Law School Discussion

for those that have started law school

Alamo

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2006, 01:04:12 PM »
So, OGs -- it law school like a madrassah or what?

Follow up questions for the people who've done social science & humanities in UG: Are you appalled by the simplistic treatment of "policy", and "fairness", or do you not care all that much?

Why do you assume that fairness, policy, "good faith," reasonableness and other such ambiguous concepts are treated simplistically?  They're at the heart of pretty much every aspect of law, even civil procedure!  Like my contracts professor says, fairness usually cuts both ways . . .   

Maybe things like "in most matters it is more important that the applicable rule of law be settled than that it be settled right."

I have no idea what the holding in that case was, either.

Who said that?  I don't agree, and I doubt you find many modern legal scholars who honestly espouse that view.  I don't think this phrase, if applicable anywhere, is usually relevant to areas where right and wrong are clear and simple.

Alamo

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Re: for those who have started law school
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2006, 01:21:30 PM »
Brandeis said it; Black quoted it in his dissent for New York v US in 1946.  Brandeis was justifying stare decisis.  It's a very quotable quotation, no?

You'll see it again if you haven't seen it yet.

I've not seen this, and I'll certainly not disparage its quotability.  I don't think it supports stare decisis though.  To me, that doctrine says: don't reinvent the wheel.  It's precisely at the point where law isn't settled right that the doctrine begins to break down.  I'm not saying there's no truth to the proposition, but I don't take it at face value.

->Soon

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2006, 01:31:48 PM »
your all starting to speak lawyer talk.

may Mel have mercy on your souls...

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2006, 01:40:26 PM »
Damn. Wrote a long response, and lost it to the ghost in the machine.

Here's one short question. Do you, for example, discuss the Coase Theorem with any degree of depth or sophistication, or does the prof say "here is what Ronald said, here's what it means, here's why it's relevant. By the way, Guido said something a bit different" and then just move on?

Or, do you discuss the differences or similarities between the reasonable person standard (which is the law) and the marginal utility approach (which is not the law)? Is the reasonable person, for example, a utility-maximizer? If not, why do you learn about the Posner approach? If she is.... well, I'll have follow up questions.

I'm curious about this sort of thing.

 

SCgrad

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2006, 01:45:09 PM »
We talk about that a lot in my torts class because GW doesn't have a methods class and it drives my prof crazy.  The reasonable person uses the Learned Hand formula (also Posner, but Hand started it).

Follow up question?

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2006, 01:49:22 PM »
We talk about that a lot in my torts class because GW doesn't have a methods class and it drives my prof crazy.  The reasonable person uses the Learned Hand formula (also Posner, but Hand started it).

Follow up question?

Yeah, so - does he explain why Posner doen't use his interpretation of Hand when he's adjudicating? Does the question of why you learn the Hand Formula at all ever come up, since all 52 jurisdictions repudiate it?

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2006, 01:53:22 PM »
Damn. Wrote a long response, and lost it to the ghost in the machine.

Here's one short question. Do you, for example, discuss the Coase Theorem with any degree of depth or sophistication, or does the prof say "here is what Ronald said, here's what it means, here's why it's relevant. By the way, Guido said something a bit different" and then just move on?

Or, do you discuss the differences or similarities between the reasonable person standard (which is the law) and the marginal utility approach (which is not the law)? Is the reasonable person, for example, a utility-maximizer? If not, why do you learn about the Posner approach? If she is.... well, I'll have follow up questions.

I'm curious about this sort of thing.

 

My classes tend to do the latter. It doesn't seem like any of my classes approach anything simplistically. It may just be that ND is all about discussing policy and fairness and not so much about explaining what things mean and why it's relevant.  It does seem to be more straightforward in Contracts, but in Crim, Civ Pro, and Torts, not so much.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #27 on: October 07, 2006, 01:55:42 PM »
It is like playing Where's Waldo, but with words instead of pictures and all the words are in a foreign language, so you have to translate them before playing.

I also loved this description!  And doesn't it feel strange to work so hard to prepare for class and then realize that you're going to be graded by number on an exam at the end of the semester and all that work may be for naught?

I also have the problem that I'm always distracted by the sniping in conlaw opinions, so I tend to only clearly remember snotty meta-dicta like "with colorful hyperbole, the court suggests..." and "all that stands between the remaining essentials of state sovereignty and Congress is the latter’s underdeveloped capacity for self restraint" and "that an assertion of historical fact has been made by a Justice of the Court does not make it so."  The holdings, though?  No idea.

Me too!  We did a bunch of war powers and enemy detention cases this week, and between all of the concurrences and dissents in Youngstown, Hamdi and Hamdan, there were little SCOTUS musicals running through my head.  In his solo number, "Mr. Fix-It (Mentality)" Scalia sings, "The plurality seems to view it as its mission to Make Everything Come Out Right, rather than merely to decree the consequences," etc.  Also, it would help if I had gone to an undergraduate institution where my being an American history major actually meant that I knew what happened in the last 250 or so years.

So, OGs -- it law school like a madrassah or what?

Follow up questions for the people who've done social science & humanities in UG: Are you appalled by the simplistic treatment of "policy", and "fairness", or do you not care all that much?

Despite trollik's and popebendict's accusations, I've never actually been to a madrassah, so I'm not sure.  :D
As for the other thing, I'm tempted to say appalled, but I actually find myself not caring that much as long as my classmates aren't arguing for capital punishment for non-violent offenses or the end of environmental regulation and such.

As for your other questions, the level of sophistication about theory and policy and history and such really depends on the class.  My contracts class is very interdisciplinary and has a kind of liberal arts bent; my crim class is pretty straight up, "Is this mens rea standard objective or subjective?"


SCgrad

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #28 on: October 07, 2006, 01:58:00 PM »
he's not teaching us to be lawyers, we learn that later, I suppose.


And Posner has used it and others do to.  They don't plug values in, but there are numerous cases that find deft. in the right because the burden of protecting plaintiff are too great for the risk.


(And I think Posner did actually plug values in once, but I haven't actually read that case, I just heard it from the prof.)


But yeah, he tells us that we don't have to buy this.  We've talked about whether or not this notion of social optimality is a falsehood or not.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #29 on: October 07, 2006, 02:10:11 PM »
(And I think Posner did actually plug values in once, but I haven't actually read that case, I just heard it from the prof.)

I believe this is Lake River v. Carborundum, FWIW.  Interestingly enough, he remands instead of just vacating judgment in favor of his rather precise calculations.