Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

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4gttngBrandonMarshal
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Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby 4gttngBrandonMarshal » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:48 am

I'm a 1L. Finals are coming up in a little over a month. I plan to finish creating all of my outlines, mnemonic devices, mind maps to get the big picture of the course, and flash cards this weekend. After those are all finished I plan on practicing applying law to fact by taking practice exams, getting those exams reviewed by professors/tutors, and constantly reviewing flash cards and mnemonics to solidify the material in my mind.

Does anyone have any other successful exam prep ideas, or any input on getting the most out of taking practice exams(plan to practice using the LEEWS method)?

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby bostonlawchick » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:02 pm

4gttngBrandonMarshal wrote:I'm a 1L. Finals are coming up in a little over a month. I plan to finish creating all of my outlines, mnemonic devices, mind maps to get the big picture of the course, and flash cards this weekend. After those are all finished I plan on practicing applying law to fact by taking practice exams, getting those exams reviewed by professors/tutors, and constantly reviewing flash cards and mnemonics to solidify the material in my mind.

Does anyone have any other successful exam prep ideas, or any input on getting the most out of taking practice exams(plan to practice using the LEEWS method)?


No advice, as I am also a 1L, but the bolded made me want to pass out.

nStiver
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby nStiver » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:23 pm

Sounds like you're on the right track bro. I like to use e&e's as a way to do little mini exams, truncated answers in exam format to their questions

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Knuckles
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby Knuckles » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:59 pm

I've been going through the BARBRI first year hypos, which I've found to be helpful. Most of them are in a good exam-style format, as well, so you get a feel for what a good answer will look like.

I also take an outline a day, and review the entire class' materials from start to finish. I'm getting to the point where it feels a little like saying the pledge (repetition comes easy), so hopefully I'll be a step ahead during Thanksgiving crunch-week.

morris248
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby morris248 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:35 pm

The main problem on your exam will be time. You need to practice being concise. Also practice using abbreviations where possible like PC rather than writing out probable cause. It is easy to get caught up on one question and lose track of time. Set specific time limits when you start for each question or section of the exam and stick to it even if you do not finish the one you are working on. It is rare to have enough time to completely finish an exam.

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ph14
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby ph14 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:37 pm

Knuckles wrote:I've been going through the BARBRI first year hypos, which I've found to be helpful. Most of them are in a good exam-style format, as well, so you get a feel for what a good answer will look like.

I also take an outline a day, and review the entire class' materials from start to finish. I'm getting to the point where it feels a little like saying the pledge (repetition comes easy), so hopefully I'll be a step ahead during Thanksgiving crunch-week.


Where are the BARBRI first year hypos?

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quiver
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby quiver » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:00 pm

morris248 wrote:The main problem on your exam will be time. You need to practice being concise. Also practice using abbreviations where possible like PC rather than writing out probable cause. It is easy to get caught up on one question and lose track of time. Set specific time limits when you start for each question or section of the exam and stick to it even if you do not finish the one you are working on. It is rare to have enough time to completely finish an exam.
This is 100% true. I remember taking my first practice exam question during first semester of 1L and it took me double the time allotted (4 hours instead of 2 hours). With practice it will become easier to be concise and practice exams (under exam conditions) are really the best way to get that kind of experience IMO. You're on the right track.

4gttngBrandonMarshal
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby 4gttngBrandonMarshal » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:19 pm

ph14 wrote:
Knuckles wrote:I've been going through the BARBRI first year hypos, which I've found to be helpful. Most of them are in a good exam-style format, as well, so you get a feel for what a good answer will look like.

I also take an outline a day, and review the entire class' materials from start to finish. I'm getting to the point where it feels a little like saying the pledge (repetition comes easy), so hopefully I'll be a step ahead during Thanksgiving crunch-week.


Where are the BARBRI first year hypos?


There in the barbri first year review books. They're huge and include outlines of every 1L class too. Don't buy then from barbri (way too expensive). Got mine on amazon for $7.

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beach_terror
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby beach_terror » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:29 pm

Best exam prep advice I can give you guys. Make your own outline. Then make it shorter. Then make it even shorter. Then make an attack outline. By the time you're done with the attack outline you'll have the big picture and all the small steps along the way. The process of stripping fat from your outline helps you spot important issues during the exam and keeps your analysis concise.

My first outline is just a bunch of quotes from the book. My next outline basically organizes the quotes into a clearer analytical framework. My attack outline is just the law and a few small notes or quotes under each element. By the time I'm done, I could probably take the exam entirely from my attack outline.

