Monday, February 19, 2007

Weekly Roundup--Feb. 19, 2007

This is my second installment of noteworthy posts or events of the week. Highly unscientific, but hopefully highly interesting.

More (and More) on Taking Law School Exams. There were some substantive posts in the past week on law school exams and how (and how not) to take them. I posted on this subject recently too (see Reflections on Law School Exams and More Information on Exams).

  • In a recent post, Orin Kerr of the Volokh Conspiracy discusses in some detail what is (and is not) a good law school exam answer. He usefully illustrates his points with a little hypothetical--materials from a make-believe course, an exam question, and five sample exam answers. Make sure you check out the comments.

Note the commonalities in the advice posted by Kerr, Solove, me, and other law profs out there. If a lot of people (grading the exams) tell you the same thing, there's probably something to it . . . .

Blogs in the Classroom. On his blog, Stephen Bainbridge has posted about the use of blogs in teaching. He's using a course-focused blog to great effect--making his slides, handouts, audio of his actual class lectures, and related materials available online for anyone who wants to access them. That is an excellent idea, and Bainbridge can hold his head high if anyone ever accuses him of being an academic because he does not want to work hard. (Which someone does in a comment on another recent post of his, in which Bainbridge compares law practitioner salaries to law prof salaries.) He really could get away with not posting these materials, and yet he does it anyway. Kudos.

So why don't all professors do this? There are probably as many reasons as there are law profs, but I do note that Bainbridge has been teaching for a while, which has given him time to hone his materials.

Most interesting to me is the excerpt Bainbridge quotes from an interview of Professor Jack Balkin (of the blog Balkinization) about blogs opening up possibilities for law students to hear the views of law profs at other schools far more easily than, say, just a few years ago. I see this as very beneficial for students (check out the comments to Bainbridge's post), and also perhaps as raising the bar of accountability for law profs. Both of which are good things.

Big Firm Salaries. At Concurring Opinions, Scott Moss points out in a recent post that despite the media frenzy over recent (and previous) big law firm pay hikes for associates, the average increase over the past decade has been only 6.5% annually. That's better than the national average, but not huge. But the headline "Associates get Modest Pay Raises" won't sell many papers.

As a former soldier in the big firm trenches, I can say that the associates generally earn these raises, too.

Blog of the Week. This honor goes to the HRHero blog That's What She Said, on which blogger and HR attorney Julie Elgar discusses legal issues raised by the US version of the TV show "The Office." Neat concept for a blog.


BabyBarista said...

Like the blog. I've added a link on my own which is a fictional diary of a pupil barrister in England (see Cross links much appreciated though no worries if not. Best wishes, BabyBarista

Gregory W. Bowman said...


Thanks for reading. It's always nice to get blog traffic from across the pond. I'll be reading your blog.

Best regards,


Anonymous said...

here's an interesting blog i've found that talks about the competitive aspects among students