posted it in 2008. They either failed out or are long past graduated.

Dead thread.

If anyone cares: Always be prepared=who cares.

If the dumb kid cries when called on, it's because he is dumb. Don't be the dumb kid.
Title: Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
Post by: SoCalLawGuy on September 11, 2012, 03:09:29 AM
It seems like everyone finds this method to be something awful. I find it refreshing, it's a great mind exercise and for a lawyer it's definitely really important. A good lawyer has to think fast and be confident in what he/she says.