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Author Topic: Is LEEWS worth it?  (Read 10467 times)

bridget_jones

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Is LEEWS worth it?
« on: June 07, 2008, 12:15:51 PM »
I am a non-trad 0L looking for some advice re: LEEWS. I am leaving a solid career to do a one-eighty and become a lawyer, which is my long time desire. The point of that is, I am going to a decent T2 school and need desperately to be near the top of my class to land a job that will make my career change financially justifiable. I have read the thread about how to increase the chances of this and have heard different things about LEEWS. Is this something that could make a big difference in my law school performance? If so, should I start now, before law school begins?

nocomply

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 01:23:57 PM »
No, don't waste your time with LEEWS.  I'm an A student, and I've never done LEEWS in my life.  All you need to know is IRAC (or some variation of it) for test taking.  What gets you the points for an A is the "A" section of IRAC (the analysis, i.e., applying the law to the facts).  It's really not hard - it can actually be pretty fun, if you're creative.  After all, isn't that what lawyer's do?

And oh yeah - you'll most likely learn IRAC (issue, rule, analysis, and conclusion), or some variation of it, in your first few weeks of law school.  IRAC (or a variation of it) is the most logical way to make an argument.

If you want to prepare in any way before going to law school, my advice is to get your hands on an actual legal brief (argument), via the internet or through Westlaw - you can see how legal arguments are made (and how simple they are), i.e., the legal issue is identified, the rule of law is stated, and then the applicable facts are stretched to the law (depending on what side you are arguing for).  (You also want to make sure that you get your hands on a brief written by a competent attorney or law student.)  This is how you "think" and "argue" like a lawyer - it's creative, and - most importantly - it's simple.

"A" answers are not long-winded and elaborate - "A" answers are simple, to-the-point, and will be in IRAC form (or some variation of it).  So again, I wouldn't waste my time with LEEWS.  Also, I highly doubt that success stories from LEEWS were attributed 100% to LEEWS - because again, there is no secret formula for writing an excellent exam.

The only thing I'll give LEEWS credit for is that it's correct to point out that it all comes down to writing the exam properly, i.e., with exams being 100% of your grade, it all comes down to exam day.  However, if you've been keeping up with the work all semester - and you know your stuff - and you've mastered the simple art of IRAC (or some variation of it), then you will do fine.  I admit that I surely didn't get great grades in law school because I knew every single thing in the course - but I knew enough (more than the average student), and I also knew how to write and construct my answer in an organized and cohesive manner.  I learned this through common sense (same as I learned the importance of test-taking, in light of my exams being 100% of my grade).  I didn't need LEEWS to inform me of the obvious. 

And also, after I learned everything I had to learn for a particular course, I took old practice exams (even though there weren't many available) from my professors, under timed-conditons.  I think that's really the icing on the cake.

And finally, let me note that it's very hard to be an "A" student, period.  I'm not even sure how I did it.  If you're not aware, law school grading is on a curve, i.e., in some of your classes, regardless of how you thought you did post-final, your actual grades will most likely be a huge suprise to you when you actually get them (because how well you did depends on how well others did).  So I hate to break it to you, but if you're banking on getting those top 10% grades, please come back down to Earth - it's extremely difficult, especially due to the unpredictable nature of law school grades in general.  I'm just being a realist, and stating a fact.

Best of luck to you though - I hope it all works out.

PSUDSL08

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 02:06:36 PM »
I'll just say off the bat that I really hope you're leaving a solid career because you would enjoy a career in law more so than you would your current career despite the financial perks. If you're looking to justify a career in law more on a financial basis than you are on an intellectual level, then the law might not be the career for you.

