Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Socratic method & law school preparation  (Read 5041 times)

kilroy55

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
    • Mad Rambling by Travis
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2006, 11:35:13 PM »
Well I have been cold called on so many occasions now that I have grown used to it.  My property professor puts all of our names in "The Hopper" as it is so nicely called.  Then he just pulls names out.  The good part of it is that once you are called on out of the hopper, you have a good 3 weeks of freedom before he recyles it...then it starts all over again. 

My Con law prof just calls on whoever is dumb enough to make eye contact and then he goes down the row to his right until class is over.  I had the misfortune of doing this about 2 weeks ago and was drilled for the next 40 minutes. 

Criminal law is much the same as property, so not that scary.  But last semester was pure hell in torts.  You were called upon by how your answered questions at the beginning of the semester on a note card.  He would shift through the note cards and pull people out who may have knowledge about an area the case talks about.  For instance, if you worked at Wal-Mart as a teenager and the case was about Wal-mart, you were getting called on because you answered the question about prior employers.  I was so unlucky as to have written down that I was from Virginia, so I got tons of questions about contributory negligence as a complete defense in the Old Dominion.  But I also went to Tennessee for graduate school, so I got all sorts of questions about Tennessee.  Then, since I was a chemistry major as an undergraduate, I got questions about that when we got to sections about toxic torts and strict products liability for some damn reason. 

So, I think it does depend on where you, but I can assure you that at PSU, the socratic method is alive and well, at least in year 1.

briarpatch

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2006, 05:12:44 AM »
The best way to prepare for Socratic:

1) Study the material.  Study the material.  Study the material.

2) Practice speaking.  Read over your notes in a condensed form from time to time and practice your responses to hypos.

3) Get into more arguments (e.g., discuss it at every opportunity you get, esp. with classmates at lunch; this will get you used to talking out your ideas).

4) Laugh at or otherwise humiliate those who make subpar performances.  This will jar them even more and ensure your competition is crippled.

5) Try to tell at least one lie a day, straight-faced.  Think of it like practicing for poker.  You will then get used to bluffing your way out of embarrassing situations.

LostMyMonkeys

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 104
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2006, 09:12:34 PM »
I wouldn't bother with undergrad course in this. It won't really help you learn it the way you need to learn it now, so why waste your time?

As far as preparing, read the cases, read the notes, read the supplements. Take notes while you read. Be able to talk intelligently about the case without having your casebook open. Put your brief and notes in a way that makes sense that if you were to read aloud from them verbatim, the prof and other classmates would understand it. Write in a conversational format. If it is written in a way that makes sense in that regard, you don't have to think when you are cold called. You can read your brief verbatim and be fine.

Oh, and when the prof calls your name, please, please GOD, do not ask him "do you want me to start with the facts?" as ALL my profs have said, multiple times, "the facts is a good place to start, yes"

Nice ass won't get you through your whole life. When you turn 30 you better have a personality

T. Durden

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 472
    • View Profile
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2006, 09:32:19 PM »
generally speaking, being called on sucks :)


dft

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2006, 12:03:32 AM »
or you can just not give a sh-t about participating in class since it has no effect on your grade.

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2006, 07:13:10 AM »
or you can just not give a sh-t about participating in class since it has no effect on your grade.

This is the way to go.  If you do your reading for the purpose of learning what you need to write an exam, then getting called on shouldn't be that big of a deal anyway.  So what if you don't get the tiny detail your professor wants.  If you figure out the holding, the main reasoning, and the rule of law it produces, you're well ahead of the kid that spent an hour diagramming the facts so he could sound good in class.

kilroy55

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
    • Mad Rambling by Travis
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2006, 08:40:53 AM »
or you can just not give a sh-t about participating in class since it has no effect on your grade.

This is the way to go.  If you do your reading for the purpose of learning what you need to write an exam, then getting called on shouldn't be that big of a deal anyway.  So what if you don't get the tiny detail your professor wants.  If you figure out the holding, the main reasoning, and the rule of law it produces, you're well ahead of the kid that spent an hour diagramming the facts so he could sound good in class.

This is so true, and how i do my work.  Just read and keep up, and who gives a damn if your casebook is open when you speak.  Doesn't matter anyway. 

dft

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 519
    • View Profile
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2006, 10:22:54 PM »
i don't even read the cases, nor do i bring my casebook to class.

tjking82

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 340
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Socratic method & law school preparation
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2006, 11:33:30 PM »
or you can just not give a sh-t about participating in class since it has no effect on your grade.

credited