Getting to Maybe Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 provide students with a new paradigm for their legal analysis and writing.
This book would make a great gift for a student prior to starting law school because it is easy to read and introduces readers to subjects they will cover in their first-year courses.
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 interesting point that in the United States, law education is fairly uniform, and, therefore, the skills required to perform well on law school exams are fairly uniform, as well.
I read this book prior to starting law school. I found it useful primarily because I have read a number of other books about legal reasoning and the study of law and the law school experience that are more basic than the material in this book. If this is your first book regarding the study of law or peformance in law school, I would advise putting it aside in favor of a book offering a broader overview of law, its study, and law school.
The book does give you confidence. It leads you to think that you will be able to take apart a legal exam, reduce it to its essentials, and reason in a manner that your professors will appreciate. I guess it might be worth your reading if you need a shot of self-confidence.
But I do not think that the book will make much of a difference in how anyone does on law school exams. The authors' main point is to look for ambiguities (or "forks"). When you see something on your exam that looks ambiguous, try to explore all the ambiguities. In other words, argue in the alternative--i.e., point out that if X is said to occur, then Y results, whereas if A is said to occur, then B results. Let your professors know that you can see the little things that might produce completely different legal results.
This method is great as a theory. However, it is difficult to apply the method in an actual test setting. I remember that my first exam during my 1L year was in criminal law. I was given a long fact pattern, and I tried to apply the "Getting to Maybe" method. One problem I found was that I was pushed for time. It was not possible to discuss all the ambiguities in the amount of time allowed. The method the book suggested was just not possible in the context of my three-hour bluebook exam. There was no way I could explore all the ambiguities on the exam the way the authors suggest.
Another problem I have with the book is that it is not really giving you any special advice.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book to help you prepare for law school, especially before your first year.Published 11 hours ago by Shaun
I am an entering 1L and read this book over the summer prior to beginning classes. While there are some sections and discussions that assume the reader has complete some... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Eric
I decided not to go to law school but I'm still glad I read this book. It's a great way to explain logical thinking steps, how to understand test questions across any subject, and... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Ashiyah
I bombed my Contracts class mid-term during my first year of law school. I can still see all the red ink in my blue book. "No, no, no!! Read morePublished 29 days ago by Germanicus1701
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. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ingersoll1969
I bought this book in order to prepare for law school and it's amazing. The information is invaluable. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sleven
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