Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

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sanpiero
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Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby sanpiero » Sat May 08, 2010 11:59 pm

My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?

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seespotrun
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby seespotrun » Sun May 09, 2010 1:11 pm

sanpiero wrote:My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?


Comstock. Assuming you're a 1L. Commerce Clause jurisprudence ftw.

eth3n
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby eth3n » Sun May 09, 2010 1:30 pm

While it may be nice to think of methods to analyze probable candidates, you have to remember that you will be graded only on the information provided in the prompt (I am making the assumption this is a ~3-4 hour proctored exam), so it might be wiser simply to ignore the temptation.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby vanwinkle » Sun May 09, 2010 1:31 pm

eth3n wrote:While it may be nice to think of methods to analyze probable candidates, you have to remember that you will be graded only on the information provided in the prompt (I am making the assumption this is a ~3-4 hour proctored exam), so it might be wiser simply to ignore the temptation.

This. Focus more on studying the material you were given in class and how each piece relates to other pieces. That way, no matter what case you're given to analyze, you'll have the tools ready to do it.

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sanpiero
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby sanpiero » Sun May 09, 2010 1:32 pm

seespotrun wrote:
sanpiero wrote:My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?


Comstock. Assuming you're a 1L. Commerce Clause jurisprudence ftw.


Did you guys have the Comstock COA opinion to analyze?

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sanpiero
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby sanpiero » Sun May 09, 2010 1:37 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
eth3n wrote:While it may be nice to think of methods to analyze probable candidates, you have to remember that you will be graded only on the information provided in the prompt (I am making the assumption this is a ~3-4 hour proctored exam), so it might be wiser simply to ignore the temptation.

This. Focus more on studying the material you were given in class and how each piece relates to other pieces. That way, no matter what case you're given to analyze, you'll have the tools ready to do it.


Thanks, guys. Good advice. I have studied my outline, my notes, the cases, Chimerinsky, etc. thoroughly at this point. I'm just looking for other ways to give myself an edge. But, considering much of the class was focused on the commerce clause/dormant commerce clause and there are virtually no SCOTUS opinions from the past year focused squarely on either topic, it probably isn't even worthwhile to play the guessing game.

RW65
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby RW65 » Sun May 09, 2010 1:51 pm

seespotrun wrote:
sanpiero wrote:My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?


Comstock. Assuming you're a 1L. Commerce Clause jurisprudence ftw.


This was one of my exam questions. Two short paragraphs with the facts. The prompt simply said discuss the claims, with no mention of the fact that it was an actual case.

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seespotrun
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby seespotrun » Sun May 09, 2010 2:10 pm

sanpiero wrote:
seespotrun wrote:
sanpiero wrote:My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?


Comstock. Assuming you're a 1L. Commerce Clause jurisprudence ftw.


Did you guys have the Comstock COA opinion to analyze?


No, but we had this fact pattern for LRW as our appellate brief. I misread your OP. I thought your prof. was choosing a SCOTUS case awaiting decision, and you had to analyze/predict the result. If that were the case, definitely Comstock. But like the others said, delving into one case for study purposes is a big risk. Good luck!

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klmnumbers
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby klmnumbers » Sun May 09, 2010 5:12 pm

seespotrun wrote:
sanpiero wrote:My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?


Comstock. Assuming you're a 1L. Commerce Clause jurisprudence ftw.


Our appellate brief was on Comstock (literally straight up Comstock. I was the respondent (Comstock), and I nerdily enjoyed the topic). It is such a complicated but fascinating case. It's commerce clause AND necessary and proper clause with touches of federalism tossed in there. It's a great topic for a conlaw exam. Of course, my professor gave us a hypothetical based upon the Spending Power with the caveat that it could potentially violate EP (it was a revocation of AA tied to state-university funds) and the 10th amendment.

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seespotrun
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby seespotrun » Sun May 09, 2010 9:38 pm

klmnumbers wrote:
seespotrun wrote:
sanpiero wrote:My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?


Comstock. Assuming you're a 1L. Commerce Clause jurisprudence ftw.


Our appellate brief was on Comstock (literally straight up Comstock. I was the respondent (Comstock), and I nerdily enjoyed the topic). It is such a complicated but fascinating case. It's commerce clause AND necessary and proper clause with touches of federalism tossed in there. It's a great topic for a conlaw exam. Of course, my professor gave us a hypothetical based upon the Spending Power with the caveat that it could potentially violate EP (it was a revocation of AA tied to state-university funds) and the 10th amendment.


Ah, EP is Con Law II where I am ... looking forward to it.

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klmnumbers
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Re: Con Law Exam Format - Analyzing a Recent SCOTUS Case

Postby klmnumbers » Tue May 11, 2010 6:41 pm

seespotrun wrote:
klmnumbers wrote:
seespotrun wrote:
sanpiero wrote:My upcoming Con Law exam will be in this format. Anyone have experience with such exams? If so, any tips on preparing? Is it even worth trying to guess which recent (i.e. within last year) case your prof. will use, based on the areas in which your class mainly focused?


Comstock. Assuming you're a 1L. Commerce Clause jurisprudence ftw.


Our appellate brief was on Comstock (literally straight up Comstock. I was the respondent (Comstock), and I nerdily enjoyed the topic). It is such a complicated but fascinating case. It's commerce clause AND necessary and proper clause with touches of federalism tossed in there. It's a great topic for a conlaw exam. Of course, my professor gave us a hypothetical based upon the Spending Power with the caveat that it could potentially violate EP (it was a revocation of AA tied to state-university funds) and the 10th amendment.


Ah, EP is Con Law II where I am ... looking forward to it.


We kinda have con law separated into two classes as well, but we take them at the same time. This semester we took Criminal Procedure (which is entirely 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th amendments). Then our 'Con law' class is just Commerce/Spending, Federalism/10/11th amendments, and all the parts of the 14th (substantive due process, equal protection, privileges and immunities (as well as art iv s 2 p&i)).




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