What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

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Sogui
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What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby Sogui » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:55 pm

(This is for CivPro btw)

I mean, people have tried pushing the professor on what she wants for answers but she keeps the advice vague enough that it sounds like what every professor says. I've found model answers to be extremely useful for understanding how to tailor responses to a professor's style of thinking, which might not be represented by their lectures alone.

A question about a gray area in personal jurisdiction might have a 10 minute time limit and I don't know if should focus on a discussion of how the standard has evolved, where it is today, and how that evolution and shifting balance of policy goals would lead a court to decide on it.... or if I should simply focus on giving a detailed analysis of the two closest cases and how a careful look at the facts might lead us towards following one or the other.

Do I try to hound the professor for more guidance? Discuss answers with peers and hope they have a better idea of what constitutes a strong answer than I do? Do neither and just pray that my style of analysis is what the professor wants? I don't know any 2L's who have had this professor so that's not an option.

Melkaba
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby Melkaba » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:05 pm

Since we only have two practice exams from our torts prof (who already said that he was NOT going to go over them with us under any circumstance) and literally nothing else for either Property (there isn't even a final for our prof and his material is radically different/exams back then were radically different) or Contracts (who is so big on economics that exams from other teachers would not help in the slightest), I do two things.

1.) Ask other students.
2.) Review the material and what the prof has been saying as close as you possibly can
3.) Pray (to whatever God I believe in).

Scurredsitless1
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby Scurredsitless1 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:08 pm

I have found discussing the issues with peers to be very helpful. It exposes gaps in my knowledge of the course which I was unaware. I didn't realize how much shit I didn't really understand until I sat down with peers and hashed it out. I found it critical to find the right people to work with though, when people get competitive, and want to show how much they know, it's unbearable.

Good Luck.

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OGR3
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby OGR3 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:16 pm

Scurredsitless1 wrote:I have found discussing the issues with peers to be very helpful. It exposes gaps in my knowledge of the course which I was unaware. I didn't realize how much shit I didn't really understand until I sat down with peers and hashed it out. I found it critical to find the right people to work with though, when people get competitive, and want to show how much they know, it's unbearable.

Good Luck.


I agree 100%. I'm lucky to have found a study buddy who has a very different way of looking at questions. I'm very analytical while she's really good with policy and theory stuff. We'll do practice exams and go over them together supplementing each other's answers as we go.

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vamedic03
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby vamedic03 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:20 pm

Sogui wrote:(This is for CivPro btw)

I mean, people have tried pushing the professor on what she wants for answers but she keeps the advice vague enough that it sounds like what every professor says. I've found model answers to be extremely useful for understanding how to tailor responses to a professor's style of thinking, which might not be represented by their lectures alone.

A question about a gray area in personal jurisdiction might have a 10 minute time limit and I don't know if should focus on a discussion of how the standard has evolved, where it is today, and how that evolution and shifting balance of policy goals would lead a court to decide on it.... or if I should simply focus on giving a detailed analysis of the two closest cases and how a careful look at the facts might lead us towards following one or the other.

Do I try to hound the professor for more guidance? Discuss answers with peers and hope they have a better idea of what constitutes a strong answer than I do? Do neither and just pray that my style of analysis is what the professor wants? I don't know any 2L's who have had this professor so that's not an option.


Make sure you answer the question asked. If you only have 10 minutes to discuss personal jurisdiction, then you're only going to have time to apply the current law.

Remember, as a general rule, its about applying law to fact. Where there are ambiguities (i.e., 'issues'), discuss both sides.

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Sogui
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby Sogui » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:06 am

vamedic03 wrote:
Sogui wrote:(This is for CivPro btw)

I mean, people have tried pushing the professor on what she wants for answers but she keeps the advice vague enough that it sounds like what every professor says. I've found model answers to be extremely useful for understanding how to tailor responses to a professor's style of thinking, which might not be represented by their lectures alone.

A question about a gray area in personal jurisdiction might have a 10 minute time limit and I don't know if should focus on a discussion of how the standard has evolved, where it is today, and how that evolution and shifting balance of policy goals would lead a court to decide on it.... or if I should simply focus on giving a detailed analysis of the two closest cases and how a careful look at the facts might lead us towards following one or the other.

Do I try to hound the professor for more guidance? Discuss answers with peers and hope they have a better idea of what constitutes a strong answer than I do? Do neither and just pray that my style of analysis is what the professor wants? I don't know any 2L's who have had this professor so that's not an option.


Make sure you answer the question asked. If you only have 10 minutes to discuss personal jurisdiction, then you're only going to have time to apply the current law.

Remember, as a general rule, its about applying law to fact. Where there are ambiguities (i.e., 'issues'), discuss both sides.


I feel that.

Problem is there are always ambiguities, just a measure of degree. There are some cases where even Glannon won't venture a guess because the law is so uncertain, there are others where there might be one line of reasoning the other side could use to defeat your logic but it would require such an attenuation of the facts of the case and the letter of the law that it really wouldn't be worth bringing up.

I have no idea what she expects in 10 minutes, a compelling set of reasons as to why the "rule" would apply/already applies here or a balanced analysis of how both sides might prevail with a quick 2-sentence conclusion of which one is likely to win.

I mean this isn't an issue for, say torts, where the professor makes it clear that she just wants to hear what you think is the "best" argument for each side, sure there's still ambiguity but it's ultimately my judgment call to decide between an affirmative defense or raising an argument about foreseeability of the harm.

In CivPro though I get this constant tension between focusing on the best argument for just one side and making a simple application, focusing on the best arguments for both sides and making a judgment call, or making a litany of arguments persuasive for either side and using policy, evolution of the law, and nuances recognized in case-law to argue why one side will likely prevail.

The sub-questions span every length of time from 5 minutes to 55 minutes for answering, and I haven't the slightest clue as to what time period "triggers" a certain expectation from the professor.

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Sogui
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby Sogui » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:19 am

It's a little late for me to get into the whole study group thing, but I might try. I feel like I could still occupy every last minute of my time on reading/outlining/flowcharting/Glannon'ing/reading old exams until the exam.

It would be really difficult for me to get into a group this late in the game anyway, but if I see an opportunity I'll keep it in mind.

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crEEp
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby crEEp » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:11 am

What I find works relatively well for me is to cross-reference your case list for the semester with briefs submitted in an appellate court. It's an elite way to find out how someone who isn't a law professor applies this law to real-life facts. Of course, your professor might write a curveball exam that fucks with you six ways from sunday, but if you're at least of average intelligence, appellate briefs are an excellent supply of ways to apply law to facts.

rejectmaster
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Re: What's been your strategy for classes without model answers?

Postby rejectmaster » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:39 pm

crEEp wrote:What I find works relatively well for me is to cross-reference your case list for the semester with briefs submitted in an appellate court. It's an elite way to find out how someone who isn't a law professor applies this law to real-life facts. Of course, your professor might write a curveball exam that fucks with you six ways from sunday, but if you're at least of average intelligence, appellate briefs are an excellent supply of ways to apply law to facts.


that's a wicked interesting idea.. awesome




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