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Current Law Students / Wanna succeed in law school? Get M.A.D.!
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:45:31 AM »
Law school is simply a rite of passage; you have to go to law school to be able to take a bar exam so that you can obtain a license to practice law. Law school will not teach you to be an attorney, nor to think like one, nor will it give you the business skills that will ensure your success as a practicing attorney. Law school will expose you to the law, and whether you learn anything will be strictly up to you and no one else.

The teaching methods used by professors in law school are determined by economics and the fact that most professors hate teaching and would rather be playing golf, writing books, taking the next big case, or trying to get their own show on TV.

The "Socratic Method" is used because it's inexpensive and can accommodate a large number of students. It has its merits, but as far as teaching someone to think and act like a lawyer it falls short of what is required. The "Socratic Method" is effective in teaching philosophy and that is exactly what you will learn in law school: the philosophy of law.

Learning to argue and think like a lawyer is strictly a matter of good legal research and experience. It is the art of persuasion. Such a skill can only be learned over a period of time and with experience. The "Socratic Method" plays no role in developing legal research skills, and only a small role in developing the art of persuasion.

It is for this reason that the vast majority of lawyers who practice are mediocre. In addition, the majority of law school graduates do not practice law five years after graduation.

What's wrong? Nothing, really. It's just that law schools have a monopoly and for the most part are enjoying it. Law schools and the practice of law are nothing more than a business. The sooner you realize this the better off you will be.

This may seem very cynical but it was written to try and make a point. Do not be impressed by or scared about what will happen in law school. Law school is not a "Paper Chase", although some professors love the image of Kingsfield tearing apart students causing them to melt in nervous breakdowns. Remember, the person who asks the questions using the "Socratic Method" wins the argument.

Remember the vast amount of anxiety you feel as a law student is because you are faced with the unknown on a large number of levels. You are with people you do not know, and you have no idea who to believe with all the "worthless" advice you are receiving without ever checking who is giving it.

In response to this stress most of you will abandon all the methods you have used in the past to learn things. Don't be so stupid. The same thing that got you good grades in undergrad or in any other higher education endeavor will be the same thing that gets you through law school except for one minor difference. All the material you learn in law school builds upon each element so you must learn and remember it all and not do a data dump after each test.

To get through law school you only need to do five things:

- Memorize the law.
- Learn the application of the law.
- Learn the skill of issue spotting.
- Learn the skill of exam writing.
- Learn the methods of legal research.

So don't get frustrated, don't get nervous, don't go crazy studying everything, just get M.A.D.

The M.A.D. study method is unique to the Study Partner law outlines. It consists of the following study methods:




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