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Messages - Louder Than Bombs

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Transferring / Re: Questions about transferring to NYU or Columbia
« on: January 27, 2008, 08:22:49 PM »
you will get in, but you should aim higher - hys. i got in with a 3.56 from fordham, so there you go.

at nyu you can write on to law review/other journals - there is a separate competition for transfers (although law review only takes about 2 or 3).

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General Board / Re: Which Schools are (mostly) Pass/Fail?
« on: June 28, 2007, 11:28:37 PM »
There is no law school (that i have ever heard of) that truly has a pass/fail grading scheme. Yale's is something like Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail; Boalt has High Honors, Honors, Pass, Fail. At Boalt, I think, the top 10% get HH; the next 30% get H, and everyone else gets Ps (so basically A, B+, B). Don't fool yourself - these are grades. After all, a rose by any other name....

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TITCR... If you get his professors.

No. That's the fundamental fallacy that confuses law students and kills their grades. What I have prescribed is the recipe for success in all American law schools, b/c they all use the same crappy pedagogical method (socratic lectures followed by a giant issue-spotter exam which accounts for 100% of your grade). A torts exam at harvard looks the same as a torts exam at podunk u; it will be a giant fact-pattern, and you will need to apply black-letter rules to the facts. Maybe, and this is just a maybe, the harvard exam will have a teeny-tiny policy question that's worth 15% of the grade or so (they're usually only 30 minute Qs on a 3-hour final; so 1/6). So, if one of these Qs shows up (and chances are it won't), that means that 95% of what you learned in class accounts for only 15% of your grade. Again, chances are you won't even get a policy Q on the exam, and if you do, knowing the black-letter law cold will prepare you for that stupid question anyway.

People like to say "you're not learning torts...you're learning professor X's torts." That's extremely misleading. All this means is that (1) your prof will not cover every conceivable topic in the law of torts, and (2) if and when your prof thinks the rule is different from what the study aid says (not often, but sometimes) then use his rule. What it certainly does NOT mean is that what your professor bs's about in class is wht you will see on the final. Bottom line - the law of torts is the law of torts is the law of torts. there's a goddamned restatement which spells it out, and that's why it can be tested on a multi-state bar exam. that's the *&^% you need to know cold, regardless of how much class time you spend on 'loss spreading' or 'efficiency vs. fairness.'

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1. No matter what anyone says (including your prof), it's all about the black-letter law. DO NOT worry about whatever bull you talk about in class. Your torts exam will make no mention of Calabresi's "The Cost of Accidents," and you will not get any points for applying law and economics principles to the case at bar. What you need to do on the exam is (a) Correctly state the issue(s), (b) Correctly state the law (the elements for a battery are 1,2,3,etc.) and (c) 'Apply' the law to the facts, which simply means picking out a fact or two from the question, and saying "here, [element x] is met because [fact y]," and finally (d) state your conclusion


That is what is meant by "IRAC." The 'A' part is supposedly the most important. IMO both the 'R' (Rule) and the 'A' (Analysis) are equally important. If you don't know the rule, you won't get the issue. You must state the rule
completely and accurately. Then, you just have to pick out a fact or two and say because of the stupid fact, the element/rule is met. That's it.

They key is to write as if both you and your ausience were morons. State obvious issues and rules. Even if it's clear that, say, defendant comitted a battery, state the issue (the issue is whether D committed a battery), the rule (the elements for battery are...), the analysis (element 1 is met because D...; element 2 is met because D...), and then your conclusion (because D met all the stupid elements, he has committed a battery).

Again, state the obvious. This is counter-intuitive, b/c normal humans only think of things as "issues" when there is a colorable argument that the claim could be in dispute. For example, say I punch you in the face for no reason. That's a battery. To a normal human, there's no issue about whether or not I have committed a battery; it's completely freaking obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the law that I have. There's no way I could say I haven't.

But law school is not for normal humans. It is for morons. So, even though both you and your prof and everyone else already knows the answer, you must write as if the person you are speaking to has no knowledge whatsoever of the law (and is incredibly daft to boot). In the above example, you would lose points for not discussing why I have committed a battery, stupid as that may sound.

