Sunday, June 29, 2008

2008 Barbri Lecture Awards [verbatim, from the blog of a law-school graduate]

Most enthusiastic in a useful way: Michael Kaufman--Agency and Partnership.
Seriously this guy was a hoot and a half. And I loved his style of teaching the materials. I have written in my notes so many times the full sentence "A principle is liable for her authorized contracts." Literally, he was able to achieve a high level of repetition in an entertaining and no drudgery sort of way. I walked out of the lecture with at least 80% of that material hardwired into my brain. Thank you Mr. Kaufman.

Best overall lecturer: Erwin Chemerinsky--Constitutional Law.
Now, I have to start by saying that I am biased because while I rocked both of my law school con law classes, I had not so fab profs for both and I would have never passed without Chemerinsky's Con Law horn book. Loved it and his lecture. He's able to reduce the information down into concrete concepts and examples. I never once felt that he was ambiguous and just throwing around terms that held no meaning for me. He's relaxing to listen to, thorough, and I like the odd joke thrown in here and there. Thank you Mr. Chemerinsky.

Best in person lecturer for local stuff: Dale Whitman--Property.
This guy knows his stuff. He was able to reduce the detail and the particular nuances of my state's property law into something that I think is really manageable. How can you not love a guy that tells you the specific obscure case facts to your state's odd law about x, y, z? And it was one of my first lectures, and I'm still very comfortable with the material we covered.

Best at taking a whole lot of information and shoving it into my head: David Epstein--Contracts.
I may have just loved hearing his accent, but I have to say the Armadillo mnemonic really helped me out to never forget in my essays to discuss everything in the big picture. He was simple, clear, concise, and had just enough humor and examples to make each part of the lecture stick. Loved it.

Most tangential (and I don't mean that in a good way): Roger Schecter---Torts.
I'm still hating him. If you want to do stand up, then go to an open mike night. Otherwise, please leave the million stories that are only loosely related to what you are discussing out of your lecture. I like humor, I really do, and I learn by examples. But his lectures easily could have been half of the time. The stories were so tangential and LONG that by the time he got to the end of it, I often had little clue what point he was trying to make. A total dud. And a waste of my time.

Most bizarre but oddly effective: Charles Whitebread--Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure.
You've got to admit, he's kind of an odd duck. And while he was lecturing, I really wondered if it was doing me any good. But in some strange way, it was really effective, and I learned what I needed to for the MBE from him.

Biggest waste of time: Richard Duffy--MPT.
I'm not saying that what he said wasn't useful, but I am saying that the same info is given to you in the MPT book in a more coherent way. And most importantly, it would take you about half the time of the lecture to read it and immerse yourself in it. Total. Waste. of. time.

Worst Lecturer (possibly ever): Richard Conviser.
I felt like half of the time he didn't know what he was talking about. I'm not saying that he didn't. I'm just saying that is how it came across. It was disjointed. It was drawn out. It was devoid of any useful, concrete examples. And he varied just enough from the hand out that often times it was hard to know what point he was about to make. He was the kind of "build up to something really important" and then move on without anyone knowing if he every actually stated the "something really important." (really, truly you could hear the murmuring throughout my lecture hall as he moved on with people whispering desperately: what was the important thing??!) Hated it. Really, truly awful. He may be one of the masterminds behind Barbri, which seems to be relatively useful as a program (actually it's the materials), but he should hire out for this lecture.