Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Setting the Stage: Or, How to Do Law School Wrong (Part 1a)  (Read 2616 times)

Thane Messinger

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
Re: Setting the Stage: Or, How to Do Law School Wrong (Part 1a)
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2010, 02:25:33 AM »
Well, yes and no. Your argument assumes that the way law school is taught is very dynamic. There have been some changes, mostly in terms of technology, but the Socratic method, learning from casebooks, essay final exams comprising 100% of the grade, etc. have been in use in law schools around the country for a long time. While the writers of the books are no longer in law school and may have practiced for sometime, there is one very important fact to remember--they successfully completed law school. Therefore, they do know a thing or two about being a successful law student. While you might not agree with every bit of advice these former law students have to give, there may be some words of wisdom that you find useful.

Thelo, note that I conveyed my point without calling you names or badgering you.


Thank you, Cicero, and nicely put.

In point of fact--as long as we're there--as you state the law school classroom has been essentially unchanged since the 1880s, with the additional exception that competition is much higher today than then.  Well, that and the nagging detail of student loans.

As for the prejudice, currently in vogue, that disparages experience . . . well, there's not much to say to that except that experience of all kinds is extraordinarily highly valued in the law.  Should anyone share Thelo's concerns, do what you can to hide your prejudices when speaking with prospective employers, bosses, professors, judges, senior associates, staff, secretaries, and, well, I'm sure there are more there to be concerned with.

Again, thank you,

Thane.

fllaw

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Setting the Stage: Or, How to Do Law School Wrong (Part 1a)
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2010, 06:40:30 AM »
...In point of fact--as long as we're there--the law school classroom has been essentially unchanged since the 1880s, with the exception that competition is much higher today than then.  Well, that and the nagging detail of student loans.  But of course Thelo knew that, and was perhaps getting to a different point?

...
Again, thank you,

Thane.

Getting to the issue of finance, oppotunity costs and debt, I think everyone going to or planning to go to law school should consider this:

The Next Bubble: Law School Tuition

By Elie Mystal
http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/the-next-bubble-law-school-tuition/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+abovethelaw+%28Above+the+Law%29

Quote
Itís one thing when I write about how crushing law school debt  has impacted the value proposition of going to law school. Iím just repeating what every jobless 4L already knows. And prospective law students, 0Ls, have already proven that are too full of themselves to take out a calculator before they commit to three years of debt financing.

Because new students canít seem to act in their own self-interest, itís unlikely that change will come from below. Despite the proliferation of blogs by recent graduates trying to educate others about the danger of going to law school, new students keep signing up in record numbers. Law schools are not under any pressure to control tuition hikes when the demand for legal education is higher than ever.

Besides the study techniques that Thane advises against, the other way to do law school "wrong" is to find yourself with over $100K in debt and without a job that brings enough income to service that debt. That is, if you are fortunate enough to have a job!

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Setting the Stage: Or, How to Do Law School Wrong (Part 1a)
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2010, 02:03:03 PM »
I will un-toot my own horn and agree with Thelo that my law school advice should be taken with caution because it has been a while since I was in law school.

This is why I mostly offer advice on what comes AFTER law school, and in this arena I am much more current.  My post above was really focused on the career aspect of the law, rather than law school life.  You spend three years in law school, but you spend maybe forty years (or more) in practice.  Suffering through law school is one thing - suffering through forty years of life is another thing altogether.

My suggestion was and is that the practice of law need not be "rinse and repeat" (the life of a junior associate notwithstanding), and that the law (IMO) offers greater opportunity to avoid that mental drudgery than many other paths.  As a result, I believe that it would be a mistake - and an unnecessary mistake - to approach a law career with this sense of existential loss.

If you dislike law school, like many do, just suck it up - it will be over soon, and then you can get on with the good stuff.  If you dislike your law job, there are other options available to you.

cooleylawstudent

  • Guest
Re: Setting the Stage: Or, How to Do Law School Wrong (Part 1a)
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2010, 09:38:11 PM »
other options? Law is the ONLY option. "we never promised you a rosegarden!!!!!"  >:(

I will un-toot my own horn and agree with Thelo that my law school advice should be taken with caution because it has been a while since I was in law school.

This is why I mostly offer advice on what comes AFTER law school, and in this arena I am much more current.  My post above was really focused on the career aspect of the law, rather than law school life.  You spend three years in law school, but you spend maybe forty years (or more) in practice.  Suffering through law school is one thing - suffering through forty years of life is another thing altogether.

My suggestion was and is that the practice of law need not be "rinse and repeat" (the life of a junior associate notwithstanding), and that the law (IMO) offers greater opportunity to avoid that mental drudgery than many other paths.  As a result, I believe that it would be a mistake - and an unnecessary mistake - to approach a law career with this sense of existential loss.

If you dislike law school, like many do, just suck it up - it will be over soon, and then you can get on with the good stuff.  If you dislike your law job, there are other options available to you.

the white rabbit

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
    • View Profile
Re: Setting the Stage: Or, How to Do Law School Wrong (Part 1a)
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2010, 12:29:26 AM »
It gets me to the point(and it pains me that you can't seem to grasp this) that I am in lawschool, so when someone used to be, their information is more outdated. So, when someone makes the weakass argument "but they are in a firm" that dosn't apply to lawschool at all. In fact the more accomplisments one has, the farther away from lawschool they become(unless a prof) and the less relevant their info to the actual day to day routine of a lawstudent becomes. Simple, very simple.

All fine and good except that it only gets you as far as "their information is older."  That doesn't necessarily mean that their information is more outdated, because you haven't established that the information that applies to law school changes meaningfully.  If things have remained the same, then their information is older but not necessarily outdated.  Furthermore, they can just come back and argue that their information is informed by perspective on the experience of law school as a whole.  You haven't established that being closer in time to an experience gives you a better understanding of it.

I think I told you at one point that you try to do a lot with a little.  Here, again.  ;)
Mood: Tired but cheerful.  :)

Thane Messinger

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
Re: Setting the Stage: Or, How to Do Law School Wrong (Part 1a)
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2010, 06:31:39 PM »
It gets me to the point(and it pains me that you can't seem to grasp this) that I am in lawschool, so when someone used to be, their information is more outdated. So, when someone makes the weakass argument "but they are in a firm" that dosn't apply to lawschool at all. In fact the more accomplisments one has, the farther away from lawschool they become(unless a prof) and the less relevant their info to the actual day to day routine of a lawstudent becomes. Simple, very simple.

All fine and good except that it only gets you as far as "their information is older."  That doesn't necessarily mean that their information is more outdated, because you haven't established that the information that applies to law school changes meaningfully.  If things have remained the same, then their information is older but not necessarily outdated.  Furthermore, they can just come back and argue that their information is informed by perspective on the experience of law school as a whole.  You haven't established that being closer in time to an experience gives you a better understanding of it.

I think I told you at one point that you try to do a lot with a little.  Here, again.  ;)


I had an experience in law school that strikes me to this day.  Each year a survey was done, and as a 1L I remembered thinking that I really didn't have a basis to respond.  As a 2L, it was still fairly perfunctory.  As a 3L, I thought I had a better grasp.  Now, were I the law school administrator, I wouldn't count out the 1Ls, but I would certainly focus on the 3Ls and recent graduates, and perhaps a few longer out.

We can apply the same test to any life experience.  If you were to do high school over again, would you do anything differently?

Thane.