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Author Topic: How is law school "hard" ?  (Read 1504 times)

ACK!

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2006, 10:44:38 PM »
Because some profs reserve the right to subjectively raise or lower your final exam grade by a letter.  Let's say you earned a B on the final, but slacked off every day in class.  He can easily give you a C.  And it doesn't matter if you scream "Unfair".

And that doesn't even touch on if it's a subjective essay exam where he can be even rougher on grading.  After all, by not speaking up in class, you had no idea (in his opinion) of the proper way to phrase an answer.

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Steve.jd

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2006, 01:15:28 AM »
Uhh this is wrong on so many levels.  50 pages a night is excessive and rare...30-35 on average is much more accurate.  Grading is completely blind and all exams are typed - 100% of your grade is based on the final so the prof cannot change your grade at all based on participation - although he/she might base recommendations on participation.  Everyone in the room is cheering for you.  No one is hoping you fail, the vast majority of your peers end up with virtually the same grades, and everyone gets a good job.  Learning is completely cooperative and any pressure is self-enforced.

Oh, it must be nice to go to Harvard.

We get about 20 pages per night per class, on average (which would make the average 50/night).  4 real classes, each three times per week... my schedule has us with 4 classes per day on Wednesday and Thursday (one of those is legal writing, granted, but considering some of the LRW assignments, that can actually be wildly worse).  It's a long week.

And all professors can change your grade plus or minus one step based on attendance/preparedness/participation, and we do get cold-called.  Not everyone gets good jobs.  And when you people get called on, no one's cheering for or against them--they're just thinking "I'm glad it's not me" and trying to follow along and understand what the professor is asking.  And I don't see how learning would be cooperative, at least here, although FWIW I consider all learning to be a solo endeavor... but still I think most people just do their own thing, trying to keep up day by day.

And the interrogations have gotten a lot harder.  You need to know the facts and procedural history and holding and the court's reasoning still (although it often won't be asked for), but now we're expected to to be able to compare cases, or work the rule we just did into a case from early in the semester, or otherwise answer hypos with shifting fact patterns.

I mean some nights are closer to 50 or maybe even a little over, but some nights are 10 or 15 so we average out to I'd say 35.  We have three "real" classes and LRW, although LRW is not every week.  I agree LRW assignments can make the week much worse but the course is P/F.

We get cold called on in some courses, but its completely painless, and the prof won't spend more than a few minutes on you.  Learning is very cooperative in the sense that people are always discussing the work outside of class and sharing their own views and insights, although some study groups exist they are not exclusive - if you see one meeting you can sit down and partake in the discussion, people willingly share notes, briefs, and outlines, and generally go out of their way to make your life a little easier.  The administration and OCS/OPIA go out of their way to make sure that grades don't matter in the job search (with a few exceptions) to encourage people to help each other rather than compete.

The third paragraph of your statement is true for us too, but most people find it enjoyable, or at least are not frightened or bothered by it.  I also wouldn't call them "interogations."

HLS '09

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2006, 01:23:02 AM »
To be fair,

1. LRW is not really P/F.  It's H, P, LP, F.
2. Cold-calling happens all the time at HLS, just not in section 2 (or 5?) much.
3. HLS has it easy in terms of number of substantive classes.
4. Reading must vary by professor.  For example, my Civ Pro prof, were she able to get through what she assigns, would put us through like 60 pages per day. Luckily, we cover roughly 2.5 pages/day.  Ah, civ pro.
5. Some prof's want law school to be hard, even if it isn't.  This is why my crim law prof asks impossible questions every class.

That said, law school isn't hard.  It's more like elementary school (in many ways) than rocket science.

EDIT: This doesn't mean I claim to know anything about the law or expect to do well.

Steve.jd

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2006, 01:29:20 AM »
To be fair,

1. LRW is not really P/F.  It's H, P, LP, F.
2. Cold-calling happens all the time at HLS, just not in section 2 (or 5?) much.
3. HLS has it easy in terms of number of substantive classes.
4. Reading must vary by professor.  For example, my Civ Pro prof, were she able to get through what she assigns, would put us through like 60 pages per day. Luckily, we cover roughly 2.5 pages/day.  Ah, civ pro.
5. Some prof's want law school to be hard, even if it isn't.  This is why my crim law prof asks impossible questions every class.

