Tuesday, January 12, 2010

They all say it so it must be true

I have picked up tid bits of advice all over the web, in person and in books about how to do better on law school exams. I have recently taken up the job of part time evening cohort B cheerleader. This is my lecture, try not to fall asleep.

"Ok, you got a bad grade because you dumped everything you know on the exam and that pisses the professors off in a big way, I know this because they say it over and over and over again. You continue to throw in irrelevant shit just to prove you know the law. Well guess what anyone can learn the law, ANYONE. That does not help you stand out. what you need to do is the following:

1. Come into the exam with a good attitude, be calm and confident
2. Read the call of the question first!
3. Read slowly and carefully
4. Spend time outlining your answers
5. Answer the damn question! Make sure you understand what he is asking! Dont answer questions he isnt asking. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!!
6. Pretend like you are a lawyer and a client has come to you with this ridiculous problem (aka hypo) Address the exam as if you were giving real true legal advice. If a client comes to you about breach of contract you absolutely DO NOT go into implied warranty of merchantibility. You answer their questions, logically, methodically, using COMMON SENSE and the law you learned.
7. READ THE CASES and pay attention to the analysis done by the Justices. Pay close attention! Thats how you learn to write that way, methodically, systematically, answering questions!!!!
8. If you are faced with a problem you cant answer try to walk yourself through it and spend more time thinking than writing.
9. Make your exam easier to read, use headings and write in complete sentences, seperate issues by paragraphs and try to spell check.
10. Be concise and always follow each conclusory statement with "BECAUSE" then change it up to show the other side of the story with "HOWEVER"
11. Don't get psyched out and don't DONT DONT DONT quote commercial outlines---they will kill u! Offering information that was not addressed in class, in the reading etc. will piss off the professor. they think this: "Oh student B didnt bother to come to class, read or take notes, instead he crammed using a commercial outline offering law I didn't cover and didn't even want to see addressed on this exam NO POINTS!
12. Read prior exams and really understand what they did that make them stand out

I think the only point of law school is to train us to think like lawyers by reading millions of opinions and engaging in class discussion, you learn the law when you study for the BAR. I think it's safe to say that if you don't know how to analyze a hypo properly you will NOT pass the bar. This advice works for people like me who are not all that naturally smart, people who spend more time studying because they need to. There are naturally smart, logical thinkers who don't need to put in this effort but if you are a C student and not because you are lazy then this might help.

This is just my two cents and doesnt mean shit to anyone but me. So take it with a grain of salt.


Anonymous said...

Good to know. The longer I go on without grades the more terrified I become of finding out what they are. But in the worst case scenario, it's good to know how to improve.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty sharp, I agree with idwsj.

JD-Maybe said...

Well thank you both