2. In light of #1, use study aids. Your prof will NOT teach you the black-letter law. Instead, he will prefer to BS about policy, government, fairness, his politics, his female dog wife, whatever. He doesn't care. He's clueless. That was how he was taught, and he's not an educator, anyway. He's a scholar. Scholars don't care about law, they all are policy wonks who want work in think-tanks (only problem is they're not prestigious enough for the prof's giant egos).

3. Learn how to write a law school exam (even though I have already told you). DO PRACTICE EXAMS. Maybe get LEEWS, whatever. But def look at old exams, and whenever possible, best student answers. This is extremely important.

4. Given 1 and 2, don't worry that much about class and the bs that spews out of your profs mouth. If he says the rule is 'X' then you say the rule is 'X' even if the study aid says the rule is 'Y.' Chances are he won't ever tell you the rule, given what I said in 2. But in the rare case that he does, make sure that you know exactly what he said the rule was. Write an email after class in you're not sure.

But, for the most part, he won't tell you the rules (that's the 'beauty' of the Socratic method - you're supposed to figure them out for yourself!). So get and use study aids from day 1.

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General Board / Re: Taxation + Corporations = Hellish Semester?
« on: June 24, 2007, 12:30:11 PM »
yes, it will be hell. DO NOT take tax. seriously, it's the worst class they offer, and is terribly complicated.

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General Board / Re: How important is case briefing?
« on: June 21, 2007, 03:54:35 AM »
This will probably make me sound dumb, but can someone please define black letter law? It's a phrase that's thrown around a lot on LSD, and while I have a vague idea of what it means, I'd like to be sure that I'm interpreting all these responses as they're intended.

Depending on the school and the professor, BLL can be either very important, or fairly insignificant.

black-letter law is *always* important, as long as it's a lecture class. the final exam *will* be an issue-spotter fact pattern, and the student will need to know the bll cold to do well. even when a prof does throw in a policy wonk q on the exam, it's almost always worth a very small % of the grade, and is not very difficult if you know the bll.

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Transferring / Re: Stanford v. Columbia/NYU
« on: June 18, 2007, 11:18:01 AM »
if its a choice betw stanford and cls/nyu --> go to stanford.

harvard is harvad, but stanford is prob just as good. after all, hys is the trinity.

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Transferring / Re: UVA to....?
« on: June 18, 2007, 11:16:26 AM »
Law review is important if you want to teach.  Most schools won't have a law review comp. for transfers until after you enroll.  This means that you'd be taking a big gamble leaving UVA if you did make law review there.  You already missed Harvard's law review competition, unfortunately, so a transfer there is unwise unless you don't make review at UVA.  Yale and Stanford are crapshoots for admission becuase the class is so small, which makes Chicago, Columbia, and NYU are your best bets.  If you make law review at any of the three, you will be better off for teaching than making law review at UVA.  That said, I think that the academic differences between schools is large enough that you may be jeopardizing your grades in doing so.  If you like living in C-Ville and make review, stay at UVA.  If you don't like living in C-Ville (or going to UVA generally) and/or you don't make review at UVA, then head to the highest of CCN that takes you (unless Yale or Stanford bites).

disagree. a transfer to harvard is almost never unwise, law review be damned. that said, it's prob best to stay at uva, esp if you make law review b/c (a) if you make lr, you can prob publish a note, (b) you get to keep your great grades and if you work hard can get magna/coif, and (c) it will probably be easier to make nice w/a prof or two, and having a prof in your corner can be an invaluable resource when you're looking for a teaching gig.

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General Board / Re: Summer School abroad during 1L summer
« on: June 18, 2007, 11:11:00 AM »
(a) you'll probably have a blast (travel, get laid, etc.)
(b) you'll probably boost your gpa (easy As)
(b) at the very least, it's a god conversation starter

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General Board / Re: Is 2L really easier?
« on: June 18, 2007, 11:09:35 AM »
5 classes is hard no matter which way you slice it. i took 5 classes this past semester (also trying to do well) and it was by far the toughest semester of law school (and i was a 3L). 2L is only 'easy' if you already have a job lined up and don't care if you get Bs. lots of kids who (a) didn't get jobs through oci, and (b) want to clerk will be studying hard. if you want to raise your gpa, look at grade distributions (if possible) and take the classes that give out the most As. also take seminars, etc.

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