Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams

Front Cover
Carolina Academic Press, May 1, 1999 - Study Aids - 348 pages
27 Reviews

Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one has before, all with an eye toward improving the reader’s performance. The book begins by describing the difference between educational cultures that praise students for “right answers,” and the law school culture that rewards nuanced analysis of ambiguous situations in which more than one approach may be correct. Enormous care is devoted to explaining precisely how and why legal analysis frequently produces such perplexing situations.

But the authors don’t stop with mere description. Instead, Getting to Maybe teaches how to excel on law school exams by showing the reader how legal analysis can be brought to bear on examination problems. The book contains hints on studying and preparation that go well beyond conventional advice. The authors also illustrate how to argue both sides of a legal issue without appearing wishy-washy or indecisive. Above all, the book explains why exam questions may generate feelings of uncertainty or doubt about correct legal outcomes and how the student can turn these feelings to his or her advantage.

In sum, although the authors believe that no exam guide can substitute for a firm grasp of substantive material, readers who devote the necessary time to learning the law will find this book an invaluable guide to translating learning into better exam performance.

“This book should revolutionize the ordeal of studying for law school exams… Its clear, insightful, fun to read, and right on the money.” — Duncan Kennedy, Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School  “Finally a study aid that takes legal theory seriously… Students who master these lessons will surely write better exams. More importantly, they will also learn to be better lawyers.” — Steven L. Winter, Brooklyn Law School “If you can't spot a 'fork in the law' or a 'fork in the facts' in an exam hypothetical, get this book. If you don’t know how to play 'Czar of the Universe' on law school exams (or why), get this book. And if you do want to learn how to think like a lawyer—a good one—get this book. It's, quite simply, stone cold brilliant.” — Pierre Schlag, University of Colorado School of Law (Law Preview Book Review on The Princeton Review website)

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Review: Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams

User Review  - Aaron - Goodreads

I'd rank the thrills contained herein as somewhere between watching paint dry and staring a kettle that never quite boils, but the material is (or seems) effective. As the only available option for in-depth exam strategy, you'd be foolish as a 1L not to read it. Here's hoping it helps. Read full review

Review: Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams

User Review  - Aaron - Goodreads

I'd rank the thrills contained herein as somewhere between watching paint dry and staring a kettle that never quite boils, but the material is (or seems) effective. As the only available option for in-depth exam strategy, you'd be foolish as a 1L not to read it. Here's hoping it helps. Read full review

About the author (1999)

Richard Michael Fischl is a Professor of Law at University of Connecticut School of Law.

Jeremy R. Paul is Dean and Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law.

Bibliographic information