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Author Topic: "Getting to Maybe"  (Read 5450 times)

cerealkiller

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"Getting to Maybe"
« on: April 24, 2006, 12:38:37 PM »
I'm currently about 90 pages into the book Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams. The advice contained within seems plausible and reasonable. However, I don't start school until the fall; hence, I have no real way of knowing if the authors' recommendations on how to properly approach legal analysis are note worthy or not. In short, I was wondering if anyone has read this book and used its ideas on an actual (i.e., graded) law school exam? If so, how did the book's guidelines help or hinder the overall result of the test?

I would appreciate any help, thanks. 

Highway

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2006, 12:55:30 PM »
I read it before school and promptly forgot about it. I did well on finals, and I don't really think that book had anything to do with it. You either have a good sense of the material or you don't, and you either know how to construct a sentence and a paragraph, or you don't.

If you have good study habits, a decent memory, and have some creative writing in you, you'll do fine.

Jumboshrimps

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2006, 01:11:27 PM »
Highway is right. I'll add that, no matter what those books say, what your profs want on exams is IRAC. In some classes this will look more like RAAAAAAAAAA. In a few, it will probably look like RRRRRRRRRRRA. I spent last semester trying to reinvent the wheel of law school exams, just to realize that I had overcomplicated the whole damn thing. Your profs probably care less WHY the law is the way it is. They want to know WHAT the law is EXACTLY, and how EXACTLY it applies to the SPECIFIC FACTS of the hypo. (point to those facts in the same breath as you explan the law... that's worth repeating... POINT TO THOSE FACTS WHILE YOU ARE EXPLAINING THE LAW. 

J D

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2006, 01:39:04 PM »
The book is helpful, I found, in helping you to spot the issues that others are likely to miss.  While it's not necessary to do well on law school exams, some of the considerations the authors point to (i.e., parsing ambiguities in the facts or the law, thinking about policy considerations, the purposes of the rules, etc.) can make the difference between a stellar answer and a good one.  But above all, as the authors note, you should follow whatever advice your professors give you regarding what they expect from you above all.  THe book just has ways for you to generate answers that are more nuanced and sophisticated than those your average law student will typically come up with, which can certainly help to put you above the curve.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

980eQ

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2006, 01:44:56 PM »
i read it 1st sem. and I found it somewhat helpful, but much like many "how to do law school exam" books, it leaves out the fact that 80% of your profs. will want you to IRAC or CRUPAC

KISS man, KEEP IT SIMPLY STATED. Give your rule, apply it to the facts, and if you want bonus points, pop off with some precedent case law. I think that my torts grade last semester was a result of case quoting as well as iracing. Even if you dont know the case name, give a brief facts synopsis.. and if you do it right, youll be rewarded.

Happy_Weasel

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2006, 04:05:16 PM »
So maybe it would work well in the context of IRAC by helping you spot the issues and navigate rules to the point that you can make brief of what the argument in the case could look like. Here, you would be able to find out what is likely to happen or what the conclusion is in terms of the main issues.

cerealkiller

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2006, 04:44:39 PM »
The book is helpful, I found, in helping you to spot the issues that others are likely to miss.  While it's not necessary to do well on law school exams, some of the considerations the authors point to (i.e., parsing ambiguities in the facts or the law, thinking about policy considerations, the purposes of the rules, etc.) can make the difference between a stellar answer and a good one.  But above all, as the authors note, you should follow whatever advice your professors give you regarding what they expect from you above all.  THe book just has ways for you to generate answers that are more nuanced and sophisticated than those your average law student will typically come up with, which can certainly help to put you above the curve.

Thanks!! Your input has been very helpful.  ;D

Jumboshrimps

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2006, 04:53:20 PM »
So maybe it would work well in the context of IRAC by helping you spot the issues and navigate rules to the point that you can make brief of what the argument in the case could look like. Here, you would be able to find out what is likely to happen or what the conclusion is in terms of the main issues.

What?

Mimimimi

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2006, 05:15:05 PM »
i read it 1st sem. and I found it somewhat helpful, but much like many "how to do law school exam" books, it leaves out the fact that 80% of your profs. will want you to IRAC or CRUPAC

KISS man, KEEP IT SIMPLY STATED. Give your rule, apply it to the facts, and if you want bonus points, pop off with some precedent case law. I think that my torts grade last semester was a result of case quoting as well as iracing. Even if you dont know the case name, give a brief facts synopsis.. and if you do it right, youll be rewarded.

This is actually almost opposite from my law school experience.  During my practice midterm, I got really caught up with trying to IRAC on a question whose structure wasn't well suited to it at all.  Of course you always need to come up with issues, rules, and analyses, but I think "IRAC" is a gross oversimplification in terms of how it's best to structure your responses (and Getting to Maybe points this out as well).  In addition, I NEVER use facts of cases in exams.  The most I say about a case is the name, after stating an applicable legal principle that comes from the case.  That sort of thing will help you, but there's almost never any time to analogize to facts.  I guess maybe this varies by school and professor; I don't know.

I think Getting to Maybe is a good book and probably the only really useful law school prep type book that I read. 

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Re: "Getting to Maybe"
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2006, 05:36:36 PM »
Quote
I guess maybe this varies by school and professor; I don't know.

It does to a large degree.  For example, some profs give you extra points for being organized in your presentation, and some don't care.  (And some say they care but then don't give you any extra points for writing well.)  That's why, when preparing for exams, you should look at old exam questions used by your profs and (if they're available) old answers that got As.

I think Getting to Maybe is helpful in that it helps you really understand how law school exams are different from most UG exams. As always, whatever advice you get from books will need to be supplemented with facts on the ground once you get to LS.