Law School Discussion

best study aids for crim, prop and con?


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best study aids for crim, prop and con?
« on: April 11, 2009, 07:13:04 AM »
what are the best hornbooks/study aids for criminal, property and constitutional law that i should invest in?? 

Re: best study aids for crim, prop and con?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2009, 08:08:46 AM »
Property -- Understanding Property, by Sprankling.  Nothing else compares, IMO, and this is coming from a student whose favorite 1L subject was Property.

Crim -- Understanding Criminal Law, by Dressler.  I know many people dislike the E&E, but I think it's as, if not more, useful.  Crim depends too much on your professor.  I know entire sections of the MPC cold, but that's because my prof stresses them.

If you have a long issue-spotter for Crim, I would riff off the CL and MPC quickly.  Remember: crime requires legality + actus reus (affirmative or omission, and CL duties) + mens rea + causation.  There are complications on this basic model, like the murder-felony rule*; or the law of attempt; or mistake of fact negating mens rea; or strict liability, the 5th state of mind; but that's basically what you're looking for.  On my Crim exam, there was a lot of: was it reckless (objective/subjective standard)?  Was there causation?  Was there premeditation, and would that matter under MPC?  (No.)

Think of yourself as a prosecutor trying to charge people with, say, murder.  And then picture yourself as the defense trying to argue for manslaughter.

* However, see, MPC 210.2(1)(b), about the presumption of extreme indifference if in the course of a robbery, rape, et cetera.  Or look up nuanced CL murder-felony cases, like King (holding that there was insufficient causation that felony caused the airplane crash), or Amaro (holding that the marijuana dealer's killing was in furtherance).

ConLaw -- meh.  Commerce clause.


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Re: best study aids for crim, prop and con?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2009, 08:10:49 PM »

Property - I don't use one because it is a multiple choice exam that is very keyed to my textbook

Crim Law - Understanding Crim Law is good

Con Law - Chimerinsky's(sp?) Principles of Con Law is probably the most useful supp I've had to date