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Getting To Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams Paperback – Jan 1 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Carolina Academic Press (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890897603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890897607
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "austinatty" on Oct. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
Having graduated with high honors from one of the top five law schools, I relied on several of these books to identify the appropriate approach to taking law school exams. I applied the approach as follows: (1) read only those assignments provided by the professor (ignore commercial outlines, etc.); (2) take extensive notes of everything the professor says in class (and do not write down any student comments or student answers to Socratic questions); (3) organize your notes of the professor's lectures into your own outline; (4) read the professor's prior exam files, including any student answers selected by the professor as "model answers"; and (5) practice taking the professor's old exams in the few days leading up to exam day. The rationale is that your professor will be looking for you to spot those issues that he or she views as important. The more of these issues you spot, the higher your exam grade will be. Ditch those commercial outlines and study group meetings. In addition to Getting to Maybe, you should also prepare for law school by conditioning yourself to what its competition will feel like. Two excellent books that accomplish this goal are Scott Turow's One L (Harvard in the 1970s) and Scott Gaille's The Law Review (2002 book about competition at The University of Chicago Law School).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first bought this book before law school but thought I would comment on this book now after going through a year and a half of law school and taking several exams.

Overall, the book does a good job lining out several formulas for successful exam writing. It provides useful examples to the reader that will probably result in better exam scores for those who understand what is expected of them on their first actual law school exams. However, past those first exams, readers will gain little from the content of this book. Like other readers and fellow "lawschoolers", it is my experience that at least half of your professors will discuss with you what they expect on their exams, and a few may even choose to outline the "sacred" IRAC method in class or on demand. Most students pick up what is expected of them from those teachings or by searching out past exams. Even reading case law may help students understand how they should answer an issue by demonstrating how learned judges apply their own ideas and argument to legal issues.

Most law students know after the first few trials what method works. After that, it is all about your work ethic and that thing located between your ears. The hardest working students are the ones who get the best grades, usually by preparing better than most others. Believe it or not, the problem of knowing how to write a law school exam disappears very quickly for those hardworking enough to search out the resources available to have meaningful, practical repetitions. Reading a book isn't likely to make you a better exam writer. You'll have to dig your hands into the clay before you can master the potter's wheel.

Save your time and money.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By papaphilly on May 20 2004
Format: Paperback
This book saved my law school carreer. law school tests are notoriously ambigous. There are no right answers. Unfortunatly, there seems to be no help for students. One of the proscribed methods is the IRAC method (when you get to school you will learn this and this is not the time to write about it). This book gives you a different way of acheving success in the test. The book does criticize IRAC and offers its own way of handling the testing questions. "Getting To Maybe" is written by law professors and who would know more about passing their tests as well as how a professor thinks? The book is a well written philosophy on the test and the mistakes. The authors spend a great deal of time explaining their philosophy and it is helpfull for the second half of the book. The book shows the common test question mistakes and how to fix them. The book also provides sample tests with sample answers and explanations of why they are good answers. This is the best part of the book, a side by side comparison of good and bad answers which makes this book invaluable. Highly reccommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By noahky on June 7 2011
Format: Paperback
read before first year law school. Now having completed two years, I feel as though I gained nothing from this book. It is entirely unapplicable.
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By A Customer on April 14 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is in no small measure the reason that I am still in law school. I bombed the first year exams. After reading this book, and practicing the skills in it, my next set of exams were great. Just like the book says, Law school Profs do not teach what they test. The book lifts the "veil" of secrecy so that a student can do well on exams. The law schools should TEACH this book to every first year student.
Thanks
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By A Customer on March 26 2004
Format: Paperback
Who better to get advice on law exams from than two law professors, who also graduated at the top of Harvard Law's class? My grades have gone up and up since reading (and re-reading) this book. Anyone who goes to law school, especially where competition for grades is tight will benefit. The more you read it, the more you grasp the strategy. So don't get discouraged if you're a bit confused the first time. I'd recommend reading through this before you enter law school and at least once (maybe twice) a semester as you can squeeze in a few extra minutes. I've looked at every book about legal reasoning and taking law exams that I've been able to get my hands on and this book has the best system by far. It might not be the easiest system to understand (after all the easy road isn't always the best road in law school), but once you grasp it you'll be thankful.
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