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 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.
Richard Michael Fischl
Carolina Academic Press; 1st edition (May 26, 1999)
File Size: 15 MB
Available File Formats: PDF AZW3 DOCX EPUB MOBI TXT or Kindle audiobook Audio CD(Several files can be converted to each other)
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch, chinese
This book should revolutionize the ordeal of studying for law school exams….It’s clear, insightful, fun to read, and right on the money. –Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law SchoolFinally a study aid that takes legal theory seriously….Students who master these lessons will surely write better exams. More importantly, they will also learn to be better lawyers. –Steven L. Winter, Brooklyn Law SchoolIf you can’t spot a ‘fork in the law’ or a ‘fork in the facts’ in an exam hypothetical, get this book. If you don’t know how to play ‘Czar of the Universe’ on law school exams (or why), get this book. And if you do want to learn how to think like a lawyer – a good one – get this book. It’s, quite simply, stone cold brilliant. –Pierre Schlag, University of Colorado School of Law (Law Preview Book Review on The Princeton Review website)Finally a study aid that takes legal theory seriously….Students who master these lessons will surely write better exams. More importantly, they will also learn to be better lawyers. –Steven L. Winter, Brooklyn Law SchoolIf you can’t spot a ‘fork in the law’ or a ‘fork in the facts’ in an exam hypothetical, get this book. If you don’t know how to play ‘Czar of the Universe’ on law school exams (or why), get this book. And if you do want to learn how to think like a lawyer – a good one – get this book. It’s, quite simply, stone cold brilliant. –Pierre Schlag, University of Colorado School of Law (Law Preview Book Review on The Princeton Review website)Finally a study aid that takes legal theory seriously….Students who master these lessons will surely write better exams. More importantly, they will also learn to be better lawyers. –Steven L. Winter, Brooklyn Law SchoolIf you can’t spot a ‘fork in the law’ or a ‘fork in the facts’ in an exam hypothetical, get this book. If you don’t know how to play ‘Czar of the Universe’ on law school exams (or why), get this book. And if you do want to learn how to think like a lawyer – a good one – get this book. It’s, quite simply, stone cold brilliant. –Pierre Schlag, University of Colorado School of Law (Law Preview Book Review on The Princeton Review website) About the Author <div id="
Getting to Maybe is a great book to read prior to attending law school. However, one will not likely have time to read this book while actually in law school. Now that I look back on what I learned from this book, I think the title is the only prevalent thing that has helped me. One essential thing to take from this book is that while working on an exam, it is imperative that you get your professor to think, “maybe” after reading your exam essay. If you can do that, you will perform well like I am in law school.
Was a great read up until I decided to not enroll in law school, at which point I cast it aside. It gets very technical about how to write exams, how to think like a law school student.Might as well be called “It Depends,” because lawyers are contextualists.Do you really want to go 200k in debt though?Or even 40k total debt at that safety school with the nice scholarships?Is there something you’re trying to prove?It’s all love on this end; I’m just trying to help you make the right decision, even if it puts you back at square one.Give computer science another shot. Or business analytics. Heck, even video editing!But if you really think law is suitable for you (and it may well be), then grab this book your 0L summer and crush 1L. You already know you’re smart. Now you just have to work hard and take the right steps, which this book will outline for you.Also you can negotiate scholarship amounts if you have leverageable offers from peer schools. Good luck, lost girl/boy/zem.
This is a good book. A lot of the trouble with law school exams is law professors are notoriously bad teachers, and these bad teachers write bad exams. Granted, this is a worst-case scenario, but if you’ve been to law school for more than one semester, there’s a good chance that at least one of your professors has utterly bamboozled you into how he/she wants the final written. So what this book does is give you something of a blueprint and a method of examining fact patterns and exploring the question(s) so that you can simply go into the exam and take it without much fear.Where the book fails to be of help though, is with the IRAC method. I wholeheartedly agree that IRAC is a too-constrictive method of writing that tends to inhibit most students from really expressing what they know. Law professors largely want a mechanical recitation of rules followed by mechanical analysis, so law students spend hours and hours memorizing rules with the ultimate purpose of using them in an IRAC format. It’s absurd, but that’s the way it is. And this book simply dismisses the fact that lazy law professors love IRAC for the fact that it gives them a template from which they can read and score exams quickly.But still, you can construct an IRAC using this method, it just doesn’t lend itself seamlessly to it, which is pathetic–not with respect to GTM, but to the teaching and testing methods used by professors. If you don’t believe me, and if you haven’t already done so, go look at model bar answers from your state and see if they employ a rigid IRAC formula. They don’t. And so to me, that’s what this book was good for–being able to write bar exam quality answers that leave room for a different writing styles and methods of analysis.If you’re just starting law school, buy this book. If you’re already in and still struggling, buy this book. If you’re the king or queen of fastidious, multiple, anally retentive headers on your exams, read this book and go look at bar answers.
Any 1L or incoming law student needs to read this book! So, I took the BARBI Law Preview before law school began to get an overview of what law school was like and a heads up on how to do things. During this program I had read just two chapters of the book- and these two chapters alone put me in a crucial mind frame to understand the importance of what your professors are looking for. It is not just about distinguishing the right issues and facts, because there is truly no such thing, but distinguishing both sides of an issue, and of course you have to read the book to get more info, but I feel like it has helped me understand what success sounds like in exams. I am only going into my third week of 1L, but I can tell the book has given me a leg up. I recommend that you read this book before you start, or in the first two weeks (though you’ll be burdened with a lot of reading then- so before is best) so you can get into the mindset, instead of doing it right before exams and feeling like you have to rewire your brain to everything you thought you understood.I guess I’ll have to update you guys once I see my exams, but so far so good!
This was one of the best investments I made before I started law school! I read this book July-August before my first semester. Even though I hadn’t taken any classes just yet, it provided me with a decent roadmap for approaching my classes while prioritizing strategy for my finals. I then reviewed the main points of each chapter, especially the last few chapters, in October to make sure I was preparing well with finals fast approaching. Long story short, this book gave my a competitive edge over many of my peers for every final I took! I finished my first semester with all As and in the top 2.5% of my class. Highly recommend! Do yourself a favor, start early, and always remember that the ultimate answer to many law school is exams is “maybe”
Getting to Maybe has been on the short list of summer reads for incoming law students for nearly 20 years. Law School in general and the issue spotter exams, in particular, can be a black box of sorts to students used to taking traditional exams. Getting to Maybe clearly lays out the structure of the exams, what professors look for in students answers and how to maximize your exam grade. Because the final exam is such a large portion of the final grade (sometimes the only grade), reading Getting to Maybe can be incredibly beneficial to incoming 1Ls.
Would probably be better read a short way into 1L, rather than beforehand – many of the examples and suggestions assume a working background of some concepts and topics that very few 0Ls will have any idea of.Book itself is thorough, almost to the point of redundancy, with a breezy, conversational tone. My biggest gripe is the lack of examples. The book’s subtitle is ‘How to excel in law school exams’, but the main focus is on how to do well. I was rather hoping for suggestions of ‘a C answer would go like this, a B answer like this, which would differ from the excellent A answer which would do this’. By lacking a contrast (I believe there’s a single, early example of a paragraph answer which would get a pass), the book gives you things to think about to do well, but doesn’t really help you move from one level to another.
A well-known book about law school exams but also about how lawyers argue cases.
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.
This book accurately describes how law school exams work and is applicable to Canada. I recently finished Canadian law school and recommended this to anyone I know who was recently admitted.
This book helped me immeasurably in law school. Highly recommended! 1Ls – read this before you write your first set of exams!
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