Law School Discussion

Poll

Which of the following has the biggest impact on 1L grades?

Intelligence
28 (29.2%)
Hard Work
35 (36.5%)
Memory
4 (4.2%)
Typing Speed
10 (10.4%)
Luck
19 (19.8%)

Total Members Voted: 96

What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2009, 10:29:55 AM »
Yeah, my big mistake was writing the exams like an English essay... and I wasn't even trying to, it just happened, probably because I was exhausted and stupid. Oh well, there goes a new career.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2009, 10:36:01 AM »
As a non-english major who, nevertheless, does speak the language... how is writing an english essay so different?  Aren't there aspects to analysis of literature that would be extremely helpful in law?

This question does interest me.  We science people are told sometimes that we have a "leg up" over humanities majors in law school because legal reasoning is more like scientific reasoning than it is like the stuff that goes on in the humanities.  I don't buy this.  I minored in history and found that the same reasoning techniques I used in other subjects suited me just fine while I was playing junior historian.  Reasoning, after all, requires reason and it's not like there are different types of the stuff.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2009, 10:44:26 AM »
For English essays you develop a very sharp, very narrowly defined thesis, and you argue it to an end where you say: this a/the way to interpret this work. In law school, apparently it's about obfuscating the issue so that it becomes mush. In English you argue a narrowly defined idea to a clearcut and easy-to-understand conclusion.

In my professor's sample answers it looks like he brought in a million things talked about in class, and even if they're only marginally related to the question, that's where most of the points came from ... considering everything and coming to a "???" conclusion. In English you don't do that; you consider what you narrowly defined, only the details related to that narrow definition, and you argue it to a very fine and narrow end. It's much cleaner and easier than law essays.

What was drilled into my head over 4 years was: the more narrow and well defined your idea, the better. This is a death sentence for law school.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2009, 11:27:21 AM »
Contents enlarged to show texture. It's an exaggeration to show how the type of thinking is different from English. If you approach an exam like an English essay, it's guaranteed below median.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2009, 01:11:03 PM »
Quote
In law school, apparently it's about obfuscating the issue so that it becomes mush.
This would help you pull median or below grades at my school....


Agreed.  You sound like you don't get it, mzing.

I honestly think the opposite.  English Academia is a wankfest that involves words like "panoptican," while legal academia (and law school) is focused on clear, concise sentences that cut to the heart of the matter and eviscerate it.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #45 on: January 09, 2009, 02:32:13 PM »
It's panopticon. And Foucault was not an English academic. Mix the two up again, and I'll problematize you so fast you won't know what othered you.


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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #46 on: January 09, 2009, 03:06:37 PM »
Quote
In law school, apparently it's about obfuscating the issue so that it becomes mush.
This would help you pull median or below grades at my school....


Agreed.  You sound like you don't get it, mzing.

I honestly think the opposite.  English Academia is a wankfest that involves words like "panoptican," while legal academia (and law school) is focused on clear, concise sentences that cut to the heart of the matter and eviscerate it.




i disagree.  some of the "top papers" i saw were run-on paragraphs devoid of grammar, punctuation, and organization.  having taught college business writing at least, these papers would have failed.

law school exams are the wankfests -- they favor whomever can, in the limited time allotted, cram as much onto the paper as humanly possible.  most of my exams have been closed book.  in the real world, i have never been given an assignment -- lets say a complaint -- and had an attorney tell me "you need to have a memo to me in 4 hours.  oh, and btw, you may NOT do any research."  while i have been on short turnarounds before, i've never been told that i cant use research materials.

i think the best practicing lawyers are not those who have everything memorized....but know where to find it.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #47 on: January 09, 2009, 03:16:14 PM »
I'm comparing my own exam to the professor's model exam, and it seems like I got a B- because I focused too tightly on  single ideas, and the professor's model answer was like ... a mish mash of everything we did, whether it applied directly to the question or could be considered through reasoning; he wanted it all, and I failed to provide it. Blah blah blah, career screwed.

And we're not talking sentence style for the dingwad above complaining about panopticans, whatever those are. English appreciates creativity in structure, and legal writing is short short short sentences. Fair enough, but I'm talking methods of approaching problems. English trains you to narrow in on and focus on a single idea very tightly, it's almost like dogma ... I heard it in every class; law exams seem to be more about throwing in everything possible so you can get the "check" for points.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #48 on: January 09, 2009, 03:47:23 PM »
It's panopticon. And Foucault was not an English academic. Mix the two up again, and I'll problematize you so fast you won't know what othered you.


Probably the best post I've ever read on LSD.  No joke.

Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #49 on: January 09, 2009, 04:10:35 PM »
It's panopticon. And Foucault was not an English academic. Mix the two up again, and I'll problematize you so fast you won't know what othered you.

Also if you think legal academia is about "clear, concise sentences that cut to the heart of the matter and eviscerate it" you haven't been exposed to nearly enough legal writing.

unfortunately for you, bentham was, so OP's original point is still (somewhat) valid.


the real question you should be asking yourself about working in law school is, are you a panoptican, or a panoptican't?