Everyone who I've seen post here before who has taken LEEWS attributes it to their academic success in law school. However, I'm more inclined to think that the people taking LEEWS are naturally more driven (and possibly intelligent) than those who don't enroll in the program...so it's really the person's work ethic and not the program that can be credited for academic success

I agree with Nocomply that you absolutely should not take LEEWS. I have already transferred out of one school and am ranked near the top 10% of my class at my second school without doing any sort of program. You're much better off spending your time barbequing, drinking beers, and doing whatever it is to enjoy yourself. If you absolutely have to do anything before law school, you're better off taking care of errands now that are going to be a hassle once you start (car repairs, cleaning the gutters, etc).

Ultimately, the IRAC (issue/rule/application/conclusion) is the format you need to know for law school exams. The key to first year success IMO is to attempt as many practice problems as you can in the various subjects and consult with your individual proefssors about your answer to the questions. There are many different types of essay questions that can be posed on an exam:(1) "spot all issues" (2) "address issues A and B" (3) "if you're representing X, what types of arguments will you make on his behalf" (4) address all issues/claims on behalf of all parties, where you have to argue "both ways" on given legal doctrines.

The key to doing well on your exams is to have a feel for what types of questions your professors will pose, where your deficiencies are with regards to your grasp of the law, what types of answers are preferred by various professors - all things you'll get only from attempting practice problems once you're in school. All a pre-law school prep course is going to do is contribute to an early burnout.

jacy85

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2008, 04:46:02 PM »
I used LEEWS, and I definitely think it was worth it, especially if you get the CDs used on eBay.

IMO, IRAC alone will not get you As.  There's more to the structure to a great exam answer, in my experience, than just IRAC (which as a previous poster pointed out, you will learn).  Oh, and just to correct something said by zuckpsu, LEEWS is NOT a pre-LS prep course.  It's either a one day (ONE DAY) seminar or a set of CDs.  If you don't want to do the CDs, you can get a lot out of just getting the Primer and reading through that.

If you search my posting history for LEEWS, you should come up with a ton of posts I've made about LEEWS and why I like it and think it is both a worthwhile expenditure of money and time.  I'm pretty fried today from bar review, and my past posts would probably end up being more complete, comprehensive than anything I can type up now.  I'll just conclude here by saying that I used LEEWS, it was helpful to me in every essay exam I've ever written in law school, and I've been extremely successful in law school - the lowest grade I've gotten on an essay exam is a B+).

bridget_jones

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2008, 07:19:46 PM »
Thanks for the advice so far. By the way, I am not turning to a legal career for financial reasons. What I meant in my original post is that since I am leaving a good salary, I would like to try to attain a similar one in law if possible. Also, I am a realist as well and understand that it is very difficult to attain A's in law school. I have already completed an MS in one rigorous academic program and am prepared to fully commit myself to law school. I may not get anywhere near the top 10% of my class but I'm gonna try. Not trying to sound snippy, just explaining myself. :)

unlvcrjchick

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2008, 08:08:23 PM »
If you do decide that you want LEEWS, I'm willing to part with mine (I've never used it).

mqt

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2008, 09:47:38 PM »
in my opinion, LEEWS works for OLD professors who have been teaching for 40 years.  It doesn't really help (or hurt) for newer professors.  That was my experience, anyway. 

GCoop.

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2008, 11:20:39 PM »
in my opinion, LEEWS works for OLD professors who have been teaching for 40 years.  It doesn't really help (or hurt) for newer professors.  That was my experience, anyway. 

explain?

mqt

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2008, 11:33:45 PM »
in my opinion, LEEWS works for OLD professors who have been teaching for 40 years.  It doesn't really help (or hurt) for newer professors.  That was my experience, anyway. 

explain?

I just found that older professors seemed more tied to the BLL approach that LEEWS helps you develop.  Newer professors, even if they say they don't, want at least some sort of deeper analysis and policy discussion.  It's a generalization...take it for what its worth. 

Mina

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Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2008, 08:01:12 PM »
Very Helpful regardless of the exam/professor type, but like anything in life, it rquires dedication and mastery. Its not a magical wand, but a rugged sword. You need to sharpen it, swing it around a bit, and become the sword's master.

if you do, guaranteed A. :)