Law School Exams

How hard is it to write an exam for a course you’ve taught all semester? Seriously, tell me, how hard is it? On a scale of one to ten — ten involving programing a rocket ship, one somewhere around putting on pants in the morning — where does formulating a law school exam rate? A two? Maybe three if you are teaching the course for the first time?

It cannot possibly be so hard that you have to use the same exam over and over again, in the digital age. We’re not talking about something as complicated as the wheel. A law school exam can be reinvented, every year, with subtle and simple changes.

Using the exact same exam is just lazy. There’s no other word for it. LAZY. The high cost of law school is largely attributed to the hefty salaries of law school faculty. The least these people can do is write a novel exam each and every semester that they teach.

And yet during this finals period alone, we’ve got students from three law schools, including two law schools in the top ten, alleging that their professors couldn’t be bothered to come up with fresh exams for this year’s students….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Stop Reusing Your Old Exams, You LAZY Law School Professors!”

* Now that Chicago has bared it all, isn’t it time for other law schools to fall in line? Show us the stats for the class of 2010 already. [Law School Transparency]

* And this is why your mother told you not to talk to strangers. [Legal Juice]

* If you’re going to send out a survey asking who your bros would like to rape, at least be classy about it. “Surprise sex” just sounds better. [Yahoo!]

* Five useful tips on how to be a better law prof, written by a law prof. Sleeping with students didn’t make the list. [PrawfsBlawg]

* In America, we make television shows about women and their witchy ways. In Saudia Arabia, they just kill them. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Martin Klotz, outside counsel for SAC Capital’s Steve Cohen, demands that you respect his client. [Dealbreaker]

* Ryan Gosling’s hotness put to good use for law school finals. [Law School Ryan Gosling]

* We should start preparing for the first Skyrim-based lawsuit. [Slate]

Downward dog... kind of.

* Protip for Mark Hansen, AT&T’s lawyer: when you want a judge to save your merger plans, it’s probably not a good idea to demand that she make a ruling by a certain date. [Businessweek]

* What’s going on in Cooley Law’s defamation suit against Rockstar05 (other than discussion of whether the school’s attorney understands the tort’s defenses)? An appeal. [Lansing State Journal]

* Getting a prep school education in New York isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ask Philip Culhane, Simpson Thacher partner and name plaintiff in the Poly Prep sex abuse suit. [New York Times]

* America, f**k yeah! The Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is suing the DMV over free speech rights they might not have had if they seceded from the union. [Fox News]

* Yoga guru Bikram Choudhury tried to sue his disciples for infringement of his moves, but he ended up getting it downward doggy style from the Copyright Office instead. [Bloomberg]

* “If you want a good grade, you need to have sex with me.” At the height of finals season, many law students wish this were an option, but apparently it only happens in college. [New York Post]

Law students, we know that finals time is rough, because we’ve all been there. Sometimes getting together with a study group is a great way to take the edge off (not to mention a great way to “suceed” with friends). Amid the excitement of the fall 2011 bonus season, these kids are buckling down and studying their tails off, in the hopes of some day getting a dime of what Biglaw associates are currently complaining about.

And like good little scouts, these law students are prepared. Okay, maybe some of them are a little bit too prepared. When your classmates email us to let us know that they hate studying at the law school because of you, maybe you need to give it a rest….

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Our law student readers are well aware that finals season is underway. People have already started camping out at the library as they meticulously prepare and organize their outlines and note cards. They’re double- and triple-checking their professors’ slides to make sure they haven’t missed any important information. And for the average law student, poring over pages and pages of text can get mind-numbingly boring very quickly.

Apparently one controversial professor at a D.C. law school figured that out, and decided to add a bit of excitement to his lecture slides. Because nude pictures are great study aids….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nude Pictures: The Best Way to Help Students Study for Finals”

For most law students, finals start this week. For the class of 2014 1Ls, it’s their first finals period.

Good luck to all.

I had a very strict, almost superstitious, regimen to get myself in the mood to take a series of eight hour exams for 100% of my grade. Before finals period, I would watch the fight at the end of the first Rocky. Because the point of finals period isn’t necessarily to win, it’s to go the distance.

My motto was always, “you can learn a lot in eight hours.” My school generally had eight hour take-home exams for 100% of your grade.

The students at Rutgers Law about to encounter their first finals period have a different sort of motto. It’s a very good one….

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It’s the end of October, and you know what that means: law school finals are lurking. As law students begin to hunker down and make sweet, sweet love to their outlines and flashcards, others are busy thinking up more clever ways to study the same materials.

Visual learners think that drawing pictures will help them cram especially boring law into their brains, but those in the auditory learning crowd know better. And that’s why one law student is writing rap songs about the most boring law of all, Sarbanes-Oxley….

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Gun hard!

Last week, we told you about some law students who were holding tryouts — and charging a $20 application fee — to fill the final two spots in their study group.

The students in the group were roundly mocked. Charging an application fee made demanding an undergraduate transcript from applicants pale by comparison.

Now, if the school had been a place like UVA Law, the student body would have gotten defensive and lashed out about how the study group post “didn’t tell the full story.” They’d whine about how the study groupers didn’t “represent” the student body. They’d claim that ATL “planted” the poster, because we “had it in” for the school.

But some students at the Georgia State University College of Law didn’t feel the need to defend their school or the silly students in the study group. They realized that nobody would impute the toolish behavior of a few 1Ls to an entire institution.

Instead, they chose to have a bit of fun with it. Confidence and a sense of humor are beautiful things….

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Want to join them? Bring a writing sample -- and twenty bucks.

In some imperceptible yet significant way, the experience of American legal education has reached a new low.

We all feel this. Between tuition that is out of control, deans who don’t tell the truth, and students who are willing to fight other students to the death to get jobs in a market where there aren’t enough to go around, law school feels like less of a good experience than it used to be.

And we feel that in the air even if we can’t put our finger on it. And then we see something like what’s happening at one state law school, and the whole sad experience of getting a legal education in America suddenly has a new mascot.

Today we have a flyer from a group of three 1Ls who want to hold “tryouts” for the other two members of their study group. We’ve seen this type of thing before — remember the study group at a top-ten law school that required a transcript? — but this latest application process takes things to another level.

This study group wants to charge people $20 for the opportunity to try out….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “1Ls Hold Tryouts For Study Group Slots, Charge Application Fee”

We’re already into the middle of October. In the law firm world, associates are starting to think about bonuses. Meanwhile, at law schools, exams will be here before you know it.

If you’re a law student looking for guidance about preparing for and taking exams, you might want to check out Open Book: Succeeding on Exams From the First Day of Law School (affiliate link). Written by two law professors — Barry Friedman, of NYU Law School, and John C.P. Goldberg, of Harvard Law School — the book connects the dots of the law school experience, explaining how what takes place in class relates to both final exams and the practice of law.

How has the book been received?

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