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Law School Preparation Courses

Congratulations! You'll soon be going to law school!  Unfortunately, succeeding in law school is much harder than getting in.   And SUCCESS = JOB in the current economy. There are jobs appearing, but only the best get them. The same is true of transfers: the top of the class goes off to Columbia or Georgetown, where employers still recruit.

Law school is different from college in every imaginable way. You'll have an assigned seat, so the instructor can note your absence.  Your textbooks contain both good theories and bad ones, with no explanation of which is which.  A hundred pages of reading can be due before the first class.  

The grading process is equally alien. For each class you'll have one final exam,  three or four hours long, with perhaps two questions on it.  Usually classroom participation, though required, won't contribute to your grade, and you have no quizzes or midterm exams.  And that exam isn't much like those you've taken in college. You can analyze a hypothetical case, give the correct reasoning and get the correct outcome, and still get an average grade.

The DeLoggio Law School Achievement Program
can help you succeed in this difficult environment.

The first half of the program, Intro to Law School, will orient you to the teaching methods and study aids used in most law schools, while showing you the basic skills of briefing, synthesizing, and outlining cases. It will explain the interdisciplinary aspects of the legal system which are never taught in any classroom, but which are a necessary part of understanding the law.

The second portion, Law School Exams, will show you how to identify issues on an exam, organize and write a thorough answer, and allocate your time to maximize your grade.

The program will be held in, Durham, NC, this year. Hotel rooms are not included in the fee; total costs are listed below.


The DeLoggio Approach

Most other programs try to give an overview of every first year subject. I believe that with this approach, you don't learn enough law in any one area to practice the classroom experience or exam techniques.  I prefer using cases in one subject area. This approach offers several benefits:  

Case briefing, outlining and exam taking are all taught using an integrated series of cases like the ones in your case books for law school. This allows us to explore the role of such pragmatic elements as burden of proof and political factors in understanding the cases you read, and an understanding of the elements of law and how they fit together.

The essence of "thinking like a lawyer" is the ability to assemble various pieces of information into a coherent view of the law on a given topic.  You cannot practice this skill unless you look at a number of related cases in one area of law.  

Even more important, you cannot practice writing a law school exam without the tools you will use to answer exam questions.  Answering an exam question requires comparing the facts the professor gave you with a number of cases you've read. You draw a conclusion by deciding that the professor's case is similar to case X and unlike case Y. There is no way to practice this skill unless you are already familiar with cases X and Y.

Our Intro to Law School program will give you hands on experience with the basics, plus a sense of how one lesson in law school builds on another - the "case synthesis" that is the essential element of "thinking like a lawyer."  Instead of telling what law school is like, as most commercial courses do, we'll throw you into the pool -- but only at the shallow end.


Program Content and Schedule for 2016

The program covers eight 4 hour lessons. The first four will require you to read, outline, and brief cases. The next four lessons will focus on exam writing.

In 2014, the program will be offered once, from Saturday, July 26 through Sunday, August 3.  You must fly in the Friday before Lesson 1 by 6:00 p.m. and and fly out after the last class on Sunday after 6:00 p.m.

Here's the complete schedule:

Lesson

Day and Time

July-August

Orientation Friday, 6:00 p.m. July 29
Classes Lesson 1 Saturday, noon July 30
Classes Lesson 2 Sunday, noon July 31
Classes Lesson 3 Monday, 10:00 a.m. August 1
Classes Lesson 4 Tuesday, 10:00 a.m. August 2
Study Group Wednesday August 3
Exams Lesson 1 Thursday, noon August 4
Exams Lesson 2 Friday, noon August 5
Exams Lesson 3 Saturday, noon August 6
Exams Lesson 4 Sunday, 10:00 a.m. August 7
Fly Out Sunday 6:00 p.m. or later August 7-8

 

Materials:

You will be required to purchase the following books of background information:

1. Black's Law Dictionary, West Publishing Company; any edition;

You may use a phone app for this book.

2. Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law in a Nutshell, West Publishing Company; any edition;

3.  The Bluebook, Uniform System of Citation, 19th Editionlogo 2010. 

Other materials will be provided at no cost.

Part One: Law School Classes

Lesson 1 - Avoiding Humiliation

  • Curriculum: Courses, legal research and writing; case, problem and Socratic teaching methods.
  • Resources: Textbooks, hornbooks, and study aids; the law library; study groups.
  • Homework: Briefing, synthesizing, and outlining; time allocation.
  • How many courts, how many legal systems?

Lunch Break

  • Law vs. Reality: See the crime, then read about it.
  • How to Brief Cases: facts, issues, procedure, and rationale.

Lesson 2 - Case Method

  • Review Briefs
  • Role-play Case Method class

Lunch Break

  • Common Law and Statutes
  • Federal and State Law
  • Mandatory and Persuasive Authority
  • How to Synthesize cases

Lesson 3 - Socratic Method

  • Review Synthesis
  • Role-play Socratic Method class

Lunch Break

  • Law and Public Policy
  • Listening to a Supreme Court Oral Argument
  • Time, Place, and Court
  • Outlining Cases

Lesson 4 - Problem Method

  • Review Outlines
  • From Crime to Trial

Lunch Break

  • Presumptions and Burdens and their effects on outcomes
  • Affirmative and Negating Defenses
  • Flowcharts and Summaries
  • Substance and Procedure
  • "Result oriented" Decisions

Part Two:  Law School Exams

Lesson 1 - Issue Spotting

  • What is an issue
  • What isn't an issue
  • Statutory and Common Law Approaches
  • The Constitution as Statute
  • Finding the Issues You Missed
  • Outlines as Issue-Spotting Tools

Lesson 2 - Organization

  • Identifying the Elements
  • Priority of Elements
  • Negative and Affirmative Defenses
  • The Outcome
  • Outlines as Organizational Tools

Lesson 3 - Writing the Exam

  • Issue, Rule, Fact, and Result
  • How much to write
  • Time Allocation
  • Space Allocation
  • Staying Organized
  • Hiding What You Don't Know
  • Outlines as Exam-Writing Tools

Lesson 4 - Practice Exams

  • Two examination questions, one statutory and one common law, will be written in class and reviewed.
  • Statutory Question will test your ability to address every issue in an organized and succinct manner.
  • Common Law Question will test your ability to integrate doctrine and jurisprudence in determining the outcome of a case.  

Costs

Rooms at the Day's Inn on Hillsborough Road cost about $80 a night when booked through this link. Rooms with two beds may cost more.

Wireless Internet is free, as is a light breakfast. For those who wish, we'll offer dinner at some local restaurants; these can be a bit pricey; allow $25 per day.

Transportation will be provided for everyone staying at this hotel.

The casebook for the class, as well as the syllabus and handouts, will be provided for a fee of $25.00 

The course fee will be $500. A deposit of $250 is due in advance; the balance will be due on arrival.  

If you're interested, call or email us today.  

 

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