Advice on pure policy exams.

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Diet_Coke
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Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby Diet_Coke » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:17 pm

My contracts exam is literally one or two sentences. An example:

"Consideration is neither necessary to form promissory obligations, nor should it be. Discuss."

Anyone have any experience with these, or advice on how to approach the exam answer? It seems like all the exam writing prep I did is useless here. Considering it's closed book, how am I even going to write for four hours on something like that!?

Peg
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby Peg » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:40 pm

Man, that sucks. Policy exam and closed book? I feel for you.

I don't have anything like this, but maybe I can give suggestions. Take them with a huge grain of salt because I'm a 1L.

I think the way to tackle this is to use case examples, as much as that sucks. Discuss whether consideration is necessary by analyzing relevant cases that you studied in class, focus on the policy rationale in each decision, and then give your opinion on whether or not you agree with those decisions. I think your opinion is important because the question seems to ask what you think of the law.

I also think it would be a good idea to ask your professor how he/she thinks this should be answered.

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NeighborGuy
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby NeighborGuy » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:32 pm

Assuming you don't have any model answers and your prof is closed-lipped about how you should approach it...

1) Understand the policy behind contract law. 2) Wax philosophical about it at great length. What else can you do?

If you have been completely ignoring everything your prof has been saying about policy up till now, you might be in trouble. I have a hard time believing that your prof gives tests like these and hasn't been emphasizing policy since day 1.

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lottery
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby lottery » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:33 pm

cry

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bk1
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby bk1 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:35 pm

lottery wrote:cry

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ph14
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby ph14 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:38 pm

bk1 wrote:
lottery wrote:cry


+ be prepared for arbitrary grades.

Diet_Coke
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby Diet_Coke » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:20 pm

Thanks for the advice. Fortunately I've been paying attention to the policy aspect of contracts (he's made it clear he's a policy guy) but I thought I would be applying it in the context of an issue-spotter; I really didn't foresee anything this extreme. I actually prefer this opportunity, but what gets me is the level of citation he requires combined with it being closed book. Based on what he's told us it seems like he expects us to basically write a law review article in four hours, from memory.

Diet_Coke
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Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby Diet_Coke » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:22 pm

And I would kill for a model answer. Can't believe he hasn't kept one...

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NeighborGuy
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby NeighborGuy » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:51 pm

Think of it this way: everyone else in the class will be facing the same exam as you and will have the same difficulties to overcome. If you can negotiate those difficulties better than they can, the aces are yours for the taking.

All of my professors offer unique little eccentricities and difficulties on their exams that make them harder than they "should" be. I am thankful for these; every curveball the professor throws is another chance for me to outshine my peers and hog the aces.

Diet_Coke
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Joined: Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:59 pm

Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby Diet_Coke » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:57 pm

That's a really good perspective to have. And I do feel much more comfortable writing this type of an answer instead of the formulaic, writing-for-a-professor's-checklist that I trained myself (hopefully!) to do on the other exams. I just hate changing my gameplan two weeks before exams.

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kalvano
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby kalvano » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:23 pm

Sounds like you can spout sooo much bullshit and get credit for it.

Also, visit with the professor. Write out a model answer and ask him what he thinks about it.

Peg
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby Peg » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:26 pm

Diet_Coke wrote:Thanks for the advice. Fortunately I've been paying attention to the policy aspect of contracts (he's made it clear he's a policy guy) but I thought I would be applying it in the context of an issue-spotter; I really didn't foresee anything this extreme. I actually prefer this opportunity, but what gets me is the level of citation he requires combined with it being closed book. Based on what he's told us it seems like he expects us to basically write a law review article in four hours, from memory.


Your professor is an asshole. I'm sorry, but this is the worst exam idea I've ever heard of, especially for 1L year.

Omerta
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Re: Advice on pure policy exams.

Postby Omerta » Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:06 pm

Diet_Coke wrote:That's a really good perspective to have. And I do feel much more comfortable writing this type of an answer instead of the formulaic, writing-for-a-professor's-checklist that I trained myself (hopefully!) to do on the other exams. I just hate changing my gameplan two weeks before exams.


Your professor is a douchebag, but that's life so let's figure out how you can approach the exam because I'm tired of studying tax.

I had a similar crim exam (closed book, very policy heavy -- though not this ridiculous) and here's how I studied for it. I got an A if that matters.

(1) Presumably, the question is still going to be related to something he talked about in class. Look through your class notes and see what the professor emphasized. Do you remember him talking about PE and consideration for a while? If so, look for policy discussions about equal in length to the prompt he gave you.

(1)a. Look up the prof's law review articles. Get a sense of his viewpoint and what he writes about academically. Maybe he looooooves consideration issues. Regardless, with this "partisan" of an exam, you want your argument to follow the same style he uses in his writing. Much like emulating a partner's writing style as an associate magically makes the partner think you're smarter, I bet the same applies here.

(2). Chunk your K exam into sections. Issues with offer, acceptance, consideration, reps and warranties, defenses etc. That should allow you to memorize the relevant cases in smaller chunks than "contracts". Practice writing it out on a legal pad.
Ex. I would write out the requirements for Murder (1) unlawful (2) killing (3) with malice aforethought or something like that. Then discuss what was unlawful and the cases we talked about.

When you get into the exam, take a look at the question and then write out the sections you've memorized that the question concerns. It'll give you 5 mins to clear your head, stop brainfreeze, and give you a "security blanket" outline.

(3) Organize your response. Since you have one question, you don't want a continuous page. Break it up like a journal article if that's what he wants. Intro, current law, issues, prescription, conclusion.

(3)a. Do your intro and conclusion last. The same arguments and counterarguments will come up no matter what side you take. If you can get into the groove of arguing X, but Y; Y, but Z, then you can bang out a lot more than someone who freezes up because they take 30 minutes to decide which side they want to advocate.

Good luck, this really sucks but, as another poster mentioned, everyone is as confused as you are -- even if they don't show it.




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