This blog is about living the American Dream at the dawn of the new millennium! I am a nameless, mid-20s, bottom 150 Law School Graduate who finds himself marginally attached and awash in a sea of overeducated but underpaid, indentured peers who feel, and were, duped by the promise of a better life through debt and modern chemistry. Let's get to the point. The Law School Industrial Complex is a scam that has destroyed a generation out of greed. Vendettas were once legal and the pursuit of one was seen not only as moral, but necessary. This newly minted lawyer is going to continue the practice. DON'T GO TO LAW SCHOOL YOU MORONS! Ce qui suit est ce qui reste!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Cheat...err I mean Work Smarter: Guerilla Guide, Part Deux

And now part 2....

***Disclaimer/CMA, make sure to double check your own school's honor code to see which of the following you can get away with should you actually be caught or outed by a fellow prisoner.  If any of these methods runs afoul of your school's honor code, then do not do it.  I would never ever ever encourage or enable anyone to cheat or circumvent this noble profession's code of conduct.  I have been repeatedly told is the most ethical profession ever!!!  As the decisions of the law school professors, administration, and governing bodies have shown--ethics is largely bull anyway...I mean extremely important.

Here's my four pronged attack to "work smarter" in law school for those of you not already doing one or more of the below items.  Because I can guarantee you that more people in your class are doing one of them, and probably the ones you least expect.

1) Have a family member-attorney do your work
2) Get "upper classmen" material
3) Pay "smarter" people to do your work for you
4) Use private/commercial outlets (you'll be doing it anyway when you graduate to pass the bar exam)

I'll explain step by step.

1)  The attorney-parent/close family member


This is pretty self-explanatory isn't it?  When you have a doting parent who is already an attorney you get the same thing happening as an elementary school science competition.  

"My lord Timmy, that volcano looks remarkably good for a 5 year old amputee!"

I had classmates who went to buy their casebooks and bought 2 copies, one for themselves and one for mommy or daddy to follow along.  They'd often call their parents to explain either what's actually going on in a class, what's important, or what's the latest trend in actual practice for class participation brownie points.  Their mock briefs, for classes that required it, looked strangely professional & to the heart of the issues for someone who had never been a paralegal/practicing attorney.

This strategy is also helpful later on in the job search & "networking" phase.  Although in today's world, the legacy law student may have no choice but to carry on their parent's firms (not that I can blame em--we're really in a great depression not recession...it'll just take time for the talking heads & policy makers to admit it).

Type 1 - Good for = pretty much everything.

2)  Get "upper classmen" material


The reason why so many 0L's and 1L's try to  suck up/offer oral sex network with upper classmen is that they've already gone through the torture classes so they know:

1) how the professors grade
2) what the professors personal "passions" are regarding the material--i.e. what minor rule they test on
3) which ones you can actually listen to without having suicidal tendencies.

If you happen to join one of the more "exclusive" extracurricular law school clubs or frats, some of which are invite only and only to a very specific kind of person--*see Duane L. Loft from my Fordham Career Services Ad post, then you get access.

Access to what?  One or all of their "mystically awesome" outlines that everyone has heard about!  These outlines are passed from generation to generation like a venereal disease venerated heirloom.  Without them, most of the club's members would never have passed a class, let alone do well.  These outlines are also closely guarded---so you will really have to work at getting them.  Getting one reminded me of buying good drugs...hushed tones, secluded conversations, building up relationships with favors, lots of bummed cigarettes, etc. before you're "let into the circle of trust."  JK, buying good drugs is wayyy easier than getting some of these outlines.  Mostly because of how hyper-competitive your fellow students will be/are over class grades.

If you can swallow your pride to do this or actually get into one of these clubs then you should definitely sign up & assume the position!

Also, a great way for an "in" to the club's goodies without being a member is to get your hands on an adderral/ritalin Rx script---as those pills sell like gold at law school (as many of you readers who needed them just for that extra edge in undergrad already know).  Cocaine works too...WASP law students fucking love to ride the white pony....but that's an foolproof expensive way to do it.

Type 2 - Good for = pretty much everything, but especially school specific electives.

3)  Pay smarter people to do your work for you


This was easily the most blatant example of what I'd consider "cheating" in law school (it happens way more than anyone likes to admit).  The key is just being able to keep your fucking mouth shut so you get away with it.  Some people I went to school with got caught because they couldn't help but brag and/or go out when everyone else was working, thus raising suspicion....

[Cut to interior, Law School Library, dark corner showing me surrounded by papers, books, and empty coffee cups while typing with an unlit cigarette in my mouth because schools don't have the decency to let you smoke in building anymore]

Teddy: "Hey asshole, want to go over to the bar with me and see that new movie after?"
Me: "Uh, Teddy we've got that seminar paper due on Monday."
Teddy: "Not me, dude, I'm done.  I got Jane the 3L from law review to do it for $200 bucks."
Me: ".....you motherfucker."
Teddy: "Shit...so still no bar trip?"

