Law School Discussion

1L year: Tell all here

Lily Jaye

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2006, 09:28:17 AM »
in some classes, you learn several different rules that could be applied, and part of the challenge is to know which one to focus on in the exam and which ones to mention and dispense with quickly. different rules will be applicable to different circumstances, and part of it is knowing how your professor thinks about these problems.

Just to give an example of why this last part is important: my Contracts professor is a strong believer that form should never be more important than function.  As a result, every time we encounter a contract that appears to condition liability for partial payment on the occurance of a condition that is within the control of the other party, we are to analyze the condition as if it were (1) a firm offer for a unilateral contract, and (2) a liquidated damages clause in a bilateral contract.  By his logic, those analyses are essential to correctly understanding the function (and thus the legal consequences) of the condition.  This type of problem was 15% of our final exam, and I haven't seen a supplement yet that suggests taking this approach.

I remember seeing something along these lines in the Law in a Flash flash cards when I picked up the wrong pile.  I could be mistaken, though.

Quote
Like I said in the other thread, read the hornbooks first.


I have no problem with the idea of reading the hornbooks first, and then doing the work second.  The use of supplements to supplement the class reading and lectures is generally a good strategy.  Reading ONLY the supplements while ignoring the professors is certainly a bad strategy at Michigan, and probably at many other schools. 

Yes, but you don't have to go to class to listen to the professors.  If you did, I'd have been completely screwed this semester. :-\

rhombot

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2006, 09:32:05 AM »
to give another example, my contracts prof taught us promissory estoppel, and it was featured in several different cases in different sorts of contexts. in all, we spent a fair amount of time discussing it. but he would *not* want us to apply it in commercial situations as many jurisdictions do, unless it was a special situation like a contractor relying on a subcontractor's bid.

at the same time, he doesn't seem to have any problem with similar doctrines, like equitable estoppel or unjust enrichment.

a student in my contracts class who relied on the supplements rather than figuring out the professor might seriously overuse promissory estoppel, or might understand that the professor is against all of these quasi-contracts and fail to bring them up on the exam.

Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2006, 09:54:16 AM »
but he would *not* want us to apply it in commercial situations as many jurisdictions do, unless it was a special situation like a contractor relying on a subcontractor's bid.

So he is teaching you "his" opinion? Honestly? Are we going to law school to learn law or to learn the opinions of someone who has never practiced law? I know this is not the case for all professors, but it is for many.

rhombot

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2006, 10:09:20 AM »
but he would *not* want us to apply it in commercial situations as many jurisdictions do, unless it was a special situation like a contractor relying on a subcontractor's bid.

So he is teaching you "his" opinion? Honestly? Are we going to law school to learn law or to learn the opinions of someone who has never practiced law? I know this is not the case for all professors, but it is for many.


well, we're discussing the importance of knowing your professor's prejudices, not the propriety of teaching certain rules over others. different jurisdictions have different approaches to promissory estoppel, and although my professor's a bit of a dinosaur, there are still jurisdictions that essentially agree with him.

my torts prof prefers that we apply contributory negligence rather than comparative negligence, even though only a small minority of states still use contributory negligence.
i think that's appropriate because comparative negligence is a very recent innovation, and understanding it is important for understanding decisions from more than about 40 years ago. it's also more legally sophisticated, it seems to me, and touches more on other aspects of torts law than comparative negligence does. it's therefore a better testing tool and arguably a better rule to know for the purpose of really understanding tort law.

Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2006, 10:15:08 AM »
tis a good way to look at it.

J D

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2006, 10:17:15 AM »
but he would *not* want us to apply it in commercial situations as many jurisdictions do, unless it was a special situation like a contractor relying on a subcontractor's bid.

So he is teaching you "his" opinion? Honestly? Are we going to law school to learn law or to learn the opinions of someone who has never practiced law? I know this is not the case for all professors, but it is for many.


well, we're discussing the importance of knowing your professor's prejudices, not the propriety of teaching certain rules over others. different jurisdictions have different approaches to promissory estoppel, and although my professor's a bit of a dinosaur, there are still jurisdictions that essentially agree with him.

my torts prof prefers that we apply contributory negligence rather than comparative negligence, even though only a small minority of states still use contributory negligence.
i think that's appropriate because comparative negligence is a very recent innovation, and understanding it is important for understanding decisions from more than about 40 years ago. it's also more legally sophisticated, it seems to me, and touches more on other aspects of torts law than comparative negligence does. it's therefore a better testing tool and arguably a better rule to know for the purpose of really understanding tort law.

By that, do you mean it has more exceptions or special rules?  If so, those rules were part of the reason why it broke down.  The exceptions (like "last best chance to avoid the accident" and all that) were means of mitigating the harshness of contributory negligence in certain cases were it seemed unjust to deny recovery simply because the plaintiff was also careless.  Eventually, the exceptions and special rules seemed arbitrary and everyone decided it made more sense to move over to a comparative fault regime, since that's likely what the juries were doing internally anyway.

cesco

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2006, 10:52:53 AM »
All this reflection is great, but how many 1Ls actually have fall grades so far?  I'm not expecting any until at least mid-January. 

While I'm generally satisfied with my own understanding and application of the material from this fall, that's a purely subjective assessment, and I have every reason to view it with healthy skepticism until there's some evidence with which to correlate.

Great point.  I had midterms in all but one of my classes, but they were worth only 20-25% of my grade.  A subjective assessment is all I have as well...

thestradgirl

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2006, 10:53:17 AM »
It can't hurt to have another.

bass

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Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2006, 11:17:16 AM »
All this reflection is great, but how many 1Ls actually have fall grades so far?  I'm not expecting any until at least mid-January. 

While I'm generally satisfied with my own understanding and application of the material from this fall, that's a purely subjective assessment, and I have every reason to view it with healthy skepticism until there's some evidence with which to correlate.

February here, I think.

redemption

Re: 1L year: Tell all here
« Reply #49 on: December 29, 2006, 11:19:04 AM »
Y'all going to post your grades when they come out?