Saturday, December 26, 2009

OPEN THREAD: Brother Can I spare an Outline?

There is an interesting phrase in the landmark book Law School Confidential - it's something along the lines of "Anytime someone asks you for notes, or any other materials for class, you give it to them no questions asked . . . it's the right thing to do . . . and it never hurts to build up some 'favorable equity' with your classmates."

But several people emailed us over the most recent finals period, wondering how much is too much?
[D]ood, you should do an open thread on note sharing. specifically, what to do when a fellow classmate, who regularly misses class and takes terrible notes when in class, asks for all of your notes and/or an outline from the entire semester.
OK. I think most of us would give another classmate notes for a missed class. All of us I hope. What about an outline? We probably would give one of our amazing outlines to someone who asked, even if they missed a lot of class (who knows why they missed class? Could be illness / family stuff / etc.) But what about if you know the person was just a slacker and asked for an entire semester's worth notes, or an outline? Law School is a zero sum game, after all. But then again, UVA

Feel free to sound off in the comments - Happy Holidays!

44 comments:

CROM! said...

1. Underlying the aversion to handing over an outline is the idea that the undeserving recipient is getting a valuable product that you put a lot of effort into, without giving you anything in return. Maybe this is just the contrarian in me talking, but I disagree with the premise. The fact that many people would consider it to be an unreasonable request increases the incentive to comply.

Admittedly, I have not received any grades yet, but I'll go ahead and predict that the slacker who gets your outline, no matter how amazing it is, will not do well on the exam. Reading over tens or even hundreds of pages of outline come exam time can't replace a semester of skipping class and not taking notes. I hope. Or else I've been doing this all wrong. So, if anyone getting this request is worried about unjustly aiding the slacker: don't worry about it.

As far as "favorable equity" goes, since getting an entire outline seems like such a big deal, then agreeing to it should get you the most favored equity possible! Charlie, you've won!

2. Law school's only a zero sum game in the sense that grades are curved. The value of those grades to the outside world makes law school into a variable sum game. If trading outlines could somehow produce a more intelligent and articulate graduating class with great job offers for everyone, then we'd have to figure out some way to encourage everyone to freely give up their outlines. However, neither the zero sum nature of grades or the variable sum nature of the extrinsic value of grades matters here. See point 1.

Anonymous said...

Of course I'd give them my outline -- after I sabotaged it with incorrect information.

-Gunnin' 2011 with V3 offer

Anonymous said...

All my notes? Doubtful, unless the classmate was a very good friend and I knew he had a good reason.

An outline, though, perhaps. (But he'd know not to ask for mine since it wouldn't be done until the night before the exam!) But I would certainly be available to talk things over with the classmate, share some notes from missed classes, and generally be helpful without serving it all up on a silver platter. (I find that talking things over usually helps ME understand things better anyway.)

I don't think it's so much "cut-throat, zero-sum game vs. collegiality." I think in any circumstance, there's a difference between being helpful and doing everything for somebody else. Anybody who wouldn't provide at least a couple days of notes in good faith probably should transfer or seek counseling. But someone who would ask for a *full* semester of notes (without a damn good reason) probably should do likewise.

-- Slacker w/ good grades '11

Anonymous said...

4:41 is a joke, right? Someone tell me 4:41 was a joke.

Anonymous said...

"Reading over tens or even hundreds of pages of outline come exam time can't replace a semester of skipping class and not taking notes. I hope. Or else I've been doing this all wrong."

You got it all wrong. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

4:41 once you admit that you haven't received any grades yet, you should have realized that was your cue to not make broad statements about how to effectively study.

For some people you're right, for others, looking at the outline two days before the exam is enough for an A.

You'll realize this soon enough.

Anonymous said...

REMINDER: Skadden does NOT count as a V3 firm. If it did, half of UVa could claim to have a V3 offer. Thank you for your compliance with this rule.

Anonymous said...

I'm just a 0L lurking don't mind me.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly true exchange about grades . . .

HARD WORKER GIRL: Look, professor, I work hard, I went to every class, I took detailed notes every day, made a strong outline. I did all the reading, and was attentive to your lextures, and studied hard. And I got a B! B! I know people who did no work, never went to class, didn't even make their own outlines. They just got this one same outline from someone else, looked at it once, and took the test that day. And they all got B+'s and A-'s! It's not fair.

Professor JoNoMo: Well, you should have gotten that outline.

4:41, welcome to law school.

Anonymous said...

9:18, Skadden =/= prestigious.

Anonymous said...

