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Author Topic: Ask Totally Fun Chicago Students Your Questions  (Read 79004 times)

annonymous

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #440 on: March 07, 2008, 09:06:04 PM »
So OneNote is worth it?

Like MTG, while I do know a couple people that don't like it, I swear by it. Its just so easy to organize stuff, as opposed to using multiple word documents (or, god forbid, one HUGE word document for a class, as I know many people do; just looking at a file like that overwhelms me). Its also very useful when you're quickly switching between topics (courses, topics within courses, different classes, etc.).

For people who are really good note takers, which I'm not, the little functions of OneNote are also really useful (tables, diagrams, movable boxes, etc.) for some classes.
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Hazard

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #441 on: March 08, 2008, 03:18:31 AM »
Your Property outline is pitiful, MTG. Pitiful! (although certainly better than my non-existent one; and I do like the tabbing; I started doing that as well)

Also, Hazard, what is Land Use: Natural Resources? What would the course focus on?

Oil and Gas! And copper, surely. Mineral rights.
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Hazard

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #442 on: March 08, 2008, 04:01:34 AM »
I'm getting excited to visit Chicago in April... I have two unrelated questions:

How strong is the environmental law program? Is the approach more liberal ("Save the trees at whatever costs") or conservative (i.e., tradable pollution permits)?

What program do you use for exams? If it's a specific software program, does it have spell-check? I only ask because I constantly misspell words while typing...

I know a lot of other schools have set up (IMO, gimmicky) "programs," but we don't really have them at Chicago.  You just take whatever classes you want, and they make sure to keep a handful of topical classes available each quarter .  I haven't taken any of the enviro ones yet, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I would guess that most of the professors would be much closer to the latter style.  I wouldn't call that conservative, though; it is more law & econ than conservative.  The conservative/liberal divide comes in how tight you want those caps to be or how much you value the environment vs. industry.  Cap & trade is a means, not an end.

As to the second question, Chicago treats its students like the adults they are and doesn't use any special software.  You just type your exams on Word and e-mail them in when you're done.  That means you don't have to lug 50 page outline printouts into the room and skim through them by hand; you can just Ctrl+F in a separate Word doc.

I would consider law & econ a fairly conservative approach, at least in the sense of conservative economics. After all, law & econ tends to promote laissez-fair resolutions (a la Coase) rather than socialist, command-and-control type solutions. Also, it seems a lot of liberal environmentalists argue in favor of pollution taxes because tradable permits give polluters the right to pollute instead of simply punishing them. Of course, assuming minor income effects and transaction costs (both of which may be large in polluter-receptor scenarios), the same amount of pollution will be abated in either case.

Sorry, we just went through about a hundred articles on Coase in my grad program.

And, that's nice you can use Word for exams. I think some schools have programs that lock down the rest of your computer.

Does society value money more than being able to say 'That company is evil! Their tax bill proves it!'? Maybe we do. Even taxes give people the "right" to pollute as long as you pay a fee or fine. Criminal sanctions are the only answer - who cares about Dead Weight Losses? (Ahh, anti-commoditization! The always-devastating Elements playbook comes out). If our priority is reducing pollution, there is no reason to not take the one that costs the least, as long as we remember to include in "costs" things other than money (even though measuring psychic costs is impossible).

I may just be blind, but I often find that all viewpoints get fair play in class (see: abortion discussion in Con Law 3. Really see: rape discussion in Crim), and most of my profs haven't really said much about where they think the law ought to be (in class, at least) (except for Epstein). If someone, student or professor, wants to go off on a tangent not expressed by the law, they had better not do it half-cocked and had better have some solid reasoning behind it, but these tangents seem to be rare. More useful discussions occur when a student says that the legal rule to draw from the cases is Rule X, not Professor's Rule Y.

In all seriousness, I'm not sure when a great deal of time would be spent on whether Law & Econ is better than Law & Philosophy or anything else. Most of the classes I have taken have been about what the law is today. I'm sure there are classes out there that aren't interested in this, but I've probably avoided those subconsciously. The general approach, as Levmore has explained it, is that UofC says what the law is, and gives a few reasons for why that may be. Going further out into "What would it be in our ideal world?" is often (though not always) less useful. Think of the various philosophies (Law & Econ, Law & Phil, etc) as drawing pictures that connect the cases. It's easier to remember a picture of a unicorn than a number of coordinates that end up drawing a unicorn connect-the-dots style, even if sometimes the dots are actually a horse. It happens to be that much (not all) of the common law can be connected via Law & Econ (or Rule Based Utilitarianism). Other times, other tools are more useful. There's not much Law & Econ in Con Law. At other times, it's used quite explicitly by the courts (Property and Liability Rules). You too can have fun with unicorns if you take Levmore for torts.

