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Getting To Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams Paperback – May 26 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Carolina Academic Press (May 26 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: 4.3 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Getting To Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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: 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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Format: Paperback
I love this book. It has provided a clear indication of what is necessary to do well on law exams. I read this book after doing a number of law courses. This book made me realised why I got all those B grades.
This book shows you how to think like a lawyer. How to analyse. How to develop argument and counter argument. How to work in policy arguments. How to tie in themes of the course to answer questions. How to develop the skill of issue identification.
This book tells you what your law professors shroud in mystery. I have been there, where the professors tell you to analyse and argue, but give you no clear indication of what this entails in an issue laden question. This book should be read by every law student who wants to understand better what the study of law requires of them. It is not a substitute for hard work and the authors state very clearly that success in law school can only be achieved through your own hard work.
Any one who turns their thumb down on this book, probably grasped from day one what was truly required of them as law students. For the rest of us, this book will be an incredible find.
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Format: Paperback
Getting to Maybe is a Godsend. Even for those of you who've already finished first-year, it's well worth getting.
I am the author of Planet Law School: What You Need to Know Before You Go--but Didn't Know to Ask. Unfortunately, Getting to Maybe was first published in 1999, a year after PLS, so I could not recommend it in PLS. Hence this posting, now. Even though the authors and I are competitors, and our books are published by different firms, I urge all law students to get Getting to Maybe. (For one thing, the authors' critique of the IRAC model is succinct and devastating.)
If you take doing well in law school (and becoming a good attorney) seriously, this book is a necessity.
It's so well-written that I had to force myself to put it down, and ended up reading it in just two sittings, of several hours each.
The earlier review, about the teaching of Tantric Yoga, in exactly right. With Getting to Maybe, the secrets are secret no more.
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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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