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Author Topic: New soon to be 1L  (Read 2191 times)

tacojohn

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2007, 06:25:59 PM »
Actually, 10am is the worst.  It's too early to be late and you can do whatever you want, and it's too late to get you up early and commit yourself to working.

11am classes suck because unless you eat a big breakfast everyday, you're hungry in the middle of it.

curly

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2007, 06:59:24 PM »
Umm...turn off the internet during class. I haven't been able to do it yet, but I'm pretty sure it would do wonders for my attention level.
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Prizark

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2007, 01:03:52 AM »
Thanks guys!! Keep the advice coming. It's appreciated.

slacker

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2007, 01:16:48 AM »
If weight and/or space is a problem with books, consider getting them unbound.

Don't wait until the last minute to start your legal writing assignments.

queencruella

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2007, 11:18:19 AM »
If weight and/or space is a problem with books, consider getting them unbound.

Don't wait until the last minute to start your legal writing assignments.

Seconded on legal writing assignments. It's the one class in which you have a decent amount of control over your grade (if it's graded), so starting early gives you the opportunity to talk to your professor and get feedback so you don't end up turning in POS assignments.

I don't have anything against classes that begin at 11am. I think it's all a matter of preference. I'm the type who would rather have all morning classes and be done by 2:30 at the latest.

Dr. Miles

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2007, 11:29:43 AM »
1. No matter what anyone says (including your prof), it's all about the black-letter law. DO NOT worry about whatever bull you talk about in class. Your torts exam will make no mention of Calabresi's "The Cost of Accidents," and you will not get any points for applying law and economics principles to the case at bar. What you need to do on the exam is (a) Correctly state the issue(s), (b) Correctly state the law (the elements for a battery are 1,2,3,etc.) and (c) 'Apply' the law to the facts, which simply means picking out a fact or two from the question, and saying "here, [element x] is met because [fact y]," and finally (d) state your conclusion

That is what is meant by "IRAC." The 'A' part is supposedly the most important. IMO both the 'R' (Rule) and the 'A' (Analysis) are equally important. If you don't know the rule, you won't get the issue. You must state the rule
completely and accurately. Then, you just have to pick out a fact or two and say because of the stupid fact, the element/rule is met. That's it.

They key is to write as if both you and your audience were morons. State obvious issues and rules. Even if it's clear that, say, defendant comitted a battery, state the issue (the issue is whether D committed a battery), the rule (the elements for battery are...), the analysis (element 1 is met because D...; element 2 is met because D...), and then your conclusion (because D met all the stupid elements, he has committed a battery).

Again, state the obvious. This is counter-intuitive, b/c normal humans only think of things as "issues" when there is a colorable argument that the claim could be in dispute. For example, say I punch you in the face for no reason. That's a battery. To a normal human, there's no issue about whether or not I have committed a battery; it's completely freaking obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the law that I have. There's no way I could say I haven't.

But law school is not for normal humans. It is for morons. So, even though both you and your prof and everyone else already knows the answer, you must write as if the person you are speaking to has no knowledge whatsoever of the law (and is incredibly daft to boot). In the above example, you would lose points for not discussing why I have committed a battery, stupid as that may sound.

2. In light of #1, use study aids. Your prof will NOT teach you the black-letter law. Instead, he will prefer to BS about policy, government, fairness, his politics, his female dog wife, whatever. He doesn't care. He's clueless. That was how he was taught, and he's not an educator, anyway. He's a scholar. Scholars don't care about law, they all are policy wonks who want to work in think-tanks (only problem is think tanks are not prestigious enough to satsify the profs' giant egos).

3. Learn how to write a law school exam (even though I have already told you). DO PRACTICE EXAMS. Maybe get LEEWS, whatever. But def look at old exams, and whenever possible, best student answers. This is extremely important.

4. Given 1 and 2, don't worry that much about class and the bs that spews out of your profs mouth. If he says the rule is 'X' then you say the rule is 'X' even if the study aid says the rule is 'Y.' Chances are he won't ever tell you the rule, given what I said in 2. But in the rare case that he does, make sure that you know exactly what he said the rule was. Write an email after class in you're not sure.

But, for the most part, he won't tell you the rules (that's the 'beauty' of the Socratic method - you're supposed to figure them out for yourself!). So get and use study aids from day 1.

Prizark

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2007, 07:00:36 PM »
Thanks, that was helpful!!

queencruella

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2007, 09:59:11 PM »
I think Dr. Miles advice in 1 is way off-base because each professor has different desires and if you try to use a one-size-fits-all approach you will not do well.

I disagree with part 1. I had one exam that was based ENTIRELY on what we talked about it class, which I might add had absolutely no relation to the reading, black letter law, or even the topic of the class.

Some exams just don't lend themselves well to IRAC. These types of exams may have very specific questions and/or word counts that you will exceed trying to us an IRAC approach.

Finally, many professors ask policy questions on their exam. Chances are if your prof talks about policy a lot, it is going to be on the exam so you should spend time thinking about it.


Prizark

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2007, 03:01:54 AM »
I see your point. Just like in Ugrad - some profs put on the exam what they talked about in class and others went by the book

agroothuis

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Re: New soon to be 1L
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2007, 11:57:08 AM »
If weight and/or space is a problem with books, consider getting them unbound.

Don't wait until the last minute to start your legal writing assignments.

Seconded on legal writing assignments. It's the one class in which you have a decent amount of control over your grade (if it's graded), so starting early gives you the opportunity to talk to your professor and get feedback so you don't end up turning in POS assignments.

I don't have anything against classes that begin at 11am. I think it's all a matter of preference. I'm the type who would rather have all morning classes and be done by 2:30 at the latest.

Riffing off the legal writing theme...

If in a given semester your legal writing class is not worth as much as other classes credit-wise, don't spend so much time on legal writing that it hurts you in other classes.

I think this is a mistake that a lot of first years make.

Legal writing assignments are time consuming and will take up a lot of time.

The problem is, at my school, legal writing was not subject to the the strict curve and was worth as little as two credits for legal writing II and IV and only one credit for legal writing III, I believe.

At some point you will definitely experience diminishing returns on time spent for legal writing classes. Know when to stop researching, writing, editing, etc.
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