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Messages - Coregram

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Current Law Students / Re: Torts exam
« on: December 14, 2005, 09:13:11 AM »
Also, see if there are any past exams for your professor available.  If you can get 2 or 3 and at least read through them, you'll probably get a good feel for where he has put the emphasis in the past.

That plus cosidering where he put the emphasis this year will give you a good idea.

Current Law Students / Re: Torts- True or False
« on: December 11, 2005, 08:26:16 PM »
You guys might try actually reading the case - US v Carrol Towing - and see what Hand said:

"the owner's duty, as in similar situations, to provide against resulting injuries is a function of three variables: (1) The probability that she [the vessel - my insertion] will break away; (2) the gravity of the resulting injury, if she does; (3) the burden of adequate precautions."

He puts it that liability [duty] exists when B<PL, but it could be looked at other ways.  The point is that if it cost $200 (B) to put up the stop sign and there is a 20% chance (P) of $10,000 car damage without the stop sign (L), since $200 < $2,000 there is a duty to put up the sign.  Of course, the evaluation is usually an abstract judgment, not hard numbers, but that is how it works.  And keep in mind, this is just one way to look at duty.

The breach question doesn't even come in play unless there is a duty as per above.  If there is no duty, there is nothing to breach.  If there is a duty, then you look to see if there is a breach.  The breach is not putting up the sign, not the fact that the B was < than the PL.  B will still be < PL even if you put up the sign.  But in putting up the sign, you have fulfilled the duty (instead of breaching it.)

Transferring / Re: Polish Law Student Q. (Poland-USA school transfer)
« on: December 11, 2005, 01:17:41 PM »
Each state here has its own education requirements for admission to the bar.  You need to research the specific requirments for the state you want to practice in. 

Some states will recognize or make allowances for foreign degrees or schooling, at least in some cases, others won't.

Current Law Students / Re: issue spotting on exam
« on: December 11, 2005, 12:48:12 PM »
I think you are confusing what is a tort with what is an issue.

The key is that each of the 3 battery issues are seperate main issues and counts as much as the 1 Tresspass to Land issue.  So I wouldn't assume that by covering 1 of 3 battery issues and 1 tresspass to land issue (total 2) you are getting any more credit that by covering 2 separate battery isses and ignoring the tresspass to land issue.  Either way, you have 2 issues covered.  And often, professors are merely skimming your essay and checking off how many issues you have identified and analyzed (and how you analyzed) without seeing how many torts you have covered. 

As you point out, nobody can cover all the issues well in the time given.  So focus on what you can do a good analysis of.  What works for me is the following:

1. Quickly identify all the issues I can.  But make sure you drill down to the real issue, not just identify the tort/crime/etc.  I like the LEEWS conflict pairing and premesis approach, but use whatever works for you.

2. Quickly prioritize them.  a)Which ones did the professor spend time on and which ones did he blow through?  b)Which ones do you know well and which ones aren't you sure of?  c)Which ones can be handled quickly and which ones will take some time?

3.  I save the quick "slam dunk" (c) ones for the end, but make sure I leave time at the end to do all them.  You could also do them first.  But cover them in there to rack up the easy points.

4. Do the (a) ones that you know well first or second if you do the slam dunks first.  These are probably the big point ones.  You generally know which these issues are by how much time the professor spent on them.  If he spent 3 classes on Battery and 1/2 on Tresspass to Land, you know battery is much more important then tresspass.

5.  Only if time allows, try the (b) ones.  You might pick up a few points on the issue spotting, but you won't get anything (or may lose points) if your rule or analysis on these is incorrect.

6.  Never leave the exam before time is up.  Surprising as it is, most exams I've taken only 25% of the people are there at the end.  Those people have to be leaving points on the table.

The important thing is to do a bit of planning (issue spotting,prioritizing, and outlining) up front before you write your answer.  And take your watch off and put it in front of you so you always know how much time you have left.

Current Law Students / Re: issue spotting on exam
« on: December 11, 2005, 08:41:39 AM »
I agree that it doesn't make sense to repeat an in-depth analysis of the same issue 2 or 3 times in an exam.  If you cover it once and it really does come up again, quickly refer to it if needed again and move on to new issues.

But I'd caution you about assuming the Professor has included the exact same issue several times in the fact pattern.  More likely, the same issue (or tort/crime etc.) seems to appear more than once in the fact patter because the minor issues (individual elements, policy, defenses, etc.) raised by each fact pattern are different and he wants to see each of them discussed (and each of them are probably a point scoring issue in their mind.)  Professors are testing the entire course/semester of material and it is doubtful they test, or want the student to show they know, the same exact issue twice.  And usually everything is in the fact pattern for a reason.
For example, the fact pattern may contain 2 or 3 incidents that appear to be batteries.  But the real issue in dispute in one may be whether the act was intentional (the contact element obviously met by the facts, but still should be addressed in a sentence or 2 relating the facts to the element) while the real issue in disput in the second one is whether there was harmful or offensive contact (itent obviously met by the facts, but again needs to be shown in a sentence.)  And the real issue in dispute in the third may be a defense. 

If you think the issue tested is battary repeated 3 times (and only analyze the first) instead of 3 issues - intent, harm, defense - you grade will likely reflect missing issues.

Current Law Students / Re: issue spotting on exam
« on: December 10, 2005, 05:47:43 PM »
It varies depending on the class, the professor, the complexity of the fact pattern, the difficulty of the issues, the length of the exam, etc.

