Law School Discussion

I just got finished with LEEWS

I just got finished with LEEWS
« on: October 23, 2006, 01:54:34 AM »
I did the audio program over the past 2 days and am fairly pleased with it.  It does not tell you terribly enlightening, but it is a great systematic approach to attacking exam questions.  Now, I guess I won't see the effect of LEEWS until I get my grades, but I am definitely more confident than I was before.

Any LEEWS success stories?


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Re: I just got finished with LEEWS
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2006, 09:47:01 AM »
I took LEEWS as well prior to starting law school. The drawback of LEEWS is that you don't really write practice exams, aside from some of the hypos in the back that really do not resemble our law school hypos (at least not at my law school).

I also took Fleming's Exam Writing Workshop. I found that one more useful as it covers the "how to" in the first 3-4 hours of the 12-hour workshop. Once you cover the basics, you do hypos for about 8 hours. Part of the class is that you debrief the issues spotted in your outline and then you write essays that get debriefed as well. It gives you very detailed practice. Also, it covers all the first year classes with additional essay exams, a detailed outline (so that you can compare to yours) and a model answer (so that you can compare to yours). Also, you can mail/email in your essay answer and outline for a critique and feedback (you will actually get an audiotape with the feedback).

I am only a 1L. We had mid-terms and it helped me a lot. But, I am not getting grades until this week sometime. However, I felt confident regarding my performance on the one-hour essay exams that we had.

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Re: I just got finished with LEEWS
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2006, 02:19:57 PM »
The notetaking method suggested in LEEWS is perfect. Draw a line down the center of your notebook. Put your stuff on the left, and in-class stuff on the right. It is a life-saver for people like me who get confused just changing clothes.

Re: I just got finished with LEEWS
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2006, 01:28:54 AM »
I did LEEWS before my 1L year, and it was helpful, but it wasn't a magic bullet.  Breaking things down systematically is important, and writing in a way that makes it easy for the professor to find all the items he's looking for is equally important.  I disagree, though, with his narrow focus on black-letter law.  Professors really do care about all that other "fluff" they talk about in class, and it comes up in subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways on exams.  LEEWS teaches the elementary technique, but to do really well, you have to pay attention to what kind of analysis interests your individual professors.  I learned that after my first semester and got significantly better grades my second semester.

While we're on the subject of exam strategy aids, I also recommend the book "Getting to Maybe."  It helped me with my writing style on exams and helped me to come up with arguments during exams.  The book is focused on law school exam-taking, but in a way it's also a nice introduction to thinking like a lawyer.