Category: Law School Courses
“We don’t look alike. We don’t act alike. We don’t dress alike. We have different tastes in the food we eat, the books we read, the cars we drive, and the music we enjoy. You like opera; I like country. We have dissimilar backgrounds, goals, and motivations. We work at different jobs, and we enjoy different hobbies. You like rock climbing; I like Harleys. We ascribe to a variety of philosophies and differ over politics. We have our own unique convictions on child-rearing and education. Our weights vary. Our heights vary. So does the color of our skin. So why should we think alike?”
This past week my law school class worked on a cross-examination problem. In short, they ask the questions as if on cross with the mock witness and I play the witness. Like the real thing, wits are matched, and emotions run high in the head on clash. In order to make certain points, I will then change places with the student and show how I would do it. While preparing for class and engaging in the exercise, I pondered which methods to use in teaching the art of cross-examination
Below is Orin Kerr writing in The Volokh Conspiracy blog on law school courses. I am glad to see that evidence is voted the most useful, but can’t understand how it is an elective! In a rebuttal, Viva Chen, in the Careerist, sarcastically notes, “As a former corporate lawyer, I must say that evidence was totally useless, though it comes in handy for nitpicking court scenes in movies or on TV.” This is the problem with critiquing law schools and their offerings. Most of the time graduates evaluate the importance of a course depending on the type of law they are practicing. A good example of the hammer and nail analogy. I am as guilty of that as anyone. I relentlessly push evidence and trial advocacy because that is what I have practiced for over forty years and all I care about.