That said, law school isn't hard.  It's more like elementary school (in many ways) than rocket science.

EDIT: This doesn't mean I claim to know anything about the law or expect to do well.

1.  Yeah but in reality its H/P
2.  Cold calling happens in my section, but in two of my three classes it happens far less often than volunteering, and when it does happen its generally short and painless.
3.  Yes we do.
4.  My Civ Pro class generally goes slower than the syllabus too - maybe its Civ Pro?
5.  My profs are all really reasonable and awesome.
HLS '09

Tyrael

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2006, 01:30:18 AM »
I usually have to do about 40-50 pages of reading a day.  It took me about 4-5 hours to read all that in the first 2-3 weeks of law school.  Once I learned how to efficiently brief cases, i'm getting through 40-50 pages within 2 hours... and that includes random IM's, bathroom breaks, and LSD checking :)

The first two months of law school is really not that bad.  You don't have any major assignments to worry about and a lot of the classes are straightforward.  Law school starts getting very difficult and stressful once your open memo is due.  There you will have to manage a very time-consuming research assignment while keeping up with reading assignments.  FInal exams begin about a month or so after you hand in the first draft of your memo so you need to start worrying about outlining at this point.  At this point classes also start to get very confusing because you begin to learn about the more complicated areas in the law like the Erie Doctrine....  ??? ??? ???

In my opinion the forced curve makes law school the most difficult.  You can't simply do your best or perform well.  You have to perform better than a certain percentage of your classmates.  You have to worry about the legal geniuses that seem to understand everything after reading the case once and the overachievers that spend 95% of their free time just studying.  You certainly don't have to be a legal genius and you don't need to spend all of your free time studying to do well but they are your competition and you have to deal with it. 

bass

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2006, 01:31:59 AM »
At this point classes also start to get very confusing because you begin to learn about the more complicated areas in the law like the Erie Doctrine....  ??? ??? ???

Oddly, I don't think we'll be getting to that.  Isn't that sacrilege?

Steve.jd

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2006, 01:34:39 AM »
At this point classes also start to get very confusing because you begin to learn about the more complicated areas in the law like the Erie Doctrine....  ??? ??? ???

Oddly, I don't think we'll be getting to that.  Isn't that sacrilege?

Oh hrm, you guys are going really slow then I guess.

Erie is awesome.

Read Erie, Hannah v. Plumber, Byrd, and Guaranty Trust Co for the major case overview
HLS '09

bass

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2006, 01:37:13 AM »
We spent too much time on complex litigation/class actions/multi-party multi-forum litigation.  We also spent a long time on amendments to pleadings and relation back (how claim preclusion comes into play).  We also spend too much time on practical stuff (that's for the masses).  Sometimes we play games.

Tyrael

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2006, 01:38:06 AM »
At this point classes also start to get very confusing because you begin to learn about the more complicated areas in the law like the Erie Doctrine....  ??? ??? ???

Oddly, I don't think we'll be getting to that.  Isn't that sacrilege?

Oh hrm, you guys are going really slow then I guess.

Erie is awesome.

Read Erie, Hannah v. Plumber, Byrd, and Guaranty Trust Co for the major case overview

my civpro professor is a bit odd...

we STARTED with minimum contacts and pennoyer... i had a 2L read the textbook which my professor wrote and he said it was all backwards...

it makes me sad...

i have to rely on glannon to help me understand civpro...

i think i just died a little inside

bass

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Re: How is law school "hard" ?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2006, 01:39:52 AM »
How about the fact that pennoyer is more historical curiosity than anything?  What a waste of time.  We spent a week on personal jursidiction BEFORE International Shoe.  Then it was like, "So you know all that *&^%? Yea, it doesn't really matter anymore."