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Author Topic: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method  (Read 26458 times)

Chris Laurel

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The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« on: January 05, 2006, 06:13:52 PM »
It's the big myth of law schools.  It creates unnecessary consternation.  I did not have one professor use the socratic method in my law school.  The only one who thought he was doing it was my Property professor.

But it wasn't socratic, it was a reading quiz.  He called on people alphabetically, so you knew when your turn was coming up.  Then he'd quiz you with things like, "And what did the Appellate Court say?" and "and what did the Defendant want?"  That would go on for 20 minutes while many other people just surfed the Internet or suffered through the facts of the case. 

Then he'd end with "And what did you think."  By that point, nobody thought anything, we were so numb with boredom.  There was none of that rip and rumble, everybody on the edge of their seats you imagine.  I purposely did not hook up my wireless my first year, or I would have been Googling the cases to learn something about them.

This is just one problem with law school.  For those looking forward to the challenge of the socratic method, you will be disappointed.  But this is not the main problem.  The main problem is here:

http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/law-school-story.html

DEMAND MORE TESTS!  DEMAND TEACHING ASSISTANTS!

Budlaw

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2006, 08:24:07 PM »
You and your blog seem a bit angry with life. It's allright, life will be over when you least expect it and then you won't even know what you missed.




It's the big lie of law schools.  It creates unnecessary consternation.  I did not have one professor use the socratic method in my law school.  The only one who thought he was doing it was my Property professor.

But it wasn't socratic, it was a reading quiz.  He called on people alphabetically, so you knew when your turn was coming up.  Then he'd quiz you with things like, "And what did the Appellate Court say?" and "and what did the Defendant want?"  That would go on for 20 minutes while many other people just surfed the Internet or suffered through the facts of the case. 

Then he'd end with "And what did you think."  By that point, nobody thought anything, we were so numb with boredom.  There was none of that rip and rumble, everybody on the edge of their seats you imagine.  I purposely did not hook up my wireless my first year, or I would have been Googling the cases to learn something about them.

This is just one problem with law school.  For those looking forward to the challenge of the socratic method, you will be disappointed.  But this is not the main problem.  The main problem is here:

http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com/2006/01/law-school-story.html

DEMAND MORE TESTS!  DEMAND TEACHING ASSISTANTS!

Chris Laurel

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2006, 09:08:22 PM »
The way we are going, you are right, things will be over for a lot of people.  I'm not angry with life, I'm angry with how unprepared we are for everything that hits us.  I'm angry with our ruling political class.  I'm angry it never changes.  I am not alone.

You address my anger but not one issue.  Between us who is focusing on what matters?


Budlaw

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2006, 10:12:59 PM »
The way we are going, you are right, things will be over for a lot of people.  I'm not angry with life, I'm angry with how unprepared we are for everything that hits us.  I'm angry with our ruling political class.  I'm angry it never changes.  I am not alone.

You address my anger but not one issue.  Between us who is focusing on what matters?



I would hardly call what you and your blog "do" as focusing on what matters. Your thinly veiled rantings on flaws within law school do little to mask your scorn and distaste for the Republican party.

My question for you is what exactly are YOU doing to correct your perceived problems with America besides posting rants on a discussion board and using that board to "pimp" your little viewed blog site?

One may speak about problems all they want, but it takes more than just words to make real changes within our country. That is the problem with you and the Democratic party as a whole, you're all talk but no bite. You're using the same strategy that John Kerry and the rest of the Democratic pundits used last year. And what did it get them?

Four more years of W.

Good luck with your blog, because I doubt you'll make any real change with it.   

lipper

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2006, 11:23:04 PM »
Political argument aside (although W. is a bastard, and maybe the democratic party has no bite, but the bite the republicans had was smeared with lies and fear) -

Mr. Laurel, u say we are unprepared for everything that hits us, perhaps you are missing the point of law school. It is not to teach us the nuts and bolts of lawyering, like how to prepare an affidavit, jury instructions, or even the correct form to a motion. Rather, the sole purpose is to teach the foreign concept of thinking like a lawyer.
check the footnotes ya'll

Chris Laurel

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2006, 11:28:19 PM »
Once more, not one issue debated.  You also ignore that I am here advocating a solution to at least one major problem, the flawed law school grading system.  Do you even listen to people you consider your adversaries, or are you so wound up with ideology you can only spout shop-warn accusations that ring hollow.  Conservatives and liberals are against Bush.  Only reactionaries are not.

Nothing but personal attacks.  Student loan cuts?  Medicare cuts?  Houston's murder rate spikes 70% with evacuees?  We are unprepared for Avian flu, or whatever the next mutation will be.  California unprepared for tsunamis.  Hurricane season in for increased 30 year cycle.  No end to war in Iraq.  Bush's eggs were all in Ariel Sharon's basket, and now he is gone.  We have no resolution for poverty even under consideration. 

When a terrorist next strikes, do any of us believe our own cities could not become New Orleans?  I hope not. 

