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 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.
The Secrets of Success are Secret No More
By atticus falcon - July 26, 2000
Getting to Maybe is a Godsend. Even for those of you who've already finished first-year, it's well worth getting.I am the author of Planet Law School: What You Need to Know Before You Go--but Didn't Know to Ask. Unfortunately, Getting to Maybe was first published in 1999, a year after PLS, so I could not recommend it in PLS. Hence this posting, now. Even though the authors and I are competitors, and our books are published by different firms, I urge all law students to get Getting to Maybe. (For one thing, the authors' critique of the IRAC model is succinct and devastating.) If you take doing well in law school (and becoming a good attorney) seriously, this book is a necessity.It's so well-written that I had to force myself to put it down, and ended up reading it in just two sittings, of several hours each.The earlier review, about the teaching of Tantric Yoga, in exactly right. With Getting to Maybe, the secrets are secret no more.
By D. Friedman - July 18, 2002
The aim of this book is to help current law students perform well on law school exams. Law school exams are famously ambiguous; hence the title of the book.The title of the book is a play on the title of a classic book about the art of negotiation, called _Getting to Yes_. Implicit in _Getting to Maybe_ is that, unlike a negotiation, performance on law school exams does not require an exact answer or resolution.The method by which these law professors explain this concept is especially interesting. In connection with their academic research, they propose to break down law school exams into small components, and thoroughly analyze those components. The result is a very substantial and comprehensive analysis of the structure of law school exams and the skills required to do well on these exams.You may be asking how the professors purport to explain _all_ law school exams, for surely there are professors for whose exams these methods will not work. These professors make the... read more
Great for improving exam writing, legal analysis, and writing skills
By A. Hall - April 15, 2006
In my first year of law school, my legal writing tutor recommended this book. After reading it, my grades went up, which I believe was partially because of how this book helped me improve writing law school exams. It helps new law students understand what it means to "think like a lawyer." That is, it gives students a framework for analyzing complex issues.
Reading this book also significantly increased my performance in our legal writing class. At the end of my first year, my professor said my writing went from nearly the worst in the class to the best. This progress was a direct result from reading this book, improving my writing organization, and practice.
I highly recommend this book for new law students who want a head-start improving their legal analysis skills, and especially for students struggling with their legal writing. Law students have so much to read, it's hard to find more time for a book like this. But even reading a few chapters will... read more
This all-in-one volume takes the reader from the law school application process, through the bar exam and the graduate's first job. The book begins with ideas on selecting which law schools to apply ...