But I doubt any professor in any class only cares about the number of issues spotted.  Spotting an issue is meaningless if you can't do a good (or do an incorrect) analysis of the how the law applies to the facts that raise the issue and advance a conclusion that flows from the analysis.  Spotting and doing a good analysis of 8 issues will beat spotting 10 issues without good analysis.

The trick is to find as many issues as you can but also do a good analysis of them based on applying the law you have learned.  That's why it is important to read the problem and identify as many issues as you can early in the exam.  Then you have a sense of how deep to write.  Then quickly outline your response and then write it.  Don't write a treatsie on each issue, but be sure to quickly show you know the law you think applies, apply it to the facts, and suggest a conclusion flowing from the facts.  and include counter-arguements.  Professor's rarely care about the conclusion reached as long as it flows from your arguement. 

Also, try to do one or two practice/past exams under the exam time frame so you can gauge how fast you can identify, discuss, and dispose of issues. 

I'd focus on the side of a good analysis of each issue covered rather than do a half-assed job on as many issues as you can find.

Current Law Students / Re: Evidence final
« on: December 10, 2005, 01:30:37 PM »
First of all, the point isn't that the professor is a male private part because the exam is totally closed book (although I think that's lame enough) - the prof is a male private part becaue he told the students throughout the sememster what would be provided, and students rely on that. Then he changes his mind a week before the exam.  That makes him a serious male private part.  The professor cannot be trusted - so OP has to think about if the prof continues to discuss anything about the exam.

Second of all, JoJo - have you even taken evidence?  It's about applying the Rules of Evidence - not general policies.  It's not Torts.  You have to know the rules and how to apply them.  If hearsay fits within an exception, you have to know the exception.  I could go on about how inane your comment about "arguing against every rule in the book" is, but I don't think anyone will take it seriously anyway.

Third, as to the supposed value of closed book exams.  I think my securities professor put it best: I've been practicing securities law for 30 years, and I always read the law.  Always.  And no client ever calls me and asks: 'I've got a problem, can you help me - but don't read the rules!' 

As to the supposed value of open-book exams:

1) Is the bar exam open book?

2) Have you ever seen an attorney in court ask the judge to stop the trial so he can look up the rule of evidence to see if he can object?  To look up the elements of a tort or crime?

3) Think your future clients will be happy knowing they are paying $250/hour for you to look up the basics that get taught in law school?  Think they want to sit there while you look up the elements of a contract?

Current Law Students / Re: Balancing Work and Law School
« on: December 10, 2005, 12:54:10 PM »
First, map out a schedule for a typical week.  Use a planner or something and map it out by hour.  Include work, sleep, commuting, other commitments, allowance for family time, workout, or whatever else you do.  Then block off your school schedule.  It will probably be 11/12 hours a week on 2 or 3 nights, but you can check with the school you are attending.  Then try to find 2-3 hours per week per credit hour for homework.  You might be able to cut this down in reality, but for planning I wouldn't.  This is the only way you will truely be able to see the demands on you and see what, if anything, you need to prioritize and/or eliminate.  Also, run that schedule by any significant others/children to see if they can live with it, and you, if you work it.

Many people, including myself, work and go to school part-time and manage it.  But it is not easy and there is not much extra time.  I'd guess what will suffer for you is the out-of-work activities.

Current Law Students / Re: LEEWS and Commerce Clause
« on: December 10, 2005, 12:47:23 PM »
I like to equate the various tests the court applies to elements in other courses.  The difference is that often times, only one of several elements need be met/proven. 

For example, under commerce clause, the tests/elements are that Congress may regultate 1) instrumentalities of commerce, or 2) channels of commerce, or 3)activities having a substantial relationship to commerce. 

Each of these elements may have sub-elements or tests, which all or only one need to be met, to have the element met.  Or may have levels of scrutiny to consider in applying the test to the facts (i.e. use strict scrutiny.)

Then apply the facts to it based on the level of scrutiny.  But you should probably address each one and say individually to see if more than one apply.

Flowcharting or decision trees will get you to the same place.  The danger is you might blow through the first elements that don't apply or ignore later ones once you find one that does apply and not address/dispose of those that don't apply.

Current Law Students / Re: 0-L here, is recording lectures taboo?
« on: December 10, 2005, 12:28:19 PM »
Even if you are using a computer "so no one will be the wiser," always get your professor's permission before recording.

Keep in mind, in most states it is illegal to record an oral communication without the authorization of all parties involved.  That's why you often get a message when calling a call center that "This conversation may be monitored for quality control purposes."  For instance, check out Mass. General Law Chapter 272, Section 99 on the Massachusetts government website.  I bet most states have similar laws.

There are a few exceptions to the law but they wouldn't cover a professor's lecture.

Not to mention it's not very efficient.  If you spend 15 hours a week in class, are you going to spend another 15 hours a week listening to see what you missed?  And how do you get it on paper or in your outline if you are driving, on a treadmill, or sleeping.  Not to mention the risk of falling asleep at the wheel while listening.

You are better off taking good notes, even handwritten ones, on the rules, policy, terminology, and new hypos that the professor uses.  That's not say you should transcripe every word said, just the important points and the areas you had trouble understanding in the reading.  If you do this, I bet you won't wind up with more than 4-5 pages, and often less, per class.  Then incorporate that into your outline later.

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