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Lady Stardust

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How insightful is attending a class?
« on: March 17, 2006, 06:55:08 PM »

For those who have already visited schools, how insightful was attending a class?

I'll soon be attending my first admitted students weekend, and its organized program includes attending a mock class in lieu of attending an actual class. I'm quite disappointed, as I was looking forward to a class visit as a vehicle for observing student behavior and output in the classroom as opposed to a means of familiarizing myself with the structure of a typical class. Unfortunately, my trip halfway across the country will be short, and scheduling a class visit outside of the time frame of the organized program would take precious time away from exploring a new city.

Is it worth it? Was observing classroom dynamics an integral part of your visits? Are there enough other opportunities to gain meaningful impressions of the student body?   

Lionel Hutz

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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2006, 07:02:40 PM »
I think it's a valuable tool if it's available to you. But, it's only one class, and every school has good and bad professors. Likewise, one or two blowhards can really mess with the dynamic of a class anywhere.

Obviosuly, the mock class, while not completely w/out value, should be viewed as a PR event. One thing the mock class can be good for is to judge your fellow admits, who would be your peer group if you chose to attend that school.
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wunder

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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2006, 09:57:57 PM »
For both my husband and I, this held true:  The schools where we visited a real class, we loved.  If we didn't visit a class, we didn't like the school.  I highly recommend attending the class.  I am attending the mock class at Penn next weekend, but only because I had already made a trip out there last year and seen a real class. 

MrSmittie

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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2006, 10:02:45 PM »
I think it's a valuable tool if it's available to you. But, it's only one class, and every school has good and bad professors. Likewise, one or two blowhards can really mess with the dynamic of a class anywhere.

Obviosuly, the mock class, while not completely w/out value, should be viewed as a PR event. One thing the mock class can be good for is to judge your fellow admits, who would be your peer group if you chose to attend that school.

I agree.

What the mock class did do for me was get me pumped for LS. I could totally picture myself in future classes, despite the aforementioned PR slant.
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laurrk

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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2006, 11:38:20 PM »
The mock class I attended at Quinnipiac only served to convince me that I shouldn't go there. It was ridiculous, totally without value. However, I went to Civil Procedure at Case and a 1L Health Law elective at Syracuse, and that was helpful. I could see myself in class at either of those schools.

Goodfella Aaron

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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2006, 12:11:35 AM »
If offered the choice I'd def go to a real over a mock class. Going to the real classes at GULC and Cornell I learned so much about the schools and their students. For example, at Georgetown most of the class spends their time on AIM or surfing the web. The fourguys I sat behind were all looking at websites in some Asian language. At Cornell they don't allow wireless in the classrooms so everyone was working really hard. The Cornell class also stayed on topic a lot more, while the Georgetown one veered into unrelated territory a lot. And being in a real class kind of dulls your law school anxiety. You look at the issues being discussed and realize that this isn't that hard, you just need to do all the reading.

Law2k6

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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2006, 04:48:27 AM »
If offered the choice I'd def go to a real over a mock class. Going to the real classes at GULC and Cornell I learned so much about the schools and their students. For example, at Georgetown most of the class spends their time on AIM or surfing the web. The fourguys I sat behind were all looking at websites in some Asian language. At Cornell they don't allow wireless in the classrooms so everyone was working really hard. The Cornell class also stayed on topic a lot more, while the Georgetown one veered into unrelated territory a lot. And being in a real class kind of dulls your law school anxiety. You look at the issues being discussed and realize that this isn't that hard, you just need to do all the reading.

That's really interesting. I am (a) surprised students would pay a ton of money for law school and then not pay attention in class. I just don't get that. I'm considering taking out $150k in loans to attend those law school classes. You better believe I'll get as much as I can out of it. (Who goes to a movie and spends the whole time texting on their cell phone?) and (b) surprised that they wouldn't arrange a visit to a class where students didn't do that...or have the prof. give a heads up to the students at the last class meeting that potential students would be visiting so look lively.
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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2006, 07:43:38 AM »
If offered the choice I'd def go to a real over a mock class. Going to the real classes at GULC and Cornell I learned so much about the schools and their students. For example, at Georgetown most of the class spends their time on AIM or surfing the web. The fourguys I sat behind were all looking at websites in some Asian language. At Cornell they don't allow wireless in the classrooms so everyone was working really hard. The Cornell class also stayed on topic a lot more, while the Georgetown one veered into unrelated territory a lot. And being in a real class kind of dulls your law school anxiety. You look at the issues being discussed and realize that this isn't that hard, you just need to do all the reading.

That's really interesting. I am (a) surprised students would pay a ton of money for law school and then not pay attention in class. I just don't get that. I'm considering taking out $150k in loans to attend those law school classes. You better believe I'll get as much as I can out of it. (Who goes to a movie and spends the whole time texting on their cell phone?) and (b) surprised that they wouldn't arrange a visit to a class where students didn't do that...or have the prof. give a heads up to the students at the last class meeting that potential students would be visiting so look lively.

they probably do it because exams are based on the readings.
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Lionel Hutz

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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2006, 09:52:55 AM »
That's really interesting. I am (a) surprised students would pay a ton of money for law school and then not pay attention in class. I just don't get that. I'm considering taking out $150k in loans to attend those law school classes. You better believe I'll get as much as I can out of it. (Who goes to a movie and spends the whole time texting on their cell phone?) and (b) surprised that they wouldn't arrange a visit to a class where students didn't do that...or have the prof. give a heads up to the students at the last class meeting that potential students would be visiting so look lively.
In many cases, the prof. isn't warned ahead of time, and I doubt many students would care that much. At Brooklyn, many of the students were playing TextTwist and the like. One young lady in fron tof me was shopping for shoes. At Cardozo, there was a little more solitaire and IM. One thing some students seem to do is shut off their brain and begin plying games, surfing, whatever, when the class conversation veers off-topic. There's a palpable, this isn't going to be on the exam, so I don't care sense.

I noted the solitaire playing to a current law student. I was scandalized, but he said, "You'll play your share of soliatire." I still don't believe it. Seems like such a waste.
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Re: How insightful is attending a class?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2006, 01:34:46 PM »
Anyone answer questions in the class?  I think I'd want to practice gunning in a mock class to see how the students/professors respond.