How to prepare for Conlaw...

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stinger35
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How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby stinger35 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:12 pm

Anyone who did well in Conlaw, or well generally, want to give me some advice on this?

Also: I expect to get a bunch of "just as you would for any other class" responses - however - I have struggled with conlaw and don't think it is like other classes. It is much harder for me to be able to pull out the issues or what is being tested without the typical adversarial parties that are present in other exams. Also, this is the first class that I haven't read/did all the questions in the E&E since it has been widely regarded as not very useful. I have the Chemerinksy and emmanuels. Our teacher said that the exam will be at least half issue spotter and the rest policy.

Thanks in advance for any advice or tips.

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Aeroplane
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby Aeroplane » Wed May 05, 2010 2:17 pm

All exams are professor-specific but I feel like Conlaw is ESPECIALLY professor-centric, so our advice will probably not be that valuable to you. Your exam's half policy, while my professor keeps emphasizing that he wants to see our mastery of doctrine & precedent and we should only talk about policy if he specifically asks (probly not much since we only have issue spotters on the essay portion), or if we've got time left over after doctrinal analysis and/or the doctrine's realy fuzzy/tautological.

stinger35
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby stinger35 » Wed May 05, 2010 2:26 pm

Aeroplane wrote:All exams are professor-specific but I feel like Conlaw is ESPECIALLY professor-centric, so our advice will probably not be that valuable to you. Your exam's half policy, while my professor keeps emphasizing that he wants to see our mastery of doctrine & precedent and we should only talk about policy if he specifically asks (probly not much since we only have issue spotters on the essay portion), or if we've got time left over after doctrinal analysis and/or the doctrine's realy fuzzy/tautological.


Yea, I guess that is true. Really though, all I have is a 40 page outline/notes. My professor is new so there are no old outlines or notes available, or exams. I obviously am going to tailor my work towards what we did in class and prepare accordingly, but I need to do more than just simply read this outline over and over (at least I think), so was hoping for suggestions

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Aeroplane
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby Aeroplane » Wed May 05, 2010 2:40 pm

stinger35 wrote:Yea, I guess that is true. Really though, all I have is a 40 page outline/notes. My professor is new so there are no old outlines or notes available, or exams. I obviously am going to tailor my work towards what we did in class and prepare accordingly, but I need to do more than just simply read this outline over and over (at least I think), so was hoping for suggestions

You might want to consider making 2 separate mini-outlines (like a couple pages each) for BLL and policy (shouldn't take long, just cut stuff from your current outline). I did this for the one class I had that really had a lot of very specific policy things in it (not general ones like how in crim you apply theory of punishment to everything, but really specific little things & named principles and such associated w/specific topics). That helped me get things separate & straight in my brain. Also I used to look stuff up during the test & it was much faster than if it had all been one big thing.

That's all I got. Good luck!

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed May 05, 2010 7:45 pm

So... any other general tips from those who have done well in the class? Let's say you started studying for the exam about 48 hours ago since you foolishly decided to study for other classes that ended up being pointless to study for. Any tips? Perhaps a Top 5 Things to Look At/For/Remember/Try List?

Thanks all!

270910
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby 270910 » Wed May 05, 2010 8:06 pm

In con law in particular, you have to sit down and think about how you'll answer a new hypo.

In most classes, the rule for, say, what constitutes a breach of contract or a breach of duty was fairly clear cut.

Do you know what a fundamental right is? (see other thread)? If you see a novel fact pattern, how are you going to analyze it? You'll see that you have to pull pieces of doctrine from a lot of cases, and also that it doesn't line up at all neatly. But you can prepare in advance: "If the court follows the reasoning in ___________ then it will be more likely to see _______ as a fundamental right, but the court should instead follow the reasoning in ___________ because in this fact pattern ____________ and if they instead ___________ then the following catastrophic things will occur: __________, ______________, ____________________."

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Wed May 05, 2010 8:45 pm

disco_barred wrote:In con law in particular, you have to sit down and think about how you'll answer a new hypo.

In most classes, the rule for, say, what constitutes a breach of contract or a breach of duty was fairly clear cut.

Do you know what a fundamental right is? (see other thread)? If you see a novel fact pattern, how are you going to analyze it? You'll see that you have to pull pieces of doctrine from a lot of cases, and also that it doesn't line up at all neatly. But you can prepare in advance: "If the court follows the reasoning in ___________ then it will be more likely to see _______ as a fundamental right, but the court should instead follow the reasoning in ___________ because in this fact pattern ____________ and if they instead ___________ then the following catastrophic things will occur: __________, ______________, ____________________."

Thanks Db. Is there any sort of order of operations I should approach each issue with, depending on whether it's state/federal action?

dslslave
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby dslslave » Wed May 05, 2010 11:45 pm

disco_barred, you're right on the money. Ive got my con law exam on Friday. That's exactly how it is.

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apper123
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby apper123 » Thu May 06, 2010 2:15 am

this was my method of answering the essay questions during my con law exam:

--ImageRemoved--

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vanwinkle
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby vanwinkle » Thu May 06, 2010 2:25 am

disco_barred wrote:In con law in particular, you have to sit down and think about how you'll answer a new hypo.

In most classes, the rule for, say, what constitutes a breach of contract or a breach of duty was fairly clear cut.

Do you know what a fundamental right is? (see other thread)? If you see a novel fact pattern, how are you going to analyze it? You'll see that you have to pull pieces of doctrine from a lot of cases, and also that it doesn't line up at all neatly. But you can prepare in advance: "If the court follows the reasoning in ___________ then it will be more likely to see _______ as a fundamental right, but the court should instead follow the reasoning in ___________ because in this fact pattern ____________ and if they instead ___________ then the following catastrophic things will occur: __________, ______________, ____________________."

