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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:

* MEMORIZE

* APPLY

* DISSERTATE

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Current Law Students / Re: Legal Reasoning
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:42:25 AM »
Pretty interesting thread!

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Job Search / Re: Career--CIA attorneys
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:40:12 AM »
tag

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Current Law Students / Re: How are you taking notes?
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:38:50 AM »
The more notes you take in class the worse you will do in law school. The typical student comes to class without having learned any law. That student spends an inordinate amount of time reading cases thinking that he will learn law from those cases.

When that student enters class she generally does not know the law from memory or has not even studied the law. Then the student proceeds to write down enormous amounts of notes that have little or no meaning when they are reviewed for an exam. That student and many of her compatriots may even try to reason about the law and make logical conclusions about the law even when they know nothing about that law.

All we can say is good luck; you'll need it. You cannot take notes on how to think and that is what applying the law is all about. If most students knew the law before they walked into class, they would simply say to themselves that this case is applying the transferred intent doctrine under tort law or this case is showing us how the reasonable person standard for a manifestation of contractual intent is analyzed under offer under contract law.

In class, you are merely learning the application of the law and making sure that you understand the underlying principle that the application is based upon.

If you already know the law, or are well underway to memorizing it, you go to class to learn how to apply the law and make sure you understand the principle behind the application of that law. It is virtually impossible to take notes on how to think about something.

In fact, when most students start to memorize the law their understanding of what is being discussed in class increases by orders of magnitude and the amount of note taking drops to virtually nothing.

You are in class to make sure that you can apply the law and understand the principles behind the application of the law.

You cannot learn the law in class nor can you ever understand the law if you do not take the time to memorize it and know all of its important aspects. Stop writing and listen and learn when you are in class.

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Current Law Students / Re: Am I studying enough?
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:36:01 AM »
Quote
All I do is write down the outline headings for my reading, skim the books and jot a note or two, and then copy the casebriefs from Legalines into my notes so I'll be ok for class. That's like an hour tops for each class.

You're in good shape, fella! I would love to have the time to actually copy the canned briefs into my notes, but unfortunately I don't, so I bring the actual canned brief with me in class. 

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Current Law Students / Re: Canned Briefs
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:33:00 AM »
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I've always used digests, treatises, legal encyclopedias, etc. to supplement my knowledge of the material or when I am confused.

hahaha

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I agree the case book isnt really necessary to bring to class, as long as you brief the case and are good at doing it thats all you should need to answer the prof questions.

Sometimes pros ask you to read a specific paragraph in the casebook

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Current Law Students / Re: How necessary is a laptop?
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:27:55 AM »
Laptop is essential in law school. I would go nuts if I would not surf the Internet during the entire duration of the class so that I will not pay attention to the crap the professor is saying.

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The woman would be better positioned to find a rich guy if she'd be a lawyer. 

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Current Law Students / Re: E-legalines
« on: August 24, 2005, 11:08:17 AM »
try romlaw. i think it may be decent.

http://www.bsmsphd.com/

Excellent advice on that website, ccih! A big kiss for you!  :-* I am gonna paste some of it on this board!

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