Law School Discussion

for those that have started law school

obamacon

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2006, 10:49:10 PM »
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.

Not at all, it is very difficult work (although of a different kind than youíd probably enjoy). In fact, itís so difficult as to be impossible, fruitless or, usually, both. Iíve no doubt youíll figure this out eventually, but thatís not what worries me. I can see you ignoring your better judgment and sticking with it, not realizing that if you tweak your aspirations, ever so slightly, youíll be happier and make 10 times the difference you otherwise would.

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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.

Iíd agree, although I think sheíll move a bit further than that. Trouble is that she, like you but to a lesser degree, has intellect but little slyness or guile. 

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2006, 07:49:23 AM »
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. 

Eh, he's okay. He's only done one thing that was mean-spirited and that I really disapprove of, and I think that he'd recognize that that was a mistake.

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2006, 07:53:47 AM »
she, like you but to a lesser degree, has intellect but little slyness or guile. 

You underestimate me.

Anyway, as I've said many times, law school, three or four years of clerkship/work, find a suitable mate, raise a family. That's more than enough for me. If academia is able to accomodate that, great; if not, too bad.

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #43 on: October 08, 2006, 07:56:45 AM »
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. 

Yeah, but, you don't have to be competitive to strain the curve. It's a side-benefit of just doing your best.


redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2006, 08:02:13 AM »
Huh.  Now I'm not sure how much of my preexisting skepticism and academic background makes me believe that when we see an argument about "utility" or "fairness" or whatever we're operating off of the argumenter's implicit, and certainly debatable, definition of that concept, where maybe other students are just buying into it.

I will say this: when the discussion turns to fairness or something of that nature, all of my professors so far have been good about not giving answers, and further, asking narrowed questions such as "is this fair to the plaintiff? what about the defendant?" and "is this anti-democratic? how? in what ways is it good, in what ways is it bad?" etc.  This sort of stuff has been a bigger topic of conversation with my two younger professors, for what that's worth, but we haven't received a particularly slanted narrative in any class -- and where there is one, e.g. the Epstein torts casebook, the professor has been pretty good about noting objections to some of his arguments. 

(I have no reason to think these four professors are particularly representative, however.  Indeed I recently noticed a plaque of recent winners of the annual "best teacher award" or whatever it is, and three of them seem to win it quite frequently--I'm not actually sure in which direction that cuts, if any, but I think it's worth noting.)

Oh, and the treatment of these things in the casebooks is in general not very good.

Yeah, but really, they need to do more than just ask questions. Asking the questions just reinforces the very notion that it -- what's fair, what's efficient, etc - is common sense. And it just ain't so.

One of my favorite glimpses was in skimming some guy's commentary on Allegheney and it said something like "courts enforce charitable subscriptions without consideration because we want charities to be able to depend on promises so that they can keep doing their good work". I laughed so hard at that, I almost cried.

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2006, 08:05:08 AM »

He misjudges a lot of people.  It amuses me, because he think he's so terribly clever and knowing.

Eh, what you have to know about breadboy is that he won't commit himself out of a fear of being embarrassed. He'll skim the surface. Sounds bad, but it is WAY less irritating than than the gaggles of people who've come to this board who commmit themselves and are absolutely certain that they're right when a child could pick their arguments apart with ease. Those people make me sad.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2006, 08:29:35 AM »

He misjudges a lot of people.  It amuses me, because he think he's so terribly clever and knowing.

Eh, what you have to know about breadboy is that he won't commit himself out of a fear of being embarrassed. He'll skim the surface. Sounds bad, but it is WAY less irritating than than the gaggles of people who've come to this board who commmit themselves and are absolutely certain that they're right when a child could pick their arguments apart with ease. Those people make me sad.

That sounds like me!  Uh-oh!

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #47 on: October 08, 2006, 08:29:58 AM »
Yeah, but really, they need to do more than just ask questions. Asking the questions just reinforces the very notion that it -- what's fair, what's efficient, etc - is common sense. And it just ain't so.

Do you think it makes a difference if they use those questions to break down people's "common sense" reactions to a case with respect to, say, fairness?

It could, if the kids had anything to draw on. The problem is that you have all sorts mixed in -- engineers who've never read Aristotle, economists who wouldn't know a laffer curve if it fondled them, etc. It's no good just asking the question; you have to say, "look, there is something called 'sociology' which complicates the notion of duress; there's something called 'literature' which complicates the idea of narrative; there's something called 'behavioral economics' which complicates the idea of utility; there's something called 'psychology' and something else called 'psychoanalysis' which makes 'mens rea' a troublesome conflict. But they don't do that. Maybe they -- the people who teach -- don't feel confident in their own grasp of these things, or maybe they do and they just don't see their job as doing anything other than getting through the casebook with as little fuss as possible. I'd guess that it's the latter. Raise those issue, and you'd have to deal with legal ed in an entirely different way; none of this business of pretending that holdings can be reconciled in any systematic way (this is, I think, a mistake that all metatheories, including, ironically, CLS, make).

A better approach would be to treat very, very few cases and explore the decision-making process in each of them. Look at the trial transcript, including the procedural motions to include/exclude certain evidence, a biography of the appellate judge, the kinds of narrative strategies used at the appellate level, what happened to the plaintiff and defendant after the resolution of the case, etc -- and back this up with a plausible multidisciplinary approach. Law is violence, law schools should take the law seriously. Instead, what they do -- what they seem to be engineered to do -- is to encourage students to both treat it as trivial AND to respect it. You've got to admire that they pull it off so well, but it doesn't exactly advance the cause of justice.

redemption

Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #48 on: October 08, 2006, 08:31:35 AM »

He misjudges a lot of people.  It amuses me, because he think he's so terribly clever and knowing.

Eh, what you have to know about breadboy is that he won't commit himself out of a fear of being embarrassed. He'll skim the surface. Sounds bad, but it is WAY less irritating than than the gaggles of people who've come to this board who commmit themselves and are absolutely certain that they're right when a child could pick their arguments apart with ease. Those people make me sad.

That sounds like me!  Uh-oh!

Not quite. You do what I do: you speak in the language of the audience.

Miss P

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Re: for those that have started law school
« Reply #49 on: October 08, 2006, 08:34:00 AM »

He misjudges a lot of people.  It amuses me, because he think he's so terribly clever and knowing.

Eh, what you have to know about breadboy is that he won't commit himself out of a fear of being embarrassed. He'll skim the surface. Sounds bad, but it is WAY less irritating than than the gaggles of people who've come to this board who commmit themselves and are absolutely certain that they're right when a child could pick their arguments apart with ease. Those people make me sad.

That sounds like me!  Uh-oh!

Not quite. You do what I do: you speak in the language of the audience.

You and bb really should form the "Overestimating P" club.  But anyway, let me try to tamp my narcissism this morning.  Carry on. :)