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Messages - Lemming # 231

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Wait--you know the top-ranked person in your class? My school is very adamant about not disclosing ranks and not even discussing grades with one another.

It wasn't not too hard to figure out.  The test scores, by anonymous # are published for all to see.  Same # showed as the top score for every damn test we had.  I find it hard to believe students at your school don't actually discuss their grades with one another.

Well, let me know how your 1L grades turn out, because many of those in the top of your class won't have outlined anything on their own.  Sure, the prof. can test nuances, but 90% of the time, knowing the black letter law and how to apply it will get you the best grade.  For better or worse, law school is about shortcuts to a certain extent.

Meh.  It depends on the student.  The problem most have isn't with knowing the black letter law, it's with the application of it to the hypothetical in question.  The top student in our class refused to touch a commercial brief or canned outline.  For class work and prep materials he stuck with doing his own briefs, looking at the Restatements, his own outline and reputable hornbooks (for the subtle issues.)  Talking to him about it, he made a few points: a) briefing and outlining were in themselves exercises in being clear on the law and its application, b) a lot of students were getting so many supplemental sources that they just confused themselves with it all and c) he memorized the law that way through learning it, rather than the other way around, which meant that anything he had memorized was something he truly understood.

Current Law Students / Re: How to write an excellent issue statement
« on: January 26, 2010, 10:24:14 PM »
This is a great guide on how to totally f-- up an answer for some classes.  First, it's rarely a good idea to completely ignore an element.  Even if the element isn't much at issue, a lot of profs, if not most (at least in my experience) are looking for some statement about each element to show a) that you know it is an element that must be established and b) that you know how to analyze it.  They're looking for sloppy thinking like the following:

"3.  Offensive.  Again, the old man broke his nose.  This is undisputable. [sic]  Spend no time discussing whether the act was “offensive”."

The result of a broken nose does not mean that the contact in itself is necessarily offensive.  Even dismissing the "harmful" element as not worthy of discussion because of the result of the chain of events put into motion by the contact is sloppy.

Current Law Students / Re: New Found Passion in Law
« on: January 15, 2010, 01:49:08 AM »
Exact same experience here.  Expected to love crim and hate contracts.  Dreaded the thought of Contracts going in, and found it the most intriguing class by far.  Much more room for intellectual play, ambiguity, etc.  I still can't imagine it as my professional focus, but that may change.

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