If I had read this post before my Con Law exam on Tuesday I would have done much better on it.

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apper123
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby apper123 » Thu May 06, 2010 2:29 am

vanwinkle wrote:
disco_barred wrote:In con law in particular, you have to sit down and think about how you'll answer a new hypo.

In most classes, the rule for, say, what constitutes a breach of contract or a breach of duty was fairly clear cut.

Do you know what a fundamental right is? (see other thread)? If you see a novel fact pattern, how are you going to analyze it? You'll see that you have to pull pieces of doctrine from a lot of cases, and also that it doesn't line up at all neatly. But you can prepare in advance: "If the court follows the reasoning in ___________ then it will be more likely to see _______ as a fundamental right, but the court should instead follow the reasoning in ___________ because in this fact pattern ____________ and if they instead ___________ then the following catastrophic things will occur: __________, ______________, ____________________."

If I had read this post before my Con Law exam on Tuesday I would have done much better on it.


+1

stinger35
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby stinger35 » Thu May 06, 2010 5:52 pm

disco_barred wrote:In con law in particular, you have to sit down and think about how you'll answer a new hypo.

In most classes, the rule for, say, what constitutes a breach of contract or a breach of duty was fairly clear cut.

Do you know what a fundamental right is? (see other thread)? If you see a novel fact pattern, how are you going to analyze it? You'll see that you have to pull pieces of doctrine from a lot of cases, and also that it doesn't line up at all neatly. But you can prepare in advance: "If the court follows the reasoning in ___________ then it will be more likely to see _______ as a fundamental right, but the court should instead follow the reasoning in ___________ because in this fact pattern ____________ and if they instead ___________ then the following catastrophic things will occur: __________, ______________, ____________________."


I know there is like a whole thread on "fundamental rights" - but I don't recall really talking about them. Our class didn't get to due process, bill of rights, etc. (ridiculous, i know). We only did Judicial Review, Legislative Power, Executive Power, Equal Protection. Am I totally missing something?

solidsnake
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby solidsnake » Thu May 06, 2010 7:10 pm

NOt really. You could spend years just learning any one of those doctrines. Con Law is deep, dooder.

sperry
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby sperry » Fri May 07, 2010 2:37 am


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vanwinkle
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby vanwinkle » Fri May 07, 2010 2:59 am

stinger35 wrote:I know there is like a whole thread on "fundamental rights" - but I don't recall really talking about them. Our class didn't get to due process, bill of rights, etc. (ridiculous, i know). We only did Judicial Review, Legislative Power, Executive Power, Equal Protection. Am I totally missing something?

Different professors focus on different things, and there's so much to talk about that they can't get to it all. Fundamental rights is a core part of Substantive Due Process, which apparently you never got to. In my class we spent a long time on SDP and EP but only a few days on Executive Power.

Nobody does bill of rights, those are advanced classes. Criminal Investigation, if you take it, is basically a 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment class. The 1st Amendment may take more than one class; your school may offer a class just on freedom of religion, and another just on free-speech law, because there's so much material on each topic. 1L Constitutional Law is really just an intro-to course, there's so freaking much actual con law out there that there's no way they can shove anywhere near all of it into one class.

The important part really is Judicial Review, and then learning how that works in different contexts, whether that's Executive Power, SDP, EP, whatever. Once you know how that works, you know what to expect in the other classes and can study whatever parts of the Constitution you want.

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SwollenMonkey
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby SwollenMonkey » Sat May 08, 2010 2:11 pm

stinger35 wrote:
disco_barred wrote:In con law in particular, you have to sit down and think about how you'll answer a new hypo.

In most classes, the rule for, say, what constitutes a breach of contract or a breach of duty was fairly clear cut.

Do you know what a fundamental right is? (see other thread)? If you see a novel fact pattern, how are you going to analyze it? You'll see that you have to pull pieces of doctrine from a lot of cases, and also that it doesn't line up at all neatly. But you can prepare in advance: "If the court follows the reasoning in ___________ then it will be more likely to see _______ as a fundamental right, but the court should instead follow the reasoning in ___________ because in this fact pattern ____________ and if they instead ___________ then the following catastrophic things will occur: __________, ______________, ____________________."


I know there is like a whole thread on "fundamental rights" - but I don't recall really talking about them. Our class didn't get to due process, bill of rights, etc. (ridiculous, i know). We only did Judicial Review, Legislative Power, Executive Power, Equal Protection. Am I totally missing something?


So if you do not touch-upon a particular subject in a class, does that mean you do not have to know it come exam time? Seems a bit too risky to not know about issues that were not covered, or am I worrying too much?

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vanwinkle
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Re: How to prepare for Conlaw...

Postby vanwinkle » Sat May 08, 2010 2:14 pm

SwollenMonkey wrote:So if you do not touch-upon a particular subject in a class, does that mean you do not have to know it come exam time? Seems a bit too risky to not know about issues that were not covered, or am I worrying too much?

Typically your professor will only expect you to know the covered material. If something other than the covered material comes up, remember that it's a curved class and nobody else is going to know it either, so it doesn't matter much. Usually if that ever happens, it's because the professor wants to see how you apply stuff you did study to a topic you didn't. As long as you can do that as well as or better than anyone else, you're fine. You're not going to be expected to be a master of things your class didn't even touch on.

I have yet to take an exam that substantially strayed from the studied topics. I had one question on one test that was one of those "what would you do in this situation we didn't study" thing but I still did okay on it by just applying what we did study.




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