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Author Topic: How much of this do I have to put up with!  (Read 6862 times)

Catherine

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How much of this do I have to put up with!
« on: September 28, 2001, 11:11:29 AM »
Just a quick question for some older students: Is the socratic method just a first year thing or is it going to follow me throughout law school?  It's not that I can't take the pressure.  I just miss the days of undergrad when I could sit in the back corner of the class and be anonymous.

fites

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2004, 10:05:53 PM »
I'll take the questions for you ;)! Actually I'd love to take the class (dosn't matter what it is). I love answering questions and dream of law school. A distant dream. I'm a 14 year old high school senior who reads law books for fun. So can't say I feel for you you're where I want to be!

jeffjoe

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2004, 10:17:54 PM »
I'm just starting this year, but from what I've read socratic method is mostly first year.

Also from what I've read no wallflowers allowed in law school.  You have to be ready to get involved.
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lawgirl

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2004, 11:05:38 PM »
I think some of it depends on where you are at in the program and some of it depends on the professor. During my first semester, all of my profs used the Socratic method religiously. They did a little lecturing in between, but the major emphasis was the Socratic method. During my second semester, only one prof did not use it all the time. The others still stuck to it. During my last two semesters, it has been a mixture. About 1/2 lecture and 1/2 Socratic method. I'm not sure if it is tapering off or if I happen to be getting profs who don't use it as often. It would not surprise me, however, to see a prof use it a lot again.

Sometimes it is conductive for the class and particular skills that you are learning. I don't particularly like it all the time, but it does have its advantages. It forces you to be prepared all the time. And, if you think about it, this method does teach you skills that you will need in practice.

I asked my advisor about it one time. I told her that I was used to it, but I still get that initial adrenalin rush in the very beginning. She told me that it is normal for many people and she still felt it when she started working as an attorney. But, she explained that you learn to deal with it and ignore the stress it causes, because ultimately, your client's needs are more important than your own temporary discomfort. From watching her in class (she was also one of my profs) I never would have guessed in a million years that it used to make her nervous. That, in and of itself, gives me hope that that uncomfortable feeling will pass.

What I can tell you is that it does get better. I am doing much better at the Socratic method compared to when I first started. When it happens, I recognize it, tell myself to calm down and move on. Lately, I have come to see it as a personal challenge and I feel a personal achievement when I do particularly well during one of the Socratic grillings. When I don't do as well, I try to figure out what went on and fix it. It is just a process.

Trust me though, it is not as bad as everyone thinks. In my old school and my new school, I have never seen a professor humiliate a student. They will press you and challenge you to think on your feet, but they understand that it is part of the learning process and not everyone is a natural born speaker. The only time I have ever seen a professor get anywhere close to humiliating a student was when a student was just obviously unprepared. Students who do that in my school are subject to being kicked out of class and possibly failed just for that reason alone. It sounds harsh, but I agree with it. Coming in unprepared to a court of law, settlement meeting, etc. is unacceptable. It should be just as unacceptable when you are a student. The use of the Socratic method is just another method they use to show you the responsibility you will have as an attorney.

Look at it as a learning experience and as a challenge and you will be fine.

 

jeffjoe

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2004, 03:48:25 PM »
I haven't faced it yet -- classes start on Thursday, but I am looking forward to the challenge.

It seems that it would be preparation for court.  If I can't face a prof, how will I face a judge and jury?
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lawgirl

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2004, 06:03:01 AM »
Good luck to you. Let me know how it goes.

_DOWNY_

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2004, 11:18:24 AM »
I'll take the questions for you ;)! Actually I'd love to take the class (dosn't matter what it is). I love answering questions and dream of law school. A distant dream. I'm a 14 year old high school senior who reads law books for fun. So can't say I feel for you you're where I want to be!

Dang, get a life. 

Your friend,

DOWNY
DOWNY is watching you.

jeffjoe

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2004, 12:26:52 PM »
Sorta socratic.  In contracts, I volunteered to read the facts of the first case and the prof said I needed more facts to get to the issue.  I was a little nervous, but undeterred. 
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egfmba

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2004, 08:46:57 AM »
I'll take the questions for you ;)! Actually I'd love to take the class (dosn't matter what it is). I love answering questions and dream of law school. A distant dream. I'm a 14 year old high school senior who reads law books for fun. So can't say I feel for you you're where I want to be!

Not to be a downer like DOWNY, but you may be disappointed in ls if you like answering questions.  Profs call on those who don't want to be called on. ;D

It can be boring if you think youknow the answer and your classmates are struggling through it. It's like pulling teeth for the prof to get the answer out of them, and even if you don't know the answer, you want to just get to the end of this question & move on for pity's sake! ::)

But, if you do it right, and don't ask stupid questions, profs will know they can turn to you to end the subject on a good note...maybe...if they're in the mood... ;)
We are responsible for actions performed in response to circumstances for which we are not responsible. - Allan Massie

FLW03

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Re: How much of this do I have to put up with!
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2004, 05:29:21 PM »
Something that helped me was to volunteer on a question I knew I was prepared for.  It's kind of like jumping into the deep end, but it's better than getting called on for something totally unexpected!  And, you get practice talking in class on a subject you're relatively comfortable with.  Talking in class definitely gets better with time/practice.