This is a great option for those of you with plenty of spare cash (*if you have this much disposable income--try the white pony strategy--although if you have this much spare cash you're probably already riding it--in which case, WEEEEEE!!!!).  Most students who would fit that description generally don't care about their grades because they'll be "taken care of" upon graduation.

However, most of you readers are likely funding this disastrous expedition law school with loan money you'll never repay, so spare cash probably isn't going to be a concern for you.

At the end of the day, the legal profession itself is really just whoring yourself out to fight other people's battles in a "more civilized" way...so this can't be that wrong can it? (I actually have a list of attorneys that don't match this description including small non-profits & even, surprisingly for some readers, the often maligned Personal Injury attorneys)

Type 3 - Good for = Pretty much everything, but it's the riskiest & you are at the whim of someone who might be able to blackmail higher fees out of you.

4) Commercial Outlets aka Freemarket Legal "Supplements"



This is really just a "fairer" version of Type 2 because it's a cheaper, some of my learned colleagues nearly paid more under the table for prong 2 than they did for actual class tuition, and you don't have to brown nose.  Some students just bought graymarket copies of BarBri or PMBR bar prep material for core classes because it gave them the black letter law without all the bullshit.  Those were much better than CrunchTime or Emmanuel or any of the other nickel & dime supplements that are still "keyed" to the case books.  However, you may want to pick some of these up because professors will literally cut, copy, and paste questions from these commercial supplements and/or old bar exams, also freely available, directly into their tests and call it "teaching."  Yeah that's right, most professors don't even come up with their own original questions---why should they reinvent the wheel?  It's called cheating working smarter... 

Most people who use these commercial outlines know that it doesn't matter what they requote from a prof's boring lecture...if they throw in enough black letter law, their professors would have to give them a better grade than the jackass who recites the same example a prof used in the 13th day of class.  Plus, they'd get little gold stars on their essays from professors who were "amazed" at the keen analysis and issue spotting.

The problem is that these for-profit supplements won't cover a lot of the worthless electives like gender law or human rights--or any other useless pet project courses that the state bar examiners, thus BarBri, don't give a shit about.  So you may be stuck having to actually pay attention--try prong 1, 2, or 3 should you find yourself stuck here.

Here's the other way to do it, and the biggest shocker for me as I didn't discover it until I was a 3L.  I had one fellow classmate who I thought was mildly brain damaged every time I ever had a conversation with her outside of the classroom.  But in the classroom...Holy shit!

It was almost like she was reading the professor's mind (the professor was equally enamored with this student who made law review).  Then one day she let me use her computer in the library while she went to do a couple lines of blow in the bathroom use the ladies' room.  When I went to log onto WestLaw to try and find some obscure case from the late 1800s about railroads hitting cattle, this popped up on her recent sites visited.  Since it also had her account info already logged in, I took a gander.  I sat in stunned silence for quite some time.

Here's a sidelink to the real site--OutlineDepot.com--which I am in no way endorsing or want to drum up more business for without a cut of the action, but oh well fuck it doesn't matter now.  This is also not the only site but one of the most popular as I came to find out.

Some of the outlines I saw on her computer were not that great, but others were word for word of the professor's "script" for that class (some professors literally read a script that they've made out saying the exact same thing word for word every time they teach a class--including bad jokes).

So it depends on your professor...
I'll use Professor Steinberg as a case study.  If you go to the faculty part of Thomas Jefferson's site, you'll find his profile and the classes that he teaches.  Let's say you get stuck in his Criminal Procedures class.  I couldn't imagine sitting in a class about CrimPro, a subject which regularly covers drugs, hookers, and killing, from a guy who looks like he's never even jaywalked.  By the way, 90% of CrimPro is learning how the courts have made lots of exclusions around Constitutional rights to bust criminals--so you're not the only one out there who is "cheating/working smarter."

Just do a search by school, subject, or professor on the website and....Eureka!


Now when I looked through the outlines my classmate had, which I emailed to myself, I later found out that they were spot on what the Professor said every single lecture.  I could have zoned out for a half hour in class and pick up right where he left off.  I didn't even have to be there.  Unless of course your school has a mandatory attendance policy, because they know no one would show up without one.  You poor bastards...you'll still have to sit through this horseshit...

Type 4 - Good for = pretty much everything, possibly the best strategy for "working smarter."


In conclusion, I finally understood how she could spend all of class shopping for shoes online in class, while most other people seemed to be furiously typing every word our boring professor shitted out of his/her mouth...yet still get some of the best grades.  Oh! Surely not! I can hear some of you say...but I respond, I've seen it!.  She knew better, she knew to...

Work smarter--not harder a.k.a. be a cheating bastard!

Till Next Time!  What do I care for the logic of kings?

3 comments:

  1. The lemmings deny that any of this happens. It's because they have such an idealized view of the profession, especially those who have succeeded. Out of the top ten percent at any T14, how many of them actually earned high marks the honest way?

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  2. Just use 2 and 4 and IRAC. You should be fine. Professors that pretend they don't want IRAC are full of shit, they'll give you a model answer that looks very brief as a red herring. They indeed did give that person a good grade, but the other 10 people that wrote that will get C+s. The IRAC method however should get you at least a B+/A- and that's solid.

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