The Benefits of Low Expectations

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7 Responses

  1. anon says:

    Tax is legendary for capitalizing on the “low expectations” phenomenon, even though basic tax is more tax policy than technical detail and involves one of the few real world discussions about the allocation of the benefits and burdens of society that you will get in law school.

  2. GMC70 says:

    Having taken and passed secured transactions, and passed the bar (yea!!), I can tell you without hesitation that the lesson to be learned in the banks v. little guy scenario is simply this, always.

    Banks win. Surprise. Those with money and access to legal expertise win. Shocking.

  3. Alfred L. Brophy says:

    Never underestimate the importance of low expectations. Very thoughtful post, Nate.

  4. tim zinnecker says:

    After teaching both Sadistic Transactions and Payment Systems close to twenty times each (including again this summer), I can say without hesitation that the most frequent comment I receive from students is that they found the classes more interesting than they expected when they enrolled. (For other noteworthy comments, see “‘Dear Diary’ Moments in the Semester of a UCC Law Professor,” 50 Mercer L. Rev. 603 (1999).) Good luck teaching the course, Nate. You’ll be one of the few, the proud, the annointed — a UCC professor.

  5. Matt says:

    I would hazard a guess that private-law classes are overrepresented among those benefitting from low expectations, and public-law classes among those suffering from inflated expectations. And I would guess that no class suffers more from inflated expectations than Con Law.

  6. Law Student '06 says:

    Not every state’s bar exam tests Article 9. The MBE portion of the exam only tests Article 2. New York does test Secured Transactions (Article 9), but on the essays it has only come up twice in 48 administrations of the exam (essentially, the last 10 years). Other states, like New Jersey, do not test those subjects at all.

    I definitely think that law students often feel they should take the class for bar exam purposes. However, in reality, my guess is that few states heavily test the subject. I’d also guess that in the states that do test Article 9, that it would likely show up in combination with a more basic subject area (like Contracts), than on its own.

    I wish you the best of luck in teaching the class!

  7. Richard Murphy says:

    I had low expectations for A9 as a student, but had a fantastic time — fabulous professor who prowled around the room thumbing through the UCC with bemused students. Most concepts were illustrated by problems involving battles between “SP” (secured party) and “TP” (tacky person). Somehow, TP always lost.

    Best of luck!