Hello, I'm nothing more than a typical law student such as yourself. I'm not God, nor am I superhuman, but there are many reasons why I excel at law school. Sure, I may be brilliant, studious, and personable; But also in my grand repertoire is the ability to gun. And 'gunning' is what I do best.
Now, many people may hate gunners for numerous reasons. Primarily, it's because people aren't as smart as us or they just don't understand the art of it well enough to rival our amazing gunning abilities.
Why become a gunner? There are numerous reasons for this as well. For Professors who bump, learning this art could mean the difference between a B+ or an A-, or possibly an A- and an A. And especially in this economy, any advantage you can get over your peers is huge for employment opportunities when you graduate.
Gunning is also valuable for other things such as establishing good study groups. Because I gun so well, I am offered invitations to join the study groups of fellow classmates, and I pick the people I know that I will work best with. Also, when you go to office hours, professors you gun for will automatically respect you and be more likely to give answers to questions you are having problems with than if you were some schlub off the street who obviously didn't give his class the time of day.
The art of gunning can also help you excel in other parts of your life such as doing well in job interviews and picking up chicks. It may seem like a superficial art, but when fully analyzed, it is a lot more important than many people realize.
So you must asking yourself, why am I willing to share this great art with all of you? It's because I'm awesome and the begging in my other thread has become so pathetic that I have decided to let you in on my secrets.
So without further ado, these are MY Rules to gunning:
Rule #1: Always sound confident in your answer... ALWAYS.
I consider this my most important rule. First off, if the professor asks a simple question like "How did the court rule?", if you said "I THINK they affirmed it.", how positively do you think the professor is going gauge your response? Even if you are only 50% sure, you should answer that question by saying "They affirmed it". If the professor says your are wrong, just nod in agreement and shake it off like it's not a big deal and move on to your next point. If you say "sorry" or "oops" you are doing nothing more than highlighting the fact you made an error, and you will more effectively mitigate the blow if you just move on to your next point and nail that point instead.
Also when you say your answer confidently, it indicates that you really read the material, and if you got the question wrong, it was because you must have more likely misread it. But if you get further questioned and you get all those answers wrong too, then no matter how confident you sound, you will look like a dumbass. So yes say your answers confidently, but keep in mind that you still have to do the reading or this rule will fail for you miserably.
Lastly, if you say your answer confidently it makes you sound more intelligent. And giving the correct answer in a class is only half the battle. If you give the correct answer and it looks like you just happened to guess it and you didn't really know for sure, then it was all for naught. One thing I've noticed fellow classmates do that REALLY damage your apparent confidence is to state the answer in a question. (e.g. if the student in my hypo had said "didn't the court affirm it?") Very bad thing to do.
Rule #2 Know WHO it is that you are dealing with.
This rule means that you must know WHAT kind of things your professor likes to discuss. For example, one of my professors was obsessed with public policy and so when I read cases/etc. for his class, I would be on the look out for any rules/decisions the court made that raised interesting policy concerns. Once I spotted those issues, I would think in my head the best way the court could have remedied the situation to meet public policy goals and just waited in class for the professor to ask about it.
In another class, I had a professor that loved hammering the little things that shape the case that are in the footnotes. So for him, I treated every footnote I came across with the utmost attention. Looking out for tendencies your professor may have can lead to success in other areas as well, such as exam taking.
Rule #3 You should NEVER, under any circumstance, ask the professor ANY questions in class.
There are two reasons for this rule. One, when the professor associates your name with the class, you want him to remember you for your BRILLIANCE, not your misunderstanding regarding the subject matter. Secondly, any questions you may have, no matter how mind blowing, would better be asked during office hours. The mere fact you show up during office hours shows you are taking his class seriously; Also, by going to his office hours you are ensuring that YOU are the only one hearing the answer, so when it comes to test time, anyone else too lazy to ask the professor won't get to benefit from your answer. This rule encompasses any hypos you may want to pose as well.
Rule #4 NEVER state your opinion on ANYTHING
First, your opinion is meaningless and only makes you look like an egotistical freak. Secondly, if the professor's opinion differs from yours, it is not going to look good for you when he thinks about giving you the bump. Third, when you give your opinion, it will usually look like you are doing it because you don't know the black letter law.
Sometimes, however, you may run into a professor who DOES ask for your opinion now and then. When this happens, try to answer the question about your opinion only enough as need be. This way, if it does differ from your professor's opinion, it will mitigate any collateral damage it may have on you if he personally disagrees.
In these situations where you are asked to give your opinion, TRY TO SAY SOMETHING THAT YOU THINK THE PROFESSOR HIMSELF WOULD AGREE WITH. For instance, if I know my professor is a liberal, I'm going to give the most liberal opinion on the matter as humanly possible. Doing this will make the professor think you are smarter. (He'll think "Hey I'm smart, so if his opinion agrees with mine then he must be smart too.") Also, the professor will be less inclined to question your beliefs.
Rule #5 You must have short term memory
If you become a gunner, you have to accept the fact that every now and then when you raise your hand you will be wrong. It is okay to be wrong. Just make sure you are right a lot more often. If you get a question wrong, forget that you did and still answer your next question as confidently as possible.
Conversely, you could give the greatest answer humanly possible, but it will all be for nothing if the professor calls on you to read the next case and he makes an ass out of you because you didn't read it. Therefore, don't get too cocky as well.
Rule #6 Only answer the question at hand
I see it all too often when a fellow student sees an interesting ruling in the book, and the professor asks a completely unrelated question but the student will answer that question with the cool ruling in the book. That or they will answer the question the professor had then unnecessarily also tack on something like "I liked how the court also did X"
This will only make you look like an egotistical freak. Stick to the question at hand and don't try to show off with any fancy elaborations. You will look a lot smarter if your answer demonstrates that you don't need the fancy elaborations to make your answer look great.
Rule #7 Stay Humble
This rule kind of ties into Rule #6, but it is nonetheless important. All your answers should be said with confidence, but at the same time don't act like what you are saying is the word of God. I see it all too often when a professor will correct a student, and the student will see it as an opportunity to try and rebut the professor and explain why the professor is wrong, or why their wrong opinion should be correct instead of what actually is correct.
If told wrong, concede the point and move on. This rule also means to not try to elaborate on how awesomely you read the case by saying things that a careful reader would notice, but are irrelevant to the question.
Rule #8 Only answer a question if you can elaborate on it if the professor tells you to do so
This means that if you know that the answer is going to ensue follow up questions from the professor that you do not know, DON'T RAISE YOUR HAND. For example, if the professor says "what did the court hold?" And you say "They affirmed it."... Chances are the professor might ask "Why did the court affirm it?"
If you then start blabbering on like an idiot because you have no clue, you will have actually hurt your standing than helped it. That is why there are times where I actually won't raise my hand to questions I actually know.
Of course there are exception to this rule. (e.g. you know your professor never asks follow-ups, or your standing is bad enough as it is so it is worth the risk) But if your standing with the professor is excellent to begin with, don't unnecessarily raise your hand where a follow-up will do damage to your credibility.
Rule #9 BE PREPARED
I read for every class I gun in as if it is going to be my day on call, and he is going to stick with me on call all class. So this means read the damn material and do the work you are supposed to do.
THESE ARE THE SACRED RULES OF GUNNING.
Follow these, and you will almost certainly get a bump in one of your next classes. Print these rules out, and memorize them.
If these rules receive a positive enough of a reception, I will eventually write out my sacred rules for good Exam Taking too.