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crossarmant
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby crossarmant » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:30 am

beach_terror wrote:Best exam prep advice I can give you guys. Make your own outline. Then make it shorter. Then make it even shorter. Then make an attack outline. By the time you're done with the attack outline you'll have the big picture and all the small steps along the way. The process of stripping fat from your outline helps you spot important issues during the exam and keeps your analysis concise.

My first outline is just a bunch of quotes from the book. My next outline basically organizes the quotes into a clearer analytical framework. My attack outline is just the law and a few small notes or quotes under each element. By the time I'm done, I could probably take the exam entirely from my attack outline.


How long do you suggest keeping that attack outline when all is said and done? My outline for the midterm was about 11 pages, so, I'm guessing 22 for the final. I'm gunning for about the same across the board, too long or too short or am in the goldilocks spot?

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beach_terror
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Re: Exam Prep - any ideas are welcome

Postby beach_terror » Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:49 am

crossarmant wrote:How long do you suggest keeping that attack outline when all is said and done? My outline for the midterm was about 11 pages, so, I'm guessing 22 for the final. I'm gunning for about the same across the board, too long or too short or am in the goldilocks spot?


Way too many variables to say how long something should be. My Civ Pro attack outline for Erie was:

I. 1331
a. Most likely does not raise a choice of law issue because Congress legislates in an area in which the Constitution gives it authority, Supremacy Clause makes it “supreme”, and it becomes binding in federal and state courts. Rules of Decision act does not generally create issues in federal question cases
i. Federal law from congress  Supremacy Clause  Binding
II. 1332
a. 28 U.S.C. § 1652 (rules of decision) aimed more at 1332 cases, language is “the law of the several states, except where the Constitution or treaties of the U.S. or Acts of Congress otherwise or require or provide, shall be regarded as rules of decision in civil actions in the courts of the U.S, in cases where they apply”
i. Swift: interpreted law of the several states as solely statutes and local concerns (land), gave rise to federal common law as the federal courts did not have to apply state common law
ii. Erie: Swift: “introduced grave discrimination by non-citizens against citizens” and “the doctrine rendered impossible equal protection of the law” and “there is no federal general common law”
1. So, there is no federal substantive law to apply in diversity cases anymore
2. Can still apply federal procedure, but not substantive? Difference is unclear
b. 28 U.S.C. § 2072 (rules enabling) – allowed promulgation of the FRCP – what procedure governs?
i. Erie: “the federal courts are to apply state ‘substantive’ law and federal ‘procedural’ law”
ii. Guaranty Trust: “the outcome of the litigation in the federal court should be substantially the same, so far as legal rules determine the outcome of a litigation, as it would be if tried in State court”
1. Outcome-Determinative Test: “does it significantly affect the result of a litigation for a federal court to disregard a law of a State that would be controlling in an action upon the same claim by the same parties in a State court?”
a. Criticized as too broad – any procedure can “affect” the outcome in some way
iii. Byrd: “We do not think the likelihood of a different result is so strong as to require the federal practice of jury determination of disputed factual issues to yield to the state rule in the interest of uniformity of outcome”
1. Modified OD Test:
a. 1) likelihood that applying federal law will affect the outcome of the case
b. 2) federal interest in applying its rule
i. “federal system is an independent system for administering justice to litigants who properly invoke its jurisdiction” – not mock state court
c. 3) state interest in applying its rule
i. Is there a rationale behind the rule in the stature, or proscribed by the state? If not –seems more procedural, court likely to apply FRCP
ii. “Interpret FRCP with sensitivity to important state interests, and a will to avoid conflict with important state regulatory policies” Shady
iv. Hanna: “the outcome-determination test therefore cannot be read without reference to the twin aims of Erie rule”:
1. 1) discouragement of forum shopping and 2) avoidance of inequitable administration
2. “To hold that a FRCP must cease to function whenever it alters the mode of enforcing state-created rights would be to disembowel either the Constitution’s grant of power over federal procedure or Congress’ attempt to exercise that power in the Enabling Act.”
III. Final Test
a. 1) likelihood that applying federal law will affect the outcome of the case
i. Guaranty Trust quote above (same ideas as (2) of twin aims)
ii. 1) discouragement of forum shopping and 2) avoidance of inequitable administration of the laws
b. Federal interest in applying its rule
c. State’s interest in applying its rule
IV. Hanna’s rule on FRCP
a. Is a FRCP on point? No (state law) – Yes (apply Sibbach does it really regulate procedure?) Yes (apply FRCP, No apply state rule).
b. Make sure to analyze broad readings (Shady Grove, Burlington) and narrow readings (Ragan, Walker)
i. Policy: broad preserves the rules, continuous narrow readings would doom them


I'd say all in all, my Civ Pro attack outlines were 10-12 pages total. I brought the bigger outlines just in case, but didn't touch them.




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