When I started the video per day experiment, I was worried about being able to talk for a minute. Turns out that has not been a problem. What is a problem is thinking that I can tackle a topic in one minute. So, today, I am starting a law school life series that will continue during the rest of the month. Today’s topic scratches the surface of the Socratic method and classes so, of course, I had to add a bit more below.
The Socratic Method used in law schools today often consists of a professor assigning several cases to be read before class. During class, the professor will call on students to explain various aspects of the case. To be prepared, it is a good idea to know the case history, the facts, and the issue that the court is deciding. (I’ll cover a trick I use to help me prepare in a future video). Even in our third year, many of my classmates still dread the call. Personally, I don’t mind being called to answer–I say that because I go to class prepared; at the very least, I have done the reading. I have found that giving an answer with confidence (even if it is completely wrong) satisfies most professors. In one instance, I confused the poor professor so much by my confidently given, completely wrong answer that they changed the topic and had to come back to the subject the next class.
What courses law students should take is a hotly debated topic. The impending doom represented by the bar exam encourages most students to take “bar” classes (or classes in topics that will be covered on the bar exam). I fall into the camp that believes that students should take the classes that will be most beneficial to them in their practice, that will give them an understanding of many areas of law, and that are interesting. I also recommend taking classes that have practical application and will future proof their education. (For example, I think that any lawyer intending to practice business or work in estate planning should be taking courses that address blockchain).
In the end, there is not one path through law school and each student must decide what their path will be.
See more on the Video Per Day Experiment in my introductory post.