As far as advocating a position not existent in the law, few professors do that with any frequency, and I'm happy for that. I would disagree with most of them, I'm sure, and I really see little use in spending a great deal of time on what could be or could have been. Sunstein spent a lot of time in Admin going over the present puzzles in Admin Law, but not advocating a position on how they ought to come out. Epstein, of course, goes on about Strict Liability, and we love him for it. Strauss will occasionally say that Con Law should be seen as Common Law. Bernstein hates the UCC, and hearing her rail on why the law is stupid helps me to remember what the law is. That being said, supposedly Contract Law is not all bad, and the supplement she assigns (Chirelstein on Contracts) is about as "I love the UCC" as you can get.

Many professors, like Levmore, Gersen, Strahilevitz, Samaha, will be exclusively descriptive.

I would appreciate if others would comment on their experiences. I have had a limited set of professors, which is even more limited because I take the same ones over and over again. This trend shows no sign of stopping - next quarter I will only be taking one professor I have not had before.


The exam software is notoriously evil, and does a great deal of invasive crap that destabilizes the computer overall.


Have fun reading this, it's 3 AM.
I'm posting constructively.

annonymous

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #443 on: March 08, 2008, 08:36:31 AM »
Elements is notoriously evil, and does a great deal of invasive crap that destabilizes the student overall.




(although I personally loved Elements)
(I'll try to respond to that same post later, but my class exposure to professors has been even more limited)
"I'm a genius, but I'm a misunderstood genius."
"What's misunderstood about you?"
"Nobody thinks I'm a genius."

"A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day."

ShadWhitmore

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #444 on: March 08, 2008, 12:50:06 PM »
Hazard: Your quotes too long for me to insert it, but...

I really like what you said about how professors teach. I think it's fine, natural, and even desirable for professors to have normativistic (is that a word?) views, but I think positivism is appropriate for the classroom. Even though, as I stated above, I would consider law & econ a somewhat conservative approach because of the underlying economic assumptions (non-compensation in potential Pareto improvements, giving a dollar to Bill Gates is as “beneficial” as giving a dollar to the poor, it is possible to place a monetary value on health and the environment, etc.), I would still consider law & econ a positivist approach (feel free to disagree, I will probably still attend U of C even if some current student trashes my arguments  :D). However, philosophers of science are currently debating whether true positivism can exist, so I think it’s important to recognize the underlying assumptions of any method.

It does seem there is more room for interpretation in the law than in other subjects like the natural/physical sciences, econ, etc. (Isn’t that what Critical Legal Studies is all about? – I just remember reading about CLS on an LSAT reading comprehension prompt. :D) How much do professors’ political slants come through as they teach?

sillyberry

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #445 on: March 08, 2008, 12:59:42 PM »
I have no idea what any of you are talking about.
Juicy: UChicago

It sounds so reasonable when you say it.

Reaching

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #446 on: March 08, 2008, 01:12:56 PM »
I have no idea what any of you are talking about.

I think all this debate of Law and Econ v. other theories and liberal v. conservative is totally overblown.  It should not be as important a factor in choosing law schools as many law school applicants make it to be.

annonymous

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #447 on: March 08, 2008, 01:16:35 PM »
How much do professors’ political slants come through as they teach?

In my limited experience: not much.

I mean, their legal views do sometimes come out in certain classes and certain topics, but thats not exactly the same as political views (even if there is overlap between the two). But even then, the opposing argument is usually given a full-throated defense as well. I can only think of one professor that may have been a bit more dismissive of opposing theoretical arguments than he should have been, although I'm sure many here would disagree with me on this (I'm talking about Strauss).

PS: None of this applies to Epstein. In fact, nothing applies to Epstein.
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"Nobody thinks I'm a genius."

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Hazard

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #448 on: March 08, 2008, 01:20:17 PM »
How much do professors’ political slants come through as they teach?

In my limited experience: not much.

I mean, their legal views do sometimes come out in certain classes and certain topics, but thats not exactly the same as political views (even if there is overlap between the two). But even then, the opposing argument is usually given a full-throated defense as well. I can only think of one professor that may have been a bit more dismissive of opposing theoretical arguments than he should have been, although I'm sure many here would disagree with me on this (I'm talking about Strauss).

PS: None of this applies to Epstein. In fact, nothing applies to Epstein.
Agreed.
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ShadWhitmore

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Re: Ask Totally Fun Chicago 1Ls Your Questions
« Reply #449 on: March 08, 2008, 01:33:02 PM »
PS: None of this applies to Epstein. In fact, nothing applies to Epstein.

Epstein sounds like a character. Hasn't he been around for a while?

I have no idea what any of you are talking about.

I think all this debate of Law and Econ v. other theories and liberal v. conservative is totally overblown.  It should not be as important a factor in choosing law schools as many law school applicants make it to be.

I'm not trying to say these issues are paramount when choosing a law school; after all, I think law & econ and conservatism is pretty pervasive at all top law schools (thanks, in part, to John M. Olin). I just find the application of economics to law fascinating. It's the main reason I'm interested in law and legal academia.