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Author Topic: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!  (Read 1757 times)

giffy

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2006, 07:53:23 PM »
Hell, one of my profs even hangs around after class for sometimes 1-1.5 hours talking with studetns about the material. He is also available to discuss exams. Thats a hell of a lot more then you'll get from a judge.

norm012001

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2006, 11:47:39 AM »
I still disagree, especilly with this "casefile" method.  The best law student should be putting together the black letter law as well as an analytical picture of the flow of the cases throughout the semester.  I don't think it is the job of the law professor to handfeed this to us.  I certainly do not think that an effective law school class would require no studying for an exam.

I will concede this though, I do think a prof should supply some practice tests to us in our first semester just to give the idea of what the exam situation will feel like.
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Withdrawn: UNC (withdrew in mid March, tired of waiting)

Chris Laurel

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2006, 12:51:42 AM »
No offense, but you guys have no idea what the practice of law is like. 

First, both of the last comments only apply to those who plan on litigation careers.  That is a very small percentage of lawyers who ever argue in front of a judge.

Second, for the last comment, what you advocated NO WAY MIRRORS THE PRACTICE OF LAW for the majority of those who go on to practice.  Even at smaller firms you have a senior partner or a senior attorney overlooking your work, available to comment on your mistakes or answer any questions that would prevent mistakes.  By the time you are judged on your work, you've had people with far more experience checking it.  Typically, not always.  But for most of us, that will be the case.  Unless you are a solo practitioner, something NOBODY fresh out of law school undertakes, unless they are retarded.   

Regardless, between corporate law, arbitration, mediation, and all the other varieties of law, having to prepare a case you present to a judge is a very small percentage of those who practice of law, and most of us will never experience it in our careers. 

Even if we did, we would not be left to fumble endlessly and compete for one person's attention with 100 other students/lawyers.  It makes no sense.

I've worked in law at the second largest law firm in the world for six years.  I know how it goes out there.  Law school makes no sense.  You'll find that out if you do not know it yet.

http://accuracyblog.blogspot.com

giffy

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2006, 09:05:08 PM »
You miss the point of law school. It is not to teach you the law, but instead to teach you how to understand legal reasoning. With the exception of civpro most other areas of the law differ from state to state and circuit to circuit. It would simply serve to confuse if law schools tried to teach you all the law. Beside being damn near impossible, it would serve no use.  Thatís what you learn when get out of school pick a practice area and a practice location.

The purpose of BLL in law school is to provide a framework for learning to understand legal reasoning. Same with cases. We are essentially operating in an artificial legal world created by the prof and the casebook. In this world we are expected, with guidance, to look at statutes, rules, and cases and come to an understanding of how the law works. Hopefully this will allow us to do the same when we graduate and go to work, whether at a firm, or on our own.

By the way one of the reasons that exams are structured the way they are is so that grades can be a reflection of your ability to do good work quickly and with no rewrites. While a firm will no doubt train you, I know for a fact that a firm would prefer a person who can think for themselves understand legal reasoning and does not need to always have a another chance then someone who does.

norm012001

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2006, 12:08:30 PM »
I'm a patent agent working at a law firm prosecuting applications and working in an ongoing litigation.  I have drafted motions to compel during discovery and motions for summary judgment on some of the smaller defenses of the opposition.  I have argued before the patent office for quite some time and worked there as an examiner and worked with attorneys almost every day.

I have a slight idea of what the practice of law is about.  It is not worth anyone's time to ask for more exams or TA's.
3.19/165, 6yrs work experience, EE Master's

Accepted: GWU, GMU, American
Waitlist: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, UVa
Withdrawn: UNC (withdrew in mid March, tired of waiting)

Chris Laurel

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2006, 11:37:07 PM »
Well Norm, since you are so knowledgable, why don't you enlighten us as to why?  Giving qualifications without arguments doesn't evidence a successful attorney, even if you are an "agent."

"Your honor, I am an attorney, and I am right.  Thank you and good day."

And then also explain why, when so few attorneys are involved in litigation, we should be taught as if we are going to be litigators?  And then explain why even if we were to be litigators, why TAs would not serve the same role as senior associates, helping to guide junior associates in their work.

Very few attorneys ever argue in front of a judge.

Chris Laurel

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2006, 11:47:42 PM »
You miss the point of law school. It is not to teach you the law, but instead to teach you how to understand legal reasoning. With the exception of civpro most other areas of the law differ from state to state and circuit to circuit. It would simply serve to confuse if law schools tried to teach you all the law. Beside being d**mn near impossible, it would serve no use.  Thatís what you learn when get out of school pick a practice area and a practice location.

The purpose of BLL in law school is to provide a framework for learning to understand legal reasoning. Same with cases. We are essentially operating in an artificial legal world created by the prof and the casebook. In this world we are expected, with guidance, to look at statutes, rules, and cases and come to an understanding of how the law works. Hopefully this will allow us to do the same when we graduate and go to work, whether at a firm, or on our own.

