Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
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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

Author Topic: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?  (Read 9949 times)

Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2009, 10:09:21 PM »
tortNretort, since you have posted elsewhere that your professors have told you your problem was throwing in too many tangential issues, I strongly urge you to disregard Mina's advice.  Issue-selection is much more important for you than issue-spotting.  Spinning out additional twists to the hypos will lead you away from the meatiest issues.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Mina

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2009, 10:27:30 PM »
tortNretort, since you have posted elsewhere that your professors have told you your problem was throwing in too many tangential issues, I strongly urge you to disregard Mina's advice.  Issue-selection is much more important for you than issue-spotting.  Spinning out additional twists to the hypos will lead you away from the meatiest issues.

Thank You Miss P for bringing up that point.
This is a good point, as there is a risk of over-speculation. I think it highlights the idea your speculation should be reasonable. And, one should not spend much time discussing the speculated issues. JUST NOTE them, and DON"T DISCUSS THEM, unless you really should.

 For example, Man shoots other man's leg, hitting him while he was at home eating breakfast.

1. there is likely a trespass here, the bullet was in the other man's home.

2. the bullet hit him (core discussion battery).

3. assumption of risk should also be dicussed. Since bullets don't usually fly into people's home, may be the area was hi-crime rate, may be he lives near shooting range etc.

If I was a professor, only people that spot (3) would get an A. The rest would be mediocre. The reason is, part of being a lawyer is your ability to realize YOU NEED MORE FACTS, your Ability to Notice that YOU NEED MORE to make a complete legal analysis.   

But if I discussed self-defense in that hypo, I would be wrong. And if I discussed, 'necesstiy': may be another person had to shoot to protect himself, and this is reason it cam through the window. I would be wrong if I spent any more time OVER that sentence in discussion. RAISING the issue is enough. 

Its really fine line that takes much practice. But I find it essential to an A.

 

Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2009, 10:33:20 PM »
Are you serious?  Assumption of risk because . . . maybe he lived near a shooting range?  This would not fly on any of my exams.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

Mina

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2009, 10:49:38 PM »
Are you serious?  Assumption of risk because . . . maybe he lived near a shooting range?  This would not fly on any of my exams.

Maybe this is why you think all exams are controlled by luck Miss P? Because you really dislike speculating, and I don't know why. I think you should consider trying it on a practice exams, and ask your professor about it--before you rationalize the tool away. I really believe its helpful.

Consider this:
If he did live near a shooting range/hi crime rate area, the defendant would have an assumption of risk defense and a very solid one.

As a Plaintif's attorney I could lose my case unless I asked this man about it, and as a defense attorney, I could win my case if I asked the place. The question is harmless, and can only benefit. Actually, it would be malpractice if you did not ask that question, and it turned out to be the case.
(Rule 11 violation of investigation of facts)


 

 

Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #74 on: January 18, 2009, 11:32:09 PM »
Are you serious?  Assumption of risk because . . . maybe he lived near a shooting range?  This would not fly on any of my exams.

Maybe this is why you think all exams are controlled by luck Miss P? Because you really dislike speculating, and I don't know why. I think you should consider trying it on a practice exams, and ask your professor about it--before you rationalize the tool away. I really believe its helpful.

Consider this:
If he did live near a shooting range/hi crime rate area, the defendant would have an assumption of risk defense and a very solid one.

As a Plaintif's attorney I could lose my case unless I asked this man about it, and as a defense attorney, I could win my case if I asked the place. The question is harmless, and can only benefit. Actually, it would be malpractice if you did not ask that question, and it turned out to be the case.
(Rule 11 violation of investigation of facts)

Well, I have only one exam remaining in law school, and I know how the professor's exams work, so I will respectfully decline. 

I am happy that this approach has worked for you.  In general, however, I have to say that I think this is poor advice for test-taking.  A bare bones hypo like the one you outlined would be testing (a) the elements of battery; (b) the distinction between assault and battery; and (c) the distinction between intentional torts and negligence (which presumably would make up the bulk of the rest of the exam).  Good test-takers will introduce the question of trespass to land and the possible defenses of self-defense (unlikely given the fact that the shot man was eating breakfast) and defense-of-property (no, since the hypo describes the location of the shooting as the man's home).  That's pretty much it.  By introducing, out of thin air, unlikely scenarios (like the shooting range), you are wasting time.  Worse, unless you are very careful in handling a speculation like this, you run the risk of making your professor think that you don't know the difference between the defenses to negligence and the defenses to intentional torts (since assumption of risk is not a defense to intentional torts), which is one of the things a question like this is intended to assess.

Of course if you were investigating the case as an attorney, you would need to know much more about the circumstances.  You would also have the benefit of your client's narrative and information about the home and the area.  But no, it's not a sanctionable offense to fail to spin out every potential hypothetical.  A reasonable investigation is just that -- reasonable.

Finally, I didn't say that "all exams" are "controlled by" luck.  I made the rather commonplace observation that luck has something to do with some law school grades.  Denying this is either self-aggrandizing or an attempt to make people feel bad about having sometimes fallen a bit short.  Even my professors admit that luck is often involved at the margins.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

jacy85

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #75 on: January 19, 2009, 08:52:49 AM »
tortNretort, since you have posted elsewhere that your professors have told you your problem was throwing in too many tangential issues, I strongly urge you to disregard Mina's advice.  Issue-selection is much more important for you than issue-spotting.  Spinning out additional twists to the hypos will lead you away from the meatiest issues.

