A community message brought to you by the Foreign Master Lawyers’ Association
Have you ever felt alone in your struggles in law school, especially during those moments when the closing symphony plays at 9.45pm in the library, and you begin to wonder (again) why you ever chose to study law? Have you ever thought about how others manage to score so well with minimal effort, yet the all that you put in never seems to be enough? Well, fret no more. Teh & Tan from Justified LLP are here to answer your burning questions regarding your studies! Their stellar credentials include: not failing any modules….yet. With the exams around the corner, we’re sure you could use any help you can get! Apologies to the senior years, but we’ve decided to focus on advice for year ones, since everyone can relate to them, and hey, these are the kind of basics everyone says are important but which no one can ever get right! So read on for sure-fire tips on how to score that elusive A for your exams! Or just continue studying, you’re probably better off that way anyway.
Nope, that’s not us.
Ah yes, the 4 horned demon we call LAWR. And the subject of many bad jokes (RAWR, LAWRNET, etc). But first let us establish how your grades are set out. We are sure many of you have heard of the “bell curve”. You may ask, what exactly does this bell curve look like? Let us enlighten you on how your assignments are actually graded:
It may look different from the usual types of bell curves, but rest assured that it works just fine for law students, who are often more comfortable with the literal interpretation of words. Of course, being highly experienced analysts ourselves we might not expect you to understand the complexity of the bell curve. We have therefore, for your benefit, condensed the information into a Venn diagram simpler for your understanding.
Life in general
Now that you understand the intricate mechanics of grading LAWR assignments, I’m sure you want to know how then, to give what your tutors want.
Let us give it to you straight. It is the ability to read minds. Yes, we got where we are now today because we can read minds (actually being able to read minds gets you everywhere, but let’s not go there). Master the art of reading minds, and the A+ will be yours soon enough. And by the way, I can read your mind. You want us to teach you how, and the answer is no.
Singapore Legal System (SLS)
This is actually quite a fun class! In fact, it is a class that really brings to us a complete learning experience. Besides providing softcopy notes and discussion handouts, the class introduces you to the fine experience of multi-(tasking with new) media. Imagine, being able to win a game, connect with friends on Facebook AND learn a little about people fighting over the right to possess dead bodies. In fact, it satisfies the kinesthetic, social and content aspects of learning. That totally sounds like the most legit learning experience.
To some, it is a welcome breather from the other more legally oriented courses, but to others, it’s the dreaded Social Studies subject law school-style. The mode of operation is simple: readings don’t have to be done, discussion questions don’t have to be given a second thought, and the professor’s questions can go unanswered during class. All you have to do is cram in six lessons’ worth of material the day before the assignment deadline, and you will likely produce a decent essay on a bright Saturday morning in about four hours, or three hours if you’re rushing for a lunch appointment. Oh, and just spam the IVLE forum for that extra boost in scores. It is -REALLY- worth it.
NOTE: Some of you may be curious why the bulk of SLS isn’t really about THE Singapore Legal System. Our answer to you: we have no idea either.
The REAL Singapore Legal System
The study of the law that deals with civil wrongs that honestly, is just wrong to us. Tort is really what it is made to sound like (no surprise there). It is an alternative thought, a different kind of thinking, meant to excite our minds, expose us to the intricacies of the law in relation to private parties, and ultimately, to condition us such that we think of parties as people suing each other, and not those having fun.
The only way to score well in this module is to possess the extraordinary ability of expanding this 8-credit module into five 4-credit modules, so that the mythical monster that is LAWR will not be able to devour it whole. It also helps if you have a lot of muggers, because then your computer will have a lot of it, and you will feel this immense sense of security that just because they are in your computer, they will be read by you someday, somehow, and when you do, you will be the most well-prepared person the tutors could ever fathom. But most importantly, it is the All-Scanning Eye that is the game-changer. It is the hidden fifth eye (most law students already have four, that is how powerful and gifted we all are, believe it), located somewhere between our third ear and second mouth. Once this is activated (it only powers up under the ambient light of the study room or the library, no other light will do), we are granted the speed and accuracy to read cases and identify ratios so quickly that it will seem like there only 67657654 more cases to go!
It helps at least that the cases will probably be the more interesting ones you’ll read, besides the criminal law ones. They’re mostly about people doing silly things to each other, or claiming for the most trivial of events. But that’s just the way the law works. It patiently provides a reasonable outcome, much like how an understanding person would always amiably tolerate the overly dramatic friend.
Or you could just have a tortilla. (We lawyers always have a good sense of humour)
Now if only there was some ginger beer to go along with that…
So we hear the problem with contracts exams is that it is closed book. Why is it not open book you ask? Well, you see, contract classes are a little like Defence against the Dark Arts classes. Y’know, the whole picking out evil exclusion clauses against them evil corporations logic. Bringing a book in is like letting you bring in an encyclopaedia of spells…with that array of spells available to you, obviously you will not be tested on your memory and knowledge which you should have after spending all that time in the study room.
Alternatively you could attempt to memorize everything that is in Treitel. Then again if you could, you would probably be in one of them game shows that will earn you a lot of money. But if you could, let us know and we’ll hire you. We love smart people that way.
Thinking that our analogy doesn’t make sense? Think about it. If Defences against the Dark Arts was open book, then why does Harry Potter only know how to use Expelliarmus? And for a school, the amount of studying they do is surprisingly meagre.
Then again if you get lucky, 1 answer may be all you need.
So there you have it, the best no-nonsense guide one could possibly need to face the giants of law school. Honestly speaking, our advice is so good, we should start charging soon.
Article contributed by: Clarence Tan (Law 1) and Marc Teh (Law 1)