Why law school advice from professors is stupid, Part 1

If you really listen to law school advice from law professors, you would think their job is a giant act of tough love rather than, um, f-ing TEACHING.

Exhibit A:  an excerpt from this Journal of Legal Education article:

“This article accepts the now-common assertion . . . that law professors should make explicit the analytical skills their students must learn.”

Okay, let’s unpack this:

  • Is it even a point of debate that law profs should teach the skills they want students to know? Meaning, is the default belief that profs are not teaching students the skills profs want them to know?
  • This idea is only “now-common”?  Meaning, only recently did some law professors accept this idea.
  • Also:  this is merely an assertion.  Meaning, actually teaching legal analysis skills is not something these law profs believe they actually do.

To be fair, the article I linked to is a step up.

Most law school advice by profs is just stupid.

It does not acknowledge the central importance of legal analysis skills.  

It focuses on dumb bromides like “eat breakfast on exam day” and “masturbating the night before an exam is not bad luck.”

(Wrong: it is.)

Many profs refuse to tell you the various skills you must apply on the final exam–as if doing so is cheating somehow.

(Remember, you paid up to $250,000 to teach yourself legal skills, not to be spoon fed by a professor!)

So, anyway, like any full-of-himself writer, I complained about crappy law school advice from profs in the pages of Above the Law, as a guest blogger.

I specifically wanted to call out an anonymous author, lawprofblawg (perhaps a name selected in homage to prawfsblawg), who writes several largely insipid bits of so-called law school advice to law students, also in the pages of ATL.

Specifically, he says to avoid commercial outlines like the plague.

As I said before, I disagree.  Commercial outlines can enhance your understanding of the black letter law that you must know for your exams.

Especially because law profs hide the ball on what the black letter law is.  (You are supposed to glean it from the cases, dummy!)

So I submitted a post to Above the Law.  The piece (which ATL edited, as I’ll explain) is titled Rainbow Vomit And Law Professor Advice Part 1 Of 2.

On the other hand, looks like that’s my last piece for ATL for now.  And likely forever.

(Despite my other rousing pieces on online law schools, and how getting a sex change is easier than quitting law school.)

An ATL editor refused to publish Part 2 to an article that is entitled “Part 1.”  

This is probably because they heavily edited my piece at the last second, and I heavily objected.  

I should have played nice but . . . too late.

ATL omitted all references to lawprawfsblawg, whom I had specifically called out on his dumb law school advice.

The ATL editor, in his words, took out “the specific references to another columnist as not vital to your point, not to mention possibly causing us completely unnecessary headaches should the other columnist be offended.”

I confess I had not realized before that sensibilities at ATL were so delicate.

Anyway, when you read Rainbow Vomit, think of lawprawfblawg.  

(Because Big Aspirin pays me the Big Bucks, and I love to cause “unnecessary headaches.”)

Since I have my own blog, I have published the unedited Part 1 with the unpublished Part 2 all in a single post here on Larry Law Law.

Reader interactions

2 Replies to “Why law school advice from professors is stupid, Part 1”

  1. Your insights are crucial to assisting law students in doing their best. The culture of legal education which fails to connect analytical skills/exam preparation within it’s model is hard to believe. Yet, it is occurring. Thank you for being a bastion of light in the tunnel of darkness that we pay so much to be in!


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