Thank You Miss P for bringing up that point.
This is a good point, as there is a risk of over-speculation. I think it highlights the idea your speculation should be reasonable. And, one should not spend much time discussing the speculated issues. JUST NOTE them, and DON"T DISCUSS THEM, unless you really should.

 For example, Man shoots other man's leg, hitting him while he was at home eating breakfast.

1. there is likely a trespass here, the bullet was in the other man's home.

2. the bullet hit him (core discussion battery).

3. assumption of risk should also be dicussed. Since bullets don't usually fly into people's home, may be the area was hi-crime rate, may be he lives near shooting range etc.

If I was a professor, only people that spot (3) would get an A. The rest would be mediocre. The reason is, part of being a lawyer is your ability to realize YOU NEED MORE FACTS, your Ability to Notice that YOU NEED MORE to make a complete legal analysis.   

But if I discussed self-defense in that hypo, I would be wrong. And if I discussed, 'necesstiy': may be another person had to shoot to protect himself, and this is reason it cam through the window. I would be wrong if I spent any more time OVER that sentence in discussion. RAISING the issue is enough. 

Its really fine line that takes much practice. But I find it essential to an A.

 

What grades have you gotten, Mina?  For me, my lowest grades in classes with exams were 3 B+s; the rest were As.

And I can guarantee that I NEVER speculated and added facts like you have here.  This is not the way to get an A, and from the number of As I've received, I think I can speak intelligently on that topic.  This is nothing but a waste of time. 

If you want to point out that additional facts could change the situation, there's a right way to do it.  You could write: "[Discussion re: victim making out elements of battery claim].  The shooter may attempt to raise a defense to a battery claim, but without more facts, any potential defenses would fail.  No facts suggest victim assumed a known risk for assumption of risk and no facts suggest that victim attacked the shooter first, which could possibly give rise to a self-defense claim.  In order to prevail in these defenses, more facts are necessary.  Therefore, the victim will likely prevail on a battery claim."

This has a couple of benefits:  First, you're not wasting time with making up ridiculous facts not included in the question.  Second, you're showing that you understand you can consider all sides of an argument by noting that the shooter/*defendant* will be raising these defenses.  Third, and most importantly, you're demonstrating a knowledge of the law and how it applies in these facts - you know which defenses are available to batter, you know the elements and factual requirements for these defenses, and you can show you can analyze by succinctly explaining why they likely wouldn't apply.

But the way you did it?  Assumes and suggests ridiculous facts (and if I was a prof, I'd wonder what you were smoking to come up with some of that), and shows little to no understanding of the law.

TortNRetort - Take Miss P's advice - don't listen to what Mina's talking about in this thread.

Stole Your Nose!

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2009, 09:32:45 AM »
Yeah, Mina's advice is just.... odd. I get that the fact pattern was limited for the example, but you're just making random crap up....  Maybe he is rubber and you are glue, so it was reasonable to expect that any bullets would bounce off of him and stick to you! 

I am also wondering 1) what this person's grades are (this board occasionally devolves into the blind leading the blind) and 2) where this person goes to school.  Wherever that crap consistently gets you an A is not anywhere anybody needs to go. My professors would be baffled if they saw that crap.

Miss P

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #77 on: January 19, 2009, 09:40:58 AM »
I am also wondering 1) what this person's grades are (this board occasionally devolves into the blind leading the blind) and 2) where this person goes to school.  Wherever that crap consistently gets you an A is not anywhere anybody needs to go. My professors would be baffled if they saw that crap.

I'd say the bolded is pretty unnecessary (though I loved the rubber-glue thing).

I believe Mina has posted elsewhere that she is in the top third of her class at a second-tier school.  (She's the one, you may recall, who walked out of Legal Aid after a day.)
That's cool how you referenced a case.

Quote from: archival
I'm so far from the end of my tether right now that I reckon I could knit myself some socks with the slack.

vap

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #78 on: January 19, 2009, 10:42:21 AM »
Just want to chime in and agree with Miss P, Jacy, and SYN.  Don't make up facts unless, for some bizarre reason, the professor instructs you to do so.

Creativity is a sign of genius, but you don't want to be create facts out of thin air.

loki13

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Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« Reply #79 on: January 19, 2009, 12:15:57 PM »
The key to successful exam taking is quite simple, and known to only a select few.

Before the exam, you must (MUST) select a rather uncommon word or phrase, and during the exam you must work it into at least three separate answers.

For example, my first year I selected the following words:
cajones (Torts), hootenanny (CrimLaw), tomfoolery (contracts), hullabaloo (conlaw)

You second year, you should be selecting phrases:
cellar door (Advanced Con Law: Takings and Time Travel), assistant crack ho (Gender and the Law), There can be only one! (corporations), Bureau of Fisheries and Whoremongering (Federal Jurisdiction)

Your third year, you should be comfortable enough to simply make up words and phrases, for example:
Hugemongous, Fantabulous, Slithy, Lickenmeecrak, Dodecahedral Privity, Stare Recidivism, Lex Loci Delicious, Quasar In Rem, Personality Jurisdiction, The CheeseBurger Court, and so on.

This is, in fact, what professors look for, and how to attain an A in each class. And now you know.