LSAT Kung Fu Blog / Semester 2, Week 6: LSAT + Law School—Games Are Like Property!
Semester 2, Week 6: LSAT + Law School—Games Are Like Property!
You know what you are going to
love hate when you get to law school? PROPERTY. It is the absolute best, if by “the absolute best” you mean “the doctrinal course that is so far most full of arbitrary naming conventions, precise but capricious defining characteristics, and counter-intuitive notions (and we’re talking about it in the context of an entire course load of classes that are just chock-full of all the foregoing, mind you).” If you do mean that, then (1) you are insane. Say what you mean, you freaking weirdo; and (2) I completely agree with you.
There is one thing that’s kind of cool about Property (at least from my perspective); it functions in some ways that are heavily analogous to the approach I teach to the Games section of the LSAT.
Like this: this past week in Property, Professor X (not that Professor X, although CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THAT PROFESSOR X WERE YOUR PROPERTY PROFESSOR?! (1) No more scheming about ways to take over the world while your professor goes on and on about Life Estates and their relations to the Leasehold Estates (so, that part’s bad); but (2) you could probably get him to teach you at least something about becoming superheroic. I mean, I’d bet he’s just bursting to talk about fighting evil instead of the key distinction between Possibilities of Reverter and Rights of Entry (the latter of which should honestly be called “Rights of Re-entry,” but remember what I said up there about capricious and arbitrary naming? Yeah.). I bet you’d hardly have to nudge him off topic. It would be great. Man, I wish Professor X taught Property. And Contracts. Civ Pro. Torts.
Wait. I’m not thinking this all the way through.
I should dream bigger. What I really wish, now that I think of it, is, I wish I were an Uncanny X-Man. Wolverine. I wish I were Wolverine. If I were Wolverine, I wouldn’t go to law school at all. I’d fight for justice with my fists, and my adamantium (by the way, when you see the word “adamantium,” do you ever think about Adam Ant?) retractable claws. Instead of only analogically or metaphorically punching Nazis in the nose, I would literally punch Nazis in the nose. Man, that would be great.
But I didn’t bring you here to talk about Adam Ant. I wanted to tell you about my Professor X and the chart he drew in Property class (oh, my god, I’m boring myself now). I’ll make it quick, because after one introduces Wolverine and Nazi-punching to the conversation, one very quickly discovers that one's original plans as to topic pale significantly by comparison. Especially when one is trying to get back to Fee Simple Defeasibles (oh, god, do we really have to?).
[Slaps cheeks, huffs a long exhalation, clenches jaw]
The chart Professor X drew in class was essentially AN LSAT GAMES DIAGRAM! (the only reason that’s in all caps is in a lame attempt to make it seem as exciting as Wolverine)
Seriously, though. It was a series of conditional questions (though Prof X never referred to them that way), that led to different configurations of your game elements depending on how you answered them. If the court believed the estate was an FSD (you DO NOT care what that is), then if the use of the building for storage counted as “for school purposes,” then Entity A held the estate. On the other hand, if the court ruled the estate was an FSSTCS (you SUPER DO NOT care what that is), then if the use of the building for storage did not count as “for school purposes,” then Entity B held the estate and could transfer it.
And the thing I think that most reminded me of LSAT games was the essentially arbitrary categorization of the elements. There are rules, for sure. And following the rules will lead you to the right answer (JUST LIKE IN LSAT GAMES!), but those rules—in both Property and LSAT Games—are not obviously tethered to any notions of normal, decent human behavior.
That means that in both instances, your main job is to find a visual organizational system for dealing with the information, so that you don’t have to keep it in your head, and you can access it when you need to do so.
That’s good news for me (and for you, if you’re my LSAT student); we already have a system in place that helps us more-easily categorize and utilize arbitrary and unfamiliar rule-sets. I thought that was pretty cool.
(Though obviously not as cool as being an X-Man (or X-Woman, right? It’s not very cool how gender-limited that naming convention is. I’m mad on Storm’s behalf).
Hours for the week: Class = 15.75 / Study = 3.75 / Other = 1.5 / Total TIme on Campus: 39 (Ooh; new entry! This last number is the amount of time I'm here at school, whether or not I'm working. It won't ever change much. Notice how it's basically double the total of my original three categories for last week? That's because we have a terrible class schedule. I start class at 9 every day, but most days, my next class isn't until 2:30 (!), and twice a week,I have another class from 5:00-6:15 (!!). And I live about a 35-minute drive from school, which means it's super-inefficient to try to go home between classes. So that means I spend a lot of time at school, not really having anything in particular to do. I visit professors. I read. I hold Office Hours. Write blog posts. It's the kind of thing I'd have wanted to know before I started law school. Thought you might be interested. Last semester, btw, my total time on campus was something like 30-31 hours most weeks. So it's not always so rough. And those 31 hours still held a lot of "dead" time; the 15 to 45 minutes between classes, the 30-45 minutes for lunch, etc).
Questions? Comments? Complaints? Post them below, or shoot me an email.
Be good to one another, for we need it now more than maybe ever,
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