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CBay
  • Law School Admit

How much do classes rely on oral/presentation work as a method of evaluation? I see that a bunch of the first year classes list oral advocacy assignments online, and I know there is required mooting participation too. This seems to be contrast with other schools in Canada, so I would love to hear from current or past students about that. 

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Pittielynn
  • Law Student

Should students come to the first week of classes having alrrady done some readings? If so, how do you recommend approaching this? How much did you read in advance of week 1 and is there anything else you would do to prepare?

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AllRise
  • Law Student
3 hours ago, Pittielynn said:

Should students come to the first week of classes having alrrady done some readings? If so, how do you recommend approaching this? How much did you read in advance of week 1 and is there anything else you would do to prepare?

I completed my readings for the classes that had a syllabus posted, but most classes I had the first week kept it to introductions and minimal course content. There are a lot of readings to keep up with, if I were to give any advice it would be to simply keep up with the readings week to week and complete your own case summaries (I preferred to stay away from CANS unless I ran out of time prepping for classes and missed readings). 

I didn't attend Dalhousie, but I think this advice is fairly universal. 

Edited by AllRise
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QueensDenning
  • Law Student
3 hours ago, Pittielynn said:

Should students come to the first week of classes having alrrady done some readings? If so, how do you recommend approaching this? How much did you read in advance of week 1 and is there anything else you would do to prepare?

I agree with the comment above but would add that, if you can handle it, try to get ahead with your readings/summaries. It's tough and I was never really able to do it, but I knew a few of the medalists in my year and they were done all their readings and summaries 1-2 months before exams began. Being a few weeks ahead is also gives you a buffer if things come up (interviews, being sick, emergencies, etc.). It's much easier to catch up on class notes/watch lectures (if recorded) than making up a week or two of readings for all your classes. 

The best advise I got going into 1L is to do your best not to fall behind, and if you do fall behind, keep detailed notes of what you need to catch up on. There is absolutely nothing worse than not really knowing exactly how far behind you are.

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realpseudonym
  • Lawyer
On 6/29/2022 at 10:04 PM, CBay said:

How much do classes rely on oral/presentation work as a method of evaluation? I see that a bunch of the first year classes list oral advocacy assignments online, and I know there is required mooting participation too. This seems to be contrast with other schools in Canada, so I would love to hear from current or past students about that. 

Not when I attended. There was a first year moot in our small group class, and other assignments in our small group class. And research and writing had a bunch of small assignments. But other than that, most of the grading was based upon 100% finals with failsafe midterms (meaning that the midterm only counts for ~30% of your grade, if you do better on it than on the final). It's possible that it's all changed in the last few years, though.

9 hours ago, Pittielynn said:

Should students come to the first week of classes having alrrady done some readings? If so, how do you recommend approaching this? How much did you read in advance of week 1 and is there anything else you would do to prepare?

I didn't read anything ahead of 1L. I don't believe it's necessary.

It may help a little. But you also don't really know how to read case law yet. I wasn't extracting the right things from cases until sometime later in the first semester, after I'd been to enough classes to start understanding how decisions are structured and what we're meant to takeaway from them. If I had read ahead during the summer, it would not have been an efficient exercise. I guess there would not have been much harm, other than lost potential for enjoyment. But it wouldn't have helped me get ahead, as I would still have had to go back and revisit those areas to identify and learn the correct principles.

Others seem to disagree, and your mileage may vary.

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CheeseToast
  • Law Student
8 hours ago, realpseudonym said:

Not when I attended. There was a first year moot in our small group class, and other assignments in our small group class. And research and writing had a bunch of small assignments. But other than that, most of the grading was based upon 100% finals with failsafe midterms (meaning that the midterm only counts for ~30% of your grade, if you do better on it than on the final). It's possible that it's all changed in the last few years, though.

I didn't read anything ahead of 1L. I don't believe it's necessary.

It may help a little. But you also don't really know how to read case law yet. I wasn't extracting the right things from cases until sometime later in the first semester, after I'd been to enough classes to start understanding how decisions are structured and what we're meant to takeaway from them. If I had read ahead during the summer, it would not have been an efficient exercise. I guess there would not have been much harm, other than lost potential for enjoyment. But it wouldn't have helped me get ahead, as I would still have had to go back and revisit those areas to identify and learn the correct principles.

Others seem to disagree, and your mileage may vary.

Going into 2L - this is all accurate with the caveat that last year one of our pass fail classes had an oral presentation component.

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