Law School Discussion

for those that have started law school

SCgrad

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #30 on: October 07, 2006, 02:16:08 PM »
We learned that while no one just "uses the hand formula" it is applied in many cases. 
you don't have to say "the burden was lower than the risk times the loss, so negligent" to use the formula.  you can see its stains on many cases.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2006, 02:23:45 PM »
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.

Oooh, we're starting those next week.  I'd really love to have a little USSC musical to help me remember who said what and when they said it and to which previous pile of disagreements they were referring!

Sadly, it hasn't helped me much. They're all just twirling around my head in costume (Sandra Day, too, with her silly collar).  I do remember that in Hamdi Stevens signs on with Scalia, an unusual pairing, and Thomas issues a solo dissent that is remarkably offensive (you know, the president may not even have to be acting in good faith when detaining people), even for him.  In Youngstown, I guess Justice Jackson's concurrence (you know the one, "When the President takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress, his power is at its lowest ebb...") is the thing to focus on.  Um, Hamdan, what to remember?  Oh, in Scalia's dissent, where he discusses the Exceptions Clause -- I think this will probably be the subject of next wave of opinions on detention.

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2006, 03:51:21 PM »
Interesting.

I guess my main interest is in whether there is a recognition that there is nothing at all settled about concepts like fairness, utility, efficiency, reasonable, etc., and that when the concepts are used in law they're not really being used in a technical sense, but more in a "street" or "folk" usage. I've flipped through some materials on K, for example, and I see "duress", glance down at the anemic notes below the case purportedly highlighting duress as an issue, and think "whoa, that's weak".

I've always suspected -- and, Halfie, I think you'll understand where I'm coming from; I know that Archrival & Miss P will -- is that one of the two principal ways that legal education is profoundly unsatisfactory is in presenting vastly complicated substantive issues (e.g. fairness, utility, reasonable) in deliberately (almost laughably) simplistic terms. Law students, cowed, may forget, if they ever knew, that these concepts are not self-evident. Fast forward a few years, and you have these same students, now judges, deciding cases and trying to determine whether there is any difference at all between a case like Cotnam v. Wisdom and one like Webb v. McGowin.

The other way that legal ed seems to hide the ball (from my humble 0L perspective) is in distorting the facts of the case, but that's another story.

Funnily enough, I think that the less said about "policy", the better. They should just teach cases, not attempt to reconcile them, set exams, and see what comes of it. Seems more honest that way.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2006, 04:58:49 PM »
A bunch of our casebooks actually have long, interesting notes about the circumstances of the cases -- you know, kind of a law-and-society type of thing.  But I do know what red. means.  For me, however, the most disconcerting or confusing thing about legal education is the fact that the work we do all semester (and in class) won't really be reflected in our grades.  And I don't care very much about grades, but I do REALLY want to retain my scholarships.

Okay, I'm off to my game, kids! See you later.

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2006, 05:33:28 PM »
The other way that legal ed seems to hide the ball (from my humble 0L perspective) is in distorting the facts of the case, but that's another story.

I’m willing to give ‘em a break on that one.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t distort the “facts” of whatever.  I don’t even think of them as facts.  What the hell is a fact anyway?  I like to think of it as the official story.  Still, I'll often get the sense that the official story is distorted.

Another of my favorite, useless-come-exam-time quotations comes from the oral argument in Raich, comparing it to Wickard:
O'Connor: "I really think you can distinguish this on the facts."
Gov't counsel: "With respect, madame justice, I think you can distinguish any case on the facts."


Ha! Great quote.

obamacon

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2006, 09:38:55 PM »
And I don't care very much about grades

Self-deception is unbecoming on you.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2006, 09:55:13 PM »
And I don't care very much about grades

Self-deception is unbecoming on you.

What, bb?  Now you're being silly.  I care very much about grades so that I can maintain my scholarships.  Otherwise, since I plan to join a paradigmatically non-competitive field, I'm more worried about how I do in my clinics and whether I am understanding what's going on.  My ability to help my clients will depend on these things.

More important, how excited are you about redemption's return? :)  Red., you should know that bb started at least one thread about how much he missed you -- quite seriously. 

obamacon

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2006, 10:11:03 PM »
What, bb?  Now you're being silly.  I care very much about grades so that I can maintain my scholarships.  Otherwise, since I plan to join a paradigmatically non-competitive field, I'm more worried about how I do in my clinics and whether I am understanding what's going on.  My ability to help my clients will depend on these things.

They'll be very importance when or if (my money is on when, as yours would be if compassion wasn’t distracting you) you pursue something more suitable to your intellect.   

obamacon

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2006, 10:17:31 PM »
More important, how excited are you about redemption's return? :)

I'm very excited. Hers is a career I'll watch with some interest, though I think it may sadly be limited to academia.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2006, 10:28:23 PM »
What, bb?  Now you're being silly.  I care very much about grades so that I can maintain my scholarships.  Otherwise, since I plan to join a paradigmatically non-competitive field, I'm more worried about how I do in my clinics and whether I am understanding what's going on.  My ability to help my clients will depend on these things.

They'll be very importance when or if (my money is on when, as yours would be if compassion wasn’t distracting you) you pursue something more suitable to your intellect.   

Once again, I think you're vastly overestimating my intellect and somewhat underestimating both my commitment to and the difficulty of public defender work.  But thank you.

More important, how excited are you about redemption's return? :)

I'm very excited. Hers is a career I'll watch with some interest, though I think it may sadly be limited to academia.

I sort of see her doing some kind of human rights advocacy, you know, ED at some kind of African ngo, perhaps the diplomatic corps.  But I've always been way too literal.