But I know one thing: focusing on me, attacking me, instead of attacking my ideas, saying why they are wrong or why they are not concerns, doesn't make you look smart, well-taught, or particularly knowledgable.

Chris Laurel

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2006, 11:34:50 PM »
Political argument aside (although W. is a bastard, and maybe the democratic party has no bite, but the bite the republicans had was smeared with lies and fear) -

Mr. Laurel, u say we are unprepared for everything that hits us, perhaps you are missing the point of law school. It is not to teach us the nuts and bolts of lawyering, like how to prepare an affidavit, jury instructions, or even the correct form to a motion. Rather, the sole purpose is to teach the foreign concept of thinking like a lawyer.


I say "we as a society" are unprepared for everything that hits us.  Full stop.  Then I say that the one exam per course method of measuring a student's abilities is illogical and hoplessly inaccurate.  Why don't we talk about grades?  In undergrad we did ("I stayed out too late and got a B- on that history test, so I made an A-.")  We don't talk about them because they are subjective.  Unfair.  Inaccurate.  Used to typing and your hand cramps?  Some schools still make you write for 3/4 hours.  How is that fair? 

Heaven help you if you catch a cold just when your body is the most stressed, because there goes your whole grade.  TKO.  Game over. 

We have virtually no ability to see red flags and problems early enough.  I also argue that forcing 100 students on a professor who has no use of teaching assistants is unheard of in other graduates schools.  Every person involved is under this needless pressure. 

It is such a simple fix, yet we do not fix it.  Like our society does not fix levees, prepare for flu outbreaks, tsunamis, etc. 

So why does the community known for fixing things not do what it takes to fix problems like this:

Despite '93 Report, Substance Abuse Persists at Law Schools
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1056139906692
Thomas Adcock
New York Law Journal
06-30-2003


Ten years after U.S. law schools received a startling white paper on alcohol and drug abuse among students and faculty, Robert A. Stein of the American Bar Association sees no firm evidence of improved sobriety.

Last week, he told as much to a northeastern regional gathering of campus administrators held at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Or this:

NOTRE DAME MAGAZINE
http://www.nd.edu/~ndmag/legl2f99.htm

Lawyers may or may not be among the most unethical professionals in America. But there is little doubt that they are among the most unhealthy and unhappy.

Lawyers suffer from depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoia, social alienation and isolation, obsessive-compulsiveness, and interpersonal sensitivity at alarming rates. For example, researchers affiliated with Johns Hopkins University found statistically significant elevations of major depressive disorder (AMDD@) in only three of 104 occupations: lawyers, pre-kindergarten and special education teachers, and secretaries. Lawyers topped the list, suffering from MDD at a rate 3.6 times higher than nonlawyers who shared their key socio-demographic traits.

lipper

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2006, 02:04:41 AM »
generally, i agree with what you are saying.

but geeze dude, get a life. you have too much free time on your hands.
check the footnotes ya'll

lincolnsgrandson

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2006, 08:57:08 AM »
op - not everybody attends the same crappy school you do with professors that cannot teach.  Or maybe not everybody is just a whiny b-tch like you, and we realize that we are responsible for our own success.  Have a great future blaming everybody elses. 

Chris Laurel

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Re: The Fact Is, Profs Don't Use The Socratic Method
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2006, 02:00:05 PM »
Since none of you know anything about me, you have to grasp at straws to personally attack me. 

I am arguing not to make things easier.  I am arguing for more exams, teaching assistants to help professors impart knowledge.  And I'd like to see the socratic method brought back to life.  This isn't whining or laziness, it's a fix to a broken system.

Once more, they don't debate ideas, only personal attacks - this is why nothing gets changed, folks.  Instead of discussing the merits of testing students more (my solution) and giving professors teaching assistants (my solution) instead you are treated to vitriol about how I spend my time and the type of school I "might" go to (it's a top 20).

And you wonder why levees don't get fixed?  You wonder why we aren't prepared?  Because people like the previous two gentlemen run the country.  Democrats, Republicans, they don't discuss ideas, they just attack the person trying to do so. 

Well, when our economy is ruined because we cut taxes on the wealthy in the midst of two wars, an American city choking, and lord only knows what might come our way in the next fours years, don't blame me.  As the [Conservative] Cato Institute points out, Bush spends more than Johnson during the Vietnam War AND Great Society welfare programs.  Hell, at least he was spending some of that money on Americans!  But Bush raised taxes on the middle class - so they are the ones fighting AND paying for the war. And their kids can deal with the aftermath when our prosperity crumbles under massive personal consumer debt and national debt.

But they won't debate why George Bush isn't a conservative.  They'll attack how I spend my time. I'm sure they want me to spend it another way, because they know I have more knowledge about what is going on than they do. They aren't educated enough to debate the issues.  Haha--that's why they support Bush!

Do you all see what's happening not only nationally, but in law schools?  Instead of changing things, fixing thing, discussing ideas, they just aim to shut you up?  You can use this thread as an example of how it happens. 

(It actually takes little time when you know what to look for)