1.  Ratner is fantastic. He wrote the book, which is always an advantage. I've heard other professors have a hard time following his book, because it's written much different than a typical case book. It's a "problem-based approach" or whatever. He does cold-call though, but it's like 2 people a day, so once you've been called you're unlikely to get called again (his class is usually huge).

2.  Anyway, I just wanted to offer you my advice about Transnat with Steven Ratner. This, other than Crim Pro, is my favorite class in all of law school. I am going to be in the vast, vast minority of people who actually like Transnat, but I really enjoyed the class and learned a lot in it, and have actually retained much of the information, which are three things I can't say about most other law school classes. I find Ratner's Transnat book really clear and helpful, and he is incredibly smart and talented in his field. I went abroad during the fall semester of 3L, and to Ratner's credit, I had learned much more in his Transnat class than I did while abroad, even though we covered subjects like human rights for 8 weeks, rather than a few days. Ratner's class was invaluable. Also he's just a really nice person and stays after class to offer help to students all the time. On the negative side, and these are some of the things people don't like about him and his class: He's kind of esoteric. Not like having a philosopher as your professor, but he is pretty nerdy/intellectual and he really digs the material, so he does go off on little rants and tangents sometimes that aren't as clear. Some people also don't like his book because it's set up differently than a lot of other books, but I found this style helpful.

3.  I feel compelled to submit a review for Prof. Ratner, since the only two are positive and neither I nor my half dozen friends who took the same Transnat class enjoyed him.  Two miscellaneous things first: you'll love or hate the casebook (latter for me).  Also, Ratner was sometimes unwilling to fairly evaluate viewpoints that differed from his own.  The remainder of the drawbacks I suspect stem from him teaching a class about which he is passionate, but many people don't care and are required to be there.  He occasionally lashed out at those who were unprepared or just confused.  He took pride in failing or giving D's to a few students every year, and swore to do the same to anyone who was pass/failing but didn't put in enough effort.  Overall I just got the impression he wasn't very nice...or was at least temperamental.  I hear, though, that he's great in upper-level courses.  Maybe he was just fed up with people not caring about Transnat, and maybe it'll get better since the P/F system changed...but I did not consider him a good professor and have heard great things about the others for Transnat.

4. While Ratner may be good in Transnat, or not, never, ever take Protecting Human Rights in International Law unless you already know the material and care about/love it deeply, and just want 3 hours a week to share opinions with other people about it. Worst, least substantive class that I've ever taken, anywhere. Again, avoid unless you are absolutely passionately in love with the subject of international human rights.

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