By the way one of the reasons that exams are structured the way they are is so that grades can be a reflection of your ability to do good work quickly and with no rewrites. While a firm will no doubt train you, I know for a fact that a firm would prefer a person who can think for themselves understand legal reasoning and does not need to always have a another chance then someone who does.


You're wrong - we cover every topic imagineable.  If what you say is true, then there would be no need to learn Worker's Compensation in Torts unless we planned to practice it.  Think about all the crap you learn in Property that you will never revisit. Why do we learn the intricacies of Crim Law if we are only in school to learn legal reasoning?  What school do you go to that you don't know this? 

In fact, that is how most other countries do it.  A doctorate program in law is reserved for those who want to specialize or go on to academia.  So that makes your first paragraph wrong.

"By the way one of the reasons that exams are structured the way they are is so that grades can be a reflection of your ability to do good work quickly and with no rewrites."  That's not how law is practiced, Giffy, and why would having MORE exams detract from that, anyway?  Giving us more exams allows for a learning curve; allows us to see problems we did not see before.  This happens in law practice when a senior looks at your work.  That's how the real world works.  Face it, law is a business now and we don't go out of school and hang up our shingle as solo practitioners.  We don't show up as first year associates in front of judges or in front of clients not having someone else check our work.  And if we do, we are at crap asbestos firms, and the like.

Anyone who knows anything about writing knows that "writing is re-writing"  You can Google that phrase if you wish, to see its inherent truth.  The notion that BAM! we produce something well-written on the first draft is something grade school children think, not adults. 

norm012001

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2006, 09:50:14 AM »
You threw out your qualifications, so why shouldn't I throw out mine.  By the way an "agent" is someone who passed the patent bar, it's not a term I made up.

You've got a terrible manner and ideas that very few people agree with.  You say you know so much about the practice of law but you also think the best way to make your point is to try and intimidate people into agreeing with you.  I would never let someone with your demeanor and limited interpersonal skills deal with my matters.

I think you're dead wrong.  If we had TA's to make sure that everyone got every little detail, then the professors would just make the tests that much more obtuse so that the curve would stay the same.  I think that law school is easier than my engineering program where we had all the TA's and tests you could dream of.  I'd take one law school exam a semester over that any day.

By the way, you mention in another thread the depression and substance abuse in our profession.  I actually think that is more a result of the fact that too many people jump right from college to law school without ever getting a job and seeing what else is out there.  Then they have this tough competitive atmosphere and tons of debt.  I've changed careers once now, so I know that getting into a bad career after college can feel like a trao, and having $152k in debt when you start your first real job makes that trap a reality.
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Accepted: GWU, GMU, American
Waitlist: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, UVa
Withdrawn: UNC (withdrew in mid March, tired of waiting)

giffy

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2006, 02:15:08 PM »
You're wrong - we cover every topic imagineable.  If what you say is true, then there would be no need to learn Worker's Compensation in Torts unless we planned to practice it.  Think about all the crap you learn in Property that you will never revisit. Why do we learn the intricacies of Crim Law if we are only in school to learn legal reasoning?  What school do you go to that you don't know this? 


I'm not sure I see your point here. First in order to do legal reasoning you need to have a general grounding in various types of law. Second the breadth of LS helps to teach us to apply and understand vastly different legal principles and at the same time to work toward synthesizing them into a general understanding of how say Tort law is made and applied. The central core of this is legal reasoning. that is to say the manner of thought that is used to understand a case or a statute.

Compare this to a grad program in say political science. When I started my MA the first thing that I was told to think about is what exactly I wanted to do with my PhD. I then was told to structure my classes, class work, and other activities accordingly. This might be as specific as looking at how age impacts a voters choice in local initiatives in off-year elections.

By the way we do have TA's at my school and I am not sure how much help they are. They hold office hours and answer email, but I have yet to make use, nro do I know anyone personally who has. That being said if it works for some then I am all for it.




norm012001

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Re: Demand more tests! Demand teaching assistants!
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2006, 02:40:54 PM »
You know Chris, I really thought you were a troll on this board, a very talented one at keeping people's attention, but a troll just the same.  I finally went and looked at your blog and realized you actually believe all this stuff you say.  I respect that you have a mission and wnt to make a change (although I disagree with it wholeheartedly); but why do you attack those who question you?  Wouldn't it be more constructive to at least acknowledge that there is a counter-argument than to just flush everyone down the same toilet with your caustic language?

Anyway, it's my last post on the topic, I've been clear in my opinion in this and other threads.

Let me go ahead and save you some time.  I know nothing about the law or working or anything about anything.  You have far more experience than me (sixe years at a MAJOR firm), go to a law school in NYC whose name I would recognize, and are in a much better position to make statements about the practice of law and all changes that should be made.  I have offered no solutions, just criticisms, I beg for disrespect.  I'm a kid who needs to grow up and if I am not a kid, then I need to grow up anyway.

Granted, none of these things are true (except I assume you did work at a law firm and do go to law school in NYC), but it will save you some time.
3.19/165, 6yrs work experience, EE Master's

Accepted: GWU, GMU, American
Waitlist: Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Georgetown, UVa
Withdrawn: UNC (withdrew in mid March, tired of waiting)