Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams

Getting to Maybe How to Excel on Law School Exams Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one has before all with an eye toward improving the reader s performance The book begins by describing the difference between educationa

  • Title: Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams
  • Author: Richard Michael Fischl
  • ISBN: 9780890897607
  • Page: 340
  • Format: Paperback
  • Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one has before, all with an eye toward improving the reader s performance The book begins by describing the difference between educational cultures that praise students for right answers and the law school culture that rewards nuanced analysis of ambiguous situations in which than one approach may be coProfessors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one has before, all with an eye toward improving the reader s performance The book begins by describing the difference between educational cultures that praise students for right answers and the law school culture that rewards nuanced analysis of ambiguous situations in which than one approach may be correct Enormous care is devoted to explaining precisely how and why legal analysis frequently produces such perplexing situations But the authors don t stop with mere description Instead, Getting to Maybe teaches how to excel on law school exams by showing the reader how legal analysis can be brought to bear on examination problems The book contains hints on studying and preparation that go well beyond conventional advice The authors also illustrate how to argue both sides of a legal issue without appearing wishy washy or indecisive Above all, the book explains why exam questions may generate feelings of uncertainty or doubt about correct legal outcomes and how the student can turn these feelings to his or her advantage In sum, although the authors believe that no exam guide can substitute for a firm grasp of substantive material, readers who devote the necessary time to learning the law will find this book an invaluable guide to translating learning into better exam performance.

    One thought on “Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams”

    1. This is probably the best book out there on how to do well on law school exams. The problem is the topic is incredibly lame. Who really cares about this when there are fascinating facts to learn and stories to ponder? My complaint is not with the information, the authors, or the style. Again, it is very helpful and probably achieves the goal it sought. My complaint is simply with the topic.The authors will show you how to "answer" a law school question, which is actually not answering it at all [...]

    2. Great book. Really opens up your eyes to the world of what law exams are supposedly like. In short (like *really* short), the strategy with any law exam question is:1. Spot the issue. Identify all the legal questions which arise out of the hypothetical fact pattern given by the professor. 2. Identify the number of ways in which each issue can be addressed. Sometimes, there will be a "fork in the law." For example, should the common law apply? Or should a statute apply? Should the court consult a [...]

    3. Sigh.Update: Well, it's a classic for a reason. I won't be able to say for sure how helpful it is until I get to exams next Christmas, but it certainly shed some light on the subject. Pretty engaging, considering the subject matter.

    4. Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one has before, all with an eye toward improving the reader's performance. The book begins by describing the difference between educational cultures that praise students for 'right answers,' and the law school culture that rewards nuanced analysis of ambiguous situations in which more than one approach may be correct. Enormous care is devoted to explaining precisely how and why legal analysis frequently produces such perplexing situa [...]

    5. Honestly, this was really repetitive and I just skimmed through it. If I had a penny for every time "fork" or "fork in the road" was mentioned, I wouldn't have to worry about paying back my loans. =P There was some good stuff mentioned, but nothing mind-blowing or particularly difficult to grasp. Will probably read much more thoroughly around Thanksgiving, we'll see how helpful it is come exam time. =/

    6. I'd rank the thrills contained herein as somewhere between watching paint dry and staring at a kettle incapable of boiling, but the material is (or seems) effective. As the only available option for in-depth exam strategy, you'd be foolish as a 1L not to read it. Here's hoping it helps.

    7. Painful as hell, but necessary for law school exams. It's what the law professors want you to say, but a lawyer would ding you on

    8. Excellent! One of my professors referred me to this book. Would recommend for all incoming 1Ls. They give you wonderful tools to analyze law school exam questions- some of which I will adopt.(However, the tips towards the end could've been condensed.)

    9. The real secret to doing well is reading what’s important, ciphering out the bs, and getting a great outline.

    10. Really helpful and relaxing read for 0L, making law school exams seem accessible and possible. I really appreciated the lack of doomsday rhetoric as compared to other law school prep books.

    11. This is a book useful for 0Ls to get a general idea of the thought process when answering exam questions. But still, priority should be given to individual professor's suggestions and instructions.

