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Messages - wcabkk

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Current Law Students / Re: rant, depressed
« on: December 01, 2007, 05:02:53 PM »
I was glossed over for a number of study groups yet ended up transferring from t1 to t14 with good grades.  i found study groups helpful in so far as that they calmed my nerves and reminded me of things i'd missed, but in evaluating a study group as a whole, I'd consider it to be a net negative becuase you won't have as much certainty if any issues break out and you're forced to rely on what a classmate is saying.  you're better off meeting with someone or with the professor to bounce your understanding of something and then going back to your materials alone if there is any misunderstanding (in other words, don't shelve your casebook as an above poster has suggested).

 don't worry about others' tactics; instead, follow this intuitive advice which will ensure success.  outlines are not something you read over and memorize--exam preparation doesn't lend itself to that format.  An outline is just a consolidation of all information in that course, something which you would rely on if you hadn't attended class or read the book.  I and other students who have done well extract material from our outlines to organize the material in a way that prepares you for the exam.  You then use these materials by memorizing them (e.g., flashcards) or  bringing them with you into an exam.


Look over practice exams to get a sense of the structure you'll need to use to answer questions.  If, for example, civ pro has you going through a case step by step, it might be a good idea to organize your materials in a timeline fashion:  here's what I can do on a complaint, here's what I can do pre-answer, post-answer, etc.  Know when to use everything and the nuances which separate them, etc; while preparing these think of how to resolve any latent ambiguities or combinations.  On an actual exam you'd then go through each of these issues in your head to see if they apply and then hash out your analysis of the most pertinent points.  for crim for example I might have the MPC and commonlaw crimes listed on separate sheets of papers and then flesh out all the nuance and interaction in bullet points beneath.  this is really just anothre type of outline, ensuring that you cut all the fat from it.


I wouldn't recommend bothering with LEEWS.  for almost every exam, follow irac and, if applicable, separate sections with bolding, underlining, and new paragraphs to make it easier for you to organize your thoughts and for the professor to see this organization.  Example of how my A exams (at old and new school) have been structured, without exception:

One possible issue is felony-murder. F-M applies if X, Y, or Z.  Here, F-M probably wouldn't apply (ALWAYS qualify this statement a little, but use different levels of qualification, like almost certainly, probably, unlikely, etc.).  the prosecutor could argue A, B, or C.  Defendant might counter with D, E, and F.  Prosecutors reasoning might be more compelling if we have this assumption because of blah, or if this was interpreted in such a such way becuase of blah.  Public policy A favors such; B favors otherwise (I rarely use PP unless it's an obvious issue).

Do this on practice exams and re-read them after you're done.  you'll find that professors exploit ambiguities in the law with their fact-patterns, and these will give rise to larger doctrinal issues that will reappear over and over.  make a list of these as you prepare your materials and as you go through practice exams. if you can't resolve these by using the book, talk to your professor directly, using the broader doctrinal perspective in approaching the issue, not saying "on practice exam #2 such and such occured" initially (instead, once he gives you an answre on the broader issue, be like: so, if [insert something similar to the exam scenario]then the answer would be [what you now know because of the doctrinal stuff]).  Go to the professor once you have a list of all the issues (i usually had 3-4 per exam I couldn't resolve on my own) so you aren't continually going back and forth.

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