1L's and 0L's should realize that some of their peers will be far ahead of them in their understanding of the study techniques + materials necessary to do well on law school exams. Performance often has less to do with intelligence/industriousness/potential as a lawyer than it does with this knowledge. The best advice I could give (especially for classes like crimlaw, property and perhaps torts) would be to get the BARBRI Conviser Mini-Review during your first semester.

Anonymous said...

I heard that in NGSL everyone is required to share their notes and outline, and in fact an elaborate schedule of class-skipping is devised.

Anonymous said...

I heard that NGSL was losing all their funding next year because the school found an even cooler student group to fund: TOOLS (Trolls Of Online Law School blogs)

Anonymous said...

1:55,

You included the O from "of" but not the B from "blogs."

Epic acronym fail.

Anonymous said...

lol @ obsessed NGSL tools. STOP posting about your dumb frat, nobody gives a shit about it except the two people who are pissed you didn't give them a bid.

Anonymous said...

11:33 & 1:55 stole my shtick! I essentially called dibs on posting absurd NGSL shit by commenting in the previous post about NGSL members not writing papers.

Anonymous said...

11:33 here. Not on NGSL. What? There are people here that support NGSL that aren't ON NGSL?! What a head trip!

Anonymous said...

12:44 -- I care, and I'm not on NGSL either. Sorry, but I enjoy softball season and Feb Club. Maybe you should too before you're getting fat in your office 12 hours a day/7 days a week. Stop hating on a group for NO reason.

Anonymous said...

10:35 + 10:44 - i could give a fuck whether or not you "support" NGSL or not, whatever that means. just STFU about it (i.e., don't bring up NGSL in threads that have nothing to do with competitive softball or douchebag fraternities.) mkay?

Anonymous said...

also, what are the chances 10:06, 10:35 + 10:44 are THE SAME PERSON?

Anonymous said...

seriously. who says mkay?

Anonymous said...

Maybe 12:44 is actually the same as 10:06, 10:44 & 10:35?

Anonymous said...

Somebody should post the jobs received by NGSL members. Then we'll see how "cool" ngsl really is. Go ahead -- post them!

Anonymous said...

Enough about NGSL already - it's new year's eve, don't you people have things to do??

NGSL MENS GOLD SECURE

Anonymous said...

I heard that NGSL members have a secret word they utter when interviewing with past members that automatically gets them a callback/offer (depending on situation). I believe the word is "Tubalcane."

Anonymous said...

Ooo I heard that too. That one's true. That one's true.

Anonymous said...

ITT, NGSL tools hijack discussion about exams that is unrelated to their self-absorbed tinypinkorganization and jerk each others off.

Anonymous said...

So... When do we get grades anyway?

- A totally impatient 1L (sorry!)

Anonymous said...

2:32: They are due to the school by Feb 1, so we'll probably have them all by the end of the first week in February. Many profs wait until the last minute... IIRC, last year 10/24 1L classes had grades by the end of January.

Anonymous said...

2:32, keep in mind they don't come in at the same time so you'll probably receive a grade or two in early January and the rest in early February.

When your course evaluation goes up on LawWeb, the grade usually comes in the next morning (as early as 5:00 or 6:00 AM if you're an early riser).

Anonymous said...

Also, does anyone else find it funny that 2:32 apologizes for bringing the comments back to exam related material?

Anonymous said...

NGSL = the Skadden of law school organizations.

uva3lotdlofwngsl said...

SAYITTOMYFACE!!! OFS!!! YNY!!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Yeah I had a course evaluation for a short course go up in early November. Two months later, still no grades up on SIS. It's ridiculous how slow it is taking the law school to "adjust" to the new system. Similar to how our loans didn't get disbursed until October/November. Are the Law ITC guys really that incompetent?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

why are you guys deleting the comments? I dont recall them being offensive

Anonymous said...

My guess is because they mention particular staff members as opposed to criticizing the SRO generally.

Anonymous said...

The SRO staff are public employees who draw their salaries from our tuition dollars. I don't see a huge difference between calling out an individual member of that staff and a politician holding public office.

I think this is a totally appropriate forum for venting frustration with SRO staff members, Cary Bennett in particular.

Anonymous said...

10:20, elected officials represent their constituents, staff members the law school do not. If you want to criticize staff members, at least sign your name.

Anonymous said...

@2:03,

If you want to criticize another poster, at least sign your name.

Anonymous said...

9:55, disagreement =/= criticism. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

This might be a bit off-topic but I believe there are a lot of smokers here. I have recently decided to find a good manufacturer of electronic cigarettes. I'm done with paying so much for normal smokes. Im deciding between either greensmoke or blucigs. Anyone using either of these?

[IMG]http://gooddealing.com/fbmr/34/j/confused.gif[/IMG]