Seth Chandler (a.k.a. John Belushi?)


Analytical Methods, Contracts, Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law

Con Law outline – Spring 2014added 09-02-2015
Anonymously contributed con law outline - added 12-02-2012
Anonymously contributed con law outline - added 01-01-2011

The following review was submitted anonymously in May 2012:


If you have Professor Chandler for class, a couple things to remember:

1.   Toolbox- Keep this list of cases updated, if not daily when you’re reading, weekly. Typically a toolbox is a chart (you can use excel or notebook or word to make a table) and you have casename, date, topic it falls under, if there is a trend/new test, holding, quotes from the cases.

2.   Supplements- Pick up the Chemerinsky Supplement- he says its recommended, but it really isn’t. It is more like absolutely necessary if you want to succeed in the course. May and Ides is another good supplement,  I only used the Federalism one (first half of constitutional law)

3.   Audio CDs- Sum and Substance- these are priceless! Listen to these before your lectures or before your reading for the class so that you really have a grasp of what is going on.

4.   Outline- Keep this up too- If you haven’t gotten over half of it done by the time you hit Spring Break, you are fairly screwed over. Because at that point you’ll have assignments due for LRW, Oral Arguments, Moot Court tryouts, anything due for that extra class you’ll have, etc.

The trick with Chandler is to realize that he is old school- which means he is not interested in teaching you what you can figure out using the supplement. He wants to take you to another level with the information that you know.

Know the topics and rules before you get into class.

A lot of times it will feel really disorganized, but that is just constitutional law smashed into one semester.

Lastly, if you really want to leg up on the class- Do the reading over the Winter Break. Teach yourself Constitutional Law, use the big cases discussed in the Sum and Substance or the E&E for your toolbox and just learn it. It is really worth it to be ahead of his lectures in topics than it is to be timely or behind.


The following review was submitted anonymously in April 2012:

Professor Chandler is clearly highly intelligent. I have no doubt that he does great research and contributes a lot in upper level courses. But he should NOT be teaching this course. This is the most difficult subject matter of the 1L curriculum, and it is unnecessarily condensed into one semester. Chandler tries to cover too much material and refuses to get off schedule even if students are struggling in one particular area. Chandler is not consistent at all in his class material. One day he will call on people, one day he will host mock oral arguments, one day he will give quizzes and hypos that he reads aloud and are incomprehensible. His teaching methods are not consistent and it makes it very difficult to know what to expect. Chandler does not teach the class reading. He expects each student to have fully understood the reading by the time they come to class, and he focuses on very minute details and often goes off topic into what he personally believes is interesting, when in fact it does not relate to the reading at all. He assigns 30-40 pages a night, consistently, and sometimes assigns E&Es and Chemerinsky supplements instead of having us read it from the textbook. Do NOT sit directly in front of where he lectures - you will be on call MUCH more often than other rows.


Analytical Methods

The Course

During the information session, it was suggested that this class was for people who had no exposure to the topics to be taught, but after taking the course, I think the opposite.  There is not enough time to teach the basics of the numerous and disparate subjects that range from game theory, contract writing, agency problems, law and economics, statistics, and financial statements.  However, this class is perfect for putting together statistics, finance, etc. with the law.  The more background you have the better it is for the student to follow the lectures and apply the concepts specifically to the law.  It's especially good if you're a nerd (e.g., if you know what the Kobayashi Maru is & you like Dr. Strange Love you'll probably like the subject matter in this class).  This is a great course to take if you are tired of reading cases.  It was refreshing to apply concepts to problems instead of reading cases and talking about theory in the abstract.

There is group work.  There are 7 projects of which 5 are graded.  Chandler's theory is that this is more like an MBA class than a law course.  He thinks that the output will be of better quality from a group of 4 than the strongest person in the group.  He's not wrong in this.  Moreover, it makes the grading easier for the Prof. (and still the grades trickle back).  However, this group work is a problem where there is relative grading as there is in law school, because you all get the same grade.  In my case, my group broke up and caused loss of relationships.

Mathematica pervades this class.  No doubt Mathematica is amazing, especially in the hands of a master, as Dean Chandler obviously is.  However, I know that it caused consternation for many of the students regardless of the admonitions to "ignore the man behind the curtain."  Some times it is hard for students to concentrate on the message instead of the method.


Dean Chandler did an excellent job of going through so many disparate topics and tying them altogether in a coherent class, showing how they are all tied together and interrelated.  He was infinitely patient with student questions, and was very good at teasing out of students the arguments without pushing his own views and agenda. Dean Chandler made the class very interesting through reference to the real world and other popular media though syllabus optional assignments.  In general, Dean Chandler is very good about taking any student comment and abstracting the theory that is implicitly backing it.  This allows students to, hopefully, to learn to do the same through exposure of example. Finally, Chandler has a nice balance between encouraging preparation and censure.  There were students who knew nothing and didn't read and all he said is "you would get more out of the class if you prepared."

No review would be complete, however, without warning that some people who took the class with me who found Chandler to be smug and condescending.  As I didn't find this to be the case I leave it to someone else to elaborate, except to say that if you are sensitive to sarcasm and don't like people who aren't modest/humble you'll probably not like Chandler.

Thanks to Joshua Wyde for the above review.


Anonymously contributed contracts outline - added 05-24-2008