    12. This book has revealed a type of writing that my opinions on have changed over the years. How to books are ones that never really drew me in. Maybe that was because I never found one that I wanted to learn how to do or maybe because I never gave it a chance but this book has changed my opinion on how to books. This has got to be the hardest type of writing to do. You must build credibility with the reader. And that is what I learned most from this book. I learn the process of gaining credibility [...]

    13. This book is for 0L to 1L law students, (if you haven't learned the things this book teaches pass 1L, seriously re-evaluate your life lol). What I liked about this book was that it went a little bit pass the "IRAC, study, OMG forget everything you've ever learned, your life is about to change" law school help book cliche. And it actually told you "WHY" you needed to get pass those notions and what benefit it will bring when you do. The authors "walked through", if you will, as much as they could [...]

    14. ''On an exam, each tension in the law is an opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of the topic. If it appears to you that one important case supports a decision for the plaintiff, while another equally controlling case suggests a decision for the defendant, just SAY SO, instead of throwing your hands up in despair. You are far more likely to be rewarded for spotting both points of view than you are to be graded down for your failure to reach a conclusion in which you can be 100% confident.'' ( [...]

    15. It won't teach you much substantive law, but this book was helpful to me--someone who was about to take his first battery of law exams. Good advice on how to spot issues, recognize forks in the law, and make flexible arguments. The book is too long, quickly becomes repetitive, and most of the topics are heavily belabored, but the underlying strategies are fairly important. Additionally, most of the strategies are fairly common sense, but it does help to have experienced law professors point out [...]

    16. A simple, easy-to-read, straightforward guide to writing law school exams. By now this book has been around long enough that many of my classmates summarized the main message for me - law school exams aren't about finding the right answer, but analyzing all sides of the problem. But on the advice of most of my professors I read the exam over a weekend. Was it helpful? Ask me after my exams. It provides a solid base approach to studying for and writing exams, and also points out where you should [...]

    17. Of all the books I read this summer to prepare for law school this fall, this one contained the most concrete help. I highlighted so much of its content, it would have been easier (and less time-consuming) to highlight the information which I didn't find particularly useful. While some of the info (e.g. the specific examples) will make more sense once a student has begun taking her 1L courses, there is enough here to help a 1L get a good start. Most helpful were the guidelines on taking exam-wor [...]

    18. I stop studying every night, no matter what, at 10 pm in order to get in an hour of fun reading. I labeled this book as "homework" when I started it, but eventually found myself reading past 10. That means I actually enjoyed reading this, which is saying something when compared to the many exam prep supplements I've slogged through this semester.This is rightly the benchmark 1L test prep book. The core message resembles that of The Matrix, "There is no spoon." But there are many forks.

    19. This book would have been an invaluable asset in first year but, as you would expect, its relevance declines as the end of your degree draws closer. The way in which the authors portray issues as 'forks in the law' or 'forks in fact' is quite helpful in that it reminds you to explore each side of the argument, however tempting it may be to draw quick conclusions.

    20. This book's explanation of broadly what belongs on a law school exam and how the correct answer is really a listing of good reasons that a question could be resolved either way or as I like to say for shock and amusement value, if you know the answer to a traditional law school exam, you're wrong.

    21. The only reason I did not read this book from cover to cover is that I am not taking criminal law & property (courses that this book covers) this semester. However, I can't wait to re-read in the spring. I would recommend this book to anyone feeling anxious about the unknown of law school exams.

    22. This is a vital guide to law school and exam success. It explains the thought process that professors want to see on an exam. I recommend it to everyone entering law school and to law students who want to improve their exam performance.

    23. Great BookA must read to understand the skills in question by law school exams. After, one must put the knowledge gained to practice. Now I know why a law proffesor recommended it.

    24. Excellent book for anyone in law school. Quite useful, particularly if you read it early in the semester. Helps with understanding what's coming with finals, and what you can do in taking notes and reading to be better prepared for the outlining experience.

    25. Read prior to starting law school. Helped me to understand how to spot "forks in the road." However, the book advocated against using the IRAC method, when, at Syracuse Law, each of my first year professors were proponents of IRAC.

    26. Obviously, I haven't figure it all myself in law school, but this book is great for a 1L who has never taken a law school essay exam before, or for 2Ls and 3Ls who want to improve their essay writing skills.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *